Knolly Endorphin Review

Aug 19, 2013
by Mike Levy  

TESTED
Knolly
Endorphin

WORDS Mike Levy
PHOTOS Amy McDermid

With 26'' wheels and an aluminum frame, Knolly's 140mm travel Endorphin may not trigger nearly as much excitement as the hyped-up 650B-wheeled bikes that seem to be taking the lion's share of attention these days, and we'd say that the sturdy looking machine is a bit of a sleeper in the current trail bike marketplace. The man behind Knolly, Noel Buckley, seems to have purposely steered clear of much of the design details that lead to marketing-friendly buzzwords, choosing to instead use a threaded bottom bracket shell and the aforementioned 26'' wheels. There are some smart concessions, though, with routing for a dropper post and a 12 x 142mm rear end, as well as a set of replaceable ISCG 05 chain guide tabs in place. It is those tabs, a bit of a rarity on a 140mm travel bike, that hint at the Endorphin's intentions as a trail bike that doesn't shy away from a spot of rowdy riding.


Knolly Endorphin Details

• Intended use: trail/all-mountain
• Rear wheel travel: 140mm/5.5''
• Designed for 140 - 160mm fork
• 'Four by 4 Linkage' suspension
• Threaded BB shell
• Replaceable ISCG-05 chain guide tabs
• 12 x 142mm threaded axle
• Dropper post routing
• Weight: 28lb (as tested, w/o pedals)
• MSRP: $2,275 USD (frame only)


Frame Details

Aside from the small 'Four by 4 Linkage' decal on the bike's non-drive side chain stay, the Endorphin is refreshingly free of any slick three letter acronyms or phrases that would claim to make you a better rider than you actually are. There are some smart details that can only be spotted by looking a bit closer, and the lack of marketing belies a beautifully made aluminum frame. While they were once manufactured in Canada, Knolly has moved frame production to Taiwan in order to stay competitive in a today's marketplace. Don't let the unwarranted stigma of offshore manufacturing give you the wrong idea, though, with the welding and finishing on the Endorphin rivaling anything we've seen built locally.

Mike Levy on the Knolly Endorphin. Photo by Amy Mcdermid
  Frame details include replaceable ISCG-05 chain guide tabs, loads of tire clearance (even with 2.5'' wide Kenda Excavators), and a standard threaded 12 x 142mm thru-axle out back

The frame's cable routing is far from invisible, with external housing guides along the underside of the top tube and the top of the down tube, but we'd still call it clean looking. There is no allowance for an internally routed dropper post, but there are plenty of external options that should work well with every post on the market, and the cable stop for the front derailleur is removable if you decide to run a single ring over a double or triple setup. Likewise, a set of bolt-on ISCG-05 tabs can be removed if you don't require a guide (or replaced if you happen to damage them), and the bike uses a direct mount front derailleur that is bolted to the front triangle rather than an extension off of the chain stays as found on some designs.

We weren't surprised to see ample tire clearance at the Endorphin's seat and chain stays - Knolly is a B.C.-based company, after all - but the amount of space in there actually puts many DH bikes to shame. Just for fun, we installed a set of high-volume 2.5'' Kenda Excavator tires front and back and found that there was nearly enough room left over for us to slide our thumbs in on each side. While tire clearance, chain stay length, wheel size, and front derailleur positioning are all factors in the amount of tire clearance a bike sports, Knolly seems to have figured it out correctly. Moving further back, a 12 x 142mm rear end has been used, with a standard threaded axle that requires a 6mm hex key along with a 4mm to loosen the pinch bolt. While obviously not as convenient as a Maxle layout, it does appear to be both quite burly and impervious to working its way loose over time.

Mike Levy on the Knolly Endorphin. Photo by Amy Mcdermid
  The Endorphin's 140mm travel rear end may look as if it has a few extra pieces, but there is a sound theory behind the layout.



