Guerrilla Gravity Trail Pistol First Ride Review

Rowdy short travel rig that can be whatever you want

29er
Guerrilla Gravity Trail Pistol First Ride Review

The Guerrilla Gravity Trail Pistol combines a carbon front triangle with alloy rear.

What is it

The Guerrilla Gravity Trail Pistol the Colorado-based bike maker’s short-travel 29er trail bike with progressive geometry, a firm ride and the ability to be a true quiver killer. It has 120mm of rear suspension and is designed around 130-140mm forks. The carbon front triangle has adjustable reach and the ability to become a completely different machine by swapping seatstays and suspension. Also new for this year is the Guerrilla Gravity Trail Pistol’s carbon fiber makeover. You can learn more about the company’s US-made carbon frame construction here. And if you want to know how Guerrilla Gravity turned one frame into four models, click here.

Guerrilla Gravity Trail Pistol First Ride Review

With a 130mm fork, the Trail Pistol has a 65.9-degree head tube angle and 78-degree seat tube angle.

Guerrilla Gravity Trail Pistol highlights
  • Built around Guerrilla Gravity’s modular frame platform
  • Revved Carbon front triangle
  • Alloy seat and chainstays
  • 120mm rear travel
  • Designed around 130-140mm forks
  • Frame pricing starts at $2195
  • Complete builds start at $3695
  • Available now
Ride Impressions

Mtbr spent a day testing the Trail Pistol on the freshly-cut trails at Spider Mountain, the first bike park in Texas to feature a chairlift, and at a private trail network on the outskirts of Burnet, Texas.

Guerrilla Gravity Trail Pistol First Ride Review

Nifty solution to the water bottle placement issue.

This short-travel ripper has progressive geometry. With a 130mm fork, the Trail Pistol has a 65.9-degree head tube angle and 78-degree seat tube angle. Reach on the size 3 tested here, which is equivalent to a large, is respectably long at 483 or 493mm, depending on the orientation of the reach-adjusting headset.

The Trail Pistol also gives riders the ability to alter the rear suspension’s leverage curve. The link driving the shock features two-positions labeled “Crush” and “Plush.” Despite being a fan of firm-riding bikes, I found the Crush position to be too harsh for my liking. At speed, the rear end felt like it was chattering and skipping off the top of obstacles. The switch to Plush took about 30 seconds, and the ride was more to my liking — still firm but more forgiving. I found the Guerrilla Gravity Trail Pistol to track better in this slightly softer position.

Guerrilla Gravity Trail Pistol First Ride Review

This bike is a playful partner with a firm ride that makes it easy to pump and boost as needed.

I also found the Guerrilla Gravity Trail Pistol’s handling to be somewhat duplicitous. It was easy to let speeds creep up to the point where I outrode the suspension, but the angles that got me in over my head were also able to save my skin when I ran out of talent.

Early Verdict

Long-travel 29ers might be the flavor of the month, but most riders would be best served by a bit less suspension and better geometry. The Guerrilla Gravity Trail Pistol hits the mark here. It’s a playful partner with a firm ride that makes it easy to pump and boost as needed.

Guerrilla Gravity Trail Pistol First Ride Review

The frame has a built-in stow spot for emergency supplies.

Should you find you need more suspension to back up your trail hooliganism, the Trail Pistol can be turned into the longer-travel Smash by swapping the shock and seatstays.

Head to ridegg.com to learn more about the entire 2019 Guerilla Gravity line-up of bikes.


About the author: Josh Patterson

Josh has been riding and racing mountain bikes since 1998, and has been writing about mountain biking and cyclocross since 2006. He was also at the forefront of the gravel cycling movement, and is a multi-time finisher of Dirty Kanza. These days, Josh spends most of this time riding the rocky trails and exploring the lonely gravel roads around his home in Fort Collins, Colorado.


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