The V-tach frame is designed to be a solid chassis for building up an aggressive freeride bike. Its unconventional design is actually a combination of innovative features seamlessly meshed with proven bicycle technology. This is NOT a longer travel trail bike or a shortened DH bike. Every design and manufacturing aspect of the V-tach frame is based on building the highest performing aggressive freeriding frame available.
Strengths: ***Build quality***, adjustable geometry, super stiff, slack seat tube angle (see below), super tough, and a comfortable bike to climb with! Customer service direct from the guys at Knolly (Noel et al) is great - very unusual to be able to talk directly to the owners for advice.
Weaknesses: hard to clean! Mud builds up quickly around BB area, and the anodized black is very hard to clean! The other weakness is my fault - I put a 66 ATA on this frame... big mistake on my part! Frame weight is NOT a detractor - pedalling efficiency and fore-aft balance makes this bike feel much lighter than most.
I chose the V-Tach over the Delirium T for the added strength, and I haven't looked back once. This bike pedals uphill freakishly well for being 43 pounds! This is my 'one bike does all' - despite the weight, I pedal this (easily) up most DH trails I come down. I've landed stunts I probably shouldn't have tried, so this bike definitely is a confidence booster. It's got great stability, adjustable HA and chainstay length, and is very strong - when it occasionally lands a jump without me, I know it's still intact. The slack seat tube angle is an excellent design feature - when you're climbing the reach is perfect, and when you're descending, the seat is forward and out of your way. Easily my favourite bike to-date. I've only had this bike 3 months, but it's relatively high cost is justifiable and well worth it!
Strengths: Solid, agile, fast, stiff, adjustable head angle and chain stays, it's really versatile, and this baby can climb. Stability is a rare thing in a relationship.
Weaknesses: None...everything can be adjusted, even the weight!
Confidence inspiring is how I would describe this bike -- that and stiff, agile, versatile, and fast. Maybe awe-inspiring is a better description.
My first day on this bike was my first day ever on a downhill bike, and of course, I took it to Whistler. Yeah, okay, I warmed up on B-Line for a couple of runs. I was a little reluctant about hitting the trails too hard on my first day because I wasn't totally confident and it was all pretty new to me. So, then I ran into a guy from my neighborhood and we took the Garbanzo lift and rode our brains out down O-Sin, Freight Train, Dirt Merchant and A-Line...in thick fog, rain and mud! I will NEVER forget my first time riding that step-up next to the O-Sin hip at high speed in fog so thick you could barely even see it from the top of the run.
The thing is, I had never ridden these trails at any kind of speed before, and my first day on this bike it felt like I had been born riding them. The bike felt so good to ride I couldn't get enough, and it haunted me.
After a few more days like that in Whistler, including an incredible two-day Richey Schley clinic, I took it home and started riding with the Fluidride camps. Oh man...! I steepened up the head angle a bit and shortened the chain stays so that I could experiment with the feel of the bike, so it wasn't quite as fast riding with Simon Lawton and company as it was in Whistler, but it was very agile while still being quick on some very technical downhill trails. I believe that this bike could smoke on a race course, so that is where I am going next.
I have read and been told great things about the Knolly V Tach. It feels great to be able to confirm them for myself. As to whether or not you should buy one, well, the path is yours, Grasshopper.
Bike Setup: DHX5, '07 888s, Sun MTX rims, Race Face Diabolus cranks, XT Shadow rear derailleur, Avid Code brakes, white Deity handelbars, Maxxis Minions
a Weekend Warrior
from Fresh Meadows, NY, USA
Date Reviewed: January 25, 2008
Strengths: This bike is totally bomb proof. It holds it line great due to the extreme lateral stiffness of the frame. Its adjustability makes her right at home on the trail, freeriding, or even downhilling. She has a very low stand over height plus a fantastic stance and geometry.
Weaknesses: It’s hard to say because its weakness is also a major strength. The weakness (or strength) is its overall weight. My frame without the shock weighs 12.5 pounds so she can be a bit heavy in the trail during the climbs. At the same time this weight accounts for it rigidity and overall stability so it’s not really a complaint.
