Review: Knolly Chilcotin 170 - They Haven't Just Straightened the Top Tube

Apr 2, 2024
by Henry Quinney  
Knolly maintain a cult-like following on the west coast of Canada thanks to their distinctive looks and ride attributes. The brand isn't afraid to do things differently or stay committed to their own way of doing things. This is evident not only in their full-alloy range, patented FourBy4 suspension layout, a Superboost 157 rear end, or bikes that have in recent years featured a long-reach-short-stays geometry concept that sets them apart from the group. They've also long featured love-or-hate looks. That said, those looks have been refined for this generation, while still keeping many hallmarks of Knolly.
Knolly Chilcotin Details

• Build options: 160f/155r & 170f/160r
• 29" Wheels
• Head angle (170/170): 64.25/63.75°
• Seat tube angle (170/170): 77.5/77°
• Rear-center length: 438, 442, 446, 450mm
• Reach (170/170): 458, 483, 509, 534mm
• Weight: 17kg (37.5lbs) as pictured, without pedals
• Price: $4,499 USD - $5,799 USD
• More info: knollybikes.com

The new Chilcotin is a 29" wheeled bike that comes in two travel options. A 170mm platform paired to a fork of the same length, or a 155mm version that would be equipped with a 160mm fork. In this test, I rode the former. The bike has seen many miles and a whole slew of different conditions from the slop of December to the hero-dirt of February and spring. The bike feels like a far more evenhanded proposition than its predecessor. So, what are we dealing with?



bigquotesWhen set up correctly it handles fast rough trails unbelievably well. In its element, it's one of the easiest bikes I've ridden in a long time through rough sections of trail, and begins to justify the added complication over a standard four bar.Henry Quinney




photo
The Chilcotins are an iconic range in British Columbia, and the Knolly looks just as at home in the Sea to Sky.

Frame Details

The redesigned Chilcotin introduces a host of changes to its updated frame. Notably, the top tube has been lowered and straightened, giving a sleeker and more compact appearance, which is further enhanced by a lower standover height. The bearings are a full complement from Enduro and the rocker has been changed to a one-piece monolink design made with flat-tooling in mind for easier extraction and installation.

Additionally, the frame boasts size-specific chainstay lengths compatible with the UDH system, tool and bottle mounts, a lower shock mount designed to accommodate Fox's roller bearing kits, and an expanded 180mm post brake mount.

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Tool mounts on the underside of the top tube.
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Two shock mount for geometry tweaking.

While all this is good to see, and the option to have tools mounted onto the frame is definitely a good thing, things did get very crowded with both a tube and water bottle on my medium-sized frame. I would love to see Knolly make use of the flat tube that runs from the bottom bracket to the base of the seat tube. This is surely the ideal location for the tool holder. For most of the test period I ran a tube taped here and it looked quite neat.

The frame doesn't use tube-in-tube routing. This is something I quite like as it gives riders the most options for brake routing. Although the routing is somewhat unorthodox and exits behind the seat tube, the frame holes themself are large enough to make for easier installation than you would think.

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Geometry & Sizing


The Chilcotin's geometry has undergone significant changes, including the incorporation of size-specific chainstays. The brand strongly advocates for longer reaches, and the introduction of longer stays helps balance the front weight more effectively. While the comparison of the geometry chart with the previous model indicates increased reaches, this is mitigated by the addition of the size small option, providing riders with the flexibility to size down if desired.

However, it's worth noting that the sizing labels may not align with conventional expectations. In reality, the Chilcotin offers sizes ranging from medium to extra-extra-large when compared to other brands. This deviation from standard t-shirt sizing is not a drawback, but potential buyers need to be aware of the unconventional sizing. In personal testing, I, being 183cm (6'), comfortably rode a medium, despite typically opting for a large. That said, for taller riders the slack (around 69°) actual seat tube angle might mean they begin to feel slightly rearward.

A positive feature for any rider is the ability to equip long-droppers. The combination of short seat tubes and ample insertion depth allows for the use of longer seat posts. I rand a 240mm post for parts of testing and that's the longest I've ever been able to get away with.

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The Fourby4 system is in its sixth generation.


Suspension Design

The Chilcotin uses the sixth generation of Knolly's own suspension design. The system, which can be described as a linkage-driven four-bar, uses not only a stout one-piece locker to drive the shock, but also has a secondary set of links to connect the seat stay to the main triangle. The four-bar can be cycled even without the rocker or shock, hence the distinction between it and a true four-bar. At the same time, it wouldn't also constitute a six-bar layout, despite its multitude of components.

Anti-squat is moderately high and consistent across the whole gear range. At sag, it varies around 99-100% irrespective of gearing. This bike has seen an increase in anti-squat from its previous version but it's also seen a slight increase in leverage. The idea is that the anti-squat will give a bike that is firm under pedalling load, but the increased leverage will offset this to a degree to have a bike that is still willing to track. I would say this works, for the most part, although it does suit people who are happier to sit and spin instead of lunging around the bike.

The Knolly system has an overall progression of around 28% in the neutral geo setting, and closer to 30% in the slacker option. It's interesting to see the bike come with air shocks across the board, because I found it rode significantly better with the coil. Knolly are happy to accommodate though, and point out that they can sell you a bike with a coil shock instead of the stock air option at no extra cost.


Specifications
Price $5899
Rear Shock Fox Float X2 / DHX2 Factory 205x65, CL RM
Fork Fox 38 29" Grip2 Factory 170mm, 44mm offset
Headset Cane Creek 40 ZS44/56
Cassette Shimano XT M8100
Crankarms Shimano XT M8100
Bottom Bracket Shimano XT MT800 BSA, threaded
Rear Derailleur Shimano XT M8100
Chain Shimano XT M8100
Shifter Pods Shimano XT M8100
Handlebar Spank 35mm x 820mm, 25mm Rise
Stem RaceFace Aeffect R 35mm x 40mm
Brakes Shimano XT 4 Piston M8120
Wheelset DT Swiss M1900 SPLINE 28h Straight-Pull
Tires Maxxis Assegai / DHR2 29" 2.5WT 3C MaxxGrip EXO+
Seat SDG Bel-Air V3
Seatpost SDG Tellis (S: 170mm, M-XL 200mm), 31.6


photo
The Chilcotin boasts a huge insertion depth, which I'm a big fan of.






Test Bike Setup
When I tested the previous version of the Chilcotin, I rode a size large that had just over 490mm of reach. With the size increases for this version, I found the 483mm reach of the medium to be more appropriate.

While the spec of the Chilcotin is a very solid mix of Fox Factory, Shimano XT, Maxxis and DT Swiss, that's not to say there wouldn't be things I would change. Firstly, this 170mm bike can be ridden hard, so I swapped out the Exo+ tires for the same tread, Assegai and DHR2, but in downhill casings.

Henry Quinney
Location: Squamish
Height: 183cm / 6'
Inseam: 82 cm / 32.5"
Weight: 79 kg / 174 lbs
Industry affiliations / sponsors: None
Instagram: @henryquinney
In some ways, the build kit could be described as Enduro-light. The 180mm rotor on the back and lack of chain device also felt like they weren't quite in keeping with a bike so aggressive.

Initially, I spent a great deal of time on the Fox X2 air shock. While it's a very good shock, I didn't feel that it mated well with the progressive leverage ratio of the suspension. Even with both low- and high-speed compression fully closed I couldn't stop a great deal of instability through the rear of the bike. I eventually ended up getting the stability I wanted, but on the condition that I would also never be able to achieve full travel. The shock came without any volume spacers installed so there was nothing I could do to make the shock more linear.

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The Spank cockpit is extra-regular in all the right ways.
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SDG offer this post with 200mm of drop, however I ran a 240mm OneUp post for most of testing.


