Propain says the Tyee AL Price2Ride MX offers the best price-to-performance ratio of any model in the line-up of its updated enduro bike. This version has an aluminium frame, mixed wheel sizes and dishes out 160mm of rear-wheel travel. Updates to the new frame include geometry refinements, kinematic tweaks and changes to the cable routing. It has parts not seen commonly as original equipment, in the shape of Formula suspension and brakes, but that doesn’t mean it’s compromised. Coming in at £3,599/$3,599/€3,599, it’s not a budget mountain bike, but just how good is the updated Tyee and is it worth a look if you’re in the market for a new enduro bike?
Propain Tyee AL Price2Ride MX frame and suspension
The aluminium frame is built from at least three different alloys in Propain’s Blend Alloy construction. Propain utilises its Blend Alloy construction on the new Tyee. This employs at least three different alloys in the frame, using the one best suited to each specific application. The tubes are made from a fatigue-resistant alloy. The CNC and forged parts that don’t need welding are made from 7075-T6 aluminium for its high strength. This blend of materials is how Propain claims it makes frames with optimum strength-to-weight ratio. Propain states the Tyee AL has a category 5 strength rating and has unrestricted bike park clearance.
The new Tyee uses an Acros ICR headset. A big update to the frame is its new cable routing. Using an Acros ICR (Internal Cable Routing) headset and Sixpack stem, Propain now threads the rear brake hose, gear and dropper cables through a custom spacer that sits between the headset cap and the stem. This threads the cables into the head tube through the upper headset bearing.
The Tyee frame uses double-sealed stainless steel bearings in its pivots. It also gets Propain Dirt Shield covers to help increase longevity. The spacer uses a rubber insert to help keep contaminants out. The headset features stainless steel bearings, meaning if water does ingress, the bearings shouldn’t corrode. Propain integrated this design to help silence the bike and improve its aesthetics. Propain has also integrated sealed stainless steel bearings into the frame’s pivot points to improve the life of the bearings. They still use the brand’s Dirt Shields as an added barrier to help keep grime out of the frame.
Propain has moved the rear brake caliper mount inside the rear triangle. Another feature Propain has added is tucking the brake caliper inside the rear triangle. Propain claims this gives a cleaner aesthetic and better transfers of braking forces to the frame. However, it means the maximum rotor size is 203mm.
Propain Tyee AL Price2Ride MX suspension
Propain tweaked the Pro10 rear suspension on the new Tyee to improve bump absorption. To eke out the most performance from the frame, Propain has altered the pivot locations slightly from the previous model to improve suspension consistency and bump absorption. It has flattened the leverage curve, which has reduced overall progression and should improve predictability through the travel. Propain has also lowered the anti-squat compared to the previous Tyee. It says it’s 113 per cent at sag, so it should pedal reasonably well, yet it should help the bike be more active in its travel too.
Propain Tyee AL Price2Ride MX geometry
The new Tyee gets a flip chip that enables you to run 27.5in or 29in wheels. I tested a size-medium bike with a mixed-wheel setup, running a 29in wheel up-front and a 27.5in rear wheel. I also used a 170mm fork (Propain offers some models with a 160mm fork). I had this in the low flip-chip setting. This configuration gives a short 441mm reach that’s matched closely to the stable 445mm chainstays. The stack height is 631mm, which is good for a bike that will point downhill often. The 10mm compulsory spacer under the stem lifts the handlebar height if running the new cable routing.
The 63.2-degree head tube angle is something I’d expect to see on a capable enduro bike, as is the 76.3-degree effective seat tube angle. That should seat you comfortably over the bottom bracket when pedalling. These figures give a comfortable 596mm effective top tube that doesn’t stretch you out. The seat tube is a sensible 425mm, enabling you to use a long dropper post. The bottom bracket drop is 42mm below the front axle and 28mm under the rear. This is very low and close to the floor. The frame features a flip chip, so you can run a the bike in a higher setting for more versatile geometry.
|Propain Tyee AL Price2Ride MX – 170mm fork – low setting|
|Size||Extra-small||Small||Medium 27.5||Medium mix/29||Large||Extra-large|
|Head angle (degrees)||63||63||63||63.2||63.2||63.2|
|Seat tube angle (degrees)||76.2||76.2||76.2||76.3||76.3||76.3|
|Seat tube (mm)||380||400||425||425||450||480|
|Bottom bracket offset (mm)||23||23||23||42||42||42|
|Top tube (mm)||532||563||592||596||624||651|
|Standover (mm)||CF: 779, AL:786||CF: 779, AL:786||CF: 779, AL:786||CF: 779, AL:786||CF: 779, AL:786||CF: 779, AL:786|
Propain Tyee AL Price2Ride MX specifications
The Formula Selva S fork features tons of external adjustments and tuneability, which is impressive on a bike of this price. It’s rare to see such tuneable suspension on a bike at this price. Propain has fitted a 170mm Formula Selva S fork, which shares all the same adjustment as Formula’s most expensive Selva R. It features an air-filled positive spring and a coil negative spring. In addition, there’s externally adjustable high- and low-speed compression damping, and low-speed rebound damping. Plus, the forks can be tuned with Formula’s changeable CTS (Compression Tuning System) valves. The shock is a Formula MOD. This is a coil shock with low-speed compression and rebound adjustment. There’s a lockout lever and swappable CTS valves that enable you to tune the compression damping.
