Behind the Bike - Knolly's New Fugitive

Sep 12, 2018
by Mike Levy  



Aluminum hasn't been thought of as the premium frame material since, well, that lightweight but expensive black stuff took over the top spot a few decades ago. But is now the time for high-end aluminum to make a comeback? Knolly believes so, with founder Noel Buckley (pictured below holding one of his first frames) saying, ''We think we can build a better bike out of aluminum than you can with a cost-value carbon frame.'' Buckley is talking about his new Fugitive, a 120mm to 135mm-travel 29er that's had reliability put above whatever the scale says.

I sat down with Buckley to talk aluminum, carbon, and Knolly's first new bike in two years that also happens to be the BC company's first 29er.


Knolly Fugitive
Knolly founder Noel Buckley holding one of his earliest V-Tach frames.


Buckley had versatility in mind when he designed the Fugitive, with two different models based off the same aluminum frame. The 'standard' Fugitive gets 120mm out back from a trail-oriented shock with 50mm of stroke, whereas the slacker LT version is given 135mm from a 55mm stroke shock, and the option of running a coil-sprung Fox DHX2. It's also an interesting combo of compatibility and forward-thinking, with riders able to bolt on a front derailleur, any type of chain guide, wide tires, Di2... you get the picture, along with 157mm rear hub spacing and modular frame components to be used on other platforms.

Knolly has never been known for producing fly-weight machines - that's just not their thing - so the 7.1lb frame weight (with a Fox DPS shock) isn't unacceptable for a bike that's destined for a rough and tumble life in the dirt, and you can expect complete bike weights around the 30lb mark.
Knolly Fugitive

Intended use: trail / all-mountain
Travel: 120mm (Fugitive), 135mm (Fugitive LT)
Fork travel: 120mm - 160mm
Wheel size: 29''
Frame construction: aluminum
Head angle: 66.5 - 65.2
Reach: 477mm (large)
Sizes: sm, med, lrg, xlrg
Weight: 7.1lb w/ Fox DPS (claimed)
Fugitive MSRP: $4,356 - $6,915 USD
Fugitive LT MSRP: $5,285 - $7,462 USD
Frame only MSRP: $2,100 - $2,663 USD
More info: www.knollybikes.com

bigquotesWe want to twin the line in both alloy and carbon as it came out, and the reason for that is that I don't believe in cheap carbon. We want high-end alloy and carbon, and our opinion is that a better-made bike is a better ride. Forget what material is involved; the better alloy will ride way better, and be a better value, than a cheap carbon bike.  Noel Buckley

Noel at the design desk
Buckley at Knolly HQ, just outside of Vancouver, BC.

It's hard to believe that the Fugitive is Knolly's first big-wheeler, and while Buckley readily admits that he pretty much has to have one in the catalog, he cites the wholesale shift to 27.5'' wheels as one of the reasons that it's taken this long to get a 29er up and running. ''For small companies like us, the move to 27.5 was pretty big,'' he replied before pointing out that his relatively modest operation has limited resources compared to many other brands, but that wasn't the only reason.

''And I just wasn't stoked on 29ers at the time because, frankly, the geometries were terrible up until maybe the last year or so. And I think that with the acceptance of what we've always done,'' he explained while pointing at the Fugitive's drastically offset seat tube, ''is absolutely critical to be making a 29er work correctly.''


Knolly Fugitive
Knolly Fugitive
Cable guides on the Fugitive don't just guide the lines in and out of the frame, but also gently squeeze down when tightened to eliminate rattle.


And it's also a step that took two full years to make, which is roughly an eon in our strange little cycling world where it seems to be a constant race to debut something - anything - shiny and fresh. I'm no small business expert, but I'm pretty sure that two years without any fresh offerings isn't a helpful thing, and Buckley puts a lot of credit on Knolly's fans for sticking around: ''Just imagine not having a new product for two years; nothing cool, and telling our existing customer base, who are all very loyal, 'Just wait, it's all gonna be good in 2019.' That trust was there. That's probably our biggest asset, our customer base who know that, yes, when it comes out, it's going to be f*cking good.''

''There so much new stuff on this bike, from a development standpoint, for our company. It's the single biggest step we've ever made as a company. Way more than taking on the Warden Carbon,'' explained Buckley.

The Fugitive isn't just an important bike for Knolly because of its long gestation, but also because it's constructed from the building blocks that will form the company's fifth-generation platform. Previously, Buckley would focus on a single bike, made for a single purpose, and see it through to production before moving onto the next project. That approach doesn't make sense anymore fiscally or time-wise.

Instead, a lot of the bespoke frame components used on the Fugitive will be put to work on other platforms as a way to save money and time. ''Nothing is cookie-cutter here. I could go to China and get two full carbon models for the same amount of money that we paid for this bike in terms of tooling,'' he said with maybe just a hint of exasperation. ''We could have gone with an open-mold dropout, open mold clevis, open mold chainstay, open mold yoke... and it wouldn't look like this. Here's what we did do: custom dropout, clevis, chainstay, yoke, and the cost to hydroform this tube,'' he said while pointing to the wildly curving downtube, ''is almost the same cost to open a carbon mold.''
Knolly Fugitive
The bits and pieces that went into creating the Fugitive are all bespoke to Knolly and designed by Buckley.

''We developed this as a platform for what's ultimately going to become a new model range. So that huge cost will start to amortize itself over those frames. And on top of that, the industrial design was done here and, I don't know if you agree or not, but in my opinion, it's by far the best we've ever done.'' The exasperation has been replaced with a beaming smile.


Knolly Fugitive
See that curvy downtube? It's no easy feat to make an aluminum tube look like that.


But is the world ready - again - for high-end aluminum bikes? Or is the consensus that carbon is the only real option if you want a dream machine? Buckley and Paul Nash, Knolly's General Manager, believe that there's not only room for both, but also that their aluminum frames are better all around than a relatively inexpensive carbon model. ''We've pushed the boundaries of the quality of aluminum frames so that if you don't have to have carbon, and you look at the bike in terms of ride quality and manufacturing quality, then ours wins out over a low-end carbon frame,'' Nash said in response to that question. ''The titanium fasters, the quality of the bearings, the quality of the bushings, even the quality of the pieces used on this frame, they're all part of the package.''

''The seat tube is one of the most complicated tubes that we've ever made. It's a radically hydroformed tube that took about four attempts for the bender to get it because it's just so extreme,'' added Buckley.


Knolly Fugitive
Knolly Fugitive
Nearly hidden details include a load of titanium pivot hardware, smart cable exit points, and 157mm hub spacing.


But a carbon frame is surely going to be lighter, right? And as much as some of us talk about weight not being a factor, I'd argue that it's at least part of the equation for a lot of riders.

''A carbon frame is approximately three-quarters of a pound to a pound less than an alloy frame, depending how it's made and whether they do or don't cut any corners. But then you buy some brands that have 'premium carbon' and less expensive carbon; if you buy the lesser carbon frame it's actually heavier,'' countered Buckley.

''So now you've got that differentiator in terms of weight. You've definitely got the carbon look. We think we can build a better bike out of aluminum than you can with a cost-value carbon frame. So, for the same cost, we think we can make a higher performing bike. It might weigh 200-grams more, but if you could put everything in a brown paper bag on the trail, you'll have a better experience, and get better value, with our product.''

But what about the Warden Carbon? Buckley readily admits that shaving an extra few hundred grams wasn't a priority when he was designing the only carbon bike in Knolly's catalog.
Knolly Warden Carbon
Debuted in 2015, the Warden Carbon is still Knolly's only carbon bike.

''We're like 'Hey, we'll be happy if it's mid-pack in weight, carbon-wise,' but we want it to be durable, so we set some targets that were a fraction of what the industry thinks is okay for failure rates. It won't be as good as alloy; I don't care what anyone tells you,'' he went on to say of his own carbon machine.

The Fugitive looks every bit the Knolly that it is - the FOURby4 suspension ensures that - but it's also a much swoopier, flowing layout that its predecessors, largely due to more attention to the industrial design side of things. ''I've actually put 100-grams of weight on this bike to make it look better,'' Buckley said, an admission that you probably wouldn't hear from many company heads. ''We've got to this point where bikes are so crazy light and strong.''


Knolly Fugitive
Depending on the shock you choose to spec, the dual-four-bar layout can deliver either 120mm or 135mm of travel.


Being a Knolly, the Fugitive was only ever going to get the FOURby4 layout that Buckley's used for all his bikes. Cue the ''Why does it have extra links?'' question that always pops up because, well, it looks like it has extra links, doesn't it? Buckley would argue that they're far from being ''extra,'' however, with this explanation scooped right from their website: ''It allows us to decouple the performance aspects of the rear suspension, which means we can fine-tune each bike to match its intended purpose. Put simply - the lower linkage controls the rear wheel axle path, and the upper linkage controls the shock progression.''

The Fugitive's suspension layout does get tweaked with a snip more anti-squat to improve its on-power performance, although that's not a phrase that Buckley is a big fan of: ''Yeah, it's got more anti-squat, but that's not a term I like. I think it's more complicated than that. Yeah, it has the best pedaling dynamics, but it still maintains traction.'' Traction has always been Knolly's calling card, and it's made most of his bikes incredibly adept technical climbers, but too much anti-squat only hurts that cause.


Knolly Fugitive
Knolly Fugitive
You've got two choices at the lower shock mount: slack or not even labeled because the bolt probably won't ever go here.


''We're learning how to evolve what's turned out to be an extremely versatile suspension platform,'' he said about one of the few dual-four-bar layouts on the market. ''I can make it work like any other design; I can put tons of pedal feedback and chain tension into it if I wanted to make it super snappy on pavement and in the parking lot, but we choose not to because we choose traction over that. If you have a huge increase in chainstay growth in a short amount of travel, that's where you get phenomenal pedaling performance on pavement, but it also destroys traction when you're traction-limited.''

