2020 Pole Stamina 140 Review: The Fastest Trail Bike, Until… | Pinkbike Field Test

2020 Pole Stamina 140 Review: The Fastest Trail Bike, Until… | Pinkbike Field Test


Make me look tanned This is Pole’s brand-new Stamina 140. Now, it looks a lot like their 180 but as you can tell from the name 140 millimeters of rear-wheel travel. Now, it’s pretty interesting. There’s lots to talk about but let’s cover the basic stuff first 150 millimeter fork upfront weight is 30.6 lbs and that’s with a set of our control tires. Now, I know what you’re thinking. That’s a fair bit of money, but you’re not even getting carbon this thing It’s aluminum from front to back but Pole is doing something pretty interesting here The front triangle is machined in two halves and then glued together they’re special channels cut in the halves to get the gluing nice and strong and I know some of you are freaking out about that out there, but there’s a ton of airplane parts, car chassis things like that that are glued together and I think it gives it a pretty unique look. It’s just a simple dual link design both links rotate clockwise and they use a big clevis that wraps around the seat tube to drive the shock. Now, Pole also says that they’ve got a little more anti squat on this thing than they did on the Machine, the previous version, so it should pedal quite well, too. Now, since we’re talking about suspension this bike It’s got a 150 millimeter Pike Ultimate up front. Wheels are from Mavic. They’re Deemax. You don’t see them that often especially expect stock on a bike, but there you go Drivetrain SRAM XO1 12 speed. This bike two water bottles inside the front triangle, you know me I love water bottles on a bike So you can actually put three alltogether because there’s another mount down here if you’re using the supplied Fidlock bottles. Threaded bottom bracket I know you guys all like that but there are no ISCG tabs around it. That’s where the bottom link rotates Instead Pole has gone for a direct mount system just bolts in right there a lot simpler a lot lighter than a full-on chain guide It also doesn’t have internal cable routing. I personally like that I know it looks nice inside the frame. But this this is a whole lot easier to deal with you Just put zip ties through it’s done and that’s it As far as set up notes go, Levy and I are similar weights so we ran similar tire pressures. 21 pounds in the front 23 in the rear and that’s on the Maxxis control tires that were using And those I’ll have the EXO+ casing. As far as suspension setup 165 pounds right around 30% sag and then 75 psi in the fork. I’m 5 foot 10. Kazimer how tall are you? 5 foot 11. We’re on a medium and now that’s a little bit different than our other test bikes which are all larges But Pole sizing is a little bit different so mediums Anybody whose 5 foot 11 and below so that’s both Kazimer and I but they have very steep seat angles It’s almost 80 degrees and top tube 600 millimeters. Yep. Yeah, so don’t be thrown off by the long reach number It’s kind of a whole package. They’ve thought up a geometry and what they recommend it to see how it works So we’ve mentioned that steep seat tube angle That’s really the first thing you notice when it comes time to climb You are nice and upright. Has a 470 millimeter reach which is pretty normal, but that top tube length you’re just right over the bars. Pedal up lots of things. One thing I did notice when climbing is the longer chain stay length It’s got 450 millimeter chains stays. Gives the bike a little bit of a longer wheelbase and when you’re going into tighter, More technical switchbacks and things. Yeah, it’s when the speed drops It’s like when you’re those kind of moments when you’re going around a corner and you’re like right at zero and you need to go And it’s super awkward. The bike feels long at those times but most of the other places it doesn’t really feel that big I mean, it’s not really that big. Nowadays. Yeah exactly Yeah, these numbers probably would have seemed extreme just even a couple years ago. Yeah quickly become more mainstream Yeah, I think steep seat tube angles are good up to a point. I feel like this is probably close to that point. Yeah So descending I think that’s what most people are gonna be interested in with this thing It’s really where the bike comes alive. And it it dominated this test didn’t it? Yes. Yeah, it feels like the biggest bike and on the downhills that’s a benefit. You really carve this thing where we are in Pemberton there’s a lot of Longer steeper chutes where the trails well built and you can open it up have some speed and you’re nice and centered in the middle of the bike. You can go really fast. