New Propain Tyee: first ride review

by 14

The new Propain Tyee is an evolution of the previous Tyee. Which may not make for most exciting news but does make for a similarly fun ride.

Propain are very much a mountain bike company. The furthest they diverge from our sacred off-road machine is onto knobbly tired kids bikes and a dirt jump bike.

The company launched with the Rage downhill bike (and its Pro10 suspension design) as the brainchild of Robert Krauss (part founder and chief technical officer) which has seen success, manuals and schralps under the endlessly stylish prowess of Phil Atwill.

The original Tyee, launched in 2018, helped propel the company through an already rapid period of growth. Just as enduro was really becoming established as a genre. That bike had less travel, a seat angle that was a tad slack, a head angle that was a tad steep, blah blah.

Times have changed in five years. We’ve seen the long, low, slack revolution come and stay. This generation of the Tyee aims to build on an already successful current generation and bring things bang up to date.

Is it really up to date?

The headline changes aren’t really headlines if I’m being honest. This is a bike on the evolution rather than revolutionary side of an update. Propain state this themselves and who am I to argue with a successful recipe.

Key tweaks include the addition of cables integrated through the headset. Another company brainwashed by the headset lobbyists? Possibly. Heading the same way as press fit BB’s? Possibly.

However, some significant figures at Propain seem convinced that the tidy front end and reduced cable rattle is worth it. The headset also comes with stainless steel bearings as standard and if you really want a normal (creak free) headset and internally frame routed cables the aluminium framed bike accommodates this.

There’s a new brake mount design that makes for a very clean symmetrical side profile from across the car park. Close up I’m less convinced. It does create the option of running a 180mm or 200mm rotor just by moving the position of the bracket on the frame; a tidy engineering solution.

Other new frame features include a bottle cage mount on the down tube and a tool mount under the top tube. A flip chip in the sing arm to accommodate a 27.5” rear wheel or a 29” one to your taste, leg length or head angle slackness preference. And finally, some rather substantial flappy chain noise dampers on pretty much every millimetre of the drive-side chainstay and seatstay the chain might slap – they really are aiming for quiet refinement.

The sizing and geometry of the new Tyee is a little conservative through my eyes. The reach numbers for each size are on the cusp of having me sizing up to a large frame, seat tube length stops me in my tracks. The ~64˚ head angle and ~77˚ seat angle are on the money and supply the customary upright climbing position as well as familiar handling when heading downhill.

The 445mm chainstay length is a reasonable middle ground that should offer decent handling across all the 29” wheeled sizes. The smaller sizes and 27.5” frames have a 430mm chainstay length.

Is it any good?

I was lucky enough to be free when all the Singletrack staffers were busy and was therefore invited all the way to sunny Spain to gander at the new Tyee and thrash it down a dusty hillside or two.

Day one saw us pedalling our way up the hill behind our hotel in Santa Coloma. I rode a medium carbon framed Tyee with all the electro-mechanical bells and buzzes. With a 160x35mm fork, an air shock and a top end svelte build kit the new Tyee performs like a very capable trail bike.

Comfort, efficiency and quietness are all present and correct. Not very enduro by modern standards. Although the lightness and agility are refreshing.

Day two and I’ve made friends and swapped bikes. This time it’s an aluminium framed bikes with a 170x38mm fork, a coil shock and some significantly more powerful brakes. Still with a full complement of 29” wheels.

Ante upped. We’re at a local bike park and the stiffer fork and supple linear shock are allowing me to really load the bike through fast corners, commit to jumps and plough confidently through steep rocky sections.

Riding these two combinations really highlighted the real USP of the Tyee, versatility. My initial impressions are that the frame is well judged and its range of appeal is broad enough to cover everything from trail riding through to bike park blasting. Propain’s agile business model with excellent levels of spec customisation allow the consumer to build this bike into exactly what they want.


Propain Tyee press release in full:

The Tyee is the golden ratio, the perfect balance within our product range, our flagship – the „chief“. In 2020, the last evolution of the Tyee ushered in a new era for PROPAIN. With the development of the new Tyee, we were faced with one crucial question:

How do we make this bike even better?

With the unveiling of the 2023 Tyee, here at PROPAIN we are all in agreement – Hell YES, we did it!

