17/04/2024
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Review of Propain Tyee AL29 Performance

Customizable spec and attractive geometry make the Propaine Tyee AL 29 stand out from the crowd

Propain Tyee AL 29 Performance Full suspension mountain bike

Our review

The tie offers a nimble, responsive ride and a lot of fun on the trail

Propain sells directly to customers and is known for offering value for money.  Tieu is an enduro gift from the German brand, which will make the makeover again in 2020.  It is offered with 27.5in or 29in wheels as seen here.

This model of the Tyee AL 29 comes complete with some unexpected wheel and brake upgrades with Propain’s ‘Performance’ parts package.

Without these additions, the tie AL 29 would have cost ยฃ 4,610.

According to Propane’s PR, the tie is designed to be “a versatile and balanced mountain bike that sets new standards in ascending and descending”. 

Product Specifications

Product Price GBP ยฃ 5250.00

Weight 15.33kg (M) – without pedal

Brand Propain

Features

Available sizes are M, L, XL

Headset ACROS

Schwalbe Magic Mary Addicks Soft Supertrail 29×2.4in (fr) / Schwalbe Big Betty Addicks Soft Supertrail EVO 29×2.4in (r)

Trunk Sixpack Millennium 40mm

Shifter SRAM X01 Eagle

Seatpost KS LEV Integra, 150mm

Saddle Sixpack Selle Italia SLR Boost

The Super Deluxe Ultimate Coil Back Shocks RockShox

Rear derailleur SRAM X01 Eagle

Handlebar Sixpack Millenium 805mm

Lower bracket SRAM DUB

Grips / Tape Sixpack

Frame Blend alloy, 160mm (6.3in) travel

Fork RockShox Lyrik Ultimate, 170mm (6.9in) Travel

Crankset Truvativ Descendant Carbon Crankset

Chain SRAM X01 Eagle

Cassette SRAM X01 Eagle

Formula Cura 4 (203mm rotors)

Wheels Newman Evolution SL A30

Propain Tyee AL 29 Performance Framework and Suspension Details

The rear shock takes a new position to accommodate larger wheels. 

Propaine builds a tie AL frame from its ‘Blend Alloy’.  It consists of at least three different alloys, which are used in different areas of the frame depending on the property – such as strength, stiffness, impact resistance, flexibility and so on – which is required.

This latest version of Tyee sees the rear shock migrate from the seat tube to the front triangle and to the front of the seat tube.  It is simple to accommodate the large wheel sizes now commonly used throughout the mountain bike industry.

At the heart of the tie is Propyne’s PR010 suspension system.  It features two counter-rotating links that compress the floating shock to deliver the bike’s 160mm rear-wheel drive.

There is a decent amount of progress (according to the proportion graphs propyne provides on its website, I have calculated the progression to be about 27 percent), which means that the tie should be capable of working with wind and spiral-shock.

Propine says that compared to the old tie, the tie is more pedal friendly and easier to climb and it has increased anti-squat levels in an effort to limit the suspension-induced pedal bob.

Propane’s Dirt Shield bearing covers provide an extra layer of protection between pivot bearings and elements, which is great if you live and ride somewhere in the UK.

Another nice touch is the seamless internal cable channels that move into the frame and make threading hoses or cables easier.

There is decent integrated frame protection with rubber guards stabilising the bottom of the down tube and the top of the drive side chainstay to help calm the chain slap.

Propane Tie AL 29 Performance Geometry

The cables are rotated internally at the junction of the upper and lower tubes. 

Propain offers Tyee AL 29 (and carbon version, for that matter) in medium, large and extra large sizes.  Unless you drop to the smallest 27.5in wheel size there is no small.

The proportions offered here may be a few years old after Ty’s last overhaul, but he is still on the money when compared to its nearest competitors.

The head angle of our moderate test bike was a little more relaxed than it was at 63.8 degrees.  The 451mm range is in line with many of Tie’s rivals, with the front centre being a reasonable 785mm.

The 445mm rear centre (otherwise known as the effective chainstay length) matches the centre of the rider’s weight between the 29in wheels.

At 345mm, the lower bracket is a few millimetres taller than some long-haul bikes, so I tested the tie back-to-back.

With the saddle set to my preferred pedalling height, I measured the effective seat angle by 77.5 degrees, which helps to create a really comfortable sitting position.

Propain Tyee AL 29 Performance Specifications

I originally ordered the Tyee AL 29 with a performance parts package because it was seriously impressive.