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more comfortable on a bike in loose corners And again, you meant to mention that like centered feeling the fairly long rear end and the long-ish front end Everything just kind of comes together but I think one place it falls short compared to some of the other trail bikes is that it’s not as Energetic on the trail. You might say it’s more likely to stay a little closer to the ground. Yeah. Yeah There’s some bikes it just every time you hop on them. You just feel like you’re hopping off everything do little manuals wheelies Whatever this you’re just going straight and plowing. As far as how the suspension itself feels on the bike It did a good job handling all the of rocks We plowed it through but I never felt like the compression tune was quite wide enough. The shock is the Cane Creek Inline shock It’s very adjustable you have high speed, low speed compression. High speed, low speed rebound But even pretty open on the low speed compression it kind of felt like it had more damping than I would have preferred Yeah, I think the bike would feel more lively with somebody else’s shock And that’s not to say this is the wrong shock. It would be interesting to try it with something different Yeah, sure something a little more active. Yeah heavy bottom outs: non-existent. You know, you run really low pressure in the shock and you don’t really sit into all that much sag Like we’re sitting into a little bit less than 30% sag I think and I didn’t feel a hard bottom on that thing once. No, we definitely pushed the bike hard in the Bike Park. Hitting bigger jumps drops that type of thing. Where you can usually bottom out. Especially trail bikes. No issues here. I had my second fastest lap time on this bike, but it was raining that day so kinda one of those things. For me it was the fastest bike by far and I think it could been even faster. So it was 6.2% faster than the next fastest bike. No matter what the numbers say Every time we went on the trail Even if we didn’t have stop watches or timers or anything going. You just feel like it’s going fast And it wants to go fast. Yeah easily the most capable when it comes to speed The Pike Ultimate on the front I mean it was invisible and I think that’s That’s like the biggest compliment you can make of suspension. For me, the two standouts the Mavic Deemax wheels We don’t see those that often do it. Yeah, they’re not a normal spec, you know, no especially coming in with a complete build Yeah, exactly, but zero issues and then the Bike Yoke Revive dropper seat post. I like the remote. Rock-solid. Code RSC brakes. Those are always nice to see you know They’re starting to make their way on trail bikes kind of originally designed for downhill bikes They’re the brakes this bike deserves. Oh, yeah, exactly And then the final spec note is that this bike comes with Huck Norris tire inserts already installed. We did remove them to make it a level playing field between all the bikes, but it’s a nice little feature Not that many bikes these days are coming with tire inserts First of all, obviously this thing insanely capable Basically everywhere it’s easy to ride fast. It’s easy to ride down the steep stuff It’s easy to ride a little bit out of control, you know this bike when it comes to seat angles It’s kind of right on the bleeding edge. It’s it’s almost eighty degrees and we used to think Leo was crazy I’ve said that a few times. He’s probably still a little bit crazy Leo from Pole, but he’s also right This is the best handling bike in the group. So the two other pluses of this bike first of all the components spec, there’s no real issues there. The stuff just works. Look at this thing like The manufacturing, how it was made, aluminum halves glued together. Like that’s cool as hell Yeah, and I think that’s just the fact that it is aluminium, I think that’s going to appeal to a lot of people that aren’t really on the carbon wagon As far as the cons go for this bike it might not be lively or energetic enough for some riders Just kind of depends what flavor of trail bike you’re searching for And also might just be a little bit bigger or longer than some rider is looking for depends on your trails You know, if you have super tight super technical things. There’s bikes that can be easier to navigate on that type of terrain Hold on a minute record scratch Whoa, I broke the Pole. That’s my favorite one Not good. You sickos. Love to watch that slo-mo huck to flat stuff This is what happens Leo Kokkonen the main man at Pole He’s told us that apparently our test bike was sent out with a still in development lighter weight cross-country rear end. Saves 98 grams But it does not affect the bike’s geo. Exact same pivot locations all that stuff He also said that no customer bikes went out like that. So this brace on the cross country swing arms It’s around two and a half millimeters thick and on the production Stamina 140 swing arms It’s about three and a half millimeters thick The good news is that the geometry of the bike is the same as if we’d have had a full production version So all the ride impressions those still hold true But on the same note there’s gonna be an asterisk next to this section of the Field Test just because we had a failure and we need to mention that Who is the Pole Stamina 140 for? I think it’s for somebody who one probably enjoys something a little bit different that isn’t a Specialized, a Trek, or anything else You know, you’re not gonna see these things everywhere Also, it’s for somebody who enjoys going fast and will enjoy an extremely capable bike You could take this thing anywhere. All your buddies have big enduro race bikes, whatever follow them with this All right, so that’s the Pole Stamina 140 There’s a whole bunch more videos Coming from the Field Test as well as a roundtable discussion talking about and comparing all these trail bikes So keep an eye out for those

