2011 Black Market Killswitch - Reviewed

Apr 19, 2011
by Reece Wallace  
Black Market's Killswitch gets put through its paces. Find out if it can hold its own against the usual crew of dirt jump and slopestyle hardtails. Read the test, watch the movie.
Black Market's Killswitch is a 100mm travel slope bike that has been designed to handle like a hardtail, but offer the advantages of a full suspension bike.
Black Market's Killswitch is a 100mm travel slope bike that has been designed to handle like a hardtail, but offer the advantages of a full suspension bike.

Black Market's origins are deeply rooted in BMX; therefore, keeping things simple, clean, and effective seem to be a priority, as portrayed by their newest addition to the family - the Killswitch. In contrast with the Mob or Riot, the Killswitch is manufactured from a 6061 T6 custom aluminum tube set, opposed to the traditional chromoly found in their hardtails. The decision to fabricate the Killswitch from aluminum was a wise one. Although hardtails flow amazingly on flexible chromoly steel tubes, the same is not true for full suspension frames. Aluminum can be stiffer, lighter, and more responsive than steel, which are all essential traits for a full suspension bike.

The first time I rode a Killswitch was last Spring, when Black Market rider Justin Wyper received his prototype. To my astonishment, the Killswitch handled exactly like a hardtail as I rode steep jumps and tall berms. Pivoting around the 12.5" high bottom bracket, the Hammer Link floating suspension system felt like an extremely stiff and responsive rear end that did not hinder pumping or preloading - this is essential to maintaining speed throughout a set, or increasing speed in transitions - all good reasons for the popularity of the Killswitch, not to mention that it is available in black, gray, purple, and the limited edition polished finish that you see here. To create a bike that handles very similar to a hardtail, Black Market set hardtail parameters on the geometry and worked the suspension around that. The Killswitch is available in small with a 21" top tube, medium with a 22" top tube, and a large that uses a 23" top tube.


A zero-stack head tube allows you to go as low as possible with your bars.
A zero-stack head tube allows you to go as low as possible with your bars.

Due to the shock choice, geometry, and weight, the Killswitch can be utilized for many genres of riding including slope style, dirt jumping, and even trail riding. However, the bike definitely excels on big jumps that hardtails may not be stable enough to ride. With a relatively steep, 69-degree head tube angle and a short wheelbase, the Killswitch is easy to control and maneuver. In addition, the Killswitch features an incredibly low stand-over height, which makes for great leg clearance over the top tube and offers a bit of grace if you miss the pedals and happen to ball-ride out of a landing. Some other notable features of the Killswitch include an effective industry-standard, 1 1/8" integrated, zero-stack head tube, replaceable horizontal dropouts with derailleur-hanger-optional vertical dropouts, and replaceable Nylock nuts and threaded inserts at all bolt and pivot locations. A Black Market zero stack integrated headset is included in the frame and shock package.


The swingarm pivots concentrically around the bottom bracket.
The swingarm pivots concentrically around the bottom bracket.

As slope style events continue to push the envelope with gnarlier jumps and features, riders are demanding small full suspension bikes that can take the punishment. The Killswitch has an ample 100mm of progressive rear-suspension travel, accompanied by the "custom tuned for Black Market" X-Fusion O2 RCX shock (6.5" x 1.5" stroke). The engineers and product designers at X-Fusion collaborated with Carter and Black Market to design a shock which has a large emphasis on high-platform suspension systems.In other words; ensuring that the rider does not initially blow through the travel on the terrain leading up to the jump or feature. Furthermore; the 02 RCX has four compression adjustments and fine-tuned positive and negative air chambers which all contribute to a more stable ride. The adjustability of this slope style machine accounts for its stability.


