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  1. #1
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    Different perspective on Warden

    I finally sold my Chili. Shipping it out tomorrow, minus shock. Anyone need CCDBA Shock, go to pinkbike.

    I am planning on getting a new Team Green Chilco. BUT.... all this Warden hype is getting to me. My buddy sold his chilco and endo just to get the Warden.

    As I am considering the different size Chili and color, should i try the the Warden? I had a great discussion with Qbert and he has some great input. Is the hype worth it. I am buying knolly regardless. If i go 650b, it is Warden. Or staying with bigger chilco. Hey, I am a Knomer...

    My question is to all the Knolly owners. If you are considering the Warden, tell me why? Just cuz you wanted 650b and Knolly finally came out with one or the Warden changed your mind?

    The Team Green isn't out till a few weeks according to Kev, so I am stuck on riding my new On One Evo 2 hardtail (excited). I am leaning towards the medium Chilcotin. but maybe, just maybe, waiting it out for the Warden.

    What are your all thoughts? I don't want to get into all this on 650b forum. Here only from Knomers.

    Qbert, please chime in as you had some really good input from our PMing.

  2. #2
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    a very good question. i'm not planning to switch my chili for anything else, but i understand your pov. if i was about to buy me a new bike i would definetly consider the warden.
    well, i don't think we have to go through all the known points like weight, better rolling, etc. i think these are aspects that everyone knows who had a closer look at the differences of 26s and 650b. but i think we have to take a look into the future, and this is about guessing. will this trend settle down and be a valid option to ride also in the future or will it dissapear as it came? i'm tending to believe that it will prevail and over the years will sub the 26s. but nevertheless, i don't see the extinction of 26s but decreasing demand and therefore less choice on parts in the mediumterm future.
    i haven't ridden a 650b yet, but before i would buy one, i would, for sure. this just to make sure if all the dis-/advantages would fit my style of riding. depending on this evaluation i would chose the one or the other.

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    OP, why do not you ask people who have real experience with 650b wheels? With all the respect, when asking Knomers about 650b, you will either get a lot of e-riding comments, a lot of "26 are never going to die", or feedback from guys who rode other than Knolly 650b bikes like me - so please excuse me for invading your thread.

    I have been riding on 650b wheels a lot in the past 18 months, before they became the new big thing. Nothing beats a real trail experience. Rent a demo 650b bike, take it for a spin at your favorite trail, decide if the wheels holds you back or if you can feel any positives. I am seriously considering selling my Mojo HD frame and getting a Warden. The HD is great but a high BB and a limited tire clearance want me to try something different and I expect there is no better bike for my NE trails than the Warden at the moment.

  4. #4
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    As much as I love Knolly, I'm staying as far away from 650B as possible.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by arkon11 View Post
    As much as I love Knolly, I'm staying as far away from 650B as possible.
    Why? I'm very happy with my Chili and Endo, but it seems like there might be very little choice in the future.
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  6. #6
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    Good question!

    Congrats on selling the frame. For complete new bike owners, it is hard not to tell them to consider 650B owing to the recent trend. However owing to the recent resistance toward the 27.5 that I think was originally quiet. I am hoping that the 26inch new products make a come back next year. I think most people thought it was going to evolve like the 29er i.e. much slower. I don't think anyone expected this...but the future does remain unknown. As folks have said, I think the bike industry just hit reset (e.g. 8-track, cassette, VCRs). However, 27.5 is not a new technology like electronics so people may or may not like this.

    First question - was there anything wrong with the Chilcotin? Was it too much bike? If the answer is no, then stick with the Chilcotin.

    As folks are e-speculating - the Warden falls in the middle, so if your felt over biked than the Warden may be ideal.

    Or if you want to give it a try, go for it. Two reasons (mainly financial)
    1) if you sell the Warden there will be a better demand in the used market
    2) Buying a used Chilcotin in the used market will be cheaper

    Are you ready to sell your fork and wheels for the switch as well?

    As I argued before, Knolly's geometry is spot on in my view and this is huge factor in buying a frame. Only recently and with the 27.5 bikes by other companies has the geometry changed toward Knolly geometry. Some people recognize this change.