67 thoughts on “2020 Pole Stamina 140 Review: The Fastest Trail Bike, Until… | Pinkbike Field Test

  1. Poles statement was absolutely childish and unnecessary…it only goes to show that they think they are perfect, going out with a bunch of excuses and pointing the finger at PB like that, even before the review came out in the first place. Oh so the frame snapped, so effing what? Is Norco, Kona or Trek giving anyone shit because theyre frames used to snap all the time? No, they apologize, they fix their shit, make sure the affected customers are happy again and the train keeps on going! But you "perfect" people had to go out all crazy like that on Pinkbike, even mentioning other brands failure (Enve) to make you look better, and yeah keep hammering on that button about how fast the bike is, you keep doing that…see if you sleep better at night. Will never buy a Pole..

  2. Great video. From what iv seen from the loam ranger, it's a plow for sure, definitely fast as hell. But I like my bike with character and fun

  3. Solid review gents. I've enjoy how your tandem presentation skillz have progressed through the past few months. Nicely executed!!

  4. So if my math is correct……. if I weight 30% more than Mike Levy then the regular production chainstays will still bend? The Trail bike equivalent of an Avocado sandwich!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Wow. Pole's excuse is complete BS. The drop was <3 ft off the jump. Even an XC bike, I would expect to survive unharmed from such a small jump. Even the slightly thicker rear end sounds completely undersized and unfit for purpose.

  6. I went for Geometron G1, will be arriving soon. I hope it was the right decision, but I will still follow what Pole is doing or other brands. It has some nice features I liked, so gonna try it see how I like it. I am going for coil front and back with Storia v3 and fox 36 with Vorsprung coil, the pressure changes got annoying, and it makes a huge difference. I was not so keen on Pole's use of integrated headset, but I don't know how this bike will handle that or if it won't be an issue. But I sure like some things about the pole, the folding feature is nice.

  7. How was the stiffness? Was it as stiff to the left as to the right? Did the wing thing in the rear end cause noise? I read that somewhere, so did the black stuff fix it?

  8. After all that pole self generated marketing shitstorn this is a nice way to handle the bent back end, but it makes you wonder, even if the back end was thinner than it should be, will the slightly thicker one really be strong enough? Any stamina 180 riders? Does it
    Have the same 3,6mm thickness?

    Then again, Pole has had issues with rear triangles on all their models, so nothing new there.

  9. You cannot compare the level of frame testing large bike companies do with Pole.You take a risk with smaller companies You guys should know that.

  10. Just a technical suggestion: You guys could work on your audio. It sounds really boomy and it's difficult to understand you guys sometimes.

  11. Great way to try to clean the failure, we put another lighter part of the bike for a test bike that everybody who want to check 2020 models are gona see, if that is true what a dumbass mistake

  12. I just read Pole’s response. OK, well not the whole thing cause they just go on and fucking on. OK OK, we get it dude- the wrong part, a lighter XC part, was put on the bike “by mistake.” And that did not and will not go on any customers’ bikes. We got your story. Chill out bruh, and get the pole out yo ass. They weren’t trashing you, they were doing their job, and even told us your response. Good job Pinkbike.

  13. I’m 177.5 cm and simply sized up my Bronson to XL to get longer reach and wheelbase but still have nice short chainstays to make the bike playful and easier to get around turns.
    Pole (Medium)-
    Reach- 470,
    Top Tube- 600,
    Front Center- 810,
    Wheelbase-1260,
    Chainstays- 450

    Bronson (XL)
    Reach- 485,
    Top Tube- 656,
    Front Center- 821,
    Wheelbase-1252,
    Chainstays- 430

  14. I'm not normally one to comment but from an engineering/FEA standpoint that strut is essentially useless, even if they increase the thickness by 1 mm. It bent along the weak axis (low moment of inertia) and increasing only the thickness, and not the shape, of that strut will not do much of anything especially considering the impact that bent it and mode of failure. Prototype or not is irrelevant, someone didn't due their due diligence on basic engineering mechanics on shape/moment of inertia in the axis of bending.

  15. I think Pole handled it well, yeah it was a mistake made by sending their "XC" swing arms but i think their response was good. Unless i'm missing something?

  16. Goes to show just how much people love a scandal, the article written by Pole really isn't all that bad. Remember they aren't a massive corporation that have PR as such. It's the engineer himself writing about it, not the designated company spokesperson. Hard to juggle all of that pressure as one person. I can imagine being the engineer, you would be hyper critical. They are human too.
    Seems like a great bike. Looks super nice.

