2018 Eminent Haste Pro

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First Rides: The Unique 2018 Eminent Cycles Haste

This small brand has a big target: 'The Ultimate Enduro Bike'

Rating: Vital Review
First Rides: The Unique 2018 Eminent Cycles Haste

After years in the cycling industry, Jeff Soncrant and Kevin Sigismondo put their heads together to create a ground up mountain bike brand of their own. It wasn’t that they hadn’t been working with great folks, but they wanted the opportunity to create products without restraints and in their own image. With a "clean slate" approach to design, Eminent Cycles has set the bar high with the Haste, which they claim to be the ultimate enduro bike. We spoke with Soncrant who elaborated on their priorities: "We feel that we must create product that improves the current market standard and try not to copy it. We not only wanted to put our voice on the bikes, but wanted to further improve the buying process for the consumer to create a better model."

The aesthetics of the Haste serve notice that

After years in the cycling industry, Jeff Soncrant and Kevin Sigismondo put their heads together to create a ground up mountain bike brand of their own. It wasn’t that they hadn’t been working with great folks, but they wanted the opportunity to create products without restraints and in their own image. With a "clean slate" approach to design, Eminent Cycles has set the bar high with the Haste, which they claim to be the ultimate enduro bike. We spoke with Soncrant who elaborated on their priorities: "We feel that we must create product that improves the current market standard and try not to copy it. We not only wanted to put our voice on the bikes, but wanted to further improve the buying process for the consumer to create a better model."

The aesthetics of the Haste serve notice that Eminent chose to go their own way, and when the company offered us the opportunity to put in some miles aboard the Haste we were more than happy to oblige. Read on to find out our first impressions.

Eminent Cycles Haste Highlights

  • 27.5-inch (650b) wheels
  • 160mm (6.3-inches) rear travel // 170mm (6.7-inches) front travel
  • High modulus full carbon frame
  • Active Float System (AFS) suspension with floating Metric shock and brake mounts
  • Internal routing with guide channels
  • Integrated seat post clamp
  • 12x148mm Boost axle spacing
  • 1X or 2X drivetrain compatible
  • Carbon fiber downtube protector
  • Sizes: XS-XL (designated 56-68cm)
  • Complete customization of part spec using online bike builder
  • Weight:32.0 pounds (14.5kg, verified) with a Schwalbe Super Gravity Magic Mary rear tire
  • MSRP: $6,750 USD as shown

Active Float System (AFS) Suspension Design

The AFS suspension design on the Haste utilizes familiar elements, but combines uniquely to produce an interesting platform. The foundation of AFS suspension is a four bar design. It also incorporates a floating 230x60mm Metric shock, which they say allows for a more active suspension with no impact on frame character. The Haste also features a floating rear brake to reduce the negative impact of braking on suspension performance.

When asked about this unique approach, Soncrant stated that "the desire was to have a suspension [design] that was without hiccups, laterally stiff, sensitive for improved tuning, traction and performance, and with the ability to select a range of shocks. This is what we felt was missing." Not surprisingly, Soncrant’s priorities are echoed by most brands, so we prodded a little further about Eminent’s choices, knowing they could utilize any number of designs and configurations. The four bar was chosen "as it gives the greatest ability to manage wheel path," with the addition of a floating shock to better isolate and target forces from all inputs directly to the shock, rather than the front triangle. As far as the floating brake, Soncrant suggests it "frees up more suspension movement during braking and further improves performance of the bike." Our interpretation: AFS suspension is meant to be a design without compromise.

After seeing the bike in person, we noted that all of these elements mean that there are more pivots, bolts, bearings, and moving parts to maintain on the Haste. Interestingly, Eminent has chosen to use IGUS bushings in low rotation pivot points (15-degrees or less) at the brake bracket and lower shock mount. Fully sealed Enduro brand angular contact bearings are used elsewhere.

