Knolly Shows Off Prototypes for Future Bikes - Eurobike 2022

Jul 14, 2022 at 12:19
by Ed Spratt  
A surprise among the halls of Messe Frankfurt was several new prototype bikes from Knolly.

Knolly stressed that these are very early developments, but everything on show is a work in progress towards the next generation of Knolly's bikes. We were told that Knolly is very aware of its divisive looks and part of this project is to keep the unique style of its bike, but make them more widely accepted. Alongside a slight change in design, Knolly is looking to add more features and adjustability to the range of bikes.

Fugitive

The Fugitive is among the bikes getting an upgrade in the future, and Knolly is currently planning two different models. The first will be a version with 125mm of rear travel and 140mm up front. There will also be a slightly longer travel version that will see a bump to 138mm of rear travel and a 150mm fork.





Chilcotin

Next up is the Chilcotin that we just reviewed the current 151 model. The update keeps 29" wheels and Knolly will continue with the two models with a 151 and 167 option for riders. The 151 will use a 160mm fork and the 167 uses 170mm of front suspension.





Endorphin

Finally, Knolly was showing off its 27.5" Endorphin trail bike with 135mm of rear travel and 150mm up front. Interestingly, when this bike eventually launches it will now have an XS size but will only go up to an L. When designing the bike and especially the XS a goal was to make sure a longer travel dropper can fit, we were told the aim is to have a 170mm post fit into the XS size. The possibility is also there to make this bike into a mullet with a shorter travel fork.





Knolly has plans to also update the Warden when the new range of bikes launches in the future, but again we were told that we shouldn't expect to see these bikes launch for quite a while.


145 Comments

  • 172 3
 Straight toptube looks so much better than their current bikes
  • 43 2
 I came here fully prepared to make an ugly bike joke. Just gonna have to walk my ass outta here without cracking a joke.
  • 12 15
 @fullendurbro: Except that the extension for the bottom bracket feels sooo wrong.

I'm sure it's strong enough, but psychologically it feels like I couldn't trust it as much for casing a jump as a bike with the seat tube connecting right to the BB.

