Photo credit: Jens Staudt www.jensstaudt.de
Knolly Bikes’ roots are based in South West British Columbia’s mountain biking mecca, predominantly Vancouver’s North Shore and Whistler. While you can’t get a degree in “Mountain Bike Design” we come from a background that’s about as close as possible: Engineering Physics, Applications Engineering and precision industrial manufacturing. Combined with (at the time we started) over a decade of riding experience on some of the most demanding trails in the world, it’s no wonder that we see the mountain biking world in a different light than most other companies.
Knolly Bikes started as a pursuit – driven by our love of riding – to design the highest performance, best possibly manufactured, most innovative products available: for ourselves. What we unknowingly created was worldwide demand from a group of equally passionate riders for very sophisticated (yet highly approachable) products that just work, all the time, in every environment. Over the past decade, we have built our reputation on manufacturing quality, performance innovation and customer service: we’re still small enough that a real human answers the phone (and it will always be that way no matter our size).
"The dream was to build a bike that simply worked reliably day in and day out, without any annoyances like interrupted seat tubes, tires hitting the seat or seat tube or shocks tucked away in difficult to access locations."
(Still true today)
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 market place. This dream was to build a free ride 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, etc...
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.
This frame design had to work well, be reliable, be serviceable, and most importantly be free from frivolous marketing features while still offering premium performance in the most severe riding situations.
Noel 2004. (Still true today)
At the start, Knolly Bikes 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 our multi patented Four by 4 Linkage and its related design components: its design elements exist in every full suspension frame that we manufacture.
In 2003 — a year and a half after Noels 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. After that Knolly was officially a brand.
While our frame designs and applications may grow and change, the philosophy that started Knolly stays the same: design and build the absolutely most reliable, highest performing products that we can — bar none.