Suspension Analysis

Using the bike industry's leading linkage analysis software, André Santos 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:

Geometry

While Eminent took a unique approach to suspension design, the Haste features more traditional geometry. Reach numbers are pretty generous (463mm on our large frame), but with many riders leaning towards longer reach values, we would have preferred to see a slightly roomier cockpit on the large or a shorter seat tube on the XL. The effective seat tube angle is slacker than many of the Haste’s competitors, but those who enjoy a slightly relaxed pedaling position will be happy with the numbers. Chainstays measure in at 442mm across all sizes, which is a reasonable middle ground for an all-around bike meant to be stable at high speed without being a complete boat in tighter scenarios.

Where many 160mm bikes feel like a chore, the Haste remains lively and fun to ride.

Our interpretation of the Haste’s geometry is that the intended purpose is Jack Of All Trades that is comfortable in every situation, rather than a singularly focused, envelope-pushing enduro race bike that may sacrifice one quality in order to improve another.

The Elite Experience & Sales Model

Eminent undoubtedly noted that their bike had to be more than just a great concept and that the entire process of owning the Haste needed to be outstanding in order to set them apart. One conclusion we reached at our most recent Test Sessions was the admission that there are a plethora of great bikes these days, and each brand needs to look harder than ever for ways to distinguish themselves from the crowd.

Eminent has attempted to improve this process by introducing their Elite Experience model. To begin with, the Haste is only available direct-to-owner using Eminent’s online bike builder, which is a bike nerd’s dream as it allows the end user to virtually build their bike from the ground up by selecting components and key numbers like stem length, bar width, grip thickness, saddle width, crank length, and just about any other personalized item one can imagine. Eminent refines each setup further once buyers confirm individual metrics like shoulder width, inseam, weight with gear, and riding style.

The final piece to the Elite Experience arrives with the bike itself. Rather than shipping the Haste using the traditional cardboard box, Eminent has gone above and beyond with their packaging not only to reduce build time to under ten minutes, but also to emphasize the fact that Eminent have gone the extra mile for their customers. The Haste is packaged more like a piece of jewelry than a bicycle, and also includes a shock pump and tools to assemble and tune the bike for its lifetime. Eminent backs all of this up with ongoing customer service, which is available online daily should customers have any questions about setup or need support.

On The Trail

Our time aboard the Haste was spent in Squamish, BC, a far cry from San Diego, CA where the Haste was conceived. We only had a handful of rides, but testing locally rather than near Eminent’s San Diego office meant we could immediately compare and contrast the Haste to its competitors using our preferred setup and test tracks.

Prior to the Haste we had been spending time aboard enduro bikes including the Kona Process 153 CR/DL and experimenting with a few XL frames to test longer reach numbers. As noted above, the Haste has modest reach numbers and feels more compact than the Process. The comparatively shorter reach didn’t feel like a detriment, but our impression was that the Haste felt more like sitting atop a long travel all-rounder than within a raked out gravity machine. After a few hours in the saddle the seated pedaling position remained comfortable, even with a slightly rearward bias. Riders who prefer an upright posture might not find the 73-degree seat tube angle to be their cup of tea, but the firm pedaling characteristics of the suspension kept things from leaning too far into the back seat. 

On rolling terrain, the Haste continues to behave as a well-rounded daily driver and less like a miniature downhill bike. The suspension is active without feeling wasteful, and while we could feel the suspension bobbing as we pedaled, the bike scooted forward as efficiently as just about any 160mm bike we’ve thrown a leg over. The Haste’s AFS suspension strikes an excellent balance between anti-squat and suppleness. It is a capable climber in and out of the saddle and felt like much less of a load than many enduro bikes. It is worth noting that we set our FOX Float DPX2 shock to the recommended 20% sag. This low sag value no doubt helped with efficiency and pedaling mannerisms. At the end of a handful of rides, we are hard pressed to find fault with the Haste’s ability to keep slower, more modest terrain engaging. Where many 160mm bikes feel like a chore, the Haste remains lively and fun to ride.

