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  1. #1
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    Spot vs. Knolly Endorphin?

    I have now narrowed the search down to these 2 bikes. Anyone have experience with riding both?

    I am an XC-style rider. Austin has a lot of rocky ledges and rocky terrain. Loose, steep climbs and descents. You won't find a 2-hour downhill, nor a 2-hour climb. Lots of tight singletrack and technical obstacles.

    Coming off a Hammerhead 100X (modified titus racer X) but I don't race, just weekend rides for fun.

    If you have ridden or evaluated both, I am interested in your opinion. I have ridden both and both have their pros/cons.
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  2. #2
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    I actually have both. I started with Knolly, but the 5 Spot kept haunting me. At first, I did not think there was much difference. But the more I ride the Spot, the more I feel it can do little things better. Both are great climbers, but I think descending, the Turner is better. It really corners and pops off jumps, logs, etc extremely easily. In terms of plushness, no matter what I try, I cannot get the Knolly to feel as plush as the Turner. The Knolly has an extremely stiff rear end and the Turner is pretty good two. I do like the fact that the Knolly has the ability to lower the seat all the way down without having to cut it. Looks, I think the Turner has it. The angles and straight lines are sexy; I guess I am old school. Overall, the Turner is a funner bike. To me, that is what it is all about.

  3. #3
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    PS, I currently have my Knolly set up with a burlier build, short stem and longer, heavier fork. I use it more for trails that have bigger drops, jumps and even for bike park riding where it is not too extreme. For what it is worth, Knolly's designers have the North Shore as their reference and terms like trail, all mountain are all relative. Knolly's All mountain is like free ride to most people and Knolly's trail is like most people's all mountain. I think the Knolly may be a bit burlier but that may be just my perspective than truth.

  4. #4
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    I rode a 100x for years, and now have a 2007 spot. I think the spot is a perfect upgrade from the hammerhead. I rode an endorphin and it felt heavy but still climbed well. Kinda like my RFX. it was not my bike so it was setup like I would have built it but the front and rear suspension just did not feel balanced. I think the endorphin is a great bike and if you lived somewhere with longer downhills and wanted to put a coil fork on the front it might be great but for the austin area where you are constantly switching up,down, up,down you may want air suspension and travel adj on the front and I think the spot is a bit snappier when on the gas.

  5. #5
    Flyin Canine
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    if you want to pm me I can show more pics of the bike builds and stuff. Just really slammed at work right now.

  6. #6
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    have you considered the Sultan? I think if you're more XC oriented, but have tech trails that require a bit more than a XC bike the Sultan would fit the bill nicely With it's 4.7" travel and 29" wheels it builds up real sweet as a good all around bike that can clmb fast and efficient and when pointed DH, it handles that nice as well.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx
    have you considered the Sultan? I think if you're more XC oriented, but have tech trails that require a bit more than a XC bike the Sultan would fit the bill nicely With it's 4.7" travel and 29" wheels it builds up real sweet as a good all around bike that can clmb fast and efficient and when pointed DH, it handles that nice as well.
    Rode a knolly and really liked it, it beat the turner for me. Pulled the trigger on friday. The turner was nice, but for me, the knolly fit me better.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by austin_bike
    Rode a knolly and really liked it, it beat the turner for me. Pulled the trigger on friday. The turner was nice, but for me, the knolly fit me better.
    Was the "fit" better or were there certain characteristics of the "ride" that were more favorable?

  9. #9
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    It was a little of both, but mainly the fit. The knolly rides lower to the ground and I really liked that more. I am planning on an in-depth review on my site whenever I can get some free time from all of the business travel I have going on right now.