After speaking with Knolly, I swapped the shock for a DHX2 coil shock. I tried both a 400 and 450 lb spring and found myself liking the latter better. The lower spring rate was far too unstable for me. With the 450lb option, the bike came alive and the setup was very much where I would want it. It might still be a little too progressive, but I could get 90% travel fairly often when riding the bike down rough and fast downhill trails. For more mellow sections, though, it could still do with being a bit easier to get to the upper reaches of the travel. With this spring fitted, the top-out from the shock was quite extreme. I ran the low-speed rebound half-closed to quiet the bike. It wasn't that I wanted it to return slower, but rather the noise was just too much to bear and left me wincing as I rode out of sympathy. Again, to me, this would suggest the bike is a little too progressive.

I also made use of the ability to run ultra-long droppers and fitted the bike with a massive 240mm OneUp dropper. I could survive with the 200, but more clearance is always a good thing, and I'm glad I went with it.


Testing Info

Testing took place in Squamish, BC, over a four-month time period. February was some of the best Squamish riding I have ever done. Huge amounts of grip, crisp clear days and rough-fast enduro tracks to hammer as fast as fear allows. While I often ride up Diamondhead, DeBeck's Hill is an amazing spot that flies slightly under the radar in Squamish. That said, it's definitely worth exploring.

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The Knolly is more about finding grip than offering a responsive platform.


Climbing

The Knolly gives a good climbing position, and the effective top tube of 624mm feels very much where you would want it for a bike that will fit somebody of my height. While you could argue that reach is purely a value that affects descending, and could be treated as a preference, I would say that one couldn't suggest the same of top tube length. 651mm for the size large is quite a lot, and would have been far too long for me.

The bike offers a good deal of balance though, is very happy to break into its stroke to hunt out grip. It is a better technical climber than it is an efficient fire-road spinner, but that's what climb switches are for. When it comes to hunting out grip, the ease that the shock breaks into its travel reaps dividends, and for a bike that is so active the Fourby4 system does a very solid job of not passing any of that movement onto your feet. Pedaling through rough, choppy trails is easy, and the distinct lack of feedback plays into that.

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The relatively slack actual seat tube angle might punish riders who size down due to the reach, only to then run a lot of exposed seatpost.

While the effective seat tube is amply steep, the actual angle could make it feel slacker at greater heights. It wasn't an issue for me, but I also wouldn't have wanted it any further back.

Overall, the in-range controls and consistent high-grip means that this is a bike where you can sit and spin your way up things. For those riders who wish to stamp, lift and coast through technical sections it might feel a little lethargic, though.

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The Knolly Chilcotin feels like a true enduro bike. Both for good and bad.


Descending

The Chilcotin 170 is a far better-sorted bike compared to its predecessor. The lengthened rear and shorter reach (of the medium on test) gives it a more settled ride, one that is also happier to play into the main strength of the bike - excellent tracking. The rider's weight is more centered, and you don't have to ride as aggressively to get the bike to do what you want it to. It's gone from a bike that you had to extract performance from to a bike that gives it without hesitation.

With the air shock, I think this bike is too progressive, but with the coil option it sits very near the sweet spot. Sometimes you can ride a bike and not really know where it is in the stroke because wherever you are has sensitivity, grip and support. That is the case with the Knolly. It's a very confidence-inspiring bike when set up correctly and handles fast rough trails unbelievably well. In its element, it's one of the easiest bikes I've ridden in a long time through rough sections of trail and begins to justify the added complication over a standard four-bar.

photo
When set up correctly, the bike can give a very stable platform. That said, I don't feel that I could ever achieve my preferred setup with the stock air shock.

Cornering is solid, too. The slack-enough geometry will give you the stability and security you need on true downhill tracks but is also very easy to weight and find grip on through turns. The bike is also amply stiff when carving turns. That said, I did notice the front threatening to wash slightly in the Slack mode. Plus, it makes the leverage ratio more progressive still. In short, I found the bike to work best in the steeper geometry setting.

Part of its easy-mannered cornering aspects stem from its vertical rear axle path. It's incredibly predictable, and it really feels as if you can let the bike run and know exactly where and when the bike will use its travel. The lack of excessive chain growth also makes for a bike that is incredibly neutral through the feet without the complications of an idler. It feels very centered and lets you run through things and feel engaged with the trail yet isolated from the noise of hitting rocks and roots as hard as you can.

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The bike has a far better fore-aft weight balance compared to its predecessor.

It's not all sunshine and rainbows, though. While this bike does track excellently and gives a neutral feeling that I really enjoy, it does tend to hang up when braking. That means riding it on fast, rough trails becomes more involved as you have to choose your moments to apply hard braking more carefully. Is this a worthy trade off? It's really hard to say. On trails that feature high-frequency chatter, absolutely. But when you're trying to slow the bike down over square edges you will find yourself punishing your rim or rear tire.

I don't know if this could be lessened with a higher value of anti-rise (the Knolly is low-to-middling at around 50%, where I tend to prefer things around 80%+). The tendency for the shock to feel like it wants to extend under braking means that you'll put your rear wheel through a lot of potential damage. I'm constantly hitting the rim on this bike with downhill tires at around 25 psi. It's something you can get used to to a degree, but it also means you have to consider how and when you will brake, which isn't always easy. I also snapped the shock bolt during testing and I wonder if this could be attributed to hanging up hard and often.

Knolly explained that they felt this bike represented real progress for the Chilcotin, and I absolutely agree. I would love to see these changes go even further, though. An additional half-dozen millimetres on the chainstay and a slightly less hardline braking character would make this bike potentially exceptional. I'm not opposed to the vertical axle path, and at times very much enjoyed it, but the combination of high-progressivity and a tendency to hang up means that the descending characteristics of the Chilcotin could be something of an acquired taste, and might punish those, such as myself, who have a more muted, heels-down-eyes-up style.

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Knolly Chilcotin
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Transition Spire

How does it compare?

How does the Knolly compare against my beloved Spire? Well, dimensionally they're really not far apart. The Spire is slightly slacker with longer stays, but a lot of the other key dimensions are just a handful of millimeters.

When it comes to the roughest, fastest trails, they both do an incredible job making you feel safe and relaxed. I would say the Knolly does a better job of separating the rider's feet from the suspension action, and as a result feels like it is a bit less inhibited when it comes to repeated medium-sized hits.

Both suffer a degree of mass transfer under braking, but both are within limits. While both suffer from an anti-rise value below what I would consider ideal, although there is a degree of personal preference within this. I would argue that the Spire's ability to use its travel more effectively when on the brakes would have it as the more well-rounded descender. On flatter turns the Knolly suffers from less wheel flop though, and I would argue, thanks in part to that slightly steeper head tube angle, the weight distribution is more even handed for most riders most of the time. The Spire really wants that high-speed or steeper gradient to make that front wheel feel absolutely planted.

The Knolly does hang up more than the Spire, but if you can ride around that you can get a rear end that does track very well.

In terms of climbing, the Spire feels a bit punchier but the Knolly offers out and out more grip on technical climbs. Plus, the lack of cross-talk between drivetrain and rear-wheel travel make for a bike that is very adept at climbing stepped technical sections.

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Which Model is the Best Value?

Looking at which bike is best value, Knolly's pricing does guide you through incremental gains rather than giant leaps. That said, it still does feel a little strange to suggest the most expensive model. Even though it costs the most, in terms of value, it does represent the most bang for your buck.

I believe that Shimano XT is superior to GX in terms of longevity and have always enjoyed the M8000 series of brakes. If it wasn't for the XT Factory model, I would suggest the Deore version. However, once you're getting to $5,400 for the GX the return does get considerably better to spend more and upgrade to a better drivetrain, components and fancy-factory suspension, if only to keep the eventual resell value higher.

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The Knolly has a sensible build kit... but there are gaps. 180mm rotors, a lack of chain guide and the stock Exo+ tyres that can't keep pace with the rest of the bike.

Technical Report

Fox Suspension: The 38 is a fantastic fork, as is the Fox X2 that came on the bike. Moving to a coil shock was game changing though, and the DHX2 offered a great level of grip, adjustment and support. The highly progressive bike and my high-chosen spring rate did make for a lot of top-out noise though, but it was easy to tune out and still offered a rebound speed that was amply fast enough for me.