 "The ultimate enduro bike" is a tough statement for us to confirm given our brief time aboard the Haste, but we’ll certainly acknowledge that riders seeking a confidence inspiring daily driver with a unique pedigree ought to take a look.

The AFS suspension is just as, if not more impressive while descending. We were concerned that 20% sag would feel harsh, but suspension action was smooth and predictable throughout the entire range of travel – a testament to Eminent's integration of the four bar design, floating shock, and floating brake. The Haste has a calm demeanor and was forgiving in sections where other enduro bikes take more input and strength to keep them pointed in the right direction.

We were particularly impressed with the Haste’s behavior while braking. A floating brake is not a new concept, but most frames do not use this approach to manage how braking affects suspension performance. During our short time with the Haste we noted that the rear suspension feels largely unaffected by braking and that we could get away with later, harder braking through rough sections where some designs feel as though they stiffen up a bit.

All of the elements of the Haste’s AFS suspension shone particularly bright on one of our test tracks that features a 200-yard straight shot with rocks, compressions, and intermittent off-camber roots. Though this section is straight, it often requires quite a bit of rider input to keep bikes tracking straight, then even more control to brake enough to make a tight right hander at the end. The Haste made very quick work of this section and we felt as though we could get away with braking anywhere we wanted, rather than having to look for smoother areas as we often do.

The forgiving nature of the Haste is a great benefit for riders who aren’t necessarily looking to beat the clock, and it was an asset for us as we felt the AFS suspension allowed us to conserve energy where other designs would have been fatiguing. The Haste is no doubt a capable descender with an active rear end, but the modest geometry did leave us wondering whether it could be even better with a degree or two off the head tube angle and a few more millimeters of reach. 

Build Kits, Pricing & Availability 

Eminent offers fully custom builds using their online bike builder. When they gave us the opportunity to choose our components from the bottom up, we tried to build a bike that most riders could ride daily, shuttle often, and race occasionally. The highlight of our build was a Industry Nine 310 Carbon wheelset which was no doubt a little frivolous, but who can blame us?

Somewhat surprisingly, our build came in at $6,750 before shipping. We expected the Haste to have a more significant price tag given that we had some very high-end parts on our bike. One of Eminent’s priorities with their Elite Experience and direct-to-owner model is saving buyers a few pennies, and a full carbon build with Industry Nine wheels at less than $7K is "affordable" compared to what some brands are asking for similar builds. In addition to custom builds, Eminent is also offering three pre-selected builds ranging from the $4,999 Advanced to the $6,599 Elite build. In each case, the builds come with sensibly chosen parts to suit most riders. In fact, our custom build closely resembles the $6,099 Pro build.

Initially, we were disappointed that downhill brakes, thicker tires, and FOX 36 FIT HSC/LSC forks were not options, though Eminent has since confirmed that they can accommodate most requests (including those above) for future builds. We felt that these parts would be particularly important if we were thinking as privateer racers, or if we planned on spending a good amount of time riding lift-accessed trails.

What’s The Bottom Line? 

Eminent Cycles has done well with their first offering. "The ultimate enduro bike" is a tough statement for us to confirm given our brief time aboard the Haste, but we’ll certainly acknowledge that riders seeking a confidence inspiring daily driver with a unique pedigree ought to take a look. The AFS suspension design has great potential. While we might lean elsewhere if we were planning on chasing the Enduro World Series, the Haste has all the makings of a great trail/all-mountain bike. With a competitive price and great attention to detail from design to delivery, Eminent Cycles appears to be here to stay. 

Visit www.eminentcycles.com for more details.

