New Knolly Fugitive Gets 3mm More Travel & Updated Geo - Pond Beaver 2021

Apr 14, 2021 at 7:25
by Seb Stott  

Knolly's Fugitive has been around in its current form since 2018, so it was time for an update. The new version of their trail-focused 29er gets 138mm of rear travel and is designed around a 150mm fork, but can happily accept 140mm or 160mm up front. Knolly also plans to offer the Fugitive with 131mm of rear travel using a shorter-stroke shock when these become available.

As you might expect, the geometry has been updated too. The head angle has been slackened by 0.5 degrees, the seat tube angle has increased a full degree and the effective top tube length and reach have been lengthened proportionally for each frame size.
Knolly Fugitive 138 Details

Intended use: Trail riding
Rear wheel travel: 138mm (131mm option expected)
Fork travel: 150mm
Wheel size: 29"
Material: 6066 series aluminum
Sizes: S, M, L, XL
Price: $5,310 to $6,210 USD
More info: knollybikes.com

The key numbers are now on the progressive side for a bike with this much travel. A flip-chip offers two geometry settings, which Knolly refer to as "slack" and "neutral" (why can't bike companies bring themselves to call it a "high" or "steep" setting?). In the slack setting, the head angle is 65-degrees and the effective seat angle is 76-degrees. In the "neutral" setting, both measurements increase by 0.75-degrees. The reach is generous too - a size large has a reach of 491mm. The chainstays remain short at 430.5-432mm, which contributes to relatively short wheelbase measurements.


Knolly retains their Fourby4 suspension design, which is essentially a Horst-link four bar arrangement, but with an extra two links that are there purely to drive the shock. That makes it a six-bar design, the main advantage of which is the ability to tune the leverage curve independently of the other suspension considerations. Another Knolly trademark is the straight and highly offset seat tube, which Knolly say has the ability to swallow very long (200mm-travel plus) dropper posts. Knolly also claim that because the slack actual seat angle means the saddle ends up further forward once dropped, it stays more out the way when descending.



The Fugitive's frame is made of 6066 series hydroformed aluminum alloy tubing (there's no carbon version). It's available now with two build kits. The DP kit uses a RockShox Lyrik and SRAM GX drivetrain, Code R brakes and 175mm Reverb seatpost. It costs from $5310 USD. Meanwhile the EC kit gets a Fox Factory 36 fork with Shimano XT drivetrain and brakes, and costs from $6210 USD.




Pond Beaver 2021





195 Comments

  • 216 4
 3 mm ? Shut up and take my money !
  • 85 0
 Yes, that's the kind of evolution we've been waiting for all this time. The Grim Donut can pack its bags and go home.
  • 26 2
 3mm sounds way better than 0.118 inches, doesn't it Big Grin Can't wait until all American jump on board with the metric system! They'd probably use the metric system only for padding their numbers to look good.
  • 22 0
 That 3mm and purple does it for me...
  • 39 2
 More of an incremental update. The previous Fugitive was pretty dialed.
  • 11 28
flag Aksel31 (Apr 14, 2021 at 10:41) (Below Threshold)
 Is Anybody thinking they will now sue every company making a 138mm bike ??
  • 54 0
 @CSharp: we’ll be fine down here measuring in cheeseburgers and bald eagles.
  • 7 8
 @DMal: agreed. I'm curious to ride the new one to see how the updated linkage works. I'm assuming they reworked the leverage curve a bit to get more travel out of the same shocks, especially the 50mm stroke config which is 11mm more travel than before. I have to say though, the previous generation bike was already pretty long for a trail bike. This one is really bordering on too big. 491 reach on a large. that was a pretty big jump
  • 2 0
 Fugitive DUB
  • 4 0
 @mscofield4: I’m on a Cotic Flaremax size L with 490 reach. For me (now I’m used to it) it makes a heap of sense, never feel like OTB is gonna happen, really centred on drops , jumps and in big flat corners and berms it’s super stable
  • 5 2
 @CSharp: The US tried going metric in the 70s. Apparently it was too hard for us to understand and we gave up.
  • 52 5
 You sound like the dream customer! For real though.... The updates are not about the 3mm of rear travel. This re-design was about the shift to focus on how most of our customers were building the bike and to update the bike to offer geo we rather ride. The steeper seat tube angle and longer reach were the main focus. A slacker head angle was an easy tweak. The small bump in travel was an benefit but only came without sacrificing kinematics.
  • 9 6
 @sewer-rat: I loved my fugitive v1. Great bike. One of the best I've ever owned. But I recently moved to an evil following v3 with less travel, shorter wheelbase, and arguably less capable geo specs. I am faster and having way more fun on all my local terrain. Strava PR's every time I ride. The short wheelbase makes tight turns a breeze and I never feel out of place on the same drops or descents I took on the knolly. there is something just so fun about what evil has done with this bike. Now, with that being said, I never tried my fugitive with a 50mm shock or 140 fork and wish I would have prior to changing bikes. But the knolly definitely felt like a bigger bike and I feel like for the way I ride, the changes made to the v2 are the wrong direction.
  • 2 0
 @dexterfawkes: Tight tolerances! Big Grin
  • 5 1
 @headshot: That's what she said.
  • 13 0
 @DMal: Agreed. My Fugitive LT is the most well rounded bike I've ever owned. That's coming from a Norco Sight 29, Specialized e39, Santa Cruz Nomad etc. I absolutely love mine.
  • 2 0
 @CSharp: That's like asking Canada to make a dollar worth a dollar, instead of $.70.
  • 9 0
 @mscofield4: I went the other way, an Evil Following V2 to the Fugitive LT. You are right the Evil is a better pedaling platform but riding in New England the Knolly handles the rocks and root much smoother. I also ride in the high position ONLY and the bike turns nice. No need for a slacker HT. More bottom bracket height would have been an upgrade.