Buckley has long-used the forward sitting, ultra-slack seat tube arrangement that he says is key to building a good 29er due to clearance challenges that come with big wheels, and we're now seeing that same thing pop up more and more as long-travel 29ers are the hot item right now.


Knolly Fugitive
You'll find room for a Di2 battery and access to your internally routed dropper post underneath that orange bolt-on cover. And if you happen to travel back in time with your Fugitive, there's even a port for your front derailleur cable.


''Geometry has involved; extended front-centers, and keeping the back-end short. A lot of that, and the 157mm rear-end is critical to that as well because it allows us to keep the chainstays really short,'' Buckley said of the wide hub spacing that he planned to employ two years ago, long before it was the norm. In fact, a major player in the drivetrain world straight-up asked him why he wanted to make a bike that didn't fit their parts.

Knolly Fugitive


Knolly Fugitive
Knolly Fugitive
Despite the 157mm spacing, 430mm chainstays, and room for 2.6'' rubber, there's just 1.5mm less clearance at each of the rider's heels. Buckley went so far as to machine a groove into the clevis pivot section that joins the ends of the chainstay so that the weld would protrude less.


Jump forward two years and 157mm hub spacing is potentially going to become the norm on the most forward-thinking frames. Buckley is thinking about the future: ''From my perspective, being an engineering person, if we're going to make this step to ditch the 135mm and 142mm rear-ends that have worked so well for so many years... I mean, I think you'd be hard pressed to tell Industry Nine that they can't build a 142mm, 29'' rear wheel strong enough, right? They'd probably call BS on that. But if we're going to make a step, why make a small step, and why not use something that already exists?''

The other numbers are modern, too, with a 477mm reach for my large-sized test bike that's incoming, an adjustable head angle via a two-position lower shock mount that goes from 65.25 to 66.5-degrees depending on the spec, and a tight 430.5mm rear-end.

Are we coming back around to people wanting high-end aluminum frames? I don't know if I'm convinced that we're quite there yet, but a scan through the comment section of any carbon bike review often reveals some disappointed folks, justified or not.

I think Nash sums it up well: ''We've heard from other consumers that, quite frankly, they're sick of having their carbon fiber bike in getting replaced.''

Aluminum breaks as well, let's not forget, but when you're paying for a lighter weight, stronger, and supposedly more advanced carbon frame that fails, it stings a bit. Nash and Buckley aren't just talking reliability, either, with the latter insisting that a well-made alloy frame will also ride better than an inexpensive carbon one.
Knolly 157Trail
Buckley with an early rendering of the Fugitive.

''I don't believe in cheap carbon. We want high-end alloy and carbon, and our opinion is that a better-made bike is a better ride,'' Buckley replied when I asked how he was going to get around the fact that perception has carbon being the superior material. ''Forget what material is involved; the better alloy will ride way better, and be a better value, than a cheap carbon bike.''

So, would you consider a high-end aluminum frame instead of carbon for your next bike?


339 Comments

  • + 222
 There are barely any aluminum models out there with high-end components. For most manufacturers, an aluminum frame is typically matched with a lower-end groupset and fork. Bike companies don't seem to believe that there are people who actually PREFER alloy frames but would want top-shelf parts on it.
  • + 27
 Too true, you have to go full custom
  • + 62
 I haven’t bought a complete in quite a few years. Always go a frame and MY parts pick. Doesn’t work out more expensive really now that the (sorry LBS) online bargains are so good! Just gotta look around at all corners of the globe and there’s some crazy prices out there. That way I get the frame I want with the parts I want all the way down to what type of grips and saddle!
  • - 5
flag RedBurn (Sep 12, 2018 at 2:02) (Below Threshold)
 like i do
  • + 60
 Commencal got you covered.
  • + 13
 The aluminum Endo I'm on is the best riding bike I've ever owned, and this new rig is something I've been eyeing up since first announced.
  • + 7
 Commencallll
  • - 54
flag ShempHoward (Sep 12, 2018 at 4:15) (Below Threshold)
 So I'm paying $7K plus for a 130 mm alum bike that weighs similar to downhill territory hahahahhaha, I guess one is born twice a day in Canada and why there is every bike known to man in my crew besides a Knolly. There is nothing but full custom, people actually buy completes, new jacks.
  • + 24
 Transition offer something good with alu. i got a sentinel with the xo1 group when they came out last year. still enjoying much of the components even if i switched brakes to Hope...but its true, its too much rare
  • + 5
 Nukeproof Mega 290
  • + 0
 Rose is not one of them, they actually spec their uncle jimbo quite good for an alu frame!
  • + 9
 @momentoscars: I have an Alloy Sentinel. Great bike. Heavy AF...
  • + 0
 Santa Cruz has pretty decent alloy builds as well in the “A S” spec
  • + 13
 @momentoscars: Alloy Patrol (previous iteration) here. Hand picked build kit tips the scales under 29 lbs with 2.5" tires. Given the amount of rash the frame has developed in transport to ride locations or the random shuttle, I am pretty happy it isn't carbon.
  • + 21
 I demoed the Fugitive last Spring and was impressed by the climbiness, intuitive cornering, and the way it smoothed out my favourite rock strewn descent. KnolIy builds frames that work very well here in BC, and are nearly as reliable as a hammer. I don't buy complete bikes because I never seem to find a build that makes me happy so I buy a frame only. Decent carbon frames are outrageously expensive here in Canada, and I've seen enough broken ones to make me hesitant as well. I took the money saved on the frame and spent it on some nice We Are One wheels from another great little Canadian company.
  • + 10
 Here is a question: if the parts were the same, would you buy a 10yo carbon bike or a 10yo aluminum bike? Or, same question, would you feel more comfortable thrashing a carbon bike or an aluminum bike for 10 years?

My new Patrol is 32# of aluminum, but I know it will hold up to the thrashing its about to receive.
  • + 4
 Pivot Mach 6 Aluminium and Switchblade Aluminium. You can get both in full X0 Eagle kits
  • + 3
 The Big Question is TITANIUM???
When will any MTB brand try there hand at making a TI full sus bike?
Roadies seem to get plenty of options and I know of only a few hardtail mtbs available in TI.
  • + 1
 @russthedog: Right, which usually end is up being just as, if not more, expensive than just going carbon...
  • + 4
 @benjyboy: kingdom, sick & lynskey make em (plus a few other companies making more xc-ish ti duallies). $$ tho.
  • + 2
 I just purchased a top spec Commencal Furious. Sensible spec with all the bling i.e kashima, proper maxxis rubber. Couldn't be happier
  • - 12
flag mollow (Sep 12, 2018 at 10:38) (Below Threshold)
 @jamesplum: how is that relevant?
  • + 20
 Guerrilla Gravity!
  • + 15
 @mollow: Verbl said in the original post that there are hardly any high end spec alloy bikes. Jamesplum said he just bought a Commencal, famous for making only in alloy, and it is not down specced. That is therefore relevant to the topic at hand.
  • + 3
 Process 153 29. It’s just a fun reliable built bike. I bought one over an evil, specialized, or any other carbon I’ve ridden just for the burl factor
  • - 1
 @handynzl: thanks mate
  • + 2
 I just picked up a stumpy evo, and I'm in the process of replacing all the sheit on it. Wish it came with higher end components.
  • + 5
 Banshee has stellar aluminum frames w/ great build kits at a variety of price points. I rode their bikes for over 8 years. Also Guerilla Gravity has you covered as well. Hell even Specialized as the new Stumpy Evo in aluminum. I'm on carbon bikes now but in a few years when I consolidate to a single bike again I have a feeling I'll jump back on a metal frame. I too prefer them over carbon.
  • + 2
 @daugherd: Ya Banshee has come a long way over the years and multiple members of our crew have them. Would definitely consider one in the future, and service is great from what I hear if you even need them. Frames are pretty much bullet proof.
  • + 1
 @momentoscars: How are the Hope brakes working out for you? Thinking the same for my Senti
  • - 5
flag enduroNZ (Sep 12, 2018 at 14:43) (Below Threshold)
 @russthedog: never go full custom...
  • - 2
 @Silliker269: they're too weak for a heavy beast like that
  • + 1
 @benjyboy: you mean the Kingdom hex
  • + 1
 @enduroNZ: Step into our world
  • + 1
 Pole makes high end alloy bikes also. Sick bicycles makes even titanium full suspension. Knolly is awesome, but a different kind of geometry focus. Not better or worse, just different.
  • + 2
 @momentoscars: Same here with the Patrol XO1. Thank you Transition!
  • + 1
 @russthedog: Or get a Gorilla Gravity
  • + 2
 @benjyboy: I've recently discovered a French brand that just came out with a Ti 150mm single pivot 29er. Bike looks gorgeous.. cycles-leon.com/velos/vtt/ieiunium
Frame weight is 2.4kg claimed (5.3lb) size M without shock. Possibillity to personalize the geometry..I've never ridden a single pivot bike but the above sounds pretty good :-)
  • + 1
 @benjyboy: There’s no real point in using titanium since all the benefits of the material (springiness, lighter than steel) are not needed when you have a fork in front and spring in the rear and everything in between needs to be as stiff as possible.
  • + 2
 @rbbrandon23: I ride a MegaTrail and it's the best FS bike I've ever owned!
  • + 1
 @benjyboy: I think it's because titanium is a bit flexy for FS. I have a ti road bike and hardtail MTB and the ride quality is incredible, but it could make rear suspension design more complicated.
  • + 0
 rode alloy for 2 decades i will never go back from carbon unless i can't afford it. Lighter all day and just as strong if not stronger depending on the company. Give me one good reason you would want to purposely add 2 pounds to your bike?
  • + 1
 @ryanbpoquette:

