Noel at Knolly has been designing some gorgeous bikes now for a few years and takes a whole new level of pride in offering folks the highest quality he can bring to all his models. These bikes are built to get the job done day after day and keep you smiling by the amount of stoke they are bringing to their owners. We got our paws on a Delirium T frame and have taken on the task of building it up as an All Mountain pedaler with an emphasis on its Freeride capabilities.Check out the build up with videos and pictures
makes three full suspension bikes that cater to the Trail riders, the All Mountain and Freeride crowds out there. The Endorphin is their trail bike with 5.5" of rear travel, the Delirium T is the All Mountain machine with 6.3" of rear travel and the V-Tach punishes Freeride trails with 7.7" of rear tire travel. We chose to go with a Delirium T as it's 6.3" of very capable travel is mated to one hell of a sturdy frame. Front derailleur ready and a pedaling platform that encourages long rides was what we were looking for. Have a look at this beauty:
Knolly bikes are made right here in North America and are ready to tackle the trails in their back yard known as the North Shore.
Being locally made, attention to details is on top of Knolly's check list for each frame. From the machined pieces that make up the frame to the "quad double row angular contact bearings" and back to the cable routing, everything has been looked at under Noel's keen eye.Machined main pivot and BB area
: The Patent Pending 4x4 linkage
Out back the rear drop outs are replaceable (135x10mm Q/R or 135x12mm Thru Axle) and feature 20mm of Chainstay length adjustment so that you can really shorten them up for great climbing. They are each 9mm thick so don't expect to have to replace them anytime soon, if ever.
Running a 1.5" head tube allows for greater surface contact between the top tube, down tube and head tube area, thus eliminating the need for unnecessary gusseting. 1.5" headsets can be found with 1 1/8" reducer options so that you can run the fork of your choice too. FSA makes a nice 1.5" to 1 1/8" headset option.
The front suspension duties are being covered by a long travel single crown fork-the Marzocchi
66RC3. The 66RC3 is Marzocchi's single crown freeride fork that is built to take any abuse my 220lbs body can throw at it and more. Adjustable preload, rebound and compression knobs allow you the rider to dial in the ride characteristics to suit your needs.
With the 66RC3 upfront it only made sense to match it up to a ROCO TST R rear shock for rear damping duties. The ROCO TST R features externally adjustable Trail Selection Technology (TST) aka easy to tune compression, externally adjustable rebound, externally adjustable bottom out resistance via air valve and spring preload. This is a user friendly rear shock and that is what I wanted.
Sizes: 15", 16.5", 18", 19" and 20.5"
|Eff TT (mm)||546mm||565mm||591mm||607mm||629mm|
The 2008 Shimano
XT groupo seemed like a great fit for this bike as I wanted it to be as versatile as possible without breaking the bank or skimping on performance. For 2008 Shimano released the 25th anniversary edition XT kit and it's revamped from the ground up and they even added a set of tubeless ready wheels with a front 20mm hub offering, which really caught my attention. Here's the breakdown of the new groupo.
The crankset arrived with 22/32/44 tooth chainrings on it. Since I'd be running an e.13 DRS guide, the 44T outer ring had to go to make room for the new bash guard. I may jump up to a 34 or 36 tooth middle ring later, but for now the 32 tooth will get the job done. I also chose to run 170mm length arms to reduced the chances of clipping rocks and roots out in the woods or putting a pedal into the dirt on a corner. The cranks come with Shimano's outboard bearing bottom bracket too.
At the other end of the HG93 chain line is an 11-34 tooth 9 speed XT cassette. I went this route as the 11 tooth will help me get the bike up to speed and the 34 tooth will help me up the hills.
Keeping the chain moving up and down the cassette is Shimano's new Shadow XT rear derailleur. The all new Shadow rear derailleurs have a very minimalist profile to reduce the chances of contacting rocks, roots and generally bad things while you are trying to pin it and aggressively attack the trail. The new single tension design also promises to be quieter as it will not allow the derailleur to make contact with the chain stay over the rough stuff.
In order for the derailleurs to move, they need to be hooked up to shifters. Staying with the new XT groupo, we've thrown the new Rapid Fire pods on board. The new 2 way release is GREAT as you can now gear down with your thumb OR index finger. The ergonomics have come a long ways too and feel great on the digits. We quickly removed the gear indicators and installed the little covers that come along in the kits to keep the grit out. The mounting bracket also features to mounting spots that allow for a more precise inboard or outboard lever position.
Note how white these grips were on the first day. They are my favorites, but the white is not going to stay that way
One of the newest and most talked about additions to the XT groupo is the all new disk brakes. Redesigned based on the XTR platform and then taken one step further is the all new XT brake lever. You can fine tune your lever feel and engagement by using the new reach adjustment and free stroke dials. The Servo Wave mechanism makes for faster brake engagement and 20% more braking power. The lever ergonomics feel great in my hands. Like all Shimano brakes, the new XTs work on Mineral Oil.
