Bold Cycles aims to redefine the rules with the Unplugged 2023 – its new carbon enduro MTB

The new Bold Unplugged enduro mountain bike side on in grey
(Image credit: Andreas Vigl)

Since the launch of its first bike in 2015, Swiss brand Bold Cycles has always aimed to deliver a high-end experience of cutting-edge technology and design to the riders of its bikes.

With a single showroom in Beil, Switzerland, Bold Cycles remained an exclusive and premium cost proposition in the best mountain bike market. However, in May 2019 Scott Sports bought a majority stake in the brand, which made the name more widely known and also saw Scott use the patented Internal Suspension Technology that has been fully utilized and added to Scott's best full-suspension mountain bike range.

Some industry commentators would have been convinced that was the end of the line for Bold, as Scott took the unique suspension configuration for its bikes, but the brand has worked together with Scott and continued to go from strength to strength and with the launch of its best enduro mountain bike to date. The Bold Unplugged announced today is proof that the innovative brand is still very much alive and kicking. 

Bold Cycles Unplugged Ultimate and Pro editions

The Bold Unplugged is an all-new progressive carbon enduro bike coming with 170mm of travel up front and 160mm at the rear with two versions, the Ultimate and the Pro, which differ in build spec and setup depending on the size. Like its first-ever bike, the Linkin Trail Classic, innovation along with technical and aesthetic details are aimed to emphasize a claimed industry-leading design. 

Vincenz Droux, Head of Engineering at Bold explained more details on the design of the new Unplugged, "Integration has always been a core feature of our bikes. With these new models, we continue to follow this credo. Upon analyzing forces going into the frame, we decided to place the shock horizontally near the downtube junction. This ensures an extremely low center of gravity and offers plenty of clearance for a long-travel seatpost." Also adding,"In addition to the IST VP suspension technology designed for progressive enduro riding, the bike features several other innovative solutions. The 'Save The Day Kit' in the downtube, an optimized SAG and Bottom-Out Indicator and geometry adjustment options at the front and rear are just a few."

The Unplugged has a premium price tag and we had a deeper look at some of the features that claim to make these bikes contenders in the best enduro bike market.

The dropper seatpost on the Bold Cycles Unplugged mountain bike

An extremely low center of gravity on the Unplugged offers plenty of capacity for a long-travel seatpost (Image credit: Andreas Vigl)

Internal suspension technology

Intending to create the best ride quality in combination with a clean, integrated design, Bold has discarded the principles of classic full-suspension frame design and redefined traditional linkage systems to suit its frame and suspension characteristics by integrating the rear shock into the frame design.

The shock is mounted at the lowest possible position at the bottom of the downtube in the frame's front triangle. This helps give the bike a very low center of mass – a key part of Bold's design that aims to enhance the Unplugged's handling capabilities.

Internal rear shock setting on Bold Cycles Unplugged mountain bike

The internal rear shock position allows for a low center of gravity (Image credit: Bold Cycles)

Frame stiffness, lowest center of gravity and optimum shock performance are some of the key benefits of Bold's Internal Suspension Technology, with the added benefit of the rear shock always being protected from dirt, water and crashes, it should ensure it always functions at its best.

With the shock placed internally, Bold has been able to design an ultra-compact linkage system for low weight and high stiffness. The linkage is directly attached to the shock and mounted to an axle inside the frame, meaning the suspension pivots no longer have to be constructed around the frame. This makes its link shorter than any other traditional suspension platform. Using a Virtual Pivot linkage design is said to improve the suspension feel, pedaling and braking response.

ISTVP on the Bold Cycles Unplugged

Virtual Pivot linkage design is said to improve the suspension feel (Image credit: Bold Cycles)

Rear shock and travel indicator setting

Fine-tuning the rear shock is possible via a cover on the downtube. This makes it easy to adjust rebound, compression, and shock pressure as well as access to the cable of the TracLoc Suspension System (which is explained more below). Setting the right sag is achieved via a magnet-equipped travel indicator on the outside. The end stroke travel can also be checked on the smartly designed travel indicator made for bottom-out control. Shock bolts are accessible from the outside. The Unplugged comes with a Fox Float X Nude shock, giving 160 mm of rear wheel travel in combination with Bold's TracLoc Suspension System.

TracLoc indicator on the Bold Cycles Unplugged mtb

TracLoc is easily adjusted on the outside of the Unplugged (Image credit: Bold Cycles)

What is TracLoc?

