This 140mm-travel trail bike may be Production Privée’s first full-sus, but it’s a bike that’s still very true to its boutique steel hardtail roots.
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Production Privée Shan Nº5 spec as tested
- Frame: Triple-butted, heat-treated ‘MCS’ 4130 chromoly, 140mm (5.5in) travel
- Fork: Fox 34 Float Factory, 150mm (5.9in) travel
- Shock: Fox Float DPS EVOL Factory, custom tune
- Drivetrain: SRAM GX (1x11)
- Wheelset: Stan’s NoTubes Flow MK3 wheels
- Tyres: (f) Maxxis Minion DHF 3C EXO TR 27.5x2.5in
- Tryes: (r) Maxxis Minion DHR II 3C DD TR 27.5x2.35in
- Brakes: SRAM Guide R, 180mm rotors
- Bar: Production Privée LG, 780mm
- Stem: Production Privée R2R, 50mm
- Seatpost: BikeYoke Revive 160mm dropper
- Saddle: SDG Duster
- Weight: 14.71kg (32.43lb), L/XL size without pedals
Production Privée Shan Nº5 frame
The Shan Nº5’s frame is an entirely steel affair, with both the front and rear triangles being constructed from Japanese 4130 chromoly.
Thin tubing and a motor-racing-inspired paintjob give the bike retro character, but when it comes to numbers, the Shan Nº5 is far from old-school.
Long and low is the name of the game — my L/XL test bike had a rangy 480mm reach, 14.7mm of bottom bracket (BB) drop, a super-low 596mm stack height and a raked-out 65.6-degree head angle. Chainstays are kept fairly compact at 424mm.
At the back end, it’s all about simplicity. Production Privée has opted to use a single-pivot rear triangle, with a shock yoke to fine-tune the leverage rate. The shock itself connects to a bolt-on mount on the down tube, as do the removable guides for the externally-routed cables.
Although this makes servicing simple, the loose cables and their criss-crossing arrangement over the BB do look a bit untidy. Bottle cage mounts on the underside of the down tube tick that box, if you don’t mind the taste of dirt.
Production Privée Shan Nº5 kit
You can buy the Shan Nº5 as a frame only or as a rolling chassis complete with a Fox 34 fork, Stan’s NoTubes Flow MK3 wheels and Maxxis rubber, a BikeYoke Revive dropper and Production Privée’s own cockpit combo.
My test bike was finished off with an 11-speed SRAM GX drivetrain and Guide R brakes.
I had mixed opinions about the spec. The 29mm (internal) rims and chunky, triple-compound Maxxis treads gave good traction and, with the exception of a mushy rear brake (which could be fixed with a bleed), the SRAM kit worked fine.
While the Fox suspension performed well, the Shan Nº5’s long and slack geometry makes it easy to be tempted into burly terrain, where the 34mm-stanchion fork and small-volume inline shock can feel outgunned.
The Production Privée bar and stem felt great, but I wasn't a fan of its CR35 grips. While the pattern, which is inspired by Formula 1 tyres, may be great at gripping tarmac, it felt harsh on my hands.
My biggest gripe, though, was with the BikeYoke dropper post. I found it to be incredibly sensitive to cable tension, which meant that when I raised it in the frame to get the saddle at a decent pedalling height, it sagged at full extension.
Inserting the post further into the seat tube resulted in it not staying down when dropped, unless I carefully fed/pulled the cable through the frame first.
Production Privée Shan Nº5 ride impressions
Jumping on the Shan Nº5, the first thing you notice is just how low the front end is. Even with a 32mm-rise bar and 25mm of spacers beneath the stem, I wanted it higher, but was limited by the length of the fork steerer.
This, combined with the long front centre, tips your weight quite far forward, despite the low BB. It makes piloting the bike around tight corners a dream, but left me feeling much less confident when gradients steepened and speeds increased.
I experimented with harder fork pressures, to keep the front higher, but the reduced grip and increased chatter didn’t help things.
The Shan Nº5’s skinny-tubed steel frame makes it quite a lively ride and there’s a good amount of feel through the rear end. This is accentuated by the predictable behaviour of the single-pivot rear end, making it an easy bike to ride, if you can deal with the bar height.
I found the suspension progressive enough in most situations although harsh compressions did make the shock bottom out. There’s not too much pedal bob on the ups but, tipping the scales at a hefty 14.71kg, the Shan Nº5 doesn’t climb as well as some of its contemporaries. Its gravity-orientated geometry plays a part in this too.
I wanted to like the Shan Nº5 more but it just doesn’t deliver the outstanding ride quality or impeccable attention to detail required to put it at the top of the boutique steel list.
Production Privée Shan Nº5 early verdict
Not the most refined trail bike out there, but still capable of putting a big smile on your face.