Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Knolly Chilcotin: a downhiller's dream all-mountain bike

A couple weeks ago I finally received my dream all-mountain frame: Knolly Chilcotin. So what's the big deal? Why is the frame special?

First of all, the frame geometry really stands out to me. With a 160mm fork, the head angle is at 66 degrees, the bottom bracket is at 13.5" and the chainstay length is 16.75". For those of you that may not be too familiar with mountain bike geometry, this transfers to a bike that will rip down hill with confidence, take turns like it's on rails and have a very playful feel to it! My ideal bike indeed! Furthermore Noel Buckley (president of Knolly) spent a lot of time refining this frame to exactly what he wanted and it shows in the details of this frame. Oh yea, did I mention that the suspension feels amazing! It sucks up the roughest terrain and gets you back up the hill with ease. Take a look at Knolly's patented Four by 4 linkage design:

A large frame built to take whatever you can throw at it: 31.5 lbs.!

The Shimano M985 XTR Shadow Plus rear derailleur is amazing! You'll feel like a ninja descending because it's so quiet. Yes, those Easton rims are carbon. The Haven Carbon wheelset is truly phenomenal! A wide rim profile for meaty tires, super smooth ceramic bearing hubs, at just 1450 grams you really notice the difference. Are they strong? Yes they are! I'm 210 lbs. and routinely take this bike off of 8-10' drops and decently-sized double jumps. Not a worry at all!

Oh yes, buttery smooth Four by 4 linkage with Fox's DHX RC4 coil shock and titanium coil spring. I didn't know that suspension could feel this good! Race Face's SixC line of components are aimed towards the all-mountain rider. These carbon cranks are super stiff and really light. I have been running them in the 1x10 set up for over a year now with no problems.

At the controls you will find Shimano XTR M988 Trail brakes which feel awesome! Great lever feel, modulation and power. The Race Face SixC carbon bar at 730mm feels perfect. It gives me more leverage to get up the hills and more confidence ripping back down them with the increased control. Why doesn't everyone run wider handlebars?!

The front end is handled with Fox's 36 Van 160 RC2 fork You cannot beat the feel of coil suspension. Buttery smooth, compliant and very reliable. The Schwalbe Big Betty 2.4 UST tire has been a great tire that gives me confidence in the corners and the rubber lasts a long time.

The Shimano XTR M988 Trail brakes have been great. With their finned brake pads and Ice-Tec brake rotors they are extremely quiet and very responsive.

If you have any questions about this bike or the components I selected to build it, feel free to contact me: Brian Waugh (510) 529-3043 or

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