That hardtail in the back looks incredible though.
  • 1 1
 That's all there is to say! So much better looking!
  • 3 0
 @davemays: Those frames in person look absolutely robust. It's much better than a kink on the seat tube reducing seat post insertion. I have a Marin for my kid and you can literally insert 12cm of a post, which makes the bike practically not suited for droppers ...
  • 5 0
 @davemays: what are you sitting down casing jumps for?
  • 1 0
 @mdg3d: woah I love it! On my bike list.
  • 2 0
 @lkubica: Good to know! And excellent point about no kink leading to better seat tube insertion, that's definitely a big plus. I'm convinced haha.
  • 1 0
 @davemays:
Yes it is a very strange design choice. They could have put a structural member from the chainstay pivot up to the aft lower seattube pivot, and it would have been lighter and stronger than that bent aluminum sheed welded in there.
  • 2 0
 Maybe, but I'd be missing the oodles of standover height clearance
  • 1 0
 @lkubica: marin xs size riftzone 27.5
We use the jump seat dropper.
  • 2 0
 100%. It sounds shallow, but I have chosen to not buy their bikes in the past, and how the frame looked was the swing vote. I would definitely buy these bikes now.
  • 56 3
 These look WAY better with the strait top tube.
  • 38 2
 Praying that Ibis takes the hint too. I have ridden the Chilcotin 151 and currently own a Ripmo AF and they are such amazing bikes so long as I am riding them and not looking at the top tubes.
  • 12 2
 Same here. My Ibis is so ugly that I'm going to get a new bike this fall mostly just because of looks.
  • 6 1
 I kept my Commencal because it's sexier than my ibis and I stare at my bikes too much. The Ibis blows it out of the water on the trails though. Just don't stare at it too long. @jhess8:
  • 1 1
 @jhess8: Is this sarcasm? It's hard to tell on the internet.
  • 1 0
 Ripmo looks ok in size M, all other sizes... not so much!
  • 36 1
 New Podium please!! Mine has served me proper for the last 8 years. Wating for the next gen! Knolly is the real deal. Bikes are proper shredders and customer service is top knotch. Lifetime customer here!
  • 11 0
 oh yes please new podium with this design
  • 7 0
 Seriously. I'll pre-buy if it helps get one designed.
  • 5 0
 God I miss my podium. One of the funnest park bikes I've ever ridden.
  • 3 0
 Same! I Tried another popular PNW brand, Im selling it, I put the Warden/Delerium back together, can't beat it, except for a new Podium maybe.
  • 23 1
 Trying to wrap my head around the seatpost being so far in front of the BB...
  • 9 13
flag Cgocal (Jul 14, 2022 at 14:36) (Below Threshold)
 Well to fit there silly extra shock link for extra performance! But then they run the link on bushings and use trunnion to destroy any advantage that might’ve actually given!
  • 5 2
 @Cgocal: why/how would a trunnion mount negate preformance?
  • 8 12
flag Linc (Jul 14, 2022 at 16:58) (Below Threshold)
 ... which means every Knolly has a stupidly slack 'actual' seat angle number (that they conveniently never publish on any geo chart, and that PB never calls out on any review). Perhaps the worst bike on the market if you have long-ish leg and want to pedal.
  • 4 4
 @Linc: will also put more load into the dropper post!
  • 1 8
flag Cgocal (Jul 14, 2022 at 17:28) (Below Threshold)
 @LoganKeen: stiffer interface which puts more load into the shock making it less sensitive. There’s a reason brands like ohlins and ext use spherical eyelet bearings.
  • 3 7
flag Simann (Jul 14, 2022 at 18:48) (Below Threshold)
 @Linc: Not sure how you are missing their geometry charts, its all over the net. 78 degrees for the Chilcotin.
  • 9 1
 @Simann: 'actual' seat angle is not the same as 'effective' (which is what Knolly show)
  • 5 1
 @Linc: Your comment can be directed towards all brands...not just one. And the sum of all the angles is greater than the individual angles. Don't judge a book by its cover! Just because it looks weird doesn't mean its terrible.
  • 1 0
 @LoganKeen: trunnions are stiffer than a standard shock so more of the horizontal loads on shocks is transmitted into the shock itself whereas a normal shock sort of bends slightly arround the eyelets I believe
  • 4 4
 @Simann: The Knolly layout is uniquely bad in this respect
  • 6 0
 @Linc: as a former fanboy who's now seen the light you couldn't be more correct. I'm sure there's a sweet spot where it's a relatively steep STA but once you're past a certain point you're way off the back
  • 4 0
 @Linc: That is not necessarily true. In fact, is it only true for people who run high seat heights relative to their frame size. For people on the other end of the spectrum, the opposite is true, and the effective seat angle is steeper than listed. If you can't see it, try drawing it out on paper with multiple seat heights.
  • 4 0
 spare tube fits in the loam shelf
  • 2 0
 @Cgocal: agree.. my 2015 warden developed bad stiction on the bushings.. it is high maintenance.. good bikes but trunnion and bushings are inconsistent af.
  • 1 1
 @Grizzly134: And what would you suggest is the appropriate height to run your seat? Because in addition to not disclosing the ‘actual’ seat angle, knolly don’t tell you what height they measure ‘effective’ seat angle from either.
  • 3 0
 Have a look at the following brands and where their ST junction would be relative to the BB.
The ST is forward from the BB.
Aesthetically, (for example Norco, Santa Cruz, and Specialized Enduro) have bends at the bottom of the ST that lead the eye to the BB, which give the perception that the ST is still close or connected to the BB
  • 5 0
 @Linc: If you ask them, they'll tell you the approximate saddle height that is assumed in their geometry chart. It was easy. And most people have some idea of where their saddle height falls along the bell curve relative to their actual height. For example, I have short legs and particularly short femurs, so I get along well with steep effective seat angles, which is exactly what happens when I sit on a Knolly. Someone with longer legs/femurs might want to look elsewhere. The payoff is near infinite seatpost insertion and a convenient location for the pivot journals needed for their suspension platform, which is essentially their identity. Doesn't make it a bad bike, makes it an unapologetically niche bike. And as other people point out in this thread, Knolly is more offset, but almost everyone has an offset seattube. Transition, Santa Cruz, Specialized, DaVinci, Rocky Mountain, Norco... Its just that Knolly's is offset more, and is also more visually apparent without the bent seattube.
  • 16 3
 It would be awesome if they replaced the bushings in the upper linkage with bearings. Too much sensitivity is lost and YES I understand all the engineering logic and reason behind it, but there is no denying the difference in feel.
  • 4 0
 I"ve heard rumours that this will be happening.
  • 3 0
 @ridingloam: Goddamnit, I was fine with the update to aesthetics (I actually like the look of them as is, I know I'm in the minority). But changing from bushings to bearings will make me a little envious of these new models.
  • 7 0
 @whateverbr0: I'm thinking retrofit will be possible.
  • 2 0
 @ridingloam: oh that would be awesome
  • 3 0
 I guess you have more knowledge than Noel about this subject. You must have more than 10 years in the field of Engineering Physics He does. Engineering Physicist was his career before designing bikes, but you know more about bearing/bushing choice @ridingloam:
  • 2 1
 @Durtwrx: I have spoken with Noel and his team about this and I think the feel outweighs the benefits of bushings. Maybe an example will highlight my point. I removed the rear shock to do some tuning and the rear triangle would firmly stick in whatever position I put it in. It required a firm push to move it through the travel. In contrast, other suspension designs are silky smooth and require barely any force to move the swing arm (with the shock removed.