The Formula Cura 4 brakes are good, but aren’t the most powerful available. They don’t live up to the suspension. The Tyee Price2Ride is fitted with Formula Cura 4 brakes with 203mm rotors. The drivetrain is a SRAM GX Eagle outfit with Truvativ Descendant cranks. Newmen Performance 30 wheels are shrouded with Schwalbe Magic Mary SuperTrail Soft 29×2.4in (front) and Schwalbe Big Betty SuperTrail Soft 29×2.4in (rear) tyres. The medium frame came fitted with a 160mm BikeYoke Divine dropper seat post and Sixpack Kamikaze saddle. Sixpack finishes off the build with its Millenium805 handlebar and Vertical 50 stem.
Propain Tyee AL Price2Ride MX ride impressions
The Propain Tyee’s new dimensions make it an easy bike to feel comfortable on. I rode the new Tyee for a couple of days during a Propain press trip in Spain. I had one enduro day, with 30km+ of riding and 1,100m climbing, and a second uplift day at Pure Riding Bike Park. This gave me enough time to form some solid first impressions and thoughts about the bike. Conditions were dry and sunny, and trails ranged from flowing descending singletrack to full-on downhill trails and steep, tech enduro lines. I had the flip chip in its low setting, which gave the most aggressive geometry. Propain doesn’t recommend this setting on the Tyee MX unless for experienced riders because the bottom bracket is very low and pedal strikes can occur.
Propain Tyee AL Price2Ride MX climbing performance
The old Tyee was a class-leading climber, and while Propain has lowered the anti-squat, this new model is still an impressive bike when powering up the hills. The rear end is stable when seated, even with a coil shock, and pedal-bob is minimal. As a result, reaching for the shock’s climb lever wasn’t necessary. However, I did it for long, smooth drags to help maximise efficiency. The effective seat tube angle and top tube length make the bike comfortable for long climbs, where I wasn’t overly stretched out and was well balanced between the saddle and handlebars.
The Tyee is efficient for an enduro bike during hard bursts of pedalling, where it feels sprightly. While there’s minimal bob, the rear end is still supple enough to help smooth out rougher sections of trail and keep the wheel tracking the ground when it’s important to maintain traction.
Propain Tyee AL Price2Ride MX descending performance
Even in this slack setup, the Tyee can deal easily with tight corners. The Tyee fels right at home when you’re charging down unfamiliar trails with trees rushing past and you overshoot a corner you didn’t spot. In the geometry setting I used, the frame’s head angle is progressive. However, with its moderate reach, it strikes a balanced position that immediately helps you feel comfortable on the bike. This intuitive ride characteristic enables you to ride comfortably, knowing you won’t be punished for the odd mistake. This geometry combination is perfectly functional. It enables you to concentrate on the trail, not the bike, and you don’t have to ride a specific way to get it to behave.
The Tyee’s handling is on the agile side of the enduro bike spectrum. It’s a bike plenty of people will get along with readily. In tight and technical trails, the bike’s agility helps to weave and jink through awkward trees, rocks and roots. However, while the Tyee is low, it’s less planted than the Canyon Strive, for example. As a result, it’s less composed in fast, open corners. Still, the 445mm chainstays offer stability across cambers and when speeds pick up. They still enable you to get the Tyee around tight turns without hesitating. The Formula suspension plays its role too, offering plenty of support while still being supple and predictable. It easily rivals any other suspension forks and shocks you’ll find on a bike for this price – and probably beats them.
On rougher trails, I was impressed by the Formula suspension. The forks and shock ironed out bumps of various sizes and frequencies extremely well. In addition, they kept the frame composed through hard hits and I didn’t notice the bikes see-sawing down steep or rough trails. While the Tyee is capable, it doesn’t feel as stuck to the trail as some burlier enduro bikes, such as the Specialized Enduro. Instead, it’s got a playful demeanour that enables you to enjoy the more flowing trails as much as the downhill tracks.
The Schwalbe SuperTrail Soft tyres play their part in the bike’s ride character, too. A pair of Schwalbe Super Gravity Ultra Soft tyres would release more potential from the Tyee by giving a more muted feel, but that will hinder mellow trail performance. The new Tyee is well rounded and does many things well, rather than some things excellently at the expense of others. I also wasn’t blown away by the Formula Cura 4 brakes. They’re adequate and do the job, but are less powerful than the best mountain bike brakes.
Propain Tyee AL Price2Ride MX early verdict
The Propain can be threaded confidently through awkward sections when the trails become tight and technical, The Tyee Price2Ride is worth checking out for riders who want a capable and comfortable bike for heading out on long enduro rides, lapping the bike park or tearing up the local woods. The price is good for the spec and nothing needs immediate upgrading. Getting such high-performing, and externally adjustable and tuneable suspension at this price is a bonus. The Tyee is noticeably quiet with a lively character that still has the travel and composure to blast the rough stuff without feeling overwhelmed. It’s a solid all-rounder.