The Endorphin's Suspension Explained

The Endorphin's 'Four by 4' linkage may look like a standard four bar design with an added set of links that only complicate matters, but Knolly's Noel Buckley has some sound theories behind the layout. Interestingly, the bike's seat tube position is a key factor in the design, with its forward position relative to the norm allowing the bike's seat to be more out of the way when lowered for technical terrain (the slack angle of the seat tube means that it is more or less in the correct position for pedalling, though). The tube's position, along with Knolly's desire to not have to use lengthy and therefore more flexible seat stays, necessitates the nicely machined secondary linkage that is used to both activate the rocker arm and tie the system to the seat tube. There is no denying the added complexity and associated hardware that comes with the design, but we have to admit that it has been executed smartly and with as little fuss as possible. The clevis pivot that joins the rocker arm and push link uses DU bushings to save weight in a location that sees minimal stress, and the co-pivot at the top of the seat stay saves further grams by eliminating another set of pivot hardware.


Specifications
Release Date 2014
Price $2275
Travel 140
Rear Shock Cane Creek DBair CS
Fork FOX 34 Float 150mmCTD ADJUST FIT
Headset Cane Creek "forty" series
Cassette Shimano XTR 11 - 36 T
Crankarms Shimano XTR
Bottom Bracket Shimano XTR
Rear Derailleur Shimano XTR
Chain Shimano
Front Derailleur Shimano XTR E-type 2 direct
Shifter Pods Shimano XTR 10spd
Handlebar Race Face SIXC
Stem Chromag Ranger
Brakes Shimano XTR Trail
Hubs Hope Pro II EVO
Spokes DT Swiss Competition, black
Rim DT Swiss XM450
Tires Maxxis Minion DHF/DHR 2.35''
Seat Joystick Digital Feather
Seatpost KS Lev
Mike Levy on the Knolly Endorphin. Photo by Amy Mcdermid





Riding the
Endorphin


bigquotesNot a KOM hunter on access road climbs, but a bike that truly does shine on technical uphill pitches that resemble more of a chess match than a time trial.

Climbing/acceleration: The Endorphin isn't exactly a purebred climbing machine, but it can more than hold its own when the time comes to gain elevation. In fact, the trickier the climb, the better it performs, with great traction on hand that seems to search out any available bite. Rear wheel spin was near nonexistent so long as we had the slightest bit of form, even when we were flailing up a stepped pitch that did its best to make our life difficult, and that fact always seemed to keep the bike moving forwards rather than stalling out. Much of this Super Glue-like stickiness is surely down to the bike's relatively short 425mm/16.7'' chain stays that helped the rear tire find adhesion, and it really let us concentrate on staying on line rather than if we were about to spin out. Praise also has to be heaped on the Endorphin's Cane Creek DBair CS shock that, even when set to its firmer and more efficient pedalling setting, allowed the rear end to track the ground and find traction when it was needed most. And when that traction was found, the front end suffered from very little too no front end lift on pitches that have had other bikes wanting to rotate backwards over the rear axle, an issue that we were fully expecting to deal with but one that never reared its head, despite our test bike's short Chromag Ranger stem.

While the Knolly was well balanced and forgiving, traits that let it make surprisingly short work of steep, technical ups, it seemed to lack a bit of spirit when putting the hammer down. The feeling was not unlike using a set of heavy wheels (mind you, the bike's DT wheelset is far from heavy), and was there even with the DBair's Climb Switch feature activated. It just didn't leap forward with the enthusiasm that other bikes of the same travel have displayed, and the stopwatch also confirmed that we were consistently slower on extended grades.

Mike Levy on the Knolly Endorphin. Photo by Amy Mcdermid
  Pick your battles wisely and you'll be rewarded by cleaning technical uphill pitches that will have your riding buddies walking, but don't bother chasing records on gravel road climbs that favour spritelier machines.


Technical riding: Given the Endorphin's spiritual home of North Vancouver, it doesn't come as much of a surprise that the bike can hold its own on rooty and slow speed moves. Sections that test a rider's balance more than their ability to find a line at speed are not difficult to deal with, and the bike has a low feel to it that makes such situations easily manageable. Need to pivot the bike around what looks like an impossible corner? No big deal. Likewise, the front of the bike pops up as needed, whether under power or not, and it didn't take much effort to put it down exactly where it needed to be. All of this added up to a machine that performed well at near standstill speeds.

The bike's aforementioned balanced handling and ability to seemingly pull traction out of a hat like a magician made steep chutes feel not quite so steep. Kudos has to be given to its active yet neutral feeling suspension that doesn't punish a rider for grabbing a handful of brake to prevent certain death, and its FOX 34 Float CTD fork felt more controlled and forgiving of such situations than we expected. Of course, the power of the bike's XTR Trail brakes, along with the 150mm drop of its KS Lev seat post, are all factors in the its adeptness on the steeps.

