The Endorphin is Knolly's lightweight Swiss Army knife of a bike that can do everything and do it well. Geared towards the aggressive rider, the Endorphin climbs efficiently and descends the roughest terrain with ease. Looking for an exceptionally well-rounded bike that can do it all? The Endorphin is your answer. Brand new design for 2013, the Endorphin can accept a plethora of fork options from 140-160mm of travel and at just 6.5 lbs. can easily be built up to the mid twenties while handeling the title "sturdy all-mountain ripper". Don't let the lightweight fool you, this frame can take a thrashing! Meticulously designed to be the 'one bike' for talented riders who happen to huck, jump and drop on their way around the mountain. A 1.5? head tube allows any fork / headset combo you want including Cane Creek's Angeleset. Additional features include cable routing for dropper seat posts, ISCG-05 tabs for chain guides, and Knolly total performance in every aspect of riding. Features: -Sizes: S, M, L, XL -Available Colors: Anodized Black, Day Glo Yellow, Raw and Britania Blue -Head Tube: Tapered 1.5", 44mm top and bottom headset cups -Suspension Linkage: Patented and proprietary Four by 4 Linkage -Tire Clearance: 26 x 2.5" -Front Travel: 140-160mm (5.5-6.3") -Rear Travel: 140mm (5.5") with Fox Float CTD shock -Rear Hub Spacing: 142mm x 12mm thru axle (included) -Dropouts: Replaceable derailleur hanger
Strengths: The 4x4 suspension is for real. Gobs of traction for climbing rocks roots. Frame is solid, stiff, no flex. The geometry makes this a just a fun bike to ride. The Britania Blue is awesome, pictures never do it any justice.
Weaknesses: Well if there is any weakness, it would be $$$. I almost did not pull the trigger on this one, but glad I did and would/will do it again without hesitation. I wouldn't knock it for not being the fastest climber or park bike because that's not the target for this bike.
I bought the Endo without having ridden one, let alone see one in person, or personally spoken to someone who has owned one. I read the reviews here and asked for a few opinions on the Knolly forum and rolled the dice. I built mine up as a light trail rig, 26 lbs with proven components. I do just as much climbing as I do decending out there, I love the way the Endo eats up terrain, its a very good at climbing technical stuff, its not jack rabbit fast going up hill but holds it own very well. When the trail points down, its is an absolute blast, very confidence inspiring. This thing loves to corner, just let off the brake and lean it over. Its not an XC racer or DH/Freeride bike, but it does everything in between very well. If you ever get a chance to ride one, do it, and find out why it keeps getting 5 chilis!
I've been riding my Endorphin hard for 6 months and still grin ear to ear every ride. The bike climbs well and the rear wheel sticks to the ground like glue. Pointed downhill, the bikes feels like my Podium but snappier. It has a side to side quickness like no other bike I've ridden and carves corners with ninja like characteristics . I came off a Nomad and wanted something that would climb better but not suffer on the downs. If you are an aggressive rider then this bike should be top of your list. I have yet to find a bike that feels as good as Knolly. This bike is designed for the rider to have a blast on the ups and downs; the most fun bike I have ridden to date.
Bike Setup: Xt drive train / brakes, xfusion slant 160mm fork, deity dirty. 30 bars,
KS lev 150 post , I9 Enduro Wheels, fox ctd shock
Date Reviewed: May 28, 2013
Strengths: Light with the right build; feels very stable at high speeds and jumps, but also easy to control at low speeds/climbing; Just feels great to ride!
Weaknesses: None so far, maybe a bit pricey
Come from downhill biking, this is my first enduro bike, so I was used to heavy and long-travel downhill mashines. Even though, I didn't really miss the comfort of long travel with the Endorphin. I ride it with a fox talas 36 (160mm) and an rp23 and it rather feels like a shorter travelled downhill bike than a XC-racer.
It truly feels like the riders skills is the only limit to what this bike can do, so far it handled all the trails I threw at it with ease!
If you want to get a bike to thrash down technical and/or fast trails with ease but still is able to climb, get the Endorphin!
