We are proudly stating that it’s time that the 'ride experience' should be the most important factor when purchasing a mountain bike.
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).
At Knolly we feel that we can continue along our own unique path, while the majority of mountain bike brands move in a singular direction, aimed at being the best at marketing a product that’s easy to sell off the showroom floor (call it fashion over function). Knolly is proudly stating that it’s time that the 'ride experience' should be the most important factor when purchasing a mountain bike. That's a mantra that garners a loyal customer base, and ensures that we bring bikes to market that we can be proud of, and will ride ourselves for as long as possible.
We design and manufacture products that just work, predictably all the time, regardless of the situation.
Our company and its products rely on feedback from a core group of mountain biking enthusiasts and their combined love of riding trails of every type in all different locations. We design and manufacture bikes that just work, predictably all the time, regardless of the situation. We push boundaries consistently, bringing some of the most progressive geometry and suspension designs to market. This ensures that our designs will heighten your ride experience for years after your purchase.
Our history and knowledge of riding helps us create a ride characteristic in our bikes that allows any rider, with any level of skill, to jump on a Knolly for the first time and immediately feel comfortable. We tune the geometry and fit of our bikes so they handle extremely well and don't have any weird characteristics that riders have to get used to. This allows riders to feel connected to our bikes right away and it is one of the reasons Knolly owners tend to have more than one Knolly in their quiver. They know they can transfer from our trail bike to our DH bike and immediately feel comfortable - and that speaks volumes about the design of our bikes.
There is one thing we have learned over the years and it is this: Knolly riders expect a level of performance which is superior to what they have experienced in the past, and they demand their bike add to their overall 'ride experience'. Their focus is on the pure enjoyment of the ride, since they have total trust in our design, our technology, and our durability. This is exactly why Noel created Knolly in the first place.
You cannot talk about the 'ride experience' without addressing the topic of fit. There is a lot of chatter about women's specific models, and the fit conversation has never been more relevant than now. Since the beginning, Knolly has had a unique advantage over our competition...
Human specific geometry
Because Knolly frames feature a continuous seat tube they allow for a full range of seat heights: on many other frames, the seat tube is either bent or interrupted by the shock allowing only a restricted range of seat heights (this problem is exasperated as frame sizes become smaller). Our frames feature both a continuous seat tube as well as a low “dropped seat height” - meaning the seat actually travels forward and out of the way - which allows riders of all sizes to get farther back on the bike when the terrain demands it.
For taller riders - The ability to run the latest dropper posts is mandatory in order to achieve proper climbing height, and still be able to drop it down low(175-200mm). Running these posts (with long insertion depths) is impossible on interrupted/bent seat tube designs. In fact, Knolly is one of very few bikes that can actually run the latest 200mm dropper posts. Our seat tube angle is optimized to make sure the rider is in a very effective pedaling position while climbing with the added benefit that the top tube length effectively grows when the seat is raised which allows the rider to have increased reach when necessary (without placing the rider "behind the bike").
For smaller riders - Frame fit is an absolutely critical part of the purchasing process. Proper stack-height and stand-over measurements can be a make-or-break proposition. Add a longer shock into the mix, and most frames start getting too tall to continue the conversation. One of the side benefits of Knolly's Fourby4 design is the ability to accommodate smaller riders, even with up to 170-200mm of rear suspension travel. This keeps the shock mounted low which means we can drop our top tubes for better stand-over clearance. It also means the center of mass on the frame is low and that equates to exceptional handling in technical terrain. Smaller riders can run a 150mm dropper post on our bikes due to the low stand-over height and straight seat tube.
Geometry - Is the single most important factor that determines how a bike is going to ride. A simple 1 degree difference in headtube angle can make the difference between feeling ‘sketchy’ or confident. We design all of our bikes to make the rider’s position on the bike a source of confidence, since when you’re feeling confident, you’re having fun. All Knolly models provide a comfortable, confident ride by utilizing a few key concepts:
Standover height - We design all models in all sizes to have very low standover measurements. This helps the rider feel ‘in the bike’ instead of ‘on top of the bike’. Low standover also helps with cornering and maneuvering, allowing the rider to lean the bike over while maintaining proper center of gravity.
The 'Attack Position' - This is the position you assume when you are out of the saddle and ready to descend. This must be a position of total balance, where the rider can shift weight in any direction equally, and manipulate the bike as terrain and obstacles dictate. Proper balance is achieved in design by having reach measurements that coincide with the total length of the bike. This puts the rider in the middle over the bike, feeling confident.
Front end stack height - Another key to proper geometry. All Knolly models feature very short headtubes, which keeps the front end stack height as low as possible. This allows the rider to get over the front wheel, which is a key to proper traction and balance. This concept’s importance becomes magnified when the wheel size starts to grow. The headtube on our 27.5 models are among the shortest in the industry, ensuring that the rider can still get over the front of that taller wheel. Short headtubes also allow for longer travel forks that won’t throw intended geometry out of balance.
Chainstay length - This is a highly debatable topic. It seems very trendy these days to have chainstays that are as short as possible. Here at Knolly we focus on balance. We design each model with stability and predictability as top priorities for all types of terrain. So depending on the model, you’ll see a chainstay length that will be appropriate for maneuvering and stability at high speeds.
So when you combine some of the industry's lowest stand-over heights (on all frame sizes) with our continuous seat tube, and our 'way-before-it-was-cool' long/low geometry, the Knolly simply feels right...