Mike Levy on the Knolly Endorphin. Photo by Amy Mcdermid
  Do you like it smooth or chunky? The Endorphin doesn't mind it either way.


Downhill: What should a 140mm bike be capable of? A whole lot, at least in our minds. With that sort of thinking, we pointed our bright yellow Endorphin down everything from smooth pump lines to hairball trails like Goat's Gully and Joyride in the Whistler Bike Park. A rig like the Endorphin might see anything, after all, so we why not test it on everything? Besides getting a lot of funny looks from downhillers, we came to the conclusion that the Endorphin is one hell of a solid machine, one that manages to hold its own on some serious terrain relative to how much travel it sports. Nowhere is this more apparent than on rough ground full of small to mid-sized impacts, places where the bike's rear suspension can mute such terrain as if it had an extra 20mm of travel - it simply felt more forgiving than other 26'' wheeled, 140mm travel bikes that we've ridden in the same places. Don't get the wrong idea - it's best to ride the bike like the mid-travel machine that it is - but we felt comfortable carrying a bit more speed into toothy segments of trail or dropping off something that we might otherwise roll down on similar travel bikes, and that sort of ability adds up to a whole lot of fun on the Endorphin. And with suspension that can punch above its weight class, including its FOX 34 Float CTD fork that performed well once we nailed the correct air pressure, the Endorphin can be pointed towards some bold moves that would worry most other 140mm travel bikes. You'll still always want to search out a good transition before leaving the ground (that is true with any bike, though, isn't it?) but the Endorphin tolerates hard impacts without causing much concern.

bigquotesThe Endorphin's predictability and solid nature also allows its rider to take a different approach to the trail, rewarding a mindset that is more about exploring the trail than simply surviving. Take the line less travelled, for sure, but the bike's short stays give it a playful side that can also lay down a long manual or a foot-out slide through a loose corner, whether it's called for or not.

The bike's biggest strength lies in its balanced handling, with our large-size test bike finding traction and remaining predictable when hanging it out beyond our comfort zone. And getting to the edge of that comfort zone and beyond was quite a bit more fun on the Knolly compared to some other lighter duty trail bikes on the market, very much because of the bike's rock solid personality - it isn't a DH bike, but it certainly thinks it is sometimes. There was very little shuddering or protesting, and very few skittery and loose moments that often become a real problem in the heat of the moment, especially on a 140mm travel rig, and the day-glo bike constantly surprised us with its composure.

Mike Levy on the Knolly Endorphin. Photo by Amy Mcdermid
  The Endorphin's Chromag Ranger stem, Race Face SIXC bar, and Joystick Digital Feather seat added up to one of the more agreeable cockpits that we can remember using. We added a set of Easton's thin yet comfortable lock-on grips to round things out.


Component Report

• Shimano's XTR Trail brakes have enough power to slow down a runaway train, let alone a sub-30lb trail bike, and comfortable ergonomics that feel spot on. They do have more initial bite than a set of equivalent stoppers from Avid, which can be either good or bad depending on what you're looking for, but it is their consistent lever feel that wins us over in the end. No pumping up, lever reach that doesn't migrate, and not even a hint of fade. Our only gripe is the lack of an effective bite point adjustment, something that we've often harped on about in the past.

• Our Endorphin test bike came from Knolly with a set of Maxxis' Minion tires that felt a touch skittery when pushing hard in our dry, dusty summer conditions. There is no denying their performance, though, as they are used worldwide by some very accomplished riders, but silty and loose trail certainly aren't their forte. We installed a set of more aggressive Kenda Excavator tires and instantly felt more comfortable when riding on the edge.

• The combination of a Chromag Ranger stem and Race face's SIXC carbon handlebar not only suits the Endorphin's solid and dependable personality, it also creates a cockpit that feels spot on for a bike that is intended to be ridden hard on demanding terrain. We point this out because it isn't often that we agree with a company's stem and bar choice, but Knolly certainly nailed it.

• The Endorphin's Joystick Digital Feather seat honestly felt a bit too soft for us at the first push with our fingers, but it proved to be one of the more comfortable seats that we've spend long periods of time sitting on. Those used to harder racer-style seats would be losing out to assume that it isn't ideal for the long haul.