This bike is totally sick. Noel and Trevor gave some great advice on how to build her up and I took their advice (very nice and smart men). I spent a fortune trying to keep her light and strong (44 pounds as is) and I don't regret spending such a massive chuck of cash building her this way. I have never had more fun on a bike and my other bikes are getting allot less play time as she is surprisingly diverse. If you don't mind spending the cash pony up and get one. You will not regret it and if for some strange reason you do anyone of your friends will take it off your hands in a moments notice at a fair price. No other company has better customer service. The bike is great, the company is awesome and the people who build the bike and work at Knolly are even better. Talking anymore would be pointless. It’s like trying to explain being in love to someone who has never been in love. You must experience it to truly get the point.
Similar Products Used: Nothing even close. On the surface it may seem similar to other but when ridden its is Alien (in a good way).
Bike Setup: Cane creek double barrel/ converted ata 66 to an RC2/ I9's with mavic 721 rims/ X0 everything/ D2 stem/ 08 Avid codes/ twenty 6 pedals/ wtb 2.55 prowlers/ Mavic speedball seat post with remote/ Dual ring set up with chain guide
from Vancouver, BC, Canada
Date Reviewed: September 10, 2007
Strengths: Great descender. Nimble and still very stable. Massive durability. Reliable and confidence-inspiring under all conditions.
Weaknesses: Durability and reliability might weigh a little more than something built on dreams and fireroads.
The best freeride bike ever. Confidence-inspiring under all conditions. Durable beyond words. Amazingly nimble considering how stable it is at speed. Boutique-level price, but hey, you get what you pay for.
Similar Products Used: Santa Cruz VP Free, Specialized Enduro, Specialized SX Trail, Turner RFX, Specialized Big Hit DH
Bike Setup: 721/Hugi 400 wheelset, Saint 8" brakes, Diabolus cranks and bars, 888 SL1 ATA, X9 drivetrain and E13 SRS
from Vancouver, BC, Canada
Date Reviewed: August 30, 2007
Strengths: Too many to list, but I'll try: - perfect cable routing guides (seen too many bikes where this is overlooked) - full seat tube is wicked in the winter (no telescoping post) - 150x12 axle and burly rear-end design makes for super stiff rear end (Knolly uses better quality and bigger bearings than almost any bike company). the rear end on the V-Tach looks and feels more solid than pretty much anything I've ever seen or ridden. - with 7.5" of rear travel, this bike can still do all-day rides if you're a little crazy or your smaller bikes are broken (like pedalling all 3 North Shore mountains in the Triple Crown Ripper) but still have enough travel to hit bigger drops and flow chundery rocky freeride/DH lines with speed and confidence - adjustable chainstays (17.0" to 17.8") change the bike's handling from slow-speed tech/climbing friendly to more DH-style angles in only a minute. - adjustable head angle nice touch to allow a more climbing-friendly or more DH-friendly angles, depending on what you're riding that day (this bike can run a granny ring) - beefy replaceable dropouts and super-thick derailleur hanger are very tough, plus cheap in the unlikely event you need a new one - ISCG chainguide mounts and e-type derailleur allow for setup of solid dual-ring chainguide if so desired - Knolly's 4x4 linkage seems to put very little stress on rear shocks and bushings -- shock bushings ("DU"s) seem to last forever on these bikes
Weaknesses: - decals could be more durable - frame weight could be an issue for very very light riders (around 12.5lbs with coil) - not the cheapest bike out there, but you're gonna have to pay more to get a bike this good - the Delirium is only 1" less rear travel, but saves around 2 lbs of frame weight and is a little cheaper ... unless you really go fast or send it large, you may want to consider the Delirium if you plan to do any really huge pedalling on the bike
You can definitely pedal this thing all day and because it pedals so efficiently (and can take a granny ring), you can still keep up with people on smaller rigs. But then when you point it downhill you've got a freeride bike to smooth out any chundery sections or nasty drops. It's a little uncanny to ride this bike as it seems to have almost 2 personalities. Because of the rear end stiffness, the bike stays plush and is super quiet even when doing nasty things like landing sideways into gnar/rocks.
