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  • Privateer 141 input, pros and cons
  • jwray
    Full Member

    Hi

    Reading Weeksy’s thread (which is great by the way, love reading about his progression) the other day was the first time I came across Privateer bikes. Some reading around and the 141 is looking very interesting as a new bike. But, while there are plenty of magazine/site reviews I’ve found very little from real world, normal punters owning one.

    So. Any feedback from owners from real world use?

    I’m currently riding an Intense Tracer 275 from about 6/7 years ago. So looking at more modern geometry and move to 29in wheels. While I love riding steep, technical stuff most of my riding is routes around the Cotswolds and Chilterns with trips to FOD, Wales, Scotland, Alps in decreasing order. So something that can works across all is what I’m after.

    Just started looking so haven’t really got any comparisons yet.

    cheers
    Jonny

    weeksy
    Full Member

    I’ve only done a car-park test on one, but it’s not IMO that disimilar to say a Bird Aether in the way it sits. I’ve seen Katy ride and jump the heck out of hers lol. But i bet she could jump the heck out of an Argos special.

    That said, she does seem to love hers and not only raves about it to coaching customers but has obviously got them arriving for her team. Ours has been ordered but not delivered as of yet, so i can’t offer too much on it.

    It does sound though like the sort of bike you’d want for what you need.

    p.s. Thank you for the compliment. If a P2 is any use we’re not far away once ours arrives if you want to try it.

    halifaxpete
    Full Member

    Had mine since Febuary-ish. Rode Afew trail centres, BPW and Alps since but mostly local stuff (Calderdale/hebtech ect) Climbs really well and descends even better!  Feels a tad sluggish on more pedally XC type rides but thats what I’ve got the hardtail for….took some getting used to on the tight turns too though once you get the confidence to keep the weight forward its fine (mines a P3 large) Been very reliable too barring the Hunt trailwide rear wheel that kept loosing spoke tension and eventually cracked (replaced with a Hope Fortus)

    Thumbs up from me!

    hairyscary
    Full Member

    Öhlins version since May. About 1000 miles and 175,000ft of descending. P2 and 5’9”.

    Recently replaced the frame bearings and cannot keep the trailwide rear wheel tensioned.

    Otherwise it is pretty much perfect for most of my riding up here in Aberdeenshire.

    I would agree with everything Halifaxpete says.

    This review pretty much sums it up for me (except I find that it does grip on techy climbs)

    Review: Privateer 141

    sharkattack
    Full Member

    There’s a Facebook group for Privateer owners. You’d get answers to all your questions there.

    All I know is that the Ohlins version looks mint and I had to restrain myself when it went on sale because I really don’t need a bike.

    Common problems seem to be fragile wheels. Soft rims and exploding freehubs etc. I’ve also got a personal dislike for Magura brakes.

    jwray
    Full Member

    Thanks all for the input, very useful. Seems like the wheels are the one big issue, but I guess one that can be sorted as and when. Same with Magura, easy to swap out if I hate them.

    Weeksy – may well take you up on that offer, if for nothing else sizing. I’m in the border zone between P2 and P3 but probably P3 at 5, 11.

    I’ll open Facebook and look for the group, cheers.

    weeksy
    Full Member

    P3 was 485 reach though which I felt was quite long for my lad as he’s more a conventional type of geometry fan. My Trek fuel in a large was 475.

    Hence we went P2

    jwray
    Full Member

    New long reach geo is new to me, never ridden one, so I’ve got no comparison point. I do need to dig out the stats on my current bike just for comparison. How tall is your lad?

    That said, the pushing the limits of the geometry is one of the attractions – I’m keen to try something quite different from my current.

    superstu
    Full Member

    Trail wides v1 had issues but less reports of problems with v2’s AFAIK.

    weeksy
    Full Member

    How tall is your lad?

    5’9 or so, maybe 10 by the time he wakes up tomorrow knowing him.

    joebristol
    Full Member

    @jwray – I thought about the 141 / Bird Aether 9 / Nukeproof Reactor and the Transition Sentinel when I went for my first 29er Dec 21.

    The Bird is probably the lightest one and best pedalling. The Reactor Carbon might be a similar weight but anecdotally it doesn’t pedal great from what I read.

