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First Look: The 2023 Bold Unplugged Mixes Aggression With Integration

Jan 31, 2023
by Henry Quinney  
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Bold are a Swiss company who are very happy to do things very differently, as the name would suggest. Their design is moving away from the well-trodden path and - good news internet - it definitely doesn't look like a Session! Bold seem keen to establish itself as more than a mere novelty, and after Scott acquired a majority share in the Swiss brand, make no mistake Bold mean business. So this certainly isn't Bold's first bike, or even its first Unplugged. Rather, this is a new take on their enduro platform. Since Scott's acquisition, they've been busy. In 2021 they released the new Linkin trail bike.
Bold Unplugged Details
• Wheel size: 29" or 27.5/29"
• Carbon frame
• Travel: 160 rear / 170mm fork
• 63.2 - 64.5° head angle
• Angle adjust headset
• Flip chip and wheel-size chip
• Chainstay length: 437mm
• Sizes: S, M, L, XL
• Price from €8,999.99
boldcycles.com

That bike, although shorter-travel and lighter than the Unplugged, had some of the same features. Most obviously, a shock competely housed within the frame. Since Scott came on board, you might have also seen the Spark and Genius also go down a similar route. However, there is one major difference in that the Bold bikes hold their shocks horizontally. This low-slung mounting means that they can benefit from a large post insertion depth.

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The three-piece lower link that drives the shock inside the frame. The piece on the upper right is for the non-drive side and has a small crevice to drive a magnet so you can see where your sag point is.

This bike has 160 mm of rear travel and is paired to a 170 mm fork, and is made of the same HMX carbon that you'll find on other Scott bikes. The frame's suspension design is referred to as Internal Suspension Technology Virtual Pivot, or IST VP, which focuses on keeping the frame weight low. The main pivot rotates around the bottom bracket, and the three-piece lower assembly has a yoke that drives the rear part of the shock inside the frame. Ensuring the correct preload on this assembly is vital and requires a special tool that comes with the bike.

Bold's design hopes to make accessing the shock easy enough to not put off those wary of over-complicated design. In some ways, they've done a good job of placating those concerns with a button-operated hatch that opens up to reveal the head of the shock. From there, you can access the compression and rebound adjustment, as well as the valve to pump the shock up. The shock in the frame is essentially a modified Fox Float X.



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It won't be for everyone, but I think it's a very slick looking bike.

Frame Details

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The geometry and wheel size adjustments are housed within one another.
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A small but effective chain guide is made for the frame.

There is a lot to talk about with the Bold. Let's start with the front of the bike.

The bike uses a one-piece Syncros Hixon carbon bar and stem. The bike's cables are all routed through the headset, but when the shock is in the frame that's hardly surprising. While that might well put off riders who want function over form, the adjustable headset should recapture their attention. The Syncros angle adjust headset has two plastic cups that, depending on their orientation, can offer 1-degree of adjustment. There is also a flip-chip on the upper stay of the rear triangle to make smaller adjustments to the geometry, around 0.3 of a degree to the head angle and 8 mm to the BB height. That flip chip is housed within a secondary, larger chip, which can adjust the frame between 29" and 27.5" rear wheels. For a frame that screams "gimmick" in one breath, there are a lot of reassuring and pragmatic features mentioned in the next.

photo
Peek-a-boo.

Should you enjoy spiting Mike Levy from afar, and actively enjoy using climbing switches on your shock, Bold has you covered too, albeit in a slightly more convoluted manner. With the shock housed within the frame, the only way to adjust it on the fly would be a remote lever, and that's exactly what you get. The remote, which thankfully avoids the pitfalls of Scott's TwinLoc system, has three positions. It not only adjusts compression but also air volume which can effectively provide geometry as well as suspension adjustment.

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The linkage and rear end look distinctly stouter than the Linkin platform.

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Subtle off-white coloring and tasteful branding, but does it have a watermark?

The frame also features a Save the Day Kit. This is a whole sleeve that slides out the shock door. On there, you have pretty much everything you need for trail-side fixes. There is also a tool located on the inside of the door. and Bold has also included a tool that doubles up as a lever on the rear axle for quick adjustments. The rear axle tool features a T25, T30, and 6 mm Allen key. All of the Bold-made hardware uses the Torx system, however, on what is an expensive bolt it would be nice if they'd swapped out any allen key fits on the cockpit to also fall within the same family of fittings.

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AXS only folks.
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And then extra cables on the other side.

There is also a discrete chain tool and plenty of slap protection to hopefully keep your chain on and quiet, irrespective of what you're riding. Both bikes in the range use AXS shifting, and this frame isn't compatible with a standard mechanical derailleur as it has nowhere to house the cables.

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The hatch has a button-operated opening...
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... and the Save the Day Kit is a nice touch.



Geometry

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The geometry of the Bold is quite aggressive, and not just in the most obvious ways. Normally, when we're talking about new bikes we focus on the head angle, and although it can be as slack as 63.2 degrees it's not the figure that jumps out to me. In fact, the figure that catches my eye is the 644 mm stack on the large, which is combined with a 25 mm rise bar in that size. This is comparatively high and when coupled with the shorter-than-some rear end of 437 mm it's likely going to be a bike that is very happy to weight the rear wheel, while also going to give the rider plenty of opportunity to scoop up the high front end.

That large stack number is also paired with a long reach figure. For small, medium, large and extra-large, the reach goes 425, 460, 490 and 520mm respectively. Although these figures are quite large, thanks to that high front, the effective top tube is relatively middle of the road in respect to its sizing. The seat tube angle is also given as 77.8 degrees. This is quite on trend for an enduro bike although the geometry chart doesn't stipulate what BB mode that's running in. It's also worth noting that this bike uses the same shock technology found on the latest generation of Scott bikes. What this means is that as you click up the compression setting between open, traction and closed remote settings, you'll also be adjusting the volume of the air shock, meaning that it should ride higher in its travel and keep the seat tube angle steeper still.

Going between wheel sizes, Bold does a great job of keeping it consistent with only one or two dimensions changing, and when they do it's by as little as a millimeter.