HIGHLIGHTS
Sixpack Integrated Cable Routing
Optimized geometry
Available in size XS
New frame colors
New cable routing
New chain stay & seat stay protector
New downtube protector
Brake integration
Bottle and tool mount
Double sealed Acros frame bearings (PROPAIN Dirt Shields)
Acros stainless steel frame & headset bearings
SRAM UDH derailleur hanger
Sixpack sealed seat clamp

OVERALL CONCEPT AND GEOMETRY

We didn‘t set out to reinvent the Tyee – the challenge was to optimize it in the right places, to make a great bike even better! It was important to us that it remains unmistakably a Tyee at first glance. Nevertheless, the design has evolved with time, becoming more dynamic and balanced. Together with Sixpack, we approached the topic of cable integration from the ground up and are convinced that we have developed a solution that offers real benefits.

The entire cable routing has been redesigned, the reach has grown by 5 mm and the head angle has become 0.5° flatter. The frame height has dropped by 1 cm, so that long-travel dropper posts can be used without any concerns. The new rear triangle has more tire clearance and is 10% stiffer than before in both variants. The slightly increased lateral stiffness and the generally more robust construction of the carbon frame makes it 100 grams heavier than before. However, it still comes in at a very light 2.9 kg total weight in size M 29″ and offers just the right amount of compliance. In the aluminum frame, we have put a strong focus on weight and were able to save a total of almost 300 grams compared to the predecessor, so that the frame now has a total weight of 3.4 kg in size M 29″.

FRAME CONCEPT AND PRO10

Even in times when trends play a major role in bike development, we remain 100% convinced that our PRO10 system represents the best frame concept and therefore remains the quintessence of PROPAIN. With newly designed links we slightly adjusted leverage ratio, pedal kickback, anti squat and the axle path. We are proud to say the PRO10 frame of the new Tyee is more capable than ever and at the same time remains extremely agile and efficient – The perfect balance!

INTEGRATED CABLE ROUTING

When Acros approached us with their ICR headset, we were initially, to put it mildly, skeptical. But after the first test ride it was clear to us, that if we properly think it through, this concept is superior to classic cable routing in all aspects.

Together with Sixpack, we have developed a classic CNC machined stem that forms a molded fit to the top composite spacer. The cables therefore do not lead through the stem, but through the top spacer, through the headset, into the frame. This allows the stem to be switched effortlessly if necessary and the stem height can be adjusted by clip-in spacers without having to remove the stem at all. A clean and completely silent cockpit.

Because we place great emphasis on customization, we offer two additional integration options in addition to our full integration. More information on this below in the “Specifications and prices” section.

We exclusively install Acros stainless steel headset bearings – recognizable through the red seal – in all Tyees. So even in the unlikely event that moisture enters the headset, longevity is ensured, and cables do not have to be cut due to wear in the system. All the other frame bearings in the Tyee are also Acros stainless steel bearings.

CABLE ROUTING AND FRAME PROTECTION

Absolute silence – the only thing you hear is the sound of the tires on the trail. To make this happen in addition to the cable integration at the headset, we optimized cable routing, going directly across the main pivot points of the rear triangle. We also developed new chain and seat stay protectors that are made of a soft TPR plastic with great damping properties. Air-filled nubs with an outward tilt stop chain vibrations with great efficiency, keeping the bike quiet on the roughest trails.

BRAKE INTEGRATION

With the new Tyee, the Postmount brake mount is integrated into the rear triangle. In addition to the sleek aesthetic aspects, this also achieves better transfer of braking forces into the frame. For 180 mm and 200 mm rotors no additional adapters are needed, just a quick adjustment of the Postmount bracket is all that needs to make the switch.

FLIP CHIP – 29“ / MIX

Since our customers are able to customize bikes to fit their needs, we added a flip chip on the top link of the PRO10 system. This allows the new Tyee to switch between a pure 29“ configuration and a mixed wheel setup with minimal effort. The same geometry is maintained both in the mix and in the 29“ setup.

BOTTLE AND TOOLMOUNT

A good enduro bike of course needs the ability to carry enough hydration and the most necessary equipment for a tour or race right with the bike. The less weight in the backpack or hip bag the better. The bottlemount on the down tube and the toolmount on the bottom of the top tube provide the perfect basis for this.

