Editor’s Pick: Privateer 141 Mountain Bike

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It’s not the most glamorous bike released in the last year. It’s neither the lightest nor the most elegant. There is no new linkage design or innovative carbon technology. In fact, there is no carbon at all. Privateer does things differently. The rider-run company makes no-frills aluminum-framed bikes that you can buy and get into a race with right away. It’s in the name – a private racer is a racer without a sponsor. There are just two spec levels and no frills, just performance where you need it. We tested the Corsair 141 ($4,379+), named quite simply after its rear travel. As far as travel for trail bikes goes, 141 millimeters is somewhere in the middle of the pack, but there is nothing in the middle of the pack on the rest of this bike. It has the head angle of an enduro bike (64.5 degrees), the wheelbase of a downhill bike (1,266 millimeters wide), and the seat tube angle of a mountain chair. desk (more than 78 degrees). When we looked at those rather extreme numbers and the equally extreme silhouette, testers were concerned that the 141 would be a tough bike to live with. But put it on the track, and it works magic. It climbs comfortably and efficiently and, if you’re used to the looseness of the bike’s geometry in recent years, it’s not bulky at low speeds. But surprisingly, it’s also not bulky at high speeds. With moderate travel and over-the-top geometry, all signs pointed to this bike being an expert-only affair. But all of the testers, with varying appetites for the gnar, came away satisfied. The Privateer 141 allowed each of us, at our level, to first get comfortable and then go crazy. And while Privateer offers it at a far from low price, every tester has a bike that costs at least twice as much, and everyone wanted to take that bike home.

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