I will keep this bike until there is a major development. Until then, this version is perfect (except more BB height).
  • 2 0
 @CSharp: my truck gets 483840 rods to the hogs head and that's the way I like it !!
  • 3 1
 @KNOLLYBIKES: A Fugitive is the only bike I'd trade my Endorphin for. Sure, the looks might be unflattering to some, but I'll trade that for the ride quality any day.
  • 2 0
 @KNOLLYBIKES: Hey ! The saying goes : "We get the customers we deserve", nah ? Smile
Needless to say this is a joke and that I have nothing against you guys Wink
  • 1 0
 @CSharp: it must kill you that wheels are measured in inches.
  • 2 0
 @Raivkka: When I had my Fugitive I had it in slack for the first 4 months or so. Once I put it in neutral I felt like the bike really came alive. With that said I like my mullet Warden & Delirium in slack.
  • 2 0
 @mscofield4: Strava PRs every time you ride?? thats gotta end at some point....
  • 72 4
 Wonder how that lawsuits going.
  • 87 1
 Its intense.
  • 14 1
 @rustiegrizwold: I really enjoyed your comment, just wanted you to know
  • 27 4
 havent heard a tracer about it since.
  • 4 40
flag chillrider199 (Apr 14, 2021 at 10:56) (Below Threshold)
 @deepstrut: stop
  • 18 3
 They've been real Recluse about the whole thing.
  • 27 0
 @chillrider199: Don't be such a comment warden.
  • 48 10
 They should've just added 3 more millimeters to the rear axle spacing and made another new standard that nobody asked for
  • 10 9
 I loved my old Endorphin and I truly want another Knolly. 157 is what keeps my money in my bank account. No thanks.
  • 4 1
 @defineindecline:
157...It's old standard 150 with drop outs. People seem to have a REALLY hard time wrapping their heads around this. Knolly also managed to increase the heal clearance by only 1mm with their hydrotubing...
  • 34 6
 I'd be a fugitive too if my bike was purple and orange with red fork decals and mismatched kashima. Throw on that 4x4 linkage to make it a real looker!
  • 75 3
 Reminds me of when I let my 6 year old dress herself.
  • 12 10
 Dont forget to pour one out for the homies who get eyeball cancer from looking at it.
  • 12 3
 Proof that microdosing does not always result in great creative ideas.
  • 4 1
 @unrooted: brilliant and sadly true
  • 6 1
 if only Intense had patented their 'special' color choices to sue them back
  • 1 1
 @iiman: came here to say this
  • 35 11
 Also tell any bike manufacturer with the audacity to put seat posts on their bikes: you get a lawsuit, you get a lawsuit, everyone gets a lawsuit!!
  • 15 8
 its common practice to defend patents, look into it
  • 4 2
 @rjmogul: Jeff Goldblum says just because you can....
  • 2 4
 @rjmogul: Yes, but this is a ridiciolus obvious development, they shpuld not have get a patent on.
  • 7 1
 @fred-frod: Maybe so, but I would argue that so are stroke markings on forks and shocks and you only see those on RockShox because they have the patent.
  • 23 2
 DP kit
Not interested in that !