Strengths: This bike carves through corners like no other bike I,ve ridden. Pointing it downhill , i am not only confident in how it will handle trails like martha creek, but i am giddy with a s---- eating grin at the start and finish. It may not be the lightest climber but it sticks to every root, rock, whatever... making technical climbs doable to the limit of your abilities.
Weaknesses: Colour choices this year, were not in my pallette, but almost everyone that sees my blue bike raves....who knew....
After testing numerous bikes in this realm from transition, devinci, specialized, and the like on the same one hr trail with climbs, xc, dh with drops, berms and steeps I kept thinking about the endorphin. My last frame broke, and I lost confidence in knolly but the new frame has more than addressed past issues. it feels as good or better, and knollys support guys went way out and beyond to return 'the stoke'. If you are an xc rider with a bent for aggro or dh type rides, i think this is the bike you need. really....
Favorite Trail: last one i rode....revelstoke road trip this year had some great lines-dh, xc, alpine meadows.....
Duration Product Used: half a dozen before winter kicked in
Purchased At: red shreds bike and
Similar Products Used: transition bandit and covert, devinci dixon,variety of specialized bikes(great demo program), trek and giant....my shop in town let me take bikes home and ride them on trails that i needed to ride to make up my mind.
Bike Setup: 150 forks with 20 mm axle with xt gear. hope hubs etc....low to hug the trail corners and berms, and not the lightest but not totally burly. built to be climbable yet tough enough to rip the downhills.
I had the good fortune of riding the 2012 Chilcotin and the 2013 Endorphin on the same trails that I normally ride my 09 Yeti 575. While I loved the Chilcotin, it's a bit on the heavy side and didn't seem to be that different from my 575. Then I tried the Endo. Wow. First thing I noticed was how quickly the bike accelerated. It felt like a 25lb XC rig and I just bolted the flat parts of my local trail. Then I took it for a ride down three of my favorite descents - a fast twisty rocky run with foot-deep holes, quick turns and a punchy rocky climb, a steeper sketchier descent with small 2-3ft. ledges, and a fast trail littered with choppy braking bumps and several little ledges in succession. My facial muscles were fatigued at the end of this test day from smiling so much.
The geometry is spot on. I loved the relaxed head angle, chainstay length, top tube length (XL) etc. Perfection. The bike climbed better than FSR bikes, and better than my 575. The only limiting factor on the downs was the Fox 34 compared to the 2012 Marz 55 I normally ride. Fox should have put the 20mm axle on that baby. The rear triangle on this bike (and the Chilcotin) is laterally very firm, making quick turns a blast and holding the line on choppy turns.
Even though I consider myself an AM rider with a preference for challenging descents, I prefer the Endorphin over the Chilcotin because it seems to do everything the Chilli does, but it's lighter and climbs better. A stout build on the Chili would make it a Shore or park bike. My only anxiety for the Endo is wheel size - I think the 27.5 will be replacing the 26er for the riding I like to do. Endo 275 anyone?
Similar Products Used: 2009 Yeti 575 with AM build, 2012 Knolly Chilcotin with AM build
Bike Setup: 2013 Knolly Endorphin with Fox CTD shock and 34 CTD fork.
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: April 10, 2012
Strengths: Beautifully made with excellent balance. The geometry and shocks are genius.
Weaknesses: None so far.
I left Specialized to go to a Knolle. Rode it once and I was sold. I knew when every employee at the bike shop was fighting over who would demo ride them on the weekend it was a great bike. My last bike limited the performance of the rider. On a knolly the limit is the rider’s skill.. this is a bike built to last and perform.