    I think the 141 and Sentinel alloy are very similar. The 141 was out of stock and the alloy Sentinel was in stock frame only at a local bike shop. I bought a medium at 5’9 tall with short arms and torso. At 5’11 you’d probably be on the cusp of large I think.

    The sentinel and 141 are probably a similar weight – but the 141 is a better value overall package I think.

    The only thing I heard was customer service with privateer was a bit patchy the last couple of years / but I’m assuming this is Covid related with the general component shortage. I’ve got Hung road bike wheels on road bike and when I broke a rim on a huge pot hole I had a crash replacement rim within a few days.

    I’m not convinced I’d want trailwide rims from Privateer so I’d probably go frame only and build my own kit up. Or just re-rim the back wheel with a dt Swiss XM481 / EX511 rim and ACI double butted spokes if I found I was denting or having problems with the wheel loosing tension.

    jwray
    Full Member

    Their sizing chart puts me in large for sure, but just. I’m on a medium now – again I was on the border and went to the small side. But it can be a tad cramped, but I got used to it.

    Thanks for the list of other similar – very helpful, will dig into those for sure for comparison.

    I do also like the value aspect of their packages – very well thought out specs for the cash.

    And good to hear their v2 wheels might have fixed the issues. I’m generally not hard on wheels even though I’m a bit of a fat git. Probably just jinxed myself there. But sounds like it might be the biggest thing to think about.

    mahalo
    Full Member

    Never really liked mine, nothing particularly wrong with it, just was never that excited to ride it… since changing the only thing I miss is the pedalling/ climbing position – so comfortable! And for for such a hefty lass it did climb like a dream. But I’m not in it for the climbs and ultimately could never get over how heavy it was. Lot to be said about raw frames tho – sold it after 10 months and it still looked immaculate!

    joebristol
    Full Member

    Whilst a heavier bike with slack geometry doesn’t feel amazingly quick to accelerate on the flat / uphill, I find my sentinel just cracks on with a quick spin. It’ll pretty much grip and climb up any tech climb you’ve got enough power / endurance for. Given the length of the chainstays / reach / seat angle on the 141 I imagine it’s very similar.

    The Ohlins special edition look particularly attractive to me.

    jwray
    Full Member

    I was also eying up the Ohlins, although it comes with the enduro wheels which not sure are ideal for my riding.

    I admit I will accept limitations on the flat/acceleration for better performance on the tech. I was thinking of going for a longer travel bike this time round, paying for the compromise. But the 141 reviews have me rethinking now.

    joebristol
    Full Member

    I think the Enduro wheels are more reliable though 🤷‍♂️

    I’m finding the long travel trail / enduro lite sort of area is a good bike for me. It works on trail centre reds fine, it’s in its element on trickynoff piste (far better than I am), and it’s been ace at Bike Park Wales and stuff like that.

    jwray
    Full Member

    Indeed. Always the trade off. And I generally side towards reliability vs weight. I hate stuff breaking or being a faff.

    Appreciate your thought there. Exactly what I was after – honest thoughts on the trade offs you don’t see in the magazine reviews. I’m also on the side of preferring better capabilities at BPW or the Alps over riding round the woods. Not logical given the time spent on each, but I don’t mind.

    militantmandy
    Free Member

    Trail wides v1 had issues but less reports of problems with v2’s AFAIK.

    Correct. My 161 (once I sorted the initial issues) has been faultless. But oh how I wish mine had come with Magura instead of the utterly terrible Code Rs!

    Have a really good check over it when it arrives. Make sure brakes are properly bled, gears indexed etc. If not Privateer will cover the cost.

    mrmoofo
    Full Member

    I have a council house spec 161 – which is great. Seated they have short top tube, which is kind of weird coming off a FlareMax, but they are very confident going down hills , and pretty good up hills ( better than me).

    I do think they size up slightly small. I have a p4 and was really worried I went to too big – but its not – its L/XL
    Oddly having been a Hope brake fanboi since they first started making MTB disc brakes – I actually really like the code Rs. They stop, they modulate, and they don’t squeal like a stuck pig.

    The 141 is meant to be more agile that the 161. And at the price they are, there isn’t too. much else around

    joebristol
    Full Member

    Another benefit of 29er in general is tyre for tyre they seem to generate more grip. The rear 2.3 dhr2 3c exo on my 29er gets way more drive going up slippery ascents than the exact same 27.5 version of the same tyre I find.

