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  1. #1
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    2013 Knolly Podium cheapening out?

    Just throwing this out there.

    My new Podium should be ready for pickup on Saturday with new headset, BB, cranks and chainguide. But in comparing to every 2010 model, it seems every effort has been made to get rid of any CNC machined parts. The rear end is a perfect example. The model I have seems "cheap" by comparison and I am sure the price is the same. Now, I love Knolly, always wanted one, but does anyone else think the same? I am a detail whore and notice stainless hardware, lots of CNC'ed parts... but it seems Knolly has almost gone "Ellsworth" in the quest for cheaper ways of getting things done. The rear end is 157? Not 150 which most have? Now I have to shim my rear hubs.

    Not a complaint but an observation. Anyone else?

  2. #2
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    Pretty sure there's still plenty of CNC goodies on the Podium. Pivots, dropouts, linkages. They're just not sandwiched together with stainless steel bolts anymore, and they're all the same color. Stainless does weigh more than aluminum and a mechanical joint just leaves room for loosening and failure. I'd bet the manpower that goes into that rear end is much greater than the 2010 rear end. And it's lighter.
    So definitely not cheapening out

  3. #3
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    There's more going on with that frame than Tony Ellsworth could imagine on a good trip on strong ecstasy. Look at the tubing and chain stay yoke for one. I mean two two things alone are HUGE.

    And alot of DH bikes are going to 157 rear ends, that's not a Knolly thing, it's an industry one. Noel just jumped on it sooner than most, along with Santa Cruz and a few others I can't remember off my head.
    If jackasses could fly this place would be an airport.

  4. #4
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    157? It is basically a wider version of the 142mm standard, and takes the 150mm thruaxle and gives it easy drop in alignment. I would be surprised if you see any new bikes built with a 150mm rear end after next year.

    As far as the rear end goes, I bet the single piece chainstay it is a far more expensive piece to manufacture than the older design, and at the same time drops weight. The frame also adds bump stops, which are not free.

    Knowing Noel as I do, he will put an expensive part in if it improves the bike, and his first priority is function, not form or cost.

  5. #5
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    No way - the new Podium is a work of mechanical art and then your ride it and are further amazed by the characteristics. It is a win win all the way around. The bike is stiff, solid and fun.

  6. #6
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    When one is in the mindset that "heft means quality", then any modern bike is going to feel cheap compared to it's predecessors. But the truth is that making frames lighter is not "cheapening out". It's the opposite.

    Where practical, every weight-conscious industry is moving away from CNC machined aluminum parts to composites (e.g. carbon fiber), exotic metals (e.g. titanium), or hydroformed aluminum parts. With hydroformed aluminum, like you find on all the new Knolly bikes, you can get the same strength (if not more) for less weight. Whenever you see a curvy or non-symmetrical tube on a bike, its designed that way to retain strength while reducing weight.

    The truth is: you cannot build a frame as light was the new Podium frame using CNC machined parts without compromising the strength. To get lighter, but retain the strength Knolly had to change it's manufacturing process.

    Hope this helps.
    "sounds like you need to find a better mechanic..." -- Calhoun

  7. #7
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    I kind of agree with the OP, My podium came with paint chiped near the BB, There were bits of CNC'd metal Inside the BB... :/ Its a knolly, i know its going to ride great, i hope i will be happier when i build it up...

  8. #8
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    The new Podium is the most innovative and expensive(to make)frame we have ever designed and brought to market, period. Namely, the one-piece tubular wrap-around chainstay, is an innovation you won't see on any other bike. This design feature saves weight and adds strength. Most people see that part of the bike as a work of art, noticing how many times the shape of the tube changes, and how elegant the curves are. The 157mm rear spacing is a leading edge standard that most DH bikes will end up with, which mates better with the 83mm bb shell standard, and also helps soften the curves of the chainstay tube.

    Our move away from modular rear-end dropouts was a simple decision.... lighter, stiffer, stronger. Fewer bolted on CNC parts means less flex, much stronger, and zero user maintenance. Nothing to tighten, nothing to strip, nothing to replace. This is why you see fewer CNC parts on the rear of the bike, because welding will always be lighter and stronger than bolts.

    Something else that I don't see people mention very often is the custom titanium fasteners found in the linkage of the frame. These are designed and crafted only for the Knolly Podium.

    Basically, Noel spared no expense and cut no corners when designing the new Podium. This usually becomes apparent once the bike is taken out of the parking lot and onto the trails. Enjoy!
    Global Director of Sales: Knolly Bikes

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty Bottoms View Post
    The new Podium is the most innovative and expensive(to make)frame we have ever designed and brought to market, period. Namely, the one-piece tubular wrap-around chainstay, is an innovation you won't see on any other bike. This design feature saves weight and adds strength. Most people see that part of the bike as a work of art, noticing how many times the shape of the tube changes, and how elegant the curves are. The 157mm rear spacing is a leading edge standard that most DH bikes will end up with, which mates better with the 83mm bb shell standard, and also helps soften the curves of the chainstay tube.

