In Singletrack mountain bike magazine, Issue 53 (October 2009), a review of the Pronghorn Carbon XC SW was on page 36 and 37. We have copied the review below and have a scanned image of the actual review as well.
Price: Frame £2500. As built approx £5,500 From: www.pronghornbikes.com Weight: 21.6lbs Person '68 Mustang Fastback
Pronghorn is a Danish company devoted to one thing: making bikes that go fast. Initially, this has been 'cross country' fast, though they're now working on longer travel machines too. The XC SW frame is their flagship carbon fibre race bike. And race bike it is.
Pronghorn has worked closely with pro and semi-pro to build a bike with fit and angles that would work well on the race course. Rather than some companies who 'dumb down' their production race bikes for the public, when you buy a Pronghorn, you're getting a 'no excuses' World Cup machine.
The Pronghorn is an obsessive's race bike. There are loads of little touches that only a true bike geek will appreciate. Those random numbers on the tubes are the tube lengths in millimetres, there is internal routing for hoses and cables and the cable mounts, where it does have them are simple fibre P-clips that bolt into bosses in the frame.
Our bike has, if it's appropriate to say, a fairly average top-shelf parts build. Full XTR is livened up a little with German Tune brand hubs, FRM QRs and rims and the lovely Schwalbe Rocket Ron tyres. There are two different frame options for the carbon Pronghorn and we have the fancier one - this gets you 'Smooth Wall' (internally) carbon and carbon seatstays too.
It's 100g lighter and €400 more expensive... XTR takes care of the shifting and pedalling duties and the brakes were originally Magura magnesium jobs, but came 'Euro' way round, so we put on some equally fancy Juicy Ultimates to keep up appearances. A horizontal carbon DT Swiss shock takes care of the 100mm of rear travel.
We reviewed one of the regular aluminium Pronghorn machines last year and it was sent to us with a full 'head down, arse up' XC racer spec. This time, Pronghorn has fitted wider, slight rise own brand bars and stem to try to make the frame a little more appealing to non-speed demons.
That's as far as it goes though - Pronghorn is a company that makes flat-out, unapologetic race machines for racers remember? This is borne out by the steep frame angles.
The Pronghorn is not a bike to ride if you've not had your coffee. The handling is lively to say the least. With 71/73 angles that are that are more at home on a '90s steel hardtail, it's a bike that you can't leave alone for a minute... That, however is what it's designed for.
Immediately obvious is the lack of weight. This is one of the lightest bikes we've had in at the magazine ever - yet it has 4in of travel at either end. Everything you do on this bike is at warp speed. Climbing, accelerating and descending, the landscape whizzes by in a blur.
Let's dispense with the first question you want to ask. No, the shock placement isn't daft. It doesn't interfere with pedalling and it's nowhere near your winkie. Stepping off the bike, you straddle the front of the top tube, so the shock is as out of the way as on a regular vertical mount.
There are two issues that do affect the rider though. The first is visual - you can see the shock working in minute detail. Normally you glance down and see a rocker moving a bit, but if you don't like the idea of the shock moving on climbs then don't look down as it's a very supple system (and the shock lacks any pedal platform). The second is that the lockout on the shock is at the back of the top tube so it's quite a reach to get to it. No more than on a seat tube mounted shock but still a reach.
Back to the riding and the steep angles on the Pronghorn let you pick precise lines on rocky climbs and sinuous singletrack can be dispatched with the dip of a shoulder or two. Fast descending is possible, but ONLY if you do so with confidence. The Pronghorn is a thoroughbred racer and as such, needs to be moved around with commitment.
Show a moment's hesitation and you'll be carving wildly wide lines and end up in a gorse bush, but let it know you're the boss and you'll have a great (and immensely fast) time. Nowhere was this more apparent than on some of the rocky Welsh tracks we tried it on where the bike came alive in the big ring as the rider simply sat down and pedalled away from the crowd.