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  1. #1
    2CH
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    Chilly vs Bronson

    Ok, just looking for a couple of opinions here...

    I currently ride the old Endorphin, but am looking for something a little bit bigger, but can still climb semi-decently for those longer rides/days. I'm debating whether a Chilcotin will be overkill for XC/AM rides. I ride mostly in Western Canada (interior of BC and Alberta) with the occasional trip to the Shore or down to Moab. I haven't had the chance to demo either bike yet, so that's on the agenda, but just wanted to get some thoughts from those who may have ridden both.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    not the same bikes at all....the chil will let you evolve with your riding style and will allways inspire you to push more
    its a pure am bike

  3. #3
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    The Chilcotin is a much more comfortable climber than the old Endorphin in my opinion. Much better pedal position overall to just sit and spin up the long XC climbs. Better for technical climbing as well, I no longer feel any need to drop the fork for climbing and ditched my Uturn internals for a fixed 170mm lyrik. Once you make the adjustment to a slightly more forward feel while decending it's a much better descender as well and capable of so much more if DH/freeride is your thing. I haven't ridden one but I think the Bronson is more comparable to the new Endorphin. Bronson is nice for sure but I don't think 650b is worth the loss of the 4x4 suspension for VPP. That's all personal preference though, plenty of folks love VPP.
    Sipping the Knolly Whisquillappa

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    Not sure where your located? but try Trailheads Cycle and ski in Salmon Arm Bc, Jim could probably arrange a demo for you, great service.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by catch22 View Post
    The Chilcotin is a much more comfortable climber than the old Endorphin in my opinion. Much better pedal position overall to just sit and spin up the long XC climbs. Better for technical climbing as well, I no longer feel any need to drop the fork for climbing and ditched my Uturn internals for a fixed 170mm lyrik. Once you make the adjustment to a slightly more forward feel while decending it's a much better descender as well and capable of so much more if DH/freeride is your thing. I haven't ridden one but I think the Bronson is more comparable to the new Endorphin. Bronson is nice for sure but I don't think 650b is worth the loss of the 4x4 suspension for VPP. That's all personal preference though, plenty of folks love VPP.
    Yes.. Where'z my 650 Chillybomb?

  6. #6
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    Yeah I've tried both briefly, both are super capable bikes. I think the Bronson climbs a little better while the Knolly feels more active going down. There isn't a wrong choice here though, both bikes will leave you grinning every ride I'm certain. I'd pick the one you can get from a shop you like better.
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  7. #7
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    I spent a long day on a Bronson just before building up my Chili. I prefer the Chili but it isn't a fair comparison. The Chili has my parts so it is set up how I like it. I absolutely hated the CTD suspension on the Bronson. The fork felt like it didn't have bath oil. The shock lacked small bump compliance and was a bit wallowy in the midstroke. My float RC2 and CCDBA are so much better it is not even funny.

    I was able to put that aside and find things I liked about the Bronson. It corners well, it's stable at speed, it climbs well and I felt comfortable on it quickly. A few more observations:

    The Bronson descends better than expected but edge to the Chili.
    The Chili climbs better than expected but edge to the Bronson.
    The Bronson feels longer even though it is not.
    I love the braking on the chili due to the Horst link.
    I love the way VPP pedals on flat or rolling trails.

    A Bronson would be rad with proper suspension. It would still be more trail oriented where the Chili is more of an AM bruiser. I wouldn't want to own both as they would be too close to one another. I don't have any buyer's remorse.
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  8. #8
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    DJ Giggity, that was interesting, have been thinking about the SC Solo to pair with the Chili, what do you reckon?
    2013 Knolly Endorphin | 2013 Knolly Chilcotin | 2014 Knolly Podium.
    Tweed Valley, Scotland.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by cfrench View Post
    DJ Giggity, that was interesting, have been thinking about the SC Solo to pair with the Chili, what do you reckon?
    I would have to ride it. The spec on it confuses me a bit with the huge tires and dropper post. Obviously, those things can be changed but the big one is not super plush and the little one is not super light. Maybe it makes complete sense when you ride them.
    Only two infinite things exist: the universe and stupidity. And, I am unsure of the universe
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cfrench View Post
    DJ Giggity, that was interesting, have been thinking about the SC Solo to pair with the Chili, what do you reckon?
    SC way over priced especially when you factor in that you also have to through the shock away. Why not buy the Endo 650 as a frame only and fit a Kirk? Save money and have a better bike.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by loamranger View Post
    SC way over priced especially when you factor in that you also have to through the shock away. Why not buy the Endo 650 as a frame only and fit a Kirk? Save money and have a better bike.
    not for the alu version and yeah you have to buy the ctd and flog it.