    The Turner is still an awesome bike and I would have liked having one, but for me, the knolly edged it out.
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  10. #10
    mtnjam
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    Quote Originally Posted by austin_bike
    Rode a knolly and really liked it, it beat the turner for me. Pulled the trigger on friday. The turner was nice, but for me, the knolly fit me better.
    nice choice...sounds like you are a Titus convert too. What size frame did you end up on?
    Just ride down there and jump off something for crying out loud...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by austin_bike
    Rode a knolly and really liked it, it beat the turner for me. Pulled the trigger on friday. The turner was nice, but for me, the knolly fit me better.
    gratz! what color?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryman
    nice choice...sounds like you are a Titus convert too. What size frame did you end up on?
    I went with the medium knolly.

    The reviews of all of the bikes I tried are here:

    http://www.austinbike.com/reviews
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  13. #13
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    Great review.

    Honest, and thorough...thanks.

  14. #14
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    40 miles on 2 trails in 2 days will do that. Too bad I only had the cash for 1 bike
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  15. #15
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    nice review. based on Knolly's geo chart, the BB on the Endorphin with a 160mm fork is almost certainly higher than the Spot's that you tried with a 140mm fork. Both bikes have ~13.4" bb heights listed with 140mm forks (the new Turner website has the geo specs with a 150mm fork but the geometry did not change from last year AFAIK, they're just adjusted for the higher axle to crown). so perhaps it's the "anti squat" characteristics of the Spot that made it feel like it rides higher. or you ran more sag on one of the bikes.

    edit: or the geometry specs on the websites are off...

    regardless I too would like to see a lower BB on the new Spot. enjoy the new whip!

  16. #16
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    Yeah, geometry is a funny thing. There are so many variables from the components to the setup of the bike. And really, unless you have the bikes side by side, you do tend to lose perspective.
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  17. #17
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    After riding a HL suspension for years, and moving to a DW style design, it also took me a while to get used to the taller feeling of the bike. As you said, likely due to the anti-squat. I now run more sag, and a lower volume rear tire, which seems to help somewhat.
    I am not a student of suspension design, but I will say that the DW amazes me the most with how well it pedals during sustained climbs. Given that, I'm a bit surprised the Knolly "won" the OP's shoot-out, because when the HL was set up to be nearly as plush as the DW, it was not in the same league when pedaling. Admittedly, that may not have been a major criteria in the OP's decision, but it sure is for me. jmo.

  18. #18
    mtnjam
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    austin_bike....noticed in the photo you went with a longish stem.

    The reason I'm asking is because I'm on the sizing fence for either a medium or large frame. I stand at 5'11" with a 33.5" inseam so I'm torn between a large frame with a shorter stem or a medium frame with a longer stem. I'm running a 90mm stem on my medium Titus Swtichblade. I've read and re-read the Knolly threads about sizing.
    Just ride down there and jump off something for crying out loud...

  19. #19
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    I am a bad one to ask on that. I am an intermediate rider at best. I rode the knolly with a 120mm stem and the one that I will build will be a 90 or 100mm stem at best. The medium was the right size for me, your mileage may vary.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by morgan1819
    After riding a HL suspension for years, and moving to a DW style design, it also took me a while to get used to the taller feeling of the bike. As you said, likely due to the anti-squat. I now run more sag, and a lower volume rear tire, which seems to help somewhat.
    I am not a student of suspension design, but I will say that the DW amazes me the most with how well it pedals during sustained climbs. Given that, I'm a bit surprised the Knolly "won" the OP's shoot-out, because when the HL was set up to be nearly as plush as the DW, it was not in the same league when pedaling. Admittedly, that may not have been a major criteria in the OP's decision, but it sure is for me. jmo.
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  21. #21
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    You do realise the KNolly DOESN'T use HL suspension right? There design is quite a bit different and I know several riders with great skill who have moved to Knollys for the suspension design and how well they do both up and down.