BLEND CARBON

We believe that a great carbon bike is not made from a single kind of carbon fiber but from a blend of high-end carbon materials. If we only used one kind of carbon material on our frames, we wouldn’t be able to optimize the various properties of different carbon raw materials. PROPAIN bikes use many different prepreg carbon layers that are combined to a unique blend that improves ride qualities of certain location on the frame. Depending on the requirements for stiffness, flexibility, impact resistance, weight, strength or stress direction different carbon layers are used. PROPAIN uses the highest quality blends in our bicycle frames, the same prepreg material that is used for airplane fuselages, wings and many other applications you trust in.

BLEND ALLOY

The same concept is used on our aluminum frames, where different alloys are combined in a single frame. Our tubes are made from a more fatigue resistant material than the forged or CNC machined parts. Parts that don’t need to be welded are made from 7075 T6 aluminum which is difficult to weld but offers very high strength. A Blend Alloy frame consists of a minimum of three different alloys and is not a fancy marketing word for the same thing everyone is doing. It describes PROPAIN‘s unique manufacturing method and is the reason for the light and durable frames we are famous for.

TRAVEL

The new Tyee continues to come with 160 mm of travel in the rear and the option to use both 160 mm and 170 mm forks in the front.

KINEMATICS

The PRO10 system is known for its drive neutrality. The latest iteration of the frame concept also lives up to this expectation with an anti-squat in SAG of 113%. This means the system retains its sensitive response and begins to work even on the smallest bumps. The progression of the frame has been optimized and improved over the years. Due to the minimal lower end progression of the new PRO10 system, it continues to offer the best basis for coil shocks, but at the same time perfectly works with air shocks. This way, it delivers optimum grip and support with both shock options at all times. The PRO10 frame of the new Tyee offers a ratio of capability, agility and efficiency that has never been achieved before.

SIZE CONCEPT

We are thrilled to offer the new Tyee in size XS for the first time for smaller riders looking for a bigger bike feel. The sizes XS and S are available exclusively in a pure 27.5“ configuration. Size M is available in 27.5“ and 29“ frames, plus the use of the flip chip the 29“ frame can also be ridden in a mixed wheel setup. The sizes L and XL can be configured in Mix and 29“.

COLORS AND DECALS

Carbon

The new main frame color of the carbon variant of the Tyee is “Deep Forest (Gloss)”. It is a bluish green that appears slightly different depending on how the light falls on it. “Carbon Raw” is now available in matte for the first time. The clear coat gives it the unique look and our special processing of “Blend Carbon” becomes visible. The third color is familiar from the Hugene: “Safari (Matte)” is now also available on the Tyee.

Aluminum

The aluminum version will be available in the colors ” Aluminum Raw (Matte)”, “Venomblack (Matte)” and “Olive (Gloss)”. The main frame color “Olive” makes its debut at PROPAIN and can be perfectly combined with all spec options. The Aluminum Raw is coated with a special sealant and catches the eye with a classy matte finish. Venomblack – our matte black – is now newly available on the Tyee.

As before, the PROPAIN logo and badge can be individually customized. So everyone has the freedom to choose his favorite color combination. For the decal kit a very robust, plotted vinyl foil is used, the badge is made of very thin metal. All of the already known colors will still be available.
Frame Colors Carbon

SPECIFICATIONS AND PRICES

When it comes to the selection of components, we continue to rely on a large and high-quality variety from which every customer can configure his dream bike. In addition to proven suspension options from RockShox, Fox and Formula, the new Tyee can also be configured – race ready – with the latest RockShox ZEB with 170 mm travel.

The brand new SRAM Transmission groupsets X0 and XX complement our existing mechanical drivetrain options. Brakes from Formula, Magura and SRAM as well as several NEWMEN wheelsets complete the package. The possibility to customize your personal dream bike is further extended by several rise options for handlebars and different stem lengths. Brand new in the lineup are for the first time saddles from SQlab, to be able to choose the ergonomically appropriate solution for yourself directly at the time of purchase.

In the configurator our Internal Cable Routing is available for carbon and aluminum frames in two options each. On the Tyee CF you can choose our Sixpack full integration with matching stem and the Acros solution with cable routing through the headset cover. On the Tyee AL our Sixpack full integration can also be selected, the second option is a classic cable routing via the side openings in the frame.

There will be no price increase for the new Tyee. The starting price of the Tyee AL remains at 2,999 € and the Tyee CF at 3,599 € and this although we, in addition to all innovations, now exclusively use stainless steel bearings in all frames.

To make it a little easier for customers to build their dream bike, in addition to the individual configuration, we offer four build kits. The build kits are recommendations from us to the customers, because we would configure our own bikes exactly the same way.