The adjustable head angle and chainstays are a very nice touch and like the Delirium, they really alter the ride so that you can dial things in for some old-school tech North Shore riding or some Bike Park action.
This is a wicked Freeride bike, or as I'd call it, a "big trail bike". Noel of Knolly has thought of absolutely everything, just look at the only things I could up with as downsides. If this is more bike than you need at 7.5", you should check out the Knolly Delirium-T... :)
Bike Setup: Boxxer World Cup, Saint Cranks, X.0, Mavic 721 with 2.5" DH Nevegals / xc tubes = 41-42 lbs
from San Diego, CA
Date Reviewed: August 21, 2007
Strengths: craftsmanship, engineering, attention to detail, customer service
Weaknesses: weight, but that's getting picky
I can echo all of the positive qualities of this bike like the other reviewers have (I've never been more impressed with a bike) but I want to focus on a different aspect of the bike...Noel himself.
When I finally convinced myself to pull the trigger, it was less than 1-week away from our departure to Whistler (about 1 year ago). Noel was very accessible and a great resource in helping me. He would always be upfront with me, even if it wasn't what I wanted to hear. But the extra mile was when he was able to get me my frame and a number of other parts to me in VERY rushed fashion. (Special thanks here to Larry at MtnHigh as well.) There must've been a million different things to coordinate, but Noel was always willing to go WAY out of his way to help. To me, that speaks volumes of a company. There is no doubt in my mind that I can always get top-shelf customer service from Knolly. Add that to a first-call product...what more could you want! Kudos to you, Noel...
a Cross Country Rider
from Cardiff, UK
Date Reviewed: August 21, 2007
Strengths: I'm 6'1" and the large fits me perfectly. Saddle up and it climbs incredibly well, saddle down and it descends even better. As others have said, it's very laterally stiff and the rear suspension just gets on and does its job.
Weaknesses: Err, can I get one in titanium?
I've only owned the bike for 2 months so have had limited time on it but it's spent a week in Alpe d'Huez where I rode the Mega Avalanche on it. That's a pretty pedally course but the V-Tach rode it beautifully. In the UK I've ridden 50km through mid-Wales including some hefty climbs and kept up with guys on xc bikes, then blew them away on the descents.
Strengths: high-end fabrication and materials throughout thoughtful design elements overbuilt adjustable head angle and chainstay length massive lateral stiffness very active suspension neutral pedaling and braking pedals like its 5 pounds lighter than it is continuous seat tube progressive suspension, even throughout travel customer service (best there is)
Weaknesses: expensive, but you get what you pay for overbuilt, but for most people this is a positive heavy (again, its built tough and it rides light)
unreal attention to detail and quality manufacturing and materials really set this frame apart in a league of its own. no more worrying about loose or creaky pivots. lateral stiffness is weird at first unless you're used to a scream or demo. rear end tracks exactly where it should. gets more stable the faster you go, but still very manouverable. very sensitive suspension and nicely progressive with a very low leverage ratio. i've ridden many bikes and this is by far my favorite - i've never heard any other knolly owner say anything different. if you ride a lot, this is the last bike you'll buy for a long time.
Similar Products Used: vaguely "similar" bikes are banshee scream, demo 8/9 (ie. overbuilt, heavy, stiff, pedal/brake well)
Bike Setup: 888, loaded
a Weekend Warrior
from Seattle, WA, USA
Date Reviewed: August 20, 2007
Strengths: rear suspension performance, attention to detail, quality of the craftmanship,
Weaknesses: None identified yet, other than the Axiom pedals that i had specced.
I am totally stoked on this bike. Speak to anyone that I ride with and they will confirm that my confidence and riding skills have improved a ton in the last 3 months. Noel set it up in the full FR mode and I havent even got around to experimenting / changing any of the adjustable settings yet (chainstay / head angle). I love steep tech trails and this bike feels really balanced and nimble in tight situations.
