this bike CHANGED ME // Pole Stamina 180 Review

this bike CHANGED ME // Pole Stamina 180 Review


oh ho ladies and gentlemen, it is a very
very good day today and for two big reasons: one I bought a motorized slider
and all of you gals and girls gals… guys and girls — I swear men watch this
channel too. All of you guys and girls know that I love camera gear just as
much as I love nerding out on bike gear and so I’m pretty pumped about that and
man am I ever gonna overuse this slider. It’s gonna be awesome. The second reason
why I am so pumped about today is that little bicycle back there. So if I hit this button… oh no no nobody
noooo that’s not what I wanted stop stop stop stop stop. Well I think we
got it figured out right about there. Okay now on to today’s video and it is
all about the stamina 180 from by a company called Pole, who is one of our
sponsors and I’m here to tell you about the bike and my experiences with it, but
there are sponsors, so I will be straight up lying to you the whole… no I’m just
kidding. These are my honest opinions about this
bike. There are pros and cons to every single bike including that one and we’re
gonna go over my experiences with it. Now I’ve been waiting a long time to get my
hands on one of those Stamina 180s and I had tried one out one of the very first
prototypes to come out of the Pole design studio and that was back in
Madeira about this time last year actually and it was really cool. It was a
size medium and I’m normally a size large and the trails were also super
terrifying — like just I was so scared most of the time that me being terrified
kind of overshadowed the bike part of it. It was really cool but I couldn’t wait
to try a size large in my size on some trails that I knew a little bit better.
So now as you probably know I am no stranger to riding Pole bikes. I had
started riding an Evolink it’s 140 mm and 160 front and really amazing progressive geometry. It was
really cool, it kind of opened my eyes to what bikes can do and as most of you
probably know I am generally riding trails that are way above my pay grade
pretty much all the time and so having a bike that’s long
and stable like that, that’s what I wanted and as soon as I started riding
one of these I stopped going “OTB” every second ride which I truly was doing
before that. In January of this year I got myself a Pole Machine which is kind
of the evolution of Poles philosophy of building bikes or how whatever you want
to say. This was very similar geometry to the Evolink but it had more travel in
fronts of 180 in the front 160 in the rear and somehow it pedaled better than
the Evo link when the Evolink pedaled really good already. There’s 20
millimeters more travel in the back on the stamina 180 than this one which is
160 in the back but am I really gonna notice much so as soon as I got the
stamina 180 frame I knew I wanted to make things as consistent as possible
between the stamina and the machine frame and so I took both frames or bike
and frame over to my local shop a rebound cycle here in Canmore and they
helped me swap over as many parts as humanly possible which was pretty much
everything like suspension and brakes and handlebars and seeked and all these
different things basically the only two things that changed one is the dropper
post because it’s a wider diameter and the second thing that changed we went
from an air shock on the machine to a coil shock on the stamina
now that is no small change going from air to coil it’s gonna feel different
even just with that so keep that in mind okay so I immediately took the bike out
on a ride it was pretty freakin interesting I must say I went up onto a
local loop that I do pretty much every single lunch hour so I know really
really well and I wrote it totally differently than I ever have before
and what I mean by differently if you can see and I know like it’s all
high-speed go stuff so nothing really shows how it is
in real life we’re all pretty used to that but on a lot of the corners I was
cutting to the inside and I had never even thought I’ve never even considered
of cutting any of those corners because they are covered in roots and pine
needles there is not a lot of traction to be had on those inside corners but I
kept cutting corner after corner after corner it was awesome going down some of
the rough rock rolls it was buttery smooth as you would expect I mean this
bike has 180 millimeters of travel in the front and in the rear the
combination between that much travel and the coil shock sensitivity and the
geometry of the bike it made a pretty massive difference and I immediately set
some PRS on those trails on a brand new bike that I had never tried before so
that’s all well and good but I wanted to really test it out and so we took that
bike to Bentonville Arkansas and you’ve seen the first video from that or at
least I hope you have about this crazy van build that we got to drive from then
do it anyways we got to go and ride some amazing trails it had also been raining
a ton beforehand and it rained like crazy while we were there yeah and so
pretty adverse riding conditions and it also meant that we had to pedal like
crazy in between the jumps what I found about Bentonville is that it’s either
jumps or a pretty chunky tech and so this bike should feel right at home have a look at how the wheels are just
glued to the ground unless I wanted otherwise down these rocks the suspension was set up really really
nicely right out-of-the-box with this bike now I was kind of warned about
bentonville a little bit about their jumps and pretty much every single one
of their jumps has two options on it at least two options one is just a regular
dirt to dirt takeoff landing and on mostly every single jump there’s also a
rock takeoff and once again on camera they don’t really look like anything but
in person it looks like you’re gonna just like hit a wall of rock they look
really steep and really lippy and they just it just feels like they’re gonna
like fling you forward and so before rolling into anything pretty much every
single time I’d have these rock lips in my head and typically those thoughts
would carry through into the trail and I’d probably be going around most of
those those take off those rock takeoffs but the moment I was actually riding the
bike all those thoughts went away I was rolling up to the lip expecting my brain
to say no but it was just saying yes nice yeah it’s like once I was actually
rolling down the trail on the salmon 180 it just opened things up mentally for me
which is kind of weird to say but it is very true yeah kind of in the same way like if you’ve
ever rented a downhill bike at a downhill park and you’ve not really used
to a bike like that all of a sudden you feel kind of invincible like you can
just ride through anything hit the bigger jumps because you just kind of
have this feeling that the bike is going to pick up the slack and so I found
myself flying into these jumps and pedaling as hard as I could up to them I