Price2Ride
The entry-level offer that is absolutely “ready to shred”. The most fun for the least money with Formula suspension and brakes, NEWMEN Performance 30 wheelset and BikeYoke Devine seatpost.
AL: €/$/£ 3,599.00
CF: €/$/£ 4,199.00

SHRED²
Our heavy-hitter spec. Rockshox ZEB Ultimate and Super Deluxe Ultimate coil shock set the tone and the GX drivetrain and NEWMEN EG30 wheelset complete the package.
AL: €/$/£ 4,484.00
CF: €/$/£ 5,084.00

Phantom
All the finest from SRAM – Lyrik Ultimate RC2 and Super Deluxe Ultimate Air, Code RSC brakes and the new AXS X0 transmission leave nothing to be desired.
AL: €/$/£ 6,109.00
CF: €/$/£ 6,709.00

Goldrush
The name says it all, Kashima is just the new Kashima. Magura MT7, Crankbrothers Synthesis Carbon wheelset and the new AXS XX Transmission, nothing more needs to be said.
AL: €/$/£ 7,644.00
CF: €/$/£ 8,244.00

In the USA the same prices apply 1:1 in USD, in the UK likewise in GBP.

WEIGHTS

Frame weights
Carbon: 2,9 kg
Aluminum 3,4 kg
Total weight
Carbon: From 13,8 kg
Aluminum: From 14,3 kg

RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

During the development, our frames are extensively tested on the test benches at our HQ in Vogt, Germany. During load tests, with a total of over 500,000 load cycles per frame, they are punished to ensure the best performance, load and longevity. All frames are tested far beyond regulatory standards, resulting in our enduro bikes being listed in category 5 and having unrestricted bike park clearance.

GEOMETRY

We recommend running the full 29″ configuration in the “low” setting of the flip chip and the Mix and 27.5″ configuration in the “high” setting.

Of course, the 27.5 “and Mix bikes can also be ridden in the “low” setting, the head angle becomes even flatter and the center of gravity of the bikes moves further down, which will work especially well for purely downhill-oriented bike park laps for sure. However, the bottom bracket height in this configuration is so low that pedal strikes in technical terrain become very likely. This setup is therefore recommended for experienced riders only.

Bonus press release about UK pricing:

Dear partners and friends, 

we at PROPAIN are stoked to announce that we updated our UK pricing model to include VAT and Import Duty in the price you see on our website. 
The United Kingdom is a key market for us and we’re more then happy that we’re now able to offer this pricing model to our UK customers. 

The updated pricing will come into effect with the Tyee launch tomorrow April 20th 3pm CET on all our models

Here the statement from Propain Bikes UK:
“Propain Bikes UK is excited to share some great news with cycling enthusiasts in the UK. As part of our ongoing commitment to providing our customers with the best possible experience, we have made some important changes that will make it even easier for you to buy our high-performance mountain bikes.

Firstly, we are pleased to announce that buying a bike directly from us in Germany has never been easier. We have simplified the buying process by including VAT and Import Duty in the price you see on our website. This means that there are no additional charges or forms to fill out before shipping, giving you complete peace of mind when making your purchase. We understand that buying a mountain bike is a significant investment, which is why we are also pleased to announce that we are now signed up to CYCLESCHEME in the UK.This means that you can use your CYCLESCHEME vouchers to save up to 39% off our custom handcrafted mountain bikes, making them even more accessible to our valued customers.

At Propain Bikes UK, we are committed to providing our customers with the best possible experience. Our new changes make buying a high-performance mountain bike easier and more affordable than ever before. So why wait? Head to our website and check out our latest range of bikes today!”

propain-bikes.com


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Review Info

Brand: Propain
Product: Tyee
From: propain-bikes.com
Price: N/A
Tested: by Rhys Wainwright for 2 days

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
  • New Propain Tyee: first ride review
  • sharkattack
    Full Member

    Very nice bike but I’ll never buy anything with headset cable routing. What a bloody stupid idea. At least there are workarounds for PF BB’s like threaded adapters. I actually had a Hugene ready to order until the Privateer sale happened and I bought a 141. I’d still like to try one of Propain’s longer travel models, they look mint.

    honourablegeorge
    Full Member

    Lol – Acros approached them with the headset.

    Every Acros headset I have seen has been a hopeless, rusty POS, awful quality.