I struggled at first with the Fox DHX5.0 on the rear end, but Noel totally sorted me out one morning on the phone when I was up at Whistler, i basically had way too little sag, once I dialled the rear suspension in, I was blown away. I have ridden this bike at least 20 days at Whistler, a couple days on the Shore and a few days on local Seattle FR trails and every day it just gets better as I learn what the bike is capable of.
If you want a bike that was designed to ride steep and gnarly trails, was built with passion (meet Noel and you will know what I am talking about), is locally manufactured, uses only the highest quality bearings and components and will make you feel like a king every time you ride it...then you are looking at the right bike. The after sales support I have had from Knolly has been unbelievable.
I am extremely hard on my equipment and needed a bike that could stand up to the abuse I was going to throw at it and could also deal with the wet and mud of the PNW...so far I am 100% stoked.
Bike Setup: 888 RC2X, DT Swiss + 6.1D Rims,SRAM, Magura Louise, Race Face
from North Vancouver
Date Reviewed: August 20, 2007
Strengths: Super burly frame design, laterally stable, great to pedal uphill, reliable, continuous seat tube, adjustable head angle and virtually maintenance free. This bike kills it on the fast downhill, but equally good on skinnies and technical freeride of the north shore.
Weaknesses: NONE - this product is designed to be disassembled and the bearings and bushings can be replaced if needed. Any weakness can be serviced, and the bike is returned to it's original factory condition.
If you like compromise - don't buy this bike If you don't ride much - don't buy this bike If you like offshore manufactured crap - don't buy this bike If you like mechanical failures - don't buy this bike
Similar Products Used: VPFree, Norco 6.2, Nomad, Bullit
Bike Setup: Manitou Travis 180 single crown, Magura Louise brakes, SRAM X-9, Shimano XT front derailler, DTSwiss 440 hubs laced to DTSwiss 5.1D's. Midweight freeride setup. Have also tried a V-tach with a 888 triple crown, and that was solid but slightly heavier.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: May 28, 2007
Strengths: rails thru corners, provides plush landings...very confidence inspiring and an efficient climber for a freeride rig
Weaknesses: none discovered yet
this is a top of the line freeride bike. while it is a touch on the pricey side, you are a better rider once you throw a leg over the top tube. easy to set on edge to carve turns and responsive when you need a few extra pedal strokes. the bike is ultra smooth off drops and forgives many rider mistakes. almost more important than the bikes performance is the level of enthusiasm and customer support exhibited by noel and tim at knolly bikes. i was a touch apprehensive about buying a high end bike from a company 3000 miles away but after many emails with noel and tim i knew i could trust them to stand behind their product. i would encourage anyone who is thinking about these bikes to email them with any questions. their knowledge and energy regarding their product and mtn biking in general is boundless.
Bike Setup: i9 wheelset, magura louise brakes, marz 66, fox dhx, race face components
Date Reviewed: April 26, 2007
Strengths: Everything.Words can not describe how good this frame is.
Weaknesses: No weaknesses here,bub.
This is the Rolls Royce of freeride bikes.So much thought went into designing and building this frame.The attention to detail on this frame is unreal.It has every feature you could ever want in a big-mountain freeride machine.You want adjustability? There's a whole lot of it.Are you looking for the best in materials and craftsmanship,made in North America out of North American materials? This is it.You want a stout 150mm wide rear end,but want to run 2 rings and have absolutely no chainline problems whatsoever? Gotcha covered! Customer service a priority for you in deciding which brand to go with? Noel,Tim,and the rest of the people at Knolly are 100% committed to backing their product,not to mention they are friendly and helpful.The 4x4 suspension design is a step above the rest.Full seatpost!This is THE frame to buy if you are serious about freeriding.Pony up and build it nice.
