Fresh, Fast, and Fun: New Propain Tyee 11

Cable routing, geo, and frame protection among the updates to Propain's main enduro platform.

With roots firmly planted in the gravity segment, Propain’s enduro bike Tyee occupies an important space in the company’s lineup. Capable of tackling demanding climbs and ripping it up on the way back down, the Tyee is the company’s most popular model and one that has proven itself as a top contender in this market segment over the past few years. For 2023 the company set about redesigning their flagship, with a few key goals in mind: making the bike more silent and optimizing the frame’s stiffness and geometry. We were invited to join a merry band of testers in Spain for a couple of days aboard the new shred sled, and we came away impressed: keep reading to learn more about everything from rear triangle brake integration to a rather controversial cable routing choice.

Propain Tyee (2023) Highlights

  • XS/S sizes in full 27.5”
  • M size available as either full 27.5” or 29/mix
  • Sizes L and XL available as full 29” or 29/mix
  • Alloy or carbon frame option
  • 160 mm of rear travel
  • Sixpack Integrated Cable Routing
  • Flip Chip
  • Optimized geometry
  • Available in size XS
  • New frame colors
  • New cable routing
  • New chain stay & seat stay protector
  • New downtube protector
  • Brake integration
  • Bottle and tool mount
  • Double sealed Acros frame bearings (PROPAIN Dirt Shields)
  • Acros stainless steel frame and headset bearings
  • BSA threaded BB
  • SRAM UDH derailleur hanger
  • Sixpack sealed seat clamp
  • AL frame weight: 3.4 kg (size M, 29" frame, without shock and hardware)
  • CF frame weight: 2.9 kg (size M, 29" frame, without shock and hardware)
  • MSRP: Builds starting from $2,999 USD (AL) // $3,599 USD (CF)

Initial Impressions

Propain jetted us out to Santa Coloma de Farnes in Catalonia to present their new bike in its natural habitat. As they pulled back the curtains to reveal the new rig, we went through our usual check list: Updated geo – check. Improvements in frame construction – check. New frame protection – check. SRAM UDH, Transmission ready – check. Threaded BB – yay, check! Cable routing – che…..wait a minute. What are those cables sticking out of the headset…? And why is there no in-frame storage…?

Propain CEO Robert Krauss explaining THAT cable routing
Propain CEO Robert Krauss explaining THAT cable routing

Headset cable routing, the bike industry’s favorite new polarizing innovation. If you don’t live under a rock with no internet access, you’ll have seen the wildfires raging in the comments section of the presentation of any new bike featuring the already infamous cable routing option. There were more than a few eyebrows raised in the room as Propain CEO Robert Krauss attempted to explain how he himself, originally a stout critic of the concept, was won over by the advantages on offer. Aside from the sleeker looks, Rob cited the quietness of the bike as the main reason he eventually decided that Propain should adopt this controversial feature, comments section be damned. He promised that after two days of riding the new bike, we might well find ourselves in the same camp. On the other hand, he also explained that the company had yet to find an in-frame storage solution that they were fully happy with, so they decided to buck that particular trend for now (the frame does feature a second pair of accessory bolts, leaving the door open for adding a storage pouch of your choosing under the top tube). Oh and the AL version sports traditional cable ports in the top tube should you prefer to go that route.

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Propain worked with Sixpack and Acros to develop a headset cable routing solution that would be easier to live with than what was already on the market. With the Acros ICR headset, the cables enter through the top headset spacer instead of through the stem itself. Sixpack then developed a stem and stem spacer system that perfectly align with the Acros parts, giving the cockpit a very clean look. You can order the  bike with either a 35 mm or 50 mm long stem, with one headset spacer as standard. If you want a higher rise bar or a longer steerer tube, you can specify that at the time of ordering. The headset spacers clip on from either side, which means you can actually adjust your stem height without having to remove the stem entirely. The system will also work with regular aftermarket stems, which will look slightly less clean of course but gives you the option to run your favorite stem if you so wish. In order to make sure you don’t have to work on the system too often, Propain specced stainless steel bearings in the headset (as well as everywhere else in the frame). There is also a protective sleeve added to the fork’s steerer, to avoid any potential rubbing issues with the headset routed cables.

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Cleaning up the cable routing was only one of the drivers behind the refresh of the Tyee. The geo numbers evolved, making the bike slightly longer, slacker, and lower, and many improvements were made in regards to frame construction and build. The cable routing around the BB area was tweaked, and there is a new chain stay protector with extra-prominent ridges present to help combat chain slap noise. The rear triangle now offers more tire clearance and is now approximately 10% stiffer as well. The rear brake has been moved inside the stays, to give it extra protection and to clean up the looks of the bike in this area too. The brake bracket can be adjusted in the frame to accommodate either a 180 or a 200 mm rotor without the need for extra adapters.

