180

www.pinkbike.com

Review: Eminent Haste Pro

180
...

The top of the line bike is $5,999 USD and has Cane Creek suspension and a Shimano XT/XTR drivetrain with Industry Nine wheels. The model we tested is more of a custom build and sells for $4,999.
bigquotes The Haste isn't your run-of-the mill big brand bike - it brings something a little different to the table. Daniel Sapp

Construction and Features The Haste has a unique look to it, largely due to Eminent's AFS (Active Float System) suspension design, their take on a concept used by Mert Lawwill back in the '90s. The bike's carbon frame is built around 27.5-inch wheels, and delivers 160mm of rear travel via a 230x60mm metric shock. The carbon frame is Eminent's own blend of high modulus carbon, and most of the features we've come to expect on a modern bike - there's internal cable routing, ISCG 05 chain guide tabs, a carbon down tube guard, and 12x148 Boost spacing. The one thing that's missing is internal dropper post routing - according to Eminent, running a portion of housing on the outside of the seat tube was the best way to avoid having it turn sharp corners inside the frame, and it also eliminates the potential for cable rattle or rubbing. It's a small detail, but one that does potentially limit the number of compatible dropper posts.


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.
bigquotes The Lawwill design suspension wants to adhere to the trail, and go fast.



Specifications


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.
Climbing The suspension design of the Haste helps it go up technical trail well, and even without using the climb switch on the Double Barrel Air there was plenty of support. The bike feels light and nimble heading uphill; there's no unwanted mushiness when stomping hard on the pedals It felt efficient as it sat up well in its travel, and has no issue pedaling over or through obstacles. The seat angle does feel slack, and once I got around to looking at the geometry chart my impressions were confirmed. The slack angle puts the pedals farther out in front, and even with the seat slammed forward and on longer climbs I struggled with my hips becoming tight, something I rarely experience with other bikes in this category.I rode the 62 cm size frame. With the frame this size the collar of the seatpost was bottomed out on the frame with no room to go any lower in order to achieve my preferred seat height. If you're ordering a Haste - pay attention to the sizing and make sure you're on the correct one. The seat tube heights are taller than average, which may limit how long of a dropper post you can use.

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.
Descending The Haste really shines when it's pointed downhill - as it should, given that it has 160 millimeters of travel on tap. It doesn't come alive immediately, though. It rewards a more aggressive riding style and feels best when it's really pushed into obstacles and corners. It sits up higher in its travel than, say, a Santa Cruz Nomad, but it offers plenty of traction in roots and rocks. Again, the short reach and awkward geometry incited a bit of initial trepidation, but once I opened it up, the Haste delivered a magic carpet ride. The bike smoothed out the rough and felt glued to the ground. One upside to the laid back seat angle is the fact that it's easier to get it out of the way than a bike with a steeper angle. I could descend on the Haste without fully slamming the seat down. Try to do that on a bike with a 77-degree seat tube and you're going to have a seat in your stomach and a pretty bad time.The floating rear brake system seems to work well in isolating from the rear suspension, and I didn't experience any negative braking tendencies or loss of traction when shutting things down in rough terrain.The bike likes to jump around and is effortless to get into the air. Bumping off of roots and rocks to double up and link sections of trail is as easy as could be and the short reach certainly doesn't hurt in those situations.

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.

Technical Report

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.

Is this the bike for you? No bike is perfect. It's all a balance of what's great and what's not so good. Eminent took a chance with their wild design and a suspension platform that's not nearly as common. If we were going to look at just the way the suspension performs, the Haste earns high marks. But, we have to factor in everything else, including the geometry and overall ride - both up and down. With it all on the table, I don't think things quite equal out.If you think this is the bike for you, pay attention to the numbers. The slack seat tube angle, tall seat tube, and short reach give it a more "traditional" feel compared to the latest crop of all-mountain / enduro rigs.Eminent's team is working on a 29er platform and we're all excited to see how that bike compares. With updated geometry, its suspension design may help it be a real contender.

Eminent's Response

bigquotes 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
Pinkbike's Take
bigquotes 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

Visit the high-res gallery for more images from this review.