The STEVENS Sledge Max scored in the test by MTB-News with top-shelf specs for a reasonable price. For the drivetrain STEVENS completely relies on Shimano except for the Race Face cranks, for suspension with 170/160mm of travel it’s Fox Factory with Kashima coating all the way. The further specs also are worth mentioning like the Spank stem and handlebar, Schwalbe tires (Magic Mary Evolution front/Hans Dampf Evolution rear) and DT Swiss wheels.
Examining the bike, the quality of the build really stood out – ”everything really fits together.” The orange and black stickers on the low-key raw aluminium frame added to a complete overall appearance. ”And everything else looked completely rounded. Every part is well though-out and made to work for its intended purpose.”
Agile On The Trail
The Sledge Max was awarded the ”Touring Tipp” and favoured over the other enduros within the given price range because of its easy handling and wide spectrum of use. In addition the Stevens was an eager climber despite its 160mm of travel. This was assisted by the compact and upright seating position which placed the rider’s center of gravity nicely above the bottom bracket.
This way you wouldn’t have to pedal from the back and could apply lots of pressure to the pedal. ”The Stevens Sledge Max’s short wheelbase made riding technical uphills a true delight – in this terrain it scores with efficiency, agility and great traction.” In the downhill one would benefit from the comfortable suspension set-up. ”Especially riders who prefer a little more travel for extended rides, will like the Stevens Sledge Max as a trustworthy companion.”
The Sledge Max especially excelled on natural, tricky trails: ”We like its direct handling, changing direction requires very little effort, so the terrain turns into a playground. The bike doesn’t just steam-roll over everything but delivers feedback from the surface without getting uncomfortable. The suspension is snappy enough to easily accelerate after clearing roots and curb-size obstacles. Also fork and rear shock wouldn’t give-in too much so they provide extra security in steep drops.”
"With the Sledge Max Stevens appeals to the ambitioned enduro rider - and really hits the bull’s eye. With its easy handling and wide spectrum of use the Sledge Max is a true delight on technical trails. A reactive suspension and compact geometry add to the playful character without making the bike uncomfortable."
The STEVENS Sledge Max in ”Alu Raw” is available in sizes 16in, 18in and 20in for 3,799 Euros. Based on the same frame and spec’d with Shimano XT, Fox suspension and DT Swiss wheels the Sledge ES sells for 3,299 Euros, the STEVENS Sledge costs 2,699 Euros.