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  1. #1
    MC MasterShake
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    Endo in New England Review

    Been on this wee beast for about a month now, with rides about 5 times a week (maybe more). The majority of riding is on our chunky/punchy terrain with a couple trips up north to super-buff singletrack. I also took it down a pretty rugged DH level trail. I have it built up to 27 lbs. w/dropper, 2.2TK's, CTD shock, REV150 fork, the complete build is listed on the site here somewhere. Here are my thoughts...

    Bottom Bracket:
    Thought I'd get this out of the way 1st. The BB on this bike is LOW. It's the 1st thing I noticed about the bike when I took it on the very 1st ride. It is kinda weird but it's what makes it so stable and so fast in the turns. Once you come to terms with that you're OK but if you live in a rocky area and ride with flats it takes some getting used to.

    Suspension:
    Stiff but forgiving we'll call it. Stiff enough to really get some acceleration when peddling but forgiving enough when you come flying into some bigger chunk going faster than you think you should. The CTD does a decent job overall. At 1st it felt overly stiff to me. I messed with a bit and now I think I have it dialed the best it will go and it probably has broken in a bit. It doesn't have the wallow that most XC/Trailbike's with airshocks have. It uses its travel well and has a nice progressive bottom out at the end. I wouldn't mind if it were a hair plusher on the small stuff but I can get over that with less pressure in the tires. I'm actually pretty happy with the CTD functionality. I've had RP23's in the past and there was always something off when actually using it. I always ended up using it like a lockout. I actually use the settings now on different trails and they work like they should. After all these years they finally got it right. However, it's still tempting to throw a CCDBA on it but I really want to keep this thing light.

    Turning:
    This is where you really feel the benefit of the low bracket and stiff frame Man this thing can carve. It corners like no other. I'm leaning way farther than I ever have putting a ton more into the tires. It was a little hard to ride at 1st because of this but now that I'm used to it I'm amazed.

    Peddle/Climbs:
    Like the others have said it feels like there is a good bit of platform built into the bike. When you step on the gas it really rockets forward. There is minimal shock movement and if you put the shock in T it practically goes away and in C it's gone, both sitting and standing. Also, your body is in a pretty comfortable position for peddling. One thing I noticed was that when peddling with fats it feels like my feet creep forward on the peddles, almost like the seat is too far forward. But overall a very comfortable all-day type of bike.

    Technical:
    Also, like others said the bike feels like it glides on top of things vs. the Chilly which sucks up and digs in. This combined with the lighter weight and lower BB bracket make it a bit harder in the really chunky lines. It's not unbearable but you do have to pick your lines better and kinda zip through things vs. plowing like you do with the Chilly. I also think I'd fare better with different treads. The TK's seem great in hardpack and loom but they don't seem to grip too well to our mix of granite and roots.

    Downhill:
    Very confidence inspiring on the downhills. It feels very much like a Chilly, minus the forgiveness of the extra travel and bullishness. I have a 36t front ring so I can accelerate even when already going pretty fast and you really feel the bike shoot forward. Oh and did I mention the thing can turn? Does even better when the bike gets faster.

    DH:
    Yeah, this is no DH bike. You can still go fast but you REALLY have to pick your lines. You don't want to be bottoming this thing out in full on chunk. I've hit some smaller drops to flat and some bigger drops to tranny but you run into it's limits pretty quickly. Definitely not what the bike is intended for.

    vs ASR5C:
    The Yeti ASR5C is a similar type of bike. I'd say it's more XC than Trail but it does have a 67 HA, and a thru-axle, and a 140mm fork so it's not pure XC. Besides weight the Endo out classes it in every other department. Way stiffer, WAY more fun on the downhills, easier to throw around, more forgiving, better suspension traits, about the same climbing but a better peddler overall. After awhile you really noticed the wallow and feedback from the single pivot action. Nothing crazy but definitely noticeable.

    vs. Chilly:
    Yes, these are 2 totally different bikes. I've done a few rides with the Chilly interspersed with my Endo binge and it really brings to light how different they are. The Chilly plows over things and digs in deep while the Endo zips over and around things. You can hammer the Chilly straight into a steep granite slab and power up things, with the Endo you really have to finesse the same move but it's not as draining finishing it off. The Chilly gives you forgiveness when you pop off a lip and land funny while on the Endo you better be on your game because that same pop throws you more than you were expecting. You love having the light, fast zippy Endo at the beginning of the ride but at the end your wishing for the plushness and traction of the Chilly while you punish your crushed legs through the last few rock gardens. So both are awesome bikes and are great tools to have in the arsenal.