Only Transition adds 2 pounds. Is 1 pound worth $1000? Not for me.
  • + 2
 @Legbacon: 3lbs difference on the Sentinel. Noteworthy.
  • + 1
 @Golden-G: Pope's poop, that crazy!
  • + 1
 @Legbacon: ridiculous actually! My L Sentinel built with premium parts (X01, Fox Factory, etc) weighs 34.9lbs with an EXO front and DD rear tire. It’s a pig.
  • + 59
 I"LL NEVER BUY CARBON AGAIN ! I bought a brand new Trek slash a couple of months ago. Went to Lake Garda for a summer holiday and had a solid rock strike in the bottom bracket region and POW ! thats the end of a 3K frame. The frame protection does not work well enough and Trek considers this crash damage, I consider it poor design. Give me an alloy frame any day. Now where can I buy a alloy Fugitive ?
  • + 13
 I wonder what would have happened to the alloy frame. Or are you saying it would just be less expensive to replace?
  • + 15
 I know a guy who had the exact same issue with his Slash, he also had the same reply from Trek. Surely there must be a forum owners can report these things on. If enough people reported the same problem would this not serve as some sort of evidence for Trek to act upon.
  • + 2
 @kingfluther: bike companies get sued enough and you might get a tsb recall after some class action suit,nothing until then
  • + 18
 @kingfluther: on another note,I sold my 2018 YT Capra AL today and will be buying the carbon version when it’s back in stock.if I smash my bike on something I don’t blame the bike company for its destruction
  • + 39
 Wheres the Manufacturing fault here? Seems fair and square as you said, was impact damage, thats not a manufacturing fault, so treks reply seems fair
  • + 14
 @ermoldaker: have a 2015 alloy Knolly Warden that took a hefty rock strike to the down tube above the bottom bracket about 2 years ago. The alloy is dented but that’s all, just cosmetic. I’m sure alloy isn’t indestructible compared to carbon but then again Knolly does give you a lifetime warranty so they’re pretty confident in what they’re selling.
  • + 2
 Garda has the best riding i've ever done, I've never felt such flow on rocks before! and this was with crappy schwalbe performance nobby nics on a rental bike!
  • + 17
 You must have hit it hard, carbon is tough as shit more than people realise
  • + 17
 People clammering for high-end aluminum bikes are on the ends of the bell curve. Very loud in the PB comments section, but in reality represent a much smaller population within the overall consumer pool of people buying high end bikes.
  • + 4
 Yeah right! Wish I’d waited to hear about this release as a cherry black disco painted one is a-calling me!

I believe Mad Elk Cycles are importer or can get stock of these. They’re based in Ireland if you can trust sending a bucket loada cash electronically to an Irish man lol

Just messin’ but all I know is CRC can go get butt f*cked from now on. Never again!

So yeah I’m all in for a fugitive alloy if/when funds cone on in from my winning line/s hahaha
  • + 11
 @ka-brap: we know better..and we are fewer. yes..
  • + 13
 Where i live is rock strewn. I see dented alu and cracked carbon. You can usually keep riding the alu, but if you do prefer to replace, it's a whole lot cheaper. I dented my alu about 3 years ago, its still going.
  • + 12
 I've never broken an alloy bike but my carbon one didn't survive terribly long. Alloy will dent a bit - I've done that several times. But you just carry on riding. carbon, not so much
  • + 34
 @headshot: Steel is the real one, you can mend, alloy does just snap in the end, the danger with carbon is that the damage is on the inside where you tend not to see it. Bikes made of metal, music made of metal, cars made of metal, this is the best way.
  • + 6
 @kingfluther: Santacruz has a lifetime warranty.
  • + 9
 I know two guys personally that had this same thing happen to them within 2 weeks of building up a new slash. Trek has been awful in helping them.
  • + 1
 @titaniumtit: Mad Elk are having a closing down sale right now, sadly.
  • + 7
 Because aluminum frames never break. They just get giant dents they are only cosmetic. They never crack either.... All bikes break!
  • + 5
 Lads, you need to be on the ball with your consumer rights in these circumstances. Get Googling and write a substantive reply to Trek quoting their marketing BS alongside the ramifications of this for your consumer rights and you'll stand a much greater chance of having your frame replaced. Alternatively, Carbon is relatively easily fixed to the same strength as before. carbonbikerepair.co.uk
  • - 5
flag cunning-linguist (Sep 12, 2018 at 5:19) (Below Threshold)
 @AlanMck: even better, ride an alloy or steel bike from the late 90’s and look kool in the process. Never buy a new bike, stick to 26” and 1.9’s and keep saying that the fashion will come back to it again soon ;-)
  • + 6
 Trek's should come with the whole Star Trek DVD series, you know while you wait for the new unbroken frame.
  • + 1
 @wibblywobbly: Of course, but I would like the frame to be able to take some dents and whacks before it finally gives up the ghost.
  • + 2
 @cunning-linguist: I drive a trabant because cars are best not made of metal
  • + 2
 @cunning-linguist: yes I have a steel hard tail too. Unbreakable so far...
  • + 10
 @aushred: @aushred: The bike is intent and purpose is to ride down a trail where there may be rocks. It's called mountain biking. It should be built to withstand the rigors of its intent, to a degree. It is not uncommon to be jra and have the front wheel send up a rock into the downtube or your shin. The bike's molded downtube protector should be robust enough and cover enough real estate (unlike SC) to withstand hits, within reason. I think that @tomytank1 is well justified in being pissed off about this. I think we'd all be pissed if it happened to us.
  • + 10
 This is the same issue I've seen with the downtubes of two carbon Trek Slash 29 owners. I don't agree with Trek's philosophy that this is a crash / rider error issue. Rocks get kicked up and strike the downtube, this is very common when riding rocky loose trails. Trek uses thin carbon in this area and fairly minimal downtube protection, all in efforts to keep overall weight down. You would think, buying a $3,000 frame, that it will be race ready and fairly durable. It really is quite delicate. Also, when these unfortunate owners go to get a replacement, Trek will only offer a full frame (front & rear triangle) replacement at a slight discount. All this being said, I added a carbon downtube protector to my Slash.
  • + 14
 That has nothing to do with carbon. Just trek and there super shotty frames
  • + 5
 I had a Slash frame detonate on me as well, and Trek told me the same thing. They don't stand behind their junk OCLV carbon at all. I'm on a YT Capra 29 AL COMP now and couldn't be more stoked.
  • + 3
 @mtbforlife4: Sounds like a good move to the YT. I guess a guarantee is only as good as the company offering it.
  • + 5
 That’s what you get for buying a Trek
  • - 1
 Every bike manufacturer has problems Wink And I say this as an owner of completely skewed Knolly Chilcotin frame (unfortunately bought secondhand). So I could say I will never buy Knolly, bacuase well, a premium product should be checked when arrived from Taiwan, shouldn't it? So when I see titanium hardware on a Knolly, I am afraid that it simply compensates for bad design (I have bent 3 12.9 hardened steel bolts already) . So my next bike will be something with proper warranty and preferably something carbon (but not light carbon, I want an overbuilt carbon which is simply straight and much easier made to tolerances I require). Unfortunately I simply do not believe in premium alu anymore, I mean, apparantly it is so hard to make properly aligned alu frame that even premium brands give a sh*t about it and rely on a fact that 98% of buyers will never notice it.
  • + 5
 Have you tried repairing it? That seems to be a major advantage of carbon, it's relatively affordable to perform high quality repairs.
  • + 5
 @lkubica: That's too bad. If you had bought new I am sure they would have replaced the frame. I have had three Knolly frames so far, and they have all been prefect.
  • + 2
 @ShempHoward: YT costumer service doesn't sound much better than Treks.
  • + 6
 @aushred: disagree. That kind of impact happens predictably and regularly in mountain biking and good frame design should take that into account, or replace it for free. I broke the seat stay on my Yeti when it hit a rock falling over from a stand still. Again the kind of fall I be had a hundred times riding. Had to pay almost a 1000 bucks to have it replaced by the time it was installed and the bike was less than a year old. An aluminum frame might have dented with both of these impacts but would still be perfectly rideable. Personally I'd sell my Yeti and buy this knolly inna heartbeat if it didn't mean taking a big load in the process.
  • + 1
 Had a similar thing happen to my bike (not a trek) Front tire kicked up a rock and that was it. Took quite a few phone calls ans emails to get my money back from the crash replacement.
  • + 0
 Check out Cotic's droplink bikes - they don't seem as refined as Knollys but sheeit, the most fun I've had on a bike and strong as an ox.
  • + 1
 A dent. @ermoldaker:
  • + 2
 @titaniumtit: fairly certain Mad Elk closed a few weeks ago
  • + 2
 @ermoldaker: Big dent... ride it for another couple years
  • + 2
 @ka-brap: Perfect for a small niche bike maker like Knolly
  • + 6
 Agreed. Although Trek SUCKS when it comes to helping you out. I had the exact same issue on a Specialized Enduro and Spech totally hooked me up.
  • + 1
 @Dustfarter: 2 bike co. I would never buy a bike from.
  • + 1
 @honourablegeorge: really!!??? Perhaps due to them trying it on at like 2% off rrp of expensive items. They do however seem like decent bunch of bike dealers imo.
  • + 2
 @ka-brap: disagree, you see way more alu bikes out there than carbon. The manufacturers are more vocal, cuz they make more money. But having ridden all over UT ID and WA, I see more metal than carbon
  • + 14
 @lkubica: I bought a second hand Chilcotin in 2013 ( It was a RAW 2012 first batch from Taiwan) in 2014 i noticed a cracked chainstay and e-mailed Knolly (there is no distributor where i live), just by sending photos (&Serial numb.) they covered the cracked chainstay in Warranty (although i was the second owner and i did mention that). I only paid for the Courier services.
I also Updated to the new 3D linkage, never had an issue with bolts again.
  • + 4
 @wibblywobbly: Agreed, there is no magic material-- It boils down to the quality of the engineering and manufacturing.
  • + 2
 @themistoklisv: I have contacted them, they were super nice and responded quickly, but did not offer any replacement. Previous owner got the 3D link already, but my frame has issue with misaligned shock mounts, so it does not really help (and is super hard to replace bearings in 3D link). Anyway, their designs are clearly more refined now. Also in Poland bike distributors tend to be, how to say it, real capitalists, they generally give a sh*t after you pay them and Knolly one is no exception, I remember asking to buy a chainstay (not for free replacement, at once I thought my chainstay is skewed, but it was front triangle anyway) but he didn't even bothered to respond. I do not believe he would give me something for free.
  • + 4
 @zyoungson: I'd say the opposite--less tough than people realize. People break carbon frames, but more so rear triangles, all the time. Carbon is fantastic except for impacts, so as long as you don't crash, it works great.
  • + 1
 @zmums: More alu bikes than carbon, I would agree. But that's not what I said. I said people want their top end bikes to be carbon. And from working 9 years on a bike sales floor, this is true and is echoed in the offer from every manufacturer that offers both options. It is that way because it sells. As soon as it stops selling or starts to become irrelevant, then you will see a change in what manufacturers make. But, as for now, the vast majority of consumers buying high end mountain bikes want carbon fiber. Also, that's not to say they should want it, just that they do.
  • + 5
 @ka-brap: I think I can agree with that, it's funny to me that most of the real rippers I know are on aluminum because it takes abuse better than carbon and lends itself more to people who ride everyday. Less stress. I would agree that most middle-aged dudes with cash wandering into shops get on carbon because that's whats hyped, but for someone doing tons of riding that doesn't have the time or money to take immaculate care of their bike, I recommend aluminum with 1x gx. it gets the job done and in the end, carbon doesn't make you much faster on the downs.
  • + 3
 @mhaager2: Yeah, just like thousands of car accidents happen predictably and regularly, through no fault of the driver, but try to get warranty when you get ploughed into on the road in your vehicle. Quoting that "this scenario happens all the time, you should design for it"..... please.
Ive also seen plenty of bikes that were dropped and sustained major impact damage, again, not a manufacturing issue.
It sucks, but it is what it is.
Otherwise everytime i wanted a new frame, i would just go bash the bike with a rock till it broke, and say JRA, and it fell over. Bikes would be 10 x the price as no one would ever pay for a new one.
  • + 1
 @lkubica: I'm curious which bolts bent? There size? and if known, what scenario caused it to bend? Been trying to read up on fastener ratings lately and came across you comment. Wouldn't be surprised if you got fake hardware or you're just choosing the wrong spec for your application. Good luck either way,hopefully the bike is in good alignment and not just eating bolts.
  • + 1
 Happened twice to my Fuel Ex 9.9, plastic tampon protector is joke and so is trek's carbon. Lucky I got it repaired for $500 locally
  • + 3
 @themistoklisv: @lkubica:

unfortunately lkubica is 100% correct. Between my friends and I we had a group of 5 riders all on Chilcotins with 3D rockers.
We all bent the M6 upper shock bolt all the time. Knolly would send me a bag of bolts but they would all be bent in no timeFrown
What I did with great results was to drill and counterbore one side of your rocker to for a M8 bolt, then drill and tap the other side for a M8 x 1.25 thread, then swap upper shock hardware for a M8 bolt and you're good to goSmile
mine has been great for a long time..
Knolly should have hooked all us Chilcotins owners up with this set-up IMO and they were WELL AWARE this was an issue.
I still love Knolly though..

www.pinkbike.com/photo/16345512
  • + 1
 @MikeGruhler: I bent the upper shock mounting hardware on my old Transition Covert twice, both times it was the stock hardware from Transition.
  • + 2
 @mtbakerpow: I think a class action is warranted in cases like this where there is a chronic material failure that is observed. No point in having a warranty if everything is a 'crash related'. Technically rock strikes are not crash related, it's simply a impact.
  • + 2
 @mattyboi200: The carbon layup is junk. I had a friend break off the seat tube in low speed crash. The bike impacted with only the weight of the bike on the seatube. Would be cool to see PB pick up this story.
  • + 2
 @Loamhuck: In the bike industry, skiing industry, etc. there is a difference between a "warranty" and a "crash replacement" policy. Warranties cover manufacturer defects. That's it. A lifetime warranty is a lifetime guarantee that the product was not made in a defective way or with defective materials. It has nothing to do with breakage as a result of user error or impact damage. A crash replacement policy is literally just that- the brand will offer a discount or complete replacement of the broken part due to impact related damage or user error.
  • + 1
 @ka-brap: Under warranty also goes that a product won't break under it's intended use. That means that the rock strike (in this case) should be covered by it but it souldn't be too big. I would understand something like this would happen on a Top Fuel but Slash should be designed to handle this.
  • + 2
 @dthomp325: Quality cosmetic repairs, but not structural ones. We had no methods in aerospace for repairs of carbon primary structure because there was no way it could be guaranteed.

Steel on the other hand!
  • + 1
 @pacificnorthwet: yeah, I think it's common. Bent just about every shock bolt I've had. Most likely from hard bottom outs while racing DH and such.
  • + 1
 @redman733: Did you have to drill out the bushing as well? Seems like a solid fix either way. Know some riders that did that with Thompson stem bolts 4mm to 5mm to eliminate striping the head when hamfisting them tight.
  • + 1
 @MikeGruhler:
No just buy upper shock hardware for a M8 bolt.
The rockers are all aluminum on both sides where the shock bolt goes through no bushings there...
Then get a M8 bolt I believe 50mm long and you're good to go..
If you can't do it yourself, I'd recommend buying the M8 bolt and taking it to a machine shop, and explain what you want done.
  • + 1
 Guess what - had an aluminum Slash 8, I did ride it for 3 years but I had the same thing, rock strike right where the rubber protector ends underneath the bottom bracket. Went with their crash replacement so 20% off a new frame and swapped all my components. 3 months into riding the new Slash same thing and they won't warranty. I think I'm off Trek but now I have a bike I can't sell used.
  • + 1
 @kingfluther: Same thing has happened to me on two allu Slash 8s, rock strike right where the rubber protector ends underneath the bottom bracket and big dents. Guys at the shop I bought at said they only saw one other guy do this and he did it on 3. Somehow it's not an issue.
  • + 1
 @btreglia: I just bought a carbon rockguardz protector after denting two allu Slash frames underneath the bottom bracket.
  • + 2
 How is smashing a frame of any material considered a warranty? You smash your car into a tree and you’re emailing Toyota? Carbon repair. But yeah - don’t buy a trek and think they’re gonna go above or beyond no matter te circumstance. They have a rep for being harsh.
  • + 1
 i did the same thing to my carbon enduro since warranty was not an option i actually had the frame repaired by a carbon specialist in Vancouver. he even said there was a manufacturer's void in the carbon and that it is now stronger than it ever was. guaranteed his work for life.
  • + 4
 @crysvb: robertscomposites for the win!
  • + 3
 @cornichons: seconded. no warranty on broken carbon? take it to rob before you toss it in the bin.
  • + 1
 @plume: If you get a small stone into the windscreen and it cracks they will replace it under warranty (if it's still under it) because it should withstand it and now it's integrety is compromised. It's the same if you have a rockstrike. It's not a crash or riders error but something that the product is supposed to withstand. Now I'm not saying that a XC doing a 10 ft huck to flat should get out in one piece but an enduro bike shouldn't be severly damaged by rockstrikes onto an area that should be the strongest.
  • + 1
 @vid1998: This is just an explanation, not a justification for why brands do what they do... One of the problems that manufacturers face is that it is very hard for them to tell the difference between honest impact damage and fraudulent impact damage, so it all gets lumped into the same category of "impact damage". In your case of a cracked windshield, this is FAR more common than a cracked downtube and small cracks are 100% repairable to the point where you can't even tell that the windshield was cracked. This is not the case with a cracked downtube. If there were some repair process that could restore the cracked downtube to its 100% normal, functional state then the same policy would exist for bikes. So I don't think your windshield analogy is really applicable here.
  • + 1
 @ka-brap: I know that my windshield analogy isn't perfect because the only thing close to mtb's intentions are dirt bikes (mx and enduro) and they are overbuilt in exposed areas.
  • + 1
 @ka-brap: Some of that might be marketing influences as well, from the big companies trying to get the new bling in front of the hungry horde.
  • + 1
 @lkubica: I understand your frustration here. I would say that if you are bending the Chilcotin bolts, then you are an above average rider, and maybe over 200lbs geared up? A Knolly Delirium would be a perfect replacement, which might be the last bike you ever need to buy (unless you like carbon). It is indestructible, and has similar, though more aggressive, riding characteristics as the Chilcotin. I've owned every Knolly bike with 160mm of travel or greater, and the latest Delirium has been the best. I'm 230lbs geared up with water, and can hit (and come up short) on jumps and gnarly trails without concern. Rocks bashing BB or downtube, no issue other than paint chips. Come up short on a double? Check for wheel tru, cause the frame don't care. It can do that all day. Knolly designed it with you in mind.
  • + 1
 @redman733: FYI, the Warden C, Delerium, and Fugitive use M8 bolts.
  • + 1
 @ermoldaker: I smashed my BB on a rock with my $1300 Salsa Timberjack and it just dented slightly. The frame is still perfectly fine. I wonder what would have happened to a carbon frame.
  • + 0
 @aushred: disagree with you, and this analogy. I would not try to get a warranty replacement for a scratch or ding that results from this type of accident. Cosmetic damage is on me and battle scars add to the by charm IMO. Any alu bike continues to function with this type of damage. Likewise if I was a super aggressive rider doing road gaps etc I would likewise feel that I'm pushing the envelope and need to expect more failurres. Catastrophic failure from riding and falling over at slow speed on the other hand to me means there is a problem with the design, or the material, or both. There is predictable shit that will happen to most bikes that need to be taken into account when building them. I would feel the same way if my carbon road bike broke after getting knocked over while leaning against a wall. No, its not technically what it was designed for, but it's such a common thing that happens that it should be able to handle it, especially for those amongst us who are not sponsored.
  • + 1
 @Lagr1980: most of us wanting high end alloy have already had high end carbon. I know myself it's purely because the difference wasnt drastic enough to be worth the extra outlay that could be spent on other benefits.
  • + 39
 "I'm no small business expert, but I'm pretty sure that two years without any fresh offerings isn't a helpful thing, and Buckley puts a lot of credit on Knolly's fans for sticking around" (says Mike Kazimer). Actually, I tend to disagree. I appreciate a brand that does NOT always churn out new bikes to make the previous ones (feel) obsolete and would rather lend my money to those brands who are able to see things from a consumer's perspective. Market law is one thing for sure, but I have much more respect and belief in companies that are able to stand tall against the "always new, always better" trend that we see in the cycling world.
  • + 6
 That would make sense if their inventory matched your statement.
  • + 9
 @cool3, @mikelevy is the author of this article, not me.
  • + 12
 @mikekazimer: thanks for clearing that up mike levy
  • + 2
 @mikekazimer: are you guys brothers?
  • + 2
 @mikekazimer: Sorry, Mike, this was the "other" Mike. Wink
  • + 2
 @conv3rt: After the Hanson brothers, the Mike brothers! Smile
  • + 26
 I like it, always have liked Knolly, but not owned one. Need a good bonus and I may treat myself.
  • + 10
 I have an Endorphin, 2016, have pit in over 5000km sickest frame I've ridden not planning on up grading any time soon and when I do it'll be another knoll.
  • + 9
 They are bomb proof.Give one a try.
  • + 10
 I bought a Delirium off jensonusa after tallying up the parts list and realizing that I could save over $2k versus building the bike myself. If you're after a park bike there are some monster deals to be had. As for the bike, well it murders anything you point it at and has fun doing it.
  • + 2
 Same here, no distributor in Finland. Will consider online, crc dont sell knolly anymore?
  • + 2
 @stumpe90: Sykkologen in Norway distribute Knolly
  • + 3
 @KidCorporate: same here. Managed to snag the last large orange Knolly Delirium and what a beast of a bike it is. Bought it with the the idea that if I didn’t like the bike I would just sell the frame and move the parts to a different frame. Not happening anytime soon.
  • + 6
 My Warden carbon is genuinely the best bike I've ever had. I've had quite a few current models in the past couple years and this one is the true standout.
  • + 2
 @KidCorporate: plus the Deli climbs so good for a 180/170mm bike.
Its just stays planted over every Rock/root, No annyoing suspension pop etc.

