2019 Knolly Endorphin
In today’s carbon-centric world of cycling, the major problem aluminum frames face is not a quality issue necessarily, but the fact that the alu, and not the performance, becomes the talking-point. Knolly has bullishly faced this issue with a metaphorically full-throated “that’s your problem” if you are one of those inclined to assume a lack of quality based on the choice of materials. Actually, with the Endorphin, the use of materials, and how that helps ramp up the quality and performance levels is in fact key to the brilliance of this product.
The Endorphin is a 27.5 inch or 650b trail bike to suit riders of all skill levels. Something that Knolly has always been very particular about is making sure that their bikes are serviceable, easy to set up, adjust and maintain. That seems like an obvious thing, but in today’s world of un-standard standards, fiddly adjustments, bespoke, hard to find replacement parts, the level of performance the Endorphin offers without complicating the mechanics is reassuring. The heart of the Endorphin is, not surprisingly, the Fourby4 suspension design. And as much as it looks like it came out of an erector set, the Fourby4 has been developed by Knolly’s founder and head designer Noel Buckley. Taking a leaf out of the Formula 1 strut-style suspension design, Knolly’s Fourby4 suspension has been developed specifically to require little to no compromise among the four most important performance metrics of suspension: pedalling efficiency, traction, rear brake interaction with the rear shock, and rear shock progression. All suspension systems are attempting a balancing act trying to avoid too many compromises, whereas the Fourby4 works as an active design where the rear wheel axle moves only a slight amount while the suspension is in use, which improves traction, pedal feedback, and is not affected under braking. So with 130mm of travel, paired with a fork travel range between 130 and 150mm, you should be able to feel confident raging down some seriously steep trails, but you will still be able to climb tough trails without feeling like you are hauling tons of extra weight while losing all your initiative in the suspension.
The frame has been lovingly made from 6066 series aluminum. Knolly firmly believes that exceptionally well-made hydroformed alu will out-perform mid-range carbon on the trails, while also keeping the cost down. So with the Endorphin, you will be getting pro-level quality without having to take out a second mortgage. You can also be certain that the durability of the build will be on par with any DH-specific frame without having to add on tons of weight. From there, you can kit this frame out with a 1X or 2X drivetrain, which you will appreciate especially for those who haven’t jettisoned the 2X gearing and live in an area where there are lots of big climbs to get to great runs. With its low and slack geometry, you will be able to make the most of both endeavors – the climbing up and the flying down. Though Knolly does have a seriously satisfied test team of pros, this is really a bike that has been developed to be a ton of fun for every type of rider. Even if you are just beginning your trail adventures, you’ll find this a great bike to kick off with, and it will just get more and more fun the better you get.
Internal cable routing for the shifters, brakes and dropper post makes for a sleek looking machine, though they have designed the frame so you can also have external routing if you prefer that for the ease of maintenance. The threaded 73mm bottom bracket and the 12mm rear thru axle are just two examples where Knolly were determined to stick to the essentials without going off on faddish-tangents in their design. Available in four sizes and four colors, the Knolly Endorphin will give you uncompromised performance so nothing stands in your way of enjoying your favorite trails.
Frame: 6066 series hydroformed alloy
Rear Triangle: Alloy
Rear Shock Size: 7.5 x 2.0
Shock Option(s): Fox Float DPS EVOL Factory (stock), Cane Creek DBCoil IL (optional -$76), Cane Creek DBAir-IL (optional -$36)
Rear Travel: 130mm
Shock SAG: 30%
Fork Travel Range: 150mm
Head Tube Diameter Top: 44mm
Head Tube Diameter Bottom: 56mm
Headset Included: No
Bottom Bracket Type: 73mm | Mountain threaded
ISCG Tabs: ISCG05
Cable Routing: Internal & external
Front Derailleur Mount: E-type direct mount
Wheel Size: 27.5”
Max Tire Width: 2.5”
Brake Mount Type: Post mount
Seatpost Diameter: 31.6mm
Seat Collar Included: Yes
Rear Axle: 12mm Thru x 142mm
Sizes: 14.7” SM | 16.5” MD | 18.7” LG | 20.3” XL |
Colors: Anodized Black, Metallic Red, Raw Alloy
Weight: 2950g | 6.5lbs