    Quote Originally Posted by morgan1819
    After riding a HL suspension for years, and moving to a DW style design, it also took me a while to get used to the taller feeling of the bike. As you said, likely due to the anti-squat. I now run more sag, and a lower volume rear tire, which seems to help somewhat.
    I am not a student of suspension design, but I will say that the DW amazes me the most with how well it pedals during sustained climbs. Given that, I'm a bit surprised the Knolly "won" the OP's shoot-out, because when the HL was set up to be nearly as plush as the DW, it was not in the same league when pedaling. Admittedly, that may not have been a major criteria in the OP's decision, but it sure is for me. jmo.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx
    You do realise the KNolly DOESN'T use HL suspension right? There design is quite a bit different and I know several riders with great skill who have moved to Knollys for the suspension design and how well they do both up and down.
    um, okay. I guess I'm not aware of the proper term to describe Knolly's design.... but this is exactly why I took the time to mention that I am not a student of suspension design. However, it sure looks like an HL to me.

    I've been on a long search for a 140mm travel bike, and was fortunate enough to be able to test the 5-Spot and the Endorphin last spring. I only have about 45 minutes saddle time on each bike, so I am no authority. I also have no idea if the 5-spot is faster ... I simply loved the way it felt to pedal that bike up longer climbs versus the knolly. It 'felt' lighter and seemed to want to shoot forward with each pedal stroke. I didn't feel that with the knolly. I was impressed by the Endorphin in all other comparable areas.

    That is great that you know of riders with great skill who have moved to Knolly.
    Last edited by morgan1819; 09-24-2009 at 10:47 AM.

  23. #23
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx
    You do realise the KNolly DOESN'T use HL suspension right? There design is quite a bit different and I know several riders with great skill who have moved to Knollys for the suspension design and how well they do both up and down.
    No, it's a HL design. It has the pivot in front of and below the dropout. Although there are often variations on this design, it's a HL. Knolly found a novel way to get around the specialized patent by using the 4x4 "system", but the 4x4 is part of the shock-actuation and does not give it the wheelpath, which is given to it by the HL. It's not too easy to fool the patent office, just look at Ellsworth. I guess that isn't a horst link either.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  24. #24
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  25. #25
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    I think its funny that there was a review written using Austin Tx as a testing ground for mtb riding. I moved here for school from Fort Collins. All I heard was how great Austin is for biking. I have a RFX that is basically shelved till I leave this state. 99% of the trails around here can be ridden on a cyclocross bike. As for climbing, There is like 50ft of relief over the whole town. The trails are almost all totally flat. There is a big "downhill" here called The Hill of Life. It's like a 30 second down hill ride that hooks up to a 20 mile loop with literally no relief (ups or downs). So a review detailing a Knolly or Spot or any other bikes handling here in Austin, is like testing a Ferrari and a Porsche in rush hour. This is a fixie bike town. Austin is a buzz word. The riding here is a joke. There are like 4 trails and all of them... are no good. City Park is mentioned a lot. HAHAHAHAHA!!! Its actually annoying. All it does is remind you of how much the riding here... well you get it.
    Later

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunshynjunky
    I think its funny that there was a review written using Austin Tx as a testing ground for mtb riding. I moved here for school from Fort Collins. All I heard was how great Austin is for biking. I have a RFX that is basically shelved till I leave this state. 99% of the trails around here can be ridden on a cyclocross bike. As for climbing, There is like 50ft of relief over the whole town. The trails are almost all totally flat. There is a big "downhill" here called The Hill of Life. It's like a 30 second down hill ride that hooks up to a 20 mile loop with literally no relief (ups or downs). So a review detailing a Knolly or Spot or any other bikes handling here in Austin, is like testing a Ferrari and a Porsche in rush hour. This is a fixie bike town. Austin is a buzz word. The riding here is a joke. There are like 4 trails and all of them... are no good. City Park is mentioned a lot. HAHAHAHAHA!!! Its actually annoying. All it does is remind you of how much the riding here... well you get it.
    Later
    Clearly you haven't ridden the real fun trails and with an arrogant attitude like that I'll be surprised if you ever get to see them.