Shimano XT Drivetrain and Brakes: If ever somebody at SRAM comes across my reviews they must just put their head in their hands. SRAM makes amazing wireless drivetrains and now arguably the most powerful mass-produced brakes in the world. What would I buy with my money? And what do I want on my own bikes? A mechanical drivetrain that's been out for nearly 5 years and do-it-all four pot brakes. I just love that mechanical XT is always good. No charging, good ergonomics and a solid shift. What else is there?

Enduro Light Build Kit: The build kit isn't bad - and is of a very good quality, but if you make a bike that can be ridden this hard it needs those final touches to complete the job. Thicker tires for both damping and puncture resistance, 200mm rotors all round and a chain device aren't things a rider should expect to have to source themselves when buying a brand-new enduro bike in 2024.

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The green room.



Pros

+ Excellent tracking with little feedback through your feet
+ Balanced geometry
+ Ultra long seatpost insertion
+ Muted and calm ride through fast chundery trails
+ Will hunt out grip on technical climbs


Cons

- It felt too progressive for me when riding with the air shock
- Punishes rear wheels on square edges
- Not particularly snappy under accelerations
- Spec could be more suited to the bike's capabilities




Pinkbike's Take

bigquotesThe Chilcotin is a very good bike and might even offer enough to persuade more people to become diehards. The tracking off the brakes is fantastic, and the muted feel it gives you through your feet can genuinely be compared to bikes that feature an idler. The geometry also bleeds into that, with a ride quality that is both stable, fun and responsive, all with plenty of grip.

Just like rearward axle paths have their benefits and drawbacks, so too do bikes with more vertical or even forward ones. While it might show itself more when riding rough trails, I think that aspect, combined with the high progressivity of the rear suspension, means it will suit riders who are in tune with both the trail and setup of their bike and possibly punish those who are not. If you can embrace the setup and learn to ride it in a more engaged manner, you can negate some of these drawbacks, and should you do so, you will end up with a bike that is exceptional in some areas.

The setup wasn't easy and took a lot of experimentation. A coil shock is also worth trying, and, quite frankly, if this were a review of the bike with an air shock, it wouldn't be anywhere near as positive.
Henry Quinney


Author Info:
henryquinney avatar

Member since Jun 3, 2014
323 articles

212 Comments
  • 130 1
 It’s official. Bike length is getting out of reach for me.
  • 40 0
 inflation
  • 16 0
 My X-long DH bike has a 9mm shorter wheelbase.
  • 27 0
 I'm effectively a medium at 6' tall.
  • 4 1
 My size L Evolink 1.4 has 10mm shorter reach, a higher stack, and has roughly 30mm more wheelbase. Then again, I can only afford one bike to do all the things.
  • 11 0
 I’m 5’10 and I’d be on a small. The next iteration might be for people 6’+
  • 22 7
 @nicoenduro: Staffers here at 5'10 32"inseam /5'11 32"inseam are riding the Medium/S3 comfortably with 3" to bottom of collar of the SDG 170mm post sticking out of the frame.
  • 16 74
flag seanfeezy (Apr 2, 2024 at 12:45) (Below Threshold)
 @KNOLLYBIKES: why should we care what your employees are forced to ride?
  • 7 1
 @seanfeezy: Uh, not sure if you're aware, but Knolly makes a few different bikes.
  • 21 2
 @seanfeezy: lol damn dude, just coming in hot eh? Who hurt you?
  • 14 0
 I remember a dude named Noel (username Knolly) on mtbr.com in like 1999 or 2001 who was talking about wanting to start a bike company.......

MTB forums looked like this: web.archive.org/web/19961111144106/www.mtbr.com
  • 4 15
flag seanfeezy (Apr 2, 2024 at 20:20) (Below Threshold)
 @gmiller720: I’m just tired of PR
  • 5 17
flag seanfeezy (Apr 2, 2024 at 20:25) (Below Threshold)
 @gmiller720: also? The knolly reply wasn’t even an answer to the original post. Saying “our employees like it” does not answer the statement of “wow these bikes are too big” so my comment was actually just saying “how the hell is it relevant that your very biased select employees like this bike?” Reading through the rest of the threads it’s clear that they’re capable of better logic than that.
  • 5 1
 @seanfeezy: I wish someone forced me to ride a Knolly bike. Instead I’ve been saving my pennies for a while to get one under my but.
  • 6 3
 @KNOLLYBIKES: well, thanks for the insight, but everything past 475 reach is a huge NO for me, might be that at 5'10" i'm not proportionate or what, regardless, i become a passenger and the bike is neither fun or fast.
Just the latest Canyon Strive, tried the Medium on the shortest reach configuration (470 reach ) and the Small felt way better with the long reach configuration at 455.
  • 4 2
 This is nuts 483 medium. Land of the giants.
  • 1 0
 @suspended-flesh: Haha, such old technology that even ad blocker can't block ads.
  • 5 1
 @nicoenduro: it's all down to preference I'm also 5'10" and ride and XL Giga and will not go below a 490 reach. Long upper body and 28" inseam. So I like that brands are moving away from t-shirt sizes but the two numbers I look at first on a bike are the reach and then the seat tube length
  • 2 0
 Next year they'll be 10 whole more mm. Get rid of the old one. Some will be 20mm.
  • 1 4
 @briain: i feel that call a size S3 instead of Large is just stupid, nothing changes as you still check the actual geo numbers, they can call it Bird instead of S3 or L or whatever, or Bob, nothing changes
  • 5 1
 @nicoenduro: The issue with sizing the way it is. I would ride a trek xl, a banshee large and a medium pole. So while somewhat semantic t shirt sizing isn't a great descriptor particularly for people getting into the sport who maybe don't fully understand bike geo and a lot of shops really aren't much help here either
  • 1 1
 @briain: and how is it different if you go with the S sizing for example? you'll need a S2 on one brand, an s4 on another and so on, completely useless renaming regardless. i understand the point, but changing names won't do anything
  • 4 0
 @nicoenduro: It's the public perception and psychology that changes. People are so used to a "Large" being a certain size so when they see a Large that is another size... they get "triggered" haha.

If instead the see an S1, S2, S3, S4... yes they will still look at the geo, which is what they should do, but they'll actually pick a size that fits what they want vs getting hung up on a "Large" being too big or having to move down to a "Medium".

Knolly never made a small for the previous gen Chilcotin... really, they still don't. Instead they make an M, L, XL & XXL... or Sizes 1, 2 , 3, 4.
  • 37 1
 Knolly now making 4 size large bikes lol. Obviously riding a massive wheelbase bike is more stable but nobody under 175cm will be able to ride these things correctly.
  • 10 0
 I had to look a couple times...the "small" has a 458 reach and 597 ETT. I'm 5'8" (173cm)...and that reach is on the upper limit of what I can ride. My medium has a reach of 450mm. I'm using a 40mm stem. I prefer a 50mm. PB and NSMB recently have articles saying that shorter riders are being sized out of the market.
  • 7 11
flag dagen123 (Apr 2, 2024 at 17:35) (Below Threshold)
 @abtcup: we are exactly the same height and 460mm is definetly not the biggest reach we can ride.

I've been able to ride confortably bike with 490mm reach. You need to revise your cockpit and longer chainstay definetly help with front end traction, but wait a little bit before defining an ideal reach.
  • 23 6
 @abtcup:
People are focused on reach only, but not using other measurements to put bike fit into the correct context:

Look at our Endorphin, also just recently launched. Reach for various Endorphin sizes is:
S4 (Large) is 490mm
S3 (Medium) is 465mm
S2 (Small) is 440mm.

The Endorphin sizes fits the same as the Chilcotin: the difference is that Endorphin's effective seat tube angle is slightly slacker and the frame is designed to run a stem that is - on average - aboutr 5-10mm longer than the Chilcotin. However, as far as the rider is concerned, the fit between both bikes is similar even though the reach measurements are ~20mm difference between models.

