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  1. #1
    MC MasterShake
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    Endo reviewed on Pinkbike

    Knolly Endorphin - Tested - Pinkbike

    They screwed up and said the bike can't take a tapered fork. Besides that the review was pretty positive. They said that the bike doesn't climb well on fireroads, which I found confusing. Maybe it's the DBAir??? because mine climbs great on smooth stuff, but I do end up putting it C or T mode when doing that stuff.
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  2. #2
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    Endo reviewed on Pinkbike

    Impressive to ride it down Goats Gully...

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodyak View Post
    They said that the bike doesn't climb well on fireroads, which I found confusing. Maybe it's the DBAir??? because mine climbs great on smooth stuff, but I do end up putting it C or T mode when doing that stuff.
    Yeah, I was a bit puzzled by that as well. Even though I leave mine (Fox CTD) in T2 all the time, it still seems to take off like a rocket when I get on the pedals.

    I do think it's pretty awesome and a statement to just what the frame can handle that Levy took it to some of the gnarliest trails in the WBP.
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  4. #4
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    Would be good to get some feedback from someone who switched from CTD to CCDB or vice versa on this "fireroad climbing issue"

  5. #5
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    I think it was a fair review. The bike does well downhill, and can probably out handle any other bike in the category when heading down. I also agree that mini-links are better fireroad climbers. Fortunately for me I don't climb fireroads They made it very clear that the bike maintains traction better than other bikes when it matters. I can also appreciate to decal comments. Bikes are getting to look too much like a NASCAR these days. Give me a nice single color paint job, and a set of decals with the brand and model.

    I will say that I do prefer the Chili for really tech climbing. Having owned 2 Knollys built in NA, and 2 more from Taiwan, I will take the latter any day. The new bikes are in a different league in terms of quality, detail, and strength.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bonzoo View Post
    Would be good to get some feedback from someone who switched from CTD to CCDB or vice versa on this "fireroad climbing issue"

    Sure thing. Someone send me a DB Air CS to test out and I will address this.
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  7. #7
    Just roll it......
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    I think that's a really fair review....I don't really care about the silly mistake about headtube size.

    I truly feel that any AM / trailbike these days should be able to ride down these kinds of trails in the hands of a capable rider. Seriously, it wasn't that long ago that 67 degree head angle was a FR/DH headangle! Plus, you tack on better brakes, better tires, wider bars, lower bb's, shorter chainstays and better suspension and the sum of those parts really equals something that is perfectly capable to descend any trail. Of course, monster trucking Goat's Gulley or Joyride on a DH bike is different than carefully picking your way through them on a trailbike, but it's definitely possible (look at the EWS whistler course a week ago as proof!).

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  8. #8
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    I think its a brilliant review.

    If wanted a bike that was good at fire'road' climbing, id have bought a fire'road' bike.

    What PB have said is that when you take the Endo to the 'mountain' there is little competition for it in the short-mid travel arena ...and even with those **** forks they had attached to it ...wonder what the review would be like with a BOS Deville fork and a VIPR2 shock... gleaming?!
    2013 Knolly Endorphin | 2013 Knolly Chilcotin | 2014 Knolly Podium.
    Tweed Valley, Scotland.

  9. #9
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    Wait til you see the new Knolly CX - it is going to be king of the fireroad.

  10. #10
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    I thought it was a fair review as well. I went from a CTD to CCDBair. If you wanted you could set up the DBair to feel similar to CTD, but I gather that's not why most people run a DBair. I personally don't ride a Knolly/DBair to favor fire roads. I imagine most Knolly riders love the bikes for their excellent tech climbing/traction and descending capabilities which Pinkbike praised the Endo for. But don't get me wrong the new endo clearly outpedals the old endo (and several other bikes that I've owned) and is so much faster ime even with the DBair. It would be interesting to know which suspension systems/mini-links that they're comparing it to.

  11. #11
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    looks like they have since edited the article and removed anything mentioning the head tube. regardless, the article is a good read with great images and it's as advertised.

