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: 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.
Similar Products Used: I came from a Titus Moto Lite. Pretty good bike, but I prefer the Endo.
Bike Setup: Endorphing w/RP23, Lyric Coil, Magura brakes, X9/XT drivetrain.
a Cross Country Rider
from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Date Reviewed: December 20, 2008
Strengths: In 25 years of mountain biking the Knolly Endorphin is best bike I have come across, period. The ride is incredible. It climbs like a mountain goat and descends extremely well for a bike in its weight class. The workmanship is first class all around. It is a piece art. The lateral rigidity is out of this world. This bike is about as good as it gets! The anodized finish is outstanding.
Weaknesses: The Endorphin has no weaknesses that I have encountered after a full hard season of riding.
If you are looking for a top-end 6 inch bike, the Knolly Endorphin will impress. Even after hundreds of hours of riding this bike, I am still amazed on how well it rides. Noel has made no compromises in designing and building this bike. The Endorphin is as good as it gets in both quality and performance!
Similar Products Used: Over the years the rides I have had include Ritchey Ultra, Rocky Altitude, Rocky Blizzard, Specialized FSR, Kona Stinky, Giant NRS and Banshee Chaparral.
Bike Setup: Race Face Atlas cranks, XT derailleurs, cassette, shifters & pedals, Chris King hubs and headset, mavic 721 rims, Thomson seatpost & stem, Flite seat, fork Marzocchi Z1 Freeride (20mm), Hayes Stroker Trail brakes w/6 inch rotors.
a Weekend Warrior
from Metro Manila, Philippines
Date Reviewed: September 13, 2008
Strengths: Looks - appearance looks like a killer bike...
Suspension - The 4 by four linkage... this suspension really works in uphill and downhill... one of the best technology out there
Paint - does not chip
Geometry - the geometry of the bike design is awesome.. coming from a 5" bike, i thought i will have to sacrifice the climbing part of my biking, but after a a couple of months used, I am really amazed of the climbing prowess of this bike... absolutely phenomenom climber for a 5.5" bike.. this bike lives up to its patented suspension...Four by 4 linkage... it is indeed the 4x4 of Mountain bikes
Descent- this is where this bike is sensational... It doesnt feel like a 5.5" bike when it goes down rocky and rooty descents.. it feels that it has more travel...
Climbing - Climbing a rocky hill and technical climbs, or just climbing some steep paved road... you can feel the traction of the wheel, very confidence inspiring! I feel that there is no energy wasted
Stiffness - this bike is awesomely stiff... similar stiffness with my ML
Customer service - A1!!! Noel buckley even guided me about the size that suits me... above and beyond customer service
Weaknesses: So far none..
This a very stiff bike, I love how the suspension works goin downhill, it just bombs the rocky and rooty descents in our raw undeveloped local trails, feels more like a 6" bike than a 5.5"... it goes really fast going down, and there is the amazing feeling that this bike can handle huge rocks and ruts.. Going uphill, I thought I will have to sacrifice this part, by going slow... I am very surprised, that this beast climbs amazing..The traction of the rear tire can be felt in technical climbs and in rocky climbs... so I get the best of both worlds with this bike... Climbs well and descent well.. cannot ask for more with this bike... this is a stellar bike.... Mountain bikers who wants and loves to bomb rocky descents and will not have to sacrifice their climbing ability will definitely love this bike... Awesome! amazing! stellar! I got this bike because of the review in the Forum, ... Now I know why the owners of this bike rave about it. I love it : )
Favorite Trail: Sta Rosa/cavite/Baguio/batangas trails
Duration Product Used: 3 months
Purchased At: Sabak Sports and Adv
Similar Products Used: Motolite
Bike Setup: small black anodized endorphin frame, float rlc, xo rear der, xo shifters, juicy 7 brakes, mvic 819 rims, chris king hubs, dt revolution spokes, Thomson 100mm stem, thomson seatpost, kenda nevegal tires, xt front der, shimano pedals, xtr crank, max m handlebar, xtr skewers,
a Weekend Warrior
from Australia, Tasmania
- Pedals very efficient yet supple with traction climbing.
Corners like it is on rails. In fact better than rails.
- Handles chop and high speed runs very smoothly and stable.
- Rockets through single track.
- Spot on linkage rates and tuning.... perfect is a good way to describe it!
- Neutral braking and pedaling. When you are riding the steeps and your on the Anchors... rest assured the wheels will be still glued to the terrain.
- On steep climbs it easily finds traction whether your on or off the saddle. On long climbs it's efficient.
Did I already mention how agile,stiff and responsive it is?
Trust - It's designed by Noel Buckley.
The Endorphin lives up to it's name. The harder you ride it, the more it responds. For XC I found the Endorphin surprisingly better than my Motolite.... up or down or sideways. I always knew the Endorphin would be better going down but finding out it outshines the ML in XC and is more agile at the same time, was a very very pleasant surprise.
The Endorphin loves steep terrain and is definitely Is the single track surgeon. The handling is truly sensational and is also a switchback slayer. Very balanced in switchbacks.
The Endorphin not only shines in XC, but point it straight into the Chunk and ride it. It is surprising, really, how composed the Endorphin can be. It will get you onto trouble but will also get you out. This thing is only a trail bike... I'm busting to see what sort of trouble the Delirium T can get me onto.
With stiff dropouts there is not stutter or chop felt at the rear wheel axle when you expose the bike to maximum lateral loads. When you ride the Endorphin into some technical terrain feel free to check out the highlights if the scenery. The Endorphin is so confidence inspiring with it's agility and sheer rigidity it will keep the chosen line.
Bolt up any shock to it... the linkage rates are tweaked to deliver the goods on the drops, yet get you up that monster rock infected climb.... it will even live happily ever after in flat terrain. Pedals and climbs efficient and will corner like there is no tomorrow.
Six months on and I still have those happy new bike endorphins flowing through me. Each ride still delivers some aspect of discovery. I'm still stoked.