Of all the two letter combinations that’s what you ended up with, come on Knolly.
  • 23 0
 I don’t want to be DP’d by a purple knolly either.

But I love this bike. Wonder how it is on flowy trails
  • 4 2
 Dawn Patrol
  • 6 0
 (cues Archer)
  • 9 0
 Are we still doing phrasing?
  • 24 1
 138mm in the rear, 150mm in the front....... Sorry, I'll see myself out.
  • 23 1
 Dick Pound?
  • 8 0
 Only 3mm more in the rear though. You can handle that can't you??
  • 7 2
 @Arepiscopo: so are we just done with phrasing now? what about 'that's what she said'? can we at least do that?
  • 34 8
 Dawn Patrol and Extra Credit. Get your mind out of the gutter buddy! Then again, this is Pinkbike. We shouldn't be surprised.
  • 1 0
 @Docster: not as good as a hardtail but maybe better.
  • 1 0
 @mscofield4: wait a minute... I had something for that...
  • 19 1
 Dick Pound Kit for $5310
  • 16 3
 Now that is a color I could live with. Plus that linkage is so cool-looking. Overall, this looks like another highly refined trail bike that can also take some serious abuse. Muy Bueno!
  • 3 0
 @Aksel31: Highly refined is very precise.
  • 12 0
 Can someone explain the crazy short head tube lengths??? My current bike (XL V1Banshee Prime) has a 115mm head tube and I am running 75mm spacer and 50mm rise bar, and my saddle is about 4” higher than my bars.
  • 18 2
 It gives the rider the choice of stack height. I would not be able to ride your bike to save my life, I'm a slammed front end guy on all my bikes. Personal preference. Riders like me appreciate seeing this kind of headtube. (I also ride an XL, with a large saddle to bar drop).

There's probably economical incentives to share headtubes between sizes too.
  • 4 0
 For short people like me.
  • 15 6
 @i-ride-on-dirt: Exactly. The low front end is about options for the build. We are making the Fugitive 138 head tube in three different lengths and they are shorter than the single Banshee head tube length. Interesting.

