Propain’s big-hitting Spindrift gets a serious overhaul for 2021

The latest Spindrift comes in a choice of materials and wheel sizes, while its revised geometry should make it even more capable on the hills

Propain Spindrift all-mountain mountain bike

While its big-hitting freeride intentions remain, Propain’s Spindrift has had a serious makeover for 2021.

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The changes are significant throughout and include different wheel size (29in, 27.5in and ‘mullet’ setup) and frame material options, along with a revised shock placement, which leaves the damper far better protected from the elements compared to its predecessor.

Five things you need to know about the new Propain Spindrift

  1. Propain is offering the Spindrift with an aluminium or carbon frame
  2. The new Spindrift comes with either 650b wheels, a mixed ‘mullet’ setup (29in front, 650b rear) or 29in hoops at the front and rear
  3. There are three different spec levels to choose from
  4. You’ll only be able to get a size small with 650b wheels. Both the mixed wheeler and full 29er size range from medium through to extra-large
  5. The rear shock has been repositioned ahead of the seat tube

Propain Spindrift frame and suspension details

Propain Spindrift all-mountain mountain bike
Propain is now offering the new 180mm travel Spindrift with either an aluminium or carbon frame.
Steve Behr

The Spindrift frame is available in the brand’s ‘Blend Alloy’, which uses three different aluminium alloys in a bid to best balance weight, strength and stiffness.

This blend is made from 6066-T6 aluminium for the tubing, 7075-T6 aluminium for the rockers and axles, and 6061-T6 for the milled and forged parts of the frame.

The new Spindrift is also available in Propain’s ‘Blend Carbon’. Like the alloy frame, Propain has used different resin-impregnated sheets of carbon fibre and assorted layups to achieve the best balance possible in the frame.

Shock position changes

Propain Spindrift all-mountain mountain bike
A vertical bracing strut helps create the stiffness needed on the asymmetrical rear triangle.
Steve Behr

One of the most strikingly obvious changes to the Spindrift is the re-positioning of the rear shock.

While its predecessor’s rear shock was behind the seat tube, the revised Spindrift sees the shock move ahead of the seat tube and inside of the front triangle, similar to its Tyee enduro bike which we spent some time on earlier this year.

Not only does this better protect the shock from rear wheel spray, Propain also claims this helps to boost frame balance and overall agility on the trail. The rear triangle is asymmetrical, with a stiffness boosting near-vertical bracing strut on the non-driveside of the bike.

A big travel bike

Propain Spindrift all-mountain mountain bike
Propain has moved the rear shock of the Spindrift forwards, so it now sits ahead of the seat tube and inside the front triangle. Its predecessor’s rear shock sat behind the seat tube and was right in the firing line for everything coming off of the rear wheel.
Steve Behr

There’s a whopping 180mm of rear wheel travel on tap (180mm or 190mm up front, depending on your spec choice), which is delivered via Propain’s PRO10 suspension system and will work with either coil or air shocks – although all three of the builds available use a coil shock.

Propain has upped the level of anti-squat from 60 to 120 per cent in a bid to make it a little easier going when you do need to pedal. There’s plenty of suspension progression built in to tackle some seriously big hits along the way, too.

Detailed refinements

Propain Spindrift all-mountain mountain bike
Integrated chainstay protection and down tube protection help to make the Spindrift nice and quiet, as well as well protected from flying trail debris.
Steve Behr

Propain has sweated the details on the new Spindrift. Neat little touches include internal sleeving to make routing cables internally that bit easier and there are ‘Dirt-Shields’, which are essentially an additional seal to better protect the ACROS pivot bearings from water and dirt ingress.

There’s ample frame protection too, thanks to the integrated down tube and chainstay rubberised coverings. These should help prevent damage from rock strikes and silence that ever so pesky chainslap when the going gets rough.

Propain Spindrift all-mountain mountain bike
SRAM provides the gearing on all three of the Spindrift builds. The mid-pack Spindrift Performance CF seen here gets the X01 Eagle drivetrain.
Steve Behr

Interestingly, the Spindrift is another bike launched for 2021 that adopts SRAM’s Universal Derailleur Hanger (UDH) system.