Reach needs to be looked at with at least the ETT (Effective Top Tube Length), ESTA (Effective Seat Tube Angle) and also the stack a little bit. The Endorphin comfortably fits riders as small as 4'11" with stock parts in size S1 (X-Small): who says we're not looking after smaller sized riders! Just wait to you see what we launch in a couple of months: big travel, wide range of sizes for riders down to the low 5' range Smile
  • 7 1
 @Noelbuckley: Hi Noel. Thanks for the reply. The issue for me with long reach bikes is that it feels too stretched when out of the saddle. It feels like the bike is pulling me along. Using a short stem with a slack bike has me feeling like I have to put a lot of my weight over the front wheel. Having ridden longer bikes...at least for me...~450 feels like its around my upper limit. I've looked at sizing down on certain brands...but the extreme steep eSTA's...makes the ETT really short.
  • 3 12
flag jankslayer (Apr 2, 2024 at 23:06) (Below Threshold)
 @Noelbuckley: sizing by ETT only is really highlighting the lack of understanding about bike sizing and the noob bias of the designs. Sliding the saddle forward and backward relative to everything else (seat tube angle) only matters when in the saddle climbing. These bikes are meant to be ridden dynamically with the saddle dropped well out of the way. A riders feet while standing is the center of the bike and the CS/reach/stack balance is absolutely critical. Have a look at what Atherton is doing as they are moving in the correct direction.
  • 4 1
 @abtcup: totally! I’m 173 cm too, and love 445-455 as my reach. A small on this thing would make tight steep turns very difficult. It’s getting harder and harder to find a bike that fits. Some of these gaps in reach between sizes are massive now too. A small will be 430 and a medium 460.
  • 2 0
 Definitely seems like the kind of geo you gotta test ride enough to be SURE!
  • 4 2
 @jankslayer: lol, you just called the founder of knolly and a 20 year industry veteran a "noob" with a "lack of understanding about bike sizing." Noel explained his system level approach and it is obviously very deliberate if unconventional. I'm not sure it's to my taste either, but I'm at least curious when great riders and seasoned designers offer something different from 2 decades of evolution. Maybe I'd like a very different approach to ergos and bike balance? Maybe for the notably steepier , slower, techier trails in BC I'd learn something new by trying this geo?
  • 1 3
 @ohio: I’m saying Knolly is designing bikes FOR noobs. Or people who don’t ride to a high level without being tall enough to massively downsize like Henry did in this review. If you want to feel what it’s like riding a bike that’s too long just upsize and slam the saddle as forward as possible. That’ll be close to how it feels. Stable but awkward.
  • 3 0
 @jankslayer: I always regret getting into debates with ideologues, but here goes...

Again, my preference is for shorter reaches and longer chainstays. But I'm not so egotistical to think my approach is the only way. A 5'1" reviewer on NSMB rode the shorter travel endorphin in a XS. I would not call her a noob. nsmb.com/articles/knolly-endorphin

On slow tech steeps, there is a totally reasonable argument to be made for short chainstays and long reach, as long as you have a dialed bar height (typically taller) and sufficiently slack head angle. Saddle position is irrelevant bc you're out of the saddle. Similarly on steep tech climbs there's a reasonable argument for long reach and steep seat angles (albeit less of one for the short chainstays). Finally, riders can have very different riding styles even on the same trail and still be fast, comfortable and in control. Some prefer a heavily weighted front end with low stack heights, some centered and taller, some even rear biased - even at a pro level.

Is it perhaps possible that other non-noob people are shaped differently than you, ride different terrain than you, and have different riding styles than you? There is no one right answer. At least not yet.
  • 1 3
 @ohio: we are talking about the Chilcotin (way too long) not the Endorphin pretty (standard reach). It’s like we are living two decades in the past with ETT and adjusting stem lengths for fit are still a thing. Stem lengths are for adjusting handling/steering balance. Reach (balanced with CS length, stack) is for length of front center depending on a riders size, riding style and weight bias. This is why adjustable reach on bikes is the future. Most DH pros have been playing with this forever and you can see most DH, XC and Enduro pros choosing to run much shorter reach bikes than is being sold to people these days (downsizing). Calling out Knolly for not really understanding geometry isn’t a new or hot take.
  • 30 3
 Damn, if you are looking at this bike I applaud the trail systems you must have at your disposal. Most bike reviews on this site the trails look like something you only get around me via lift-service bike parks. This thing is over 37lbs and it needs bigger rotors and heavier tires, so basically a 40lb bike.
  • 8 10
 I only find the extra 8lbs or 3-4kgs taxing when pushing the bike up unpedalable steep slopes, it's only heavy when you have to carry it on your shoulder.
  • 35 0
 I think the 37 lbs is as tested, so that's with dh tires and a coil shock mounted. Which means the stock setup with an air shock and exo+ would've been somewhere in the 34ish lb ballpark, which is pretty normal for a 170mm aluminum bike.
  • 3 2
 Yeah, that's a bike for going straight and down, not an all arounder at all.

My my, that is a long arse bike!

On my trails, I'd have to hop a few times to make an uphill turn or stop and pick the bike up Wink
  • 3 5
 I haven't weighed my bike in years, but when I did it was it was 35 pounds without water or anything in the down tube. So I'm probably pushing 38 pounds when I rode, and that feels totally fine to me.
  • 16 9
 The PB comments section just likes arguing and weight is an easy number to focus on. It's just a few percent of system weight with a 175lb human on top, usually mostly sprung weight. Effectively arguing about the effect of adding a full water bottle which we all know ruins a ride. But again, people like arguing and stuff like kinematics is confusing.
  • 4 13
flag chrismac70 FL (Apr 2, 2024 at 9:31) (Below Threshold)
 Which is ridiculous given you can get one with an engine thats lighter
  • 25 1
 We are very lucky, come visit, I'll buy you a beer, itll prolly be hazy, and stronger than youre used to as well....
My alu Norco Sight, was 38lbs,
My alu Transition Sentinel, 38 lbs
My Knolly Fugitive (admittedly with lighter wheels/tires, but CushCore XC and a Fox 36) 34ish lbs
Buddies alu Spire 38lbs
Its just where bikes tend to end up when you ride the terrain here
  • 2 0
 @sanchofula: or, size down from what you typically ride
  • 23 1
 @toast2266, @yupstate: YEP!! The Chilcotin in Medium does weigh 34lb with EXO+ and FOX X2 F.
Henry's "as pictured" weight does have the DH Casing tires and coil on it for the 37lbs.
  • 12 0
 my size large is 37.5 lbs with conti dh tires (argotal up front, xynotal in back, both super soft compound) WAO convergence wheels and ohlins coil /rxf38 , otherwise it is the xt build

That includes stamp 7 flat pedals

I find the weight reasonable for an aluminum bike this size and build, but everyone has different preferences and priorities. I’m a habitual breaker of things so I tend to lean towards reliability and not low weight. Time riding a little heavier bike is better than time walking back to the car in my eyes.
  • 2 0
 A little weight is fine within reason. Top level DH riders are literally adding lead ballast, it's not a bad thing on descents. And clearly opinions differ but I think it's a trivial percent of total weight for it to affect climbing if you're not racing the clock. Obviously rotating and unsprung mass matter and the lightest wheels/tires that allow you to ride the way you want without going boom are a good idea. But this obsession about total weight on enduro bikes is silly.
  • 10 0
 @Solorider13: 37lbs is just what a typical enduro bike set up to actually go fast weighs.

