Knolly Endorphin 27.5


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e have it and building it up for a customer and it's absolutely stunning!  I don't think words can really describe it.  You really have to see it in person to appreciate the colour, detail and all the things that make this bike what it is. 

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It's being built with Knolly's Pony Boy (SRAM X01) build kit and with upgraded Industry Nine Pillar Carbon wheels.  Doesn't get better than this. 

For seatpost duties, we chose 9Point8 Fall Line dropper because it's an amazing product, so simple, nothing to bleed, no cartridge to blow up and it's so good that Easton/Raceface has licensed the design for their own dropper post.  Nuff said. 

I've build up some nice bikes in my time but wow this bike is something else.  I don't know what more can be done. 

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Spokewrench


True North Fat

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est we be accused of being stuck in the past, here is something that brings us right back to 2015!  This as far as I know is the only one in existence (Hugh has steel fatbikes of course) but this one is unique because it's designed with a Rohloff XL / Gates drive in mind.  I think the bike looks absolutely stunning.  The cable routing is Rohloff friendly, the frame comes apart to allow the belt to be installed, the workmanship is beautiful and I know because I can compare with the Seven frame right next to it.  It's got classic written all over it but if you look at the drivetrain, it's all 2015! 

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I initiated this project with Hugh late last year with the idea of building a fatbike with the XL hub and at the time Hugh said he didn't have a frame yet that has been stiffness tested for Gates drive but he was about to get one ready to be certified.  He has other fatbikes of course using Gates drive but they are built with the standard Rohloff hub and so with the introduction of the XL hub from Rohloff, he had to prepare another frame to be sent for testing. 

In the meantime, it was getting all the bits and pieces together and that included the Light Bicycle carbon fatbike rims, Hope Fatsno 150mm front hub, Avid BB7 brakes, Avid Ultimate Levers, Surly Nate tires, Race Face stem\fat cranks, and FSA SLK carbon bars.  The beltline for Rohloff's XL hub is 72.25mm and 71.5mm for chain so it's important to get the right crank/sprocket combination right from the start. 

The geometry was custom and designed with the local geography in mind.  Hugh's fatbikes are literally everywhere!  So he definitely has some experience with what works around the local trails and what people like and don't like.  We tweaked it a bit to raise the BB height from the initial drawings but otherwise left it untouched.  The fork is a steel fork and the geometry is such that if in the future a Bluto fork is used, it won't totally mess up the geometry so it's future proof.  The rest was then just a matter of time.   When I went to pick it up a few weeks ago at Hugh's workshop, it was a sight to behold.  There is a reason why True North is so well regarded in these parts and everyone around here knows about Hugh and the work he does.  Something about custom Ti frames really speak to me.  I picked this up from a customer and friend of mine years ago and I've been afflicted with Ti disease ever since.  Part of it is Titanium's uniqueness, it doesn't rust, light yet strong, beautiful unpainted, the simplicity that can be had with titanium makes it unique I think compared to other frame materials.  

Part of any custom project for me is to come with something different to make it uniquely yours.  It could be a colour combination or a favourite saddle, a custom frame, a Rohloff XL hub ;)  The point is to always put your finger print on it so at the end of day, the whole is more than a sum of its parts.  It certainly takes more time and sometimes things don't fit or go as planned but that's part of the challenge and fun of it.  Often times you have to make changes along the way and timelines can go sideways.  So my advice is to always plan early and don't assume things will just bolt together.  Plan for mistakes because we're all human, parts not arriving and or sometimes missing.  Custom projects are fun for me and while it takes more time and effort, it's well worth it in the end.   Come check the bike out at the Toronto Bike Show this weekend and if all goes well (fingers crossed), it'll be rideable!

Spokewrench


Rohloff Ellsworth

PB230034I've seen quite a few bikes in my time and I've seen some custom builds but I have to say Dave's Ellsworth Evolution with a Rohloff just about takes the top prize for attention to detail and parts spec. 

Carbon rims laced with Sapim bladed(!) spokes, XTR front hub with 15mm angular contact bearing, nokon cable housing, Middleburn cranks, Magura fork, Crank Bros Mallet pedals with Ti spindles(!), Race Face ring, Cane Creek 110 headset and the list goes on and on.  This is by far the most thought out bike I've seen this season if not ever. 

Everything in its place and a place for everything.  I don't think my pictures does the bike any justice.   This bike is really an example how to build a custom bike.

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Complete bike built up.

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I love Dave's use of V-brake noodles as cable guides for both the shifters and at the external shifter box.  The Nokon like cable housing is definitely a nice touch but watch out they don't touch the frame(!).  That would be my only concern with aluminum cable housing but otherwise they are pretty sweet.  See how nicely the cable guides go above and below the Hope levers?    Also the noodles are black rather the the ubiquitous silver you see everywhere.  Nothing is by accident here. 