  17. That's why I love seeing the huck to flat it's hard on the bike but that's how testing should be, maybe pole should start hucking their bikes to flat.

  18. Dont they huck all their bikes off the loading dock at pole hq? I wonder if the machine is as indestructible as I want to believe it is.

  19. Another nagative/con is that you must wait over a year after you've paid for your bike and have your delivery date pushed out several times, and if you cancel your order after 9 months you could lose money due to exchange rate fluctuations, not to mention all the interest you could have earned if that same money was invested elsewhere.

  20. The bikes are very innovative (construction and geo) and I'd love to try one, but I would never buy from a small company with an owner/CEO who has the type of public reaction that Leo did. Sorry bud, you need to learn some PR/comms or hire someone.

  21. Looks a great bike, but why the hell would they send a bloody pre-production XC swingarm with a bike that's being sent to test… and test hard? I'm also not a fan of Mavic wheels; the bearings just do not last and spares can be a pain to find after 5 years. Such a shame that you guys had to end on a bad note on what appeared to be a revolutionary design.

  22. It’s a new school 29’er so I’ll excuse the sit-n-plow riding style. But that swingarm was fully dickered| NFG at all. Thank goodness she let go in a parking lot and not on the mountain, eh?

  23. Normally, anything from Pole looks rather strange, but this bike has some pretty sick looking lines. That huck to flat though, that looked like nothing. And what is that talk about the XC version? Why would they make an XC version of this bike? Sounds more like something Pole made up when they realized it was not good enough. Good that they quickly adressed the issue though. I guess that's one of the benefits of CNC milling the entire frame, it's easy to make changes like this because it only comes down to changing the machining paths.

  24. Finally someone not afraid to push that seat tube forward. I guess everyone is nowadays as numbers change. I ride an old but new looking Kona Abracadabra. Kona was known for their steep seat tube angles and it’s still not steep enough.
    Companies like Pole and I guess Kona have helped change bike geometry numbers for the better.
    I like a poppy bike because of the fun factor but a bike that plows through the bumps and keeps the tires on the ground is usually the fasts from point A to B . I’d like to give one a go

  25. It’s black and white. It snapped. I bet ever company in the test would come out with that line “ oh it’s pre-production” but the fact is none of the other bikes did.

  26. i'm willing to give Pole the benefit of the doubt for the frame failure. PB beat the living daylights out of that stamina for a while probably. it is definitely the coolest trailbike out there but pricey !!

    guys, your review are good but talk more about the suspension designs and how they affect performance!!

  27. Leo is a legend! 😀 Pole’s bikes are innovative, creative and forward thinking. Really dig the state-of-the-art aluminum materials and technology used to build a mountain bike that breaks boundaries. Kiitos Leo!

  28. Great review…one that you can trust. That being said…fastest laps…I still want this bike!!! The geo's are on point! Would love to do some of my own testing 🙂

  29. Paper thin aluminum in a critical juncture on an aggressive trail bike that immediately failed on a minor jump. Manufacturing that adds weight, expense and complexity without making the bike more durable or better handing. Top shelf boutique pricing. Whiny PR response on failure that makes me doubt the company will be good to deal with if you have a problem. No thanks.

  30. I must be reading a different statement than everyone else, Seemed like a perfectly reasonable response. And all the haters seem to love internal cable routing for some reason, never seen the point myself.

  31. Every manufacturer has warranties. If the average rider saw the real numbers behind warranties for the big brands with carbon bikes most would be shocked. There is a huge number being returned from reports I hear direct from shop’s. It’s a reality of the industry – we are pushing the bikes hard and the fine line between weight and durability is always being pushed.

  32. What a cartoon geometry pile of dookie. Look at seat tube angle, is it a time trial bike? Mountain bike manufacturers need to come back to reality. I want to see the sales numbers.

  33. My take is that this is a mess either way. Either the bike was a "ringer" for the media that was made lighter and more compliant than the stuff customers pay for … or Pinkbike just finished Pole's durability testing on camera. This all could have been avoided if Pole just said the bike had prototype parts from the very beginning. I wonder why they didn't ….?

  34. yeah! 1 more mil on that chainstay isn't gonna cut it. Levy is not the biggest guy and that was a relatively small drop to flat.I'm no downhill pro but even my Trek Procaliber (full-on lightweight XC) bike eats that drop for breakfast.

  35. Why couldn't Pole just admit that the product was faulty and possibly did not meet QC expectations rather than make excuses? Like how bout talk about your warranty in a case like this?

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