m.pinkbike.com/news/enduro-world-cup-bike-weigh-in-courtesy-of-edbull-media-house.html
  • 1 0
 Checks out. @onawalk
Every one of my bikes (L / XL) have ended up at 34-36 lbs in San Diego. Only variations have been coil vs air suspension and beefy tires.
Carbon frame, wheels and reduced-weight components have only enabled adding durability elsewhere, where it was lacking.
  • 6 0
 @chrod: If I'm 100% honest, I ended up with a carbon Spire (ordered alu, wasnt available, shop gave me excellent pricing on the carbon one) which, with WAO wheels, and full fat CushCore sits at 34lbs. Which is very light for the travel, and capability of the bike.
  • 1 0
 @onawalk: Nice setup!
My lightest recent build was a carbon Sentinel (alloy wheels, DH soft tires, RXF36 fork, X2, cascade link). Was just over 34 lbs also. Felt pretty ideal.
Currently on a Capra w/ RXF38 and a coil shock. I can't discern any stiffness benefit of the 38 fork, probably don't push it hard enough. But I can feel the 36 lbs weight only occasionally when popping off stuff.
  • 1 0
 @chrod: yep, out here livin the dream
  • 2 1
 @onawalk: fellow BC rider that rides all the same stuff. Heavy bikes don’t have to be typical. My Stumpy Evo is 31 with pedals. Rides everything it comes across.
  • 2 1
 @KNOLLYBIKES: Thanks for the clarification. I wouldn't have thought too much of the weight at 34lbs, seems normal or even light for aluminum. Still heavier than I'd care to ride on my smooth/flat terrain but makes sense.
  • 3 0
 @jdejace: That may sound good on paper but doesn't play out in reality from my experience. Walk around for 2 hours carrying 2.5lb dumbells then do it with 7.5lb dumbells and tell me if it felt any different. If you weigh 175 that's only a small percentage. Nothing wrong with a heavy bike if used for it's intended purpose. But the amount of these 33-38lb bikes I see at my local trail systems being ridden for 55mins with 250ft of elevation change sometimes just leaves me shaking my head not really understanding the thought process.
  • 1 1
 I own a previous version chilcotin in large, only carbon parts are my wheels RF next r's and my bike weighs just over 38 lbs. I had a wr1 arrival in with pretty much no alloy parts and it weighed more than my bike. Weight is not that important, my bike climbs incredible and descends just the same.
  • 1 0
 @toast2266: Which is hilarious when you consider that a kid's bike is only 2lbs less.
  • 1 0
 @whitebirdfeathers: I can ride most of the stuff I ride on a lighter bike as well, however it doesnt tend to be as stiff, or stable feeling, which then erodes my confidence, so I ride it slower. Or should ride it slower, but in actuality I just end up breaking things.

We might ride the same stuff, but that doesnt mean we are equally as skilled, or ride at the same speed, or have the same assumption of risk, or ride with the same frequency, or choose the same lines, or....you get it.

Im in the Okanagan as well, lets go for a ride sometime!
  • 1 1
 @jdejace: Weight is a real thing! It's not just something to argue about on the internet, it does affect performance and ride characteristics. I've a 36lb alu 155/170 bike, a not quite 30lb C 135/160 bike and an alu 115/140 bike that I change around builds and is anywhere from 33lbs to 38lbs with racks and plus tires.

Hands down, the lighter bike is faster, climbs easier, and leaves me with more energy to ride harder and usually longer. But, hands down the bigger heavier bike is faster on the downs and more stable in corners.

So while I agree people can get caught up on weight and put too much focus on it. The flip side is other people try to convince everyone it "doesn't matter" and that's not true either...
  • 2 0
 @stiingya: Think about it this way, when you hear someone say "weight doesnt matter" its twofold. To them, weight doesnt matter, so it doesnt matter, thats pretty easy.
Secondly, if you objectively look at the numbers, a couple of additional lbs on your bike doesnt matter in the grand scheme of things, when compared to times and effort required to climb, and total system weight.

However, you "feel" like it matters, and you say you can "feel" the difference. So then it matters to you, but by any real objective margin, it doesnt really matter.

If the lighter bike leaves you feeling fresher at the top for the descent, but requires more input and focus on the way down, and the heavier bike requires more energy to get there, but has the ability to slow things down, then is there a net gain or loss from top to bottom?

Add to that, weight in different places, can effect things differently. Having a heavier tube in your tires, vs running a heavier tire has different benefits. the heavier tire should have a performance benefit as well as added protection to flats. That heavier tube, prolly only adds additional protection to flats.

Do your different bikes have the same geo, does that play a bigger factor than additional weight?
Do they run the same components, does that offer better performance than the weight?

Im not saying you dont feel what you feel, just offering a viewpoint to the idea that weight doesnt matter, and weight for the sake of weight, without taking other characteristic into account, doesnt matter
  • 1 0
 @onawalk: My 14% imperial stout is probably stronger than you're used to ;-)

On the bike weights, yeah it just comes with the territory. Even if the territory is spitting distance south of BC. I think the base model Fugitive is around 33 lbs. which is quite competitive...with a carbon bike!
  • 1 0
 @onawalk: Partially we are saying the same thing. Weight can have benefits. One of the largest is being stronger or tougher for less money which is why my bigger bike is several lbs heavier then it needs to be IMO.

BUT, also say for tires; barring some new tech, if you want the toughness and performance of a DH casing then you have to accept the weight of a DH tire. Any lighter tire is going to be a compromise in one way or another. (but the flip side is the weight of a DH tire is also a compromise. You have to choose = weight matters)

If weight TRULY didn't matter we'd have competitive WCXC riders on near 40lb bikes too. And we DON'T! (NOR do we have DH'ers on 18lb bikes. Because weight matters!)

Weight is an aspect of performance, good and bad. It's also an aspect of economics, lighter parts that are also strong are more expensive. It's also a matter of physics, some things just can't be any lighter and still function as intended. But for all of those things weight matters. It's a consideration even when you pick heavy.

ALSO, saying "weight doesn't matter" is a current trend. Nobody said that in the late 80's or early 90's! Smile ALSO, you get people who say that to defend the choice they made or the brands they choose. And for some it's kind of a humble brag?

AND, also; yeah. I'm sure there are a few percentage of riders who can truly say they don't notice the difference of a 30lb bike and a 35lb bike. BUT, even then without a blind test I wouldn't believe them... Smile Smile Smile
  • 2 0
 @NWBasser: 14% is strong, but an Imperial stout, jeez thats a meal! I love it!

The Fugee at 33lbs is a great bike, I love it, but I'll be honest, its a slightly light weight build for me. Feels great on the climbs, and the undulating stuff. Its a blast to snipe side hits, and natural doubles into mild jank.

I feel like a Hazy IPA at 6% hits harder than a stout at 12%
what do you think, maybe its the rate at which I consume them....
  • 1 0
 @stiingya: Maybe,
Its not a right or wrong thing, just differences.
I might not be explaining my point very well.
Weight doesnt matter, cause theres very little objective evidence that it does when youre talking about mountain biking. If you want to concern yourself about it, theres no issue with that, you do you man.
Now I'll concede a lighter bike feels, well lighter, so it can "feel" faster.

I dont choose based on weight, I choose based on perceived value, reliability, and potential performance. I run carbon rims, not for weight (cause theyre heavier, and more expensive than the alu ones I had) I run em cause they are stiffer, require no maintenance in the last 3 seasons, and are more reliable when Im riding.
I run CushCore, on lighter tires, cause I prefer the damped feeling, and the ability to run lower pressures, and again reliability.

Heres another example
I have a long travel bike (carbon), and a short travel bike (alu)
My long travel bike is very stable at speed, surprisingly "quiet" (in more than just audible ways, like it slows things down, makes them less chaotic) on blue trails, it "feels" slow.
My small bike, very different "feel", it feels lighter (its not really) feels less stable, theres much more "noise" when riding the bike.
On a blue trail I'd swear im much faster on the small bike, cause it "feels" faster. Things seem to happen more quickly, I'm having to react more, it "feels" like more work.

In reality, Im going the same speed, theres objectively no real difference, but it sure "feels" like it. Feels like Im flying on the small bike, feels boring on the big bike.

