First Look: Knolly Warden - Eurobike 2013

Aug 28, 2013 at 6:00
Aug 28, 2013
by Mike Kazimer  
 
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First Look:
Knolly Warden
Warden Details
• 150mm travel
• 27.5" wheels
• Replaceable ISCG mount
• 66 or 67 degree head angle
• Frame weight (claimed): 6.75lb w/ Fox CTD shock


• Four by 4 Linkage
• 12x142mm thru-axle
• Titanium pivot hardware
• 16.9" chainstay length
• Available: Winter (February) 2014

There was no missing Knolly's new Warden, with its look-at-me paint job that immediately attracted the eye from across the exibition hall at this year's Eurobike show. With 150mm of rear wheel travel and 27.5” wheels, the Warden's amount of travel sits in between the Canadian company's 160mm Chilcotin and their 140mm Endorphin, although both of those bikes use 26" wheels. This new bike was designed to meet the demands of enduro racers and all-mountain riders who are looking for a bike that can be built up at a reasonable weight and still handle aggressive riding. Noel Buckley, the owner of Knolly, stressed that traction was the number one priority when configuring the bike's suspension layout, along with the ability for it to handle well no matter how rough the terrain.


The Warden's aluminum frame is constructed using aluminum tubing that has a similar wall thickness to the Endorphin, but the downtube diameter is larger, creating more surface area for welds in the headtube area, where the Warden uses a 44/56mm headtube order to keep the front end as low as possible. The bike's rear suspension uses Knolly's Four by 4 linkage, a four bar design with an additional link connected to the seat stays to drive the rear shock. The Warden's geometry can be adjusted by changing the lower mounting point of the rear shock, allowing riders to choose between a 66 or 67 degree head angle (when a 150mm fork is used) and a 347 or 335mm bottom bracket height. One feature that isn't immediately apparent is the titanium pivot hardware fount on the seat tube pivots. This new hardware will also be specc'd on the Podium, Knolly's DH race bike.

Several parts packages will be offered, giving riders the option of choosing from SRAM's XX1, XO1 or a Shimano XT drivetrain, with Fox's CTD Adjust or Cane Creek's DBAir shock in the rear. RockShox's Pike or Fox's 34 are both ideally suited for this bike, offering a balance of strength and weight that falls in line with the bike's intentions. As for frame color, the traditional black and raw colors will be available, along with green (pictured) and orange. Final pricing has yet to be determined, but it should fall in line with Knolly's other offerings.

2014 Knolly Warden
The larger diameter downtube tubing gives Knolly plenty of room to lay out clean welds to join the tapered headtube to the rest of the frame. A 12x142 rear through axle and removable ISCG mounts ensure the Warden meets with the current must-have design standards.

2014 Knolly Warden
Knolly's BC roots showed through in the Warden's build kit, with a healthy selection of Race Face components and a Chromag seatpost collar.

www.knollybikes.com
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108 Comments

  • + 41
 I would be much happier if they put a 170/180 mm AM/freeride machine with 26" wheels
  • + 67
 They have one, Chilcotin model can take upto 180mm.
  • - 85
 I would be much happier if you would shut up about a bike you never intend to own...
  • + 75
 MasterOfStone I was referring to frame travel... rosenbaum-j I started to write you a seriuos comment, then realized you don't deserve one
  • + 9
 alonalgr: understood, it would've been nice to see the revival of the Delirium model which is a 170mm AM/freeride machine(maybe with another name) but I don't see it happening in the near future due to companies putting more effort on 650B or 29'ers.
  • + 9
 Let the irrelevant hate beging..
  • - 8
 all bike companies have something unique about there bike that gives it the edge, GT has amazing pedaling, santacruze has extreme lightness, demo has a BB that is way to low for my taste Wink but i still have no idea what knolly has, if anyone knows i would greatly appreciate it if you could just post below. thanks you.

and this now bike looks cool but really wheres the 26???
  • + 6
 alonalgr: the v-tach is still listed on their website. and the delirium is just what you are looking for.