BlackMarket Killswitch details:

  • • Black Market’s Hammer Link design with 100mm of travel
  • • Handmade from 6061 T6 custom tube set with precision cnc’d linkages and yokes
  • • Replaceable nylock nuts and/or threaded inserts at all bolt locations
  • • Custom tuned X-Fusion 02 RCX rear shock 6.5” x 1.5” stroke (included)
  • • 44mm Black Market cartridge sealed bearing headset (included)
  • • Travel - 4"/100mm
  • • Weight - 7 lbs. 10 oz. with shock
  • • Seat clamp - 34.9mm (included)
  • • Seat post - 30.9mm
  • • ISCG 05 mounts
  • Black Market Bikes
  • • $1399 USD MSRP



Riding the Killswitch


Deciding upon which slope bike to ride can be a difficult decision - top tube length, shock type, stand over and aesthetics all play a vital role and must be taken into consideration; however, Black Market seems to have it down pat with their 2011 Killswitch. The Black Market Killswitch exploded onto the scene last year, quickly becoming one of the most desired slope style bikes on the market. This remains true a year later, as shops are continually sold out of the 100mm travel frame. As I discovered, this is probably due to the light weight, responsiveness, and hard tail like geometry that make the Killswitch a complete package.



Watch the video of Reece kill'n it on the Killswitch:

Views: 32,810    Faves: 307    Comments: 38



The first thing I noticed about the Killswitch, besides the complete build weighing in at very reasonable 26 pounds, was how similar to my hardtail it handled. It is extremely responsive, stiff and agile which makes jumping the 100mm travel bike almost effortless. The Killswitch's X-Fusion O2 RCX shock and Hammer Link suspension seemed very adept at dealing with hard hits from over-shooting landings, while still being supple enough to provide extra travel when needed. The rear end pivots on massive sealed bearings around the bottom bracket which ensures a stiff rear end increased control. This concentric suspension system makes the Killswitch immensely receptive to rider movement and adjustment, similar to a hardtail. In contrast with some other full suspension slope bikes that I've ridden, the bottom bracket pivot design and the bike's geometry seemed to increase the stiffness and pop of the rear end of the bike.

It is no coincidence that the Killswitch has very hardtail-esque lines. The bike has 100mm of rear wheel travel, but is at home nearly anywhere that a hardtail would excel.
It is no coincidence that the Killswitch has very hardtail-esque lines. The bike has 100mm of rear wheel travel, but is at home nearly anywhere that a hardtail would excel.

The 'pop' created by the bike makes riding the Killswitch a blast! The natural preload that riders exert off of lips, drops, and out of berms is complimented by the comforting pop that the bike provides. This makes tricking drops and steep lips easier than most other slope bikes that seem to do a better job of delaying that vital 'pop' than boosting it. In the past, I often found myself worrying about the predictability of the rear suspension systems while jumping, however, Carter and the rest of the crew at Black Market have dialed in the Hammer Link system to ensure its consistency.

Working with X-Fusion to get the exact tune for the bike's O2 RCX damper surely plays a role as well. This was affirmed the first time I popped a three off a drop and rode it out smoothly. The suspension platform on the Killswitch is indeed dependable and consistent. The short wheelbase and low stand-over make tricking the Killswitch a breeze. I did not encounter any of those stereotypical problems with jumping small full-suspension bikes, such as getting bucked during spinning, kicking my frame during no-foot cans, or hitting my foot on the front wheel while slinging bar spins. Black Market took rider input to create one bad ass machine that can take almost anything riders throw at it.

The Killswitch's X-Fusion O2 RCX shock has been tuned to work with the bike's Hammer Link suspension. The result is a rear end that can swallow landing to flat, while at the same time take out the small chop found on beat up slope style courses.
The Killswitch's X-Fusion O2 RCX shock has been tuned to work with the bike's Hammer Link suspension. The result is a rear end that can swallow landing to flat, while at the same time take out the small chop found on beat up slope style courses.

Over the last couple years I have had the opportunity to ride a few different and unique slope bikes. This has helped to expand my understanding of small travel mountain bikes and develop an informed opinion about what makes a good and not so good slope bike. With this is mind, I can now safely say that the Black Market Killswitch is hands down my favorite slope style specific bike because of its light weight, versatility, responsiveness, and hardtail-like feel. The Killswitch is an incredibly subtle and diverse full suspension bike. I can shred anything from BMX style trails with tall berms and steep lips to large mountain bike style courses with huge drops and mellow lips. Regardless of terrain, the Killswitch transitions nicely between riding styles and can be ridden almost anywhere.


It doesn't look like Reece will be giving up his Killswitch anytime soon! Have you ridden Black Market's 100mm travel slope bike? Do you agree with Reece's thoughts?


