Pole Bicycles Machine 29er is functional work of art

Has 180mm front/160mm rear travel and 63.9-degree headtube angle

29er Enduro Sea Otter Classic
2018 Pole Machine

Pole Bicycles is quite proud of their Machine – and they should be.

Pole Bicycles is a Finnish company that recently made headlines after canceling their carbon frame making plans due to the environmental impact. Instead they are machining their frames out of aircraft quality aluminum, with two pieces being cut and then bonded together using a process similar to how airplanes are manufactured. After machining, the scrap material is sent back to the factory for reuse.

2018 Pole Machine

The machining is evident in the frame, which looks incredible.

The manufacturing process is unique, as is the bike’s geometry and kinematics. The Machine is a 180mm front/160mm rear travel 29er with a 63.9-degree headtube angle and extremely steep 78-degree seat tube angle. Chainstays can accommodate up to a 3.0 tire.

In speaking with the brand’s brain trust Mtbr learned that they have created a very progressive frame while spending significant time on the shock and spring tunes, and reducing kickback for deep travel events. Due to the manufacturing process, they can constantly evolve the design, as there are no molds to consider. Claimed frame weight in 7.3 pounds and comes with a lifetime warranty.

2018 Pole Machine

Multiple pieces of alloy are used for the chainstays, which are bonded together using a similar process as with airplanes.

Pole is also working on a 200mm travel 29er downhill bike, which we should see later this year.

2018 Pole Chainmail

Pole founder Leo Kokkonen models the Chainmail jersey, featuring slash proof sleeves and Coolmax torso.

Also on display at Sea Otter was Pole’s Chainmail jersey, featuring slash-proof material on the outer arms and cuffs to protect from thorns and branches, and cool the rider by conducting heat away from the body. This Cutlon Polyethylene is the same material used for butcher’s gloves. The torso is made of Coolmax, to wick sweat. Price is a lofty $180, yet it could save considerably more money if you tend to slash your sleeves while riding.

For more information, visit polebicycles.com. This article is part of Mtbr’s coverage of the 2018 Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California. For more from Sea Otter CLICK HERE.


About the author: John Bennett

With 210 lbs of solid, descending mass, John is a good litmus test of what bikes and components will survive out there in the real world. And with a good engineering mind, John is able to make sense of it all as well. Or at least come up with fancy terms to impress the group.


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  • Sasha Kandakov says:

    Beautiful bikes, but “canceling their carbon frame making plans due to the environmental impact” sounds quite hypocritical unless they make the whole bike out of bamboo. It’s obvious that eventually even entry level bike frames will be made of carbon… just because it’ll be ridiculously cheap and it’s more durable that alu alloys. Metal will always have fans in the bike industry though. I love my Al-Sc frame and it feels better than a carbon frame with identical geometry.

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