    exactly what makes you think the endo is better than the santa cruz solo?
    2013 Knolly Endorphin | 2013 Knolly Chilcotin | 2014 Knolly Podium.
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  12. #12
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    Don't discount the new Endo, I live in the East Kootenays and find it is great for around here. I also have ridden it in Moab and did not find it lacking. The Endo is more xc/trail, the Chili trail/am.

  13. #13
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    I wasn't at all impressed w the chili. I'd put my Bronson up against a 4x4 chili any day. Bronson rocks right out of the box.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bronsondude View Post
    I wasn't at all impressed w the chili. I'd put my Bronson up against a 4x4 chili any day. Bronson rocks right out of the box.
    What did you prefer about the Bronson and what type of trails were you on?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by cfrench View Post
    not for the alu version and yeah you have to buy the ctd and flog it.

    exactly what makes you think the endo is better than the santa cruz solo?
    I had the old Endo and that was a great bike and by all accounts the new one is even better. I'll try getting a ride on the Solo but I would be suprised if I prefer it to the Endo.

  16. #16
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    Haven't ridden the Bronson yet, but from the reports I've read, it sounds like it's closer to the Chilcotinthan some might think especially if you can put a proper 35-36mm 160 fork on it. Like DJ Giggity said, I think there's too much overlap to own them both, though I believe with proper coil/coil build and 180 fork I'm pretty sure the Chili is able to stretch into the FR/ DH/Park bike arena better. But the way most will build it up it's reasonalbly similar to the Bronson (as far as intent).

    I'm really curious to see how a Norco Range 650 Killer B or Bronson built up burly would compare to the chili.

    As a complement to my chili, I'm with cfrench, I think the Solo or Endo 650b, or Sight 650b would be a better choice to give some separation.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob View Post
    Haven't ridden the Bronson yet, but from the reports I've read, it sounds like it's closer to the Chilcotinthan some might think especially if you can put a proper 35-36mm 160 fork on it. Like DJ Giggity said, I think there's too much overlap to own them both, though I believe with proper coil/coil build and 180 fork I'm pretty sure the Chili is able to stretch into the FR/ DH/Park bike arena better. But the way most will build it up it's reasonalbly similar to the Bronson (as far as intent).

    I'm really curious to see how a Norco Range 650 Killer B or Bronson built up burly would compare to the chili.

    As a complement to my chili, I'm with cfrench, I think the Solo or Endo 650b, or Sight 650b would be a better choice to give some separation.
    Yeah those are my targets for next trail bike

    When i reel in this second bike, my Chilcotin will get configed as a FR/DH/Park bike , but im only going 170mm on the forks (55 RC3 Ti, maybe AVA'd) and going AVA Woodie or CCDB Coil. Ill run this in the steep mode for all but the roughest/biggest terrain.

    I think the Chili is one peg upwards in aggressiveness over the Bronson and two above the Range 650B. Ive rode the Range and i liked it alot as its quick, but its nowhere near as well made as the Knollys. I wouldnt swap my Chili for one as the Chili is the raddest bike ive ever owned im never selling it.

    The Bronson is a top bike. But since ive got a Chili, IMO theres no point in going there whatsoever, ive got that type of bike/riding covered.

    I like the thought of a Bronson and an Endo, or, Chilcotin and a Solo...but think the second pair gives the best 'range' in terms of seperation....and to put clarity on this, im intending to do on my next trail bike alot of what i already happily do on my Chili.

    The Chili is the most versatile bike ive ever owned, but it needs a much better shock than a fox, to get all the goodness out of it.

    Im hoping Knolly do something really nice with this Endo 650b and hoping not for a 150 bike that would close in on the Chili and make it like the Range 650b.
    2013 Knolly Endorphin | 2013 Knolly Chilcotin | 2014 Knolly Podium.
    Tweed Valley, Scotland.