  27. #27
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    Texans are always tellin me the same thing. It's great here... the trails are awesome.... there's so much to do..... I always reply with "like what?" They always pause and fumble with a response. Thats cause there's nothing. Ever wonder why people leave here to go on vacation?
    The state is 99% private land, there are no hills. All the really beautiful land has houses on it (ie the Hill Country every one talks about, looks nice, can't touch it.) Austin is a little city surrounded by unusable private desert. It's like a stranded island, only its not in the middle of a cool ocean. There is NOTHING within 4 hours of this city. Its no wonder this was the last place to be settled.
    I have been on the trails. I am a bike mechanic in town. I am hooked into the bike scene directly. There is no adrenaline in this town.
    Sorry, it isn't arrogance, it's reality.

  28. #28
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    Idea! You expected mountains in Austin? You own a map?

    Quote Originally Posted by sunshynjunky
    Texans are always tellin me the same thing. It's great here... the trails are awesome.... there's so much to do..... I always reply with "like what?" They always pause and fumble with a response. Thats cause there's nothing. Ever wonder why people leave here to go on vacation?
    The state is 99% private land, there are no hills. All the really beautiful land has houses on it (ie the Hill Country every one talks about, looks nice, can't touch it.) Austin is a little city surrounded by unusable private desert. It's like a stranded island, only its not in the middle of a cool ocean. There is NOTHING within 4 hours of this city. Its no wonder this was the last place to be settled.
    I have been on the trails. I am a bike mechanic in town. I am hooked into the bike scene directly. There is no adrenaline in this town.
    Sorry, it isn't arrogance, it's reality.
    Hey sunshynjunky- I agree with some of your points - ATX is definitely oversold.
    Yes, it is a private-land state.
    Yes, there are no mountains here (do you know how to read a map? shouldn't have been a surprise!).
    Yes, any wooden features are promptly removed from the trail.
    Yes, people leave to go on vacation. They do everywhere. I left San Diego many times on vacation, and it wasn't for a lack of good trails, nice tail, or sunshyn.

    That being said, the trails are technical around here and don't necessarily flow. Do we have good riding? Certainly. Is there more than 400' elevation change on any one hill? Probably not. That doesn't mean that you cannot get in a good ride, hit technical features, put your legs through 2000' climbing, all while within the confines of Austin City Limits.

    Oh, I'd suggest you go back to CO. I really don't care if you do or not, but your *****ing and whining is YOUR REALITY. You should change that.
    Especially because it doesn't contribute anything to this thread..

    Quote Originally Posted by sunshynjunky
    I think its funny that there was a review written using Austin Tx as a testing ground for mtb riding.blah blah blah blah
    It is the primary use location for austin_bike. That is ALL that matters.
    Last edited by CharacterZero; 10-14-2009 at 06:56 AM.

  29. #29
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    Not whining, just stating facts... Did read the map, it did show plainly the mediocrity I was in for had to sacrifice for educational purposes. Will leave a soon a the diploma comes in.
    for the record I do ride every day, commute fully loaded touring style 22 miles a day. I love to ride and do it in whatever form it comes in. I am simply tired of hearing about the blahhhhh trails around here.
    This place is great for social rides, moonlight rides, and sorta okay for road riding. Plus its warm and sunny all year. I haven't put a tank of gas in my truck in 2 months. So thats good.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunshynjunky
    Not whining, just stating facts... Did read the map, it did show plainly the mediocrity I was in for had to sacrifice for educational purposes. Will leave a soon a the diploma comes in.
    for the record I do ride every day, commute fully loaded touring style 22 miles a day. I love to ride and do it in whatever form it comes in. I am simply tired of hearing about the blahhhhh trails around here.
    This place is great for social rides, moonlight rides, and sorta okay for road riding. Plus its warm and sunny all year. I haven't put a tank of gas in my truck in 2 months. So thats good.

    ...love the one you're with.

    Sounds like your reality just got better. Good luck.

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