Bike Setup: '07 Marz 888 World Cup,Marz ROCO World Cup w/ Ti spring,Race Face Diabolous cranks,bars,and seatpost,'07 Hope Mono 6Ti brakes,Shimano XT front and rear derailleurs,shifter pods,and cassette,WTB LaserDisc DH rims,Hadley hubs front and rear,Maxxis Minion DH front and rear tires,Easton Flatboy pedals,WTB Power V saddle,Lizard Skins North Shore Lock-on grips.
a Weekend Warrior
from London, England
Date Reviewed: August 25, 2006
Strengths: This frame is handmade and shows. This is not a cheap bike but in terms of value it is worth every penny. Build quality is second to none, there is no flex from the rear end and best of all this bike is silent, even off jumps and drops. Looking over the bike it is obvious that this has been engineered to a high degree. Weight is kept to the right areas, adjustability is simple yet solid, rear wheel interface is uncomplicated unlike some other bikes out there. All in all it is a well thought out, well manufactured bike of all bikes.
Like all other riders on this review forum it seems to bolster confidence is all areas. It allows you to concentrate on your riding as there is no creaking, clattering or back end flex.
This is an awesome bike for all levels and abilities. It is not the lightest but due to the way the bike is set up it pedals really well; the pedalling efficiency almost offsets the weight penalty!
Adjustablity allows for all applications: Low BB, slack HA, short CS for North Shore/freeride Low BB, slack HA, long CS for high speed stuff, DH/A-line etc Higer BB, tighter HA, short or long CS for trail riding etc.
If you get a chance go and take one for a spin, you will be sold.
Bike Setup: 66RC, Avid Juicy 5, Saint, Chris King, Hope Pro II, Mavic 729, Race Face seat, stem and bars, ODI Ruffian
a Weekend Warrior
from Renton, WA
Date Reviewed: August 3, 2006
Strengths: Rails corners like a go-kart! Seriously most drops at Whistler I barely could tell when I landed. Extremley confidence inspiring, made me a better rider instantly.
Weaknesses: Looks almost too good too ride!
Of course the best bike I've ever owned but also the best one ever ridden. Was shopping for a new DH bike, but not one in that $ range(not a racer). The guys at Fanatyk Co in Whistler let me demo one and I almost refused because I really wanted to demo one I would think about buying. After one run I was almost sold. Two runs and my bank account is tapped!. This bike is awesome! I now have a whole new appreciation for the sport and I am doing things that I would probably never before think about. By the way I met Noel-Knolly owner- up there, and what an awesome guy. Really loves and cares about the sport. Hand builds every frame and it shows.
I just picked up this used(but like new) Delirium T to use as my pedal/play bike:thumbsup:.
I only have one ride on it and I can't believe the difference 11lbs makes;)
I'll still ride the V-Tach 90% of the time but the DT sure is a fun bike:thumbsup:Read More »
not mine or anyone i know; just know i've heard it described as the best knolly evAr. PSA.
remove or flame as necessary.
happy new year.
[url=http://www.ebay.com/itm/Knolly-V-Tach-Large-Mountain-Bike-Freeride-Downhill-/170737719545?pt=Mountain_Bikes&hash=item27c0c2d8f9#ht_556wt_1219]Knol ... Read More »
I have a question about the linkage plates/rocker plates on my V-Tach...(where you can adjust the headtube angle)
Has anyone ever had the adjustment(that ecentric part for adjusting the headtube angle located between the rocker plates) move when riding??
I know mine was set in the middle and e ... Read More »
I have a bead on some Saint cranks. The problem is from all the interneting I've done they are not compatible with any single ring chain guides that mount a bash guard to the cranks like an E13 SRS (has to do with the wider chain ring mounting tabs). That leaves me with a taco style bash guard. I do ... Read More »
Well I've been looking for a strong frame for my freeride bike that can take a beating,,
It came down to the V-tach or the Cove STD....
I liked both bikes, but in the end I decided on the V-Tach mainly because it seemed like a beefier frame..
I know most of you will probably laugh at the weig ... Read More »