That’s the equivalent of a full 170mm cruising RockShox Lyrik Ultimate with Super Deluxe Coil Ultimate RCT Rear Shock and Charge 2.1 RC2 Damper (with high and low-speed compression damping adjustment and rebound adjustment).

I originally thought I was getting air shock, but the propine bolted on the coil shock.  When I heard about the extra cost of coil shock, I was happy to hear that there was no extra charge for it – it was good.

The Super Deluxe Coil Ultimate RCT is a great kit with low-speed compression and rebound-damping compatibility.  There is a low-speed compression lever to confirm the shock on the mounts if you need them.

Sent on a Propane 400lb spring fitted bike, which gave me a mere 30 percent drop to my 68kg weight and was a spot-on for my riding style.

In addition to impressive dampers, you also get SRAM’s X01 Eagle gearing, complete with a fancy 12-speed, 10-52t cassette.

Unbeknownst to me, Propane has added the updated Newmen Evolution SL A.30 wheels and Formula Cura 4 brakes.  While they are lovely to have, a package of parts that are not without these is still more than work.

The Cura 4 brakes are impressive stoppers, but the pads sit very close to the rotors, which requires careful calliper assembly.

Liver Reach Adjusters are really stiff and hard to rotate (the Allen key fits in to do the same thing, which helps).

Schwalbe provides rubber here.  In this case, it’s the fabulous Magic Mary in front and the big Betty in the back.  Both available in the label’s Addix Soft Compound and Supertrail Carcass.

If I’m not picky, I prefer to look at the rigid supergravity casing used on the back for that extra peace of mind.

That being said, I have never fought punctures throughout the exam.

Overall, my Tyee AL 29 performance test bike weighs 15.33kg in moderate size without pedals.

Propain Tyee AL 29 Impressions of performance riding

I tried my best to get a grip on what the tie is capable of and where it can shine by riding a real mix of terrain.

It has changed from smooth jump lines to steep, natural wood singletrack, with some high speed bike park runs thrown into the mix for good measure.

Setting Propain Tyee AL 29 Performance

The 400lb spring that came standard felt like a spot-on to my weight so I didn’t have to tinker with it any more.  In terms of shock settings, I completely opened the rebound damping and ran eight clicks (completely closed) of low-speed compression.

The 170mm-travel Lyric Fork is fitted with a volume spacer that I left inside, pumping the spring to 79 psi.  I set Rebound in a completely closed 12 clicks, fully opened high speed compression damping, and low-speed compression completely closed 14 clicks.

This gave the bike a good balance no matter which trail I was riding.

Another note on the setup: the Tieu came with a fork steer.  This limited how much I could change the bar height, which was a bit disappointing.

I like to change the height of the bar a little by moving the trunk in the steerer (and changing the spacers from top to bottom), but a high-rise bar is required to enable it.

Propain Tyee AL 29 Performance Climbing Show

With the Tyee AL 29 climbing, it is clear from the get-go that when you turn the cranks, it is not idle or idle.

It’s quiet when you turn the power on a little like an unwanted suspension bob.  Of the eight bikes in our Enduro Bike of the Year category, the tie is the lightest.

This is partly because of those updated Newmen wheels, but Schwalbe rubber seems to roll quite well.

If pedal bob was a problem, it would not be as easy as some bikes, where the shock’s low-speed compression lever is placed.

When the shock sits with the piggyback end anchored at the bottom of the frame, the lever is down from the bottom bracket junction.

It could be reached, but not as comfortable or as easy as it could be by any means.  Fortunately, I never needed it and always appreciated the extra traction it provided.

Thanks to the steep seating angle, I felt my hips were well positioned in the bottom bracket and there was plenty of room to sit down thanks to the 595mm effective top tube with the 40mm trunk.

Overall, the climb was smooth and smooth or steep and thick, but Ty was always keen to move up and find traction and not worry about anything other than turning the pedals, no matter how tricky.

Propain Tyee AL 29 Performance Descending Performance

When you hit the first turn and drive your weight through your hands and feet and into the bike, the support is immediately apparent through the suspension.

The Tyee AL 29 offers plenty to push against, allowing you to be really loud accurately through the edge of the berm or the jumping lip.

This feature helps make the Ti AL 29 more nimble than its geometry suggests.  When faced with tight, technical turns, it ducks and dives like a champion.