mean like the ground was super soft so I was pedaling hard regardless but
pedaling as hard as I could into these jumps and just flinging myself off of
them then it was so much fun well yeah drop so for those who have never ridden
this style of bike which are probably most people it is like nothing else I’ve ever
experienced it’s really hard to describe and it
sounds fake because I’m truly just so stoked with this style of geometry it
makes for the best riding type of bike I’ve ever ridden that’s the truth
oh wow nice job dude sweet now one of the things that was really
great about the bike and was also kind of a source of some annoyance on the
bike too was the coil shock one I mean it just soaks up everything the
sensitivity of that shock is just crazy it’s an EXT shock and I mean like those
guys make some pretty high performance stuff so I was expecting that so the
shock performance was awesome it was definitely a lot more active than a
comparable air shock for sure and so I was reaching for the climb switch when
we were climbing which normally on an air can I probably wouldn’t have done
that especially on these bikes at pedal really really well but I was reaching
for that climb switch now the really annoying part about that shock was that
there is this little bumper there’s this little there’s this little plastic oring
on one end of it so when it bottoms out the sensitive bits don’t match together
too hard which is fine but the thing is is that the ring it
just flops around loose it just goes feeling like all over the place all over
the and I don’t like talking about suspension all over the shaft of the
shock okay and I actually thought mine was broken and so I looked around online
for some reviews and see what other people were saying and it turns out
that’s just how they come so that was kind of loud especially for me
that really likes a super quiet bike that bugged me but that’s like the only
negative thing I could think of other than the weight the weight is gonna be
more than an air shock as well so he was back to the overall performance of that
bike we were riding with a guy named Josh and Josh actually invited us to
come out he also invited me to come out to Texas in when was that months ago
earlier on this year for a Texas enduro race and at that race he totally kicked
my butt he was hitting all of the hard features which were the faster lines and
he had so much confidence he was just he was just way faster than me he totally
killed me out that race alright Josh get it buddy hey see you down there
alright and so I was expecting the same
difference between us at this trip he’s actually on a pole bike as well he’s on
a pole evil Inc 140 size XL that thing is enormous so anyways I was expecting
to be trailing behind him pretty much the whole time and watching him hit all
these features that I couldn’t but this time around it was it was different like
he was he towed me into stuff and I found I had to give him a little bit
more space because I was catching up to his tail let’s go drop it see how that
drop that I hit like I was I walked up to it I’m like oh I can totally do this
I was feeling really confident and Josh towed me in for that one and then I
immediately wanted to go again and I wanted to go out in front so I could put
a couple extra pedal strokes in and listen to the hang time on this one yeah
now again I’m obviously no pro rider so maybe to some of you you were like it
was pretty cool for me and definitely was a bigger hit than I would normally
do and so personally I think a lot of that extra boost of confidence was
riding that magical downhill sled behind me which can somehow pedal up really
nicely too and I think that’s kind of what this all comes down to it’s like
this bike that makes you feel like you’re on a downhill bike and yet it
also handles like a trail bike somehow it’s it’s really strange in-between
thing like it’s got super long geometry way longer than most downhill bikes
actually save maybe Greg Menards v10 but at the same time it’s got a really steep
seat tube angle and so when you’re sitting on it it feels like a really
like comfortable I was gonna say comfortable XC bike but I don’t think
one of those exists a really comfortable trail bike on the way up and so I I
think that’s kind of the magic of this whole like pulled geometry thing is that
it sort of gives you to buy except once right right oh that was wrong that was sketchy and there are pros and cons to that
style of geometry that you kind of have to figure out as you go along
coronary is a little bit different it really wants you to be super aggressive
with the cornering but once you learn where to put your weight oh man these
things corner like crazy pulling up in over obstacles and things like that is
also a little bit harder on these bikes it takes a little bit more muscle to get
that weight up and over something but again it’s something you get used to
over time I know I have and talking with Leo the designer of the bike it really
all came from from EWS racing being able to hit bigger and bigger stuff and being
able to pedal back up again and save as much energy as possible
hence the stamina name and that’s what this bike deliver it’s like that’s
that’s been my experience with it but it definitely is something to experience
for sure and I think a lot of riders will really really love these bikes and
they’re not they’re not just made for really tall people they’re made for
every type of person like Beth rides one of these obviously she rides a size
small Eva link and that’s the same size as a lot of size larges from other
brands but with the way they work the geometry numbers
she’s totally comfortable on it and she’s like five four five five and what
I think of with as far as like buying a bike like throwing down my own money on
one of these things or any bike is if you look at the trends from all the
different bike companies out there they’re all seemingly just working
closer and closer to what that bike already has see tube angles are getting
a little steeper every single year the reach is getting a little bit longer the
chainstays are getting a little longer so if I were to throw money down on a
bike that I know could take me anywhere across the world and be an up-to-date
bike for years and years and years it’d probably be that one right there
so if you have any questions or anything about this bike make sure you put them
down in the comment section below I hope you guys enjoy this overview of the bike
I’ve been really enjoying it and I’m gonna keep riding it it’s actually
wintertime out here right now like mega-mega winter time and I had to take
them off for this video but I actually set up a studded
27:5 Plus setup on this bike and it’s been ripping through the ice in the snow
it’s been awesome I’ve been having a ton of fun on it make sure you hit the like
button if you liked the video and subscribe if you want to see more and I
will see you all next week cheers everybody