Mike Levy on the Knolly Endorphin. Photo by Amy Mcdermid
  The Endorphin can find the fun on trails that would cause most other 140mm travel bikes to simply search out the cleanest line.


Pinkbike's take:
bigquotesThe Endorphin is admittedly a bit of a niche bike, one that a skilled rider can take places that would normally eat up and spit out a bike of its size, yet it also manages to keep from feeling overbearing on less demanding trails. And while it likely wouldn't be out first choice if we spent more time climbing access roads than singletrack to reach to the tops of our local mountains, its amazing technical climbing credentials make it a contender on any sort of tricky uphill. Who is the ideal Endorphin owner? We'd say that it is a rider who doesn't shy away from hairball terrain, even if it took them fours hours of difficult riding to reach it, while also being open to swinging a leg over a bike that doesn't come from a major brand.- Mike Levy


www.knollybikes.com


109 Comments

  • + 164
 Knolly, for those of us who would rather ride than read a bunch of marketing BS!
  • + 13
 Right. Looks like everythings`done right.
  • + 1
 Yeah! Something I can afford that isn't crap!
  • + 35
 That price is frame only dude
  • - 22
flag Nygaard (Aug 19, 2013 at 8:06) (Below Threshold)
 Probably rides well, but there is just something about that frame that puts me off.. It looks like they figured out how to make it work, but couldn't be bothered to actually finish the job and also make it look good. For example that boxy prototype-looking top of the rear triangle, where it connects to the linkage.. And the cable routing is a complete mess!
  • - 4
flag dhstatus (Aug 19, 2013 at 9:05) (Below Threshold)
 Ya those bikes are pretty knolly!! (Pun intended if you're british) ha just kidding
  • + 1
 cable routing is genius once you get it
  • + 3
 Last time I checked we bought bicycles to ride them, not to hang in a studio as art.
  • + 4
 You care to guess how much more expensive all that pointless crap would make the frame? If you want something that 'looks good' and has internal routing, then spend whatever you want on something else. That isn't the point of the bike.
  • - 7
flag dbox123 (Aug 19, 2013 at 11:56) (Below Threshold)
 I've just bought a new carbon Santa Cruz frame this week. Could have bought a Solo, could have brought a Bronson but went for the 26" Blur Trc. You marketing guys need to work harder cus the BS you keep churning out didnt work on me....
  • + 8
 whats to neg prop? cable routing it has clips that hold the cables in place without screws or zips ties, the mounts are well spaced and placed to avoid any rub on the frame, the cables run the straightest paths to where they need to go. service in a snap. and you don't even need to bother about cable length too much as the clips are not tight and allow the hoses to slide and settle to catch all eventual slack and movement. and nothing is exposed, under the down tube or such. to me that checks all the boxes of cable routing. its a man bike but maybe i can come up with a nice carbon cover for all the ladies here to cover the ugly cables that might snatch the fingernails when you buff it.
  • + 48
 yeah knolly! proving that 26" is still in style, but honestly wheelsize aside I'd buy this bike just by how much fun it looks to ride
  • + 21
 The headtube is 1 1/8 only? Are you guys nuts? It's clearly a zerostack 44mm headtube, and it even has the tapered lower cup installed! I would be surprised if the installed fork is actually tapered, instead of straight... please pinkbike, get your facts straight next time!
  • + 10
 Shame on you Mike Smile

Knolly Endorphin has 44mm inner diameter head tube that allows you to accommodate a 1.5/1.125” tapered steerer with a proper headset:

goo.gl/Sbab7i
  • + 10
 Considering Fox don't make non tapered 34s, that's a pretty surprising declaration to make in a review...
  • + 1
 how many times in one article can you get it wrong and mention a straight 1 1/8" headtibe???? wtf? when did 44mm become a straight headtube? you can run tapered in 44mm, just cant run a zero stack lower. lots of bikes out there like that. maybe say it's 1 1/8" a dozen times more. kinda bs
  • + 3
 was just gonna say...Fox 34s are only available as tapered
  • + 2
 The best part of the misinformation on the head tube is the attached chart from Knolly's website that says it will accept a tapered fork.
  • + 3
 The 44mm standard was invented by Giant in the late 90s, and as it started out was only used for zero stack/sem-intergrated headsets with straight 1 1/8 steerers. The whole move to allowing various tapered and 1.5 steerer setups was the realization a few years ago that you could use the 44mm internal cup size to fit an external bearing cup headset of a larger diameter steerer interface. THAT Chris King has a guide for explaining the differences and which model of their headset to order to fit various steerer sizes amuses me greatly as CK was originally very much AGAINST the standard claiming their own "Perdido" headset system as far superior. They kept trying to sell it to others but nobody wanted it since it wasn't compatible with any existing headtube arrangements and they've in fact removed references to it from their website now. With the right top/bottom headset part combinations you can run straight 1 1/8, tapered 1 1/8 to 1.5, tapered 1 1/8 to 1 1/4, tapered 1 1/4 to 1.5, or straight 1.5 steerer forks (which includes running such things as Cannondale Lefty forks as well for some real fun).
  • + 9
 Stoked you guys noticed this. We are submitting for a revision on the headtube info. The Endo uses a straight 44mm which will accommodate a straight or tapered steertube.
  • + 21
 Am I dreaming or I'm seeing a 26" bike article on PB? I can't believe it. Last month we got more road pods than 26" bike articles.
But seriously this bike seems to be an amazing machine, bringing tons of fun. In $2275 for a frame this doesn't come cheap though.
  • + 6
 MSRP has been reduced to $1950usd with Fox CTD. The DBA-CS jacks up the purchase price a bit.
  • + 13
 "With 26'' wheels and an aluminum frame, Knolly's 140mm travel Endorphin may not trigger nearly as much excitement as the hyped-up 650B-wheeled bikes..." Yeah, I'm not excited about those. I'm not sure who's telling me I'm supposed to be excited, but I have yet to get an email about that stating I should be. Upgrading to a new wheelsize would require dishing out a minimum of $2000 for a frame, fork and wheelset/tires.. That's on the cheap. I run a 26x2.5 Minion EVO tire now, which I believe comes in at 650 x 2.1. And I run 2 bikes and swap wheels back an forth, depending on if it's wet or dry. If I feel like playing or riding hard. Clipped in or flat. With a motley group or a geriatric group. 650 may be great, 29er's might be fast, but that's too much to spend to see if it's better. 29er parts would last a day under my direction. The beefed up parts that would make a 29er bike that would last, it'd weigh 32lbs or more. Heavy is heavy. I'm sticking with 26er.. Cuz it's cheap at the moment...(paid for).. And fun!! Have yet to walk away from a ride and say,"I wish my bike rolled over things better"... Maybe I'm just that good... haha
  • + 13
 That's the RIGHT bike!! Why won't more people make that! Stupid big wheels..
  • - 2
 If they sell a bunch of them, they will make more for next year. If most stay in the warehouse unordered, they will be discontinued. It looks like 6 people agree with you as of this post. Smile
  • + 5
 Willie, you obviously don't understand the Knolly brand.
  • + 12
 Saw the price of $2275 with shimano xtr, and amazing frame, can creek double barrel and then i realised....
  • + 1
 Yeah that's exactly what i did and than this big disappointment.....
  • + 7
 The Endorphin is an amazingly capable trail bike that absolutely loves eating up technical terrain. I have been riding mine now for 8 months and love it! wrenchscience.blogspot.com/2013/01/knolly-endorphin-perfect-trail-bike-for.html
  • + 4
 listen to this man, he knows what he's talking about. he personally sold me a custom built endorphin at wrench science. i couldn't be happier with this righteous machine!
  • + 7
 I really think that the phrase "descends like a downhill bike" or some similar phrase is way overused in these reviews. It seems like most reviews of all mountain/trail bikes that I can remember uses it. It's sorta lost its meaning now...like it really doesn't describe anything about the bike.
  • + 8
 Edit - "Nowhere is this more apparent than on rough ground full of small to mid-sized impacts, places where the bike's rear suspension can mute such terrain as if it had an extra 20mm of travel"
This is what I was looking for, it's a lot more indicative of the descending capabilities than blanketing it with the cliché "climbs like an Xc bike descends like a dh bike"
May have glossed over that bit Facepalm
  • + 7
 I hate that phrase "descends like a dh bike" and then people interpret it as descending identical to a dh bike, nothing will ever replace a dh bike (maybe an off topic rant but still annoying)
  • + 6
 Pinkbike: please start using other bikes are reference points in your reviews. I get tired of hearing this bike is "great at A and B, and still pretty decent at C". Why not actually list the other bikes that you are comparing to?