    Our move away from modular rear-end dropouts was a simple decision.... lighter, stiffer, stronger. Fewer bolted on CNC parts means less flex, much stronger, and zero user maintenance. Nothing to tighten, nothing to strip, nothing to replace. This is why you see fewer CNC parts on the rear of the bike, because welding will always be lighter and stronger than bolts.

    Something else that I don't see people mention very often is the custom titanium fasteners found in the linkage of the frame. These are designed and crafted only for the Knolly Podium.

    Basically, Noel spared no expense and cut no corners when designing the new Podium. This usually becomes apparent once the bike is taken out of the parking lot and onto the trails. Enjoy!
    The original post is shocking to say the least...This bike SCREAMS quality! Yes, the rear chain stay is the first I've seen and is obviously a well thought out and designed piece of art. The titanium used in the linkages is simply gorgeous. Also, 157 is the new standard. On the trail, this bike is nutty! Have fun on it! This bike isn't quiet, it's SILENT...You won't have these thoughts for much longer blackfly.

  10. #10
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    I clicked on this thinking there was some sort of sale: (EG was the first 1 pc I've seen, seatstay though)*and just look at the hardware from BB on up the downtube...
    Last edited by Deerhill; 04-05-2013 at 01:41 PM.

  11. #11
    Yebo Numzaan
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    Jeepers...when Noel showed me one of the first production bikes...i was amazed at the level of pride he exuded. He was super proud of the wrap around one piece chain stay and pointed out so many features he was super stoked on. Dont know where the OP got his impression from?
    I support EMBA

  12. #12
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    Thank you all for the replies. I am not an engineer but I have been around bikes (especially high end ones) long enough to know the finer details. I am aware the chainstay is a one piece modular design; I know welds are the weakest part (except perhaps 853 Renolds Tubing which, I am told, gets STRONGER as the weld takes hold). It just seemed to me that in DIRECT COMPARISON to older models I noticed more "simplicity" if that is the fair word. I am use to equating lots of CNC'ed parts to high quality, so excuse me if the OP is out of line.

    But make no mistake, I take possession tomorrow. Anodised black, medium, with CCDB and Ti spring. The bike will have a new Chris King HS, new Saint BB, new RF Atlas Cranks, new Chromag bar and stem, and my old ****: Monster T's, Hadley hubs/Mavic rims, Thomson seat post, Hope Mono 6 ti brakes. And of course, old school all way, the XTR reverse derailleur and Suntour XC pro shifters (8 speed). I might go 1x11 later, but right now I am looking to get on the road as the weather is good, and frankly the outlay is already "high" but certainly not unreasonable considering what I get, and it is exactly what I wanted. In stock too. Just my luck.

    I am happy to be a member of the Knolly family as I wanted a V-tach 2 years ago. I guess I had to "settle". Yeh, right.

    Tomorrows build will be fun!

    PJ

  13. #13
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    Trust me blackfly, you're not "settling" for anything. The new Podium is a work of art in my opinion, and it will ride the wheels off a V-tach. I have compared my 2nd gen Podium frame side by side with a 1st gen, and as nice as the originals were, the new frames blow them out of the water. The Linkage is more refined, the tube shaping is pure artistry, and the welds are better quality. The CNC-d BB section I loved on the old Podium has been replaced by a hollow-formed box section that may look "simpler", but is cleaner, stronger, and stiffer. Don't equate refinement with cost-cutting: I really do think you're going to love this bike.

  14. #14
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    Well gentlemen, considering I am writing this at 4:00am since I can't sleep (bike shop opens when?) although a bad cold/cough doesn't help. Even if I get the bike together today I doubt I can ride it until next week, at least. Talk about torture.

    I have owned 2 Flys, 2 Ellsworth Dares, 1 Intense and with my riding partner had time on Mountain Cycle, the extruded Specialized FSR DH, an Ellsworth Rogue and an Intense M1. Suffice to say I know quality when I see it and I know that Knolly does not disappoint in this regard. In fact, I had only 2 choices, and it was made for me (helps the bike is in stock, my size, colour etc) so I have a fair bit to compare to. My personal expectation is that this one will be the best: 4 bar link rear end (excellent braking), good angles, good pedalling (don't laugh, I still try to earn my right whenever I can, although Old Buck might be brutal this summer). I might look into a 1x11 gearing: I saw one with a 32 front and 42 rear. Might be the ticket.

    Tom Petty said it best: the waiting is the hardest part. I haven't been this excited in a long time, to be truthful. Hope nothing went sideways in the ordering; I haven't been called so that should be a good sign.

  15. #15
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    If that is your sample to compare the Podium to, be prepared to have your mind blown.
    "Mi amor Nuevo Miércoles!"

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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackfly View Post
    Intense M1. Suffice to say I know quality when I see it
    I just blew coffee up my nose!
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