  18. #18
    North Van/Whistler
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2CH View Post
    Ok, just looking for a couple of opinions here...

    I currently ride the old Endorphin, but am looking for something a little bit bigger, but can still climb semi-decently for those longer rides/days. I'm debating whether a Chilcotin will be overkill for XC/AM rides. I ride mostly in Western Canada (interior of BC and Alberta) with the occasional trip to the Shore or down to Moab. I haven't had the chance to demo either bike yet, so that's on the agenda, but just wanted to get some thoughts from those who may have ridden both.

    Thanks!
    I've ridden a Chilcotin and a Bronson C in Squamish. The Chilcotin had a Fox 36/RP23 build ~ 31lbs. The Bronson had the SPX AM build ie mostly XT and the stock WTB non-carbon wheels. Chilcotin had Minion f/Ardent R. Bronson had HR2s F/R

    The Bronson was a bigger bike than the Chilcotin in the sense of feeling like it was more aggro. Both bikes climbed about the same. The Chilcotin climbs like a classic 4 bar ie absorbing terrain and the rear suspension activating. The Bronson climbed firm. I like the Chilcotin but am pretty meh on the Bronson. It's a nice enough bike but for that price it should have blown me away - it didn't. To be honest I find both bikes to be nice enough but not blow the doors off special.

    Squamish trails are like the more mellow Moose Mountain trails if it helps.

    I thought the Chilcotin would be fine if a bit overbiked for most of the riding you'll do. The Bronson would be overkill for anything except say Nelson shuttles of Martha Creek in Revy. Most people on MTBR are over-biked for the terrain they ride so don't let that opinion sway you.

    IMO one should buy a bike to suit the majority of the terrain you'll do so the occasional trips to the Shore and Moab are a non-issue. An Endorphin would be fine if the rider has a decent skill-set. I don't see either bikes you mentioned as a significant upgrade.

    Hope this injection of direct personal experience helps
    Locals' Guide to North Shore Rides http://mtbtrails.ca/

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeL View Post
    The Bronson was a bigger bike than the Chilcotin in the sense of feeling like it was more aggro.
    I find this comment very interesting. I know you have spent time on way more bikes than I have but I had the exact opposite impression.

    Just out of curiosity, what bikes do you consider to be blow your doors off special?
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  20. #20
    Flacko
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ Giggity View Post
    I find this comment very interesting. I know you have spent time on way more bikes than I have but I had the exact opposite impression.

    Just out of curiosity, what bikes do you consider to be blow your doors off special?
    yah--- really lee, what kinda cunucky are ya? ; )

    but really, you ride a lotta bikes. what outta ALL the new shiny baubles in bike world gets your rocks off?

    i am torn between new endo 650/spitfire/chili/stumpy EVO, with part time obsessions over reigns/ black market roam/new canfield 650 trailbike, for a 30 ish lb trail build to complement my "classic mtbr overbiked" delerium. always come back to the knolly for quality and ride characteristics....

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by cfrench View Post
    my Chilcotin will get configed as a FR/DH/Park bike
    After riding my Transition TR250 and my Chilcotin on the same trails, I feel the Chilcotin is limited as a freeride bike. Maybe with a 180mm fork and a coil shock it would be better, but if you are going to the park more than a couple times a year it's not enough bike in my opinion.
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  22. #22
    2CH
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    Thanks for the comments everyone!

    I still really enjoy my Endorphin, but there are a few things about it I guess that I don't really like, or would change if I could...

    First, that the geometry seems to put me way in the back seat when climbing with the way the seat tube/suspension is designed. I have my seat forward as much as possible, but I have fairly long legs so it ends up being pretty far off the back still which makes for a somewhat unbalanced climbing position. I've tried a longer stem but don't like the handling/descending with that configuration, so it's a compromise as it is now. I haven't had the chance to ride a Chilcotin yet, but I've heard they are slightly more balanced than the older Knollys, and the Bronson was designed to be a 6 and 6 bike and from the ride reports I've read/heard it's a pretty decent all around bike. Plus the shop I deal with sells Santa Cruz so I wouldn't have to go looking to far to pick one up.