Vital MTB First Ride Rating

  • Climbing: 4.5 stars – Outstanding 
  • Descending: 4 stars – Excellent
  • Fun Factor: 4 stars – Excellent
  • Value: 4 stars – Excellent 
  • Overall Impression: 4 stars – Excellent 

About The Reviewer

Joel Harwood – Age: 34 // Years Riding: 20+ // Height: 5’11" (1.80m) // Weight: 185-pounds (83.9kg)

Joel’s unique coaching background and willingness to tinker with products bring an objective perspective to testing. He dabbles in all types of racing, but is happiest simply exploring the limitless trail networks surrounding his home of Squamish, BC. Attention to detail, time in the saddle, and an aggressive riding style make Joel a rider that demands the most from his products while exposing any shortcomings.

Photos by Jessie McAuley // Modeled by Jacob Murray

Specifications

Product Eminent Haste Pro
Model Year 2018
Riding Type Trail
Rider Unisex
Sizes and Geometry
56cm, 59cm, 62cm, 65cm, 68cm View Geometry
Size 56cm 59cm 62cm 65cm 68cm
Top Tube Length 561mm 590mm 620mm 649mm 680mm
Head Tube Angle 65.5° 65.5° 65.5° 65.5° 65.5°
Head Tube Length 90mm 100mm 110mm 120mm 130mm
Seat Tube Angle 73° 73° 73° 73° 73°
Seat Tube Length 394mm 432mm 471mm 496mm 521mm
Bottom Bracket Height 347mm 347mm 347mm 347mm 347mm
Chainstay Length 442mm 442mm 442mm 442mm 442mm
Wheelbase 1138mm 1170mm 1200mm 1230mm 1260mm
Standover 694mm 703mm 703mm 710mm 710mm
Reach 386mm 411mm 438mm 463mm 494mm
Stack 579mm 588mm 597mm 606mm 615mm
Wheel Size 27.5" (650b)
Frame Material Carbon Fiber
Frame Material Details Proprietary blend high modulus full carbon frame with internal cable routing and carbon downtube protector
Rear Travel 160mm
Rear Shock FOX Float DPX2 Factory, Kashima, 3 position adjust
Fork FOX 36 Factory, FIT4, Kashima, 3 position adjust
Fork Travel 170mm
Head Tube Diameter Tapered
Headset ZS44/56
Handlebar Answer Pro Taper Carbon
Stem Valiant Stem, 31.8mm clamp
Grips Lizard Skins Dual Lock-on
Brakes Shimano XTR with Shimano RT86 rotors
Front: 180mm-200mm
Rear: 160mm-180mm
Brake Levers Shimano XTR
Drivetrain 1x
Shifters Shimano XT M8000, 11-speed
Front Derailleur N/A
Rear Derailleur Shimano XT M8000 GS
ISCG Tabs ISCG05
Chainguide N/A
Cranks Shimano XT M8000, Boost
Chainrings 30 tooth
Bottom Bracket BB92 pressfit
Pedals N/A
Chain Shimano XT HG701
Cassette e*thirteen TRS+, 9-46 tooth, 11-speed, XD driver
Rims Industry Nine 305, aluminum, black
Hubs Industry Nine 305, Boost front and rear
Spokes Industry Nine 305
Tires Maxxis Minion DHF EXO
Saddle WTB Volt Team
Seatpost FOX Transfer Factory, Kashima
Seatpost Diameter 30.9mm
Seatpost Clamp Integrated
Rear Dropout / Hub Dimensions Boost, 12mm x 148mm
Max. Tire Size
Bottle Cage Mounts Yes
Colors Blue/white gloss
Carbon/grey gloss
Red/silver satin
Black/red satin
Warranty 5-year for frame and specific frame parts to be free from defects in materials and workmanship
Weight
Miscellaneous Active Float System (AFS) suspension
Internal cable routing
Shimano Type E Sideswing derailleur capable
Angular contact Enduro bearings, double labyrinth seals, high load with waterproof grease
Price $6,099
More Info

Eminent Cycles website

See website for fully customizable component selection using Eminent online bike builder

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