Models & Pricing

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[PCAPTION]Frames are available in two colorways and sell for €5,999.[/PCAPTION]

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The no-expense Unplugged Ultimate retails for €10,999, which is a lot for a bicycle. The kit features an Ohlins fork, SRAM X01 AXS drivetrain, and Shimano XTR brakes.

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The slightly cheaper, but still expensive Pro model shares the same frame, but comes with SRAM GX AXS, Shimano SLX brakes and Fox Performance parts. Not bad kit by any means, but certainly not what you'd expect to see on an €8,999 bike.



Initial Impressions

The Bold offers a lot for an enduro bike. The internal shock, high-grade low-weight carbon, and aggressive angles certainly captured my attention. While I've only spent a few weeks on the bike as Squamish wakes up from winter, some things are very apparent. Firstly, due to the high front, long reach, and short-ish rear center, it feels as if there is quite a lot of bike in front of you. Naturally, that lends itself more to steep trails than flatter ones.

The suspension seems to offer a relatively middle-of-the-road feel. It's somewhat disappointing to not feel a bit better small bump sensitivity in the open mode, especially considering you have the option to temper the shock's sensitivity on the fly. Riding it, it definitely seems to be a bike that's more at home cruising on fire roads than scrambling up technical singletrack - which is very different to the Linkin 150 that offered heaps of traction. That said, I'm going to take the next few rides to explore setup to see if I can negate this issue.

When carving through steep turns, however, the Bold comes alive. It's hard to imagine core mountain bike riders ever looking at a bike with fully internal everything as aggressive or out there - but the Bold is just that, and offers geometry that will make you feel at home when you're riding steep committing trails.

I look forward to reviewing this bike in full in the coming months.

Author Info:
henryquinney avatar

Member since Jun 3, 2014
341 articles

314 Comments
  • 297 1
 Having worked on these and the infamous modern Spark, this one genuinely is a compete fuck around to work on. Had one with a shock issue, and removing and replacing the shock was one of the most tedious jobs I've done last year, especially considering how quick it should have been. The Spark is a little annoying, but honestly not too bad. This one does not spark any joy.
  • 289 1
 Sounds like it could use a tiny little integrated mechanic.
  • 64 5
 BOLD CEO, excitedly: "SVENSSON! Give me everything you have on tiny little integrated mechanics by noon today!"
  • 7 0
 @rickybobby18: Scotty, we need more power, the shields are getting low.
  • 55 1
 @rickybobby18: Switzerland is not Sweden. Still…
  • 200 3
 @Alturis: Svensson moved to Switzerland from his home country to escape his criminal past

also did you expect someone with the username rickybobby18 to know the difference between switzerland and sweden
  • 31 13
 I've said it in the past (and always get downvoted to oblivion) and will say it again, the current Spark is not that bad when it comes to maintenance. Been on one since last year, the rear shock removal and access is not harder than on any other bike I owned, all the suspension bolts are accessible and well designed, and the suspension layout is actually quite simple. Actually, with a little rear fender installed it's one of the easier to live with bikes I ever had, it stays cleaner than any other full suspension I had
  • 12 1
 I've worked on several of the newer Sparks, mostly with dropper/derailleur cable routing... not as bad as one would think at first glance, but definitely convoluted. I can only imagine how big of a PITA the shock would be.
  • 3 1
 just wait for the new ransom, which should be more affordable, meaning more of them around and more for you to work on haha i actually want to get one
  • 7 0
 On the basis of that amount of travel, say hello to the new Ransom.
  • 7 0
 have they hidden the motor?
  • 7 1
 Yeah the inboard outboard linkages driving the shock coaxial with the BB looks like a fiddly mess to tear down. Must be on big 1.5 headset bearings down there? Some clarifying pics and cross sections would help.
  • 10 0
 @rickybobby18:
“Looks like a Svenson”
  • 4 1
 @Arierep: hey Nino, is that you?
  • 3 0
 @rickybobby18: if you ain't Swiss, yer last?
  • 6 0
 @rickybobby18: idiot its midnight here and i just woke up the kids and mrs laughing
  • 2 2
 That's BOLD move to run the cables through the stem/head set!
  • 2 0
 What's up Sherbet! I remember you from the old post your bmx threads baaack in the day! I probably just haven't been paying close enough attention but I haven't seen your name in a while!
  • 1 1
 We are evolving to a regressive state when shock placement comments trump headset cable routing. Familiarity breeds acceptance.
  • 1 1
 i presume you got paid for your troubles?
  • 3 0
 @snarlymarley: www.pinkbike.com/photo/24140289

Here's a photo of the main pivot bearing. It's absolutely massive, and the carbon housing it's in is very stout by the feel of it.

@iridemybike: Sup homie!? Hope you're still getting some shredding in!
  • 1 1
 @sherbet: that lower half of the pivot housing looks thin af, actually. do you know if there is a piece of bonded in aluminum to support that or not?
  • 3 0
 @Mtbdialed: There isn't an insert, but I can tell you from seeing it in person that the carbon is fairly thick. It's hard to explain, but it's extremely well built in that regard. The design is what kills me, not the construction.
  • 2 0
 @rickybobby18: that's hilarious lmaooooo
  • 1 4
 @Arierep: I downvoted...only to make you happy!
  • 3 0
 Speaking from experience: You are right. On the current-gen Spark, it's honestly not too bad. Sure it's a bit more involved than some other bikes, but everything is well designed and thought through. Even with TwinLoc, integration and headset rounting it absolutely hasn't turned out to be the mechanic's nightmare everyone thought it would be.
  • 3 0
 @colobro: AHH thanks, I was feeling something wrong already
  • 4 0
 @colobro: Have you, by chance, worked on one?
  • 1 0
 @sherbet: Yo! No, but having worked with the switch infinity on a Yeti, I think experience suggests easiest design and access is often ideal!
  • 197 20
 F**K every brand that’s pushing towards AXS only drivetrains since they can figure out cable routing… get the f**k outta here ehhhhhhh
  • 31 5
 $ecret
Recipe
AXS
Mandatory
  • 43 0
 I can route cables on ANY bike. Zip ties for the win every time.
  • 34 0
 "We can not route cables for a rear derailer, but we can for the rear brake, rear shock and dropper"