    Second, the Endo doesn't have a tapered head tube, and although this seems like a small detail, the bikes I've ridden with tapered forks seem WAY stiffer in the front end, which is confidence inspiring to me as I'm over 200 lbs.

    Third, I'll never win any races on the climbs anyways, so I would like a slightly bigger bike to make the descents more fun. I think a 150-160mm bike with a light but strong build will be just as easy (or easier) to climb with, but make the downhills better for me. I demoed a Rocky Slayer last year and liked how it handled all around I would say it climbed as well or better than my Endorphin but was definitely a better descender.

    Lee, you seem to have ridden a lot of the same trails/areas that I have. When I say occasional trips to the Shore, I mean several times a year, plus I try to get to Squamish/Whistler etc when I'm there, so it does factor into the equation a bit. I like to ride the burlier trails as well, so a bigger bike I think would suit my riding style more than the Endorphin does now. Call it overbiked if you will, but with the right build I think one of these could be a great do it all bike for someone my size that isn't exactly easy on gear.

  23. #23
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    I don't have a Chili and my only Knolly experience was with a D-T I had for a few months.

    I did recently purchase a Bronson, the aluminum version. I got a great deal locally on the low-end RAM27 kit and replaced most of the stock parts with preference items. With my upgrades, flats, a dropper post and realistic tires for AZ terrain, the bike weighs right around 30 pounds.

    I will say, the Bronson is a lot of bike. It's much, much more of an AM than trail bike. I had the idea initially to have it as a third bike in conjunction with my M9 and my coil/coil 34-pound Titus El Guapo.

    In reality, the Bronson and EG are mining the same territory. The air-sprung Bronson is almost as plush as the EG and climbs miles better, even in the fully open "descend" setting.

    The Bronson is a pretty nice bike overall. I like it.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2CH View Post
    Thanks for the comments everyone!

    Second, the Endo doesn't have a tapered head tube, and although this seems like a small detail, the bikes I've ridden with tapered forks seem WAY stiffer in the front end, which is confidence inspiring to me as I'm over 200 lbs.

    .
    The new endo has a 1.5" head tube. Runs tapered forks with appropriate headset. It did occur to me that you might already know that but it wasn't clear so I figured I'd drop in the factoid.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2CH View Post
    Thanks for the comments everyone!

    I still really enjoy my Endorphin, but there are a few things about it I guess that I don't really like, or would change if I could...

    Third, I'll never win any races on the climbs anyways, so I would like a slightly bigger bike to make the descents more fun. I think a 150-160mm bike with a light but strong build will be just as easy (or easier) to climb with, but make the downhills better for me. I demoed a Rocky Slayer last year and liked how it handled all around I would say it climbed as well or better than my Endorphin but was definitely a better descender.
    2CH - is that 2 Swiss?

    Seems I wasn't the only one between sizes. The older Endorphin had such a slack STA and I ran so much seatpost I too was always behind the seat and basically wheelying up climbs. It hurt the back to climb. I liked it so much on the downs that I tolerated the fit shortcomings for the up but finally cracked and replaced it with a Pivot Mach 5; got that because of a screaming deal with the frame but still not totally in love with it.


    Quote Originally Posted by 2CH View Post
    Lee, you seem to have ridden a lot of the same trails/areas that I have. When I say occasional trips to the Shore, I mean several times a year, plus I try to get to Squamish/Whistler etc when I'm there, so it does factor into the equation a bit. I like to ride the burlier trails as well, so a bigger bike I think would suit my riding style more than the Endorphin does now. Call it overbiked if you will, but with the right build I think one of these could be a great do it all bike for someone my size that isn't exactly easy on gear.
    Yah i misunderstood and thought you might just do 1 trip a year. If its more than one trip and you prefer to size the bikes for down rather than up its hard to argue against the Chilcotin - PROVIDED THE BIKE FITS YOU. Great support, better than average descender. Try to avoid the Fox 2013 garbage on it or get it revalved asap. Build it how you want. I'm a big believer in local support so get it from a shop that can service it if you're getting something a little lesser known like a Knolly.
    Locals' Guide to North Shore Rides http://mtbtrails.ca/

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