I simply prefer the suspension compliance and feel to come from the shock and not the frame. I've ridden their bikes and own a fugitive. It's a personal preference,
  • 1 0
 @behubert: that’s weird… I’ve had 4 Knollys. Have had each apart like describe for usual maintenance and they all move under their own weight… silky smooth as you describe. Bushings are better for those very low movement pivots. Bearings that barely move in those locations just end up pitting very quickly and need replacement much much sooner than a bushing. But I think Knolly, like most frame manufacturers, might move to bearings simply because most people don’t understand the engineering and assume bearings are better and so buy those bikes. They’ll sell more bikes, but it’s not better. Knolly typically stays away from this kind of thinking and makes decisions based on the actual tested results and sound engineering… but if you want a worse performing bike, you might get your wish. Just makes sure you check those bearings very often.
  • 1 0
 @islandforlife: You have fair points and my feedback would be different if my experience was different. It sounds like my bike (21 Fugitive) used a new bushing supplier and it's very possible that I have bushings that aren't to Noel's spec.
  • 14 1
 Looks knarly
  • 7 0
 There are a lot of questions and/or unfounded assumptions in this thread that can easily be answered in a few minutes on the Knolly website. They're a very engineering-forward company, and if you're curious about why they do something, chances are the answer you're looking for is there for the reading. They're a niche company, and they're not trying to make everybody happy, but this comments thread certainly became a comments thread pretty quickly.
  • 19 11
 Making the seat tube angle steeper by just moving the bottom bracket further and further back on the chainstay is solving the wrong problem.
  • 3 2
 And they have all the room in the world to steepen the actual seat tube angle, too...
  • 2 1
 Basically Knolly's approach to designing seat angles: bit.ly/3PbWS1x
  • 10 0
 That fugitive is quick and sneaky just like Harrison Ford
  • 10 0
 These bikes actually look pretty good in raw aluminum.
  • 10 1
 Now that is a loam shelf! They could put some boss mounts back there at least for storage, maybe even a water bottle.
  • 5 0
 Agreed! But with a RaceFace Stash tool wrap or tube strap, this is a great place to keep your spare tube and tools.
  • 2 0
 Epic loam shelf. Your move, Transition!
  • 1 0
 @ridingloam: That's where I have my tube stored.
  • 7 0
 I hope they do well. Local (Burnaby) Canadian company and they look tough and bombproof.

And @KNOLLYBIKES - as others have mentioned, the straight top tube is a good step for esthetics.
  • 5 0
 Honestly happy with my Fugitive v2. In the season I can race on it in a 36” 160/138 coil config and bigger tires, then scale back in November to 34” 140-150/130 air shock, less hefty tires, trail bike. It really is kind of a 2-in-1 point and shred frame and any config questions and component selections were happily handled by customer service - way after purchase.
  • 10 4
 Did Knolly patent this straight seat tube that’s perpendicular to the bottom tube at a junction that is forward of the bottom bracket? So innovative
  • 4 3
 Indeed they did. Revolutionary!
  • 2 0
 Per the now dropped Intense lawsuit over it, the patent is fairly meaningless. Frames are still great though and that Chilcotin above looks really good.
  • 7 3
 Patenting a net-negative in bike design ftw
  • 3 1
 @Linc: Boy, you're a real hater on this thread in multiple places. Are you OK?
  • 4 0
 Personally I liked the previous shape of the top tube better, so much so that I bought a Fugitive v.1. It seemed to be more of a Knolly (and a few others) specific feature that made it immediately recognizeable.

Esthetic is a matter of personal preference so I believe everybody is entitled to voice their feelings about their own as they please.

It's probably cheaper to manufacture a straight top tube rather than a shaped one.