Would love to try out a Endorphin or Fugitive for techy climbs and goofing around.
  • + 2
 Same here, 2016 Endo with no intention of upgrading anytime soon. Super sweet bike!
@zeenohagan:
  • + 1
 @KidCorporate: Delirium is amazing. It's a lot of bike, so you have to be willing to push your limits, to get the full benefits.
  • + 2
 @johnnyknutsville: How sick that MRP Ribbon tho, right?
  • + 1
 @KidCorporate: It’s sick alright man. So supportive and buttery.
  • + 21
 "It's also an interesting combo of compatibility and forward-thinking, with riders able to bolt on a front derailleur, any type of chain guide, wide tires, Di2... you get the picture, along with 157mm rear hub spacing and modular frame components to be used on other platforms. "

WINNER WINNER WINNER!
  • + 19
 I'd happily buy aluminum ( but i'd call it aluminium) and i would happily own another knolly, had an Endorphin a few years back and loved it, rode great and was durable, i also like Knolly as a company . A Fugitive could well be my next bike, if they still had glow in the dark paint that would be ultra rad.
  • + 3
 Just buy a light for night riding, easier than a paint job Wink
  • + 7
 Naw... Knolly's raw with black decals is classy and timeless. If Knolly put their Delerium's Zessel scheme on the Fugative I'd be all over it.
  • + 5
 @MikerJ: Please Uncle Noel, listen to this man, for he is wise.
  • + 19
 Damn, every time I see a paintjob like that I ask myself what's wrong with all those brands that are making desert tan/brown/poo colors. Just use race car liveries and the bike is immediately 5% faster and 200% cooler, like this one
  • - 2
 the blue is too chalky for me though.
  • + 4
 So like every Production Privee? Wink
  • + 17
 Love Knolly! Great philosophy, thank for this article, always good to read about someone that makes things this way with such ethics.
  • + 15
 Thanks WAKI!
  • - 6
flag m1dg3t (Sep 12, 2018 at 14:03) (Below Threshold)
 @KNOLLYBIKES: Could you Knock a grand off the price?
  • + 1
 Absolutely! And he knows where I can get a cheap carbon frame, if only he will tell me.
  • + 14
 Would I consider an alu frame instead of carbon? Are you kidding PB? I wouldn't only buy it inspite of it being alu, I'd buy it because it's alu! Seriously, how many trail/enduro riders can tell any kind of performance difference of 300-450g static frame weight..? Rotating mass (e.g. wheels) sure, but front triangle weight does pretty much nothing. Spend that money on high end suspension and wheels instead, those items make a difference to performance. Most of us can't spend $10k on a bike, so shifting the $1000 you save on an alu frame instead of carbon goes a long way to level up the components you can hang on to the build.

Also, regarding all these cracked and broken carbon frames. Sure if you get a warranty replacement your wallet doesn't hurt. But you know what does? The environment. So much environmental impact wasted. I'm no environmental extremist but we have to think about our choices. And even though there are no comparable LCAs for bikes (yet?) carbon frames seem to have higher environmental impact than alu frames in the first place.

So happy to see some nice high end alu options coming out now, e.g. Pivot also released a high end alu verson of the Switchblade frame. And on the Fugitive, I'd say it ticks all my boxes, the geometry looks spot on and it's climbed to the top of my short travel aggressive 29er hotlist. Nice one Knolly!
  • + 13
 My dawg, Daniel Shaw won the overall title at the CNES on your prototype if that means anything to you guys? He also rode in numerous DH races on it and the bike handled her perfect. How about some recognition...
  • + 8
 Daniel is our guy! We featured him in our Knation newsletter this month, have some other stuff in the workd, and are stoked to work more with him in the future!
  • + 3
 @KNOLLYBIKES: thanks for the reply, stoked you guys are moving forward together!
  • + 11
 A thing of beauty. Nice one Knolly. I would never ever buy a carbon bike over a aluminium bike. Carbon is massively over rated and massively over priced. Glad to see companies out there still flying the flag for metal made bikes.
  • + 12
 I’m all for the aluminum frame. Completely recyclable through infinite cycles. Doesn’t break the way carbon can. Carbon looks sexy for sure. But it has its problems as well.
  • + 4
 Carbon looks top generic. I love the industrial machine look of Knollys... They are machines after all
  • + 14
 And it's Buckley & Nash now with 'Twanging my alloy banjo'.
  • + 13
 V-Tach->Chilcotin-> Warden & Delirium.....those in the know, ride a Knolly.
  • + 6
 Throw in an extra V2 Delirium after the Chilly and that's me! Absolutely love my Knolly's
  • + 4
 V-Tach is so good, finally upgraded this year after coming to terms with the bike just being too short for my stupidly tall self.
  • + 4
 Yup, V1 Endorphin, Chilcotin, Warden, V3 Endorphin (and one for my wife) here.
  • + 3
 Delirium-T, Delirium-T, Delirium, Podium, Endorphin

N+1 -> 2019 = Fugitive.
  • + 3
 That’s right: V1 Endorphin, V2 Delirium, Chilcotin, another Chilcotin, Warden, V3 Endorphin and V3 Delirium. Keep coming back to Knolly after riding other brands!
  • + 3
 Rad Leo!! Thank you!
  • + 1
 @ZappBrannigan: I still take mine out on occasion, just to get a good workout, but it still has one of my favorite cockpits. So damn comfortable.
  • + 1
 Chilcotin->Warden->Warden C->Another Knolly (likely one of their future 29er models).

Knolly bikes, as addicting as crack but more expensive!
  • + 11
 Noel is such a hard ass! He refuses to sell out in a sell out world! I can’t wait to ride these rigs!
  • + 7
 hey, all debating aside about materials, strength to weight, or numbers...its products and ideas that evolve from the heads of small companies like Knolly that attract me. these products are the result of an ethic thats paying attention to riding enviroment, consumer value and design innovation. And from small companies, the design/building process is more organic, takes more time, ( like a plant ), involves more financial risk and has a maverick factor. Almost everything I have made or project I've completed was done that way. I could have bought a Yeti or another SC, but after reading an older interview with Noel Buckley and being exposed to some outrageous gnar in Nelson BC, I wanted a stout bike that would handle that terrain when I go north for some schooling. I saw a couple Knollys on the ride, spoke to the riders about their experience on them and bamm...Thats why I had a delerium frame built up into a stout ride that gives me a good workout on the climbs and puts ahuge smile on my face thru the rocks, roots, down the ledges and over the drops.
  • + 7
 What does he define "cheap carbon" as?

That's a pretty abstract phrase that could mean a host of different things (open mold China frames, C-level Santa Cruz (and equivalents), most frames on the market). Can you elaborate on what "cheap carbon" is?
  • + 3
 YT most likely.
  • + 5
 @yzedf: Cheap in cost to the consumer and cheap to the manufacturer are two different things.

