The Trailster from Bergamont sits in the very competitive 27.5″, 150mm travel, carbon frame category. Pete has been testing the Elite model to see what it can do.
Hailing St. Pauli in Hamburg, Germany, Bergamont have until recently been a relatively unknown quantity in the UK. Canyon, Cube and Ghost have all proven their worth on UK soil, so Pete took delivery of his Bergamont Trailster Elite see if it can cut it with the big dogs.
Photos by Pete Scullion and Shaun Reiling.
- Full carbon frame with alloy rocker link.
- 27.5″ wheels.
- 150mm travel with 4-bar linkage.
- SRAM GX Eagle 12-speed drivetrain.
- Fox 34 Performance fork and Float EVOL shock.
- Manitou Jack 125mm dropper.
- SunRingle Durox wheels.
- 28lbs without pedals.
- £3,799.99 RRP.
A cursory glance at the numbers on Bergamont’s website would have you think that the Trailster Elite is yet another 150mm travel, full carbon, 27.5″ wheeled bike that further complicates the choice of which bike in this category to pick.
These numbers are no doubt the ingredients to a mix that is very much at the more popular end of the full suspension spectrum, but how you add these together does make for a very different feel on the trail.
Bergamont’s Trailster Elite does, on paper at least, look to be sensible (431mm reach on the small) and steep (67 degree head angle), but as always, getting caught up in the numbers doesn’t do anything to affect the ride.
Out of the box, the Trailster seems to be well-proportioned with a top tube that leads straight into the chainstay and a kinked seat stay. Weight is as low as you’d expect for a bike of this type.
Size-wise, the reach for a small seems sensibly ‘modern’ without being anything ridiculous, either short or long.
The seat tube is one that has been designed with modern dropper posts in mind and the 125mm post, while being at the shorter end of the scale, is spot on for me at 5′ 3″ with the post almost slammed.
Fox’s new Performance 34 and Float EVOL shock are familiar and easy to tune in from the off.
SRAM GX Eagle throughout, complimented by an alloy Truvatic Descendant crank and Guide R brakes aim to provide no nonsense performance. Answer Pro Taper bars and AME stem handle the steering duties and are spot on width-wise for me from the get-go.
SunRingle Duroc wheels deal with the spinning and offer a wide rim which leads to a fairly rounded tyre profile.
On the trail.
It didn’t take long for me to feel quite at home on the Bergamont. A quick change of grips to something without an outer collar, a couple of clicks here and there on the dampers and speed was not hard to come by very early on.
The initial obstacle when approaching anything with a low grip coefficient on the Trailster was the learning what the Minion DHF and Aggressor tyres could and couldn’t do. Both being quite drift-happy but predictably so.
In vast contrast, unsurprisingly, to my outgoing test bike (my 2018 Specialized Enduro Pro 29), the Bergamont seemed to want to compliment my riding style rather than have me adjust my riding to suit the bike.
Being small and light, I tend to pick less obvious lines that avoid big holes or hits. That means I like my bike to get off the ground easily and react quickly to what I’m telling it to do. In that regard, the Bergamont excels.
In the woods and on slower, picky trails, the Bergamont really shines. The 67 degree head angle giving the bike a lively feeling to the front end, while the Fox dampers and Horst Link style rear offers plenty of grip. The rear linkage has a very nice progression to it and gives a very nice bottomless feel the to the travel.
There’s almost no chain chatter regardless of how deep you venture into the travel, meaning the bike is mostly silent, leaving you to get on with the task at hand.
On faster, more straightforward trails, the Bergamont does find its terminal velocity quickly thanks to the fast rubber and there’s no issues with the bike feeling twitchy thanks to the excellent damping and roomy cockpit.
That said, this bike does seem to shine on technical trails where the speed drops and the fun rises. I can imagine the Trailster is also a blast on flow trails and trails with a good mix of flow and jumps, somewhere where flat out speed isn’t so much of a concern.
Since April there’s been no reliability issues whatsoever. The Trailster Elite has been flawless throughout and keeps getting better and better.
I have some slightly faster rubber came and went from Vee Tire Co. only serving to increase the bike’s top end speed. In reality though, the upgrade wasn’t entirely necessary unless you’re riding through thick mud, as the stock tyres performed admirably.
As mentioned above, I swapped the grips out early on for some Sensus Swayze grips. I prefer to not run an outer collar, so a niche requirement really.
I took the Trailster out for a 21.5 mile, 5600ft day to bag 7 Munros (Scottish peaks over 914m/3000ft) and it didn’t skip a beat. As happy slower than walking or at warp speed, there is no vice to the Bergamont after a summer of hard riding.