A little on the steep side in cost but well worth it
a Cross Country Rider
from Jakarta Indonesia
Date Reviewed: April 1, 2011
Strengths: bullet proof frame, great active suspension, top knotch company that backs it up
Weaknesses: none here but the cockpit (especially the seating position), and the rear sus set up will take a while to get right
great bike comes from a great company that backs theor product up. just please tell your international distributors to stock parts like bearings and bushing sets, took me awhile to get a replacement and i liaise direct with Knolly HQ
Bike Setup: talas 36 rc2, full xt drivetrain, tubeless 819 with nevegal front high roller rear, elixir brakes
a Weekend Warrior
from Austin, Texas
Date Reviewed: January 17, 2011
Strengths: Any aspect that you can think of when comparing bikes in this riding category, this one will be the best at it.
Don't know that I can say enough good things. But if you're looking for a 5.5" travel bike, this is the one to get. Sounds corny, but this bike will make you a better rider, and you'll have more fun doing it. Originally had it set up "light" and it came in around 28 lbs. Pedaled like a 20 pounder, yet handled drops like an 8" 45 pounder. Made some adjustments to beef up some components once I realized the bike wanted more, and it now comes in around 34 lbs--still pedals like a 20 pounder, but lands even better. When did an XC bike get it on with a FR bike? Who knows, but here is it's offspring that can do both, without sacrifices made to either category. I can stand & crank up steep gnar with no bob, and I can drop 7 footers to flat. What other FS bike can do this? I could go into more detail about how Knolly's design makes 5.5" feel like 8" while still pedaling better than a HT, but it would take forever, and you should already have your mind made by now. Great bike, great company, great customer service. EOS
Bike Setup: Vanilla on the front & RP 23 rear. Should be all that's relevant. The other components are things I like based on my style, but there's no point listing them because they don't effect the bike's review. Meaning, there is no point telling you I have triggers if you prefer twist...
a Weekend Warrior
from Alberta, Canada
Date Reviewed: September 29, 2010
Strengths: suspension design and frame geometry
Weaknesses: none, but perhaps not the ideal frame if having the lightest bike possible is at the top of your priority list
Wow. Absolutely no comparison to my previous bike even though they have the same 140mm of travel and similar "AM" intent.
Knolly's "tag line" is "reliable. predictable. performance." and I think that will pretty much sums it up. Time will tell with respect to reliability but that does not seem to be a problem with Knolly bikes. Even with only a handful of reasonably hard rides, I have to say I love the bike. Handles quickly and yet very stable. Suspension is unbelievable. Eats up bumps while climbing and at any speed going down. I feel like I'm riding a mini-DH bike instead of just bouncing wildly down the trail.
Others have commented in these reviews and on the Knolly forum that you have to position yourself "in" the bike rather than "behind" it. That reads kind of strange but its true. I found things work best when I am centred but low as possible and with my head/upper body a bit further forward than I would have initially thought (at least compared to my previous bike).
The bike has a very solid feel to it and the back end is very stiff laterally - I can easily tell the difference compared to my previous bike when pedaling and shifting (no more chronic ghost shifting and gear grinding, thank god).
This may not be the lightest,latest, greatest, etc. but if you want a bike that you can ride hard for everything from enduro XC to AM and even a bit of light duty FR/DH then the Endorphin is an excellent choice.
Similar Products Used: none really, coming from a 5 year old Cannondale Prophet 2000 with a Lefty.
Bike Setup: 2011 Fox 36 Float 160, CK headset, CK/819 (front), XT/819 (rear), maxxis 2.35 minions, all the XT parts off my old bike, Thomson seatpost & stem, cromag osx handlebar, 34lb even on my scale
a Cross Country Rider
from Lynn, Ma.
Date Reviewed: April 26, 2010
Strengths: Beautifully made. Attention to detail. Very solid feel on treacherous terrain. 160mm of travel.
Having the Endorphin and riding Lynn Woods on the north shore of Boston has made me a much better rider able to handle the punishment of The Woods! People who are familiar with this municipal park know what I mean.
Weaknesses: a tad on the heavy side but it makes the bike less sketchy on rough terrain. I wouldn't really call it a weakness
The best bike I've ridden in my 25 years of Mt. Biking.My buddy has a Titus Motolite Exogrid he paid twice as much for and I prefer the Knolly.In addition Knolly answers the phone,has great support and are very nice guys.
