Production Privee Shan 27 917 frame review£455.00

Aggro hardtail that's steely in more ways than one

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Few hardtails can convincingly make full use of a 160mm fork, but then this Andorran aggro bike is no ordinary steel sled.

Motorsports paint job

The triple-butted (three wall thickness changes per tube) mainframe combines a massive 38mm diameter down tube and 35mm top and seat tubes in an extended seat tube format that gives a standover height of just 675mm. The Shan has ISCG-05 chain guide mounts, replaceable dropouts that let you switch between 142x12mm and 135x10mm rear axles or even fit 26in wheels, and bolt-on cable clips for various routing options.

The head angle is a super slack 65.5 degrees:
The head angle is a super slack 65.5 degrees:

The head angle is a super slack 65.5 degrees

It’s anti-rust treated internally and externally. Disappointingly there’s no internal dropper post cable/hose routing though. The limited edition Gulf Oil Porsche 917 colour way seen here adds marginally to the price.

Production Privee offers a complete RockShox Pike/SRAM GX/KS dropper post bike, or the rolling chassis seen here, which comes with some of our favourite wheels – Spank Oozy Trail295s, in an orange anodised finish.

The spank oozy wheels that come with the rolling chassis are some of our favourites:
The spank oozy wheels that come with the rolling chassis are some of our favourites:

We're big fans of these Spank Oozy wheels

Our test bike was kitted out with big-volume 2.4in Maxxis tyres, a 1x11 SRAM X01 transmission, Shimano SLX brakes, a DVO Diamond fork and Production Privee cockpit kit.

Industrial strength steel – can you handle it?

If you’re after a forgiving, flexy, old-school steel whip then stop reading now, because the Shan is a full gas, maximum attack weapon for highly skilled and aggressive riders.

The non-heat treated, flattened-centre stays take some sting out of the back end and define its steel, not alloy, ride quality but you’ll still know exactly where your cleats or pedal pins are as soon as you hit a rocky section. You’ll also need to lift and float the rear end to sustain speed through blunt rock sections and landing smoothness depends entirely on your skill.

The shan is taut, muscular and compelling on the trail – but demands real skill to get the most from it:
The shan is taut, muscular and compelling on the trail – but demands real skill to get the most from it:

The Shan is taut, muscular and compelling on the trail

The Shan accelerates and places its front wheel with a taut muscular feel though, and pops and manuals naturally too. The relatively short 600mm top tube (large size) and the low centre of gravity provided by the dropped top tube mean it twists and turns constantly underneath you. This centres any sense of control and stability wholly in the 780mm wide bar and 50mm stem.

With the semi-slick rear tyre taking half a degree off the already super-slack 65.5-degree head angle and the impressively plush and tunable DVO Diamond fork sucking the tyre onto the ground, you’ve got a massive amount of control to play with. That makes flinging yourself down the trail absolutely flat out and hoping you can outrun the consequences the dangerously addictive default setting of the Shan.

As a result it’s one of the few hardtails we’ve ridden that can genuinely use a 160mm travel fork to full effect, rather than it feeling like way too much for the rest of the bike.

This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 44
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster tfhan the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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