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Knolly Bikes grew out of a dream — a dream from one rider who wanted something better — something that was currently not offered in the mountain bike marketplace. This dream was to build a freeride frame that simply worked reliably, day in and day out, with out any annoyances like interrupted seat tubes, tires hitting the seat or seat tube, shocks tucked away in difficult to access locations, fasteners that constantly loosen, pre-mature bearing wear, and so on...
This frame design had to work well, be reliable, be serviceable, and most importantly be free from frivolous marketing features while still offering both useful tuning options and superlative performance in even the most complicated and severe riding situations.
This was, and still is, Noel Buckley's dream — and from those humble beginnings back in early 2002, the Knolly Bikes lineup has become the embodiment of everything that Noel stands for: ultra-high end manufacturing, only the highest quality fasteners and bearings, and designs that make the best use of existing technology while innovating and breaking the status quo when the current technology is simply not sufficient.
At the start, Knolly Bikes was never designed to be a business — it was only one person building himself a bike (and maybe one for his wife and perhaps a few close friends) based on his passion for riding and helped along by a degree in physics, a career in engineering and a strong background in manufacturing (not to mention those same super supportive friends!). However, what happened was quite different...
After a year working on the initial conceptual frame designs, discovering what did and didn't work and what sacrifices would have to be made, a discovery was made that would influence the new Knolly Bikes suspension frames. This discovery has become the patented Four by 4 Linkage and its related design components: its design elements exist in every full suspension frame that we manufacture.
All Knolly frames have uninterrupted seat tubes allowing unlimited range of seat height, good pedaling and climbing positions with the seat post extended, the ability to make long travel frames in really small sizes, active suspension under braking, high lateral rigidity, long stroke shocks leading to low leverage ratios, easy maintenance, and of course, superlative suspension performance. Surprisingly, before this invention, no frame on the market could claim ALL of these performance features.
In 2003 — a year and a half after our first conceptual designs — the first prototype V-Tach frames were finished. The riding performance of these frames quickly spread by word of mouth and soon unknown people were asking us for frames. The first V-Tach production run quickly sold out and rolled out to customers in late 2004.
Building on the success and performance characteristics of the V-Tach, Knolly bike has released 3 new full-suspension frames based on the Four by 4 linkage design: The Endorphin all-mountain frame, Delirium freeride frame and the new Podium downhill frame. A lighter XC-specific version of the Endorphin is also under development.
Knolly Bikes is a rider-owned company that manufacturers some of the most highly acclaimed full suspension frames in the market. While our frame designs and applications may grow and change, the philosophy that started Knolly stays the same: design and manufacture the highest performing products that we can — bar none — and to support each and every customer with the highest levels of service.
Four By 4 Linkage
The Four by 4 Linkage is Knolly Bikes’ patented and proprietary suspension technology. Our suspension design is akin to the most sophisticated multi-linkage systems used in auto racing and provides features and performance unmatched in the mountain bike industry.
Knolly designs and manufactures two versions of its Four by 4 Linkage: both designs are patented but are aimed at slightly different market segments:
The original design is used in the Podium and Delirium frames and is optimized for the generally more linear rates of coil spring suspension and long travel high volume air shocks. This design also provides a slightly higher leverage ratio typical of longer travel frames and is designed structurally to handle the highest levels of abuse. It also generates the large radius wheel paths required to achieve superior pedaling performance in longer travel frames while still having incredible sensitivity for amazing technical trail performance.
The lightweight Four by 4 Linkage is used in the Chilcotin and Endorphin frames. Its design is tailored to the slightly more progressive spring rates of high volume air shocks and has a direct-drive linkage that compliments the lower leverage ratios used in these bikes. It is also more compact and while allowing the use of relatively long stroke shocks still leaves lots of room in the front triangle for both great stand over height and the ability to carry a water bottle in an actually useful location. The lightweight Four by 4 Linkage provides superior traction allowing for exceptional technical climbing and descending abilities in all gear ratios, yet achieves the best pedaling performance capable in any suspension design.
All of our full suspension frames utilize the patented Four by 4 Linkage design: whether the original or the lightweight design, all Knolly Bikes frames feature amazing pedaling dynamics, superiour traction, great tire clearance, extremely high lateral rigidity for excellent trail tracking, neutral braking forces, great stand over, full length seat tubes, easy to access rear shocks and low maintenance designs. The Knolly Four by 4 Linkage is simply the most sophisticated, highest performance design available in the mountain bike industry – period.