So if it matters to you, then it matters. but unless youre trying to eek out tenths of seconds, or low single digit effort percentages, there are likley much bigger factors at play, than 100 gram differences in two comparable products.
  • 1 0
 @onawalk: @onawalk: So if your argument is 100gr of weight doesn't matter. Then, sure. I agree! I don't think the average person could tell the difference between one exact bike and another that had 100gr hidden in the frame storage! Smile

I wasn't saying it's right or wrong, just that weight is a thing. It is a performance aspect of your bike. If weight didn't matter we'd have 40lb bikes on high-level XC podiums consistently and we DON'T. Just like we don't have 18lb bikes consistently on DH podiums. (OR ever maybe??) Long-term podium finishes are a large body of repeatable objective evidence. That's not just "feel". Weight affects the performance aspects of a mountain bike. Done. Period. Finé! Smile

It's always an aspect of your bike's performance. You wouldn't have that performance from CushCore without the extra weight that comes with it. For you that is the right decision, for someone else it's DH casings and no inserts, for someone else EXO and pool noodles, or EXO alone, etc. None of those performance choices can be had without the weight or lack of weight that comes with them. It's integral. It's part of the decision at some level, you can't remove the physics of mass from the equation.

So you can say you don't care about weight, or "weight doesn't matter to me"? But I don't believe you can say weight doesn't matter.

In the end, I suppose it's semantics. I could be debating someone because "Tires don't matter" because some person only rides take-off tires from the dumpster behind the bike shop and they can still make their bike wheels go round and round with old, torn, bald tires and super thick tubes and liberal use of duct tape and for them they don't mind sliding through corners and having to get off their bike and walk up hills when they have no traction. That could be a legitimate choice somebody makes an opinion somebody has and an ongoing decision and it could be financially based. But in the end, those bald tires DO affect the way their bike rides and so TIRES DO MATTER! just like weight... Smile
  • 27 0
 Anyone ever had Chilaquiles?
Omg, they’re so good!
  • 4 0
 Mmm .. chilaquiles .. I've never wanted a knolly more than now.
  • 2 0
 I had chilaquiles in the Chiricahuas. Stfu—bwaha
  • 2 0
 @ceecee: well, gave some to my Chihuahuas..so
  • 1 0
 @scary1: so you’ve found your audience. Bwaha
  • 3 0
 Breakfast nachos!!!
  • 2 0
 Hell yeah. So good.
  • 2 0
 Fucking win of a meal!
  • 25 0
 Anyone else read this entire article in Henry's accent?
  • 24 3
 Atherton , Knolly, Atherton, Knolly ??? f*ck my first world problems
  • 19 8
 Support your home-country boys and girl. I would get an Atherton 100% of the time over the Knolly.
  • 11 1
 You forgot the Arrival 170
  • 16 0
 @andrewbikeguide: or a RAAW madonna
  • 17 9
 Easy tiebreaker: the Knolly is Superboost.
Wonder how many potential Pivot buyers went to Ibis for the same reason.
  • 9 0
 Its a good problem to have.
What I can say about Knolly, is that (highlighted in the article) tere is very little feedback through the pedals, so charging through medium chunk at speed "feels" more stable, which "feels" like it slows things down a bit, so you have more time/capacity to pick your line, sidehit, gap rocks, avoid punctures, if that makes any sense.
I have a Knoly, and a Spire, and love em both.
I like the idea of the very adjustable Atherton bikes, but I dont typically get along with dual link bikes (new alloy version)

and the seat angle, what I really like, for me when its up, its in a good spot, and the slack actual angle means its quite a bit more forward (and thus out of the way) than a bike with a steeper angle.
Slack seat angles are really only an issue if when at full height, it puts you to far back. If you have longer than typical legs, it might put you in a more compromised position, but just slide your seat forward a touch
  • 12 2
 @succulentsausage: who cares anymore. 99% of riders won't move wheels between bikes anyways so it doesn't really matter.
  • 15 0
 @sewer-rat: Good problem to have between the two brands - you can't go wrong either way Smile
  • 4 9
flag leelau (Apr 2, 2024 at 10:52) (Below Threshold)
 @succulentsausage: "Wonder how many potential Pivot buyers went to Ibis for the same reason."

I stayed away from Pivot and WR1 for that reason
  • 12 1
 @leelau: oh yeah well i specifically bought a pivot bike for superboost.
  • 16 0
 @onawalk:

Thank you for the compliments!

Our 2024 models all feature size specific ACTUAL seat tube angles. This ensures that for even the tallest riders, the saddle is in the correct climbing position. Actual seat tube angles are:
S2 (small) 68.5 degrees
S3 (Medium) 69.0 degrees
S4 (Large) 69.5 degrees
S5 (X-Large) 70.5 degrees

Assuming a 240mm dropper post slammed at the collar (270mm stack height), these bikes have the following effective seat tube angles (larger sizes shown).

Chilcotin 155:
S3 (Medium) 79.0 degrees
S4 (Large) 78.5 degrees
S5 (X-Large) 78.4 degrees

Chilcotin 170:
S3 (Medium 78.5 degrees
S4 (Large) 78.0 degrees
S5 (X-Large) 77.9 degrees

Tall riders will find themselves in a comfortable climbing position and the frames adapt to this with their specific seat tube geometry. Please feel free to contact us or our resellers with any questions!
  • 6 0
 @Noelbuckley: the compliments are well deserved, really like my Fugitive. I got it on a trade with a buddy, and if I'm honest i'm not sure I ever would have gotten one. The frame build quality, reliability and little details outshone the aesthetics, the new Gen bikes look great!
I'm eagerly awaiting an Endorphin (stoked) looks like a very fun bike!
The unique SA solution is great, I think it gets missed how out of the way the seat is when its slammed down. I coupled it with an Aenomaly Switchgrade, beauty!
  • 12 3
 Both my bikes are mechanical GX which works but i got on a bike with shimano mechanical drivetrain for the first time in a while and it really is so much better. Drivetrain doesn't matter enough to spend the money swapping over but will try to get slx or xt next time i buy a bike.
  • 15 2
 You should try the Deore it feels 90% of SLX. I set up a bike with Deore and one with GX yesterday and the Deore took half the time and shifts twice as good. Does anybody actually buy SRAM stuff or do people just put up with it because they own the new bike market?
  • 4 2
 @Rigidjunkie: I purposely buy GX because it lasts me a long time, even if it's hard to fine tune once something gets bent
  • 3 0
 Just ride it a few months and report back
  • 2 0
 @Rigidjunkie: Given the choice i would take Shimano over SRAM all day every day, the only reason i have GX now is because it's what the bike came with (Ribble HT725) but when it comes to replacing a chainring or cassette i'm just going to swap it all out for Shimano. Even the brakes (Guide RE) will be getting replaced in due course for some SLX's.
  • 5 1
 It's funny as I find GX with an X01 shifter to be better than any shimano offering. Shimano works well, but SRAM seems to last a lot longer.
  • 1 0
 @ridedigrepeat: yes, moved to shimano, got annoyed by constant maintainance required, moved back to x01 shifter and gx deralieur, happy days
  • 8 0
 Isn't Henry's impression on anti-rise reversed? I feel like under braking, lower anti-rise = less stability due to more weight transfer to front but more active (smoother) rear suspension, and higher anti-rise = more stability due to maintaining geometry on braking but less active (harsher) rear suspension.
  • 1 0
 That's true, but when you're hitting things hard, anything that inhibits tracking and wants to extend or sure up the shock can lead to a harsher feeling on hits. It does vary with different bikes, leverages and shocks, but that was my impression on the Knolly. You are right though, I just think the way it intersects has layers to it.
  • 1 0
 @henryquinney: which vest thingy are you wearing please? Thanks from the UK !

Edit ~Just seen the answer further down !
  • 2 0
 Yes it is backwards.

