BIKE CHECK: Whistler Youth Fugitive 138

BIKE CHECK: Whistler Youth Fugitive 138

Posted by Noel Buckley on

Rider Name: Nick Mikkelsen
IG handle: @nick.mikk
Bike model: 2021 Knolly Fugitive 138 – size large

Home town/where do you ride (trails):

I live in Whistler, BC and ride mostly local and throughout the Sea2Sky region, including Pemberton and Squamish. I’m a big advocate of our trails and trail building in the Sea2Sky, and am thankful for all the work done by WORCA, PORCA, and SORCA to keep our trails running so well.

Bike specs: did you do anything custom to make this build special?

This new Fugitive is going to be my go-to do-anything trail bike this season and I’ve tried to build it up for the super rough and technical trails of Whistler, while still allowing it to be solid when I get to open it up on the flow in Pemberton. Fortunately, due to team support from Knolly, Zep Racing, Chromag, and Coastal Culture Sports, I was able to customize the standard DP kit to suit my dream build.

I really buffed up the frame to a sweet almost-polish (the beauty of a raw frame)! This is topped off by super cool colour-change “Fugitive” stickers thanks to Ken at Knolly. It seemed only necessary to keep the bike themed in silver and black. As such, it was obvious to build the best Knolly trail-bike with a Pike Ultimate in its sweet satin silver colour. It feels good and looks good! I find the RockShox forks feel small bump sensitivity for lighter riders, as I only weigh 145 pounds, but with a volume spacer and 65psi, it offers enough big hit support.

Chromag released a limited edition OSX bar in polished silver that was a no-brainer. I’m a fan of going back to alloy bars and 31.8 clamp for a bit of added flex in the front, cut down to 760mm in width. I paired this with the Ranger V2 stem in black for a super light and strong cockpit. I’ve also always ridden Chromag saddles, so decided to try the new “Lift” saddle. A few rides in and it feels classic Chromag.

I have Light Bicycle carbon wheels on Hope hubs on my Warden, but decided to go with the Knolly-supplied Spank wheels, as their new Hex hub with 102 teeth of engagement seems well sorted and I love quick engagement (3.5 degrees). And the Spank alloy hubs have held out really well for many of my friends. Several rides in, they are true as day 1 and the engagement is amazing.

Otherwise, the rest of the bike is full SRAM GX Lunar with 32 on the front and 52 on the rear. Perfect for the technical grinds on Whistler’s Westside. Brakes are SRAM Code because SRAM Code.

How tall are you & what’s your bike size: how does your new ride fit you?

I’m only 15, but already almost 5’11. So it was time to move up to the size large. I’ve got the RockShox Reverb in the 175 drop and only have about 1cm of seat post exposed, so I’ll have a really great range of seat height to play with. I’m running the 31mm Ranger V2 stem, to keep my front end short.

Overall, the fit feels great. I’m mostly running the bike in neutral mode as I’ll have a Chilcotin this year to replace my Warden Mullet as my slack trail smasher and bike park bike. So the trail-spec Fugitive 138 coupled with the Chilcotin will be the ultimate mix!

Ride performance: what do you like best about it? How is it performing on the trails?

I am coming off a size medium Fugitive V1 ST. Other than the obvious improvement in fit for me as a growing kid, I really noticed the tweaks to geometry. Nothing huge as the Fugitive V1 was already so much fun, but the subtle steepening of the seat angle positions me well for super-technical punchy climbs. I feel like I’m right over the pedals with no wasted energy. I have even been running my rear shock wide open for the ups and the downs. Also, the slightly slacker head-angle and longer front-centre allows a really nice weighted front-end for pushing hard into corners and have the front wheel just track straight through.

The rear-end is 100% Knolly. Smooth, confident, and quiet.

Now let’s hope we get to race this year, as I think there’s a few Enduro’s where I’ll be picking the Fugitive 138 as my race bike.

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