This is designed to work with pretty much every drivetrain out there and should you clatter your rear derailleur into something, the UDH should rotate backwards to help preserve the derailleur.

If you do need to buy a replacement, it retails for $15 and should be stocked by most shops.

Propain Spindrift geometry

If we take a look at the geometry of this big bruiser, focusing on the full 29er version, its freeride/downhill intentions are pretty obvious, though it’s not as extreme as many enduro rigs out there.

Reach on the size medium is a decent 450mm and extends up to 500mm on the extra-large. To help balance those relatively lengthy front ends, Propain has opted to go for a reasonably long effective chainstay of 445mm across all sizes to help give a more balanced, centred feel between the wheels.

Propain Spindrift all-mountain mountain bike
Propain has three pre-configured builds on offer. The Performance CF build seen here is the mid-range option and comes with a 190mm travel RockShox ZEB Ultimate fork.
Steve Behr

The head angle isn’t crazy slack at 64.5 degrees (especially when compared to the likes of something like the Specialized Status at 63.2 degrees) although the effective seat angle is definitely one of the steepest out there at 78 degrees.

There’s 23mm of bottom bracket drop and a relatively tall stack height, ranging from 633mm on the medium through to 660mm on the extra-large – a Specialized Enduro in the largest S5 frame has a stack of 638mm and uses a 170mm travel fork.

Propain Spindrift range and pricing

Propain is offering the Spindrift in three pre-configured builds starting with its cheapest ‘Start’ package at €2,599 or €3,199 (depending on whether you choose an aluminium or carbon frame) all the way up to €6,654 or €7,254 for the ‘Highend’ getup.

Alternatively, thanks to Propain’s bike configurator, you can get stuck in and spec the bike yourself – a great idea if you’d rather drop more cash on suspension and save some on a cheaper drivetrain, for example.

All forks and shocks come from either RockShox or Fox, tyres come from Vee Tire Co or Schwalbe, while brakes are supplied by SRAM on the lower builds and Magura on the top-end bikes. SRAM supplies all drivetrain components.

Propain Spindrift CF Start

Propain Spindrift CF Start
Propain Spindrift CF Start.
Propain
  • Fork: RockShox ZEB R, 180mm travel
  • Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Select Coil
  • Drivetrain: SRAM GX Eagle
  • Brakes: SRAM G2
  • Wheels: Propain ZTR Flow S1
  • Price: €3,199 

Propain Spindrift CF Performance

  • Fork: RockShox ZEB Ultimate, 190mm travel
  • Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate RCT Coil
  • Drivetrain: SRAM X01 Eagle
  • Brakes: SRAM Code RSC
  • Wheels: Stan’s No Tubes Flow EX3 Enduro
  • Price: €4,519

Propain Spindrift CF Highend

Propain Spindrift CF Highend
Propain Spindrift CF Highend.
Propain
  • Fork: Fox 38 Factory, 180mm travel
  • Shock: Fox DHX2 Factory coil
  • Drivetrain: SRAM X01 Eagle
  • Brakes: Magura MT7
  • Wheels: Crankbrothers Synthesis Enduro Carbon i9
  • Price €7,254

Propain Spindrift AL Start

  • Fork: RockShox ZEB R, 180mm travel
  • Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Select Coil
  • Drivetrain: SRAM GX Eagle
  • Brakes: SRAM G2
  • Wheels: Propain ZTR Flow S1
  • Price: €2,599

Propain Spindrift AL Performance

  • Fork: RockShox ZEB Ultimate, 190mm travel
  • Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate RCT Coil
  • Drivetrain: SRAM X01 Eagle
  • Brakes: SRAM Code RSC
  • Wheels: Stan’s No Tubes Flow EX3 Enduro
  • Price: €3,919

Propain Spindrift AL Highend

Propain Spindrift AL Highend
Propain Spindrift AL Highend.
Propain
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  • Fork: Fox 38 Factory, 180mm travel
  • Shock: Fox DHX2 Factory coil
  • Drivetrain: SRAM X01 Eagle
  • Brakes: Magura MT7
  • Wheels: Crankbrothers Synthesis Enduro Carbon i9
  • Price: €6,654