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2023 Bold Unplugged Enduro Bike Hides Downtube Shock for 160mm VPP Travel

2023 bold unplugged enduro mtb 160/170 mullet or 29
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Bold Cycles has redeveloped the Unplugged Enduro Bike around a VPP linkage wherein the shock is positioned horizontally within the downtube to deliver 160mm of rear wheel travel. That’s actually a 5mm reduction as compared to the predecessor, but the increased insertion depth of the seat tube means the M, L & XL frames can all take a 200mm dropper seat post. The new layout is much more akin to that seen on the shorter travel Linkin 150, with the very same frame-based storage solutions and tool integration.

There are two models to choose from; the 8,999 € PRO and the 10,999 € ULTIMATE, both of which feature SRAM AXS Electronic Shifting. Here’s an overview.

2023 Bold Unplugged

2023 bold unplugged 160mm enduro mtb mullet 29
The 2023 Bold Unplugged PRO model retails at 8,999 € and weighs a claimed 15.8 kg in a size medium with the Save the Day Kit

The Bold Unplugged engineers prioritized positioning of the rear shock very low in the frame – around the downtube-BB junction – resulting in a bike with a very low center of gravity said to have “superb handling capabilities”. Its travel is delivered via a twin-link suspension platform wherein the lower link is concentric to the bottom bracket. Internally, sitting just above the BB, the shock is compressed horizontally within the downtube.

  • Intention: Enduro Riding
  • Fork Travel: 170mm
  • Rear Wheel Travel: 160mm
  • Wheel Size: 29″ or, 29″ Front and 27.5″ Rear
  • Frame Material: HMX Carbon
  • Adjustments: BB Height, Head Angle, Wheel Size
  • Claimed Weight: 15.8 kg (PRO, Tubeless with Save the Day Kit)
  • Starting Price: 8,999 €

The Internal Shock Technology – VP Linkage is paired with a 170mm travel fork. There are four frame sizes to choose from; S, M, L & XL; the Small and Medium Bikes are shipped in the mullet configuration with a 27.5″ rear wheel and a 29″ front wheel, while the L & XL Bikes arrive with a 29″ wheelset. That said, all four sizes can be set up as a complete 29er or as a mixed-wheel bike.

No kinematic information for the Bold Unplugged is provided. On this the brand says, “Using a Virtual Pivot linkage design improves the suspension feel, pedaling and braking response to work with maximum efficiency. Our kinematic suspension curve gives supple small bump sensitivity and therefore exceptional traction characteristics, perfect support in the mid-stroke and a controlled deep stroke for perfect bottom out control”.

2023 bold unplugged tracloc suspension remote

The Fox Float X NUDE shock is connected to a three-position TracLoc remote on the handlebar, allowing the rider to cycle through three different shock settings while riding. In the full open, or descend mode, the air spring is at its full volume and the compression damping is open. Bold says this mode is similar to that of the standard Float X shock but with more of a linear spring curve thanks to the larger overall air volume.

Then of course, there is the full lock out mode where the air spring is at a reduced volume and the compression circuits are closed, but the Bold Unplugged has a middle setting, too; Traction Mode. This actually alters the dynamic ride height of the bike by changing the spring curve. The shock becomes firmer as compared to the open mode, and the bike sits higher in its travel to maintain a steep seat tube angle that is beneficial for climbing. It actually limits the travel to around 60% of the usual 160mm.

2023 bold unplugged flip chip

With high and low BB positions, as well as two possible wheel size combinations and head angle adjusting headset cups, the 2023 Bold Unplugged has a multitude of geometry settings to choose from. A flip-chip at the swingarm-upper link junction determines rear wheel size and BB height, thus four sets of geometry figures are laid out below.

The Bold Unplugged sees reach figures of 425mm, 460mm, 490mm and 520mm on the S, M, L & XL frames, respectively, while chainstay length is consistent across them all at 437mm, in the case of a complete 29″ wheelset. Seat tubes are short, at 381mm, 403mm, 435mm and 470mm. While the Small frame can run a 150mm dropper seat post, the M, L & XL frames all benefit from a 200mm drop.

2023 bold unplugged geometry

BB height comes in at 340mm or 348mm in the case of the 29″ wheelset configuration. The head angle is slack wherever you look, sitting at a minimum of 63.2° and a maximum of 64.5°, while the seat tubes lay back at an effective 77.8°.

The Unplugged is shipped with headset cups in a neutral position, but separate offset cups are included to allow for further head angle adjustment +/- 1°.

2023 bold cycle save the day kit unplugged enduro bike downtube hatch storage tools
A hatch underneath the downtube provides access to the shock for setup, and access to an included “Save the Day Kit”

The Bold Cycles “Save the Day Kit” includes a pump, spare innertube and tire levers, along with a multi-tool home to a T25, T30, Chain Tool, Screw Driver and 8, 6, 5, 4 and 3mm Hex Keys. Elsewhere, the rear axle tool also offers a T25, T30 and 6mm Hex. Claimed bike weights of 15.4 kg and 15.9 kg for the Unplugged ULTIMATE and PRO (medium), respectively, include the weight of all these tools.

2023 bold unplugged axle tool t25 t30 6mm hex

Pricing & Availability

The 2023 Bold Unplugged is available in two models only, both of which are pretty high-end, and you can also pick up a frameset separately for 5,999 € in Black or Grey.

2023 bold unplugged ultimate

Cream of the crop is the Bold Unplugged ULTIMATE, retailing at 10,999 €. An Ohlins RXF 38 M.2 Fork, SRAM X01/GX Eagle AXS Drivetrain, Shimano XTR 4-Piston Brakes and a Syncros Revelstoke 1.5 Aluminum Wheelset are included in its spec list, along with the Syncros Hixon iC Carbon Bar for a sleek-looking integrated cockpit setup.

Only slightly less expensive is the Bold Unplugged PRO (seen throughout), which will set you back 8,999 €. This one also benefits from the Syncros Hixon iC Carbon Bar, paired with a Fox 38 Float Performance Fork, SRAM GX Eagle AXS drivetrain, Shimano SLX 4-Piston Brakes and a Syncros Revelstoke 2 Wheelset.

Both models are adorned with a Syncros Duncan Dropper Seat Post, Maxxis Minion DHF EXO+ Tires, and come with the Save the Day Kit and a Syncros Fork Fender.

The 2023 Bold Unplugged will be available in 40 international markets. Head to the Bold Cycles website for more information on specs and availability in your region.


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Roger Pedacter
Roger Pedacter
1 year ago

Damn, that’s a nice looking bike. I’m still leery about the enclosed shock, but there seems to be enough bikes with them that haven’t been blowing up.

Kinda weird part spec though…

Doc Sarvis
Doc Sarvis
1 year ago

When they down tube they mean it.

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