    Good luck in your decision - it is a tough one.

  7. #7
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    I posted this on the 650b/27 forum.
    It's certainly not directly what you're getting but sort of is. I'd love a Knolly but worry getting the Endorphin may not be a prudent move. If I can get away running the Warden with 26 wheels and a 160 fork for a year or so I'm in:

    Any reason why you couldn't run 26 wheels on new 650/27 frames?
    I realize it's not ideal but if I want to switch over all my components to a new frame is there any reason not to?
    I'd like to get a new frame -- I have a Yeti ASR 5C now -- but don't want to buy a 26. I feel it's basically buying something that will soon be obsolete and hard to sell in a couple years.
    The new Ibis 650B HDR -- according to Ibis and their website -- can be run as is with 26 wheels.
    Makes me curious about other frames -- the new Knolly Warden is very appealing.
    Obviously head tube angle would be steeper, but nothing a -1 degree Works Components or CC Angleset couldn't fix.
    BB height seems to be the big one, but with big, fat 2.4 Continental TK tires I think I can live with a BB in the low 13" range for a year or so.
    Then down the road a bit buy some 650B/27 wheels and fork and be done with it.
    Is this crazy? Am I missing something?

  8. #8
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    FWIW, I wouldn't buy a Warden for the 650b, and I wouldn't NOT buy one for the 650b. The 650b is totally irrelevant to me b/c I don't personally think there is any way in hell I could tell the difference in a 650b bike and a 26" one. What does concern me about the 650b is that I couldn't use any of my current wheels or forks. That's an added expense, and a big one to replace what I have.

    If I ever bought a Warden (which I don't plan to do), it would be because the travel is where I want, and the leverage curve of the suspension is a tad more pedal friendly than the Chili. Those two things alone are VERY appealing to me. At times I feel that the Chili is too much bike for me, and something like the Warden would be perfect and I could make work for all my riding.

    HOWEVER, owning both a Chili and a Endo, I can't see myself ever doing this. I have built both up completely different (one is all air, clipless, 28 lbs; the other all coil, flats, 33 lbs), and it's apparently clear which bike I need to grab for which trail I'm riding.

    I mean, I could play 18 holes of golf with nothing but a 9 iron, but doesn't necessarily mean it's a good thing for me.

    Irregardless, the Warden looks like a killer frame, and a great option for folks.
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  9. #9
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    I think Dude! Has some great advice. Which bike will best suit your needs? Try to put wheel size aside for a moment? Do you need a 160mm, burly frame? Or do you think the lighter 150mm Warden would better suit your needs. Are you keeping the hard tail?

    A couple things that have been going through my mind lately:
    The 26er is probably at the pinnacle of its design. Knolly's bikes are dialed and have little to complain about.

    I don't think 27.5 will have a huge design learning curve like 29ers, but it will be interesting to see how things shake out over the next couple years.

    It is amazing how quickly the industry has jumped on 27.5. Some companies have dropped there 26" line. Are we being forced out of 26" and will our used parts sell of pennies on the dollar?

    I think the Warden will be a great bike. Not because of its wheel size but because of its geometry, suspension, and versatility. When I first order my Chili it was slated as a 150mm bike. During Knolly's transition year it changed a bit and became a160mm bike. Maybe this is the bike I was always hoping for.

    TG

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jon123 View Post
    Any reason why you couldn't run 26 wheels on new 650/27 frames?
    I realize it's not ideal but if I want to switch over all my components to a new frame is there any reason not to?
    I'd like to get a new frame -- I have a Yeti ASR 5C now -- but don't want to buy a 26. I feel it's basically buying something that will soon be obsolete and hard to sell in a couple years.
    The new Ibis 650B HDR -- according to Ibis and their website -- can be run as is with 26 wheels.
    Makes me curious about other frames -- the new Knolly Warden is very appealing.
    Obviously head tube angle would be steeper, but nothing a -1 degree Works Components or CC Angleset couldn't fix.
    BB height seems to be the big one, but with big, fat 2.4 Continental TK tires I think I can live with a BB in the low 13" range for a year or so.
    Then down the road a bit buy some 650B/27 wheels and fork and be done with it.
    Is this crazy? Am I missing something?
    If you dont have everything I would just wait. There is no point in running a brand new ~$2500 warden frame with 26" wheels IMO. The HTA wont be and steeper if both wheels are the same size (any size).

