Smooth singletrack, technical trail, bike-packing, and downhill riding, the Advocate Hayduke crushed it all across the West and came out on top as one of the best bikes I’ve ridden this year.
I grabbed the Advocate Cycles Hayduke for a three-week road trip through the American West and took off into the sunset. The Hayduke proved to be a do-it-all crusher on every type of terrain I encountered.
Advocate Cycles Background
Advocate is new to the bike game, but the brand comes with a tried and true pedigree. Founder and designer Tim Kruger engineered the modern fatbike while working at Salsa cycles and brought those same skills to Advocate.
Advocate is recognized as a Specific Benefit Corporation. These types of organizations are required to uphold “a material positive impact on society and the environment.”
Sound a little convoluted? It is, but simply speaking, SBCs pick an altruistic goal to help support. Advocate chose to support trail building, so you can sleep easy knowing your money helps construct the trails you ride.
The Hayduke is really a Swiss Army Knife of a mountain bike. It can run 29” wheels as well as 27.5” and 27.5”+. The version I rode was equipped with 27.5+, which proved to be an excellent platform for a variety of riding.
A titanium frame (it’s also available in steel) made for a quick and responsive ride and did an incredible job soaking up micro-vibrations.
The best part about this bike is the versatility. The Hayduke can use just about any wheel/thru-axle combination you can come up with while still being able to run any gearing combination without things getting sloppy. Customization is the name of the game.
Normally I look to my full suspension steed for mountain riding. But I’ve never enjoyed the extra weight and the sloppy feeling that can sometimes come along with it, so I decided to chance it and just rely on the Hayduke for a mountain-oriented, Western trip. I wasn’t disappointed.
From the rocky and technical trails of Wyoming’s Wind River Range to the flowy trails around Park City, Utah, the Hayduke performed beautifully. The extra wide tires give traction and stability on loose surfaces while taking the edge off rocky terrain.
We spent a day riding in Montana courtesy of Big Sky Resort on some primo trails. Ranging from technical and steep scattered with rockslides, to ripping fast, flow trails and high alpine singletrack, Big Sky offered a little bit of something for everyone.
Shorter chainstays make the bike feel lively and playful when working through tight turns on a flow trail’s berms, and the 68.5-degree headtube angle made descents on loose rock and technical terrain feel like a breeze.
The Hayduke ate up everything I threw at it without hesitation. It even handled a mix of double black downhill trails while riding in the bike park.
After a month of riding the Hayduke, the big thing I took away was how much damn fun this bike was to ride. Every time I got on it I couldn’t help but crack a big grin knowing I was in for a fun time. This bike inspires confidence in riders once you learn its quirks and it makes you a better rider.
Ours was speced with a SRAM 1X11 drivetrain, a RockShox Reba suspension fork, and a RaceFace cockpit. But the real beauty of the Hayduke is that you can transfer all of your 29er parts onto this frame, making it an easy conversion.
If you’re in the market for a do-it-all hardtail that will perform in a variety of terrain, the Advocate Hayduke is a worthy choice. If you’re willing to put the time and energy into a custom build, you’ll keep on loving this bike for years to come.
- Frame: Steel or Titanium
- Wheel Size: 29 or 27.5+
- Fork: Designed for 120mm suspension with 51mm offset
- Bottom Bracket: Shimano Press Fit BB92
- Tire Clearance: Designed for 27.5×3” or 29×2.4” tire.