Bikes in the all-mountain category with 140mm to 150mm of travel offer their riders ”an ideal mix between downhill capability and uphill efficiency” therefore they are one of the most interesting bike categories, says MountainBIKE in their latest review of ”interesting can-do-it-all bikes”.
Ideal bikes to cross the Alps: ”Enough travel to let it rip downhill but also to conquer steep climbs and rocky sections.” But not too much: ”Long, steep climbs are no problem with an all mountain as opposed to a heavier enduro.”
In the price range around 2,500 Euros these bikes offer lots of back-for-the-buck – and the STEVENS Whaka 27.5” is awarded the price-performance tip in MountainBIKE magazine’s current test.
Well Thought-out Component Mix
The editors began their review by looking at the Whaka from a distance: ”The Whaka looked racy with its bright orange and blue paint job. Down to the details the aluminium frame is well made and also reasonably stiff.” In the test category ”workmanship” it came in best-in-test. Though it was not the lightest, which in this price category is nothing to worry about. The mix of Shimano Deore XT and SLX components is well though-out: ”Stevens even combined the powerful Deore brakes with capable 203/180mm rotors and the 2,499 Euros are a really interesting price.
The editors pointed out the thick chainstay protector, which ”protected the frame in exactly the right places”, which is on top and at the bottom side of the chainstay. The Ergon GE1 screw-on grips offered secure grasp and optimum geometry. Due to its weight it was not the quickest. Yet the seating position is comfortable, compact, relaxed, somewhat more upright and less race-like.
And ”due to the 75° seat angle you can apply a lot of pressure to the pedal, the rear stay geometry doesn’t affect drivetrain performance and traction is very good.”
How About Downhill?
”Does it belong to the superstars in the test? Handling is amazing, perfectly balanced between agility and directional stability.” The chassis was one of the best-performing in the field: ”Sensitive and responsive, especially the Fox 34 fork and the four-link rear triangle hug the trail very well to cause a secure riding experience.”
Let’s dance! Downhill the Whaka rocks the trail, is a joy to ride with its great handling and excellent chassis. Despite the lower-end parts and heavier frame it is a very interesting offer.