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Bold Unplugged 2019 review | ENDURO Mountainbike Magazine

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If you think Swiss brand Bold only makes pretty, but conservative bikes, you’re about to learn otherwise. The all-new Bold Unplugged with its radical geometry offers innumerable configuration options – but you need to know what you’re doing!

For an overview of the test fleet head to: The best enduro bike you can buy

Bold Unplugged | 170/165 mm (f/r) | 14.46 kg | € 7,939

The Bold Unplugged is unique in several ways. Apart from the integrated shock, you’ll be hard pressed to find another bike that has the same progressive geometry with its countless configuration options or the many smart details as found here. Unlike their previous model, the Linkin Trail, the Unplugged has space for a piggyback shock. Our test bike came fitted with a RockShox Super Deluxe. You’re free to configure the bike however you like in Bold’s online shop. You’ll not only have your choice of different components but you can also customise the geometry. A NEWMEN angleset gives you the choice of three different head angles, and two different flip chips allow you to vary the bottom bracket height and chainstay length into any of four different positions. Bold has refined the details to help facilitate setting up the internal shock, and they’ve given the bike an XXL chainstay protector that wraps all the way round to the non-driveside chainstay.

The Bold Unplugged in detail

Fork FOX 36 FLOAT Factory GRIP2 170 mm
Shock FOX FLOAT DPS Factory 165 mm
Brakes SRAM Code RSC
Drivetrain SRAM X01 Eagle
Seatpost Kind Shock LEV 175 mm
Stem Race Face Turbine R 32 mm
Handlebar Race Face Next R 800 mm
Wheels DT Swiss EX 1501 Spline One 29″
Tires MAXXIS Assegain DD 2.5″
Weight 14.46 kg
Price € 7,939









Variable
The NEWMEN headset gives you two options: simply turn the cups and you can choose between a 63.3° and 65.9° head angle. Bold also offers a neutral ACROS version, which is exactly in the middle – that’s the one we would choose.
Simple
The SAG indicator on the rocker link makes the setup a lot easier.

Adjustable
The chainstay length and bottom bracket height can be varied using the rear axle inserts. Here you’ve got a choice between four different settings.

Easy to reach
The air valve and the rebound adjustment lever of the shock are easy to reach thanks to a large, removable cover on the down tube. A small window in the seat tube also provides information about how much travel you’ve used.
Carefully thought through
Bold has extended the chainstay protector across to the opposite side to protect as much of the chainstays as possible.

Size S M L
Top tube 559 – 565 mm 599 – 605 mm 641 – 647 mm
Head tube 90 mm 90 mm 110 mm
Head angle 63.3 – 65.9° 63.3 – 65.9° 63.3 – 65.9°
Seat angle 75.5 – 77.4° 76.5 – 78.3° 76.5 – 78.3°
Chainstay 433 – 444 mm 433 – 444 mm 433 – 444 mm
BB height 8.4 – 27.3 mm 8.4 – 27.5 mm 8.7 – 28 mm
Wheelbase 1.175 – 1.203 mm 1.226 – 1.254 mm 1.274 – 1302 mm
Reach 407 – 424 mm 458 – 475 mm 498 – 514 mm
Stack 600 – 612 mm 600 – 612 mm 618 – 631 mm
Helmet Giro Switchblade | Goggle 100% Accuri | Jersey Troy Lee Designs Sprint Jersey | Short Troy Lee Designs Ruckus

If you’re approximately 180 cm tall, the riding position on the bike is pleasantly upright and very central. Turning the RockShox TwistLoc locks out the shock, turning the Unplugged into an efficient climber in spite of the heavy MAXXIS Assegai tires. Unfortunately, the 175mm dropper post was too long for our 180 cm tall test riders, even with it fully inserted – we’d advise riders with shorter legs to opt for a 150 mm version in the configurator. Despite heavy Double Down tires, the overall weight of the Unplugged is pretty low at 14.42 kg. Our size L test bike was delivered with the slackest head angle setting and a short, 35 mm stem. Set up this way, it was difficult to get enough weight on the front wheel when riding flatter terrain. Due to the distance from the handlebar to the front wheel and the resulting lack of leverage, the front end can feel a little wobbly at times.

Unplugged gives you more choices than a drive-thru! With it, you can definitely keep up with all the geometry trends for the next seven years.😅

You’ll also notice on steep descents that the low cockpit makes you feel exposed, and that massive reach tends to pull the rider forward. A handlebar with significantly more rise, a steeper head angle and a minimally longer stem (45 mm) helped solve the problem. With these adjustments we felt a lot more confident and could ride the bike to its full potential. The rear suspension is very sensitive while offering a lot of support. Due to its length, the bike is extremely composed, though tight sections and quick direction changes, require you to muscle the bike around more than others. If you’re not sure about the frame size, we recommend sizing down.

Tuning tip: before ordering the bike, be sure to discuss your preferences with the guys and girls at Bold

Conclusion

The Bold Unplugged is a bike for those who know exactly what they want. It offers an incredible number of configuration options, allowing you to adapt every detail to your exact specifications. And if you’re not sure about something, the competent team at Bold will be happy to help. With the right setup, the Unplugged convinced us with its incredible stability and excellent rear suspension, not to mention the unique design and the attention to detail that the Swiss are known for. Tight, winding trails are not one of its strengths though.

  • Highly customisable
  • Incredibly composed
  • The frame is packed with clever details
  • Proper geometry setup requires in-depth know-how
  • Very low cockpit
  • Cumbersome in the long setup

Uphill

Downhill

Stability

Agility

Value for money

For more info head to: boldcycles.com

For an overview of the test fleet head to: The best enduro bike you can buy

All bikes in test: Canyon Strive CFR 9.0 Team | Commencal META AM 29 SIGNATURE ORANGE | Giant Reign Advanced 0 | Lapierre Spicy Team Ultimate | Nukeproof Mega 275c RS | Orbea Rallon M-LTD I9 | Pivot Firebird 29 Team XX1 | Pole Machine EN | Santa Cruz Nomad CC | Scott Ransom 900 Tuned | Specialized S-Works Enduro 29 | Trek Slash 9.9 | YT Capra 29 CF PRO Race

Words & Photos: Christoph Bayer