Similar Products Used: Maverick ML7/5.Nothing but trouble with this bike. The headset would ALWAYS come loose.
Bike Setup: Fox Talas 36.Avid Carbon brakes,Race Face Next carbon crank,Race Face Next carbon handlebars,Fox RP23,Thompson stem,Crank Bros.remote control seatpost,Hope hubs
a Weekend Warrior
from lima, peru
Date Reviewed: November 23, 2009
Strengths: versatility, efficiency, strength to weight ratio, suspension, coolness, frame stiffness, warranty and customer service
Weaknesses: broke seat tube but knolly responded as expected. You realize when service is good only when you have problem and knolly responded quick and to the point with no "buts" - very well.
Ok set up 1 works better for me as one bike only, this bike is more like an nomad or Enduro SL rather than a Stumpjumper or Blur. It is not Xc as described in their website is a pure all mountain for ""us"" the avg rider...
very efficient pedaling, climbs everything, suspension is excellent and when you go down at speed you realize its full potential. like it a lot. Like it so much that after using this bike for 8 months I bought an Additional Knolly DT.
This is why I went from set up 1 to set up 2, so now I have the DT for more heavy ridding and the endo more for XC in a lighter package.
If you do not ride too hard (jumps, etc) this is the bike for you not matter how heavy you are. If you ride in parks or jump high, etc go with the DT.
Similar Products Used: enduro sl if you can say something like that...
Bike Setup: Large white frame w/FOX RP23 - 2 tested setups:
1st all mountain: with specialized E150 double crown fork, mavics 721 laced to I9s, elixir cr, XT drive-train 33lbs
2nd XC: XTR drive-train, Fox talas 32, I9 ultra-lite, avid ultimate, easton monkeylite - 29lbs
a Weekend Warrior
from Vancouver, BC
Date Reviewed: November 13, 2009
Strengths: Where to start. The handling: this bike puts you right in the centre of it all, a place where you feel confident and balanced no matter what you're about to tackle or what you're faced with. When spec'd with the right parts for my neck of the woods, there simply isn't anything I can think of that would make the bike handle any better. Climbing is not an issue, and descending is simply a pleasure - confidence inspiring, fun enhancing, this is a frame design that will give your skills a push and will save your bacon if you make an error. The bike has that bottomless feel for travel, and the compression and rebound make the toughest parts of the trail a breeze - and yet technically challenging at the same time.
Weaknesses: With a Fox 36 and RP23 and some Maxxis tires, it weighs in at 33.44 lb, a bit heavier than I thought I would like. I have lost 4 lbs already from eating less and riding more, so a few more pounds of weight loss off my middle spare tire,and I will have the bike down into the high 20s or so. While not a bike weakness, the Endorphin makes me ride way faster than I'm capable of safely doing right now, thank goodness the brakes work so well. this bike wants to run fast, if you can call that a weakness. Actually, it brings out the weaknesses in me for some of my technique and handling skills.
Who should buy it? Anyone wanting a high quality, long lasting serious AM bike, this is it. Who shouldn't? Just weight weenies, but it can be built as low as 26lbs if you want.
I couldn't be happier. For years I've been buying the "last bike I'll ever need", and now I'm sure I've got it. Now I have to step up to what the bike can do, as each time I ride, it improves me and challenges me to try a bit harder section, or a bit steeper descent.
If you can get a demo bike to try, make sure you have some $ in the bank, you'll want to buy one.
Similar Products Used: Spec. Enduro, Stumpy FSR, VTach, Bullit.