personally i wish they would offer a long travel hardtail like in the old days. but with modern geo and in a variety of wheel sizes. slack hardtails are sweet.
  • + 1
 I still havnt seen a 2014 gt force review of how it climbs..scott genius seems to be a lb lighter than bronson(both great)
  • + 4
 @Hermit185: v-tach and delirium are listed as past models
  • + 15
 Doesn't make any sense. 170-180mm free ride bikes are almost a thing of the past. Modern 150mm trail bikes can do everything that 170mm bikes could do.
  • + 10
 correction: modern 150mm trail bikes can do anything that OLDER 170mm freeride bikes could do. a modern freeride bike is something like the entourage, the one that aggy shreds, and they are far more capable descenders and big-hit-takers than AM bikes. are you willing to hop on this knolly here and go send gnarcroft, aggy style? would you ride this knolly here at rampage?
  • - 4
 This bike looks sick, but why such short tracel capacity. the front you might get some more mm's under that fork, but in the rear youre already maxed out on travel. I also dont see the point of buying a "new" bike now/soon with "older" components when all the new/good stuff is coming out now for inter bike Big Grin Like the DB air cs, new fox enduro shock, X01. My opinion.
  • + 5
 C4mtb-just look at the torture Doerfling puts his Knolly through. I think their more than capable.
  • - 6
 i am not saying that they are not capable, i just want to know what give is that edge or makes it unique.
  • + 1
 Well judging by the current trend, the 27.5 puts it light years ahead of 26. Lol!
  • + 7
 @ Hermit: how did you do at Rampage last year?
  • + 9
 @c4mtb their most obvious, unique, and patented characteristic is the Four by 4 linkage.

26? all their current models are running 26. the Warden is their first 650b.

are you familiar with Knolly bikes?
  • + 2
 thats a weird question to ask willie1. im sure you were trying to make a point, but to me that comment is so irrelevant that im going to have to assume you think i was really there. well will, i didnt go to rampage last year, see, im a pretty average rider. what i was saying earlier is that AM bikes are not the same as freeride bikes. i wasnt asking dave to actually ride an AM bike at rampage, just saying that no one would ride a bike like that at rampage.
  • + 1
 They have models to cover many disciplines. If Rampage is on your schedule, this bike isn't on your short list of options.
  • - 2
 once again, its about the warden, and once again, im not going to rampage.
  • + 7
 c4mtb.. They have freeride roots so one thing that's important for them is a full seat tube, so you can climb up, as well as bomb down.

Yes, there are other long travel frames with full seat tubes.. but I think their motto is (something like): Climb all the hills to slay any descent on a sturdy, reliable frame made for big hits that wont let you down in the back country.
  • + 3
 thank you
  • + 1
 C4mtb, another aspect is their "short" chainstays on the Endorphin at 425mm (16.73"). With a lot of bikes, nowadays, short chainstays are becoming a rarity. I personally think it's because it's easy to engineer a bike with longer stays, and because 430mm and longer (even for 26" wheeled bikes) have been the standard offering by many for so long (think Giant, Trek, GT, and so on) few know what shorter chainstays do for you. Specialized have been one of the few with short chainstays; Knolly having the "Four by 4" linkage are offering something similar (Horst link, also) but with more engineered rear-end stiffness.
  • + 1
 My entourage is 170/170 and tons of people put 180mm forks on them. TR250 is another awesome new freeride bike. The diamondback scapegoat is a freeride beast too and although the price is ridiculous it's not bad compared to a small company like Knolly.
  • + 3
 dualsuspensiondave: New 180mm Specialized Enduro Evo may breath some life into the 26" 170/180mm market. Kind of like a playful, DH bike that can self shuttle!
  • + 4
 All of these bikes mentioned are really good. My point is after owning a 170mm freeride, a dh race bike, and a modern trailbike, the freeride bike gets cancelled out easily. In fact, the trailbike gets the most use, for me anyways.
  • + 3
 That's why I have a 180mm travel trail bike:-)
  • + 1
 dave cmon, you live in ohio fer crissakes, you also gonna tell the HI boys that they don't need to strap in for Jaws?
  • + 1
 Meh, you're in Vancouver, I'll give you that. I lived there myself. I do often ride trails that are gnarly as anything out there. Ask the top junior American WC DH racer's about Windrock, TN.
  • + 1
 Put a 180 fork on a Chilcotin and then tell me it can't be a freeride machine.
[Reply]
  • + 11
 In a whiny, shaky, cranky old man voice: "I hate 650b. I'm being force fed this stuff! I'll never need a new bike, ever! I don't want to try anything new. Where's my meat and potatoes? Why isn't Matlock on anymore. I miss my old pager. I hate cell phones. Where's my god damned V-brakes? I hate full suspension. Bikes are supposed to be made of steel and have 26" wheels. Back in my day we didn't have the internet to bitch on. We yelled at our bike magazines and threw them on the ground when they advertised new things."
[Reply]
  • + 16
 Knolly how could you!?!?
  • + 12
 Same reaction here, they were among the few brands not going into this 650b fashion, and now it's over...
  • - 6
 Bummer with 275 and they moved production overseas. So no go. Making hydroformed parts is no big deal. Get a small press and design software for the moulds. Now your stuck with whatever catalog tubes everybody else is using.
  • + 2
 Agreed, that was my first reaction as well. However, as long as they keep the 26" models available and update them on a yearly basis (or design new models) then all is good.
  • + 8
 They showed proto 650b dropouts for the Chilcotin and the Endorphin at last year's Interbike, so this isn't really a shocker.
  • + 12
 I get the hate for 27.5, but after trying it I'm completely sold and don't plan on going back to 26 any time soon. I don't have access to dh trails, and don't ride dj. This bike would be perfect for me.. Just added to the long long list of bikes to drool over.
  • + 3
 I thought the same when I saw this bike...
  • + 5
 Just ride one.
  • + 2
 dito lumberjerk. I have DH trails near by that require a loooong push/pedal to access and i'm getting old. Bikes like these may not be as fast on the steep and deep, but I for one spend a shitload of time climbing to get to the good stuff, and I know the new crop of AM bikes can handle my local DH trails just fine. Sign me up.
[Reply]
  • + 14
 Another bike on my wish-list....Number?....I've lost track
[Reply]
  • + 8
 To all the comments about over seas production... I don't think you guys get it. They are one of about 4 or 5 companies that actually work with the manufacturer to make the frames they want. This means they build many one-off bikes, test them, then revise the designs. If you have ever seen one in person you know they are not "catalog tubes". If you were to compare 2 frames, one from Sappa and one from Taiwan side by side (I have) you will see that the quality of the welds, the tube manipulation, paint quality, everything is better. Step off your "made in USA/Canada" soap box for a minute and look at the final product. It is superior in every way, and with Noel keeping a close eye on every step in the process, it is still very much a Knolly.