It sounds like a 140mm Rocky Mountain Altitude would be a bit more cross-country oriented than this Endorphin, but it would remove any doubt if you would just come out and say it.
  • + 3
 as someone who owned the previous Endorphin and now owns a Chilcotin I'd attest that the Knolly's strength is definitely on the descents. My old Endorphin was in incredibly capable descender, I'd assume this one would be as well. It was just supposed to be a better climber.
  • + 1
 @parkourfan
You obviously haven't ridden this bike, it really does descend extremely well for a 140mm bike, I have a 2008 one and it is still just as good as the new ones just released.
  • + 2
 Just want to point out that I never said it descended badly. I was wishin for more explanation of how it descends.
  • + 6
 I got my Knolly Endorphin in June and I could not be happier. I live in New England, I don't do big drops (under 4ft) , and not an all out speed guy. Slow, tight, rocky, rooty, techy climbs, and twisty single tracks are the norm for me and this bike tackles its no problem. As stated in the article, its not the fastest uphill, but it's when you point this bike downhill is where it becomes very impressive, it just eats up the terrain with ease at speed. I built it to be a lighter weight trail bike (not a w8 weenie bike, solid components throughout) with a 140mm fork, and it turned out to be the perfect bike for me and the trails I ride and has not left me wanting for more bike. In fact I doubt I will reach the limits of this bike. Very solid feeling. The Endorphin is a bike that sits in the middle of all this bike labeling and can be built to either end of "trail", light AM heavy duty XC. Yes pricey for an aluminum frame but worth every hard earned penny.I love this bike. Hooray for 26" wheel bike manufacturers!
  • + 5
 This bike rocks. I've been on it for a few months now and I love it to death. I'm riding it on mostly technical NE stuff and it really shines hear. Just the right amount of burliness for a lighter short travel bike. And yes, you can run a tapered fork. I'm running the new tapered Pike and it matches the frame perfectly.
  • + 6
 for anyone curious about the versatility and capabilities of this bike...

www.pinkbike.com/news/Knolly-Endorphin-Garett-Buehler-Edit.html
  • + 6
 Mike, bike has 44mm headtube similar to turner 5spot and will take tapered forks no problem.
  • + 3
 I had to laugh when I read the following:

"Knolly's 140mm travel Endorphin may not trigger nearly as much excitement as the hyped-up 650B-wheeled bikes that seem to be taking the lion's share of attention these days"