Bike Setup: 2010 Fox Float 36 TALAS RC2; RP23 shock, Louise BAT discs SRAM X9 drivetrain and RaceFace cranks and bars etc.
a Weekend Warrior
from boulder, co
Date Reviewed: July 17, 2009
Strengths: strong, high quality construction, relatively light great climber and super stable on descents
Weaknesses: poor rear tire clearance in thick mud no other weaknesses
i bought this bike based only on the strength of reviews on this board, and in bike magazines. I was unable to arrange a test ride prior to buying and just went for it. huge risk for an expensive bike but it paid off. i couldnt be happier. the frame geometry fits me much better than the yeti 575 i owned prior, and the bike is just solid all around. the bike pushes me on climbs and feels very sturdy on descents. frame construction is burly and the bike turns heads. the bike is perfect for long cross country and all mountain rides and the fox 36 is super plush on aggressive descents. rear tire clearance in heavy mud was an issue on one ride i did but fortunately we dont get much mud here in colorado. no other compaints
Bike Setup: fox 36 talas, fox rp23, shimano xt, spank subrosa wheels, dt swiss hubs, chromag stem/saddle, race face cranks formula k24 brakes
from Alberta, Canada
Date Reviewed: March 17, 2009
Strengths: Quality of this frame is unlike anything I've seen before, USA/CDN made, customer service, low standover-curved top tube, ability to build it light or heavy and not compromise the build, bottom bracket stiffness, build kit choices. Proper hardware that is easy to source when needed. The cable routing is genius.
I always find these reviews on mtbr extremely subjective. So don't take my word for it but you owe it to yourself to see these frames in person and if you can get lucky enough to test one out do so. It'll change your current view on how a bike should ride, you'll be surprised at how XCish or AMish the Endorphin can be built. I was hesitant to jump on the bandwagon but after riding one for awhile I have no UGI running through my viens and will keep these bikes for a long time. No creaks, no funny noises from the frame, just a super quiet and efficient ride, climbing, decending, dropping-in, etc.
Similar Products Used: Turner, Titus, Intense, Ibis, Santa Cruz, Ellsworth and many more.
Bike Setup: Endo 1: full XTR, talas 140 15mm, RP23, SLR's, CC110 headset, Raceface Carbon bar and post, dues stem= 25.8lbs
Endo 2: talas 36, DHX air, Crossmaxx SX's, XTR shifter, FD/RD, cassette, dues cranks post, atlas bar/stem combo= 33lbs.
a Weekend Warrior
from Mexico, DF, Mexico
Date Reviewed: December 27, 2008
Strengths: Well, the geometry is excelent. I feel it has very good handling for singletrack, and it's also pretty stable on the downhills. The suspension is pretty well integrated, does what it supposed to do, and then some. The quality of the frame is very impresive, and it is pretty strong.
Weaknesses: Well... I don't know. Maybe that it's not the lightest bike out there, but it wasn't built (nor bought) for that.
I have used the bike not that much (or at least, not as much as I have liked), but it is pretty much the bike I was searching for. As a whole, it's pretty nice. Shifts and brakes smoothly, the suspension is pretty sweet, it works excelent with the fork set at 140mm for most of the time, and it rips the downs at 160mm. I have done things on this bike which I think I wouldn't had dared on my previous bike.
I'm 230lbs (plus gear), and the bike is pretty rigid, which is very confidence inspiring. However, if someone is looking for a light xc bike, this ain't it.
Here's a little trail bike action for ya, don't miss the last 30 seconds of this edit:
[URL="http://www.pinkbike.com/news/Knolly-Endorphin-Garett-Buehler-Edit.html"]Fun on a trail bike![/URL]Read More »
Ridiculous riding by a long haired freak of nature. Don't miss the last 30 seconds of this edit:
[URL="http://www.pinkbike.com/news/Knolly-Endorphin-Garett-Buehler-Edit.html"]Garett Buehler on his Knolly Endorphin[/URL]Read More »
recently my 09 knolly endorphin gave up on me, out of warranty and and not a fantastic "crash replacement" policy, led me to looking at something else.
i have a knolly delirium, so this is for more trail-ish type of stuff, and have read nothing but good stuff of all of them.
would anyone by an ... Read More »
Just built up my new endorphin. I've got 2 rides on it so far. Really love the way it rides on the trails. Tried to take it off some smaller doubles this evening and it bucks bad. I turned the rebound all the way slow and it's still faster than I would normally run any of my bikes. I took all t ... Read More »