Next year they'll have the option on the $20k build
  • 16 0
 I regret I have only one upvote to give.
One less bike to put on my list, although the $6k frame price pretty much took care of that first.
  • 17 0
 @konadan: Yup, glue on cable guides and you're good. I can be the inverse Dangerholm if you want, including the baggy pants. Give me a too-sleek lightweight bike and I'll heavy-it-up for you.
  • 1 0
 Just bung a load of zip ties on it. Every frame can be externally routed then.
  • 8 0
 The world needs Sam Pilgrim to get one of these frames and completely undo the design philosophy that led to this bike.
  • 1 0
 Not A skookum choocher
  • 1 0
 @preston67: no kidding, 6k frame alone! GTFO
  • 3 0
 @vinay: The inverse dangerholm would only wear pants mid thigh down, and nothing above. So anyways, what I'm saying is do it. And post pictures.
  • 3 0
 @Breeconay: Hm, seems like there are different Dangerholm inversions. You do yours, I stick with mine. Have fun!
  • 5 0
 Just F&*K off with the amount of batteries being made for silly things like this.
  • 1 0
 @preston67: AMEN BROTHER !!
  • 1 0
 @pdxjeremy: I read "skookum" and it reminded me of my friends in Shelton, Wa who have indigenous ancestry. Then I see your in PDX and it comes together. Cheers.
  • 133 2
 SLX brakes on a $9k bike...
  • 73 17
 While I generally agree with what you are saying, it's worth noting that SLX brakes aren't holding any bike back. They are actually amazing brakes and are basically no different than XT/XTR. I would put them on my dream bike any day.
  • 72 3
 @dresendsit: true...they work but at $9k+ for a complete build, the standard needs to be a bit higher than just "yeah, they work."
  • 32 39
flag dresendsit (Jan 31, 2023 at 9:04) (Below Threshold)
 @SATN-XC: maybe you misunderstand, SLX isn't "yeah they work" - SLX brakes are excellent. Not just value, excellent, period.
  • 27 0
 And house branded aluminum wheels on both...
  • 8 21
flag valrock (Jan 31, 2023 at 9:23) (Below Threshold)
 @dresendsit: XT is a previous year XTR, SLX is while very similar are level down from XT. With your logic you can also say that Code R are same as Guide Big Grin
  • 45 0
 @dresendsit: that has me a little concerned. Shouldn't the SLX brakes (or any brakes for that matter) hold your bike back. that's kind of their purpose.
  • 4 0
 @dresendsit: sealing on my 4 piston XT brakes blew off, so I went to shop to realize Saint caliper they offered won't fit the hose banjo, so I got a 4 piston Slx as emergency replace. Haven't change it since.
  • 40 0
 @dresendsit: I run SLX 4 pots and they’re great. But on a dream build? We dream different dreams.
  • 10 6
 @valrock: No, more like a comparison between Code RSCs, and if CODE RSCs had an identical model that was half the price but did the same thing. Guides suck.
  • 3 3
 @dresendsit: so do code r’s tho. tax’s are appreciably better in my experience. There really is a difference there.

But I agree on the shimano stuff it really doesn’t matter. It’s all basically the same and works great!
  • 3 0
 @dresendsit: Agreed. Stopping power is indistinguishable between my Saints on one bike and SLX on another ( same size rotors) and I feel like they modulate way better.
  • 7 1
 @dresendsit: I wouldn't want xt or xtr either, nor hope (speaking from experience of owning all three), not since I got my Magura's which are just phenomenal, there's no going back!
  • 18 1
 @dresendsit: Okay, but you're missing the entire point: budget brakes don't belong on a non-budget bike. It doesn't matter that you feel they're fine, a PNW Loam dropper is a great post but I better never see it on a $15k bike. Same thing here.
  • 4 3
 @nickfranko:

Maybe more to the point it really doesn’t matter. A loan dropper is gonna get the job done better than a transfer or AXS post.

Spec matters and it’s dumb that this is so spendy, but some spec choices make a performance difference and some don’t. This is one where it doesn’t make a difference.
  • 2 2
 @valrock: Neither are as good as SLX brakes.
  • 2 5
 @SATN-XC: well, the frame only kit is $6000. what do you want from there to keep it under $10k? lol
  • 1 5
flag Mtbdialed (Jan 31, 2023 at 14:09) (Below Threshold)
 @valrock: they are the same.......both are trash. Big Grin
  • 2 0
 @dresendsit: yeah they're not holding the bike back, but it sure could be cheaper!
  • 4 2
 @dresendsit: XTR brakes are actually built very differently although functionally they are the same. XTR are machined from a single piece of cold forged material (not 100% sure it is Ti, but mentioned on the Shimano website). Cold forged is significantly stiffer than the cast pieces that SLX and XT are made from. SLX and XT are two pieces sandwiched together and as mentioned above cast not forged.

bike.shimano.com/en-US/product/component/xtr-m9100/BR-M9120.html

I believe that SLX and XT are identical except for the labeling. All that being said, I notice zero difference between my XT and XTR setups as I have both on different builds.
  • 4 0
 @salespunk: that’s funny, because the picture in the link is clearly a two piece caliper.
  • 1 0
 @dresendsit: lol at brakes not holding the bike back. Brakes are kinda supposed to hold the bike back.
  • 2 0
 @salespunk: the main difference between the XT and SLX (besides the color) is the XT has a free stroke adjustment screw.
  • 1 0
 @smaptyjohnson: very interesting as the next to pics don't appear to be...?
  • 1 0
 Just kidding can clearly see the part line in others, must be each half is forged vs cast....?
  • 130 1
 "...this frame isn't compatible with a standard mechanical derailleur as it has nowhere to house the cables."