@unrooted You are a large man!
  • 1 1
 @KNOLLYBIKES: I’m trippin on the 326 bb height, What
  • 7 10
 @KNOLLYBIKES: how dare you assume my gender.
  • 5 1
 Short stacks/head tubes seem to have come along with short seat tubes, to cater to the 5'11" guys who think they need an XL. I don't have a problem with short seat tubes but I don't love having to pick between goofy super rise bars or a stack of spacers shrinking my reach
  • 3 0
 @i-ride-on-dirt:
I dislike the look of having 12 headset spacers to get the bars at the right height, generally.
  • 2 0
 @unrooted: *PC Principal just entered the chat*
  • 6 0
 @anothermtnbiker: Yes, it's low and in the slack & low position. That's the point! The other position is 335mm. I ride the bike in the higher position when pedaling to get the clearance and swap to slack & low when shuttling. The geo change takes 30 seconds.
  • 16 0
 @unrooted: It says so in your profile. Be careful what information you share on the internet. There are a lot of weirdos out here.
  • 1 1
 @gafoto: So fair, I wouldn't like that either. My point is that some people (like myself) simply can't ride certain bikes because the stack height is too tall. (XXL Megatower for instance). Whether it's the correct approach is another topic, but it's undeniably beneficial to some riders who would otherwise be forced to look elsewhere.
  • 5 0
 @KNOLLYBIKES:
@unrooted:
Call the burns unit... We've got a sick one here. Nurse
  • 12 2
 Purple and gold looks awesome. Someone is going to put some fancy I9 wheels on it and have a killer looking steed.
  • 14 6
 I really wanted one of these when i was shopping around. But the pricing is just nuts. Ended up with a new stumpy with a full carbon frame, way lighter, and better components, for cheaper
  • 3 0
 But it’s aged 18 years.
  • 7 0
 I have the previous generation Fugitive LT.
Amazing bike. You can smash it around pretty damn hard for a 135mm bike.
Unreal climbing traction in the tech.
Yes, it’s heavy. But I am a bike breaker and I will always sacrifice weight for longevity/toughness.
  • 10 1
 Blimey. Nearly fell of my chair seeing a high end bike actually made of metal. Nice one Knolly
  • 6 6
 Why does it look so wallmart?
  • 9 0
 The best bike just got better .
  • 5 0
 I think Knolly makes some slick looking bikes and I like the purple on this one. One day ill get one, they look like they absolutely slay. Anyone know if they are playful or are they more ground hugging? I have an instinct BC right now that its incredibly playful and I love that.
  • 9 0
 The unique thing about them, I've found with mine, is you can set the ride how you like. A little faster rebound and less sag, and poppy it is. Slow the rebound a touch, run 30% sag, and they remain incredibly composed when life gets sketchy. I know my reply probably isn't super helpful, but I have found some bikes have very strong characteristics that kind of force you to ride a certain way, and my Warden isn't like that.
  • 4 0
 @Couleecruise: Thanks for the reply. It looks like knollys are pretty adjustable to fit multiple styles and types of riding. Thats actually what made me take a second look at this bike. Good to hear it can fit into a more 'poppy' style vs all out plow (as I don't ride enduro's or even strava I could care less about time vs fun tricking around on trail features)
  • 35 31
 Looks pretty good! But since Knolly unfortunately decided to be a patent troll, I wouldn't buy one even if I was in the market for a tough 29er all-mountain bike. I'd spend my money on a Banshee or Commencal instead.
  • 5 0
 What were they a patent troll about?
  • 16 2
 @schu2470: the fact intense has a straight seat tube and the ability to run a dropper if i remember correctly
  • 17 3
 Isn't a patent troll someone who blindly patents numerous things with no intent to sell them, then when they find someone infringing they sue them to make money? Did you read the patent?
  • 5 4
 @campstreet2011: I'd love to see them try to enforce that patent... I can think of *at least* 5 bike brands stabbing the down tube with the seat tube before it hits the BB. And they were all thriving in the '90s.
  • 3 1
 @McMeta666: Huh. The more I look at the frame the more interesting it is. Can't say I'd spend $6,000 on a XT build spec with an aluminum frame but it's definitely unique.
  • 2 6
flag Jande1984 (Apr 14, 2021 at 12:22) (Below Threshold)
 Down voted for bad taste! Would´t spend a Euro on them either
  • 1 5
flag BenTheSwabian (Apr 15, 2021 at 6:41) (Below Threshold)
 @campstreet2011: The supposed technical "novelty" that they filed a patent for is generic as can be. I'm 99.5% sure that they wouldn't have been able to get a patent for that specific design over here, because it certainly doesn't represent the state of the art of bicycle frame construction. Suing people over a generic design constitutes the practice of patent trolling IMO and I wouldn't want to support that.
  • 13 0
 @BenTheSwabian: I hear your point, but in reading their actual patent they were not just applying for superior frame construction or a generic placement of a tube as main members here are claiming. The benefits of saddle placement when dropped fully, extending both downward and forward out of the way of the rear tire was the main intent (that I could gather), and Noel went into great detail about the frame kinematics and benefits of doing such.

I've only owned one older Endorphin frame, it was great for trail riding. The engineering nerd in me and having been very involved in the patent creation where I work got me looking into this one as I was really interested in what they were shooting for when the infringement claim surfaced.

Reading patents isn't exactly great bathroom reading material haha, but if you get a chance you should read through their awarded patent. It really is interesting the lengths they went to to show show the benefits of their "novel" idea. Much, much more to it than "better frame construction" or "general tube placement". Not a knock at you, that's just what I read over and over in the comments. I'd say a good 97% of the members haven't actually opened their patent.
  • 1 0
 @campstreet2011: I was going to type an elaborate answer about the legal side of things and how this probably shouldn't have been an enforceable right in the first place and how I generally dislike legal bullies.