If they cheap out on manufacturing by using low grade materials, poor manufacturing techniques, etc, but still charge a premium for it, it's still cheap carbon. The reverse is also possible, I suppose, although less likely. I dunno what YT is doing in that regard, though it's possible their materials/techniques are similar to higher quality manufacturers.

In that sense, I'd agree that a high quality alloy frame would be better than a cheap carbon one, but we aren't exactly privy to who is manufacturing what in which ways. I think I was trying to understand more where he draws the line between cheap carbon and quality carbon from a manufacturing point of view. He doesn't really draw a clear line in the article about where that is, though, and it makes me believe it's just more marketing (although reverse of what we normally see).

Personally, I don't care that much about the material, more about the way the bike rides and whatever material it is, it is, but I wish people making abstract comparisons would be a bit more specific, because otherwise it seems like marketing speak vs engineering (which I find unlikely to be coming from Knolly, which is why I asked).
  • + 1
 @shinook: YT uses the same manufacturers/factories as many of the big name companys, same hands doing the work thats put into a Specialized thats for sure
  • + 1
 He's talking about cheaper raw materials I believe, so, as you say, C-level from Santa Cruz or OCLV600 or whatever Trek call it. So he's saying affordable carbon frames, with lower level carbon fibre end up being heavier than he can do with aluminium, so using carbon isn't a benefit. The ones using higher end carbon end up a bit lighter, but you pay much more.
  • + 1
 @shinook: It seems tricky to tell as a consumer. At least with aluminum you can see crappy welds, but with carbon you have to put a lot of trust in the manufacturer. I wonder if cheap carbon tends to have better alignment than your average aluminum bike, or if those tolerances also drop off with the price.
  • + 5
 Cheap meaning measures taken in the production process via lesser materials, labour, tooling, and design to minimize costs in order to achieve a desired price point.
  • + 1
 @KNOLLYBIKES: Just got on your website to price one out. Frame only says available in July, is that when you'll have your next batch?
  • + 2
 @Howieday91: Whoops, missed that. We began shipping these last week and there are still a few left in the first batch depending on size & colour choice. More are scheduled to arrive in 45 days if you are after something we don't have available today.
  • + 1
 @aushred: In that case the difference is likely the amount of QC the frame goes through after fabrication.
  • + 7
 I ordered a Fugitive LT frame sight un-seen without test riding, based purely on the recommendation of a friend in the know. Now I have a big pile of parts waiting for delivery in late October. Big wheels are a good option, as my riding is almost always from the house and involves a fair amount of gravel road climbing. I'm happy to support a small company that is focused on making a quality product and am looking forward to having elbows up and heels down on this whip. Expectations are high, and after reading this article I can't imagine Noel Buckley and co letting me down.
  • + 6
 I like this sort of article.

I also like aluminium bikes! I ride an Orange, they seem to have a similar attitude. I’d rather have a robust, albeit slightly heavier, aluminium bike with high end components than a carbon bike.
  • + 6
 I have a warden carbon which i attempted to sell afew months back but i struggled to let go, i also have a long travel 29 now but it just doesnt ride anything like the knolly, quite unique how it feels and the best handling bike ive ever had.
  • + 6
 Maybe it was the editing job done on this interview, but i still dont know why he thinks his aluminum frames have a superior ride to carbon. Faster handling? Better vibration? Is it just failure rate? As a guy who is about to buy a new ride and is seriously looking at all frame materials it would of been nice if pb focused more on that since its obvious he has strong opinions as to the reasons.
  • + 5
 It's completely anecdotal, but I have both a carbon and aluminum bike and I feel the differences in suspension more than anything else.
  • + 4
 I have both an aluminum and a carbon Warden. They both ride very well. The carbon frame feels a bit stiffer to me and holds a line a bit better, but there really isn't a huge difference. I don't think you can go wrong with a well designed alloy frame such as Knolly makes.
  • + 4
 Depends on what kind of riding you do... Depends on if you want to save weight... I ride brutal terrain mainly downhill.......sign me up for aluminum. Don't mind the extra weight on the uphill...great fat burner and muscle building!
  • + 4
 If you want some additional insight along those lines, check out Noel's interview with NSMB earlier this year. He's about as candid as it gets with his thoughts on this stuff. As a long time bike industry employee, it's always really refreshing to hear Noel's thoughts on this stuff. nsmb.com/articles/knolly-founder-noel-buckley-interview
  • + 4
 Give Noel a call or email him. He's always happy to talk, explain, and generally expound on all the finer points of his bike design. If you're particularly bright and have some engineering background you might even be able to follow. Great guy. Super enthusiastic about his frames. Super smart.
  • + 3
 NSMB.com did a back to back on KNolly bikes Alloy Vs Carbon. Very interesting read. I'd Suggest checking it out
  • + 2
 Yep, the NSMB review was spot on.
  • + 8
 Biggest difference to me is how they sound. Alloy bikes go ting ting and carbon goes tum tum.
  • + 1
 It sounded like he thinks they have a superior ride at a given price point. Price aside you can get any ride characteristics you want out of a carbon frame, but with aluminum you are a bit more restricted. They can change the layup any way they want to allow or remove flex at any point on the bike.
  • + 7
 It's nice to hear the designers about the choices the make on frame conception. However I still don't like being called an armchair engineer because I don't agree about 157 uber boost.
  • + 2
 My 2012 Norco Aurum had a 157mm rear end and, whilst the wheel was nice and stiff, the frame was flexible as f**k
  • + 5
 @Whipperman Agreed. I don't want my derailleur hanging out more than it already is. Even on my DH bike. And I don't run tires above 2.5" so I really don't care about 157SB.
  • + 5
 “That's probably our biggest asset, our customer base who know that, yes, when it comes out, it's going to be f*cking good.''

I’m on a preproduction Fugitive and it is f*cking Great! And Noel et al. are the real deal. They stand behind everything they do.
  • + 5
 Is this Pinkbike’s way of telling us non CC/Turq carbon is garbage?

Is this Pinkbike’s way of telling us 157 is going to replace 148?

Or are these the words of a small player in the bike industry, albeit one with a vocal cult following that makes it seem like a bigger player?

Is “cheap carbon sucks” just the 2018 “ocean fill”?

Pinkbike knows the answer but no way in hell would they ever break those embargo’s...

They are dropping enough hints to say “don’t buy a bike now. Things are about to change”

All bikes are a ripoff today. If I have to spend five grand to get decent parts, what’s another 800$ to get good carbon. But why would I spend 6 grand right now on something that may or may not he obsolete in two years.
  • + 17
 I think it is their way of saying, put the crackpipe down and go out and ride the fucking bike you have now.
  • + 11
 Who cares if a bike is obsolete in 2 years? If you ride it hard, it won’t be worth much in 2 years anyway. Ride what you got, and ride it hard.
  • + 4
 @JustinVP: preach
  • + 8
 "All bikes are a ripoff today"

Seems like mountain biking might not be the sport for you.

Maybe running? Just gotta buy some shoes and put band-aids on your nipples.
  • + 4
 @JustinVP: Bang on. You can ride a lot of trails in two years. Whatever you have, get out and ride your bike.
  • + 2
 @JustinVP: Knolly bikes are just starting to break in after 2 years. These things just go on, and on, and on... That's where the quality can really be seen.
  • + 7
 That curved downtube looks like my Session's downtube. Absolutely beautiful work Knolly.
  • + 3
 As a buyer of high-end carbon bikes but one that started my mountain biking hobby on steel then high-end Intense Tracer FSR's etc, HELL to the YES I'd consider a high-end aluminium bike as my next bike! In fact, I'm counting on it, seeing as I've just broken another carbon frame! I've loved my carbon bikes as much as any of them, but it's time to do alloy properly again please Mr & Mrs Bike Industry!
  • + 3
 I'll be excited to check this one out. I've been on a Alu Warden for a few years and LOVE LOVE LOVE it, however i'm coming to understand it is more bike than I need... this may be perfect. I agree that on a full squish MTB aluminum is a great material. I've had both and in full squish I rather aluminum for a frame. Hardtail... I'll keep my Canfield EPO!
  • + 3
 The second tier "budget" carbon frames are probably cheaper to produce than a separate alloy version of the same frame as the mold is already there from the expensive one, no need for separate tooling. It's then just a matter of laying it up with lesser carbon and Bob's your uncle. I feel the brands offering such models are taking the piss a bit.
  • + 6
 Would like to try one of these. My 26 endo still going strong after all bad lines i’ve chosed.
  • + 5
 Not a 29er fan but have a Chilcotin and older delirium and love both of them. Knolly has it going on for technical terrain handling bikes.
  • + 3
 For me, 9 cracked heavy Alu FS frames from reputable companies over past 15 years. 0 cracked carbon (SC CC) frames over past 5 years. So, higher end carbon for me for frame longevity and durability without losing any ride characteristics (stiffness over the years). Alu frames seemed to weaken at the welds over time, and either ultimately fatigues and cracked over continuous loads and/or loses it’s stiffness integrity over time. I generally expect an ALU FS frame to last or feel good within just two years of regular hard use. With that said, 5 cracked/failed carbon rims in past 5 years vs no cracked Alu rims, just lots of dents on about 1 Alu rim/year replacement for me (usually rear). But, another topic. Hopefully pending foam insert liners will change that.
  • + 1
 What brand of Aluminum frame cracked?
  • + 1
 @xtcphil:
Ironhorse, Turner, Banshee, Yeti
  • + 3
 I have no interest in a carbon frame. I keep frames for years and have seen too many chanstays or seatstays die from rock strikes on carbon to bother. If I as a leg shaving roadie I'd 100% want carbon but for mtb outside of racing I don't think its worth it. Also i never saw the point of 142 spacing if we wanted to solve the issue of weak rear wheels 3mm less dish seems pretty futile just go wider on hubs and run dishless rear wheels 157 seems like tge move we should have made the first time.
  • + 3
 157mm still uses a dished wheel just wider. You can convert a 148mm hub to work with 157 and it works out to have almost zero dish, garauntee that will be a thing if 157mm catches on.
  • + 2
 Plain gauge spokes help a lot with wheel stiffness too. But that's not the flavour of the month these days.
  • + 1
 @zyoungson: How so? Are the cassette cogs and disc interface in the proper location upon conversion?
  • + 1
 @zyoungson: is 157 super bollocks different than plain old 157? No dish on any of my 157 wheels.
  • + 4
 @spoochypants: Yes they are different, 157 super "bollocks" has the left flange pushed out to the left where as dh wheels don't. Both fit in the dropouts and work though.
  • + 4
 I own a large Carbon Warden and now a large Ibis Ripmo, and used to own a large Endorphin (gen2) . Need some more time on the Ripmo, but my aluminum Endorphin is still the lightest and quietest riding bike of the 3.
  • + 3
 This bike is pretty interesting to me. There isn't a lot of Knolly bikes around here. How do the bushings in the rear suspension hold up? I know Rocky uses some as well and they have a reputation for being noisy.
  • + 7
 The main pivots are all bearings, and high-quality ones at that. I have been riding a Knolly for years, and the bushings last a long time and are not noisy.
  • + 3
 Three seasons on my current Endorphin. I haven't touched the pivots or bushings and zero noise from them. Same held true for the Warden I had the 2 seasons prior. The hardware Knolly uses is as good as it gets.
  • + 10
 This is an article in itself, we will showcase this specific pivot in the future. It's freakin' awesome.