Stopped reading after that sentence.
  • 27 2
 Exactly. Sounds like that company (hopfully not many more) are drinking the roadbike Koolaid
  • 26 2
 This is a joke...These guys thought about the most useless integration everywhere on this bike, but didn't even thought of the most basic necessary integration ever: derailleur cable routing....
  • 34 1
 i think its kinda funny - AXS only, then has 2 cables for shock lockout which is a feature not many are interested in.
  • 11 0
 This is legit ridiculous
  • 5 0
 This is more of a joke than it is a bike, complete bullshit
  • 4 0
 dolla dolla rama zip ties y'all!
  • 1 3
 The average dentist consumer is not going to care about the loss of cable shifting
  • 4 0
 @NWuntilirest: And it gets even better. You have to run an AXS drivetrain (which is ridiculous and stupid). But then you also basically can’t run a complementary AXS dropper, because you don’t really have the space on the handle bar to mount another control pod besides the front brake and TwinLoc controls.

Legitimately terrible design.
  • 1 0
 @phil-e-b: Yes, because I want to glue zipties onto the side of my $8000 frame.
  • 76 1
 This comment section is going to be disaster.
  • 67 0
 Do you mean people mixing up there, their, and they're, and forgetting Oxford commas? Yup, it's going to be a nightmare.
  • 5 0
 integrated
  • 8 1
 That is a bold statement.
  • 3 0
 @tacklingdummy:

This ain't Amsterdam, Vince.
  • 20 0
 @bigtim: Your rite.
  • 16 0
 @geephlow: Know, he's knot.
  • 6 1
 @bigtim: I was going to upvote until I saw the Oxford comma bit...

Do you pronounce scone like scone or scone?
  • 2 0
 I need my Grammarly account to work on pink bike comments.
  • 11 0
 @korev: I pronounce it "rock cake".
  • 3 0
 @bigtim: Ya all these loosers are gonna brake the comments for shure
  • 62 1
 Not integrated enough, and too cheap. Not for me.
  • 60 0
 Unplugged, except for the 40 cables heading to the rear shock!
  • 58 0
 Unplugged, except for the 6 batteries needed to shift gears and adjust the saddle.
  • 8 2
 @hamncheez: I don't think it comes with a wireless dropper...not sure why though
  • 19 0
 @SATN-XC: WHAT PEASANT WOULD RIDE A $6K+ FRAME WITH A CABLE ACTUATED DROPPER
  • 2 1
 @SATN-XC: because they need to use the scott twinlock system that includes a cable dropper lever
  • 10 0
 @SpencerBaum: I wish more frame manufacturers would bring back front derailleurs. I'd like to run the Scott Quadlock system for my:
-Frt shock
-rear shock
-frt der
-dropper post
  • 1 0
 @SpencerBaum: biggest downfall yet. They need to figure out a twinloc remote that works along with the axs dropper.

The gen 2 twinloc actually sat nicely beside the axs button
  • 38 2
 I was planning on complaining about this.

But then I saw the frame only price was more than my l current entire bike at $6k, and realized that there was no use complaining. I’ll never even be considering this.

That said personally the geo looks pretty good, other than the chainstays. I personally think tall stacks in larger sizes should usually be accompanied by long chainstays to keep some weight on the front tire. But obviously that’s a personal preference.
  • 26 0
 so glad the frame only is $6k so the surgeons don't have to settle for some vietnamese value frame from Yeti for $5k.
  • 6 0
 @WasatchEnduro: "vietnamese value" this is what I'm going to now call my little soldier
  • 6 1
 That is pretty BOLD of them to be asking $6k for just a frame.
  • 2 1
 stop the long chainstays for people with poor bike handling skills agenda pushing, thanks
  • 2 0
 I got a factory suspension, industry nine, evil bike, for the same price of this shit frame, it’s unbelievable
  • 3 0
 Yeah. Scott/Bold has clearly lost the plot in regards to pricing. I'm honestly not sure whom they are trying to sell bikes to at this point.
  • 1 0
 @Muscovir: Tinfoil hat time: they exist solely to make Scott's pricing look more reasonable.
  • 36 0
 Right hand side of handlebars: Ahh...nice and simples

Left hand side of handlebars: Arrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 2 0
 Looks like the hand that reaches up from under your bed at night.
  • 1 0
 Middle of the handlebars: Nah, you're alright mate
  • 37 0
 It's really nice to have all of the features I don't want all in one bike.
  • 32 0
 Cables, cables everywhere.
Except the rear derailleur. Gotta look clean, y’know?
  • 7 1
 Nice cables, peasant!
  • 3 0
 Made my day!
  • 6 1
 I can't wait till we get electric brakes, then we'll really be cookin.
  • 1 0
 @William42: 2/3 through a super fast black and the battery on the brakes dies because rider forgot to charge it. Can't wait to read the litigation.
  • 2 0
 @ryan-pnw: Fair, but on the other hand you could finally put to rest those "which brake is the strongest" debate.

With some 3HP electric stoppers, aint nobody getting that wheel turning!
  • 2 0
 @William42: haha, good stuff! Even better if the modulation was digital. People complain now about noobs destroying burns, just wait...
  • 2 0
 @ryan-pnw:

My god! And the pinkbike comment section would eat it right up! They'd flame the shit out of it, but you'd see them on 80% of bikes in the parking lot within the first year. This is a magnificent grift, we're really on to something big here.
  • 21 0
 I love it when bike companies do weird and wonderful engineering to "keep the weight low" and then won't tell how much their frame weighs. I'll just have to assume it'll be heavy then. Not that I'd ever consider spending 6 grand on one.
  • 24 1
 Wow... this has really sparked my interest.
  • 22 3
 Genius comment
  • 6 1
 it tips the scales
  • 4 1
 Could be yours for a king’s ransom.
  • 3 1
 @tomfoolerybackground: That's all good, I'm a successful gambler.
  • 39 20
 I may be sent to the chair for this comment, but it looks really good. To each their own but this is the first bike in a while that's genuinely made me say, damn that's nice.
  • 41 1
 Go to the chair
  • 7 7
 it's gorgeous
  • 4 0
 @William42: with square wheels
  • 6 0
 Every bike with the flashy new integrated cables always looks silly because of the front brake cable. All that work to hide every other cable makes the one lone cable floating in the breeze stick out like a sore thumb. It won’t look “clean” until the cables are all gone.