Hello kettle? It's the pot calling Razz
  • + 3
 Am I the only one bummed that yet another Canadian brand had to shift their manufacturing over to Taiwan? I'm not trying to argue quality, but it was nice to see things still made on our dirt.
  • + 2
 I've had two Knollys so far, the old Endorphin and the Chilcotin. Both really fun and confidence inspiring bikes to ride on any type of terrain. And they are reliable. The linkage may seem complicated but it forms a very stiff framework, much more rigid than other horst links and other forms of suspension.
  • + 2
 Quality of the knolly frame is very good(I got chilcotin and my friends got the delirium). Also love the 4x4 linkage as it really is stable and doesn't bob which is very important for me as I tend to have a style that mashes down on the pedals.
  • + 2
 Love it! 140-150mm 26inch AM bikes are the sweet spot!
I have a 2004 Giant AC frame and 2012 Trek Remedy built up exactly like this bike, both with 2.35 & 2.4 tires.
They go anywhere, they're endless fun and weigh in at 29.5lbs.
  • + 3
 Damn you Mike, your chainstay length remark, in regarding to climbing traction, is going to be misinterpreted, which will then lead to stupid nerdy arguments in future comments and forum posts.
  • + 2
 Blah blah blah.....climbing on road.............a few pounds off the belly or fashion accessorise and plenty of shocks can cure that simple issue no matter the frame....imho
"AM" category to replace it............."oh it rolls over square edged bumps like a 29er" people claim of their 650b etc.
So does a 26" with properly designed rear suspension and chassis design......My bike"s frame is a clear 4lbs heavier
than would be considered market competitive right now, but at 197lbs before gear, and 15 years of dedicated BC
single track experience I still prefer my Knolly...............and du bushings and bearings bare so little load that I
don't have to keep replacing or servicing shocks, du bushings, bearings or rear triangles. If you ride ALOT than
you should consider the very well and pridefully thought out Knollys.....once again...in my humble opinon.
  • + 2
 Well done Knolly, but why do we still have issues with tyre clearance with other manufacturers ? My 1996 Cannondale refuses to take anything bigger than a 1.95 + mud, surely after 17 years manufacturers must have realised mud sticks to tyres !
Everyone else, Give us more clearance please !!
  • + 1
 Sounds like the kind of bike I could enjoy but when I look at the linkage all I can think is frame flex. My '08 SC Blur LT had quite a bit of flex until I replaced the upper links with those from a Blur 4X. Anyone have input regarding frame flex on this bike? Are the older Endorphins running the same linkage?
  • + 4
 I've been riding a Knolly Delirium for the past three seasons, so a slightly burlier version of this linkage. I'm 230lbs and my bike is substantially stiffer than any other bike I've ridden, which includes a Nomad, Trance X, Reign X, and countless other bikes I've demoed for a day.
  • + 2
 immagine riding a 230 ton steel beam.
  • + 1
 This frame feels really stiff, especially compared to the bikes I have previously ridden, including 08 Blur LT, Nomad, Reign X and Transition Syren.
  • + 1
 Thanks for the input. I like what I see with this bike. Its on the list!
  • + 1
 The first thing I noticed when I demo'd the 2013 Endorphin in XL is how stiff it was laterally compared to my very-good Yeti 575. The"boxy" area around the seat tube/bottom bracket area that someone complained about above may be the reason for this stiffness. I was surprised. So I bought one. It is indeed a very capable and ridiculously fun bike. The 4x4 linkage is very sensitive to shock design and setup however - you really need to get it right. Oh, and I believe Endorphin frames are under $2k (US) right now - at least according to their website Knollybikes.com
  • + 5
 Knolly is the way forward
  • + 1
 For those who care:
the one best addition to this frame i made was putting a rwc enduro needle bearing into the upper shock bushing.
Not that the suspension ever was sticky but with that addition you get a coil like suppleness and sensitivity on an air shock. un-be-lie-va-ble. you casually lean on the bike and it goes a tiny bit into its travel without any initial stiction to overcome.
  • + 1
 Wow, much have changed [all for the good] since the previous version of Endorphin that I owned:
goo.gl/3HC65H

I was never a fanboy of one brand but Knolly was always my favorite company since their goal is the highest quality possible.
For a long time I could not afford their frame so I got by with other bikes, perfecting my skills and destroying stuff.
Finally, when I got my first job and adequate amount of money came my way I could choose the bike I like.
Being a perfectionist [the terrible condition that I suffer from Smile ] the choice was obvious! KNOLLY!

