The Bold Linkin 135 Ultimate has a lot to offer: a carbon frame with integrated shock, three-stage climb switch with bar-mounted lockout lever and a spacious storage compartment complete with a puncture repair kit. But how does the exotic Swiss fare on the trail and where does it stack against the competition in our 2022 trail bike group test?

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best trail bike of 2022 – 14 models in review

Bold Linkin 135 Ultimate | 140/135 mm (f/r) | 14.7 kg in size L | € 8,499 | Manufacturer’s website

True to the Swiss brand’s distinctive trademark, the Linkin 135 Ultimate features a carbon frame with fully enclosed shock. While Bold designed the concept in the first place, the boutique brand was absorbed by SCOTT in 2015, which is why some of the bikes of the Swiss sports giant feature the same technology. The shock integration ensures a super clean look and leaves plenty of room in the front triangle of the € 10,999 Linkin. The 135 mm rear suspension is controlled via the three-stage TracLoc lockout system – Bold’s version of Scott’s TwinLoc – and is paired with a 140 mm fork. With all the high-tech gizmos, our test bike in size L tilts the scales at 14.7 kg.

The spec of the Bold Linkin 135 Ultimate

A big service flap on the down tube of the Bold Linkin 135 allows you to access both the shock and the spacious storage compartment, which contains a Save-the-Day kit as standard. This includes a mini pump, spare inner tube, tire levers and a chain tool. Bold also throw in a practical mini tool, which is held securely in place via magnets. The flap is secured by a thumb nut, but this was so hard to undo on our test bike that we had to use a tool. Fortunately, there’s another small tool hidden inside the rear thru-axle of the Linkin with a T25, T30 and 6mm Allen key. The Torx 25 can be used to open the storage compartment. A magnetic SAG marker on the non-drive side of the bottom bracket tells you how much travel you’re using and how much reserves you’ve got left. All cables are routed internally from the cockpit through the headset and straight into the frame, underlining the tidy look of the frame. Generously sized seat and chainstay protectors prevent chainslap and paint chips.

1,2 or 3?
While the three TracLoc modes have a strong influence on the performance of the rear suspension, the many levers take some getting used to.
SAG Indicator – Don’t lose it!
The magnetic SAG indicator tells you how much travel you’re using – hopefully, you won’t lose it on the trail!
Saving the weekend
The Save the Day Kit includes everything you need for small trailside repairs.

A FOX 36 Performance Elite fork controls 140 mm up front and delivers the same excellent performance as its high-end Factory counterpart, albeit without the added Kashima bling. A FOX Nude rear shock manages 135 mm rear travel and was developed specifically for Bold’s integrated system, meaning that it can’t be replaced with other shocks. SCOTT’s proprietary three-stage TracLoc lockout system lets you switch between Open, Traction and Lockout modes via a bar-mounted two-lever remote. However, the many levers can create confusion on the trail and take some getting used to. For the cockpit, Bold rely on SCOTT’s own-brand Syncros 780 mm carbon handlebar/stem unit, which might look great but doesn’t allow for fine-tuning, except for the stem height. Shifting and braking is taken care of by an XT drivetrain and matching XT four-piston stoppers with a 200 mm rotor at the front and 180 mm at the rear. However, the latter doesn’t do justice to the downhill-oriented character of the bike, so we recommend upgrading to a bigger 200 mm model. Coincidentally, 200 mm is also the travel of the dropper post, which is the longest in the entire test field together with the Canyon Spectral 125, ensuring plenty of freedom of movement on the trail – we’re big fans! The Bold rolls on a DT Swiss XM 1850 alloy wheelset and MAXXIS DISSECTOR tires with thin EXO casing at the front and slightly more robust EXO+ at the rear, both with harder MaxxTerra rubber compound. In our opinion, such a potent bike calls for a more robust tire casing like MAXXIS’ DoubleDown, which offers better puncture protection and allows you to run lower tire pressures for more traction and support. We also recommend running a front tire with a more aggressive profile and softer MaxxGrip rubber compound for improved cornering traction.

Bold Linkin 135 Ultimate

€ 8,499


Fork FOX 36 Performance Elite GRIP2 140 mm
Rear Shock FOX Nude 135 mm
Seatpost Syncros Duncan 200 mm
Brakes Shimano XT 200/180 mm
Drivetrain SRAM X01/GX AXS Eagle 1x12
Stem Syncros Hixon IC SL 50 mm
Handlebar Syncros Hixon IC SL 780 mm
Wheelset DT Swiss XM 1850 29"
Tires MAXXIS DISSECTOR, 3C, MaxxTerra, EXO/MAXXIS DISSECTOR, 3C, MaxxTerra, EXO+ 2.4/2.4

Technical Data

Size S M L XL
Weight 14.7 kg

Specific Features

storage compartment

Tuning Tip:both tires with more robust casing and a softer rubber compound at the front | bigger brake rotor at the rear

The tires don’t do justice to the potential of the bike. We recommend upgrading to tires with a more robust casing and a softer compound.
Clean as a whistle
There are no cable ports spoiling the elegant frame silhouette because the cables are routed through the headset.
Suitable for touring
In traction mode, the Linkin is comfortable and still pedals very efficiently.

The Bold Linkin has an elegant design and many useful features like the spacious integrated storage compartment with Save-the-Day kit.