  11. #11
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    I'll chime in on this. When I bought my Chilcotin it was the logical upgrade from my old Endorphin. In steep setting it rides similarly to the old Endorphin but with much better pedal position, a more aggressive, centered feeling on the bike, and no need to mess with a travel adjust fork. No doubt in my mind that it's a fantastic bike but I'm riding it way below it's intended usage as I'm just not much of a jumper/hucker. It's an amazing technical climber and fabulous when it comes to fast chunky downhills. That said, most of the riding around the SLC/PC area is of the long mellow climbs followed by fast mellow descents with an occasional rock garden area. As a whole, the Chilcotin is super fun on this still but definitely overkill. I'm also hoping to do a bit more enduro/super D style racing over the next few years and I would think the Warden will be a killer tool for the job.

    I've got a Ragley hardtail built up with 27.5 and really like the way that bike rolls compared to how it did with 26. I think some of the subtle enhancements in roll over with 27.5 are more noticeable on a hardtail. The benefits are still undoubtedly there with a fully but I think it's more difficult to pinpoint exactly what gains your getting from the wheels vs the suspension.

    I think the Warden should fit nicely with my riding style. It should excel on the super techy trails down south but have some nice gains over the riding I do in the Wasatch. If I had a 3-4 bike quiver this would be a much harder decision but as it stands, I'm generally a one bike for everything kinda guy and I think the Warden suits me best.
    Sipping the Knolly Whisquillappa

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by StiHacka View Post
    OP, why do not you ask people who have real experience with 650b wheels? With all the respect, when asking Knomers about 650b, you will either get a lot of e-riding comments, a lot of "26 are never going to die", or feedback from guys who rode other than Knolly 650b bikes like me - so please excuse me for invading your thread.

    I have been riding on 650b wheels a lot in the past 18 months, before they became the new big thing. Nothing beats a real trail experience. Rent a demo 650b bike, take it for a spin at your favorite trail, decide if the wheels holds you back or if you can feel any positives. I am seriously considering selling my Mojo HD frame and getting a Warden. The HD is great but a high BB and a limited tire clearance want me to try something different and I expect there is no better bike for my NE trails than the Warden at the moment.
    Nobody I know has one here. I can demo one but it wouldn't be Warden. I love Knolly suspension so I could not give a demo'd bike accurate eval.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dude! View Post
    Good question!

    Congrats on selling the frame. For complete new bike owners, it is hard not to tell them to consider 650B owing to the recent trend. However owing to the recent resistance toward the 27.5 that I think was originally quiet. I am hoping that the 26inch new products make a come back next year. I think most people thought it was going to evolve like the 29er i.e. much slower. I don't think anyone expected this...but the future does remain unknown. As folks have said, I think the bike industry just hit reset (e.g. 8-track, cassette, VCRs). However, 27.5 is not a new technology like electronics so people may or may not like this.

    First question - was there anything wrong with the Chilcotin? Was it too much bike? If the answer is no, then stick with the Chilcotin.

    As folks are e-speculating - the Warden falls in the middle, so if your felt over biked than the Warden may be ideal.

    Or if you want to give it a try, go for it. Two reasons (mainly financial)
    1) if you sell the Warden there will be a better demand in the used market
    2) Buying a used Chilcotin in the used market will be cheaper

    Are you ready to sell your fork and wheels for the switch as well?

    As I argued before, Knolly's geometry is spot on in my view and this is huge factor in buying a frame. Only recently and with the 27.5 bikes by other companies has the geometry changed toward Knolly geometry. Some people recognize this change.

    Good luck in your decision - it is a tough one.
    I wanted to move up in size. So when the team green came out, I said wtf, buy bigger size in color I want.