But lets face it, I'm a lawyer and the engineering side of things probably goes over my head. Although I have in fact looked into their patent and couldn't figure out which aspect of the design was supposed to be a novelty that represents the state of the art as a stand out example of innovation in bike frame design.
  • 8 1
 Lost opportunity to increase by 2.99mm rather than 3
  • 4 0
 Still waiting for a new Podium. I know Noel admitted that the gen 2 Podium was DH perfected. But it's 2021 and I'm sure there are refinements that could be made. Also, purple.
  • 6 1
 3.2.1...and we have reached 88mph and gone back to the future where aluminum frames are priced at yesterday's carbon frame prices. Time travel is so confusing.
  • 7 0
 Awesome. Congrats on the launch - a very satisfied Fugitive V1 rider.
  • 5 0
 With that long front end I hope it's still playful and not too difficult to nollie.
  • 5 0
 Looks great to me, can't wait to see what the hardtail looks like and the next Delirium
  • 2 0
 Short stack, stays, and slackish SA make a less than ideal fit for tall riders. Banshee's long stays and limited post insertion make their frames less appealing to shorter riders. As two of the biggest high performance alloy brands I wish these companies would make their sizing less polarizing (luckily banshees fit me great)
  • 7 0
 Purple looks good
  • 8 4
 No one likes a beer belly, ugly design but I'm guessing it rides super well. Love that purple color, but not the menagerie of other colors on there.
  • 10 6
 Seems like they conveniently forgot to mention the weight anywhere in their marketing material.
  • 1 1
 Weight-heavy. If you care......
  • 9 0
 You aint going for a Knolly if weight is on the top of your list Razz
  • 53 4
 It's aluminum and overbuilt. If you want the lightest bike, we are unapologetic that you should shop elsewhere. If you want something you can smash around on for years with a focus on performance. Then we should talk more.

Stock Dawn Patrol comes in at 32.5lbs / 14.88kg
  • 8 2
 After cracking my Evil I went Knolly. Not looking back! I did like that Evil though!
  • 4 0
 @KNOLLYBIKES: that’s not bad tho. My medium sentinel v2 carbon is almost the same weight. Props!
  • 2 0
 @Raivkka: Thanks picking up a bike!
  • 3 2
 Comparing the specs of the Fugitive LT and the 'new' Fugitive 138 the 'slackening' of the head angle is only .25 deg and not .5 deg, same as the seat tube angle increase is not 1 deg but .75

I wonder how this was obtained from a design point of view, frame or just redesigned linkage?
And the 3mm gained in travel are lost in BB height.

I don't think I will upgrade just yet, sounds kind of a 'Bubka' move on the part of Knolly...
  • 7 2
 Those prices seem crazy for aluminum frame bike with mid level components
  • 4 2
 actually, this is what probably happened, OEM availability on the shock length was not available, they temporarily substituted something as close as possible until their OEM order will arrive.
  • 6 2
 Six bar linkage? Those are rookie numbers. I’m going to design my frame with 8 bar linkage!
  • 6 1
 If Danny Devito were a bicycle...
  • 5 1
 My Fugitive is still one of the best bikes that I have ever owned! Love it! #knollyforlife
  • 5 2
 Honestly tho, does 3mm make that much of a difference? like enough to make a headline out of it?
  • 10 0
 I think you'll find they're taking the piss bud
  • 7 1
 Well if you look at the URL it looks like they originally went with an even lamer headline: www.pinkbike.com/news/new-knolly-fugitive-gets-updated-geo-doesnt-look-like-a-session-pond-beaver-2021.html
  • 7 4
 How did they manage to make a brand new bike with a 65 deg hta look like a bike from 2012 with a 70 deg hta
  • 6 6
 Knolly has their headquarters in the same city as my job, and I was close to buying one. Three things killed it:

1/ Uninterested Rep (will give slack as it was 2020 pandemic crazy)
2/ Too much unnecessary boutique elements (titanium parts)
3/ Related to #2, price
  • 27 1
 Ahhh dang. It's been a heck of a go over the last year. We are definitely not uninterested, just over worked. Sorry if didn't give you the same level of customer service we expect in return.
  • 3 1
 I really wish all the titanium bearing cap bolts on my multi-pivot full suspension bike were made from soft-as-cheese aluminium so the frame price would be $20 less and the hexes get wallered out the first time you need to replace cooked bearings ... said no one ever.

