Privateer 141 Gen 2 [Test Ride Review]

The second generation Privateer 141 all-mountain bike has 150/141mm of suspension travel front/rear with a seat stay flip chip for mixing wheels.
Photos: Evan & Melanny @outofthisvan

Full disclosure: this was a two-hour test ride, with no time to fine-tune or adjust set-up in any meaningful way. First impressions only. 

The latest short-ish travel bike from British-based Privateer is the updated version of their original 141 bike, and there’s some significant changes to the new version. Firstly, the Privateer 141 frame design is brand new — the formerly straight top tube now angles down sharply a couple of inches away from the stem, with a distinct brace between the top tube and seatpost. Also the downtube angle is steeper, with a sharper angle up as it reaches toward the bottom bracket which is slightly reminiscent of the older Mondraker Foxy frames from 2018. Privateer claims this changes the geometry to make  riders feel more ‘confident,’ which I take to mean more planted on the bike, more stable and in a better body position overall than the previous 141. Plus you can switch a new flip-chip in the chainstays to lengthen them if you want a slightly more stable ride. 

Privateer 141 key specs

  • Rider Profile: 6’’1” and 220lb with gear. Size P3 with SRAM GX tested in short wheelbase
  • Suspension travel: 150/141mm front/rear
  • Frame highlights: Aluminium, with a flip chip in the seat stays to switch to a mixed-wheel setup
  • Geometry highlights: HTA: 64.5°, Reach: 465mm, STA: 78.5°(effective), Chainstay: 440mm, Wheelbase:1237
  • Price: $5,389 for the build as tested. Frameset $2,389
  • Buy direct from

All-new tech

There have been a lot of component changes to this second version of the bike too. Hunt’s proprietary Trail wheels have been replaced with Hunt Enduro Wides and the Schwalbe tires switched to a Maxxis Assegai EXO+ 2.5 at the front with a very burly Maxxis DHR II Doubledown at the rear. The suspension has moved from Rockshox to Fox, with a 36 Performance Elite fork and a custom-tuned Float X Elite in the back. The rarely-seen Hayes Dominion 4-pot brakes are new too. 

The Privateer 141 has a chainstay protector that looks like a chainsaw blade and the notoriously crummy downtube protector’s been replaced with something more substantial.  And there’s a nice touch for riders who put up with wet, muddy conditions: the custom oversized pivot bearings on this bike are specifically designed to keep as much crud out as possible.  

Overall, this is now a bigger, burlier, better-specced bike than its predecessor. 

Weighty issues

The very first thing you’ll notice about the Privateer 141 is the weight. The substantial aluminium tubing size plus welds that look as chunky as any I’ve ever seen, combined with heavy-duty tires and beefy suspension, adds up to a pretty hefty 38 lb total weight without pedals. 

I’m not necessarily against heavier bikes, and this is a deliberate choice by Privateer, but if you’re used to a similar size/travel carbon bike, it’s going to be a bit of a shock. This 141 build is only a few pounds shy of some of the lighter e-bike models on the market right now. 

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Tried it? Tell us what you think about it.

There’s a simple reason for all that heft. Privateer’s heritage is straight-up Enduro racing, and they want you to ride like a racer does, as fast and as hard as possible down unpredictable terrain.  If the climbs take a little longer as a result, so be it. But if you’re looking for a bike that climbs like a salmon leaping up a river, this definitely isn’t it. 

Ain’t necessarily slow

Weight on the scale and weight on the trail aren’t the same thing though. I’ve tried bikes that were light on paper but felt like riding through sand in real life, and ‘heavy’ bikes that didn’t feel that way in motion, and the 141’s that good kind of heavy. It doesn’t labor or strain in the climbs, isn’t hard to move around or shift body position on, and I stopped thinking about its weight almost immediately. The Privateer 141 is well-balanced, with a comfortable climbing position, and the (relatively) short reach keeps the front end feeling stable, but ready to pop up when you need to. It’s steady, rather than eager, but that’s how a lot of riders climb anyway. 

What this bike is really meant to do is feel very exciting indeed to ride downhill. This is where the 141’s steroidal build really comes into its own.  On the sharp, pointy chunk of Brewer, one of the faster DH trails in Sedona, this bike made me feel like The Thing from Fantastic Four, charging through whatever got in my way, flinging obstacles aside like confetti and generally making a big angry mess in all directions. The Maxxis Assegai handled that weight through the  turns really well, urging me to take corners sharper and faster every time, and the Dominion brakes’ stopping power is formidable. Brewer spits you right out onto a road at the bottom, and I was a little carried away by that point, but the brakes brought me up sharp. I’m no Enduro racer, but I certainly felt like one for a few glorious minutes, and that’s the closest most of us are going to get.

Pros and cons of Privateer 141


  • Competitive pricing
  • Extremely durable build quality
  • Excellent wheelset


  • Heavy
  • Conservative colorways
  • External cable routing

Bottom line

This is a British bulldog of a bike, unapologetically designed to do one thing really well, and there’s not a lot of bikes you could compare it to.  It’s not for everyone, but I liked it a lot.