The Endorphin has been built up and it looks great. We'll be delivering it to Dave so that he can try it out. The build went very well and we did not have any issues. As with the Delirium-T, the bike is very well made and the quality and attention to details shows. In general, full length cable routing is the best way to go and especially more so for this type of all day, go anywhere in any type of condition freeride bike.
We speced a Fox 36 Talas RLC fork for it because we figure that this bike is going to be used on different trails and having the option to adjust the fork travel will help Dave adjust the bike to suit the trail. It's heavier than the 32 Talas but the 36mm is stiffer and suits this build well. The rear shock is a Fox RP23 and matches the front fork.
We put on a Cane Creek 110 headset and we're really amazed by this headset. It's not like us to be impressed by a headset as it's not something most people talk about when talking bikes but it definitely rivals Chris King and we feel in some ways is better than CK. It doesn't have as many colour options as Chris King but there are certain design features and attention to detail and overall quality that we have no problems recommending this headset to anyone.
For this bike build, braking duties are handled by Shimano XT. We saw the changes to the XT line and we've been very impressed. The disc brakes have been getting very good reviews and Dave was keen on trying them out so we went ahead with them. We're trying to get a 7" rotor/adapter for the front as that's probably better suited for this bike but we'll start with the 6" for now.
Thomson looks after the stem and seatpost. That's the defacto industry standard. No fuss, no complaints, no brainer. What's better than a Thomson Elite seatpost? The Thomson Masterpiece seatpost. There are others of course but are you getting more?
Shifters/derailleur is a mix of SRAM x.9 from our last project and an XT front derailleur that is on loan. Cranks are also from our previous project. Really no complaints here. The integrated cranks/BB works well, stiff and reliable. So reliable that Chris King's BB is Shimano compatible.
Just a note on cable routing as that seems to be a common question when people ask about Knolly. There are a lot of cable guides on the frame and the frame uses full cable housing (thank you) so there are a number of ways to route the cable. Play around and see what makes the most sense. It's fairly intuitive and usually common sense and just the natural way the cable bends gives you an idea of where to route it. And the nice thing is if you don't like it after setting it up one way, just cut the zip ties and do it a different way. The only concern(?) I have is the small loop that results beneath the BB because of the way the front derailleur cable is routed. Now this doesn't seem to have caused any issues thus far but I would suggest keeping an eye on the cable to see any signs of rubbing or damage on the housing after a ride.
Also, a note on the front derailleur. Using the Shimano XT front derailleur, we did notice that with a 2.35" Kenda Nevegal tire, there was a bit of rubbing of the cage and the knobs so we adjusted the front derailleur just ever so slightly. The shifting is fine and there are no issues but there isn't much clearance and something to be aware of. Now we've been told the SRAM front derailleurs may not have this issue.
The overall weight of the bike with the heavy wheels from our last project is 34lbs. Now with lighter wheels (Dave has since replaced the wheels with Crossmax XLs with Stans), he managed to save 896g or roughly 2lbs. Now that's a huge difference when it comes to rotating mass so immediately acceleration and climbing is going to be better.
Here are some initial thoughts from Dave and it's very positive so far!
"My overall impression was very good, though i was riding pretty tame terrain. The most outstanding feature was how incredibly well the bike pedalled, especailly out of the saddle. The EG was pretty smooth pedalling in the saddle, and it would climb anything, but it there was a lot of wallowing/bobbing which robbed energy and forward momentum. This Endo seems to still follow the trail pretty well, but when out of the saddle, every pedal stroke literally shoots the bike forward! Very much like a hardtail. Its certainly the first full suspension bike where i have looked forward to just standing and hammering up steep pitches. This bike is as heavy as my Stinky (and the EG) but it pedals as well or better than my Epiphany, I hardly notice the extra weight. I know its only been one ride, but with the adjustable travel TALAS, this is the closest i have come to riding the 'one' bike...extremely versatile. All you'd need to go from cross country to all- mountian/ light freeride is 2 wheelsets" - Dave