Bergwerk Faunus Euro SpecHow do you say “freeride” in German?Bergwerk hit the Euro scene four years ago. The company belongs to Lutz Scheffer, a former Porsche-Audi designer who holds a degree in advanced metallurgy and absolutely digs mountain biking. Lutz spends the day glued to a CAD/CAM while the rest of the shop assembles his latest creations. At quitting time, the Bergwerk maestros test the fresh designs in the hills of Pforzheim, Germany. In English, Bergwerk means “mountain work.”Four years ago, Bill Gentile was running a bike shop in Mt. Gretna, Pennsylvania. He spent his days selling and fixing mountain bikes and, like Lutz, spent his evenings riding the brands he sold.Melding of Mountain Bike MindsThe two were destined to eventually cross paths. Bill, a top ten National XC and DH competitor, was off competing at the Jamaican Fat Tire Festival. Bergwerk used the event to unveil its latest art-deco invention. After Jamaican Champion Zerial Hayles rode the clean-looking machine to victory, Bill decided to take a closer look at the new industrialists from Germany. Within the year, Bill became the North American distributor for Bergwerk.Defining Mountain WorkThe Faunus is Bergwerk’s freeriding trail bike. Our Euro-spec included a Flite saddle, Magura Louise brakes, Hugi hubs, Bees cartridge headset, Schwalbe Jimmy Light tires, Bergwerk stem and 550mm 3-degree Bergwerk bar. Custom LX and XT builds with riser bars are also available. The Faunus is disc-specific. Cool hardware includes the Flite titanium saddle and long-butted 15/14 spokes. The Bergwerk Tall Boy stem uses a sturdy gusset underneath the extension and is open on the backside between the pinch bolts. (You can see the steerer tube.)How Works is the WerkBergwerk’s Faunus has a raw, handcrafted edge that tells even the most casual observer that is no mass-produced bike The burly welds, extruded head tube gusset, beefy 8.5mm-thick dropouts, hand-formed rocker pivot, bolt-on shock mount bracket and artfully gusseted seat stay and swingarm crowns prove that this bike is made more by hand than by machine. Bergwerk gives the head and bottom bracket more bite by ovalizing each end of the downtube.Frames are available in small, medium, large and extra large. Our medium measured 18.25 inches from the BB to top of the seat tube. The complete frame with shock weighed 6.5 pounds.Four Bars That WerkThe Faunus’ linkage is designed for lateral integrity and durability. Bergwerk’s four-bar design utilizes a walking-beam upper link and under-the-top-tube shock location. The forked end of the chainstay surrounds each Horst link dropout with a set of 22 x 8 x 7 cartridge bearings. The same beefy bearings are also used at the seat stays and upper link pivots. The forward chainstay fork houses a set of healthy 25 x 10 x 7 millimeter cartridge bearings. Two 5mm Allens clamp the 10mm swingarm axle in the frame. The left rear dropout is recessed so the QR nut drops in place and self aligns the wheel. Two shock positions are offered by the Bergwerk’s linkage. Both positions provide a mostly linear linkage curve. The lower shock location offers 4.5 inches of travel. An even four inches is available from the upper shock location. The low-positioned pivot gives the Faunus semi-active action under power.Setting Your Mountain GearBergwerk’s Faunus wouldn’t be nearly the versatile machine that it is without the RockShox absorber. The SID XC’s tunable positive and negative air springs and adjustable rebound effectively give the rider infinite tuning options. Start with a body-weight matching pressure in the positive chamber. Run half that amount in the negative pressure to tune the exact active or stiff suspension that you prefer.Werking MountainsThe Euro spec Faunus is perfect for cross-country riders looking for a little more play-bike beefiness out of their ride. The straight and narrow flat bar is held by a short-reach stem and gives performance-oriented XC riders the lively, quick-turning agility they need. With four inches at each end, the wrecking crew soon discovered that the Faunus delivered best when worked in the saddle ascending and descending. Some of our epic test moments on the Bergwerk took place every time we dropped down a long, swerving fire road. It was possible to stay seated and drift precisely through the roughest turns. Yet the extremely stable chassis is more than willing to cut-up the tightest singletrack switchbacks. The Faunus is sturdy enough to jump, beat and thrash, but energetic enough to make a deserving performance trail bike. After an hour aboard the Bergwerk, we felt so confident that we used it to race Big Bear’s season finale. After an afternoon cram diet, we got the weight down to 24.9 pounds (Ti cassette and skewers, Stan’s No Tubes, Bebops and Avid disc rotors).Watch Out-Avalanche!There were only three rock slides that hindered progress on the Faunus: It took serious torque on the seat tube clamp before the seatpost stayed put. We replaced the QR with a bolt. Bergwerk uses zipties to secure the rear brake hose in the three guides along the left side of the top tube. The cut ends of the zipties need to be trimmed flush with a knife or the sharp edge will cut your inner thigh. The piston on the neutral shaft of the SID 100 failed. It allowed air into the lower chamber, forced the fork seal out and spewed oil all over our test riders.MBA’s Last WordThe Faunus is a handcrafted trail bike that is more works-like than any of the alphabet brands. We found the Faunus to be a sturdy, straight-shooting and sharp-turning trail bike with a wild play-bike flair. It’s also a bike that rides and looks like it was built out of sheer passion. This must be the same sensation Bill Gentile felt four years ago in Jamaica. It’s the same love for mountain biking that drove Bill to find a way to make the Bergwerk available to all Americans.