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  1. #1
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    Podium - updated review - dialed

    I know the weather for many locations doesn't support riding your big bike, but we are fortunate enough to not be in one of those locations . I have been riding the Podium a lot more lately. Spring is near and soon everyone will be dusting off the big bikes.

    I am constantly tinkering with my bikes and this is not always a good thing. I can fool myself into thinking that a certain product will improve the bike's performance and ultimately into my riding (which is the goal after all). There are products that make a difference, but there are a lot products that don't. MTBR is good in that you can seek out information on products which hopefully avoid wasting money. However, the honest good reviews in my opinion has declined, because of big brother watching, reps, etc so extracting useful relevant info can be difficult.

    My Delirium is dialed and fits me like glove. This could be simply related to the fact that I ride it the most, but I believe that there is a certain magical aura associated with it! This is a Podium review, not a Delirium one.

    Let me start off by saying that the new Podium is awesome, but it required some work to get to this place. I owned the original Podium and struggled to get it to feel like a natural extension of me when riding. The original Podium was long, low and fast and had a certain swagger to it. I rode the original Podium all of over the NorCal, Pacific Northwest, and Whistler. The more DH build of the Podium gave me confidence to try bigger things that the Delirium didn't instill. With the Podium, I conquered some big features! However, I would fight the Podium in certain situations and I wasn't 100% comfortable on it. Because of this, I was always trying to dial it in better. I started with a Fox 40 and RC4 shock. I sold the RC4 and got a CCDB and then I also got a Vivid Air. I sold the 40 and got a Marz 888. These were not upgradeitus purchases - I was trying to dial the Podium into toward my complete liking. I found that I liked the Vivid Air and the Marz 888 combination the best, but this combo only worked well in a certain situations. Something about the Vivid Air allowed me to jump better, but it suffered in rough sections and big drops hurt a bit. The Marz 888 was more lively and ate up the chop better, but could dive into its travels at the worst possible times. The CCDB ate up the rough sections, but didn't work as well on the jumps and lacked a lively feel.

    Now Dominator owns an original Podium and he is completely comfortable on it. His comfort and enjoyment of the original Podium always made me want to dial mine in. Though our styles are different, we tend to appreciate similar components.

    After trying all of these options and adjusting suspension settings, I accepted the realization that it was time to get something else or just change it up. I was loosing money between buying and selling components and I knew selling the Podium frame would be another financial loss. Therefore, if I am going to loose money, I want to get the "right" frame to match my riding style.

    To keep an open mind, I considered all possible options. I read MTBR, ridemonkey, NSMB, online and the magazine reviews. I also contacted a number of MTBR subscribers. I was also considering just sticking with the Delirium and its bigger build for the shuttle/park days, because I liked its playful nature. However, I knew that I really enjoyed having more travel on a dedicated DH oriented bike that I can grab instantly. The frames that I considered were the standard ones that always get mentioned - new Podium, Jedi, DHR, Phoenix, V10, amongst others. MTBR user "Errr" was a wealth knowledge and provided a lot of useful insight.

    In the end, the new Podium had the geometry etc that piqued my interest. At the time, this seemed crazy to sell the original Podium for a loss and my comfort issues with it to purchase the newer version. Owing to the craziness of doing this, one last ditch effort - I purchased the AVY shock for the original Podium. However, the season was ending, parks closing so I tested the AVY on the local trails by pushing back up the hill. It wasn't a good enough test, but I needed to make a decision. I decided to go for the new Podium. In addition, the Knolly insiders are a very convincing bunch.

    New Podium
    I have had the new Podium for a few months now. I have ridden and tinkered with all 3 shocks on the new Podium - AVY, CCDB, and the Vivid Air. I like the AVY the best, it has a nice balance in all situations while remaining lively. Craig really does make a good product. I sent the Marz 888 to Ronnie Dilan to adjust the shim stack, add more oil, and remove the volume air adjuster to reduce the diving. Whatever he did works perfectly. The Marz 888 now rides higher in its travel. It is a little harsher, but much more in control. I am able to go faster with more confidence with Ronnie's modifications.

    The Podium is now dialed This is such a great feeling. I can confidently say that new Podium is the right bike for me. Though it was a journey to get to this point, I am now satisfied. It is more playful but remains a DH animal. I am not fighting the bike. It is very comfortable. I think it is a combination of things - the new geometry is an improvement and Noel's suspension adjustments, the AVY shock, and the mods to the Marz 888. I have been shuttling the new Podium on some very rough trails and playing on the jump trails and the bike is working great on both.

    At times, I briefly miss the longish chain stays of the original on some of the the steep rough sections and the fast sections - it was a uniqueness of the original Podium (this is where its swagger came in). But it is brief, because the new Podium is better fit for me. There is different balance to it than the original. Riding position is shifted back a tad. This combined with the shorter chain stays make getting the front end up easier. I like this attribute, because it makes quick drops and jumps more appetizing. It is still stable with its 47in wheelbase. It rails corners. I found the headangle to be slightly slacker than specs, it resides more at 63 degrees and this is with a zerostack. This is not a bad thing. I also like the Knolly full seat post, riding to and from the jump trails or here and there when you have to - it just nice to raise the seatpost to a good pedal position.