    TBH, I can’t be arsed with normal internal routing either, so headset routing is only slightly worse, but it’s definitely worse.

    dangeourbrain
    Free Member

    I’d still like to try one of Propain’s longer travel models, they look mint.

    I’ve always looked at propain bikes and found myself thinking “gosh that [ebike over there] is a pretty”.

    thegeneralist
    Free Member

    In the USA the same prices apply 1:1 in USD, in the UK likewise in GBP.

    **** me
    🙁

    mashr
    Full Member

    You usually have to add sales tax (as it varies state to state) for US prices. So, maybe, not quite as bad as it seems.

    OTOH that they have had to use a plastic sheath on the steerer to stop the cables eating should not ever have been a thing.

    steamtb
    Full Member

    I bought the last model of the Tyee earlier this year and it really is an outstanding bike, it’s hard to fault it really, every aspect of it is superb 🙂

    Internal headset routing fills me with horror though…

    dyna-ti
    Full Member

    The new latest thing.

    I seem to be disenchanted with bikes these days. A couple of years it was the latest length of stay, the tweaked 05deg head angle purported to make the ride better than the best. But I’m sure in another couple of years the chainstays will be back to being longer, and that whatever degree will be gone.

    The only real changes are the price goes up and up.

    Maybe a computer model will notice the differences, but I feel some kid themselves.

    Sorry for being the cranky old cynic.:(

    the00
    Free Member

    I have to say, I agree. I haven’t tried any bike with cables in the headset, but I remain open minded to trying one.
    Although I have changed headset bearings in the past, upper bearings do generally last better thank lower ones.
    The main update on this bike is that it can be bought with Transmission. On the configurator it is only £900 more expensive than GX, which sounds pretty good. And if you use that battery shifting, the cable routing is less of an issue.

    For me the bigger issue with the headset is that this bike is no longer compatible with a angle adjust headset. I have one on my ’22 Tyee, but I don’t think that will work on this bike.
    I was also disappointed that the seattube is still a bit long, and that the geometry didn’t grow a bit more. They could do with an XXL size.
    The rear brake mount isn’t ideal. It will be nessesary to remove the caliper to access the pad retaining pins on most calipers. I think it will also reduce heal clearance.

    mark88
    Full Member

    Looks like the only real change is fixing the cable routing which previously ran under the BB. Geo doesn’t look much different and the tool mount is only relevant because they’ve not added frame storage like most of thier competitors.

    Headset cable routing and moving the caliper – meh

    noeffsgiven
    Free Member

    They fix the routing for the back end then totally screw up the front end, I really hope the headset cable routing doesn’t catch on, it might make me quit biking if it becomes the norm, I hate it that much.
    Still a little frugal with the reach numbers and that elaborate brake mount probably creates problems rather than cure them, I spotted a washer between caliper and adapter, technically that’s a bodge in my book and those welds on the stays are hideous, Friday afternoon job by the look of it.

    chrismac
    Full Member

    I love the headset routing because I have ocd about cable routing and hate that most bikes internal routing is only designed to work properly if you put the brakes on the wrong way round. I rally dislike seeing the cables. But then I’m the same with my office set up. I’m also not that convinced it’s that much of an extra chore when changing the headset. It’s not as if it’s a regular job and doing afresh brake bleed at the same time pobably isn’t that bad an idea anyway

    ayjaydoubleyou
    Full Member

    it might make me quit biking if it becomes the norm, I hate it that much.

    You’ll be in quite a large club, there are alledgedly thousands of people who quit becasue of tubeless, 29ers*, boost hub spacing, and soon you’ll be joined by people who want xx1/xtr level but don’t want electronics.

    Hell, even Brendan Fairclough stated in a magazine interview that he would retire rather than ride a 29er.

    molgrips
    Free Member

    I’d have one of these bikes, but really I just want a trail bike, pretty much any will do.

    I really hope the headset cable routing doesn’t catch on, it might make me quit biking if it becomes the norm, I hate it that much.

    Pfft. I ride because I like riding, the type of cable routing doesn’t make that much difference. You must not like riding much!

    steamtb
    Full Member

    On the sizing, it may be a bit shorter than many on paper, but they don’t really feel like that. Propain advised me to get a medium even though I was borderline for the large and was coming from a longer bike. I’m glad I listened to them as it feels more than big enough.

    It’s good they have a test centre in the UK too, now you can try the sizing.

    The build quality is also excellent, I’ve been very impressed. Well worth a look 🙂

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)

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