Bold Cycles’ uniquely integrated, hidden-shock Linkin trail bike is back, with an all-new virtual pivot point suspension layout with updated progressive geometry and the ability to adapt rear wheel travel to your style of riding. Plus, its new horizontal shock layout inside the carbon frame lowers the bike’s center of mass once again, making the rear shock seem to disappear even more, yet easier to access at the same time…
Bold Linkin 135/150mm carbon trail bike
First debuted back in 2015, Swiss bikemaker Bold’s four-bar 130mm Linkin trail bike hid the rear shock from the elements inside an oversized seattube.
As Bold puts it, “the condition of the rear shock has a significant impact on suspension performance. The [Linkin] shock is always protected from dirt, water and crashes to ensure it is functioning at its best.”
That bike evolved to a long trail 154mm and a longer Unplugged enduro version, before joining the Scott Sports group in 2019. That led to their Internal Suspension Technology setting up Scott’s all-new, bold linkage driven single pivot 120mm Spark XC bike redesign earlier this summer.
We were told when meeting with the Scott engineers then that Bold’s team was still separately working on a new version of their own bike, and now we have this more refined, second-generation Bold Linkin trail bike.
Where the Spark focuses on technical World Cup cross-country racing with the ability to lean downcountry as well, Bold’s Linkin is more of an all-mountain trail bike. Simply by swapping out the internal linkage at the shock, travel can be set to either 135mm or 150mm to suit trail riding with more extended climbing or more technical descending.
Updated hidden Internal Suspension Technology
It’s always a bit tricky to see what’s going in with a Bold mountain bike design, as so much is literally hidden from view, but this new bike moves from a conventional four-bar to a short-link VPP version with a one-piece rear end for improved stiffness. Now, a new short lower link rotates around the bottom bracket, while the upper rocker link hides behind the extended seatstays of the rear triangle.
The lower shock eyelet is now connected directly to that alloy lower BB link, but inside the HMX carbon frame. There, the horizontal shock is easy to access via the removable bash guard cover on the bottom of the downtube to adjust air or other shock settings.
The new Bold Linkin trial bike also features a new suspension sag gauge on the non-driveside making initial setup easy.
And the bikes get a similar rear shock lockout that we saw on Scott’s Spark with three settings: fully open, Traction mode, and fully locked out. The TracLoc remote lockout is most interesting in the Traction mode that doesn’t only increase low-speed compression damping to feel stiffer, but also changes the spring curve to sit the bike higher with 1/3 less travel for improved climbing.
The result of this major Linkin Trail redesign is possibly the lowest center of mass of any conventional full suspension bike we’ve seen, even fitting a full-sized water bottle super low in the frame.
That low weight continues with a “Save The Day Kit” spare kit with mini pump, multi-tool, spare tube & tire levers that tuck inside the downtube in front of the hidden shock via the removable frame protector. It also means there’s room for super long dropper posts in each frame size (150mm S, 170mm M, 200mm L & XL).
Geometry & Tech details
The new Bold Linkin trail bike has geometry that’s mostly unchanged by either 135mm or 150mm travel modes (paired to 140 or 150mm forks, respectively), other than BB height. The slackest head angle setting is 64.2° paired to a steep 77.4° seat angle, and 434mm long chainstays.
The bike then features +/-1° headangle adjustment from an adjustable headset, plus 6.3mm of bottom bracket height adjust via the flip clip at the uppermost suspension pivot.
The Linkins carry over the fully integrated ethos with new Syncros Hixon iC SL one-piece carbon cockpit MTB bar & stem combos. Rear brake, derailleur, dropper post, and rear shock lockout cables enter through the side of the stem via the headset into the frame, with cables transitioning to the rear triangle next to the upper pivot.
The bike also features a QR lever on the rear thru-axle with integrated 6mm hex & T25/30 torx bits for quick trailside pivot adjustments, integrated chainstay protectors, and a mini chain guide.
Bold Linkin trail bike – Pricing, options & availability
Four versions of the new Bold Linkin trail bike are available now, plus a separate frameset option – with frame weight from 2694 without the stock Fox Nude shock.
The frameset sells for 5000€ in black or white, including the rear shock, both travel linkages, Syncros dropper, Syncros Syncros Hixon iC SL carbon bar & Syncros tool kit.
Complete bikes are available in shorter or longer travel versions of each a super premium Ultimate build or slightly more affordable Pro builds. The Bold Linkin 135 Pro at 6000€ is barely more than the frameset alone with a GX Eagle mechanical, a RockShox Pike Select fork, 2-piece integrated alloy Syncros cockpit, and alloy Syncros wheels.
Bold Linkin 150 Pro looks like another solid value (although not cheap) at 7000€ with an Öhlins RXF 36 fork, XT drivetrain & 4-pot brakes, RaceFace Next R cranks, and Syncros 2-piece cockpit & wheels.
The Bold Linkin 135 Ultimate is the lightweight trail build at 8500€ with a mixed SRAM XO1 AXS Eagle drivetrain, Fox 36 Performance Elite suspension, and alloy DT Swiss wheels.
The Bold Linkin 150 Ultimate takes it up to 11,000€ for the top-tier build with full XX1 AXS Eagle, Fox 36 Factory suspension, and carbon DT XMC 1501 carbon wheels.
All bike builds and framesets are expected to be available globally in 39 major markets by the start of 2022, thanks to improved distribution supported by the Scott Sports ownership.