While the specific BB may be perceived as weird by many, it allows for a straight seat tube which allows for max insertion for the seatpost/dropper. So, it's a good thing.
  • 5 2
 Hopefully they remove trunnion, increase anti squat and possibly anti rise, stiffer chainstay and rocker arm + bearings! Would be awesome to see increased stack with the same reach as well as size specific seat angle and rear Center. The effective seat angle gets so slack with the current model for tall riders. Combine that with a silly short back end and stuff starts feeling funky!
  • 2 1
 Based on your wishes, I don't think a Knolly is the bike for you
  • 3 0
 Love that Knolly is still offering an in-between bike with 150/160 travel. That's just about perfect for where/how I ride and a lot of companies are making shorter and longer travel bikes, but missing that market (looking at you Trek, and I loved my old Slash).
  • 6 2
 Well holy heck, these look great!! Its amazing how much of an improvement in the looks department these are over the previous ugly ones.
  • 3 0
 Wow a great improvement aesthetically! More of a privateer/Raaw sort of vibe, but still with some knolly flavor.
Quite nice indeed!
  • 1 0
 As long as the rear post mount isn't 160, decently steep seat post angle on the 138 Fugitive, and this comes out in the next 1.5 years, count me in. Never had an issue with my 2016 Carbon Warden. Great bikes, but the frame styling was a bit out of date.
  • 7 4
 I know Knolly is anti-Ebike but man their frames sure look like it would be easy to add a motor....lol
  • 1 0
 second that
  • 4 1
 So so so much better. I've sadly sat on photoshop and done this exact redesign.
  • 4 0
 I really want that endorphin.
  • 5 1
 It's hard to make a sexier bike than the Chilcotin
  • 1 0
 Would love to see a mixed-wheel warden build option when these come out, or at least a MX rocker link for the Chilcotin like what Coal offers for their bikes. Either way, love the new look
  • 4 0
 I want an endorphin..
  • 2 0
 These all look awesome...I don't care for super boost spacing but I would deal with it for that 27.5 Endorphin.
  • 3 0
 Would love to try an Endorphin seems like a fun bike
  • 2 0
 knolly please please please make a M/L. at 5'10" the medium is a touch small and i've heard the large is too big.
  • 2 2
 always curious about them, but the extra long and skimpy looking linkages on knolly's have always been a turn off for me and i agree with @chappps holy shit that seat tube is way forward of the BB.
  • 1 0
 They did it, they finally updated the Endorphin! Now make it travel adjustable 135mm-150mm with the option to run mullet 150mm front.
  • 2 0
 I spot a trunnion mount...
  • 6 5
 The straight seat tube ahead of the bb is genius. I wish all bikes did this.
  • 1 0
 Can't go wrong with aligning the seat stay and top tube angles, looks great.
  • 1 0
 Internal rear cable routing looks clean but a challenging installation...AXS to the rescue.
  • 1 0
 I often think the cable routing would be better/easier if they just went from the bb along the chainstay. The current system works, but I think there are more bends than necessary and I have to change my housing more often.
  • 2 2
 I love that they all include that convenient storage shelf behind the BB/ST junction. Looks like you could store a 6 inch Subway sandwich back there!
  • 1 0
 If you use too large of a frame pack the rear tire will actually buzz it. Mine does if I overstuff it.
  • 2 1
 Looks so much cleaner, nice straight lines! Now, get rid of Superboost and it would be my next bike!
  • 2 0
 Can We Talk Just About Podium Bruh?
  • 2 0
 I’ll actually buy one of these things
  • 1 0
 please remember to include that sick glow in the dark green colour option too!
  • 1 0
 Does anybody have any word if there will be a short travel marathon bike from knolly
  • 1 0
 Straight top tube is an improvement, but please get rid of that loam shelf!
  • 2 0
 sick bikes
  • 1 0
 The 138mm Fugitive looks like a fun bike!
  • 1 0
 Agreed, looks WAY better.
  • 2 0
 Rad, stoked Knolly!
  • 1 0
 Looks like they fixed the problem!
  • 2 2
 PLEASE fix the sizing on the Chilcotin. The numbers for a medium are ridiculous.
  • 1 0
 Boy I loved my Fugitive LT, but it was never pretty. These are pretty!
  • 1 0
 Any pics of the hardtail in the background of last pic??
  • 1 0
 It's knolly there.
  • 1 0
 XL Endo and I’m in
  • 1 1
 still pregnant in the front with twins strapped to its back.
  • 1 1
 enough of the x2 spec haha doesnt look to shabby otherwise!
  • 3 5
 Dear Knolly, please make your prototype 151 with reasonable reach and non super boost rear hub. I will buy it, I promise.
  • 2 3
 Please stop with the orange and raw group think...
  • 2 4
 So. Many. Bearings.
  • 3 0
 2 more bearings, 4 more bushings vs. standard 4-bar.
  • 2 0
 Have a look at the Specialized Enduro.
Arguably more bearings than a Knolly

This link is to the MY20 version, see page 10.
www.bikezona.com/bicicletas/pdf/ENDURO%20SPECIALIZED-20.pdf

Enduro - 20 bearings
Latest version Knollys - 12 bearings
  • 1 0
 @fungusfreakland: Love my enduro, hate the bearings. Thankfully the quality of the seals on the bolts and washers is superb so they seem to last really well. Well into the second season on m,y current bearings and they're good still
Below threshold threads are hidden





You must login to Pinkbike.
Don't have an account? Sign up

Join Pinkbike  Login
Copyright © 2000 - 2023. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.027875
Mobile Version of Website