And despite the lack of support, thanks to the coil shock at the rear, the opening part of the 160mm travel remains good and complementary and definitely helps to pull out traction when you need it most.

It doesn’t hurt that the Schwalbe tires do an admirable job of digging into the surface of each trail and providing a predictable level of grip in the process.

They really lock themselves to the ground under braking, making awkward movements with steep, tight switchbacks that are more confident.

Fortunately, the ramp-up never feels rigid or arbitrary when you actually travel the last few millimetres on heavy hits or landing, and I was always impressed with how compact and progressive the tie is in these instances.

Hop, Skip and Jump

There is no doubt that the Tie AL 29 is more capable when tightened and twisted, how does it work when speeds are high and bumps are large?

On hard, consecutive hits, there are definitely more reactions by the bike compared to the best in the class.  This is not really a bike that rewards the lazy, hang-off-back and drop-your-heels riding style.

Sure, you can ride like that, but you donโ€™t get much out of a tie.  While it’s still pretty forgiving to take seriously challenging terrain, Tye feels that he wants to skim the tops of the bumps instead of consuming each, so calculation and commitment selection is arguably the best way.

This attractive, supportive ride experience can also help you to feel what’s going on under the tires, without the serious fun.

This means you can actually work the tie through the trail ups and downs to speed up the bike or make the bike easier and with less effort.

With really high speeds through the nasty rock sections, the Tyee AL 29 doesn’t feel like the best combination out there, and it’s not that easy to ride at speed.

There is little in the way of separation between rider and trail, which means a little more feedback.

This is not to say that it is harsh in any way, though, the response is decently muted, helped by the forgiving, active nature of the RockShox Lyrik Fork.

 Sakhat is an all-rounder

There is no doubt that the Tyee AL 29er can dip, duck, dodge and dive with the best of them, and while it may not be the most robust in some cases, it is still incredibly capable when accelerated.

But what makes me stand out and justify the high score is its all-round ability.  Enduro Bike – This goes a long way in helping you feel fresh on the ascent, up the hill.  Jump-riddled trails lack pop and playfulness and its agility means that you can switch between lines and cross obstacles without much effort.

The fact that Propine offers such a decent set of parts at this price point is certainly fascinating.

How does Propain Tyee AL 29 compare to performance?

White, Newproof, Marin and Cannondale bikes in this category arguably trump propane when it comes to full high-speed stability, with the Canyon torque earning its closest competitor and impressive four stars within this test.

Like the Tyee, torque provides a little more communication experience when handling rocky sections, but really stays alive when you need to throw the bike from line to line to stay on the fastest, most straightforward route.

The Canyon is a little better balanced and absorbs a few good big hits, but the tie may just be edging when it comes to navigating the steep, natural terrain.

Enduro Bike of the Year 2022 |  How we tested

While this does not negate the need for these bikes to fall with the confidence and balance of a full-blown downhill bike, they still need to be pedalled back to the top of the hill.

But, more than that, they need to be built to last with units that take a serious shot.

To be crowned as the best enduro bike in the test, we are looking for a bike that is quite pleasant on the mounts (no enduro bike is ever a cross country like a cross country!) And is easy to ride when back on the slopes.

A serious amount of riding is required over the course of 12 weeks to test the bike.  The terrain must also be diverse.  The test covers everything from roots and steep, natural trails to rocks and mud, with fast, high-speed bike park tracks with wheel-destroying rock gardens and chunky jumps.

To mark the differences we have ridden all the bikes back-to-back on the test and mixed the action of riding the bike to see how each machine feels when we are fresh – and not too fresh.

Pros and  Cons

 Pros: Nimble and agile;  Ability at speed;  Rises well;  An engaging ride

Cons : Fork steerer cut too short;  Limited bar height adjustment;  There is no small size in the 29in version

GBP ยฃ 5,250.00 RRP

With updated brakes and wheels

The bottom line of the Propain Tyee AL 29 performance

The Tyee AL 29’s performance has proven itself in really tight, technical natural terrain, where its agile nature, supportive suspension and dependable tires help it feel really fast and fast.

While others have the advantage over the tie in the fast, rough lanes, the tie can still hold its own, although there is much in the way of rider response in the process.

It sometimes rides more attractively and gives the advantage of more calculated line selection when the trail is really nasty under the tires.

While this may seem a bit negative, the tie is still an incredibly fast bike and has more all-round capabilities than others.

No matter how steep the gradient is, it can help to reduce the mounts and make it seriously fun to chuck about the trail.

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