Review: Eminent Haste Pro
|The Haste isn't your run-of-the mill big brand bike - it brings something a little different to the table.— Daniel Sapp|
Geometry & Sizing The Haste has a 65.5-degree head tube angle, with a 438mm reach number on the 62cm frame and 442mm chainstays. The seat tube angle is a 73-degrees, which is very conservative, especially when compared to some of the bikes we've seen come out in the last few months like the Yeti SB150.Sizing on the Haste is not what we're used to seeing from many brands. You won't see a Small, Medium, Large listed on the geometry chart; instead, Eminent's sizes are based on the top tube length. It's an interesting direction to take, especially considering that seeing that many brands are looking at reach rather than top tube length as a sizing metric. There's also the fact the the seat tube length is on the longer side of things. For instance, take the 62cm size tested here. That bike has a reach of 438mm, which is similar to a size medium from other brands, but that same size also has a seat tube of 471mm (18.5 inches), which is what's usually found on a size large. In other words, certain riders may have difficulty running a dropper post with their ideal amount of travel.
Suspension Design The suspension design of the Haste is what really sets it apart from most other bikes out there. It's design is a parallelogram - similar to Mert Lawwill's design used by Gary Fisher and Yeti in the '90s, but with present-day materials and kinematics. The upper link of the suspension pushes the shock, which is connected to the frame's swingarm. Having it connected like this instead of to the front of the frame helps isolate the shock from lateral forces that create friction. There are angular contact bearings at all of the suspension points to add stiffness and help with the transference of force up and down while improving durability. The suspension is made to be moderately progressive and to work for air and coil shock configurations along with a wide range of rider weights. There's a decreasing leverage ratio and it ramps up without any ups and downs in the curve. At sag, there's an anti-squat of 115%.With the arm directly driving the shock with nothing in between, as you would have on a four bar/FSR platform, it's difficult to get the braking forces 100% disengaged from the suspension. If that isn't managed, you end up with some bad braking tendencies and chatter with the suspension when you're trying to slow down. On the Eminent, the brake caliper floats between the rear axle and a ball-joint attached to the swingarm on a track to help isolate the brake from the suspension, which should help provide better brake modulation and a smoother feel while descending.
|The Lawwill design suspension wants to adhere to the trail, and go fast.|
Test Bike Setup I spent my time on the Haste at home in Brevard, NC. I rode it on the more rugged, rocky and root infested trails of Pisgah National Forest where the climbs are long and the descents are fast and violent.
I knew I would be right on the cusp of seat tube height and could deal with that, but with the reach on the 62cm size (equivalent to a large from most other manufacturers) is a scant 438mm. Had I sized down to the 59cm, it would have been 411mm. To put that in perspective, Specialized's Stumpjumper which we have tested and agree has fairly conservative geometry has a reach of 435mm on a size medium; their small is 415mm.On a more positive note, more technical sections of trail felt very manageable at a lower speeds - the Haste was very precise and easy to maneuver through tighter turns, although the front end did feel a little light at times during steep, seated climbing efforts.
How does it compare? The Santa Cruz Nomad's rear suspension feels a little more supple, sinking farther into its travel on the climbs where the Haste likes to sit up more. The Haste feels lighter and rides over the top of obstructions in the trail, while the Nomad likes to do a bit more plowing and soaking things up. On the descents, the Nomad is ready to take on any obstacle no matter the speed, where Haste seems to handle the hits better at higher speeds. Once those speeds are achieved, the Haste stays light and smooth, and rides a little higher in its travel than the Nomad.Price wise, the Haste is a good value as it's spec'd. The one here comes close to the Nomad's carbon C S build, but with a few nicer components here and there. It's good to see the guys at Eminent offer a build with something different than the standard big brand components - the Cane Creek suspension components are a slight deviation from the norm.
SRAM Drivetrain: SRAM's Eagle drivetrain has become the standard. It's reliable and offers a huge range of gearing. Although its narrow-wide chainring rarely drops a chain, adding on the MRP chain guide is a big upgrade for aggressive riding.
SRAM Guide RS Brakes: When set up properly, I do like SRAM's Guide family of brakes when they're in the appropriate setting. The 160mm rotor in the back is underwhelming and Codes would be more appropriate but, the Guides still do an excellent job on this bike.
Fox Transfer Seatpost: Fox's Transfer dropper is a solid all-round choice these days. I'm not a fan of the external routing, but even so, it's a clean look and until wireless posts are perfected, the best option for this bike.
Cane Creek Helm Fork and DB Air Shock: Cane Creek's suspension has had its ups and downs, but the DB air shock has always been a quality product in my experience. It offers a ton of adjustability and helps keep the back of the bike glued to the ground. The Helm fork is consistent and reliable, but has to be ridden hard to get the most out of it. There's a lot of compression damping, no matter which way you turn the knobs, and while that is great if you ride hard or are a heavier rider, lighter weight riders and those who pick through terrain over smashing into it may find it a little bit harsh.
|Eminent Cycles was created to offer a great suspension that works for both air and coil, does not require proprietary shocks, looks fantastic, and always has the ability to pedal up and go down fast. We tune our suspension to rarely bottom out (through the use of volume reducing spacers), if this setting is too firm, it is easy to swap or remove spacers for a more supple ride. Given our start as a Direct to Consumer brand our customer is our ultimate priority, so we listen to feedback and continuously strive to improve. We have updated our 2019 spec to include larger brakes and bigger front tires. As for the seatpost sizing, we offer our customers the opportunity to select different length seatposts to further ensure a good fit for those in between sizes as was Daniel.—Jeff Soncrant, Owner of Eminent Cycles|
|The Haste's unique suspension design helps it descend well, along with giving it a look that stands out from the crowd. It's always good to see new companies trying give the established players a run for their money, but in this case the Haste's performance is hampered by its geometry, especially compared to other bikes in the same category.—Daniel Sapp|