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As for the suspension platform, it goes without saying that Propain stuck with their tried and true “PRO10” system – a multi-link layout with a floating shock that is driven from both ends. The kinematics have been tweaked, making the bike ever so slightly less progressive and reducing the anti-squat by a few percentage points as well. The Tyee will work well with either coil or air shocks, although Propain made no secret of their predilection for coil builds.



Propain really ticked all the boxes when it came to wheel sizes and geo. They added an XS frame option, which together with the size S is offered exclusively with 27.5” wheels. The medium size is available in either a full 27.5” configuration, or a 29” frame that can accommodate a mixed wheel setup thanks to a flip chip on the seat stay. And finally, the sizes L and XL are available exclusively with the 29”/mix frame. The frame was designed to run either a 160 or 170 mm travel fork. With all bikes offered in either carbon or alloy, there really is something here for pretty much everybody. No corners were cut!


Build Kits and Pricing

Propain is known for its online bike configurator, which allows customers to mix and match parts to their hearts’ content – you can choose from a multitude of brands and options when it comes to parts selection, and you can customize the color scheme of your new build as well. In addition to the a la carte configurations, Propain offers the new Tyee with a set of standard builds spanning 4 different levels – and good news, they did not increase the prices from the current Tyee levels!



Formula suspension and brakes, NEWMEN Performance 30 wheelset and BikeYoke Divine seatpost. AL: $3,599.00 / CF: $4,199.00



The heavy-hitter spec: Rockshox ZEB Ultimate and Super Deluxe Ultimate coil shock, GX drivetrain and NEWMEN EG30 LRS wheels. AL: $4,484,00 / CF: $5,084,00



Lyrik Ultimate RC2 and Super Deluxe Ultimate Air, Code RSC brakes and the new AXS X0 Transmission. AL: $6,109,00 / CF $6,709,00



Kashima, Magura MT7, Crankbrothers Synthesis Carbon wheelset and the new AXS XX Transmission. AL $7,644,00 / CF $8,244,00

On The Trail

Day one of riding saw us set up our bikes and head out on the trails around Santa Coloma de Farners. This riding location is a bit less well-known than the classic European enduro venues, but it would soon prove itself a worthy destination for showcasing the capabilities of the new Tyee. We accessed the local trail system by riding directly out from our accommodation in town, and then we hit the first climb. 400 meters of vertical later, and we knew that the Tyee will indeed acquit itself of any climbing challenge with aplomb. A big enduro bike with heavy duty tires will never feel as light or as efficient as a shorter travel, light trail bike build, but the Tyee never feels sluggish and the steep seat tube angle puts you in a great spot both for grinding out the miles and getting you up the hill. At which point, the real fun begins!


The trails around Santa Coloma serve up a fun mix of fast flow and challenging tech. The dirt was already quite loose in spots and the trails evidently see a lot of traffic, so we needed to keep on our toes to avoid any surprises. The Tyee immediately proved itself a confident descender, providing a lot of stability thanks to its relatively long chain stays and generous wheelbase. Our first day was spent aboard the alloy bike in size L, equipped with Formula suspension and brakes and rolling on a Schwalbe Big Betty/Magic Mary combo (this tester is 1m84 or 6’0” tall). We found the bike generally easy to get along with, although the Formula Selva R fork would have required a little more fettling to get the most out of it. It rides very high in its travel and does not bottom out easily or at all; we would have loved to get rid of a token to find a more linear setup, but the tool required to get into the fork went AWOL and left us no choice but to keep the token in there. We may also have found more success with swapping out the CTS (Compression Tuning System) valve for something more open, but again that was not on the menu for such a short test ride.

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As the day went on we continued to earn our turns, and by the end of day one we had racked up 1100 meters of climbing and confirmed our initial good impressions of the Tyee’s uphill aptitude. It is most certainly a bike that will accompany you on a big day out, thanks to the aforementioned upright seated position and the perfectly tuned anti-squat characteristics. For day two, we relocated to the nearby Pure Riding Bike Park to allow us to lay down some runs aided by an uplift service. This bike park lives up to its naming, pure riding is what you’ll do here and more than that, you need to be on your game to make the most of your visit here. The park features a few different options to get down the mountain, none of which are particularly easy or forgiving.


