Privateer's 161 is incredible value

Privateer 161 enduro frame
Privateer's enduro frame weighs 3.7 kg and has 161mm of rear travel (Image credit: Privateer)

Privateer is a British mountain bike brand with a simple aim: value without sacrificing performance.

With its debut product, the 161, Privateer is targeting enduro bike riding and racing enthusiasts who are mindful of cost, but not shy of riding the most testing and technical trails.

The 161’s geometry is slack and long, with all four frame sizes featuring the same 64-degree head angle. As a reference point on front centre spaciousness, the equivalent large-size 161 has 490mm reach.

Privateer has interestingly formed the 161 frameset to ride with 27.5-inch wheels in its smallest size, whilst the larger three sizes all roll 29-inch. Rear hub spacing is148mm and Privateer specifies 2.6in width as the maximum tyre size.

Mindful of the current trends towards longer dropper posts, frame insertion lengths are generous. The Privateer 161’s 31.6mm seat tube capable of accommodating even the latest 200mm stroke dropper seatposts.

The 161 frameset features a collection of clever design details, typical of boutique brands. Flanking the headtube are cable guides, which prevent cable rub and acoustic rattle, averting potential frame wear and riding annoyance, due to clattering cables.

Managing the bike’s kinematics is a single piece rocker link. The Privateer rocker design reduces bearing wear and increases lateral stiffness, keeping the 161’s rear-wheel tracking with precision, even when pinging through brutal rock gardens at speed.

Aware of component durability being an issue for enduro mountain biking enthusiasts on a budget, Privateer’s engineers also optioned for a threaded bottom bracket, instead of the potentially more creak-prone press-fit design. 

Surrounding the bottom bracket’s drive side are ISCG-05 mounts, for riders who wish to mount a robust chain guide. The 161 is finished in either matte black or polished raw aluminium.

At only £1489 for a 161 frame, with RockShox's SuperDeluxe Ultimate trunnion-mount rear shock and a sealed cartridge bearing headset, Privateer’s value offering is inarguable.

The company will also be marketing a 161 build, featuring RockShox’s Lyrik Ultimate RC2 170mm fork, a Shimano SLX 12-speed drivetrain, Magura MT5 brakes and Hunt Enduro wheels, rolling Michelin Wild Enduro Magi X tyres. Privateer’s ready to race 161 build is priced at £2,989.

The Privateer 161 is available to buy directly from their website and is shipped across the UK and Europe for no extra cost.

Lance Branquinho
Freelance writer

Lance Branquinho is a Namibian-born journalist who graduated to mountain biking after injuries curtailed his trail running. He has a weakness for British steel hardtails, especially those which only run a single gear. As well as Bike Perfect, Lance has written for, and Cycling News.