Bushings have a reputation for being bad on a mtb. We feel that this is because they have been historically used by many companies in the wrong way and incorrectly. We only use bushings locations at appropriate locations with less rotation and side loading and use large double row angular contact bearings when necessary. Additionally, the Fugitive sees the results of over two years of close work with IGUS bushings to develop a new and longer lasting material that is MTB specific (better resistance to grit from mud, etc.). The result is bushing life that should extend lifespan somewhere between two to threefold of our previous designs.
  • + 2
 Great to hear from some owners and the company. The Fugitive looks like it will be a great bike.
  • + 3
 I love the geometry on this bike, but I don't agree with Knolly that a 7.1lb frame is acceptable for a 120mm bike. That thing won't be "close to 30 lbs" without a either seriously expensive build kit or a pure XC part spec.
  • + 3
 My 7.6lb large framed process 111 was down to 29.2lbs with DMR vaults and XO1 group with enves. After all the duct tape, the enves ended up being only 100-120 grams lighter than a comparable DT swiss aluminum wheelset. 30lbs is doable with a reasonable build.

In the end, will it actually matter if an aluminum frame is .75 lbs heavier than carbon?
  • + 2
 Definitely doable to get to around 30 lbs, also lighter than some carbon short travel 27.5 frames. I'm looking at you Evil The Calling. Weighed a medium early production frame at 7.5 pounds.
  • + 3
 @ATXZJ: Rode a production Fugitive short travel with 34 F and DPS F + X01 drivetrain and CODE brakes - it weighed in at 31lbs.
  • + 3
 dt - i'm guessing that most customers are more interested in the 135/150 LT setup. And low 30s for an alu mid travel 29er is par for the course. Also, the rider buying the 120mm version of this bike knows it's meant to be ridden hard and is not a lightweight xc whippet, but a burly shortish travel bike with proper geo that can be pumped, jumped, and railed as hard as the travel allows.
  • + 2
 @Chris97a: Built for the job its intended for, fkn shredding! A heavy frame is never a bad thing when its built to take abuse, it will hold up better than ye olde yeti seat stays that crack when ya look at them the wrong way cause they went "light", or as seen in above comments, your Treks DT breaking because a rock hit it, but you bought it cause its super light, and extends ya penis when you gram count.
  • + 2
 Knolly’s Medium Endorphin frame with shock weighs 6.5lbs for an alloy frame that’s most definitely flyweight and compared to many carbon frames is either very competitive or lighter. Come on PB drop the dogma, seriously...
  • + 2
 There will always be the aluminum vs Carbon debate. What it really comes down to is personal preference. Some people trust only aluminum for how tried and true it’s durability is. Others are gram counters and want carbon everything. It also depends on how deep someone’s pockets are. Are you on a budget or are you a doctor or lawyer who can’t afford a 10K bike with one pay check? I for one am not too picky when it comes to frame material, but I do prefer the feel of carbon bars and rims for its flex/precision/snappiness down rough terrain
  • + 2
 I'm confused by the HTA/STA ranges here. According to the geo chart, the difference between HTA in the slack vs. neutral position is 0.75*, but the difference between STA in slack vs. neutral is only 0.25*.

How does changing the shock mounting position slack out the head tube more than the seat tube?
  • + 1
 Because....geometry.
  • + 2
 Because it's the effective STA. Which depends on the reach, stack and actual STA. The reach and stack will change slightly with the flip chip, which is going to change the point where the ETT intersects the seat tube. At least that would be my guess.
  • + 1
 @ZappBrannigan: This. Which is caused by using the stupid offset seat tube. When will this fad die already?!
  • + 1
 Trek Slash....straight down tube takes a blow more like a 26 inch wheel then if it had a bend at the bottom like this Knolley. Just saying! I say well done to using a std already in place with the 157mm hub. When I am on a bike holiday I never take a carbon bike as we are always looking for rock type trails and don't want the cosmetic issues later from a frame repair.,
  • + 2
 Had an Endo (broke it) have a 2012 Chili (excellent) and ready for a Fugitive. Finally some clean cable routing that was my biggest gripe with Knolly. Customer service and support also excellent
  • + 1
 I bought a Turner Burner in 2014 because I believed in high-end, well designed aluminum frames. Since then, my Turner has excelled on everything from prairie XC to lift-served DH, never holding me back. I love that I can push the bike hard and not have to stress out about damaging a plastic frame. With Turner having regrettably moved away from aluminum, Knolly is at the top of my test-ride list for a new bike. I'm very excited to see what materializes out of their sold called "fifth generation platform."
  • + 1
 Cheaper carbon stuff from companies like Yeti and SC is interesting. He has to be referencing these as they are some of the most high profile and west coast-ish. Now, from what I've heard, the cheap carbon is actually more durable and slightly heavier. It's just not as stiff iirc. I'm guessing they use a different resin+silica impregnated in it that is less expensive. Nevertheless it'd be neat to hear him speak at depth about the topic. Fwiw couldn't they just use a higher grade Alu to get that weight differential reduced or the bike stiffened? The costs would then be similar for the frame but it'd be a bit nicer and more luxury carbon competition.
  • + 1
 I ONLY buy top spec aluminium bikes. My last two Giant Reigns and my current Norco Sight, all top spec metal. Now, my version of top spec basically means high end suspension and brakes with a mid level drivetrain, at $1500 to $2000 less than similar or even lesser spec carbon.
  • + 1
 While maybe not as drastic, the Al. Warden has nearly the similar curves in the frame tubes as the Fugitive. I have always loved the looks! My 160/150 Aluminium Warden with mid range parts weighs in at 31lbs. Fine for me for a "enduro" style bike that can take one hell of a beating and just keep on going.
  • + 1
 "I just wasn't stoked on 29ers at the time because, frankly, the geometries were terrible up until maybe the last year or so"

This is a big red flag. It reads like they couldn't figure it out themselves so waited until someone else did and copied it
  • + 2
 Dunno about that but Kona, Transition etc figured out short-aggressive 29er geo longer than a year ago! Whatever though, Fugitive looks like a nice bike
  • + 0
 Yes! I agree. I was trawling down the comments to see if this had been posted as I was going to say the exact same thing.

You're a design company that is in the business of designing bikes, yet make a statement that "geometries were terrible up until maybe the last year or so"? Dude, you're the man with the pencil...you're the man that can say, "hey, this might work better like so..." The only thing they had no control over was the offset on the fork. That's it. The rest, he (and his team) get to dream up.

But no, he is pretty much openly admitting that he can't design from a clean piece of paper, and that he is copying others geometries.
  • + 1
 Seems the LT is quite comparable to the Aluminum Switchblade but even more expensive. I'm sure when you run the numbers of what it actually costs to make the bike, its justified. But I'd bet you aren't going to see a ton of people ready to shell out $5-6k for these. Most people I know opt for carbon, even lower end builds and they just upgrade parts over time. Easier to swallow the cost when you spread it out over time.
  • + 2
 i think the frame only option will be popular for LT customers. $5k+ is alot for the base LT build. but potential customers that have a wheelset they want to bring may be SOL on the rear wheel with sb+.

Also, I've demoed the Switchblade a couple times and didn't really care for it (different sizes, builds, and terrain). I'd take this over it any day of the week. Also the SB geo could use an update. That alu model is a decent value tho.
  • + 3
 Wow piece of engineering work, I myself a structural engineer, that's a good design and into reality not bad at all.
  • + 2
 I'm told that if you do it just right you can use the arc of one linkage passing another linkage to pop the top off a Molson bottle ~ is that true?
  • + 3
 Does anyone who ride Knolly currently care to give feedback on how the rear suss feels the design say compared to a DWLink?
  • + 9
 Almost polar opposite. DW bikes are much crisper when you get on the gas. On the flip side there's almost no pedal feedback when you're going through rock gardens on the Knolly. One of my bikes is a Knolly (Delirium); I chose it purely based on geometry (at the time it was the only bike running a 180mm fork with a ~64 degree head angle stock), and I briefly owned a Warden. I don't love how it pedals - my climbs tend to be smooth fireroads followed by technical descents, but on the rare occasion I have a technical climb to challenge it's clearly easier that on some bikes with more anti-squat. I do love the geometry of the bike, and the build quality is excellent. I tend to turn my frames over every year so have owned a lot, and the only ones I've owned with similar construction quality (welds, bearings etc) were a couple of Titus bikes I owned back in 01/02.
  • + 2
 I've owned a few DW and VPP link bikes. My Endo, with is very low anti squat climbs mountain bikes trails better than any bike I've owned. Maybe in longer travel applications there may be an issue? I do run an Inline Coil with a climb switch which I do use when the going gets steep, but that switch can be applied incrementally. On any other part of the trail, their suspension feels amazing.
  • + 8
 If you value traction over pedaling efficiency, the Knolly's can't be beat.
  • + 3
 I've had three Knolly's. 26" Endo in 2014, an alu Warden and now the carbon Warden. The carbon rides better, better tracking, stiffer, all the vibration stuff.