- Reece Wallace


131 Comments

  • + 49
 Thats a sick bike...hardtail with a little itty bitty shock in there
  • + 19
 yup! The perfect bike!
  • + 1
 great review!
  • + 6
 amen! these new soft tails have changed my hard tail only view of slope/dj
  • - 1
 SO fit! Wouldn't mind reviewing one of them anyday!
  • - 22
flag Downhill340 (Apr 19, 2011 at 3:14) (Below Threshold)
 Is it the whole bike for 1400 or just the frame?looks so good
  • + 3
 Hey do u guys think i could use this bike for single track? bc Ive been looking around for a short travel bike tht was fairly light.
  • + 1
 Just the frame/shock.
  • + 5
 if you wana ride dirt jumps on it too then yeah it'd be all good to ride single track on as well but if you dont ride dirt jumps dont bother just by a trail bike
  • + 3
 wow im very happy thats my bike for 2011!
  • + 1
 I have 1 for sale if anybody wants to buy it. Frame only
  • + 4
 if you want a light trail frame, why would you pick one that weighs over 7lbs?
  • - 9
flag nw-rhb (Apr 19, 2011 at 12:50) (Below Threshold)
 Such a fun bike! I put some fox 40's on mine with flat bars and it's perfect for dh too!
  • + 3
 here is a sick example of trail riding on a killswitch! For those who are wondering how it might handle:
www.pinkbike.com/video/183032
  • + 6
 superdupertroper i really, really hope that was a joke lol
  • + 1
 I reserve these for anyone, they will arrive late may early june. Message me if you want one. -Alex
  • + 1
 Now this is my sexy Killswitch
a>http://www.pinkbike.com/photo/6948128/
  • + 22
 The Killswitch is a rad bike. But I reckon mine is the sexiest build.... bikesarehellafun.pinkbike.com/album/Killswitch
  • + 9
 you are deffinatly not gloating,that bikes sexy as fuck
  • + 1
 uh ya, that's pretty gorgeous! Smile
  • - 4
flag norcofreerider8 (Apr 19, 2011 at 11:20) (Below Threshold)
 I think mine wins...
www.pinkbike.com/photo/6260623
  • + 10
 norcofreerider8 NO you dont win
  • + 2
 bikesarehellafun you know how sometimes you hate people just cause you super jealous. thats how im feeling about you! that bike is unbeleivable!
  • + 1
 norcofreerider8 What size travel is that :L
  • + 2
 I really hope people realize it was a joke.. Foreign people these days... Jonny, in that photo, I have no
clue, maybe 40mm? I took it apart to rebuild it, it's usually at 110mm.
  • + 3
 i still think mines the sickest. www.pinkbike.com/photo/6947312
  • + 4
 In order to get this frame built up at 26 lbs from a frame that weighs more than 7 and a half pounds, you'd need some really light stuff on there. That means spending lots of money, and possibly compromising durability. With the price as high as it is, a reasonable build would definitely put you at 30 lbs ish. You'd still be dropping like 2200 on the whole thing too... that's a sh ton for a dj whip. Although I do think this bike is completely badass.
  • + 5
 thing is if your going to spend that much money on a frame anyway, your probably gunna have enough to put good parts on it. Not to sound like an a*shole. and theirs some really good parts out their for cheap and their light like: dartmoor flare cranks, ns trailmster rims, ns rotary hub series etc. you just gotta plan it.
  • + 4
 Its not like people go buying this high end frame planning to put dj3s and other heavy components on it.
  • + 1
 they might be if they don't have over 3k to spend, that's what the pictured build would cost.
  • + 4
 If they didnt have over 3k to spend, they wouldnt buy a killswitch in the firstplace?
  • + 4
 you're right. it's for the rich among us. my bad. fair enough.
  • + 1
 Haha, ya By the time most of us have money for these frames were to old to bike! hahaha
  • + 2
 your never to old to bike....
  • + 2
 Wow. Compare it to other FS Slope bikes and you'll find it's very competitive weight-wise. You can't compare it to a hardtail. As for it's use, maybe it could replace your hardtail, but it's probably NOT going to be a comfortable All-Mountain type trail bike. A fun bike for sure!
  • + 1
 Ever since i seen wypers i have thought about owning one .I am glad we have a strong dollar , I dirt jump twice a week and this will pay off in progression i was jumping on a 04 sx slolum bike with same head angle and travel but just traded it for a bmx.
I got to have this frame suspension rotates around bb like a i drive.is the corsair way cheaper?
  • + 1