I love my Chili, and the 4x4 works as intended.
  • + 1
 Couldn't have said it any better. Just have to add, Fucken Eh Men!
[Reply]
  • + 7
 Popularity of mountain biking is growing, and there is room for 26" and 650b. Pinkbike caters more towards the hucksters, but let's face it, there is a big segment of riders out there than want this kind of bike. If I was an XC/AM rider looking for a new rig, this would be high on my list. Knolly quality and killer ride characteristics in a 650b package. I'm a 26'er myself, so I'll leave this stoke for the 650b lovers out there.
  • + 1
 ya 26 is the best - lets keep that word going around so i can sell my 26er for top dollar. see you all on 650b in about 3 years.
  • + 1
 Finally got to ride the Warden today in Whistler. Really enjoyed the bike, pedaled beautifully, solid on the downhillish(blue trail) i was on, felt so firm in a very nice way, i am an advanced rider but this bike boosted confidence when i started to push things. That being said i don't have any negative comments about the 650b(my first try at this wheel size) but i found i was having troubles on the downhill tight tech corners. I was overshooting the corners. Rider error for sure but definitely, for me, a different ride from the 26 wheel size. I deliberately rode over the obstacles on the trail to see the difference in the two wheel sizes. It did roll over the objects easier than my 26 experience on the same trail, but i found it noticeably more challenging to pick a good line through techy areas. With time in the saddle i believe this could be overcome, but initial thought was this wheel size was a bit awkward in the techy stuff. Hope that i was some help to those in the market for a different/new bike. cheers.
[Reply]
  • + 7
 Its not a 100mm XC 29er!!! How can they ignore what most people are buying and release this unnecessary stuff????? It isn't what I want so it shouldn't be presented here!!!

You guys are too funny!!! Smile Smile Smile
[Reply]
  • + 9
 Lets see a new Delirium!
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Just built up my Chilcotin and LOVE the way it rides................the Warden is going to be AWESOME I'm sure. Way to go Knolly!! Smart business move for sure! More choices = More happy customers = better prices and availability = Customer WIN!!
[Reply]
  • + 7
 Bigger Wheels / less travel!! APOCALYPSE!!!
  • + 3
 So-o-o, I should dump my DJ bike for jumping and instead buy the longest travel rig I can find? What about the right tool for the job?
  • + 1
 talking about DH bro...
  • + 0
 actually w8ting for this worldcup...there is one rider with 29" wheels Smile
If he gonna become WORLDCHAMPION...I will give the 29" a chance...:P
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Wow! The amount of whiny twats on here is unreal. If a 27.5 bike doesn't interest you then why even open the article, and why comment?
[Reply]
  • + 3
 I've owned a podium and now I ride on the chilcotin Bottom line if its looks like a knolly then it's a knolly !! And the future belongs to the 650 b wheels !knolly brings allot more to the joy ride from others bikes out there ...progressive feel full traction on any terrain in any wether and most important Lots of fun and huge smile all the way.. This is a unique bike that a true rider will connect to the brand DNA Which is in one word ....ripping!! That will be my next knolly.....
[Reply]
  • + 3
 More and more reasons keep coming out to keep the bikes that I already own forever. Nothing ground breaking here, or on any 140-160mm travel 27.5" with 66-67 headtube angles and low bbs. They are all me-too machines. Scott has the only thing close to unique with the Genius LT but I still won't shell out for it because I won't be any faster or have any more fun. I will just have to work more to pay for it...so actually less fun.
  • + 1
 So what you're saying is reading about new products really isn't for you.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Everyone complaining about being force-fed 650b, hasn't talked to the bike market lately. 90% of the questions I get at the shop are about when model x will be available with 27.5 wheels. Those of you who don't want it are creeping into the minority. Demand is the issue, not supply.

