Thursday, January 17, 2013

Knolly Endorphin: The perfect trail bike for the aggressive rider!

Knolly's Endorphin may be the Chilcotin's younger brother, but if I was daddy, the Endorphin would probably be my favorite son! Versatility is the name of the game with the Endorphin.  

You can build up to be a svelte lightweight marathon bike (under 25 lbs.) with a 140mm fork or build it up to compete in the ring with the Chilcotin by throwing on a 160mm fork and some beefy tires as this frame has an appetite for technical terrain! Coming from the Chilcotin (which I loved) as my primary trail / all mountain bike, I didn't want to sacrifice descending capabilities.  However, I wanted to drop some weight as I felt like the Chilcotin was like bringing a RPG to a gun fight with most of the riding I do here in the SF Bay area. My large Endorphin came in at 28.5 lbs. with pedals ... 3 lbs. less than my Chilcotin!

For this build, I wanted to go with a Wrench Science theme so I incorporated orange wherever I could without going over the top.  The raw color that Kevin from Knolly suggested looks great with this theme.

Co-branded by yours truly, this represents the great relationship we have built between Wrench Science and Knolly.

I went with Race Face for the cockpit. Their new SixC 785mm bar is awesome! I have used this bar on my Podium and loved it but I also wanted something wider on my trail rig. I definitely feel a leverage advantage when climbing and a huge boost in control when ripping down the descents.

Paired to the Race Face Turbine stem, this combination looks great! The Turbine stem is CNC machined and actually lighter than a Thomson stem

Keeping the Wrench Science theme going, I used our new custom Wrench Science headset top cap and matching alloy bolt in orange that matches the Chris King headset perfectly.

I stuck with Shimano M988 XTR trail brakes which have an immense amount of power, great modulation and are the most reliable brakes we have been able to find. For seamless integration I went with an I-Spec M980 XTR shifter which makes the look really clean!

If you haven't heard about clutch derailleurs, you need to come out of your cave! Shimano's M986 XTR rear derailleur shifts smoother than a hot knife through butter with an XTR 11-36t cassette and XTR chain. The Shadow Plus feature is truly amazing and cuts down on chain slap dramatically. Making riding more enjoyable as you slay technical terrain like a silent ninja! 

Race Face has done a great job with the SixC component line and I have been running the cranks for a couple of  years now. I decided to stick with the SixC crank arms and 32t Single Ring for this build as well. The orange chainring bolts really tie the theme together! I have always been a fan of MRP products and have run several of their chain guides on my bikes over the years, however the new AMG guide's simplicity was perfect for this build. The guide is basically a G3 guide without the lower roller as you really don't need it when you run a clutch derailleur such as Shimano's Shadow Plus. The backing plate is beautifully machined and the upper guide is made from a nylon material now resistant to cracking and also has a small piece of what looks like surgical tubing where the chain comes in contact with the guide to keep everything running smoothly. Genius! The guide is light and quiet which is perfect for trail / all mountain bike applications.

The Chris King bottom bracket looks great and is totally rebuildable meaning I will have one bottom bracket for the life of this bike!

I decided to go with Enve AM rims with stock custom orange decals and orange Chris King ISO hubs on this wheel build. The rims can be run tubeless, they are super light and nearly bomb proof. The Chris King hubs speak for themselves as their "angry bee" nearly instantaneous engagement is legendary. Quality and beauty is the name of the game here as I have always been happy with my Chris King hubs in the past.

For the fork I went with Fox's 34 Float set at 150mm travel. The 34 chassis is nearly as stiff as it's stouter brother the 36 while dropping nearly half a pound. The CTD feature (Climb, Trail and Descend) is pretty functional and I find myself using it on the fork and shock through out the ride helping me maximize efficiency and opening it up to "descend" position when bombing technical terrain.

KS Suspesnion's LEV seatpost is great as the cable is in a fixed position on the post alleviating the annoying cable hitting me in the leg when dropped. The 150mm of infinite adjustability allows me to have my saddle exactly where I want it when I want it to be there.

A great view as if you were getting ready to throw a leg over the bike. I love how all of the orange ties everything together!

Maiden voyage was at Anandel State Park in Santa Rosa. 20 miles long and over 2600' of climbing and descending affirmed that the Endorphin rocks and really excels in all terrain! Annadel challenges you with technical rocky climbs, smooth single track and wide open flowy descents which makes for a great ride that always keeps you engaged. 

Are you looking for a lively trail bike that gives you the green light to push it harder on the descents? You should look at the Knolly Endorphin!

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


Anonymous said...

How tall are you? i cant decide between med. or lrg.. I'm 5'10"

Henry said...

Hey there,

It would be most likely a Medium for you, but depending on your body measurements, you could be in-between sizes.

Contact us if you're free,

Thanks and have a great day!