Privateer Bikes | Proving It’s An Enduro Bike That Will Do DH

by 5

From the team behind Hunt Wheels, the Privateer 161 has some pretty interesting geometry that has a few people watching its development. Designed as an all round bike (for the Privateer, who can’t own a fleet) with a focus on tackling EWS style courses, the team wanted to show that it can tackle a Downhill course at speed. Here’s what they have to say:

Paint jobs are still to be determined. What do you think of this one?

First spotted at Eurobike 2019, we had been quietly working away for 18 months already. Privateer bikes was founded on the idea of creating a bike that fits the needs and demands of it’s namesake – Progressive race ready geometry combined with rider focused features, ensures the 161 can handle seasons’ worth of abuse.

With our main testing focused around top 20 EWS rider Matt Stuttard, we sought out to test the 161 in other ways too. Wanting to test throughout the season with a variety of riders, tracks and terrain, at different paces and styles, we saw an opportunity to test the Prototype on Morzine’s most famous and roughest track.

Knowing Hunt Bike Wheels supported rider Liam Saint was out in Morzine, we challenged him to attack Pleney Black as hard as he would on his DH bike, on the 161. He took to Strava and aimed to be one of the fastest, if not the fastest! With names like Wyn masters, Sam Dale and Flo Payet on the leader board, we knew this would be a challenge… Being no stranger to the French mountains, we were confident Liam could challenge these times and show that the Privateer 161 can offer riders a bike that is ready to race tracks like Pleney Black, just as capably as a downhill bike.

What do you think?

We have been experimenting with colour schemes, finishes and logo composition, so what you see here will not be the finished look for the Privateer 161. You can keep up to date via our website at

Liam was given the bike for four days, before it had to be taken back to the UK for further testing. With only a few dry and dusty cutting laps on the new steed prepping for the task ahead, the heavens opened up and unloaded some classic Morzine rain storms for days two and four of the challenge. Frustrated, Liam knew this would impact the times, but in hindsight it was the perfect opportunity to see how times compared in the both the wet and dry – while also making for a more exciting challenge.

After a battle with storms, limited lifts and a few sections of the track closed, it made getting in the laps a lot slower, but a good test for the uphill pedals. Despite all this, Liam came away with one of the fastest times placing him top 3 on the Upper half of Pleney, next to some big names. It was a solid result for Liam, but also for the 161, he aimed to be as fast the top times, and to do this in the wet conditions only made it sweeter.

This is just the start for Privateer, we learn and improve from small tests like this and will keep pushing the 161 to be race ready for riders.”

Checking out the course. Maybe think elbow pads would be good?
Roost potential testing.
No paid uplift for the privateer?
Reconsidering life choices, maybe.
Push up and do that again, would you?
No stopping to look at the scenery.
The photographer keeps busy while a puncture is fixed?
Oh to ride berms like this, like this.

What do you think? Does the geometry get you interested? Is the Privateer 161 on your watch list? Watch this space – we’ll be keeping an eye out for the final bike.

Let’s keep in touch

By ticking the box below we can send you our weekly story digests featuring editorials from Chipps and even the chance to be one of Charlie’s merch winners.

Sign in to your account to manage your communication preferences.

Hannah Dobson

Hannah came to Singletrack having decided there must be more to life than meetings. Having worked in policy and project management roles at the Scottish Parliament and in local government, Hannah had organisational skills that SIngletrack needed. She also likes bikes, and likes to write.

Hannah likes all bikes, but especially unusual ones. If it’s a bit odd, or a bit niche, or made of metal, she’s probably going to get excited. If it gets her down some steep stuff, all the better. She’ll give most things a go once, she tries not to say no to anything on a bike, unless she really thinks it’s going to hurt. She’s pretty good with steri-strips.

More than bikes, Hannah likes what bikes do. She thinks that they link people and places; that cycling creates a connection between us and our environment; bikes create communities; deliver freedom; bring joy; and improve fitness. They're environmentally friendly and create friendly environments.

Hannah tries to write about all these things in the hope that others might discover the joy of bikes too.

Comments (5)

    nice to see my little bro in the number 4 spot!


    Very nice bike. Quite liking the colour scheme.

    Excellent approach! Now do it in 27.5 and you’ll have me onboard in no time!

Leave a Reply