Kellys / 22.11.2017
WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT WORKING IN THE BIKE INDUSTRY? YOU MEET LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE EACH TIME YOU OPEN YOUR OFFICE DOORS. BUT WHAT HAPPENED OVER TWO YEARS AGO, WHEN ONE OF OUR RIDERS CAME THROUGH THE R&D’S DOORS WITH AN IDEA TO CREATE A VERSATILE RACE MACHINE, CHANGED OUR DIRECTION IN THAT SEGMENT. WHO WOULD HAVE GUESSED BY THAT TIME, THIS DREAM WILL BECOME A REALITY THAT WOULD CLAIM PODIUMS ALL OVER EUROPE!
We are humble and hardworking at Kellys Bicycles. We have always been the glorious time of building bikes in a garage, we moved one step at the time in realizing goals. We believe that “every bike has a mission” as our motto states. That’s why we won’t promise you do-it-all bikes. Yet, we simply can’t stand average. And that is how NOID came to life!
Roman Bohacik, the Head of Kellys R&D Department personally supervised this project.
Why is it special? We have come up with a suspension design our geeks called Think Link which in rider’s words means totally independent rear suspension thanks to the unique virtual pivot point kinematics. It ensures minimal negative influence from drivetrain and brakes, no pedal kickback and a constant rear triangle geometry with absolutely no chain growth.
Additional bonus? We have located cushioned chainstay guards to hush all the slaps and make the drivetrain close to silent! Sounds like a dream come true? You need to visit us during the European bike testing tour and bet a beer on it!
You can treat Kellys Bicycles NOID as a race-ready platform based on systems updated to the standards of the ever-changing industry. Our goal was to create a design that would allow both pro riders and bike park enthusiasts to have time of their life during their fast-paced adventures. We have equipped NOID with Vario Geometry System (engineers ain’t the best copywriters, obviously) which simply allows the fine tuning of the frame’s geometry to match bike’s characteristics to the riders needs. The chainstays, wheelbase length, bottom bracket height along with the head tube angle can be adjusted within minutes!
NEED A RIDER'S PERSPECTIVE? WE HAVE SIT DOWN WITH RASTISLAV BARÁNEK TO ASK HIM SOME ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS ABOUT NOID.
Michal: Hi, Rasto. Since you're Kellys' team rider, we'd like to ask you few questions about the newest Kellys downhill rig – NOID. First of all, what race-ready bike means to you?
Rasto: It is pretty much all about slack geometry, active and supple suspension, reliable drivetrain and rider that is tough enough to keep it constantly on the edge. However the rider makes a difference to everything, it's the bike that must be predictable, constant and trustworthy to keep the show on.
M: If the bike must be handled either by bike enthusiast or a pro rider, which parts of the design are most important?
R: Definitely, it's the geometry, which is something universal, no matter your skill. In fact, it's impossible to make a do-it-all bike for everyone, but when it comes to a downhill bike, everyone benefits of slack head angle, low stand over for every frame size and stability that comes from combination of numbers in your frame – lengths, ratios and angles.
M: When you're onboard of NOID and on a race day, what would you name as the supreme feature of your bike?
R: NOID is a kind of „the faster, the better” bike, that shines when it's fast. This bike is made for getting rowdy! Thanks to the Vario Geometry System and Think Link, it can be adjusted just right for the given track, even on the back of the parking lot, having as much as a set of Allen keys. There is, however, a flipside to this coin – if you want your bike to be fast, you gotta ride fast. On switchbacks, when speed drops down, you must work harder with the handlebar. As I ride mostly the “high speed” stable frame set up, tight corners are not my favourite place to be.
M: Can you explain what Vario Geometry System and Think Link are? How they affect rider's experience?
R: Wow, there's a lot to say about it, but essentially Vario Geometry System, or VGS, is a set of different features and elements that you can adjust independently and make your frame tuned to the specifics of a race track or any other track you prefer. They impact NOID's geometry and change your bike's behaviour in a quite distinctive manner. Think Link incorporates suspension design and cushion guards. I just love the buzzing sound of my rear hub but hate the chain slap. We all know a quiet bike is a fast bike, so the engineers did put a lot of effort to keep the unwanted sounds to the minimum, so you can focus on your track and speed, not on the bike itself. But the most important thing about Think Link is the suspension design – the rear triangle, or swing arm, rotates with two links on a virtual pivot. It remains active in all phases of its travel, no matter if you're pedalling hard or locking the rear wheel with brake. Furthermore, there's no chain growth or pedal feedback, thanks to this specific design.
M: Can you tell us about your first experience with NOID, being one of the first people ever, who got a chance to ride it?
R: It was a blast and something I didn't expect at all. I have sustained an injury that kept me away from riding for five weeks. 2017 racing season was full on and all I could do was to stay home when the new NOID bike has finally arrived. The fifth round of Slovak Downhill Cup was my first after the injury and first ever aboard new NOID. I didn't even have a proper chance to try it, test it or do at least dozen of those tune-up rides with bike out of the box. But it required only one training ride to feel this bike is actually much faster than I expected! I won both qualification and timed runs on Sunday! No one expected a result like that, even I. And that was my first experience with NOID, such a great day.
M: We're talking about your first ride ever, but did you have a chance to ride your bike somewhere else than just neighbourhood?
R: Obviously, yes, but I'm lucky to have a nice proving grounds just around the corner of the living place. It's great because I know it in every detail, I can easily compare my timings and transfer this knowledge to bike settings. The local track simply allows you to have an insight on what makes you faster as you can focus more on the bike. After that and Slovak Downhill Cup events, I have raced the European Downhill Cup in Austria and then I have spent a week in Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis Bike Park with my teammate Stanislav Sehnal.
M: Any final thoughts about NOID?
R: When you're a racer, you're always trying hard to keep your bike at maximum performance. You spend more and more time on adjusting things around the handlebars, your position, your suspension and its every little aspect that makes your bike trustworthy. And then you play a bit more with settings; only when you're confident about your gear you can make a step forward. I know I can play a lot with new NOID's suspension layout, with its geometry and have it predictable, safe to ride and freakin' fast. A snappy performance, a downhill bike I was expecting from Kellys, nothing more and nothing less.
M: Thanks a lot!