  12. #12
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    I think what they've said about fireroads is true. I have a chilcotin and find that it's suspension digs down a bit whereas my pivot dw link springs forwards on fireroads. That 4x4 quality of digging down absolutely shines when it gets technical. As i've been getting fitter I find that I can ride in a higher gear and all I do now is mash down hard on the pedals and it just climbs and climbs on all sorts of technical trails. Love it!

  13. #13
    TSC
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    If I were on the fence about buying an Endorphin this article would push me further away from buying one.

    I don't think Mr. Levy likes tech climbing and prefers climbing fire-roads.
    The Endorphin isn't exactly a purebred climbing machine, but it can more than hold its own when the time comes to gain elevation.
    The bike's biggest strength lies in its balanced handling...
    His view of the 'Four by 4 Linkage' as added complexity and not the reason the bike climbs tech so well reinforces my previous claim.
    There is no denying the added complexity and associated hardware that comes with the design, but we have to admit that it has been executed smartly and with as little fuss as possible.
    Much of this Super Glue-like stickiness is surely down to the bike's relatively short 425mm/16.7'' chain stays that helped the rear tire find adhesion...
    Overall, I get that Mr. Levy is saying shop elsewhere.
    The Endorphin is admittedly a bit of a niche bike, one that a skilled rider can take places that would normally eat up and spit out a bike of its size, yet it also manages to keep from feeling overbearing on less demanding trails. And while it likely wouldn't be out first choice if we spent more time climbing access roads than singletrack to reach to the tops of our local mountains, its amazing technical climbing credentials make it a contender on any sort of tricky uphill. Who is the ideal Endorphin owner? We'd say that it is a rider who doesn't shy away from hairball terrain, even if it took them fours hours of difficult riding to reach it, while also being open to swinging a leg over a bike that doesn't come from a major brand.- Mike Levy
    Major companies know that "good will" goes a long way in a review. (Specialized flew the reviewers to Italy to introduce their Enduro 29er.) Also, finding the right review is crucial. (If Mr. Levy loved tech climbing as much as many of you then this review would have been glowing.)

    Getting praise for your product shouldn't be left to chance. Knolly really needs to cultivate relationships with the reviewers; find the reviewers that think that both ups and downs should elicit an involuntary "how the hell did I do that?"; and have them review their bikes.
    "sounds like you need to find a better mechanic..." -- Calhoun

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by TSC View Post
    If I were on the fence about buying an Endorphin this article would push me further away from buying one.

    I don't think Mr. Levy likes tech climbing and prefers climbing fire-roads.


    His view of the 'Four by 4 Linkage' as added complexity and not the reason the bike climbs tech so well reinforces my previous claim.


    Overall, I get that Mr. Levy is saying shop elsewhere.


    Major companies know that "good will" goes a long way in a review. (Specialized flew the reviewers to Italy to introduce their Enduro 29er.) Also, finding the right review is crucial. (If Mr. Levy loved tech climbing as much as many of you then this review would have been glowing.)

    Getting praise for your product shouldn't be left to chance. Knolly really needs to cultivate relationships with the reviewers; find the reviewers that think that both ups and downs should elicit an involuntary "how the hell did I do that?"; and have them review their bikes.

    His review sounds to me like he's giving a respectful nod to something he didn't quite believe. Ie, it blew his mind. The accompanying pictures look like a guy having a blast.

    I think a number of his comments are directed to the new bike buyer, whereas he appears to be saying that this is the aspirational bike....the one when you get serious.

    You see this with Stockli skis as well.

  15. #15
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    I think it was a stellar review for what I'm looking for in a 5" bike and I tend to disagree with your assessement TSC.

    I got the impression that the reviewer loved the bike but was trying to sound as balanced and non-biased as possible so pointed out a few areas that maybe other bikes do a bit better. Nothing wrong with that.