You comment makes no sense. People turn to brands like Knolly because of details like this. That applies to every industry around the world. If you want cookie-cutter bland, go buy cookie-cutter bland, smile when you ride and life goes on.
  • 3 3
 @windowsill: i have the exact issue with bearing play and it is real, people on knolly forum try and say it isnt real but the company tries to play this role where they are small and honest then they sue someone and it all falls apart. i had play 6 months in and was told knolly had an experimental rear end coming with bearings.....odd why is that needed. i sold the bike....anyhow what about the 160 post mount rear disc, makes zero sense.
  • 5 3
 Canadian bikes are expensive and/or low value these days (looking at you Knolly and Rocky Mountain)
  • 1 0
 I think most bikes are getting more expensive and with parts shortage hard to keep the value high The knollys I've seen have been brick shit houses though, very strong/built to last a long time. rocky mountains? I thought they were build well too but I've seen some failures so maybe im wrong about that. After reading some pinkbike articles through the years I came to the idea it might come down to quality control in taiwan, those factory works seem to stop giving a shit about their work when no one is watching.
  • 3 0
 *puts on listening glasses*

Tell me more about this, DP package
  • 3 0
 I always thing of Hans Rey saying Gnarly when I see a Knolly
  • 5 2
 $6,700 CAD to start? No thanks
  • 2 2
 Phew. After going wild with +3mm they went back to reason and gave us the option of -7mm. The second part is where I thought about April’s fool.
  • 4 3
 Good golly miss Knolly, you are not easy on the eyes. I like purple but, woof...
  • 17 17
 god dammit these are ugly bikes, that fing linkage, and that pregnant beer belly.
  • 1 0
 post mount 160mm rear brake....
  • 6 5
 They still look really awkward (and ugly).
  • 18 18
 Superboost needs to die...
  • 26 2
 I keep hearing this but I'm still perplexed as to why? It is exactly the same chainline, hub width and wheel centerline as DH bikes have been running for over a decade. You can literally take a DH bike wheel and put it on a super-boost bike with NO alterations and it will run perfectly fine, the same is true in reverse.
  • 17 0
 It's just the old 150mm DH standard. I'd argue that original Boost never should have happened-the industry should have skipped that step and used a pre-existing standard. Instead now most riders (including me) have a bunch of bikes and wheels with an unneeded intermediate standard that is likely to become obsolete.

Thanks Trek and SRAM!!
  • 3 0
 @cueTIP: Don't mind them, they're easily confused.
  • 1 3
 3mm more travel, and touting all the benefits of an extra slack sta! Knolly, don't let your marketing department run the show
  • 1 2
 Name a QA QC engineer that will guarantee 138mm every time. I’ll take some of his magic potion please.
  • 1 0
 DP kit...sus af
  • 1 1
 seat angle is way to slack
  • 2 3
 It's a Fugitive all right, a sales fugitive...
  • 1 3
 3psi less, 3mm travel more...
  • 2 4
 Looks just like every other knolly ever made, ever. Uglyyyyyyy.
  • 1 3
 6 bar linkage?
  • 1 3
 Wow.......3mm
  • 2 5
 Why not 140 mm?? Why????
  • 10 1
 As if you could tell the difference
  • 3 6
 They needed the extra 3mm in the marketing sheet to justify putting an SX Eagle gruppo in a 5k+ bike.
  • 7 0
 @cebolla : Because 138mm is the amount of travel the bike worked out to be.
  • 3 0
 @southoftheborder: Probably would run Deore these days to hit that price.
  • 1 0
 @KNOLLYBIKES: so, it´s a little bit more All Mountain than Trail? Wink
  • 2 0
 @KNOLLYBIKES: Best answer ever. Love my Fug. Looks like a nice little freshen up for the model.
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



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

Join Pinkbike  Login
Copyright © 2000 - 2021. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv42 0.021532
Mobile Version of Website