Design the best suspension mountain bikes in the world, period. For our chief designer and CEO, Noel Buckley, this meant designing and patenting his own suspension platform, and then partnering with the best fabricators from around the world to bring his vision for each model to life. Choices like tubing, bearings, fasteners, and finishes are all deliberated carefully, since the finished product must ride ‘like a Knolly’.
Our bikes are an aspirational purchase for riders who know exactly what they want in a bike. These riders demand the latest & greatest in ‘standards’ conjured up by this fast moving industry, and they look for progressive geometry and rock-solid suspension philosophy and execution. And we deliver. We flood each design with all the latest industry features to keep Knolly owners smiling for days(and years). All this in a low maintenance package designed to stay on the trails, and stay OUT of the repair stand.
This is what sets Knolly Bikes apart from dozens of bike brands that choose to license a third party suspension design, or even choose parts of their frames from a catalog. Yes, you can do that… you can choose a pre-fabricated headtube or bottom bracket shell or dropout and purchase it for your bike design. That’s not how we do things here at Knolly. Every single tube is designed in-house and optimized for each model and intended purpose. These parameters affect choices like alloy series, tube shape and wall thickness, so each Knolly frame takes on a personality all its own. We don’t settle for cookie-cutter catalog frame parts, and quite frankly, neither should you.
This ‘ground up’ philosophy even applies to our patented and exclusive Four by 4 suspension platform. To learn more about our very special suspension design, please click on the ‘suspension’ tab found on this page.
Knolly Bikes was born 10 years ago on the shores of Vancouver, BC Canada. As we all know, this zone was the epicenter of the freeride movement in mountain biking, and continues to be a hot-bed for innovations in riding styles and bicycle design. BC riding will always be the driving force behind frame design here at Knolly.
While Knolly HQ is still based in Vancouver, BC, over the past couple years our little company has grown into a global collaboration. With offices and warehousing in Canada, USA, and the Far East, we have kept pace with the globalization of the biking industry, and have forged lasting relationships with the best fabricators from around the world.
But when all is said and done, who are we? We’re a bunch of riders, that’s who. Aside from that sounding a bit cliché, this means that we know what a rider’s priorities are. We strive to deliver ‘what matters’ to our customers, day in and day out. This means designing a high performance product that is reliable and easy to work on. But it also means providing top level customer service, by answering your emails and phone calls in a timely manner. After all, the little things matter, right?
We love our bikes, and we're sure you will too.
Here at Knolly Bikes, our goal is to make the best performing bikes in the world. Our motto is “Reliable Predictable Performance”, and that philosophy goes into every frame design and finished product. To ensure that our bikes are reliable and consistent performers, every aspect of design and construction of our frames is scrutinized. Here are some concepts in engineering that we take very seriously...
Is the single most important factor that determines how a bike is going to ride. A simple 1 degree difference in headtube angle can make the difference between feeling ‘sketchy’ or confident. We design all of our bikes to make the rider’s position on the bike a source of confidence, since when you’re feeling confident, you’re having fun. All Knolly models provide a comfortable, confident ride by utilizing a few key concepts:
STANDOVER HEIGHT – We design all models in all sizes to have very low standover measurements. This helps the rider feel ‘in the bike’ instead of ‘on top of the bike’. Low standover also helps with cornering and maneuvering, allowing the rider to lean the bike over while maintaining proper center of gravity.
THE 'ATTACK POSITION' - This is the position you assume when you are out of the saddle and ready to descend. This must be a position of total balance, where the rider can shift weight in any direction equally, and manipulate the bike as terrain and obstacles dictate. Proper balance is achieved in design by having reach measurements that coincide with the total length of the bike. This puts the rider in the middle over the bike, feeling confident.
FRONT END STACK HEIGHT - is another key to proper geometry. All Knolly models feature very short headtubes, which keeps the front end stack height as low as possible. This allows the rider to get over the front wheel, which is a key to proper traction and balance. This concept’s importance becomes magnified when the wheel size starts to grow. The headtube on our 27.5 models are among the shortest in the industry, ensuring that the rider can still get over the front of that taller wheel. Short headtubes also allow for longer travel forks that won’t throw intended geometry out of balance.
CHAINSTAY LENGTH – This is a highly debatable topic. It seems very trendy these days to have chainstays that are as short as possible. Here at Knolly we focus on balance. We design each model with stability and predictability as top priorities for all types of terrain. So depending on the model, you’ll see a chainstay length that will be appropriate for maneuvering and stability at high speeds.