    I agree with the reviewer's findings in general based on my Chilcotin experience and short ride on an Endorphin. Although my Chilcotin climbs fireroads just fine (I suspect the Endorphin would do it even better)..... as long as I'm not in a huge hurry. Did the dw 5 Spot climb fireroads better? Maybe a bit, but with my sit and spin technique for long fireroad climbs I don't notice any significant advantage or disadvantage either way. Not how I judge a bike anyway.

    The things he pointed out about the bike and the bike company are exactly what draws me to Knolly. Great technical climbers. Amazing descenders. Strong/well made/well designed. Smaller personal "niche" (boutique) company. Check, check, check. Like vancouver said, it may not be what everyone is looking for yet, but may eventually aspire to it.

    I can also tell you I don't think Noel is interested in courting reviewers. That's not his marketing model.
    Last edited by KRob; 08-20-2013 at 11:41 PM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by TSC View Post
    If I were on the fence about buying an Endorphin this article would push me further away from buying one.

    I don't think Mr. Levy likes tech climbing and prefers climbing fire-roads.


    His view of the 'Four by 4 Linkage' as added complexity and not the reason the bike climbs tech so well reinforces my previous claim.


    Overall, I get that Mr. Levy is saying shop elsewhere.


    Major companies know that "good will" goes a long way in a review. (Specialized flew the reviewers to Italy to introduce their Enduro 29er.) Also, finding the right review is crucial. (If Mr. Levy loved tech climbing as much as many of you then this review would have been glowing.)

    Getting praise for your product shouldn't be left to chance. Knolly really needs to cultivate relationships with the reviewers; find the reviewers that think that both ups and downs should elicit an involuntary "how the hell did I do that?"; and have them review their bikes.
    Hi TSC im not sure he doesn't like the Endo, quite the opposite, he just sounds more like hes warning off a segment in the market that's probably more xc/trail oriented...the ones who do smoother terrain (ups and downs).
    2013 Knolly Endorphin | 2013 Knolly Chilcotin | 2014 Knolly Podium.
    Tweed Valley, Scotland.

  17. #17
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    I think the review sums up the bike nicely. As other have mentioned, sounds more to me that he's covering him self with the DW/VPP crowd who expect their bikes to take on fire roads like hard tails. That's now how the suspension works as we all know. I'd be all over it if I didn't already have one.

  18. #18
    TSC
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    I don't agree with the phrase "...isn't exactly a purebred climbing machine...". Is there a bike that climbs better all-round? Other than that, I think the article gives a fair assessment of the Endorphin overall. That said, if I were Noel, I would have wanted the article to say:

    "...is designed more for challenging technical climbs than fire roads, but it can more than hold its own when the time comes to gain elevation on a tamer terrain..." rather than "...isn't exactly a purebred climbing machine, but it can more than hold its own when the time comes to gain elevation..."

    "...boutique bike..." rather than "...niche bike..."

    "...yet feels lively and nimble on less demanding trails..." rather than "...yet it also manages to keep from feeling overbearing on less demanding trails..."

    "...We'd say that it is a rider who loves both technical ascents and crazy descents in hairball terrain..." rather than "...We'd say that it is a rider who doesn't shy away from hairball terrain, even if it took them fours hours of difficult riding to reach it..."

    I've been working for an online education company for the last decade, which has heightened my awareness and forged my opinion regarding the deleterious affects of negative verbiage and phrasing. I don't write for a living; but have done a lot of proofing for the types of things I pointed out in the article. (It's amazing in what people find fault and to what they take offense.)

    I hope others read the article like you all read it; or at least read all the positive comments from Knolly owners.
    "sounds like you need to find a better mechanic..." -- Calhoun

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by TSC View Post
    I don't agree with the phrase "...isn't exactly a purebred climbing machine...". Is there a bike that climbs better all-round? Other than that, I think the article gives a fair assessment of the Endorphin overall. That said, if I were Noel, I would have wanted the article to say:

    "...is designed more for challenging technical climbs than fire roads, but it can more than hold its own when the time comes to gain elevation on a tamer terrain..." rather than "...isn't exactly a purebred climbing machine, but it can more than hold its own when the time comes to gain elevation..."