When after 5 years my old Endo was finally subjected to euthanasia, I went with new Chilcotin which is simply awesome!
goo.gl/gugqBg
  • + 2
 that photo series was....
  • + 1
 I'm with you on that!
  • + 4
 Bike has a 44mm head tube that accommodates tapered or straight steer tubes.
  • + 1
 I felt that it was worthwhile to mention that I find that my Endo climbs fire roads extremely well. I need to get on the nose of the saddle when the going gets steep due to the slack seat tube angle, but I don't have any problem keeping up / setting pace with people on "better" climbing bikes.
As for the descent. The more you open it up, the better it feels. At slower speeds I find it can hang up on things, but the solution to that problem was easy.
I had to send the shock in for warranty 2 weeks ago and I've been sorely (literally) missing my Knolly since then.
  • + 1
 Bravo Knolly for keeping mountain biking in the 26" realm, thus satisfying the needs and likes of thousands of riders like me who don´t want to be forced to change. It is nice (a life saver) to still have options for my next bike. I have my eyes on the Chilcotin Smile
  • + 1
 How could you get the head tube wrong? I almost spit out my coffee when I read this bike only takes 1.125" steerers. I couldn't believe Knolly would be that dumb. Fortunately it's not true.
  • + 1
 Must be bad coffee anyway if you don't allow authors to make mistakes.
  • + 3
 Surely the endorphin comes with a 44mm or 1.5" head tube given the Fox 34 fitted can only be had in tapered form?
  • + 3
 Knolly are amazing bikes and they look after their customers.. Got a tapered fork on our endo..
  • + 4
 A bike that looks and rides like a proper mountain bike. Lovely.
  • + 1
 'mind you, the bike's Stan's wheelset is far from heavy' that's funny looks like a Dt Swiss wheelset in the pics and in the specs chart, but the in text description is different?
  • + 2
 Hi Mike, was the Fox 34 a 2012 or 2014 spec? If 2014 what were you thoughts on damping?
  • + 2
 My GF and I have the 09' and 10' Endo's and they are the shit! We have both won east coast enduros on them
  • + 1
 Mean looking bike thats looks built to last and have fun on for many years, well done Knolly nice to see a brand make bikes not BS for a change!
  • + 2
 wow!! look at that price for a trail/am bike. better than most in its category
  • + 1
 I've been on this same bike for a little over a month now and absolutely love it.
  • + 2
 Thanks for this write-up. I've been eyeing up this bike for a while now.
  • + 2
 You cant put a price for frame only and under it list all the specs!??!??
  • + 2
 Perfect trail shred machine!!
  • - 2
 i broke my chilcotin the very first day, i they didn't recognize the warranty.... they say i broke it against a roof with my car.... i'm very dessapointed, they also make me buy the new front triangle for 500 bucks and they sent me another color, so i had to paint the hole bike.... if this is not enough, they didn't sent me back the suspension links so i can't put my bike together.... i don't recomend to buy knolly, i WAS my favorite brand, in fact i still have my v-tach, y i bought the chilcotin hopping to have a bike for long....
  • + 2
 ..and I broke a Delirium, contacted Noel...
They sent the new frame out, I received it, changed the links, boxed up the old frame and sent it back.
Total time without a bike = 6 days.
Distance from Knolly HQ = 3500+ km
Bikes shops involved = 0
Dollars involved = 0
CreditCard needed = No
Happy Customer = yes
Repeat customer since event = yes
  • + 2
 maybe you're cuter than me
  • + 1
 Hey @mikelevy When will you treat us to a review of the 650b version of the Endorphin?
  • + 2
 Wow i'd love to try one of these out!
  • + 2
 Test the Chilcotin!!
  • + 2
 GOOD BIKE
  • + 1
 If I would win the lottery I would by this bike in yellow
  • + 1
 What is the frame weight?
  • + 1
 6.5 lbs. It's pretty light for an alloy frame yet it is really stiff. I weigh 210 lbs. and stiffness is paramount with me! No complaints as it is one of the stiffest trail bikes I have ridden!
  • + 1
 This bike has been on my radar for a while, and even more so now!! Every review and forum post states how stiff the frame is, which is pleasant surprise to me, considering the four bar linkage -4x4. Thanks for the info!
  • + 1
 650b taking all the attention? where?
  • + 1
 What I got from this is that Levy has a sick job, and he loves it.
  • + 1
 Knolly a true rider bike
  • + 0
 Looking close its pretty good value for money , shame about the head tube.
  • + 4
 I am pretty sure you can ride it with a tapered steerer if you use:
S.H.I.S. : EC44/40
Hope has them.
  • + 3
 i'm running mine with a tapered fork and a CC headset
  • + 1
 Shame you didn't look at the website or the photos before believing EVERYTHING in a review. PB almost always gets some detail of a frame/bike wrong. You can use a 44mm cup size headtube for straight 1 1/8, tapered 1 1/8 to 1.5, tapered 1 1/8 to 1 1/4, tapered 1 1/4 to 1.5, or straight 1.5 steerer forks with the proper top and bottom cup/bearing assemblies.
  • + 1
 Yeah, I thought the headtube on this looked fatter than 1,1/8"
44mm is really useful, I don't know why all bikes don't have 44mm head tubes.
  • - 1
 Cool bike. Would love to see a 160mm version
  • + 6
 Almost a year on my chili. I wont be selling it anytime soon. Knolly as a ride characteristic you dont feel in many other bikes. It rewards the aggressive rider.
  • + 5
 ya Chilcotin.
  • - 2
 I spy a front derailleur
  • - 2
 so, FSR plus 2 extra pivots?
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