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Knolly makes key updates to the Fugitive 138

A little more travel and much better geo

Photo by: Knolly Bikes

When Knolly Bikes rolled out the Fugitive, there was quite a bit we liked about the brand’s first 29-er. It is a burly but refined trail bike that can handle abuse, but pedals efficiently. Three years later, Knolly is updating the Fugitive. The parts we liked about the first version remain, but with frame updates that give the aluminum trail bike even more range.

Knolly Fugitive 138

2021 Knolly Fugitive 138

Better angles

The Fugitive’s biggest changes for 2021 are hiding on the geo charts. To keep the Fugitive current, and up its climbing and high speed capabilities, Knolly’s made its trail bike longer, a bit slacker and improved the seat tube angle. Longer reach and a 0.5-degree reduction in head tube angle will only serve to add to the Fugitive’s descending capabilities.

Knolly doesn’t want to lose the “trail” from its trail bike, though. The second part of this update improves the Fugitive’s climbing capabilities. To bring the rider back into balance in the center of the bike while seated, these changes are balanced with a 1-degree steeper steat tube angle. That puts the STA at 76.7-degrees. Knolly’s conservative STA numbers were one slightly divisive element of the first generation Fugitive, so many riders should be happy to see this update.

RELATED: Knolly Fugitive LT review

Knolly Fugitive 138
Slack or neutral. Your choice.

Every Knolly mountain bike comes with the option of “Slack” and “Neutral” geometry, via a simple bolt at the shock mount. That is back on the new frame.

Knolly Fugitive 138

More travel, if you want it

Ever the engineers, Knolly’s revisions to the Fugitive are about precision. That means an added exactly 3 mm of rear travel, bringing the LT up to 138-mm. That added travel is not something you’re likely to feel on the trail, but it will help balance out the other changes the B.C. brand made to its 29″ trail bike.

Specifically, Knolly noticed that riders were setting up their Fugitives with longer forks than the stock option. With the updated geometry, the Fugitive comes with a 150-mm fork and will comfortably run up to 160-mm.

To keep things balanced, there’s still a shorter travel option, too. Those who preferred to take advantage of the Fugitive’s efficient pedalling can run 131-mm of rear travel and a 140-mm fork. This burly all-day adventure set up just needs a shorter stroke shock.

RELATED: Creating Knolly’s Chilcotin 167 enduro bike

What’s the same?

Not everything is new on the Fugitive. Knolly’s first 29-er was also the first model to debut Noel Buckley’s fifth generation Fourby4 suspension design. It is back, and still gives the Fugitive impressive traction through tech trails, climbing and descending. The updated Fourby4 is now found on the latest Warden and the revived Chilcotin line as well.

Knolly Fugitive 138

Knolly’s built a reputation off of high quality aluminum construction. The new Fugitive continues this, with a 6066 series hydroformed aluminum alloy frame. As ever with the boutique B.C. brand, there’s custom titanium hardware. The frame still features adjustable geometry and the 157-mm rear axle standard.

Knolly Fugitive 138 – pricing and availability

The Fugitive comes in four frame sizes, from Small to XL and three colour choices. There’s the distinctive purple frame with gold decals, which bears a striking resemblance to the packaging of a certain, very Canadian beverage. For a more subdued look, the Fugitive is also available in raw aluminum with black lettering or anodized black with grey decals.

Knolly’s offering two build kits on the Fugitive 138. DP kits start at USD$5130.00. EC builds start at USD$6210.00. Both are available now at Knolly dealers and online at knollybikes.com.

RELATED: First Ride: Knolly revives the Chilcotin with raw speed