 I love this bike so much but i think it's a bit out of order the fact that you have to buy the dropouts and stickers seperatly as they don't come with the frame and this costs well over £50 GBP on top of the price of the frame.
  • + 1
 hey, i have a killswitch n i strongly believe its the best bike ever created! But i don't like running forks with travel any shorter than 110mm, the head angle feels too steep n everything just feels bad is it just me? i run 120mm all the time whether i'm dirt jumping or downhilling n it loves it!g
  • + 1
 Here is something interesting .... i keep having rear linkage issues, such as losing nuts out of my frame and inner hammer link.... so i thought i would call and see if they had any tricks to help me.... the Blk Mrkt number for their head office is currently not in service .... uuuummmmm, HELLO PEOPLE! :O I LOVE MY KILLSWITCH (yes i had to even buy the Ferrari Yellow One) Like what in the name of f*ck does someone have to do to get their hands on specs, OR a manual for how everything is supposed to come on the bike?!?!?!?!?!?! .... btw, i think i bent my swing arm .... :/
  • + 1
 Can someone please explain how the shock system works? As from these photos it just looks like it'll swing forward without any compression, or is it somehow attached to the seat tube too? Cheers.
  • + 1
 Nice riding Reece! is that a " downside" 3 or a 5?
Its like the ultimate do-all!
And don't worry about weight,
just ride!
  • + 1
 Yeah it's a 5, thanks man.
  • + 3
 sexy bike nothing but sexy
  • + 2
 very very nice bike i want 1,But the video could have been better he was really killing it as such.,
  • + 5
 Not enough riding was there, maybe even a Go Pro on the frame to show the suspension too!
  • + 1
 yeah he never show'd what the frame/bike can do.
  • + 1
 Interesting to see Crossmark tires on that bike - I thought they weren't very good at all when I had a pair a while ago.
  • + 2
 I ride a crossmark on my rear tire of my amp and I love it.
  • + 2
 BLACK MARKET BIKES 4 EVER!!!!!!!!
  • + 2
 Great product, great company, do want...
  • + 2
 thats my dream one of my dream bikes i wish i knew the price
  • + 2
 best bike i have ever ridin light and sturdy great geometry to.
  • + 1
 Black market bikes are amazing! SOO SICK!
  • + 1
 not sure what i want more that stunning frame or them awsome trails Big Grin
  • + 2
 love it... too much.
  • + 0
 its a sexy bike but its too expensive for a dirt jumper, if i had $1500 i would spend it on a complete bike not just a frame
  • + 2
 thats because you hit small jumps...
  • + 1
 does anyone know what wheels are on it on the top picture?
  • + 1
 They should do this on trials bikes
  • + 1
 could you polish that bike with steel wool?
  • + 1
 it's already polished
  • - 2
 but if you got a scratch on it?
  • + 2
 aw, c'mon... if you're afraid of scratching your bike you should probably just hang it on the wall and find something else to do.
  • + 1
 Steel wool is to rough you'll need a cotton cloth and some polishing compound, some arm juice and a good bucket of patience.
  • + 1
 i aint afraid to scratch the damn thing but i aint out there to beat the shit out of it either!
  • + 2
 then you arn't trying hard enough. if your woried about damaging your bike sell it, buy an apron and bake me some cookies
  • + 0
 what are you Canadians Betty crocker fans now haha. or are you just betty COCK
  • + 0
 wow, that was really funny. you should maybe try hitting some real jumps then come talk to me
  • + 0
 maybe you should just hit a jump considering your PB page has your mom killing better then you!!!
  • + 0
 A your mom joke? did you seriously just say that? i hit jumps buddy and maybe if you took your thumb out of your ass and acted your age you would realise that i kill it harder than you any day. come on up to canada and try riding some real stuff
  • + 1
 haha I've riddin more of canada than you have punk! and your probably just some Fagot Indian who thinks his walmart bike is the shizz. and sorry i made you cry up there but maybe when you grow up you can come to the good ole US of A and hit some real jumps "buddy" or if your to scared you can go finger paint or something but then you might get dirty!
  • + 0
 take a look at my "walmart bike". So if were using stereotypes, even though that was a shitty one, why dont you go eat macdonalds with your inbred family you little bitch. do you think jumping over a car on a really mellow lip makes you a man? you obviously do. why the f*ck are you riding a gt bmx?