But I would still prefer fully external cables on any bike…
  • 1 0
 @Lylat: this exactly
  • 11 3
 This bike is a downfall of humanity and an apotheosis of consumptionism. This is function follow form paradigm, it does not matter how shitty it works, how stupid solutions to nonexisting problems it incorporates, the only thing that matters is that it looks good. And I am sure there are lots of people who will buy it just because it looks good. It's an iPhone of mountain bikes.
  • 19 0
 "The shock in the frame is a modified Fox DPX2"

Would be good to know what is modified and, more importantly, how long Fox have committed to providing the proprietary spares
  • 5 0
 BOLD's website actually reads that it's a "FOX Float X Nude, 160mm / TracLoc".

NUDE tech paired with reconfigured damper adjust & air valve orientation. Pseudo proprietary

I think this article got it mixed up...
  • 11 0
 Now, this isn't from any text I have readily available but from what was said at the Genius launch and meeting with the engineer/designer of the Float X Nude. If memory serves me right, it's a brand new shock (as in new body etc) but based on a lot of the technology of the DPX2. Despite being developed for Scott (and obviously used by Bold too), low weight wasn't a priority so it's said to be really sturdy on the verge of being overbuilt.
And a key thing is that I can swear that you're supposed to be able to service this with the same service kit as for the regular ones. But future Unplugged/Genius owners reading this - please confirm it before getting a kit, as mentioned it's just what I remember from an extremely information packed evening.
  • 2 0
 @aegiz @marshrv1 - So you are! Thanks. Amended.
  • 17 0
 Trying to look like an e-bike without the motor…interesting methodology
  • 14 0
 Maybe the first time this has ever been said, but I don't know why anyone wouldn't save $3-4k and buy an Intense if they want a VPP enduro bike.
  • 3 1
 People actually buy Intense bikes?
  • 3 2
 No one who wants a santa cruz buys it because of vpp. Vpp is the worst aspect of santa cruz bikes
  • 22 10
 I had two friends' rides ruined in two consecutive days last week by AXS derailleurs not acting as they are supposed to. No thanks. I can't remember the last time I saw a broken shifter cable on a ride, but I've seen multiple ride-ending AXS dropper and derailleur failures or user errors, even in the small sample size of people that have it, over the past year (forgot to charge battery, or battery popped off mid-ride, or bluetooth won't connect, or coin battery dies).

Also love irony of a bike that takes wires away on the right side of the bar then has to add them to the left side of the bar for lockout's sake because of an internal shock.

Comical that someone would pay this much for a bike. With supply chain glut markdowns and layoffs you can get a nice SLX-equipped carbon bike for just under $4k now brand new.
  • 7 6
 I've rode AXS on the last three on my mountain bikes including reverb AXS dropper, my road bike is Red AXS I've had so much AXS stuff I've sold and that has been through my shop with zero issues.. We had shifting issues which was released on a update on the app but was fixed quickly after.....
  • 13 5
 I'm impressed at how many AXS failures you've witnessed... I think I'm with the 99.99% of other AXS owners who remember to charge & secure their batteries, but I haven't had a single issue in
3 seasons.
  • 7 3
 @Brave1i1toaster: Agreed. Been running AXS for a couple of seasons now and it's been flawless. The micro indexing from the app actually saved a bike park day after I slightly bent the hanger on the first run. I was able to index my low gears to compensate and bike worked well for the rest of the day.
  • 5 3
 @Brave1i1toaster:

Same. In have AXS on two of my three bikes. Zero issues in two years. Also can add in three other bikes ive built for an uncle and my dad running AXS, both had zero issues last season. Firmware updates and remembering to charge the batteries on way to trail with a USB outlet is a thoughtless process. People who complain about AXS are either making shit up or have no personal experience with it.

Now, the clutch on the AXS derailleur is not as stiff as the mechanical derailleur, but I can live with a little chain slap.
  • 10 3
 @Simann: *shrug* not making shit up. Maybe my friends are dumber than average, but these are just my personal experiences.
  • 12 1
 I’m with you. I love new tech but wireless drivetrains can go away as far as I’m concerned. X01 mechanical is as good as it gets for me
  • 2 1
 @notthatfast:

Hey I also agree, there will always be a place for mechanical shifting. I love my XTR 12 speed, so crisp and direct! But i also like to de-clutter. And AXS provides it! Now, if they could make an AXS shifter have the tactile feel of a mechanical shifter, that would be amazing!!!
  • 4 1
 @Simann:
Don’t get me wrong I like the lack of clutter and I like electronic shifting, Di2 is so nice - it shifts crazy well, is reliable and feels great but obviously doesn’t have the range of AXS. Problem is Bluetooth tech just seems to be unreliable at the best of times. I mean goddamn my Bluetooth speaker is finicky as f*ck a lot of the time, and that’s pretty inconsequential. There’s no way I’m putting my trust in a Bluetooth derailleur to keep doing its thing miles into the alpine/backcountry
  • 1 0
 @notthatfast: to be fair, there seems to be varying degree of bluetooth implementation quality. Case in point, my car is completely controlled (no physical key) via a bluetooth key to my phone app. It works flawlessly. I've owned this brand of vehicle (2 different vehicles) for 5 years and I have never once had the bluetooth key/app fail - auto lock/unlock, app-based control of climate control system, etc. Similarly, devices such as Apple Airpods connect instantly and reliably across years of use. My experience with AXS has been the same - it just works.
  • 3 0
 @KJP1230:
I know a number of people that have had their AXS components fail for no reason, sometimes at critical moments. It’s not for me.
  • 1 0
 @KJP1230: I thought that e.g., auto unlock was RFID, not BT. I definitely acknowledge that I could be mistaken. I've never owned a car newer than model year 2004.
  • 1 0
 @pmhobson: The car manufacturer I'm referencing is Tesla. They run everything via bluetooth and LTE connection (for remote connection when out of range) to the phone app, which serves as your key as well. Auto lock/unlock, etc. is all bluetooth, as these features disappear if you turn off bluetooth from your phone.
  • 2 0
 @KJP1230: eeeek. Good to know.
  • 2 0
 Haven't seen any AXS failures yet, but the three people I know with AXS on their bike have all forgotten to charge the battery at least once, and I've also been browsing in a shop when someone has come in asking to charge their battery so they can get back on the trail after lunch.
  • 2 1
 @dsut4392:

Easy fix, buy a few spare batteries and carry them with you. Super small and weigh nothing. If you are already buying the AXS groupset, then what is another hundred dollars in spare batteries?
  • 14 0
 Wait this isn’t an e-bike?
  • 12 0
 Hillarious - they got rid of the motor and battery, but kept the price tag Smile
  • 4 0
 and the looks of an ebike
  • 7 0
 When u let desighners and marketing decide how bikes are made you get this . I wonder if they actually ride a bike . They most certainly don't work on them . Some people will be gob smacked by the swoopy looks and buy the thing . God bless them . My condolences to the mechanics.
  • 8 0
 At some point you have to give the people behind this bike a healthy kick in the dick and force them to ride it for two seasons in the mud and wrench on it themselves, all while receiving a ritualistic beating with hand pumps by angry bike forum users.

Does the frame look good? Probably. Is it gonna be an unpractical piece of shit to work on and does it put completely unnecessary restrictions on components selection just for the sake of vanity? You know the answer.
  • 9 0
 What's the prerequisites to being a mountain bike product manager? Do you have to be blind and deaf?
  • 6 0
 "We spend a ton of time and money to finagle a way to get up to 4 cables through the headset, but decided we'd put only 3 through, and also leave out a hole in the rear triangle, in order to drastically limit your drivetrain options. You're welcome. Send money."
  • 11 1
 Bold Buttplug
  • 10 0
 HARD PASS
  • 9 1
 Can't wait for the e-unplugged.
  • 6 0
 Replugged, lol
  • 9 0
 Sweet the 2024 Ransom!
  • 4 0
 Hey Scott, yea I clicked on this so I go into the click count total stats thingie, but rest assured, after looking at the 1st picture, I did not read a single word. I will never buy one of your bikes with your current design philosophy, and I'm at a point in my life where I can and will buy what I want and it won't be from you.
  • 5 0
 Given how long the front center is with a 63 degree HTA, the 437mm chainstays are way too short - even on a medium. Managing front end grip gets exhausting. 447mm would suit this bike perfectly, across the range.
  • 6 0
 until they can figure out how to integrate the cranks, pedals, derailleur and brake levers into the frame, I'm not interested.
  • 1 0
 BMW K1.
  • 4 0
 "The shock in the frame is a modified Fox DPX2."

"Modified" or "proprietary"? From the pics (since you didn't mention the modifications), it looks like this shock won't fit on some other bikes, and a normal shock might not fit on this bike... sounds like what used to always be derided as "proprietary".

And pretty sure it's a "modified" Float X, not DPX2.
  • 7 2
 Clean looking bike, except for the Twin-lock. Really not a fan of bikes that require the use of lock out type levers in order to perform well.
  • 5 2
 Agreed. There are so many suspension designs that work incredibly well and scarcely need a LSC climb switch, much less a more complicated solution. I immediately lost interest when I see somewhat proprietary shock stuff - not to mention that Twin-lock has never landed with reviewers. Just give it up already.
  • 6 0
 Neat bar on the right side with axs... Then i look at left side...3 levers...is like to ride a church organ. .
  • 3 0
 I love that it has bold design choices that are easy to identify at a distance, very similar to a BMW it will let us know at a distance that a high power entitlement field is en route. The ultimate luxury statement is owning a vehicle that signals to everyone that you absolutely do not maintain it yourself.
  • 2 0
 It's perhaps a well designed bike on some aspects (shock integration, design, etc), but did they really put a proprietary shock ("modified Fox"...) in an exposed place from rocks and stuff, only covered by a piece of plastic ? They did not mention a "carbon guard", so... That sound horrible.
  • 5 0
 Imagine riding around on a bike that looks like an ebike, but actually isn’t lol
  • 4 0
 2022 Scott Spark I owned and sold after 3 months was the biggest piece of shit I’ve ever owned. I’ll never deal with this gimmicky trash like this again.
  • 5 1
 Please expand on your thoughts and memories regarding this bicycle...
  • 2 0
 On my PC I like to display my hardware, on the bike it's the same but I'm open to both approaches. And this bike does look really fine, and I don't even mind that it can be mistaken for an ebike. Looks aren't everything, but if it looks as fine as this it might (or not) be worth the extra trouble.
  • 2 0
 Deal with trouble for something that looks fine? Guys never do that
  • 2 0
 Let me get this straight... You're (essentially) stuck with the handlebar/stem, can't really change stack sweep, reach, or stack height easily. Have to run electronic derailleurs, no holes for cables. But you still have the cable mess of the suspension lock out and no electronic dropper, after all the design function of not drilling holes for the derailleur?
  • 2 0
 Not gonna lie I think it's awesome despite my misgivings about some of the design choices. Most of which are maintenance annoyances you wouldn't have to face every day. But being limited to pinner Fox air shocks is a dealbreaker for this XXL person who could actually ride the XL of this bike. Is there a list of other shocks that can fit in there?
  • 2 0
 Proprietary shocks are just the greatest. Its like the swiss are in competition to come up with the most unneccesarily complex stuff. Wonder if that shock ever overheats when its ridden properly. Guessing it wasnt even contemplated
  • 5 0
 Bold/Scott bikes. Proudly displaying form over function.
  • 5 0
 Hard pass for me. I don't want to be mistaken for an ebiker.
  • 2 0
 Integrated shock to look clean. Wireless derailleur out of laziness and to look clean, I guess. Slaps the most egregious looking thumb levers on the bars. Clean aesthetic over function because I too hate maintenance.
  • 2 0
 Oh jesus, the shock uses the Scott Nude system? Just when I thought they couldnt make this bike any worse (or more ridiculous) they went for the nude shock. Kill it with fire.
  • 2 0
 More custom parts than the space shuttle. I am sure all of those tiny little custom bits will be a joy to clean after the mud season. Boldly going where no one wanted you to. No thank you.
  • 2 0
 I started to read the article, but kept picturing Tom Cruise's character from Tropic Thunder telling the people who designed this to F*** THEIR OWN FACES and couldn't stop laughing.....
  • 1 0
 Just wow, not sure where to start, lots of $$, lots of fiddle, lots of stuff that is more thneed than a Dr Seuss musical.

