2018 Knolly Warden
Since Knolly started out life not as a bike brand, but as a guy’s passion project to make himself his ideal mountain bike, it shouldn’t be surprising that every bike that comes out of Knolly now feels super well thought out, with an attention to detail that makes them a joy to ride and a breeze to maintain.
You gotta respect any manufacturer who is willing to buck the trends in favor of producing high quality, non-faddish bikes. But what exactly does that mean? In the case of the Warden, it means that you’ll be buying a high-quality aluminum frame made with 6066 aluminum tubing, which offers a high tensile strength, excellent elasticity and resistance to corrosion that will ensure the Warden an extremely high level of durability. Hydroforming the tubes to precise standards is where the magic happens really, and is the reason all alu frames are not created equal. For the Warden, Knolly has tweaked it to achieve the perfect balance of strength, weight and responsiveness. It’s the sort of ride you get when the founder and designer is not only a crazy adventurous freerider, but an engineering physicist with some manufacturing background.
Another thing you get with an engineering physicist as the owner of a brand is an in-house design for the suspension pivot system. The Fourby4 system may look complicated, but it has been developed to keep as much of the mechanics accessible and highly tunable rate curves and leverage ratios according to the needs of the various frames in the Knolly line-up, trail, all-mountain or downhill. The Fourby4 system 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. And if you love technical climbing, then the Warden will be your dream bike, especially since as a 150mm travel bike, its sure-footed descending will encourage you to push your own boundaries. This is an enduro bike that will make the climbing to stations at least as much of a blast as the descending. With a compatible fork range between 160 and 180mm you can build this to be a nimble all-rounder and a course-crusher. Tweak it to your characteristics still more since the bottom bracket height and head angle can also be adjusted by changing the shock position to help you fine tune the geometry to whatever conditions you may encounter. Throw it in the steeper 67 degree head angle and 13.7" or 350mm bottom bracket height for an agile trail bike, or slam it down into the 66 degree and super low 13.3" or 337mm when you are ready to slay the steepest, most technical terrain, especially since the frame has clearance for seriously beefy 2.5 inch tires.
Internal cable routing has been used for the dropper post, though they have designed the rest of the cabling to be external for the ease of maintenance. The threaded 73mm bottom bracket also keeps things simple and efficient, so you won’t have to worry about fiddling with press fit BBs after a rainy ride or that inevitable squeak. Set it up with 1X or 2X gearing, a sweet pair of wheels, and the Knolly Warden will have you flying over your old trails and begging for new adventures.
Rear Triangle: Alloy
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: 150mm
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: Internal & external
Front Derailleur Mount: E-type 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: Primer Grey Orange, Barracuda Green
Weight: 3250g | 7.1lbs