As for the warden, it will not be a typical 650b. It is a Molly, so it will be better at climbing and an amazing descender and bulletproof.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I dont know weather to be content with the warden or unhappy.... Its a chilcotin with 27.5 wheels, to be honest it doesnt change much... Knolly is an excellent bike company with amazing bikes and costumer services. Anyone who says thats not true is biassicly bullshitting. These bikes rock!
  • + 1
 Wrong. The frame is sorta a mixture of the Chili & Endo. This is a quote from Noel himself when I asked about the Warden- "The Warden's geometry is all new: we wouldn't be able to adapt any of our 26" wheeled models for 650B without compromising geometry, handling and ultimately ride quality." Should be a solid bike!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 @c4mtb Knolly's ride quality goes way beyond the sum of its numbers. It's the combination of suspension design, geometry, construction, etc that gives the bikes an incredible feel, and deliberately engineered reliability. What does Knolly have? Unbelievable climbing traction in chunk and roots, ridiculous cornering ability, phenomenal bump swallowing and soul. What don't they have? A marketing and World Cup racing budget.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 The Chilcotin is the 160 mm and the Endorphin is the 140 mm, not the other way around. Three very similar bikes with 10 mm differences in suspension travel, hmm...not sure it was a smart move by Knolly.
  • + 12
 Except this one has 27.5" wheels. Had they replaced either of the 26" models they would've been blasted, but you can bet this bike will likely outsell both the older models.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Aw, crap. That looks like the perfect epic all mountain to compliment my Podium. Winter 2014 gives me some time to convince the wife that I really need another bike. Way to go again Noel, looks sweet.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Hey pinkbike, why don't you like Knolly so much? Wink


First, in your Endorphin review you mentioned taper forks wouldn't fit the in the frame [which was an obvious error].
Now you claim Warden will be available in winter 2014, while the plaque at Knolly stand clearly states it'll be ready in 2013!
goo.gl/gR6zvR
  • + 4
 The bike should be ready around February, 2014. That's still winter in most places, but hopefully that helps to clarify things.
  • + 1
 In my place winter snow lingers even in May Wink

Thanks for clarification Mike! Wink
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Oh what a surprise- yet another big wheeled bike on the PB homepage..... YAWN YAWN YAWN.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 run my Slayer w/ type 2 rear and a Race Face narrow wide chainring as well and haven't had a problem. wouldn't mind having a taco but nobody makes just a taco w/o a chainguide at least that i know of.
  • + 1
 haha damn i feel stoopid now. thanks dude
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Love the colour!! :O
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I would love to demo this one.
With all the long travel 29" and 27" it looks like 2014 is going to be the year of the mandatory 1x drive train.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 wow, looks amazing. after riding my Endorphin the last 6 months, i am looking forward for upgrading my bike, this machine looks a killer.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 "Available: Winter 2014"

Damn it, now I know what I will get for Xmas next year Smile
Too bad, I like to be surprised Smile
  • + 2
 You missed it. Feb. 2014.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 I'm liking that a lot!!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Pre-order now at martianpowercycles.com
[Reply]
  • + 1
 What's the top tube length on this size? It looks shorter than a dirt jumper
[Reply]
  • + 1
 great bike....pitty about the name
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Was going to buy a knolly,don't think I'll bother now,29er,650, when's it all going to end?
  • + 1
 Endorphin 26er, Chilcotin 26er, Podium 26er. Calm down Jase, they've got you covered. Cheers.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Does that Chromag seatpost lever have a GoPro mount built in?
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I like the green on it
[Reply]
  • + 1
 That's a very nice looking bike, but I miss internal cable routing.
[Reply]
  • - 1
 another new 27.5bike..why are the bike company's forcing a new wheel set,tyres ,frame and forks.... cash out our pockets ! end of story.......
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I want one, looks awesome.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 First picture link is pointing to the wrong path
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Damn looks hot bike
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Looks a little like a Wildcard
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Strange little green monster.
[Reply]
  • - 3
 Dropped liked bombs on Asad's bunker.
  • + 4
 Aww come on it was a joke...I actually volunteer with a humanitarian organization so I completely understand the insensitivity of my comment...but it was a joke!
[Reply]
  • - 3
 Buy a banshee Rune,Best Bike ever
  • + 1
 Tell it to my friend who hates his Spitfire frame. The worst suspension bushing pivots ever! He has to service them every other week, which includes uninstalling crankset, etc.
  • + 1
 I hated my Spitfire V1 for that reason, but ended up with the V2 upgrade and that bike rocks. Better in every aspect than the V1 and zero maintenance for 6 months now...
[Reply]
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