    One Last thing, based on the geometry, etc and my desire for a more playful bike, I thought that I would enjoy running the new Podium with a single crown and the Vivid Air. This was pre-purchase thought. However, I have found the new Podium in DH mode to be perfect and that desire isn't there anymore. Those that want single crown set-up, the new Podium can be made to do it nicely.

    In summary, the new Podium is a better product that translates to the riding which makes the experience more fun. I highly recommend getting one.

    Podium - updated review - dialed-podium2.jpgPodium - updated review - dialed-podium3.jpgPodium - updated review - dialed-2013-02-09-09.39.46.jpg
    Last edited by Dude!; 02-09-2013 at 08:21 PM.

  2. #2
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    Thanks for the review dude!! I am finding myself going back and forth on the decision to upgrade to a new podium frame or not. Bike looks great!

  3. #3
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    Thanks. If you are ever up this way, you can try my Podium.

    It is weird, because the numbers, etc aren't a ton different between the two models, but there is a difference. For me, the difference is large enough to be important and in a positive manner. Chainstays are the most obvious, but there is more subtle modifications that create a cumulative effect.

    Good luck with your decision - I went back and forth amongst other considerations for a long time.

  4. #4
    TSC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dude! View Post
    Now Dominator owns an original Podium and he is completely comfortable on it. His comfort and enjoyment of the original Podium always made me want to dial mine in. Though our styles are different, we tend to appreciate similar components.
    Excellent writeup!

    Has Dominator spent much time on your new Podium? If so, what does he think?
    "sounds like you need to find a better mechanic..." -- Calhoun

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by TSC View Post
    Excellent writeup!

    Has Dominator spent much time on your new Podium? If so, what does he think?
    Thanks. Dom rides a large and I ride a medium, so my bike always feels more playful due to size alone.

  6. #6
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    After a season in whistler on my 2012 podium it was the only frame I considered for this year.

    Good to hear positive things. My 2013 should land in the uk this week cant wait

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by James91 View Post
    After a season in whistler on my 2012 podium it was the only frame I considered for this year.

    Good to hear positive things. My 2013 should land in the uk this week cant wait
    Awesome -you are going to love it. As I said, it is a little bit different, but in a positive way (at least for me).

    Today, we shuttled a new trail, one that was previously shut down, and then hit the jump area. I am so much more comfortable with the new Podium. I am more relaxed on the bike. It is so just so easy to go for things and try new things. It is literally eye-opening, because I actively scouting out all of the trails features and how to improve the lines both for fun and speed. I wasn't doing this as much with the original Podium, I do this more so with the Delirium. However, the Podium has a lot more travel to support wrong decisions!

    One last thing, which i should have said before.... It is a lot easier for me to go from the Delirium to the new Podium and vice-a-versa. I think this helps me out a lot. They are definitely different bikes, but the transition between the two is natural.

  8. #8
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    Great review. Dude, did you sell your old podium? I'm looking for frame or complete.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrilliaRider View Post
    Great review. Dude, did you sell your old podium? I'm looking for frame or complete.
    I sold it to another Knolly rider, blcman.

  10. #10
    Biking Like Crazy!
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrilliaRider View Post
    Great review. Dude, did you sell your old podium? I'm looking for frame or complete.
    Yeah, Dude sold his "original" Podium to me! Got to ride at Whistler at the end of last season. It rocks my world!

    Dude, glad you like the new Podium alot, cause you got rid of a very good "old" one to get it! lol
    Last edited by blcman; 02-11-2013 at 08:56 PM.
    Niner Rip9 RDO
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  11. #11
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    Thanks

    I need to get one!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrilliaRider View Post
    Great review. Dude, did you sell your old podium? I'm looking for frame or complete.
    I currently have a large 2012 podium frame for sale based in the uk though

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by James91 View Post
    I currently have a large 2012 podium frame for sale based in the uk though
    How tall are you?

    What are the specs?

    Do you have pics somewhere?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrilliaRider View Post
    How tall are you?

    What are the specs?

    Do you have pics somewhere?
    Im 6ft 2" and the large fits perfect, frame is fitted with a rc4 which was recntley serviced. The frame is up for sale on pinkbike

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by James91 View Post
    Im 6ft 2" and the large fits perfect, frame is fitted with a rc4 which was recntley serviced. The frame is up for sale on pinkbike
    Knolly Podium 2012 Large Raw *PRICE DROPPED* - Pinkbike

    link to the advert

  16. #16
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    Thanks. Nice looking frame. Usually I fit large bikes, but it sounds like a large Podium is too big for me.

    Thanks again.

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