  • + 0
 haha someones a little whinny! and no that is not me jumping over that car i am taking the picture you idiot get some glasses. oh and i ride a GT bmx cuz i can! oh and i love your straight airs maybe you can make pod. NOT. and yes i love McDonalds but who the hell is macdonald. no i am not imbred that would be you from Ontario. and where you from? Queff ontario. haha your a damn knuckle head.
  • + 1
 how am i in any way whinning? typical cocky american thinking hes better than everybody just because he is american. im sorry, you tell me to get glasses but you didnt see that my most recent jumping pictures are from last july i think. its been a long time since then buddy. and you call my bike a walmart bike but your riding a gt. sunday>gt. gt makes shit bikes and they are heavy as f*ck. reality check buddy, just because your american doesn't give you the right to think your better than everybody. but i know that you think it does. All hail the superior country, USA! oh wait, nobody likes you guys...
  • + 0
 what a baby. go back to screwing your mom
  • + 1
 and yes since i do belong to the greatest nation i will no longer stoop so low to talk to you. and... when has canada ever done any thing important? so yes go back to screwing your mom
  • + 0
 You belong to a nation that when people think about it, first thing they think about is obesity. The next thing they think of is rednecks that inbreed. Also if you go travelling you might notice that 90% of the people you meet won't treat you as good if they realize your american. So why is your nation the best in the world? You are probably the most immature person i have ever met. your insults are shit and sound like they come from a two year old. Go back to screwing your sister you inbred piece of shit.
  • + 0
 you still didnt say that canada has ever done anything important! and you hate that i use stereotypes? well im glad that you are so grateful for the service we (USA) provided for you. its always nice to be appreciated. and no... I HAVE traveled to china, italy, mexico, countries in south america, and canada believe it or not and i have been treated like royalty. maybe if i went to the muslims countries they would hate me but then who cares just like i dont care what you think.
your just some no good, ungrateful brat who lives off of welfare from her majesty treasury account how does drugs to feel like some one loves him cuz your mom doesnt! and you have nothing better to do but chastise meaningless comments on pink bike. you my friend are THE most pathetic loser i have ever talked to and i cant wait to hear what you come up with next. in fact i love to here your uneducated replies it only makes me laugh and think what a great life i have compared to the dumps you live in.
  • + 0
 Never heard so much shit spewed from someone before. You are so cocky i can't even talk to you.
  • + 0
 well for once you dont have anything funny to say. its a shame i was just getting to know you. haha well have a nice day!
  • + 0
 i feel sorry for the people who had to get to know you
  • + 1
 dude thats such a sexy bike
  • + 1
 what's so good about really low bars (second picture down's caption)?
  • + 9
 they make you cooler then a snow mans penis
  • + 1
 ...and give you back trouble for the rest of your life...?
  • + 3
 Apparently it's puts you in a better position for aggressive riding , but my guess is that it's 50 percent hype 40 percent bullshit and 10 percent personal choice Smile
  • + 1
 ok!
  • + 1
 I'm trying to think how many slope riders don't rock a front break.
  • + 1
 Andreu Lacondeguy haha i remember he almost crashed coming into the finish at crankworx cos he had no front brake
  • + 1
 I don't think the claw does
  • + 1
 only if i had the money.. Frown
  • + 1
 these frames are so amazing.. well worth the money.
  • + 1
 go ride my blk mrkt now :p
  • + 1
 Best bike on the market!!!
  • + 1
 its cool man
  • + 0
 How well does it handle 4x and maybe a bit of light downhill?
  • + 1
 sex machine
  • + 0
 So fresh
  • + 0
 i want this bike!!
  • + 0
 sex on a stick!!!
  • + 0
 simple beauty!!!!!!
  • + 0
 like
  • + 0
 i jizzed in my pants
  • + 0
 nice write up reece
  • - 3
 so is the overall price of a complete $1399 us?
  • + 1
 No. Frame/shock/headset
  • - 1
 just frame
  • + 2
 and shock/headset...
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