I’m inclined to trust Henry’s assessment of ride characteristic, but I don’t think it’s attributable to the low AR, and I don’t think higher AR would solve the issue he is having.
  • 9 0
 Great review Henry. Got a great sense of the bike. Cheers
  • 5 0
 So basically it's a Spire but with the geo chart shifted up one place and the smallest size dropped. Oh and it has super boost. Pinkers reacting as if the geo is totally nuts but I recall reaction to the Spire being really positive.
  • 1 3
 You can buy a spire in a normal size lol.
  • 1 2
 It also weighs 5 pounds more than the carbon spire. Don't forget that!
  • 2 1
 @bro-tato #lookslikespire #itsnotapodium
  • 7 1
 The Large looks very large, can't imagine trying to turn a bike that big. Geo looks perfect sizing down though. Would love to try one
  • 16 1
 The small looks very large
  • 3 2
 That's so many new bikes these days. I'm 6'2" and the medium looks like it would fit me perfectly with a 32mm stem. I think a lot of it is preference, but a lot of it is bikes being designed out west were the trails are fast and wide open. Not the biggest deal, cause you can always just downsize and let the slack head angle and heavy tires bring some natural stability.
  • 8 0
 @DizzyNinja: Just want to point out that Knolly has the new Endorphin, designed for smaller riders. It's pretty similar to the Chilcotin with 160/150mm but a reach starting at 419mm for the 27.5 model.

I'm guessing that's why the new Chilcotin is trending big?
  • 2 3
 @DizzyNinja: it's a really long and heavy bike, mini DH anyone?
  • 7 0
 So get a medium…
  • 7 0
 Im sorry, 458mm reach don't fit us small kings/queens.
  • 14 0
 @pedalupbikes we currently have the Endorphin those kings/queens and may have something later this year that will support those inseam or vertically challenged folk wanting the travel of the Chilcotin.
  • 1 0
 How does the effective top tube look, though?
  • 3 0
 @KNOLLYBIKES: !!!!!!!! Short Kings rejoice !!!!!!!!
  • 1 0
 @KNOLLYBIKES: If only bike size charts went by inseam and/or torso length and not height.... I have super long limbs and short torso at 5'11" and I can never trust size charts.
  • 2 0
 @soorr: Please feel free to reach out to us directly via our contact page. We have friendly staff who can work with you to help achieve your most ideal fit. We deal with all sorts of different body proportions all the time.

Cheers,
  • 2 0
 @soorr: True, But I'm the opposite with short legs and a long torso. SO I size up reach and seat tube length or the most important geo numbers to me
  • 5 0
 Recently downsized my bike to a L instead of XL (6'4 rider). Couldn't be more stoked, you can actually turn when your bike isn't as long as a barge.
  • 3 0
 i think it would have been interesting for you to ride both the medium and the recommended large for your height, even though the geo numbers seem too big, just to see how knolly's philosophy of super long bikes would work for you. also would have been cool if you could have had the suspension setup properly. i owned a knolly once - it took me 6 months to get it set up correctly and then it was an amazing bike (which is crazy and why i havent bought another.)
  • 6 0
 I rode the last one in a large, and this large is even bigger. The medium was definitely the right size for me. I am really happy where I ended up with the setup, but even with data aquisition and a lot of head scratcing I could never get the air shock to my liking.
  • 3 0
 Is no one curious about "effective" seat tube angle? With the seat tube intersecting 20+cm in front of the bb, what is the actual seat tube angle on this thing? I'm assuming the effective is measured with the dropper fully extended, and sounds reasonable. But when you drop that seat, it must be a good few cm forward of where it would be on a bike with a true 77 degree seat tube angle. Or do some people not notice things like that?
  • 3 0
 "But when you drop that seat, it must be a good few cm forward of where it would be on a bike with a true 77 degree seat tube angle."

That is precisely one of the main advantages of this style of of seat tube. When you drop the seat it not only gets out of the way by getting lower, but moves forward and gets truly out of the way.
  • 5 0
 Nice review. You snapped the shock bolt?, that's hardcore riding Henry ;-)
  • 9 1
 or just crappy hardware.
  • 8 1
 This only means Knolly did not solve problems with flex of the 4-by4, Chilcotins since 26 inch models were prone to bending/breaking bolts, stil have a 12.9 bent bolt from my last Knolly in my garage ...
  • 2 0
 Haha. Doing my darndest. It should also be worth wondering whether shit does indeed happen. Snapping or bending shock bolts does happen from time to time.
  • 2 1
 @henryquinney: Yeah but aren't they putting titanium bolts now? This sh*t should be both strong and resist snapping. Anyway, I would love to believe that it was an accident but used to own a 26 Chilcotin and remember changing bolts every few months, finally sold it and it died 2 months ago when one of those upper links snapped on compression (there are bushings there and they sometimes jam if not serviced ones a while).
  • 1 0
 @lkubica: haha well - it sounds like your sample is a bit bigger than mine!
  • 1 1
 @henryquinney: I meant 26 inch, sorry hahaha. So it was one but I still have lots of 12.9 class bolts for it.
  • 2 0
 @lkubica: Bending Grade 12.9? Crazy..

12.9 grade Socket Cap heads in UNF, UNC, Metric and Metric fine. These are rated at 175,000psi (1206MPa) tensile strength, 75,000 (517MPa) shear strength.
  • 1 1
 @njcbps: www.pinkbike.com/photo/26437443 www.pinkbike.com/photo/26437442
Found one for you guys Smile I think the main problem apart flex was that it is an M6 bolt inset of M8 od ever M10 (as on Commencals). Don't know what they are using now, it was 2014 back then.
  • 1 0
 @lkubica: Seems like an odd choice for a bike, considering those will rust.
  • 2 1
 @njcbps: I was a second owner so have no idea what was there originally, but they never lasted long enough to rust anyway Smile
  • 7 1
 That loam shelf is massive
  • 19 1
 @chrismac we like to call it the "Loam Throne"
  • 1 0
 Don’t look at the mantle piece when poking the fire.
  • 6 0
 @KNOLLYBIKES: Perfect place for "in-loam storage".
1. Strap a spare tube, candy bar, or a mini flask
2. Brush off the loam
3. Use/enjoy. Any peaty flavor is a bonus.
  • 4 0
 @chrod: the staff here at HQ use Voile straps around the ST to secure a spare tube on the "shelf/throne/mantle....etc".
  • 2 0
 @KNOLLYBIKES: I have a pretty sweet little roll-top bag from Wolftooth that fits perfectly on my V1. Tube, levers, multitool, pocket knife, zip ties. And it all stays dry and clean.
  • 2 0
 @whateverbr0: That's what I use as well.
  • 3 0
 Did the frame also top out with the stock air shock on it? I'm curious as to how the conclusion was drawn that the leverage ratio was responsible for the coil shock noticeably topping out.
  • 1 0
 Yeah, with coil it’s just too much preload.
  • 1 0
 @Plancktonne: I'm not sure what you're trying to convey here, too much preload for what exactly?
  • 1 0
 @farkinoath: I meant that the topout issue was most likely caused by too much preload on the spring, there’s not many things that can cause it.
  • 2 0
 @Plancktonne: agreed, on a coil shock without a hydraulic top out circuit or bumper that is one likely cause. I'd still be interested in hearing the rationale behind saying that the leverage ratio was the culprit here.
  • 1 0
 I don't get this hanging over square edges thing. If something less AR means more active under braking, less AS mean less chain growth means less PK, all this things mean that it should absorb square hits well, or maybe Hendry got used to riding high pivots?
  • 5 1
 I think it is hard to view in isolation, and to my mind is a combination of the axle path, leverage and braking. While one might describe low AR as more active, others might say it is a willingness to extend the shock under braking, which can undermine tracking, not support it. That, combined with the other two can lead to hangups. AR isn’t the sole cause though, but a contributing factor. I hope that helps express my feelings more clearly.
  • 6 1
 @henryquinney: Yeah I know what you mean but since it is contrary to my beliefs I will ignore it like a typical PB member Smile
  • 4 0
 @lkubica: haha! Love to see it.
  • 3 0
 It's probably just too progressive deep in the travel.
  • 2 0
 @henryquinney: I have been riding this bike since December and previous Knolly's before it and I find the braking traction to be exceptional in rough terrain. I am wondering if the hangups you were feeling were more attributable to the braking traction than the suspension curve.