I’m sure someone is gonna buy this Swiss watch bike, but it ain’t coming home with this guy … and I’m certainly in a position to buy one.

So hey, big bike guys, you all wanna sell bikes?

Stop messing around with fancy tech and hidden lines/shocks/etc, folks who can afford a bike like this are not interested in this nonsense.

I can buy as much bike as the market can offer, and I choose to ride a Canfield Lithium and a Zerode Taniwha.

Just think about what you’re doing, this isn’t a contest, you’re not gonna sell a bike that costs more time/money to fix than a comparable low tech bike.

Just saying …
  • 1 0
 These twin lock bikes rely on it way too much. I read Nino uses his 100x in one race. That said, their engineers are going for looks over suspension and efficiency. Hard pass on any of these bikes. Other bikes are better without the twin lock. 10k is criminal.
  • 4 0
 620mm stack for a large bike is not enough, change my mind
  • 5 0
 agree, same as the new fuel EX... they made the perfect do-it-all bike but then decided "nah lets not make it perfect, give it low stack and small headtube"

absolute mind boggling why brands use low stack/short headtubes
  • 2 0
 Your mind can only be changed if you try the lower bar height and get used to it. Otherwise, others can only speak of their personal preferences, doesn' mean that yours should be the same. I was very much into low stack and used a flat bar with no spacers on my 29" Capra, but I seem to be getting used to a higher bar now and it's OK. The advantage of a higher bar is that it makes raising the front wheel easier and can be less fatiguing. The advantage of a lower bar, most people might wonder what the hell I'm talking about but I think it's easier to attack complicated/technical sections with a lower bar and I've had a couple of ugly over-the-bars since I raised mine.
  • 1 0
 @DavidGuerra: Low bar gave me issues in steep sections i didn't have with my old bike (which was a 2005 yeti asx medium size with high bar). I still struggle a bit with modern geometry, it's way better since i put a +50mm rise bar and the stem at the highest possible position. Low bar is a no for me evenon flat riding
  • 4 0
 Let’s see Paul Allen’s frame m.pinkbike.com/u/henryquinney
  • 2 0
 Look at that subtle off-white colouring. The tasteful thickness of it. Oh my God... it even has a watermark.
  • 4 0
 If you don't like canles and visible suspension, buy a fixie
  • 4 0
 You lost me at headset cable routing.
  • 3 0
 The Bold Unplugged... For when you want that weighty e-bike look without the e-bike.
  • 3 0
 This integration trend needs to stop... I guess it will once they are stuck with the inventory?
  • 2 0
 Wait. So, you're telling me that the Unplugged is only compatible with electric derailleurs? The kind that, you know, you have to plug in and charge?
  • 2 0
 I just never like the way one piece bar/stems look - to integrated for my aesthetics? I am a sucker for CNC'd anodized hardware on the cockpit.
  • 1 0
 $6k for a frame I would never go after the sexiest, high maintenance, expensive women for the same reasons I wouldn’t go after this bike. Cable integration and proprietary bits
  • 3 0
 Plugged frame holes for shifter….. smh
  • 4 0
 LOLOLOL
  • 3 0
 Well, at least the gear cable doesn't go through the headset.
  • 2 0
 Stop already. Work on the gearbox, and make suspension that doesn't require full tear-downs annually.
  • 2 0
 @henryquinney , any idea what specific adapter is used to connect AXS shifter to I-Spec EV brake collar?
  • 1 0
 @chriskief: Yes, I am aware of these - thanks! But that's not what's in the closeup pic of the right hand controls setup here. I was curious what is the specific kind of adapter used, as it looks super clean and minimalistic.
  • 1 0
 @arek: I'm not too sure. It doesn't say on the full tech sheet. To be honest, normally I just tap the normal Matchmaker piece into the Shimano clamps! Haha. Works a charm.
  • 1 0
 Wolftooth maybe
  • 1 0
 It's impressive when the lack of the shock being visible is so natural feeling. 'Nother story when it's time to adjust it or service it!
  • 2 0
 Great looking bike, but 438mm chainstays with a 520mm reach is a massive fail on the XL.
  • 1 0
 There is a parallel universe in which I would purchase this, it happens to be the universe where I am a small dwarf with bug eyes
  • 1 0
 "avoids the pitfalls of Scott's tri-lock system"

What even is the "tri-lock" system, and what are the pitfalls? The remote on this looks exactly like a Scott "TwinLoc"...
  • 1 0
 Yep, correct! Ha. Thanks.
  • 1 0
 @henryquinney: So what are the pitfalls that it was supposed to be avoiding?
  • 2 0
 @justinfoil: Historically it hasn't been reviewed well or been held in the highest esteem with aggressive enduro builds. Not only are you stuck with a damper that is slightly inferior but also the front end tends to do the inverse of what you would like on steep climbs. Ie- when you hit the lever the fork becomes less likely to settle into the travel and actually grip, which can have a consequent effect on where your weight sits. It also means you can have less external adjustment - although most brands have done a better job at including external adjustment on remote-operated suspension across the board in recent years. My take anyway, and I think most would agree.
  • 1 0
 @henryquinney: Makes sense.