    "...boutique bike..." rather than "...niche bike..."

    "...yet feels lively and nimble on less demanding trails..." rather than "...yet it also manages to keep from feeling overbearing on less demanding trails..."

    "...We'd say that it is a rider who loves both technical ascents and crazy descents in hairball terrain..." rather than "...We'd say that it is a rider who doesn't shy away from hairball terrain, even if it took them fours hours of difficult riding to reach it..."

    I've been working for an online education company for the last decade, which has heightened my awareness and forged my opinion regarding the deleterious affects of negative verbiage and phrasing. I don't write for a living; but have done a lot of proofing for the types of things I pointed out in the article. (It's amazing in what people find fault and to what they take offense.)

    I hope others read the article like you all read it; or at least read all the positive comments from Knolly owners.
    You make some astute observations. I would look at the comments under the article to see where the focus was: the head tube size mistake was a big one and the frame price for aluminum.

    It occurred to me that part of the challenge for the author is the reality that certain bike companies have large budgets, line ups and marketing prowess. Knolly does not. I think that (may) in part help to explain the apparent disjointed language.

    On the other hand I read it like this: aluminum, 26 inch wheels, 140mm....wtf, this thing is too damn good...and based on the specs it shouldn't be this good. Design is everything.

    All anyone who is interested has to do is go to the Knolly site and check out some of those vids. I mean, that last one with a team rider on the Endorphin was.... I want one.

    Everywhere I go on the Chilcotin I get asked about the bike. And let's be clear, my subpar riding is not the reason. I think this brand has a special status and reputation. To me it's the kind of reputation money can't buy.

  20. #20
    Five5hot
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    i agree that it's not a niche bike. niche makes it sound like the bike is limited and not as capable.

    other than that i wouldn't read into the article that much. it's a good read with praise and criticism. take it for what it is. if you haven't ridden one, throw a leg over it and be your own critic.

    IMO, at the end of the day the bike is a hell of a lot of fun to ride!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by tom34 View Post
    I think what they've said about fireroads is true. I have a chilcotin and find that it's suspension digs down a bit whereas my pivot dw link springs forwards on fireroads. That 4x4 quality of digging down absolutely shines when it gets technical. As i've been getting fitter I find that I can ride in a higher gear and all I do now is mash down hard on the pedals and it just climbs and climbs on all sorts of technical trails. Love it!
    TOTALLY agree. I ride my Chilcotin up Fromme, which is a fireroad climb, on it I'm in no rush. Sure I can put the propedal on my shock, but then I'll probably forget to turn it off so I deal with the more active suspension on the flat climbs.

    The Chilcotin, and I'm sure, Endorphin digging down in technical is very true, but you have to really give it something to get the good technical climbing out of it. I can ride my Mach 5.7 and Firebird a lot slower on technical climbs then the Chilcotin which is too active to climb slowly.

    Mike Levy is a very good technical climber so I think he was trying to give another angle on one of its characteristics.
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  22. #22
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    GREAT review in my opinion, once they cleaned up the headtube SNAFU. The review says to me "this bike is great if you like riding challenging terrain and having a lot of fun, otherwise, you might want a mini-link bike..." Awesome and spot-on!

  23. #23
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    i dont care what they say. weather they liked the bike or not,,,, all i know is i have a endo and i really like it, from what little amount of ride time i had on it, it rode well, and in my opinion climbs just as well as my hardtail. even with the crappy ctd thing on it.

    i have had both old north american made and new taiwan made frames, and agree with the others, the quality on these new frames is top notch.
    who cares if knolly dont wine and dine the reviewers and send them on flashy trips. when you build bikes this good they will sell themselves. not to mention the excellent customer service. mr buckley sir, you keep on doing what you do, cause you do it so well.

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