We start every design from the ground up. Since no one bicycle frame can be perfect at every task, we start with a set of goals and priorities that are defined by personal experience and rider inputs. Our frames are designed around these goals and are tested rigorously to ensure that they meet these goals.
Details, details, details. We are perfectionists in every aspect of design and construction. Good enough isn't. When we can't find something to meet our stringent requirements, we create it. Our frames feature several custom aluminum extrusions and proprietary tube sets designed specifically for our products.
At Knolly Bikes our goal is to make the highest quality products possible in every aspect of performance and manufacturing. Our motto is “Reliable Predictable Performance” and that philosophy goes into every frame design and finished product.
To ensure that our products are both reliable and consistent performers, we scrutinize the overall design and construction of our frames and continue right down to the smallest component.
We use only high end name brand fasteners ensuring that our fastener products are consistent and reliable. All Fasteners are stainless steel and where required, super hard grade 12.9 plated steel. We do this to ensure that the fasteners don't corrode and don't bend.
We use M8 bolts for all of our shock mounting hardware on our heavier duty frames, again from a strength perspective. And, wherever possible, we use commonly available metric fasteners so that they are easily replaced if damaged or lost.
All pivots feature German INA brand bearings and most use precision machined stainless steel shaft spacers to achieve tight tolerances. INA brand bearings feature some of the most consistent race diameters available, especially important in locations under high lateral load like suspension rocker linkages. Their consistent diameters mean less chance of bearings wearing out their “seats” (the bore that the bearing sits in) resulting in less down time for you the owner.
The two main frame pivots use a pair of INA double row angular contact bearings combined with oversized axles resulting in superior lateral rigidity and high load carrying capability. Pivot bearings are spaced as wide as possible to further increase rear end stiffness.
Our axles and shoulder bushings are CNC turned out of 2024 aluminum for high strength. Rear thru axles feature a stepped outer diameter which guarantees precision where the axle supports the hub bearings. Chain stay pivot axles and rear axles are deeply broached for large 8mm hex keys to make them highly resistant to stripping.
CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) manufacturing is something that we take great pride in. We routinely machine parts to within 0.001" (0.02mm) tolerance; for bearing seats often to a very precise 0.00025" (0.006mm). Why would we spend the time and energy to do this?
Quite simply, it allows us to design and build features like the V-tach's head angle adjuster cam as well as improve the functionality and reliability of our products.
All our frames are welded to the highest standards. Welding is probably the single most important part of frame construction — technique can make or break the best designs. In keeping with our design philosophies we use only the best available bicycle frame welders, ensuring that welding is not only performed correctly but is aesthetically pleasing as well.
The Four by 4 Linkage is Knolly Bikes’ patented and proprietary suspension technology. Our suspension design is akin to the most sophisticated multi-linkage systems used in auto racing and provides features and performance unmatched in the mountain bike industry.
Knolly designs and manufactures two versions of its Four by 4 Linkage: both designs are patented but are aimed at slightly different market segments:
The original design is used in the Podium and Delirium frames and is optimized for the generally more linear rates of coil spring suspension and long travel high volume air shocks. This design also provides a slightly higher leverage ratio typical of longer travel frames and is designed structurally to handle the highest levels of abuse. It also generates the large radius wheel paths required to achieve superior pedaling performance in longer travel frames while still having incredible sensitivity for amazing technical trail performance.
The lightweight Four by 4 Linkage is used in the Chilcotin and Endorphin frames. Its design is tailored to the slightly more progressive spring rates of high volume air shocks and has a direct-drive linkage that compliments the lower leverage ratios used in these bikes. It is also more compact and while allowing the use of relatively long stroke shocks still leaves lots of room in the front triangle for both great stand over height and the ability to carry a water bottle in an actually useful location. The lightweight Four by 4 Linkage provides superior traction allowing for exceptional technical climbing and descending abilities in all gear ratios, yet achieves the best pedaling performance capable in any suspension design.
All of our full suspension frames utilize the patented Four by 4 Linkage design: whether the original or the lightweight design, all Knolly Bikes frames feature amazing pedaling dynamics, superiour traction, great tire clearance, extremely high lateral rigidity for excellent trail tracking, neutral braking forces, great stand over, full length seat tubes, easy to access rear shocks and low maintenance designs. The Knolly Four by 4 Linkage is simply the most sophisticated, highest performance design available in the mountain bike industry – period.
Knolly Bikes grew out of a dream — a dream from one rider who wanted something better — something that was currently not offered in the mountain bike marketplace. This dream was to build a freeride frame that simply worked reliably, day in and day out, with out any annoyances like interrupted seat tubes, tires hitting the seat or seat tube, shocks tucked away in difficult to access locations, fasteners that constantly loosen, pre-mature bearing wear, and so on...
This frame design had to work well, be reliable, be serviceable, and most importantly be free from frivolous marketing features while still offering both useful tuning options and superlative performance in even the most complicated and severe riding situations.
This was, and still is, Noel Buckley's dream — and from those humble beginnings back in early 2002, the Knolly Bikes lineup has become the embodiment of everything that Noel stands for: ultra-high end manufacturing, only the highest quality fasteners and bearings, and designs that make the best use of existing technology while innovating and breaking the status quo when the current technology is simply not sufficient.
At the start, Knolly Bikes was never designed to be a business — it was only one person building himself a bike (and maybe one for his wife and perhaps a few close friends) based on his passion for riding and helped along by a degree in physics, a career in engineering and a strong background in manufacturing (not to mention those same super supportive friends!). However, what happened was quite different...
After a year working on the initial conceptual frame designs, discovering what did and didn't work and what sacrifices would have to be made, a discovery was made that would influence the new Knolly Bikes suspension frames. This discovery has become the patented Four by 4 Linkage and its related design components: its design elements exist in every full suspension frame that we manufacture.
Detailed information on the many benefits of the Four by 4 Linkage can be found on our Engineering page, but the quick lesson is this: uninterrupted seat tubes allowing unlimited range of seat height, good pedaling and climbing positions with the seat post extended, the ability to make long travel frames in really small sizes, active suspension under braking, high lateral rigidity, long stroke shocks leading to low leverage ratios, easy maintenance, and of course, superlative suspension performance. Surprisingly, before this invention, no frame on the market could claim ALL of these performance features.
In 2003 — a year and a half after our first conceptual designs — the first prototype V-Tach frames were finished. The riding performance of these frames quickly spread by word of mouth and soon unknown people were asking us for frames. The first V-Tach production run quickly sold out and rolled out to customers in late 2004.
Building on the success and performance characteristics of the V-Tach, Knolly bike has released 3 new full-suspension frames based on the Four by 4 linkage design: The Endorphin all-mountain frame, Delirium freeride frame and the new Podium downhill frame. A lighter XC-specific version of the Endorphin is also under development.
Knolly Bikes is a rider-owned company that manufacturers some of the most highly acclaimed full suspension frames in the market. While our frame designs and applications may grow and change, the philosophy that started Knolly stays the same: design and manufacture the highest performing products that we can — bar none — and to support each and every customer with the highest levels of service.