Knolly Bikes Bids Farewell to Conor Macfarlane

Jan 16, 2017
by Knolly Bikes  
Photo by Tom Richards
Photo: Tom Richards @tomivorricards/ Furnival Media

Three years ago we got a call from factory team rider, Garett Buehler. Garett was stoked about his year and wanted to chat about media he planned for 2015 including a trip to New Zealand to film and ride with Conor. "Duuude, you gotta sponsor Conor. He's a serious bad ass." Knowing Garett's ability to judge talent we needed to listen and started chatting with Conor which led to his first factory deal in 2015. Conor didn't disappoint having a great year and partnered with Garett they released an awesome video:

Conor is the real deal. Super talented, down to earth, positive attitude and incredibly professional. Going into 2016 he was shaping up to be a freeride superstar so it was easy to continue working with him extending his contract.

Photo by Tom Richards
Photo: Tom Richards @tomivorricards/ Furnival Media

Two years riding for the brand Conor not only did a fantastic job but reminded us how versatile, durable and sophisticated the bikes are as he pushed his limits. This was shown at the 2016 edition of Red Bull Rampage where he went to battle with the desert in our sport's most notable contest securing votes from his colleagues to win the first every Kelly McGarry Spirit award. Conor has developed quickly driven by hard work and a great attitude so it is no surprise that he attracted opportunities that suited his development and provided him with greater support. As such we are saying farewell to Conor as he moves on from Knolly Bikes in 2017.

Conor Macfarlane joins Knolly Bikes images
Photo: Stephan Haworth

"The decision to part ways with Conor was easy but difficult. We hoped to have him in the brand for his career but unfortunately timing isn't on our side. It is unfortunate to see him go but we are stoked to see him progress his career." - Ryan Berrecloth - Knolly Bikes Team Manager

Conor's last Knolly edit before moving on. Shot and edited by Tom Richards @tomivorricards/ Furnival Media

"I’m very grateful for what Knolly have done for me, picking me up and helping play a role in turning me into the rider I am today. To ride for a company which makes solid bikes and lets you do what you think is right for you with no pressure is all you can ask for really so I’m stoked on the time I got to spend with Knolly, cheers guys!" - Conor Macfarlane

An announcement will shortly follow on where the Kiwi superstar will land. Stay tuned for more details.

Photo by Tom Richards

From everyone here at Knolly, we want to say a big thanks Conor for all your hard work and memories. You have done some amazing things on our bikes and we're stoked to see you kill it in the future.




  • 62 0
 Sad to see Conor leave knolly, but excited to see what his future has in store. Super talented rider, good luck!!!
  • 13 0
 I want the near future to bring a new knolly dh bike, ffs...
  • 43 0
 Does anyone remember Connors first rampage (2014 or 15?) When he said he wanted to do well so he wouldn't have to work and just ride the next year? Congratulations bro, dream achieved!
  • 18 2
 I like Knolly and I like Connor, let's hope this separation is good for both!
  • 18 4
 Knotty not producing a big bike anymore might have had some sort of influence.
  • 4 0
 No big bike on their website alright...
  • 5 0
 @AlexS1: Can't see Doerfling taking that well..
  • 5 25
flag norcal77 (Jan 17, 2017 at 20:04) (Below Threshold)
 @AlexS1: you mean the "podium" baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahaha. Buy our bikes we make sick edits, use a junk suspension that the owner designed and love beers we cant stand the taste of. Yeah Knolly fanboys unite, tuck your bald mansacks behind your thighs and chant the praises of 90's technology.
  • 6 1
 @norcal77: Ever ride one? Down a hill?
  • 5 0
 @norcal77: Are you alright mate?
  • 5 2
 As a Chilcotin owner all I can say that the bike reides superb, but it's construction (in terms of robustness) is flawed. The suspension transfers side load on a shock and destroys upper bearings easily. Look at a Warden carbon upper link - this one is done right. Owning a Knolly I have learned the hard way that on a 4-bar links should be short, stiff, and never 2-piece. Not to mention the fact that the link mounts on my front triangle are misaligned with chainstay mount ...
  • 2 1
 @AlexS1: this guy does the same every time knolly comes up...
  • 6 1
 @lkubica: sorry man cant be objective here, the fanboys that push this brand will cut themselves before saying anything critical about it. I bought the first release of the Chilcotin. Knolly flat out lied to me about the ship date for 4 months....then when I asked for my money back they shipped one out that day. 2 months later my rear linkage bolts were rusting and backing out. The rear suspension was junk, I think its not as noticeable on the endo but still flawed. Plenty of other small companies to like at their price point. They were kicking pivots ass at the time i bought my knolly and look where pivot is now. But Pivot hired someone to design a better rear suspension. I think Kona is simple design, I would much rather own a Kona over a Knolly. I would even pay for a Ellsworth or ...sigh....even DiamondBack over a Knolly. I get the Canadian boners for Knolly. They use to build their own frames and back then no one had a great suspension. But guess what this is 2017 and things have changed. You can buy a carbon bike with a much better suspension from 20+ companies for the same price as an aluminum Knolly. Not to mention who the hell is knolly really supporting except for a few freeriders. How many free frames, complete bikes or full sponsorship contracts are they handing out? You want to fit in buy Knolly, I could careless how many down votes you give me, it only lets me know how many of you actually suck Noels nuts. Remember, at the end of the day this site is here to give people varying and objective opinions on bike related merchandise, if you want to grab your pom poms and cheer on Knolly make sure they are flannel.
  • 15 1
  • 4 0
  • 2 0
 @fabdemaere: God I hope you're right. I think Intense is putting more effort into its WC DH team. It would also be nice to have a younger, relevant free-rider on board an M-16, Uzzi or new Tracer.
  • 7 0
 Massive knolly fan but agree knolly podium is looking dated. Surely they can tweek the knolly delerium a little bit longer and slacker and this will result in a killer downhill rig?? Big fan connor my bets is he's going kona alongside graham aggassiz and Connor MacFarlane?? Just a stab in the dark I think Connors style suits the kona supreme operator personally and konas ethos
  • 5 0
 Correction *alongside Connor fearon*
  • 8 2
 It seems like a super active rider market this year - so many changes going on.

