We are not perfect after all

The Field test is now out and you can find our thoughts from the new article here.

edit 19.11.2019: We are more than happy how the review came out and how the judges liked the Stamina. No matter how it may seem for some, we needed to write this article. Our core value is to stay transparent, and that is why, even after several requests from the public, we are not taking this down. We would not have written the criticism part if we would have seen the final review. We were unaware of the outcome before we saw this. In our heads, the worst-case scenario the ENVE-article. We apologize to those whom this article might offend. 


Hello friend! Firstly, your bike is fine, but we made a mistake. We have sent by accident a prototype part to PinkBike’s field test and the prototype swingarm has failed. Apparently the swingarm failed in their huck to flat fest, but we don’t know the actual events. The Stamina 140’s broken swingarm at the Pinkbike’s Field Test was a prototype swingarm for XC usage that should not have been there. The mix up is possible only because of our fast product development cycle and the similarity of the two different parts (one proto and one pre-production) that were mixed in the assembly. We would never have wanted to send this XC swingarm since we already knew that this swingarm would fail because we broke a similar swingarm already in March 2019 in Italy (the cover photo is the one with the first prototype). Our production swingarm is stronger (100g more material) than in those parts that failed on the prototype XC swingarm. No customer has or will have that swingarm on their bikes.

Pinkbike has messaged us that they have liked the bike and it has been very fast:

Quote from Pinkbike article – 2020 Orbea Occam

We didn’t get a chance for a rematch

Pinkbike says that they loved the bike, and it looks like it is one of the fastest bikes on the test. Nevertheless, as the engineer of the bike, I would have wanted to have the actual bike on the test. We have known about the case since last month, and we tried to send a replacement swingarm to Pinkbike. Even from several attempts, Pinkbike didn’t let us send them the correct swingarm that they could test the actual frame. We are disappointed that we didn’t get the chance to send the actual rear triangle so they could have done the “huck to flat test” again. We thought it would be good that way as well because Pinkbike advertises the field test so that the bikes are “same as customers.” On other tests, the XC rear triangle does not perform as good as the Trail because it is lighter and, therefore, more flexy.

Nevertheless, it looks like Stamina was the fastest bike of the test in several tests. We don’t know the details yet how the review or the video is going to come out, but it looks like Pinkbike made the “huck to flat” -test and the swingarm failed in that. The test is very hard on a bike, and we don’t recommend doing similar tests with an XC bike. We have communicated our concerns to Pinkbike, and we understand that views pay their bills.

Criticism for Pinkbike (Before the review)

In any case, we wanted to give you heads up before the “scandalous” story is out. It looks like Pinkbike has learned from Paul Aston’s review of the broken ENVE wheels that scandalous articles get a lot of views. As a criticism, I would say that the Privateer -series is a lot better way to create traction for Pinkbike because it’s authentic content and is more attractive to the mountain biker. If they are after the frame’s durability, I think it would be good to make a story about how long frames usually last and what kind of abuse they can handle. Interview racers, team managers, and business insiders about the frame durability and design aspects. In motorsport, there is a well-known fact that the equipment gets destroyed after NN amount of hours or if you ride harsh stuff. It is not a scandal if the engine breaks in the F1 race, but in DH or Enduro, the racers hide the broken stuff. It looks like the biggest taboo in the industry is a failure in the product and looks like Pinkbike has learned that this is a good cash cow for them to make stories. I don’t know where it comes from, but I guess that the taboo has it’s roots somewhere. Everyone in the industry knows that it is hard to create actual content, but sometimes you get lucky, and you can do scandalous stories. One of the most notorious is probably a video of Greg Minnaar crashing and snapping his frame to half.


All bikes shipped and to be shipped are good to go, and there is no problem with them whatsoever. Since we started the CNC-machining process with the Machine, we have recalled some frames from customers who have been updated or upgraded accordingly. For example, the first batch of Machines had a design flaw in the rear triangle that caused the chainstay to fail unnecessarily soon.

We are very soon up to date on our production schedule

The last two years have been a big challenge for our company. We have quadrupled our sales, and it has overwhelmed our production and service. We have tried to limit the growth problems by hiring more people and doubling our production capacity that could handle the double amount of production that is going on right now. The ramp-up has not been easy, but now we are finding our feet. We are still pursuing the ultimate product and service that we set the company for in the first place. We politely ask you to bear with us because we are nearly there and you will be riding the best bike ever very soon!


As you might know, after the release new SRAM Universal Derailleur Hanger (UDH) and the feedback from the Enduro Mountain Bike Magazine test, we decided to rework the whole construction of the swingarm. The new rear end construction reduces the chain slap with Chris Kovarick’s invention STFUBike. The patented new swingarm construction is more durable. You can see the new construction from here.


The reason why the press gets the pre-production for this is that generally, the reviews take time. The industry wants to save time, and by the review comes out, the production should be running at its full capacity. None of our customers have had or will ever have one of those swingarms/rear ends of the Stamina sent to the Pinkbike Field Test. Our company policy is not to sell prototypes or pre-production models.


We use outsourced 3rd party test centers that follow EN standards and also make harder tests specified for the high-end products. Also, we do our field tests that include the EWS racing team and our factory test team. Our factory test riders for product development are Leo Kokkonen and the downhill legend Matti Lehikoinen. As a curiosity, here’s a video that went viral Leo doing a 150cm flat drop with Stamina 180.

Our racing team makes a good fatigue test for the frames after the machine tests the bikes. For example, the machine didn’t find a weak spot where the shock meets the top tube. We found a crack from Leigh Johnson’s bike, and after that, we reinforced the area. The reason for this weak spot was that we had made the top tube stiffer, and that made the force to concentrate on one spot.


We raced the whole EWS season with Stamina 180 and had zero breakdowns. Leigh Johnson rode two top-10 positions and ended the 12th of the overall EWS season. That said, we can proudly assure that Stamina is an EWS race-ready bike and can take a heavy beating.

Please hit the contact us or send an email to service@polebicycles.com

Here’s the Pinkbike review

Leo Kokkonen
Founder, President

You might also like these:

Here’s some more articles you’d might like to read:

What does testing mean? – Watch how we test our shocks