2018 Knolly Fugitive
One thing that makes mountain biking so amazing is that there are tons of types of trails and tracks that you can tackle in one ride, and the variety keeps us motivated and forces us to up our skill set. And that’s fantastic. But that is also the very thing that makes finding the perfect mountain bike so tough. How do you find the machine that can do it all. Well, the engineers at Knolly have been doing their best to crack the code, and the Knolly Fugitive is their latest virtuoso effort.
Knolly set out to make what they call an “epic trail smasher” that would be able to offer a ginormous amount of traction while gaining the pedaling efficiency that will make it as great to pick your way through a technical climb as carving your own lines down a hyper crazy trail. The frame is made from hydroformed 6066 aluminum to get that perfect balance between weight savings and durability, and they are relying still on their Fourby4 suspension linkage. They are quite rightly proud of this system which they developed inhouse. It might look a little more complicated, but the double linkage allows them to fine tune each bike for the type of trails it’ll be hitting. The lower linkage controls the rear wheel axle path, and the upper linkage controls the shock progression keeping the suspension progressive and efficient.
Knolly is serious about making sure the rear pivot performance is uncompromised, so they have partnered with a specialist in making polymer bushings called Igus. And together they have developed pivot bushings rotating on dual row angular contact bearings held together by bespoke titanium pivot hardware and custom oversized CNC’d axles. The Knolly Fugitive will have 120mm of rear travel and should be paired with 140mm fork to give you that all-mountain suspension sweet spot. Finding innovative methods to find lighter and stiffer solutions is something Knolly has made a habit of doing, even if it means they are sometimes marching to the beat of their own drummer. And with the Fugitive it’s no different since they have upped the ante on the proliferation of Boost-oriented bikes with their 157Trail. It means that they are using 157x12mm rear spacing since their Fourby4 suspension accommodates the use of wide flange 157 hubs with a threaded 73mm BB shell. This will offer better tire clearance than the 148mm Boost, and will mean that you can run a 29” wheel with up to 2.6” tires or 27.5+ wheels with a burly 3.25” tires without sacrificing your bottom bracket height.
Knolly likes a clean look, so they have given the Fugitive fully internal cable routing with a frame design that will keep them from rattling irritatingly over rough trails. The doors are big for easy installation, and the rubber ports can handle 4mm, 5mm, and Di2 housings. And if you are keen on going Di2 – and who isn’t – then the Fugitive has Integrated Frame Protector on the bottom of the down tube that will also act as a hatch that allows for the cables to be run internally and also has a built in Di2 battery holder. How slick is that? Another neat result of the Fourby4 pivot system is that it means the seat tube can accommodate a 150mm dropper post in the small, and up to 200mm for the larger sizes.
The Knolly Fugitive can support a 1X and 2X groupset, so you will have every opportunity to set this up as your ultimate all-mountain adventure bike.
Rear Triangle: Alloy
Rear Shock Size: 185 x 50
Shock Option(s): Fox Float DPS EVOL Factory (stock), Fox DPX2 Factory (optional +$30), RockShox Deluxe RT3 (optional -$182)
Rear Travel: 120mm
Shock SAG: 30%
Fork Travel Range: 130mm -140mm
Head Tube Diameter Top: 44mm
Head Tube Diameter Bottom: 56mm
Headset Included: No
Bottom Bracket Type: 73mm | Mountain threaded
ISCG Tabs: ISCG05
Cable Routing Brake: Internal
Cable Routing Shifter: Internal
Cable Routing Dropper Seatpost: Internal
Front Derailleur Mount: E-type
Front Derailleur Swing Type: Side swing
Wheel Size: 29”, 27.5+
Max Tire Width: 2.6” (29), 3.2" (27.5+)
Brake Mount Type: Post mount, 160mm
Seatpost Diameter: 31.6mm
Seat Collar Included: Yes
Rear Axle: 12mm Thru x 157mm Super Boost
Sizes: 14” SM | 15.7” MD | 18” LG | 19.7” XL |
Colors: Raw Orange, Black Cherry Chrome, LeMans Blue
Weight: 3250g | 7.1lbs