Nice review, I was curious to hear your feedback on sizing as at 6' I also settled on a Medium for the first time in my life and am very happy with the fit.
  • 1 0
 @coachphillip: I don't think so. They didn't feel like grip, and the battering my rear wheel took is testament to it being a bit more than just hooking up the dirt. If you can make it work and choose your moments there is a way to maximise the system though.

Cheers
  • 1 0
 @coachphillip: Have you seen any of the rear wheel battering that @henryquinney has been experiencing? What wheels are you riding on your Chilcotin? Are you using an air or coil shock?
  • 3 0
 @pntfive we are one union, dhx2 coil. Have not experienced the wheel battering, I have the same tire as @henryquinney (Dhr2 dh casing) and run between 24-26psi, no insert. I also weigh almost the same as Henry, only difference in setup is 425# spring vs his 450. All clickers are within one stop of the fox recommendation. I also found the 400# a bit too wallow-ey. Rode a 450 on the previous chilcotin and found it a bit stiff, perhaps 425 would get rid of Henry’s top out problems
  • 1 0
 @coachphillip: Thanks for sharing your experiences with the Chilcotin! Did you ever try an air shock or did you go straight to coil?
  • 3 0
 @pntfive: I have not tried an air shock on this latest Chilcotin. I have ridden both the preveious gen Chilcotin and Fugitive with both air and coil, I preferred both with coil. With those bikes I didn't have the problems Henry had with the air being too progressive, but I live in Whistler where smooth trails are few and far between and found the coil to have a bit better traction and conform to the ground better than air. Air felt better for pumping and popping but I took the tradeoff for traction.
  • 1 0
 @coachphillip: Thank you for the info!
  • 2 0
 @henryquinney: Seems your "heels down" style could be a factor also. On my 150mm Split Pivot w/60% antirise the key is to stay loose, kind of like in moto, letting the bike come up under you using knees,hips and ankles . Low anti rise works really well in most situations IMHO.
  • 1 0
 @henryquinney: Did you feel a similar hangup on square edge hits while riding the RAAW Madonna V3?

For reference:
- RAAW Madonna V3 anti-rise 47% and progression 26%
- Knolly Chilcotin 6th gen anti-rise 50% and progression 28%

I am not trying to be argumentative, rather I'm just trying to understand how a few % differences can alter the ride characteristics of the bikes.
  • 7 0
 @pntfive @joexc @coachphillip

Hi all.

I didn't take any of it as argumentative at all. We all just love bikes, and I know we all want to learn more about them. However, with these comment threads, I tend just to answer specific questions when the article goes live and then move on. Else, this can turn into quite a lot of sifting and trying to make sense of many different angles. However, this is a great chance to explain my reasoning further.

Firstly, graphs aren't bike riding. While they give us an idea, they can also mislead us. If the last few years have taught me anything, it's that they indicate what the bike will be like, but for whatever reason, bikes with the same values can often feel markedly different. Which is great, if only because it keeps us PBers in a job! Ha.

When discussing this, I think it's also important to consider the many factors involved —axle path, leverage, crosstalk of LSC and HSC or lack thereof, braking, braking style, body position, grip, and speed. The list goes on.

Now, I agree with everything you've said that, on paper, low AR bikes should track better, keep the bike higher in the stroke and offer better tracking, but, to be honest, that's not what I find in the real world. I find they tend to just stop the suspension working. I've had the chance to ride some bikes with maybe 150% anti rise, and on the brakes I think the suspension is better, because sending the rider's mass into the shock really drives the suspension, instead of making the rear wheel feel like a seatbelt pulling you back under harsh acceleration.

Again, it's a combination of axle path and leverage, but I wonder aloud whether if this bike had more AR it could push through that ramp into the deeper parts of the stroke instead of making the suspension feel like it doesn't want to work on squarer edges or bigger hits. I want my suspension to work all the time, and for that reason I prefer the higher AR bikes, even if they do drive the rider's weight into the shock. Ultimately, that's just part of the challenge of setup. I think maybe because I run a very fast rebound setting the shock can return and settle more, so maybe I suffer less from pack down that can be associated with this.

I'm not going to really speak to "it doesn't do this for me" because if I did then it's just a slippery slope of pandering - I need to be honest with what I feel, as well as how I ride and I'll let you draw your own conclusions.

Thanks for taking the time to comment. Cheers
  • 2 0
 @henryquinney: Thank you for your thoughtful responses to my questions. I appreciate your honest reviews!
  • 1 0
 should be mentioned knolly alloy is super quality. One of the best I'd reckon
Chili alloy > Spire alloy all day long.
On sizing...Nicolai and Pole have similiar longer than the norm sizing, some others I'm sure as well.
Anyone know how commencal alloy quality is? Ive heard plenty alloy Special-ed HT's ovalizing.

weights a paradox, better for dwn -more werk goin up.
Thanks for another great review. nice looking Knollys for a change!!!
  • 1 0
 If you would like a chance to win the new Knolly Chilcotin 170 with the top spec Fox Factory / XT build, we are running a raffle with funds going directly to the trails in Whistler (the raffle is open April 11 to May 21, 2024):

https://worca2024knolly.rafflenexus.com/a/9
  • 1 0
 Not sure why the link isn't working above, use this:
2024 Knolly WORCA Raffle
  • 4 0
 This just has me wanting to go to BC... BAD Frown
  • 3 1
 In what world is a small a 458 reach? Are you losing your mind? Maybe not, but you clearly are losing (Or just don't care about) shorter customers.
  • 1 0
 Henry! What's that vest you're wearing? (seriously, looks like a simple and light weight way to carry a few things without going to a waist pack). Solid review BTW.
  • 4 0
 Its the Evoc 1.5 litre one. Honestly, I hated backpacks before but for winter riding, with everything I need and jacket to go between test bikes it is great. I’m working on a small review and will get it up soon. Thanks!
  • 1 0
 @henryquinney: The Evoc Pro is siiick
  • 7 5
 17kg (37.5lbs) without pedals. That's the reason why enduro is dead and it will become an electrified race series
  • 4 1
 Design language on this frame is a huge upgrade. Looks HAWT!
  • 3 0
 The GX30 discount code works for the new GX Chilcotin's
  • 4 3
 Is the locker that drives the shock a step up or down from the filing cabinet Orange use?
  • 2 0
 Still no kinematic charts. Lame Knolly.
  • 1 0
 Large fans of HQ will appreciate that he is a big fan of huge insertion depths
  • 1 0
 the way how bike companies retire 1up bike rack's for the bikers, make bikes long enough not to fit into the rack.
  • 1 0
 The review I have been waiting for. I wonder how different it would be from my 2022 Transition Patrol?
  • 2 0
 Hey wheres my Podium bruh?
  • 4 0
 @mokydot there's always one Podium inquiry Smile we've been waiting for you Razz
  • 1 0
 Dang, they spec'd the headtube angle to two significant digits. Nice bikes. Was tempted when they had the 40% off sale.
  • 1 0
 Hey I'm still enjoying my Chili 26er!
  • 1 1
 too long the reach L for mi is 465 to 470 reach is enogh for me im 6.2 more than that feel bad the bike.
  • 1 0
 Should come out with its old model the heavy duty built frame from 2009
  • 1 0
 First time i'd fit a medium anything in 20 years
  • 1 0
 I have to say, these new Knolly's look spectacular
  • 1 0
 This is a weird review…
  • 1 0
 What's going on with that rear shock? Topout isn't a normal problem.
  • 3 6
 I just do not understand the 200+ dropper trend. On a 29" wheel bike your ass is hitting the tire WAYYYY before it gets even close to the saddle.... even on a 180mm dropper. 240mm droppers are the 810mm bars of 2024.
  • 1 0
 Holy BB offset!
  • 3 5
 I hope no one ever has to lift it up at the end of or during a ride. Thats one heavy bike before its got muddy
  • 5 2
 Just like every other 38 lb enduro bike!
  • 3 1
 @islandforlife : Right? All these people whining about the weight. 36-40 lbs is the norm. At least for the terrain I ride and the people I ride with.
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