This is an under-appreciated topic when discussing overall ‘ride feel’. Aluminum alloy tubes can feel very different from bike to bike depending on what metal series is used, and how it is manipulated. Our tubes are extensively hydro-formed and shaped into elegant lines that serve as the structural skeleton of our bikes. Knolly frames feel compliant and comfortable on the trail, with great vibration damping characteristics. We are very proud of how advanced our tubing technologies have become the past 3 years. Clean lines, clean welds, and no need for gussets.
This is our specialty. We are very proud of our patented and proprietary Four by 4 suspension system. Please visit the ‘suspension’ tab on this page to learn about our fantastic suspension platform.
This is how it all comes together and should not be overlooked. Choosing the proper fastener interface for a pivot location can mean the difference between a bike that rides like a wet noodle, or one that ‘rides on rails’. Our chief designer, Noel Buckley, had 10 years’ experience in engineering and design before ever entering the bike industry and this is on full display when you look at how our frames ‘come together’. In our newest models, we have taken things to the next level with respect to fasteners, by designing our own custom titanium pivot hardware. These slick little pieces serve as fastener and bearing cover, and we feel that everyone deserve s a little ti in their life.
Our main pivots rotate on dual row angular contact bearings, which are fastened with our custom oversized CNC’d axles. This combination results in superior lateral rigidity and high load carrying capability. Bearings at the main pivot locations are spaced as wide as possible to further increase rear-end stiffness. Pivots at the sub-linkage and chainstay rotate on a combination of sealed cartridge bearings and high-load bushings, all resulting in a low maintenance package that stays tight and feels great on the trails.
Here at Knolly, we realize that ‘the little things’ can make all the difference in your next bike purchase. This is why we keep pace with all the latest industry ‘standards’ and trends, which ensures your bike looks cool in the parking lot and performs ‘like a Knolly’ in the dirt. We love riding as much as you, which should be evident with our progressive designs and attention to detail.
The Four by 4 suspension platform is the cornerstone of Knolly Bikes. When our CEO and chief designer, Noel Buckley, set out to design his first bike(the V-Tach), he started with a certain suspension philosophy and a list of ride characteristics that were important to him. He designed the suspension technology first… prioritizing traction, ride balance, and suspension performance while braking. He rode the first prototype and knew he had a winning suspension design, so he applied for patents and Knolly Bikes was born.
Inspired by Formula One auto racing strut-style suspension, Knolly’s patented Four by 4 suspension technology provides freedom in design and execution that no other design in the industry can tout. This freedom means that Noel can design each model from the ground up and manipulate wheel path and shock progression completely independently. This allows each model to have suspension rate curves that are generally linear to progressive, which is important because it means your shock doesn’t have to ‘save the day’ by providing lots of bottoming resistance, as it would on a bike with a falling rate curve. This helps keep your shock from being over-worked and over-heating on long downhills, which can affect shock performance. This also helps maintain normal shock service intervals. Each of our bikes have rate curves and leverage ratios that are implemented for a certain type of riding(trail, AM, DH) while all models share some fundamental ride characteristics:
TRACTION – This is priority number one. Without traction, there is no confidence… without confidence, there is no fun. The Four by 4 is a fully active design that is all about traction. There is no complicated pedaling platform designed mechanically into our frames, which means there’s nothing getting in the way of you finding every ounce of traction on the trail.
Do you like technical climbing? There isn’t a better friend out on the ledgy climbs than our Four by 4 suspension. When you find yourself searching for every bit of grip out of your rear tire because you’ve committed to 30 foot section of the ‘steep and loose’, your Knolly will dig in and fight for as long as your legs can.
PEDALING – This doesn’t have to be over-complicated, but so many times, it is. Many bikes on the market these days feature suspension designs that require a certain amount of chain torque in order to pedal smoothly. The problem with this philosophy is that you are never able to turn this ‘feature’ OFF in order to enjoy fully active travel and optimal traction.
Knolly’s Four by 4 suspension pedals well in all iterations, without the need for complicated linkage tricks. Our active design provides a baseline for smooth pedaling characteristics, which can then be enhanced by any number of suspension shocks on today’s market. These shocks can provide a lockout or low-speed compression adjustment, which gives the rider total control over how the bike feels while climbing and descending.
BRAKING – This is often an under-appreciated topic when it comes to suspension. Braking forces can impact how your bike tracks and finds traction. The Four by 4 is a fully active design under braking forces, which is accomplished by proper pivot location. No brake induced suspension lockout, and no brake jack, just smooth and reliable suspension performance no matter how hard you’re gripping your brake levers.
Four by 4 is proprietary to Knolly Bikes, which means we do not license the design out to any other manufacturer.