About the Author: Michael Flood

35 Comments

  1. I've been saving up for a Pole, Likely an Evolink. But as with most manufacturers I'm between sizes, Right between L and XL. Would you recommend sizing down on a Pole due to the geometry?

  2. Great video and riding man. How tall are you and how was your feeling on the size Medium compared to the size Large? Thanks in advance and keep up the great work! 🙂

  3. Cool bike! I ride in Canmore a bit as live in Calgary but many friends live in Canmore. What is the weight of your Stamina? Do any shops in Canmore sell them or only online?

  4. It’s about time you switched the bike to coil! The Stamina is one of the most innovative, creative and forward thinking MTB/enduro bikes ever made.

    Installed a Vorsprung Smashpot in my Fox 36 and it is incredible.

    Can’t wait for the day to ride a Stamina or Evolink.

  5. The problem to me is the company themselves. They need to be realistic in their order fulfillment and respect their customers. I hear too many stories of them mistreating their customers and failing to meet their commitments. They might be trend setters but so was betamax when it came out. Didn't turn out so well for them.

  6. How tall exactly are you, that you ride a large frame?

    I‘ve been into the stamina bikes for a while now and soon it will be time for me to finally get one, but I‘m unsure about the framesize.
    I‘m 1,85m and usually ride XL frames (reach 480-500) but with the steep seat tube angle I guess the reach could be even longer?

  7. Great vid, thank you for putting this together. I have been checking out Evolink while shopping for new bike.
    180/180 bike is ALOTTA bike and maybe be too much for me right now, it sure looks like you found yourself at home on it 👌
    How has your experience been being direct from overseas company?

  8. it would be amazing if you go ride in quebec province. the riding there is great! it should make really good videos

  9. I’ve never noticed the plastic washer noise on my Storia I’m sure I will now thanks!😂 the squish sound is all I hear! I’m trying a ccdb air on my evo 140 just to see the difference!

  10. Really awesome review! In my personal opinion, trail bikes these days are becoming so slack and stable that they make riding kind of… less fun. I like a bike that encourages me to pop off everything versus plow through everything, hence, the perfect trail bike (FOR ME) has 140/150mm of travel, 430mm chainstays, a 78-80 degree ST angle and a 66-degree headtube angle. Take the new Norco Sight, for example, it has been Norco's dedicated all-mountain bike for multiple years now, but for the 2020 season, they have made it far slacker than my 2018 Range and my 2017 Aurum. A 63.5-degree headtube angle makes anything but tech trails not boring but just less intriguing to ride. So to you folks out there who are about to bite the bullet on a 160mm travel bike, think about if you really need it or not.

  11. This video couldn't have come at a better time, I'm hunting for my next full suspension and aiming to buy in the spring. Stamina 140 was high on my list, is it worth going for the 180 and have that little more flexibility in usage (I want to ride some local enduros next year)?

  12. I had the same revelation of how a bike can affect your confidence in what you ride and what you don't when I demo'ed a SC 5010 then got on my Yeti SB130. The 5010 is a fun bike BUT I have a lot more conference on my Yeti then I did on the 5010.

  13. It's the coil that does all the work. I switched from Air to Coil on my Megatower and the first ride was incredible. I had never run a coil shock before and it was just so much more stable on roots and rocky stuff.

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