The Whaka Carbon Max is the top model in STEVENS’ all mountain range, and ”thanks to its top-of-the-line specs it bridges the gap between all-mountain and enduro”, is Mountainbike Rider magazine’s introduction to their extensive test report. There is no need for getting used to the bike, and ”from the very first descent I let it roll like it had always been my own bike. It just shows a feel-good character, and that’s already worth a lot,” says the tester about his first-ride impression.
Thanks to its top-of-the-line specs ”it bridges the gap between all-mountain and enduro”, and because of these different intended uses, the editors say, ”we rode this bike on totally different kinds of environment” – like the local enduro trails as well as on the Trailground Brilon (in the Sauerland region in North-Western Germany) and the Warstein Bikepark (in the Palatinate region, Central-Western Germany).
Going uphill the rider is well centred above the bottom bracket due to the ”nicely flat” steerer angle and a rather steep seat angle of 75 degrees. ”This way you can move this fly weight uphill very easily and indeed very efficiently.” The tester says: ”Without any greater effort I pedal up even steep ascents and can feel that I only have to propel just a little over 12kg (26.4lbs) under me.”
In frame size 18in the tested fully came in at 12.27kg (27lbs) – ”a real statement”. In addition to the light components this was contributed by the ”extremely light” frame of less than 2,000 grams (4.4lbs).
But the centred position is especially useful in the downhill. In addition to getting used to the bike in an instant, it also shows true feel-good character. The Fox chassis is in perfect harmony. The classic four-link rear stays reacts very sensitively at first which provides vast amounts of comfort as well as traction. Yet it wouldn’t devour the complete travel at once but instead became increasingly progressive.
”This makes the bike very easy to accelerate extremely fast but also offers enough reserve for when the going gets really tough.” It took really not that much effort to get up to speed, ”so even not that steep downhill trails are hugely fun to ride.”