Though I thought you were talking about the remote specifically... "The remote, which thankfully avoids the pitfalls..."
  • 2 0
 This bike is a culture vulture's dream, not enough wireless and integration for me, I was hoping for Bluetooth brakes!
  • 2 0
 Electric steering damper and antilock brakes are missing and its a total dealbreaker for me.
  • 2 1
 I am really not going to be able to hold back if I ever see someone on the trail that has actually bought one of these stupid things....
  • 2 0
 It looks like the old Transition carbon frame design fucked an EVIL frame and this was their baby...
  • 2 0
 I bet my raaw madonna with all external routing is a quiter bike than this one.
Ps. F**k Integrated stem/bars
  • 3 0
 The more I see new bikes like this, the more I like my hardtail
  • 1 0
 me too.
  • 1 0
 Love the way Manufacturers are making MTBing accessable to the younger generation with EVERY bike coming out being OVER $8,000 LMFAO
  • 2 0
 Pretty rare that I can't find a single redeeming quality about a bike. But, here we are.
  • 1 1
 If you don't like it, don't buy it. I think it looks awesome and functional, but those details come with a price. That's normal. It's not for everyone, but I don't think the company cares.
  • 1 0
 They need to figure out how to integrate the fork INTO the frame somehow.... That way whenever you need a lower service, you just have to buy a new bike.
  • 1 0
 Now bike companies are forcing us to use electronic shifting much the same way car companies are forcing electric and hybrid cars on us..
  • 3 0
 looks like a scott
  • 2 0
 Anyone else looking at that down tube and reading PLOG ?
  • 2 0
 The name is the perfect setup for their upcoming e-bike
  • 3 0
 What in tarnation
  • 3 0
 what a ball ache
  • 2 0
 This is the bike we all drew as a kid.
  • 3 1
 Still better than a e-bike i suppose..... not by much though.
  • 2 0
 This sure seems like a recipe for overheating shocks.
  • 5 0
 It's called a roast and its classy
  • 1 3
 Super cool fact: Changing air temp causes the shock pressure to change quite a bit. Here in Salt Lake City, the air temp can change from 10 to 15 degrees from my house to the trail up in the mountains. I check the air pressure when I get to whatever trail I'm riding. That ain't happening here. No thanks.
  • 2 0
 No cable routing. Wtf. Definitely a turn off
  • 2 3
 I was ready to hate on these bikes like the rest of the comments but any time a company busts out anything close to the day-glo green in the alternate colourway I am a sucker. They know what they're doing .
  • 2 0
 So how many did you order? And will the colour go with your Megatowers?
  • 1 0
 @korev: My wallet says no bolds or megatowers for now, sadly.
  • 1 0
 I'm surprised Scott didn't patent the internal shock lol. Not a fan of this bike though
  • 1 0
 Scott got the idea from Bold though..?
  • 1 1
 @gnarnaimo: yeah but scott patents everything they get their hands on
  • 1 0
 @mariomtblt: yeah but Scott owns bold
  • 4 1
 You lost me at Scott.
  • 2 0
 6 grand for the frame. do they think its still covid times or what!?
  • 2 0
 The 2023 Bold Unplugged Mixes Aggration With Integression...
  • 2 0
 place shot into frame and cook at 350 until medium rare
  • 2 0
 Damn!!! They're proud of that.
  • 1 0
 No mechanical rear derailleur?

That's a Bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for em.
  • 2 0
 Broken , Old , Last years , Design
  • 3 0
 Hard pass.
  • 2 0
 All that engineering and they couldn't incorporate a threaded BB?
  • 2 0
 Boldly using integrated design that nobody wants LOL.
  • 1 0
 I hope they also introduce through the headset routing too. Gotta make sure we mechanics are worth our pay right? Sigh
  • 2 0
 Won't somebody please think of the Mechanics!
  • 1 0
 9k for performance level suspension, who's gonna buy one? Frame is pretty tho.
  • 1 0
 Made by roadies for people concerned with aero and watts on their enduro bike lol. Why do they have lockouts ?
  • 2 0
 That’s a Bold price tag cotton, let’s see if it pays off for them.
  • 1 0
 I am utterly offended that a bike with the moniker "unplugged" has components that you need to plug in.
  • 1 1
 Congrats there's a new bitch-ass bike for all of you leg shavers please do not send to North America we will turn it around at customs
  • 1 0
 looks like they lent there design to Scott and got Scotts cable madness as a return...
  • 1 0
 Wheres the $16,000 one no one can afford with axs dropper and flight attendant
  • 1 0
 That’s is one sexy looking bike

I would imagine ancillotti scarab carbon to look like this
  • 3 1
 Great Scott!
  • 1 0
 Unplugged…batteries not included (or maybe at least one is?)
  • 2 1
 I hate this and you should too.
  • 1 1
 I respect it for being unabashedly what it is. Not for me, but cool and different.
  • 1 0
 Scott Spark and Cannondale Jekyll made a baby
  • 4 4
 And it's retarded.
  • 1 0
 That white marble color is super cool
  • 2 0
 What is the point?
  • 1 0
 So, we're looking at the prototype Scott Ransom?
  • 1 0
 "How do you set the sag?" Magnets. How do they work?
  • 1 0
 Love their take on internal storage: STD kit.
  • 2 0
 Nope
  • 1 0
 This is great for everyone that says FK kinematic just hide my shock....
  • 2 0
 TRY AGAIN. Shit bike.
  • 1 0
 How to out Cannondale 2002 cannondale
  • 1 0
 Takes a big dog to f@&k an elephant.
  • 1 0
 Looks cool. Will never buy one.
  • 1 0
 Perfect everything I hate in a bike...
  • 1 0
 "Wow, that's a good looking bi-" aaaaaaand fugly stem and headset spacers.
  • 1 0
 What is this monstrosity?
  • 1 1
 hey Scott...how you doing....you got room at the table?
  • 1 0
 I see now that Scott owns a majority stake in Bold...nm, makes sense
  • 3 4
 Looks kinda Evil but without the delta link mess. Like the looks but not the price Big Grin
  • 3 0
 So looks like an evil, minus the one thing that makes an evil look like an evil lol.
  • 2 0
 @Keegansamonster: It was the first thing that came to mind... Had too much coffee this morning...
  • 2 2
 maybe Dangerholm can pimp one so it actually looks nice?
  • 1 1
 *new dentist bike has entered the chat*
  • 1 1
 definitely for dentists I can't even adjust the shock with my fat fingers
  • 1 1
 Minion DHF died 10 years ago? I'm confused.
  • 1 0
 No in Bold caps
  • 1 0
 Barf
  • 2 2
 Pretty sweet bike
  • 5 7
 I think that thing is fucking awesome
  • 4 5
 That's a BOLD new SCOTT.
  • 1 4
 Impressive, very nice. Now let's see Paul Allen's dentist bike.
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