Now that I've got the drive train covered it's time to move on to the rest of the components that will make this Knolly climb up the hills and bomb back down. All the fancy shifters and brake levers wouldn't be much good if they didn't have a bar and stem to attach themselves too. Chromag
's Fubar OS is becoming a favorite around these parts and when it came time to build the Knolly it was on top of the list. Chromag also has a nice new stem called the Cutblock II that fit the All Mountain/Freeride bill nicely. To finish off the cock pit of the bike and add some more style, we went with ODI
's Ruffian lock on grips in white.
The Chromag equipped cock pit of the Knolly
The Cutblock II has a huge clamping surface-no bar slipping here.
They sure look good out of the package and on the bike.
It's tough to ride a bike with no saddle or seat post too. Chromag came through once again with one of their new saddle offerings, the Trailmaster. The Trailmaster has chromoly rails and has been designed with the all day big mountain rides in mind. The extra thick nose of the saddle is designed to be friendly on the technical climbs too. Due to the relaxed seat post angle on the Knolly it was tougher than expected to find a post that had enough up/down nose tilt adjustment available so that the nose of the saddle wouldn't be rubbing my taint raw. With a little digging I found exactly what I were looking for in the Easton Havoc seat post. This 350mm post has some of the easiest adjustments I've ever dealt with and should be more than robust enough for a 220lbs rider. It will also accommodate 7mm and 8mm thick saddle rails and comes with a 5 year limited warranty. I could have used a simple Allen key seat post collar or a generic quick release one, but this isn't exactly a generic bike, so a Chromag quick release seat post collar was installed.
Here is the Knolly getting draped in new parts during a time elapsed build:
|Frame and size||Knolly Delirium T (Stealth-Anodized Black)|
•160mm of travel
|Rear Shock||Marzocchi ROCO TST R Coil|
•425 lb steel spring
|Fork||2008 Marzocchi 66RC3|
•20 mm Axle
•Rebound and Compression adjustments
|Headset||FSA Orbit Xtreme Pro 1.5" to 1 1/8"|
|Crankarms||Shimano XT, 170 mm|
|Chainrings||Shimano XT 22/32/Bash Guard|
|Bottom Bracket||Shimano XT 68/73mm|
|Pedals||Easton Flat Boys|
|Chain||Shimano 9-speed HG-93|
|Cassette||Shimano XT 11-34t 9-Speed|
|Front Derailleur||Shimano XT E-type|
|Rear Derailleur||Shimano XT Shadow|
|Shifter Pods||Shimano XT Rapid Fire Plus 9 speed|
|Handlebar||Chromag Fubar OS Risers(31.8mm)|
|Stem||Chromag Cutblock 002(31.8mm)|
|Grips||ODI Ruffian Lock-Ons in White|
|Brakes||Shimano XT with 8" rotors|
|Front Wheel||Shimano XT 20mm TA|
|Rear Wheel||Shimano XT 135mm|
|Tires||Geax Datura 2.2 UST|
•Michelin Comp16 2.5 UST
|Tubes||Geax TNT Tubeless Juice|
|Seatpost||Easton Havoc 31.6mm|
|Extras||•e.13 DRS Chain Guide|
•Chromag Seat Post Q/R
DRS guide with an e-type back plate allowed for easy installation of the e-type XT front derailleur. Since I'm running a 32 tooth front ring, I'll be sticking with the smaller clear bash ring. Should I choose to step up to a 34 or 36 tooth middle ring, then I will swap out the clear bash for the nice blue one. The 22 tooth small ring will remain as it'll help drag my carcass up the hills. At the end of the crank arms you'll find a set of Easton
Flat Boy pedals. Each pedal has 16 properly placed pins that offer up all the traction I can think of. I can remember back in the day wanting a set of Cully's, but those are long gone, so I was more than stoked to pick these up for the Knolly Delirium T.
A beautiful frame and a bunch of nice parts can't go far with out a wheelset and tires. Sticking with the black and white color scheme it only made sense to run the all new Shimano XT wheels on the bike. Up front you'll find the 20mm XT hub laced to the 24 spoke
XT tubeless ready rim and out back you'll see a 135x10mm Q/R XT hub laced to that same 24 spoke tubeless rim. I'm not gonna lie, I am concerned that 24 spokes may not hold 220lbs at speed in the rough stuff, but time will tell.
After some reading about mud tires and knowing that it rains way more than shines on the WET coast, I decided to go with mud tires to begin with on the Delirium T. The Geax
Datura tires in a 26x2.2 folding bead look to fit the tire bill for the wet season. Plus they are tubeless ready and Geax also has their own line of products called Pit Stop, which includes a sealing liquid latex. They mounted up nicely to the XT wheels.
Once the parts we all laid out and installed the bike really took to itself and is a beauty. Enjoy the shots of the complete bike and check back for the test on it soon!