If you ride technical terrain, there's just not better riding bike than the Knolly. It ain't the fastest bike, certainly not uphill, but it will climb anything if you have the legs. Downhill, the bikes are not the fastest either. But, if fun is your thing, which it should be, there's really never a time when I get off the bike and I'm not smiling.

I had a couple Turner's, never a DW, but the Knolly does have plenty of pedal of feedback. But on a big climb on a road, just lock out whatever shock you're running and its fine. You shouldn't have it locked out on any trail climb though.
  • + 3
 The Knolly fourby4 suspension design is far better for maintaining traction on technical climbs, and absolutely kills it on rough descents. The DW link pedals better on smooth trails and fire roads, but I still prefer the Knolly. There is something special about the way they ride. I am on my third Knolly and it won't be my last!
  • + 0
 I haven't ridden a Knolly, but seems the descriptions are pretty consistent. If you like "snappy" and fun on intermediate trails, the DWlink bikes feel different than most other systems and you generally never touch the climb switch on your shock. Sounds like the Knolly has alot more suspension movement but handles tough terrain well.
  • + 2
 @djjohnr: Do you have a climb lockout on your shock? I ride similar stuff on my Deli and the climb switch on the Fox X2 makes all the difference. I won't be winning any uphill races but it gets there in comfort.
  • + 3
 I'm riding the current Delirium as my daily driver. CC DBair with climb switch. Climb switch is only necessary for smooth road climbs. If your climbing tech singletrack the bike actually rolls faster with with shock fully open and has amazing traction over roots and rocks under power. For the smoother trails in my area I have a hard tail. I also have a DW link Turner DHR. For that bike I like the antisquat action. It's heavy and any pedaling is full effort and it helps get that pig up to speed. The pedal feedback is crazy though. That bike will kill the driver of my Saint hub in a season. Riding braking bumps on that bike you can hear the cassette pawls smacking the drive train forward on every hit. The Delirium is so good I never ride the DHR anymore.
  • + 1
 @KidCorporate: sometimes, but not often. I have a bad habit of forgetting to unlock the shock so try to avoid using it.
  • + 0
 How do they work standing and pedaling?
  • + 2
 @als802: Just fine in my opinion. It's definitely active and that translates to traction and comfort. Yes, if you go sprint down a sidewalk with the climb switch off it will bob around. However, there is basically zero pedal feedback when the suspension takes hits. If your on the power standing over rough terrain the roots and rocks nearly disappear under the rear tire.
  • + 0
 This is one of the very rare frames that is made to last. More importantly the bike is made for traction. As stated it will not feel snappy and have tonnes of platform like every other bike out there. It will keep the tires glued to the ground and you will have far less fatigue at the end of the ride. Flow trails are for most riders. This bike eats gnar.
  • + 4
 157 mm hub spacing, reminds me.
  • + 2
 ...of the bike I bought in 2013 with the same spacing. Yay to being able to recycle hubs.
  • + 2
 ...that my bikes are obsoleting in...
  • + 1
 Should make a decent Enduro-packing bike. Lots of room in the front triangle, not huge travel, 275x3.25 or 29x2.6 clearance. Enough space behind the seat tube to mount another pack.
  • + 1
 I have both carbon and aluminum frames with 29" and 27.5"...love them all. Each one have their strengths and weakness but over all they all ride pretty darn good

This new fugitive looks like a real winner
  • + 1
 "See that curvy downtube? It's no easy feat to make an aluminum tube look like that."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't nearly all aluminum mtn frames sorta have that curvy look? I don't see it being so groundbreaking...
  • + 5
 You need to look closely. For example the chainstay on my podium is a single piece heavily formed, not a welded yoke and struts like most. Does not look like much until you look closely, then you see that the forming is super complex in not only shape but thickness as well. Work of aluminum art.
  • + 3
 anyone need a well-maintained second hand AM-bike?
I kinda need the money all of a sudden Big Grin
  • + 1
 I love my chinese carbon open mould frames. If i break it its not a huge deal because it cost me under $700 for the entire frame. It ride pretty darn good too.
  • + 8
 Trail features and conditions for others might demand a little more from a frame than they do in Omaha, NE
  • + 1
 @raditude: lm sure they do. But keep in mind that the bike you see here is a P9, an open mould frame. Not all the frames are light duty.
evolvebikes.ca/products/alpha-29
  • + 1
 @panzer103: you have the alpha? dang! Looks pretty nice
  • + 1
 @conv3rt: No but it is a sweet rig. My point was that not all chinese open mould frames are fragle xc rigs. Mine chinese frame is perfect for Omaha trails. Google a ICAN P9
  • + 1
 @panzer103: wow that's quite a resemblance. Looks like a lot of big name bikes out there to be honest
  • + 1
 @conv3rt: Thats the frame. All the frames they use are open mould. Its not a diss on them bc im a big fan of these frames. Its talked about extensively on the forums on mtbr, chinertown and probably pinkbike.
  • + 1
 it's just one more thing in the landfill, right? Disposable society #fail.
  • + 1
 This bike looks goddamn fantastic. I definitely prefer alloy for it's durability, lower cost and recyclability. Knolly has been added to the shortlist for next bike brand.
  • + 2
 I'll wager 10 craptastic carbon frames this bike feels and performs gloriously.
  • + 2
 Hooray Aluminum , wheres mah beer babe. A 12 ouncer...babe...I want the tall can....24 mother flacken fluid ounces!
  • + 3
 when can i get my matching super boost fork?
  • + 3
 Manitou Mastadon, Rockshox Bluto...
  • + 7
 Knolly did super boost right tho. They jumped right from 142 to 157 like we all should have.
  • + 2
 So how's your high end Aluminum compare to "High End" carbon?
  • + 2
 Very similar actually. I have an aluminum and a carbon Warden, and the ride is comparable.
  • + 2
 Just curious (I have a aluminium warden) as to why you would have both an aluminium & carbon warden? When going for a ride what would make you choose one over the other if the ride is comparable??
  • + 1
 @Prh: I got a good deal on the carbon frame. The alloy bike is for sale

www.pinkbike.com/buysell/2439529
  • - 2
 As for Carbon verses aluminum.
Carbon fibre is stronger.
You can make a frame about 200 grams lighterthan Al. using carbon.
But the marketing guy tells the engineer that no one will pay an extra 1000$ for a 200 gram saving.
So the engineers make the carbon frame a pound lighter.
Most or all carbon frames will at best last a year or two of hard riding.
This is backed up by shitty one or two year warranties.
Does any one have a five or ten year warranty on a carbon frame???? I doubt it.
  • + 1
 Santa Cruz has a lifetime warranty on carbon frames to the original owner. You're saying they don't expect me to last two years?
  • + 2
 It may be a mental thing, but aloy has more brappppp
  • + 2
 This or a Banshee Prime will be my next frame up build.
  • + 1
 What about that bike with a double crown fork witch is missing the FOURby4 linkage? (last picture, background)
  • + 1
 I'd say it's a FOURby4 linkage, but greatly modified to have the shock placed within the "tunnel" over BB, like Banshee Legend and others have it. And I'd say the shock is fully floating there between the chainstay arm and secondary linkage rocker arm.
  • + 5
 That's an older photo, Knolly teased it before when they first released the fugitive. It is the rendering for their return to a dh bike (new podium). My guess is development runs pretty slow with such a small team and with the big question for every company now of whether or not to go 29er... I'd imagine this to be doubly the case for Knolly who build their bikes to be the very best tool for the PNW, an area where maneuverability is key.
  • + 2
 Aluminum all the way.
  • + 1
 goes to show that travel has no limit
  • - 3
 It's too bad that their geometry doesn't work for my height. I seem to be between a medium and a large and if I go for a large I feel way too stretched out and if I go for a medium the effective seat tube angle is slacker than most head tube angles. The theory is good, but I think they need more frame sizes to prevent this from happening.
  • + 1
 It's a common misconception that effective STA changes with frame size, it doesn't. Effective STA is one dependent on saddle height. I've have had a medium and a large Endorphin. My saddle height is the same and the effective STA is identical. Only reach, stack, and effective STA change. The large Fugitive has 27mm more reach than the medium. With a standard 50mm stem on the medium, and 35mm stem on the large, the saddle to bar measurement is only about 12mm longer with the large frame.
  • + 2
 Alloy is the way to go!
  • - 2
 Sorry @nick1957 I agree and meant to upvote you. I don't care how it rides, if I'm shelling out major dough I want to be able to admire it in the garage when I'm not riding it.
  • + 0
 Cool bikes for sure but LT is not 135mm
  • + 2
 It's the LT version of a bike that otherwise has 120mm travel, the concept is not unique to this bike...
  • + 1
 bring back the podium
  • + 1
 What a beauty!
  • - 1
 Looks like a more aggressive '16 Trek Remedy with Gulf Stream colorways.
  • - 1
 Proper bike. Don’t like the paint scheme.
  • - 3
 Sure, a high end aluminum bike with a Horst Link: welcome to the end of the last century!!!!!!
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