After teasing us with social media posts for a while now, Vancouver, B.C’s Knolly Bikes has just announced their first ever 29er, called The Fugitive, is ready to ride. Knolly’s aim was to create a well-rounded bike that’s ideal for epic adventures and all types of trails. They say the Fugitive pedals more efficiently than any previous Knolly, yet retains its ability to devour the rough stuff too.
Two versions of the Fugitive will be produced, with the standard model offering 120mm of travel and a Long Travel version that provides 135mm. The frames also offer two geometry positions to adapt to various terrain. With a combination of big wheels, adjustable modern geometry and a host of other clever touches the Fugitive looks like a promising do-it-all machine.
Knolly took their time designing the Fugitive from the ground up, in fact, it took a year and a half longer than usual – but these folks refuse to rush in favor of honing a design they feel is a world-class performer. The company looked closely at each part of the frame making process and invested in new molds and tooling to kick off their next generation of designs.
The Fugitive marks the beginning of Knolly’s Gen 5 aluminum (and carbon) frame platform. Every area of the frame was designed in 2D or 3D, the newly designed seat tube ‘explores the limits of hydroforming’ and the specific alloys used were selected for their light weight and reliability.
The Fugitive features a 6066 hydroformed aluminum frame with the brand’s patented Fourby4 suspension linkage. Depending on rear travel, this bike is intended for 130-150mm forks. All fasteners are CNC machined from titanium to increase mid-linkage stiffness and drop a few grams.
The Fugitive will be Knolly’s first frame to feature their new Pivot Bushing technology, which was developed in partnership with Igus. They haven’t revealed too much detail, but working in combination with bearings Knolly says their new design produces less friction and increased durability. All forthcoming Knolly frames will utilize this new technology.
The Fugitive will of course feature Knolly’s new 157Trail rear spacing (check out our recent article explaining that concept here). Using a 157x12mm axle gives them enough room to forget about accommodating tire widths, yet the rear end retains equal or better heel clearance versus existing 148mm Boost bikes. With their focus primarily on tire diameter, the frame was optimized to run 29” (up to 2.6” wide) or 27.5+ wheels (up to 3.25”) with minimal impact on the BB height.
Frame geometry varies a bit between the two models and settings (see Knolly’s website) but the chainstays are all 430.5mm, and the effective top tube length on a medium frame is 606mm. The Fugitives feature a straight, full length 31.6mm seat mast, so all frame sizes are compatible with up to 175-200mm dropper posts.
Fugitive frames use a 73mm threaded BB shell with removable ISCG 05 chain guide tabs. The frames can accommodate front chainrings up to 38t with a 1x setup, and are still 2x compatible as well. If you wish, you can bolt on an E-type front derailleur.
The Fugitives also offer fully internal cable routing, and Knolly says their design keeps the cables from rattling inside the frame. All frame sizes provide adequate clearance for water bottles, and the removable downtube protector doubles as a battery holder for Shimano Di2 systems. Frame weight is listed at 7.1lbs for the 120mm version and 7.2lbs for the LT (including Fox DPS shock).
Pricing for the Fugitive frames ranges from $1979-2175 USD. There are a few complete builds available called the SL (Supreme Leader), DP (Dawn Patrol) and for the 120mm version a top-tier VP (Vice Pres) which range from $4,300-6,900. Frames are available in three color schemes- Black Cherry/Chrome, Raw/Orange and Le Mans Blue/Orange/White.
The Fugitive frames and complete bikes will both be available as of July. Check out Knolly’s website to find a dealer near you.