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Pole Vikkelä is a CNC’d 190mm enduro mountain bike with… adjustable lateral flex?

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One look at the new Pole Vikkelä enduro bike and it’s clear something’s different. It sits really tall, and the rear swing arm is completely detached from the frame, relying on two linkages to connect it to the seat tube. The result is a bike that you ride differently and will smash through any terrain while pedaling smoothly right back to the top, despite having 190mm of travel.

But why such a radically different design from their Stamina mountain bikes? Because they wanted to make an e-MTB version of it, too, and needed a different linkage and pivot layout to fit a motor in there.

The Voima eMTB debuted in June 2022 and uses this same Sensei suspension platform. But for the Vikkelä, they added a unique feature: Tunable rear stiffness.

Pole Vikkelä adjustable frame flex

pole vikkela racing axle versus standard axle for suspension link pivots
Pole’s Race axle on left, Standard axle on right.

In order to make a rear end laterally stiff enough on a bike that, effectively, has no seatstays or chainstays, they keyed the two main pivot axles on the seat tube. This keeps all four arms moving in sync, so that torsional forces can’t “twist” the rear wheel in the frame.

Interestingly, they made those axles less stiff than they could, which allows for a little bit of lateral flex. They say, for most riders, that tiny bit of flex improves ride quality and makes it more forgiving.

pole vikkela enduro mountain bike

But for their pro riders, they needed a stiffer axle that eliminated rear end flex. So, there are two axle options – Standard, and Race axles, the latter being 30% stiffer. The bikes will ship with the normal ones, but you can upgrade if you’re feeling pro.

Double-row bearings at both pivots on the swingarm provide the necessary stiffness out back.

Vikkelä means “agile”

pole vikkela enduro mountain bike

The entire frame is CNC machined from 7075-T6 aluminum (as are all of their bikes), with frame pieces bonded together to create a hollow frame that’s 100% recyclable.

The geometry sits high on 29er wheels, with the BB nearly level with the rear axle before you sag it with your body weight. They recommend 25-35% sag, but even then say it’ll keep you riding higher than other mountain bikes.

pole vikkela enduro mountain bike

That design is intentional, because they also say it’s best ridden with pedals level on the corners, no need to drop the outside foot or raise the inside one for clearance. While it sounds weird, they say it makes the rider and bike more…agile.

Suspension kinematics are designed around a 190mm fork and shift from a 3.0 to 2.3-ish leverage ratio throughout the travel. This makes it ultra sensitive to small bumps for the first 20-30% of travel, fully pedal-able in the mid-stroke (with ~100% anti-squat helping out in that range, too, regardless of gear selection), and a bit firmer at the end to avoid bottom out.

electrophoretic color treatment on pole alloy mountain bike frames

First bikes roll out in December 2022 with prices from €4,508 to €5,234, or get a frameset with various rear shock options starting at €3,218 (all prices excl. VAT).

Available in this True Gold color plus Raw and Storm Gray, all done via Electrophoretic Clearcoat. They say this method is more durable and tougher than anodizing, and more environmentally friendly, and won’t hide all the machining work that goes into their frames.

PoleBicycles.com

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Paul S.
Paul S.
3 months ago

Would that shock reservoir not catch on your leg every pedal stroke?!?

K.M.
K.M.
3 months ago
Reply to  Paul S.

No.

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