Swiss engineers are known for creating aesthetically pleasing products that maintain precise functionality over time. Bold Cycles seeks to follow in that tradition with their bike designs.
When Bold released their first bike, the Linkin “trail classic,” media outlets were focused primarily on the unique appearance of the internal shock. There were a lot of jokes and confused statements about the frame, and little focus on anything else about the bike. Now, with the addition of a long-travel version of the Linkin, and a lot of satisfied customers, it’s time to look at their next offering as a whole rad package.
The newly released Unplugged all-mountain/enduro offering is packed with unique features and thoughtful details that were clearly designed by true mountain bikers. The new model received awards at this year’s Eurobike expo for adaptability, lightweight construction, and overall degree of innovation. I didn’t get a chance to ask the company’s owner, but I secretly hope that the name is a jab at the fact that there is no battery-operated motor in the Unplugged’s voluminous downtube. It’s a legit pedal bike!
The Bold Unplugged is designed to continue stoking riders’ love long after the glow of “new bike day” has fully ebbed. Riders can vary the geometry of the Unplugged to give the bike a new feel, or to adapt to various trails and conditions.
- The frame is optimized for a 160-180mm, 27.5″ or 29″ fork.
- The headset is adjustable by 2° and sits between 63.3° and 65.8° with a 170mm fork (The angle is also affected by factors like the BB height, tires, and fork-length.)
- Chain stay length can be changed between 4 different positions, from 432.8mm to 443.6mm.
- Bottom bracket height can also be shifted by swapping the various chain stay chips.
- With what Bold calls the “One Plus” system, riders can roll on 27.5+” or 29″ tires. The rear end reportedly fits up to a 29×2.6″ monster-grip tread.
Throughout all the permutations of possible frame-geo adjustments, the bike remains heavily gravity focused. The slackest possible position, with 29″ wheels and a 180mm fork, puts the headtube angle at 62.9 degrees. Using the slackest and longest settings on a size large, with a wheelbase measuring over 1300mm, the frame out-reaches a lot of proper DH race bikes. With all the angles and adjusters tucked in the frame, the bike has a 65.9° head tube and 432.8mm long chain stays, remaining firmly in the bounds for a proper all-mountain spec.
Internal Suspension Technology
In addition to lending a unique look to the bike, Bold claims Internal Suspension Technology (IST) has a number of technical benefits.
First off, the enclosed shock is guarded against water and soil contaminants, lengthening service intervals and prolonging the overall life of the components.
The company also says that with IST they are able to use straighter tubing, creating a stiffer overall frame while leaving room for a full-size water bottle. The shock compartment has space for most types of dampers, including many “piggyback” trunnion mount models.
The enclosed damper makes carrying the bike slightly more comfortable, for those who like to get to the very tip-top of the mountain without a shuttle. The Unplugged has air-ports on the shock compartment cover and along the seat tube to keep overworked shocks cool.
In partnership with Kind Shock, Bold has developed an integrated dropper post, but buyers can use any standard 31.6mm post. The first run of Unplugged frames will come painted in grey and white, or red and black. Bikes will be available this fall and can be ordered directly from the Bold website.
The bike ordering widget on the Bold website takes consumers through a nine-step configuration process, where it’s possible to select nearly every individual element of the build. Build options include 2 drivetrain offerings, 4 forks to choose from, 2 shock options, 4 different sets of brakes and rotors, 7 wheelset options, dropper post travel choices, and a host of other custom build bits.