Hailing from sunny San Diego, California, Eminent Cycles is the brainchild of two industry veterans, Jeff Soncrant and Kevin Sigismondo, who after years of searching for the perfect bike decided that they would be better off quitting their jobs and building it themselves. Fast forward to today's date, and the launch of their first production model is here!
Eminent Cycles Haste Highlights
- Proprietary Blend High Modulus Full Carbon Frame
- 160 mm AFS Suspension
- 170mm fork
- Floating shock mount, eliminates shock binding under lateral loads
- Floating brake mount, eliminates brake jack
- Modern Enduro Geometry
- 5 sizes for precise fit; 56,59, 62,65 and 68 cm top tube lengths
- 27.5 inch wheels
- 12x148 Boost rear spacing for maximum stiffness
- Internal frame cable routing with guiding channels in the front triangle for improved service and less cable noise.
- Front derailleur compatible for 1x or 2x drivetrains
- Carbon fiber downtube protector
- Metric shock
- Optimized leverage ratio for Air or coil shocks and a wide variety of riders sizes and abilities
- Angular contact Enduro bearings, double labyrinth seals, high load with waterproof grease
- Light weight and serviceable IGUS bushings in low rotation areas (15 degrees or less) - brake bracket, and lower shock mount.
- Fully customizable component selection using Eminent online bike builder
Before we jump into the finer details of the bike itself, a quick word on the philosophy behind Eminent: customer service. Eminent sells direct, and their main objective here is delivering a bike that truly fits the rider. Starting with any of the 5 frame sizes (impressive for a young company launching its first carbon frame!), the customer can specify their build pretty much anyway they want it. An online "bike fit calculator" helps figure out the size you need, and it will even recommend things like dropper post length, the optimal handlebar width or grip thickness.
Once you've settled on your numbers, you choose from a wide range of components to complete your build. Eminent will then assemble your bike and deliver it straight to you using their own, specifically designed bike box (which is slightly bigger than a standard bike box due to the fact that it holds the bike almost completely assembled, but it still conforms to standard UPS ground and air shipping requirements). All you have to do before you take your new bike for a ride is install the front wheel and the handlebar - they even supply a torque wrench in the box to make sure anybody can get this part right. For those who want to watch their new bike being built, Eminent's Factory Build Program lets you visit the factory and see your own build take shape as it happens. This includes tuning the bike to your preferences with Eminent's technicians.
Without wanting to resort to cliches, Eminent sought to build a bike that will climb like a goat and descend like a bat out of hell. Sounds familiar? Sure, that's what most enduro bike manufacturers claim these days, so how is the Haste any different? Well, rather than slap a classic 4-bar link of some kind on something that looks like a....errrrr....something that many big companies would make, Eminent took a "Clean Slate" approach to design and came up with something that certainly does not look like a....errrr...one of those other bikes. Starting with the frame design, it's resolutely modern, with sharp angles and flowing lines. One noteworthy aspect of the final design is the lack of support for stealth dropper post cable routing, although the frame provides for internal routing of an externally routed post though the top tube to still keep things relatively clean.
When it came to choosing a suspension platform, Eminent has a patent-pending design they call the AFS - Active Float System. The goal was to decouple braking and suspension forces from the frame and shock, and the result is something that looks very similar to the Lawwill suspension of old.
Eminent says that AFS helps improve the ride in several ways. By letting the shock "float", it sees less side loads as the frame flexes, which helps reduce bushing bind to make for a smoother ride. The floating brake mount is said to help avoid having the rear brake influence the rear suspension, while the overall leverage ratio curve and wheelpath have been chosen to "work with both coil and air shocks for a number of different riding styles and skill levels."
Using the bike industry's leading linkage analysis software, André Santos, the Youtube suspension whiz and a Vital MTB contributor, was able to determine a close approximation of the bike's kinematics. These charts provide great insight into several key factors that impact how it rides. Those unfamiliar with these types of graphs should watch André's excellent series of suspension fundamentals videos. The results of his analysis are as follows:
- The Eminent Haste is a relatively linear enduro bike with a total progressivity of 13%. For aggressive riders, it may be best to add volume spacers or high-speed compression damping to avoid bottoming out.
- Pedaling efficiency is good at the 30% sag point (with anti-squat values around 100-120%). The anti-squat profile is not very stable, however, and the values can change significantly across the pedaling zone of travel.
- The amount of total chain-growth is normal for an enduro bike. The chaingrowth is high initially due to the higher anti-squat values in that zone.
- Due to the floating brake mount, the anti-rise is kept close to 50% at sag, meaning the rear suspension is not significantly affected by braking forces (in other words, the brake caliper doesn’t rotate much around the disc across the suspension travel). Without the floating brake, the caliper could only be mounted on the vertical frame element (to be concentric with the wheel), and that would cause severe brake-jack due to the backwards rotation of this frame element across the travel.
- Overall, the Eminent Haste is a slightly progressive enduro bike with good pedaling and braking characteristics.
Looking over the geo numbers, the Haste is strictly contemporary, with reach ranging from 386mm to 494mm across the 5 different frame sizes. The head angle is a staple of enduro at 65.5 degrees, while at 442mm the chainstays are slightly on the long side. All in all, it looks like the Haste should have what it takes to offer up a fun yet stable ride, and with 5 sizes available, you should be able to find one that fits you well.
So what will all this cost? Selling direct allows Eminent to offer great value across a range of impressive build kits. For example, a X01 Eagle build with a Cane Creek Helm fork and DBair shock will set you back about $6500 USD, including Industry Nine wheels and a carbon cockpit. Add $1000 if you want carbon wheels as well. More basic kits start out at $5200 USD before shipping and taxes, which is still very good value for a carbon frame and an a-la-carte bike build. Eminent only ships in the US for now but plans to expand internationally in 2019.
Want to find out more? Check out www.eminentcycles.com, or look out for their inaugural demo tour stopping at a trail center near you soon.