The Instinctiv M-series blends a carbon-fibre frame with Pinion's gearboxes and a better shifter.

The Netherlands might be short on elevation, but its mountain bike design scene does not lack for innovation.

Instinctiv has launched its M-series carbon-fibre enduro bikes and if you are into gearboxes and unusual Horst-link shock actuation, you might take a fancy to these.

Although the company’s core design office is domiciled in the Netherlands, its real world testing has a Dalmatian feel. Instinctiv uses both Croatia and Slovenia to roll terrain on prototypes and as such, the M-series bikes are very much targeted at an enduro customer.

The basic platform is an all-carbon dual-suspension frame, housing a Pinion gearbox. Instinctiv is marketing three different models, which all share the same front triangle.

Read more: the best enduro bikes of 2020

Bikes made for big terrain

Riders who value the tight terrain agility of a 27.5” wheel have option on the M7, configured with a 160mm fork and 150mm of rear wheel travel. The M9 and M97 are both 29ers, with suspension set-ups of 150/140mm and 150mm at both ends for Instinctiv’s M97, which can also be run with 27.5” wheels.

The geometry charts twin M7/9 with a head angle of 64.5° and reach at 486mm on a size large frame. Choose the M97, with its 150mm fork and 29er wheels, and you slacken it to 64° up front, with 5mm trimmed off the reach, settling at 481mm on a size large.

Instinctiv has selected a Horst-link type system for its M-series platform, with the rear shock mounted above the gearbox housing. Its positioning also places the shock shaft, very close to the some metal suspension surfaces.

The shock is driven by two very shock interlocking rocker links, which promise to deliver excellent small-bump sensitivity and meticulous tuning possibilities for those riders who are obsessive suspension tinkerers.

Perhaps the Instinctiv M-series has its most impressive feature, in the manner in which you shift those Pinion gears. Instead of a grip shift, which has become the default for gearbox mountain bikes, the M-series uses a more conventional trigger shifter.

Gearbox shifts without triggering frustration

Developed by Germany’s Tout Terrain with input from Instinctiv, the M-series bikes offer an ergonomically shaped trigger shifter that is closer in operation to a conventional derailer drivetrain.

Instinctiv offers both C1.9XR or C1.12 gearboxes with its M-series, offering a spread of 568% and 600% gearing.

For those riders who desire the unsprung mass benefit and more active suspension behaviour of a gearbox enduro bike, the M-Series is a solid offering.

Especially if you prefer the safety of a trigger shifter, as opposed to a grip shift, which can be an issue if your hand position slips when descending extremely steep terrain.

Instinctiv is offering its M-series bikes in a complete build, for €7499.