For this second day of riding we hopped on a RockShox-equipped coil custom build with SRAM’s new XO Transmission suspension and Code RSC brakes. It was a lot more straightforward to get our bearings with the RockShox ZEB up front, it is an easier fork to set up compared to the Formula Selva R we rode on day one. We tested this bike with both Maxxis and Schwalbe tires, with the Maxxis setup getting the nod on both the hardpack, bike-parky trails and in the fresher sections of a more natural enduro trail. Steep and loose, this trail threw up a real challenge but one that the Tyee had no problem taking on. We would have loved to try the mullet bike in the more vertical parts of this trail, to give us a little more clearance out back - the good news is that this configuration is only a rear wheel and a flip of the chip away.


After two days of riding, our initial conclusion is that Propain’s refresh of the Tyee has indeed refined the bike and further optimized its mix of climbing and descending abilities. It is certainly a very quiet bike now, which is down to the sum of all the little improvements made to reach this goal – the headset cable routing may well play its part here too. If you’re looking for a capable enduro bike to take on anything from self-powered enduro missions to days in the bike park, you could do a whole lot worse than the new Tyee. To compare it directly to two of its main direct-sales rivals, we’d say that it pedals better than a YT Capra, and about as well as a Canyon Strive – although the latter does have the ShapeShifter ace up its sleeve which will help give it an edge in the poppy-ness department when needed. When the trail points downwards again, all three bikes are more than capable of tackling anything short of a proper DH race, with the Capra maybe being the most “plowable” of these three and the Strive providing the most dynamic and speed-generating ride (although without proper back-to-back testing, don’t hold us to these conclusions at this point).


Component Highlights

A few words on some of the components we tested during these two days:

RockShox ZEB Ultimate fork/Super Deluxe Ultimate coil shock


An incredibly versatile combo that is easy to set up and provides a very high level of performance out of the box. The fork sits high in the travel without ever feeling harsh – but it also knows how to use all its travel without feeling overwhelmed or spongy.

Formula Selva S fork/MOD shock

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A highly adjustable combo that takes a bit of work to set up right. We did not have access to all the different CTS cartridges during this short test, and we also lacked the tool required to get into the fork to play around with the tokens (“Neopos”), so we don’t want to rush to any conclusions here. Our test fork did ride a bit too high for our liking, and we never felt 100% confident pushing into rougher turns.

SRAM XO Transmission

Transmission XO

Confirming our impressions from other test bikes, SRAM’s new wireless drivetrain is a joy to use on the trail. Shifting is incredibly smooth, and noticeably less clunky when shifting under load compared to classic Eagle drivetrains. The system is very expensive, but Propain do offer a couple of reasonably priced Transmission builds that should put it within reach of a somewhat larger group of riders.


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As alluded to in the On The Trail section, we got along well with the Maxxis Assegai EXO+/DHR 2 DD combo specced on our second text bike. Predictable handling and good rolling speed, despite the heavier DD casing in the rear. The Schwalbe Big Betty/Magic Mary combo we rode on the first day was a little less confidence inspiring in kitty litter/loose over hardpack stuff, but equally capable in fresher sections of trail.

What’s The Bottom Line?

Messing around with your best-selling enduro bike is always a daunting task, but Propain pulled it off with the redesign of the Tyee. It has become a highly refined bike, with a generous helping of advanced frame features and resolutely modern geo. The suspension platform provides a perfect mix of uphill and downhill capabilities, leaving you with a bike that covers all the bases – from all-day epics to bike park shred sessions. We also applaud Propain for providing so many options; all the wheelsizes, frame materials, and frame sizes are covered, and there are many types of builds to choose from as well. Of course, the icing on the cake with Propain is their online configurator, allowing you to build up your new bike pretty much however you want to. Should you get one? If you’re shopping in this category, we’d say yes – it's a highly capable and fun-loving bike that will have no problem being what you want it to be.

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More information at:

View key specs, compare bikes, and rate the new Propain Tyee in the Vital MTB Product Guide.

About The Reviewer

Johan Hjord - Age: 50 // Years Riding MTB: 18 // Weight: 190-pounds (87-kg) // Height: 6'0" (1.84m)

Johan loves bikes, which strangely doesn’t make him any better at riding them. After many years spent practicing falling off cliffs with his snowboard, he took up mountain biking in 2005. Ever since, he’s mostly been riding bikes with too much suspension travel to cover up his many flaws as a rider. His 200-pound body weight coupled with unique skill for poor line choice and clumsy landings make him an expert on durability - if parts survive Johan, they’re pretty much okay for anybody. Johan rides flat pedals with a riding style that he describes as "none" (when in actuality he rips!). Having found most trail features to be not to his liking, Johan uses much of his spare time building his own. Johan’s other accomplishments include surviving this far and helping keep the Vital Media Machine’s stoke dial firmly on 11.

Photos by Nathan Hughes/Propain (action) and Johan Hjord


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