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Rohloff DH chain tensioner.  Necessary for full suspension bikes to keep the chain tensioned during the bike's travel.  Definitely a bit more tricky with a full suspension bike but Rohloff has 2 different tensioners to suit the application.  Dave has it setup so that everything is perfectly in line and the gap between the sprocket and tensioner wheel is just enough. 

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Middleburn cranks with its Rohloff specific spider gives the optimal 54mm chainline.  What isn't shown is the Enduro XD-15 BB holding the cranks in place.  Google search Enduro XD-15 BB and you'll find that is is not your run of the mill BB.  Crank Bros Mallet pedals with Ti spindles.  Did I mention that this bike blew me away?  And I haven't even begun to talk about the carbon wheels laced with Sapim CX-Ray bladded spokes, XTR front hub with its ingenious hidden tool.   This build list is simply too much to go write about in one short article.  There is a small story for each part that it's rather quite amazing when Dave talks about it.  Parts coming from all corners of the planet. 

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Dave promises to give me a rider's review after he's had some more time on the Ellsworth so I'm definitely looking forward to that. 

Spokewrench

 


Knolly Warden!

Good things come to those who wait!  Our Warden frame is in and we can't be more excited.  The Warden has been an amazing bike for Knolly and for good reason.  The reviews have been amazing and demand has been crazy.  Ours is here and we'll have it built up for Dave to test it as soon as possible.  In the meantime here are some pics to give an idea of what the frame is like.  The frame as you can see has our favourite Cane Creek Double Air and will be built with an XT kit.  All the specs and kit information can be found on Knolly's website Knolly Warden

We're taking orders for 2015 so email us for more information!

UPDATE: Dave is testing the bike right now so we'll just have wait to hear what his thoughts are on the bike.  As soon as the review is available, we'll post it up.

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Pivot Mach 6!!

Mach6That's right, we're getting one in and we're super stoked!  I know there are a lot of carbon bikes in the market now but the Mach 6 if you read the reviews out there is just different than others out there.   If you don't believe us, read this review from Pinkbike. 

Mach 6 Review

Spokewrench


Knolly Chilcotin!

P2170366This is the latest frame to arrive and it's a beautiful orange Chilcotin.  Now we've seen Chilcotin's before but something about them really makes each one unique.  If you notice in these pictures, the rear shock is missing!  Well, it's not acutally missing.  A Cane Creek Double Air CS is acutally going to be installed on it so it'll be pretty sweet once it's setup.  For now, enjoy the pics and we'll have more once the bike is fully built up.  2014 is looking to be an amazing year for Knolly with the 27.5" Warden being introduced and we're very stoked about it!  27.5" may be exactly what people have been looking for and the "Just Right" in terms of wheel size and performance.  Stay Tuned!

Team Spokewrench

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Pivot Mach429 Carbon!

P525002604Our Pivot is built up and it looks fantastic.  The bike weighs 27lbs without pedals and I think that's very good.  With a few choice upgrades, I'd go with lighter wheels, tubes and we can realistically hit 26lbs.  The rest of the kit is very nice.  I really like the Shimano XT kit, the brakes, shifters, cranks, everything installed without any problems.  Adjustment was easy and this year the rear derailleur features a clutch mechanism that improves chain retention and shift accuracy.  It was first introduced with the XTR rear derailleur and some claim that in rough terrain the clutch eliminates the need for a roller chain guide.  So the best way is to ride the bike and test for yourself what level of clutch friction you need.  Dave has our bike for review so we'll see what Dave thinks of the clutch mechanism and whether he needed to adjust it or not.  The build is almost identical to the Mach429 we built last year so it would make for a good comparison with the major difference being the frame.  If there is one criticism we have with the build, it's the white grips.  It looks great on the first day for the photo shoot but it'll get dirty very quickly.  We would swap it out with plain black grips and leave it at that.  We also installed a carbon seatpost rather than the FSA aluminum that came with the kit.  We just felt a carbon frame deserves a carbon seatpost.  Plus we gave Dave a carbon Easton EC90 SL carbon stem to try also.  Minor things here and there but think it'll make a nicer overall package.

Speaking of the frame, the geometry of the two bikes is nearly identical with the carbon frame having a shorter chainstay.  So it'll be interesting to see how it compares.  Because of the swing arm design, there is also more clearance for the rear tire compared to the aluminum model.  

There are a lot of carbon bikes out there and it'd be impossible to try them all.  Pivot took what was already a very well reviewed bike and just tweaked it to make it that much better.  We'll see what Dave thinks of the changes and whether or not they made a noticeable difference in the trails he rides.  Stay tuned!

The pictures alone don't do this bike justice.  We've had a few people comment on the bike and they all say "wow, nice bike" without even knowing much about bikes.  So there is something different about this bike that is hard to describe.  Let us know what you think with the Comments below.

Team Spokewrench

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