Knolly Endorphin frame £1499

All-mountain animal

BikeRadar score 4/5

Knolly bikes started back in 2002 with one man, Noel Buckley, who wanted to create a freeride bike that would work day in, day out. The Endorphin has been bred on Vancouver’s North Shore to tame anything in its path. Whether on a steep climb or a slick rock descent, it owns the trail.

Ride & handling: Versatile freeride rig that eats up the climbs as well as the descents

We quickly realised the Endorphin’s climbing capabilities; the Four by 4 Linkage was stable and neutral, resisting pedal bob and delivering power directly to the wheels. The geometry still felt confident and not too slack or low.

On technical singletrack the bike’s balance and weight kept it manoeuvrable and able to power through the most jagged rock sections. On rolling all-mountain terrain, the Knolly was fast, and drifted controllably through dry, blown-out corners, making for big smiles and serious dust clouds.

The confident geometry again played a huge part in how easy it was to pump the terrain, link up lines and gap the sharper looking areas of red rock.

You can tell how much passion and energy has gone into this bike. Doubling up natural rolls in terrain feels like second nature, while point-and-shoot high-speed sections feel controlled rather than wild and out of control. The Knolly blew us away with its versatility.

Frame: US-built chassis with excellent Fox shock

Coming in at 3.2kg (7.1lb) for the frame, the Endorphin is based around Knolly’s patented Four by 4 Linkage. Knolly claim it’s not just another four-bar link – rather that it achieves all their goals of neutral pedalling, neutral braking, high lateral rigidity and easy shock accessibility.

Knolly bikes are built and assembled in North America, something few brands can boast. Rocking a 67-degree head angle and a 13.5in BB height, it’s ready for anything you or the mountain can throw at it.

As well as the Four by 4 Linkage, the Knolly are running the new Fox RP23 Boost Valve shock. Its higher volume air can and the new improved Boost Valve technology means you get supreme pedalling performance and descending dominance. 

Equipment: Top travel-adjust Fox fork, SRAM/Race Face drivetrain and Maxxis tyres

Our test bike came with a Fox 36 TALAS fork, which allows you to adjust between 110mm, 130mm and 160mm (4.3, 5.1 and 6.3in) travel on the fly, so you can tailor your position to the type of riding.

The RaceFace Deus cranks married with SRAM X.9 shifting give precision gear changes and rock solid power transfer. Maxxis Minion tyres keep you on track, come rain or shine.

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