The geometry of the Bold Linkin 135 Ultimate

The Bold Linkin 135 Ultimate is available in four sizes, S to XL, offering a suitable option for all riders between 155 and 194 cm tall. The 490 mm reach is paired with a 425 mm seat tube – one of the shortest in the entire test field. Moreover, the dropper post can be inserted all the way into the frame, which, together with the short seat tube, ensures plenty of freedom of movement and lets you choose from at least two frame sizes. Using special headset cups and a flip chip in the seat stay, you can adjust the head angle by 0.6° and the bottom bracket height by 9 mm. Needless to say, we rode the bike mostly in the slacker low setting.

The geometry of the Bold Linkin 135 in low setting

size S M L XL
Top tube 546 mm 595 mm 628 mm 661 mm
Head tube 90 mm 105 mm 120 mm 135 mm
Head angle 64.4° 64.4° 64.4° 64.4°
Seat angle 78.7° 77.7° 77.7° 77.7°
Chainstays 434 mm 434 mm 434 mm 434 mm
BB Drop 41 mm 41 mm 41 mm 41 mm
Wheelbase 1.171 mm 1.213 mm 1.249 mm 1.286 mm
Reach 425 mm 460 mm 490 mm 520 mm
Stack 602 mm 616 mm 629 mm 642 mm
Jersey Troy Lee Designs Flowline | Shorts Troy Lee Designs Skyline | Helmet Troy Lee Designs A2 | Glasses 100 % Glendale | Kneepad Troy Lee Designs Stage | Shoes Five Ten Freerider Pro Primeblue | Socks Stance Hot Wheels | Gloves Troy Lee Designs Flowline

The Bold Linkin 135 Ultimate on the trail

The pedalling position of the Bold Linkin is comfortable but slightly front-heavy. On moderate climbs, the front wheel remains planted on the trail, but the rear suspension bobs noticeably when pedalling with the shock in Open mode, making it worth reaching for the TracLoc climb remote. In Traction mode, the suspension is drive neutral and sits high in its travel and yet generates sufficient traction on technical climbs – definitely the best option for most climbing scenarios! In Lockout mode, on the other hand, the rear suspension of the Linkin is extremely firm, reminding us of the YT JEFFSY with its electronic suspension – we recommend using this mode only to negotiate long climbs on tarmac.

Uphill, you’ll need TracLoc to prevent the rear suspension from bobbing. However, the system takes some getting used to.

Downhill, the Bold Linkin 135 is intuitive and easy to ride, which, together with the integrated riding position, inspires huge amounts of confidence. Handling is agile and direct but still forgiving of riding mistakes. The Bold implements steering input willingly without yanking you around like a steroid-laden club bouncer in rough rock gardens. The Linkin is slightly plusher than the Spectral 125 but firmer than the Raze, always generating plenty of traction and thus allowing you to generate speed when pumping through rollers and berms. That being said, the Bold is more on the plush side than playful, sticking to the trail like Velcro and providing bags of grip – and only getting slightly nervous in high-speed sections.

The Bold conveys huge amounts of confidence and the suspension generates excellent traction.

Riding Characteristics



  1. sluggish
  2. efficient


  1. cumbersome
  2. playful


  1. nervous
  2. confident


  1. demanding
  2. balanced


  1. harsh
  2. plush

Fun Factor

  1. planted
  2. poppy

Value for money

  1. terrible
  2. very good

Intended Use










The Bold Linkin 135 Ultimate features a stylish frame with fully-enclosed shock and a spacious storage compartment complete with a Save the Day kit and mini tool. However, the spec leaves room for improvement and the TracLoc lockout takes some getting used to. Uphill, it only climbs efficiently with the shock in Traction mode but rides very intuitively downhill, inspiring huge amounts of confidence and only getting a tad nervous at high speeds. The rear suspension works efficiently, combining excellent traction and good support.


  • elegant design
  • intuitive handling
  • spacious storage compartment with Save-the-Day kit and minitool
  • rear suspension offers plenty of traction and support


  • TracLoc takes some getting used to
  • nervous at high speed
  • spec leaves room for improvement

You can find out more about at

The test field

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best trail bike of 2022 – 14 models in review

All bikes in test: Atherton AM.150 (Click for review) | Bold Linkin 135 Ultimate (Click for review) | Canyon Spectral 125 CF 9 (Click for review) | Canyon Spectral CFR (Click for review) | FOCUS JAM 8.9 (Click for review) | Mondraker Raze RR SL (Click for review) | Propain Hugene (Click for review) | Rocky Mountain Instinct C70 (Click for review) | ROSE BONERO 3 (Click for review) | Santa Cruz Bronson CC X01 AXS (Click for review) | SCOR 4060 ST GX (Click for review) | Specialized Stumpjumper EVO S-Works (Click for review) | Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Elite Alloy (Click for review) | YT JEFFSY UNCAGED 6 (Click for review)

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Words: Simon Kohler Photos: Peter Walker, Mike Hunger

About the author

Simon Kohler

​​Simon loves speed. He has many years of racing experience as a longboard downhill skater, blasting down alpine passes on his board. In the meantime, he’s swapped four wheels for two, charging down trails and bike park lines aboard his mountain bike instead. He’s savoured some of Europe’s finest trails on various road trips through the Alps. Having lived in Austria for some time, he knows the local Austrian bike parks like the back of his hand. He’s a tech nerd through and through, using the skills and know-how from his engineering degree and his attention to detail to put the latest bikes and components through their paces for our reviews. As an early riser and self-declared muesli connoisseur, he lives his life powered by oats and the strength of his legs.