2018 Knolly Warden Carbon
If you have been looking for the perfect all-mountain and enduro bike, that ideal bike that has everything, then it’s likely that a Knolly has figured into your calculations. But maybe you also couldn’t quite give up on your carbon dreaming. Now you won’t have to. The Warden Carbon has arrived and it proves that Knolly is equally dedicated and skilled at creating their all-mountain bruiser with this most taxing of materials.
Anyone who’s paid any attention to Knolly over the years will know that they aren’t trend-followers, at least not for the sake of being trendy. They have moved into the industry 27.5 standard wheelset, but mostly because they love the possibilities that that wheel size opens up for their geometry and suspension system. But they didn’t want to jump into carbon waters just for the sake of it. For a long time, even when folks were begging for carbon, they stuck with the high-quality, cost effectiveness that they have dialed with their alu frames. Of course, in the back of everyone’s head is: how much better can this be with a carbon frame made using the same loving care, and expense-be-damned, mentality that every Knolly aluminum frame gets. Oh-boy. The carbon has been made using a proprietary rigid mandrel layup process, which removes all weak spots from the carbon layup, eliminating void spaces and the need to use fillers within the layup. That is so important because Knolly has been very particular in how they layup the carbon of the frame so that you can still expect an exceptionally well-balanced ride with the perfect interaction of stiffness and compliance.
Offering 155mm in rear travel, the Warden Carbon comes with both Neutral and Low geometry settings. The Low position drops the bottom bracket from 345mm to 337mm, and slackens the head angle from 66.5 to 65.5 degrees. That means that you can choose whether to set it with a focus on efficient climbing, or get it ready to tackle crazy steep drop offs. The in-house design for the suspension pivot system, called the Fourby4 system, may look complicated, but it has been inspired by strut suspension more typically found in motor sports, and offers highly tunable rate curves and leverage ratios according to the needs of the various frames in the Knolly line-up. The Fourby4 system decouples wheel path from shock progression, allowing Knolly to tune them individually. It makes it possible to control the wheel rate independently of the shock rate, which means you’re never compromising on traction whether climbing or descending. Then the pivot hardware is CNC machined black anodized titanium for weight savings and durability.
Since you will likely want to kit this frame out with the top of the line components, a “trap door” has been added to the downtube so you can easily house the Shimano Di2 battery. Another clever design feature for the frame comes with the full length seat tube that can accommodate a 175mm dropper post even in a size small frame. Internal cable routing for the shifters, brakes and dropper post makes for a sleek looking machine, while the threaded 73mm bottom bracket ensures a level of practicality and ease of maintenance we all love about Knollys. The frame can accommodate both 1X and 2X drivetrains and can easily clear some 2.5 inch tires for those rides that you really need to get a grip.
The Knolly Warden Carbon is such a sweet piece of work, it can get a devoted roadie excited about hitting some back trails, and is so well-balanced, said roadie will even live to tell the tale.
Rear Triangle: Carbon
Rear Shock Size: 7.875 x 2.25
Shock Option(s): Fox Float DPS EVOL Factory (stock), Cane Creek DBcoil IL (optional -$76), Fox Float X2 Factory (optional +$258), Cane Creek DBA-CS (optional +$215)
Rear Travel: 155mm
Shock SAG: 30%
Fork Travel Range: 160mm
Head Tube Diameter Top: 44mm
Head Tube Diameter Bottom: 56mm
Headset Included: No
Bottom Bracket Type: 73mm | Mountain threaded
ISCG Tabs: ISCG05
Cable Routing Brake: Internal
Cable Routing Shifter: Internal
Cable Routing Dropper Seatpost: Internal
Front Derailleur Mount: Direct mount
Front Derailleur Pull Type: Front pull
Front Derailleur Swing Type: Side swing
Wheel Size: 27.5”
Max Tire Width: 2.5”
Brake Mount Type: Post mount
Seatpost Diameter: 31.6mm
Seat Collar Included: Yes
Rear Axle: 12mm Thru x 142mm
Sizes: 14.7” SM | 16.5” MD | 18.7” LG | 20.3” XL |
Colors: Raw Carbon Grey, Raw Carbon Orange
Weight: 2835g | 6.25lbs