I wonder with all the bikes sold by an individual brand, how many people riding those newly bought bikes could actually name one team rider on "their" brand? How about two team riders?

And I am not talking about the Pinkbike followers - we are above average but not the majority (or else there would be bike parks everywhere, and a YT in all our garages)
  • 19 2
 I'll take it a step further, can the average mountain biker name 1 pro? Anybody who rides any kind of bike in any discipline. I kind of doubt it. In a way that makes cycling a more interesting sport, the majority participate, rather just watch from the sidelines. The opposite of football where most of the fans have never even tried out for their highschool team.
  • 2 1
 @maxyedor: Excellent point sir. Kudos. Now lets all go ride
  • 3 0
 Average person doesn't care about pros or reviews...they go to the LBS and buy what they can afford. Its what makes it so great IMO
  • 3 0
 @maxyedor: loved this comment. I've never thought of it like that before. So true, so unique.
  • 6 1
 Hope it'll be a better future for both Knolly and Connor. Specialized maybe? After Berrecloth left they've lost a freerider slot+Troy too. Seems a bit more cash left in the wallet.
  • 5 0
 "The decision to part ways with Conor was easy but difficult. We hoped to have him in the brand for his career but unfortunately timing isn't on our side."

It was easy but difficult? What?
  • 5 0
 And they aren't showing a proper DH bike on their 2017 lineup either
  • 7 5
 I feel like Conor is even a berrer rider now than Andre Lacodeguy n Darren Berrecloth.. I hope nothing but the best for this guy.. he's given us a lot more than amazing videos but he thought me a lot in his last rampage competition.. thanks a lot n keep it up bro!!
  • 8 1
  • 1 1
 Disagree. Connors good but he ain't no lacondeguy. Lacondeguy has more steeze and bigger trick bag and is sick on his MX bike too which means he gives full moto extensions. Plus have you seen anyvid of Connor doing superman full moto extensions? I haven't seen Connor once do a superman????
  • 6 0
  • 3 0
 That'd be awesome! This vid of Conor is so mint Seems like a great fit now that bas is gone.
  • 2 0
 @MegaMonkey: good shout bro thought I'd seen ALL Connors vids, not that one though! Sweet
  • 3 0
 I would think after the season Connor just had, he would be a hot commodity. I also think he has the steeeeez to be a shoe in for Pivot.
  • 5 0
 or intense?????
  • 1 0
 @fabdemaere: we might guess it right????
  • 3 0
 Giant could really use a rider.
  • 2 0
 New sponsors... gonna kill it! Go conor
  • 1 0
 Seems like things worked pretty well for Connor and Knolly - interested to see where he's headed to next!
  • 5 3
  • 8 0
 Mountain Cycle?
  • 3 0
  • 4 0
  • 8 1
  • 1 0
 Naw, lenzsport!
  • 3 0
 @inverted180: Its sad knowing they are no longer a company Frown
  • 1 0
 Those 360 drops looked gnarly.
  • 1 0
 Awww, too bad so sad for Knolly. Nice to see the new C-Mac movin' on up.
  • 1 0
 Does anyone remember is first rampage
  • 1 0
 They'll replace him with Connor McGregor.
  • 8 10
 dammit Knolly!! you made a big mistake
  • 45 1
 Seems pretty obvious that Connor chose to accept a deal with another brand, not that Knolly let him go.
  • 7 2
 Connor and Knolly always seemed like a good combo! I guess Canyon needs a freerider in ANZ?!
  • 10 1
 @suboptimusprime: Yup. Small company = finite sponsorship budget.
  • 1 10
flag norcal77 (Jan 17, 2017 at 19:54) (Below Threshold)
 @MTB-Colada: ride for a company that gives you free bikes and only shoots 3min edits? The same company that has a bike called the Podium....that has never been on one? Laughable. People who think Knolly is a rad company remind me of MMA fans claiming chuck lidell was the best ever. Step into the future hipsters.
  • 5 0
 @norcal77: Rage on bro! Did Knolly hurt your feelings somehow? Please define for us a "rad" company in your eyes. Specialized? Trek? Giant? Oh and the suspension systems on all bikes were developed in the late 90s, early 2000s and basically just refined and tweaked over the years - FSR, VPP, Maestro, DW Link, various linkage-driven single pivots, etc.
  • 2 0
 @norcal77: Whatever dude. Knolly Warden is on my short shortlist of next trail bikes. Awesome bikes.
  • 1 1
 @MTB-Colada: why? seriously.
  • 1 2
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