    Conclusion:
    Overall this is a superfun bike. I'm finding it more of my goto bike even with my chunky terrain. There are times when I'm riding that I wish I had the Chilly's forgiveness or I'm wishing I had it to hit the big jump/drop/ttf but I'm generally stoked to have the lighter zippier Endo. This bike is totally in it's element on the faster flower climbier all day kind of rides but can easily hang when the trail turns ragged.

  2. #2
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    Great review and the comparisons helpful. Thanks.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the review. Very helpful and informative.

    The more I ride many of my "normal" trails the more I wish I had second bike for the faster, smoother stuff (but can still handle a fair amount of chunk) and for enduro races. Chili works ok on this stuff but it would be the bomb to have something just as stiff and "bullet proof" but lighter and faster.

    I may wait and see what the carbon Endorphin 650b looks like but the other bikes on my list are the SC Solo, Ibis Ripley, Niner Jet Carbon and even the Turner Czar (although it may be too XC). The added momentum carrying ability of bigger wheels really intrigues me for this sort of shenannigans.

  4. #4
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    Nice review. I feel over biked on the Chilly for most of my riding. Looking to get an Endo or a 650b Endo if one does make it to market before I'm 100.

  5. #5
    Five5hot
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    Great review; very informative! I enjoyed how you categorized it into different subjects. It makes a long-ish review easier to read in sections rather than one big chunk.

    I'm in the middle of building up a new Endo and moving on from an ASR5, so I look forward to the said benefits. Especially going downhill! The ASR5 is a great bike but I always wanted more out of it.

  6. #6
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    Great review and comparisons, pretty accurate in my view. Eat the half pound or so and try out the DBair. It addresses most of the rear suspension issues and really makes the Endo come alive imho.

  7. #7
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    Excellent write up, thanks for taking the time to write that up. Really gets me stoked to get out on mine. It's probably a little over 50% built right now, going to try to finish today.
    If jackasses could fly this place would be an airport.

  8. #8
    Delirious Tuck
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    B - great review. I have a Pushed Monarch Plus sitting on work bench I'm going to go back and forth with on the Endo.

    Waiting on Wheels and shifter... this build is gonna be blingier than usual... (no carbon hoops though).

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by thefriar View Post
    B - great review. I have a Pushed Monarch Plus sitting on work bench I'm going to go back and forth with on the Endo.

    Waiting on Wheels and shifter... this build is gonna be blingier than usual... (no carbon hoops though).

    I'll be interested to see what you think of that Monarch Plus, almost bought one for the Chili from Push but went Avy. But with the Endo I might trying for a Monarch Plus, depending on how well the CTD matches up with the Pike.
    If jackasses could fly this place would be an airport.

  10. #10
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    Really well said about the Endo. All that you describe matches my experience as well. I don't own a chili, but demo'd one on my favorite trails and can see what you mean in your comparisons.

    I tinkered with a custom Marzocchi Roco TST for the last three months to better match the Marz 55 I was using on the front of my Endo. I switched back to the Fox CTD last weekend just to see how it felt and I was surprised - the CTD is now going to stay on the Endo. The Marz was great downhill, but wallowed too much while climbing, unless locked out. The CTD made the Endo come back to life on ALL aspects of trail riding and was plush enough on the downs to meet my discerning tastes.

    I agree - a light Endorphin with a 34 fork (X-F Slant) and a CTD shock is a little more picky when landing jumps than a heavier build or, of course a "bigger" bike such as a Chili. Not as forgiving if landing off center.