    Code R work ok – I’ve got them on both the fs and the hardtail. Gone up to a 220mm front rotor on the full suss which gave a useful boost of power / bite I found over a 200mm one.

    I am curious about switching to either Code RSC or Hope Tech 4 V4’s but not curious enough to spend the money at the moment with all living costs on their way up.

    What is mentioned above is true – with a slack head angle and steep seat angle you can end up with a longer reach figure than your current bike – but a significantly shorter ETT when you’re sat down. So they’ll feel ace stood up but scrunched sat down. Worth sitting on a 141 / similar size and geometry bike if you can.

    DaveyBoyWonder
    Free Member

    About 1000 miles and 175,000ft of descending. P2 and 5’9”.

    Recently replaced the frame bearings and cannot keep the trailwide rear wheel tensioned.

    I’d be pretty annoyed if I was replacing bearings (and theres a fair few of them on a 141) after 1000 miles/5 months. I thought my old Santa Cruz was bad…

    jwray
    Full Member

    You guys aren’t talking me out of it 🙂

    The bearings on my Intense last less time than that, over winter at least. They really aren’t built for our weather. Always sunny in SoCal I guess.

    jwray
    Full Member

    Point taken about sitting on one if I can, but also sounds like going to the P3 would be ok if they size up slightly small. Great to know.

    Cheers for this input everyone.

    zerocool
    Full Member

    I’m 5’11” and had a spin on one (no idea what spec, Pikes, R/S shock, hunt wheels, P3) at FOD and really enjoyed it. If I was in the market for a new bike I’d def consider one. I gave it a pretty thorough thrashing around Verderers and some of the older DH trails and jumps. It didn’t feel particularly heavy but it handled both the ups and the downs nicely.

    Size wise it felt nice and comfy (P3) and I don’t think I’d go smaller personally

    swillybey
    Free Member

    I’ve had mine for a year and a half now, was one of the first full builds. Mines an XT. Mine has been fairly faultless. I ride mine in the SW, combination of longer 15 – 20 mile dartmoor and exmoor loops and winch and plummet style rides. Rode the southern enduro and Exe enduro on mine last year along with trips to malaga and madeira.

    Contrary to the above I’ve not had any issues with bearings, they lasted a year of british riding conditions. Frame wise everything has been solid. The rear trailwise wheel does have a tendancy to work its spokes loose, and it has a few dents but nothing major. A mate has the same bike and has virtually written his back wheel off though. Hub has been solid on both bikes.

    I blew some bits in the Fox shock but that was taken care of under warranty no issues. The newer frame protection is much better than the old stuff mine came with.

    Riding wise it is something that rewards a bit of input on the descents. It’s no lightweight but it doesn’t feel portly, but it’s not a bike for jibbing and mincing about on. It likes to go fast and the more you put in the more you get out. I enjoy climbing on mine, I think the body position is great. Suspension doesnt give you magic carpet ride, but it provides grip and a lot of feedback. It’s not a steamroller, but that doesn’t mean you cant ride rough, rocky terrain (Dartmoor, Malaga).

    If I could change one thing I would try a P2 back end on my P3 front to run on tighter UK tracks and help it manual a bit better.

    Privateer have been pretty decent with customer service, they did tell me to order the wrong sized bearings by mistake, but sent a t shirt as an apology – Happy enough with that.

    militantmandy
    Free Member

    Oddly having been a Hope brake fanboi since they first started making MTB disc brakes – I actually really like the code Rs. They stop, they modulate, and they don’t squeal like a stuck pig.

    Coming from Tech 3 V4, sticking your foot on the back tyre is probably going to feel better.

    militantmandy
    Free Member

    I’d be pretty annoyed if I was replacing bearings (and theres a fair few of them on a 141) after 1000 miles/5 months. I thought my old Santa Cruz was bad…

    My 161 has done 1 year, 3000km of Tweed Valley, racing, Madeira, Finale etc etc. Bearings are just now starting to get a bit gritty. My V4 Nomad would have been through 2 sets by now.

    jwray
    Full Member

    More great input, thanks all, much appreciated

    mrmoofo
    Full Member

    Coming from Tech 3 V4, sticking your foot on the back tyre is probably going to feel better.

    funny – that’s exactly what I have on my Cotic …
    Are you suggesting the are rubbish?

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