TracLoc is Bold Cycles' new system for managing suspension sag. Sag, put simply, is how much suspension compresses under load and TracLoc manages these effects in several ways. Many systems only allow you to increase low-speed compression to improve pedaling efficiency, but TracLoc allows you to not only change the compression damping, but also to change the spring curve which dynamically alters the geometry of the bike. In Traction mode, the shock becomes firmer and has less travel meaning the bike sits higher and maintains a steep seat angle for climbing, which should also make for a more agile ride. The Unplugged also has a full lockout for going up the steepest trails in the most efficient manner possible.

Customizable geometry

Bold's VarioTec is essentially a flip-chip in the rear triangle that gives riders the ability to tune the bottom bracket height and head angle, to optimize the geometry and handling to suit individual riding and terrain. The bottom bracket height can be changed by +/-5 mm giving the Unplugged off-the-shelf customization. The head angle can also be changed by an effective +/-1 degree slacker or steeper by rotating the headset cups 180 degrees.

Flip chip technology allows for customizable geometry

Flip chip technology allows for customizable geometry (Image credit: Bold Cycles)

Save The Day kit

The Save The Day kit is a cleverly integrated storage solution, which consists of tools stored inside the frame and is easily accessible by opening the downtube cover. The kit includes a mini pump, tire levers and a spare tube to 'save your day'. There is also a Syncros Matchbox SL-CT multi-tool hidden inside the frame. 

the internal stashed save the day kit on the Bold Cycles mountain bike

The save the day kit does what it says on the tin (Image credit: Andreas Vigl)

Syncros cockpit

The premium bar of choice features an integrated bar and stem system by Syncros, which allows for the integration of cables on the front of the bike. After extensive testing, Syncros claims to have perfected the position for the rider with width, rise and sweep matched perfectly to what you need to ride at the highest level.

The syncros bar on the Bold Cycles Unplugged

The neat Syncros bar features internal cables (Image credit: Andreas Vigl)

Bold Cycles Unplugged pricing and availability

Bold have said that the Unplugged will be "available by the beginning of 2023", which we're obviously well into now. The Unplugged Unlimited will cost $11,950 / £9,660 / €10,999, while the Pro version comes in at $9,734 / £7,903 / €8,999.

We'll be looking to get a full review on the Bold Cycles Unplugged very soon, but our colleagues at MBR have already had a first ride on the Bold Unplugged Pro saying, 'Bold's beautiful Unplugged is a pleasing to look at as it is to ride. The signature hidden shock gives spotlessly clean lines and should mean less time in the workstand. And that means more time to enjoy the active suspension and remote-controlled climb mode.'

For more information, head to

Bold Cycles Unplugged Ultimate spec

Bold cycles Unplugged Ultimate mountain bike in grey

The Unplugged Ultimate (Image credit: Fred Leiser)
  • Frame: Carbon HMX Internal Suspension Technology IST VP Vario Tech 
  • Fork: Fox Float M.2 Air / TTX-Technology HSC 170mm 
  • Shock: Fox Float X Nude PE EVOL 
  • Seatpost: Syncros Duncan Dropper Post 150mm-200mm dropper internal
  • Drivetrain: SRAM X01 Eagle, 12 speed
  • Brakes: Shimano XTR 203/F 180/R
  • Wheels: Syncros Revelstoke 
  • Tires: Maxxis Minion II 
  • Price: $11,950 / £9,660 / €10,999

Bold Cycles Unplugged Pro spec

Bold Cycles Unplugged Pro enduro mountain bike

The Unplugged Pro (Image credit: Fred Leiser)
  • Frame: Carbon HMX Internal Suspension Technology IST VP Vario Tech 
  • Fork: Fox 38 Float 170mm
  • Shock: Fox Float X Nude PE EVOL
  • Seatpost: Syncros Duncan Dropper Post 150mm-200mm dropper internal
  • Drivetrain: SRAM GX Eagle, 12 speed
  • Brakes: Shimano SLX 203/F 180/R
  • Wheels: Syncros Revelstoke 
  • Tires: Maxxis Minion II 
  • Price: $9,734 / £7,903 / €8,999
Paul Brett
Staff writer

Based in Edinburgh, Paul Brett is a staff writer for He has been an avid cyclist for as long as he can remember, initially catching the mountain biking bug in the 1990s, and raced mountain bikes for over a decade before injury cut short a glittering career. He’s since developed an obsession for gravel riding and recently has dabbled in the dark art of cyclocross. A fan of the idea of bikepacking he has occasionally got involved and has ridden routes like the North Coast 500, Scotland and the Via Francigena (Pilgrim Route), Italy.

Current rides: Marin Alpine Trail 2, Ribble 725, Cube Stereo 160

Height: 175cm