  11. #11
    Knollician
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    Nicely done. I spend lots of time on the Endo as well and love it.
    "Three balls at once...who knew?" - Cotton McKnight

  12. #12
    MC MasterShake
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    Quote Originally Posted by thefriar View Post
    B - great review. I have a Pushed Monarch Plus sitting on work bench I'm going to go back and forth with on the Endo.

    Waiting on Wheels and shifter... this build is gonna be blingier than usual... (no carbon hoops though).
    Yeah, when I saw you were picking one up I immediately thought of how fun ripping through Mianus or Huntington would be with it. Perfect bike for that type of riding.

  13. #13
    Delirious Tuck
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    Yup - Huntington, Mianus, Troutbrook, Blue Mountain, Kingdom, B St... fast and techy without much ttf to distract. Will have the Chili for Wilton, Trumbull, Millers, Ninham, and stuff like that where there's pedaling, but lots of ttfs to stop and play with.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob View Post
    The more I ride many of my "normal" trails the more I wish I had second bike for the faster, smoother stuff (but can still handle a fair amount of chunk) and for enduro races. Chili works ok on this stuff but it would be the bomb to have something just as stiff and "bullet proof" but lighter and faster.

    I may wait and see what the carbon Endorphin 650b looks like but the other bikes on my list are the SC Solo, Ibis Ripley, Niner Jet Carbon and even the Turner Czar (although it may be too XC). The added momentum carrying ability of bigger wheels really intrigues me for this sort of shenannigans.
    Yeah the Chili, as great as it is, isnt an all day long bike. Im keeping mine as a bike park / mini DH bike (that pedals amazingly!) and also buying a second bike for the faster smoother stuff.

    One of the fastest guys in Scotland just bought the Ripley. The Mojo SL-R is a very nice bike aswell. I agree the 650b Solo (was at the launch event on Sat...SC / Peaty were in town for the BDS) would be awesome to have alongside the Chili, especially if fitted with 140mm Bos Forks and the Bos Vipr 2. I lifted Peatys off the rack and it felt about 21-22lbs.
    2013 Knolly Endorphin | 2013 Knolly Chilcotin | 2014 Knolly Podium.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob View Post
    Thanks for the review. Very helpful and informative.

    The more I ride many of my "normal" trails the more I wish I had second bike for the faster, smoother stuff (but can still handle a fair amount of chunk) and for enduro races. Chili works ok on this stuff but it would be the bomb to have something just as stiff and "bullet proof" but lighter and faster.



    I may wait and see what the carbon Endorphin 650b looks like but the other bikes on my list are the SC Solo, Ibis Ripley, Niner Jet Carbon and even the Turner Czar (although it may be too XC). The added momentum carrying ability of bigger wheels really intrigues me for this sort of shenannigans.
    Others worth considering : Liteville 301 650b or Pivot Carbon 429?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob View Post
    Chili works ok on this stuff but it would be the bomb to have something just as stiff and "bullet proof" but lighter and faster.
    How about a second wheelset with lighter rims & tires that are lighter duty, but faster rolling?

    A quick wheel change and you could tranform the bike...perhaps a bit more pressure in the shock or more low speed compression damping as well.
    Safe riding,

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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    How about a second wheelset with lighter rims & tires that are lighter duty, but faster rolling?

    A quick wheel change and you could tranform the bike...perhaps a bit more pressure in the shock or more low speed compression damping as well.
    That's a thought, but my build is kinda middleweight (33lbs) so covers both ends pretty well. If I got the lighter faster bike like the Endo 650b, SC Solo, Ibis Ripley I'd build the Chili up heavier with 180 fork and heavier tires.

    Don't like the idea of having to switch parts out to have "two" bikes but it'd still be interesting to do that with the Chili and then keep some lighter wheels/tires, pedals, and the Float 160 for trail days. It would be cheaper, that's for sure and interesting to see how different you could make the Chili feel with two builds on the extreme ends of the spectrum: 29 lb trail slayer vs 36lb mini DH beast.

    Food for thought. Thanks.

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