    I am over biked at times, but it is my one do all bike and we have days of full use of it. I love it. I do things on it I, personally, wouldn't do on Endo. It can be done on Endo but I am heavier and lack finesse some have?

    Maybe worth while waiting it out a while, see what all the Warden owners think, and base solid decision next year.

    Thx

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by F.N.G View Post
    I wanted to move up in size. So when the team green came out, I said wtf, buy bigger size in color I want.

    I am over biked at times, but it is my one do all bike and we have days of full use of it. I love it. I do things on it I, personally, wouldn't do on Endo. It can be done on Endo but I am heavier and lack finesse some have?

    Maybe worth while waiting it out a while, see what all the Warden owners think, and base solid decision next year.

    Thx
    I agree that green is dead sexy - it will make you faster on the days you feel overbiked

    Seriously if it is your one bike, I would stick with the Chilcotin. Get a lighter fork (new Pike 160mm), lighter tires, shock with a lock out - this will make the bike really fast. On the bigger days, throw some burly tires on it and go shred. It doesn't take that long to change tires. The adjustable geometry, etc - go Chilcotin!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by G-AIR View Post
    I think Dude! Has some great advice. Which bike will best suit your needs? Try to put wheel size aside for a moment? Do you need a 160mm, burly frame? Or do you think the lighter 150mm Warden would better suit your needs. Are you keeping the hard tail?

    A couple things that have been going through my mind lately:
    The 26er is probably at the pinnacle of its design. Knolly's bikes are dialed and have little to complain about.

    I don't think 27.5 will have a huge design learning curve like 29ers, but it will be interesting to see how things shake out over the next couple years.

    It is amazing how quickly the industry has jumped on 27.5. Some companies have dropped there 26" line. Are we being forced out of 26" and will our used parts sell of pennies on the dollar?

    I think the Warden will be a great bike. Not because of its wheel size but because of its geometry, suspension, and versatility. When I first order my Chili it was slated as a 150mm bike. During Knolly's transition year it changed a bit and became a160mm bike. Maybe this is the bike I was always hoping for.

    TG
    Interestingly, I kind of view it as a business decision... Not quite a good analogy, but I building my hard tail. It took a LOT of effort to find a straight 1 1/8 steerer fork. Tapered is the thing now.
    Later on, if this trend moves on successfully, will 26 components be hard to get?

  16. #16
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    If I had a 3-4 bike quiver this would be a much harder decision but as it stands, I'm generally a one bike for everything kinda guy and I think the Warden suits me best.
    [/QUOTE]

    Sound advice!

    I may have a unique perspective. I have ridden a majority of the initial offerings of 650b bikes. I have 2 Chilcotins one medium one large 2 very different builds.
    Yellow= burly rims, coil shock, 36 fork.
    Raw= DBa, 34 fork, XC rims, 27.5 front wheel 26 rear.
    The bikes feel completely different. It's uncanny the build does make the package the Knolly frame is the heart or foundation to an unbelievable ride.

    First the bike you "need" very much is dependent on your riding preference & the trails you ride.
    I've found in Florida 29ers rule the sandy trails.
    In Arizona it was a mix of 29/26 depending on the above "need" noted.
    In the NW it seems 26 is applicable.

    It is my belief trail construction is a very strong influence in this wheel dilemma.

    Everyone is in a uproar over trivial crap like wheels. It's good to have choices! It's a sign the Mtn biking industry is booming.

    I'm currently looking at the Warden to replace my 29 5" travel all Mtn bike & be a do all on unfamiliar trails.

    Don't listen to the advice that you cannot feel a difference because you can.

    Marketing gimmick says its the best of both worlds. I see it the other way, it's just enough big wheel to ruin the snappy acceleration of the 26. But it may just be the ticket if your thinking 29 but want to ride aggressive. Be honest with yourself though. Do you really ride aggressive like the pros or do you just think your being aggressive. Gopros have the truth within them.

    We could go round & round. At the end of the day this is a first world problem. Enjoy it!

    If you have no parts go Endorphin or Chilo ride until the Wardens are available.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bionicman View Post
    Sound advice!

    I may have a unique perspective. I have ridden a majority of the initial offerings of 650b bikes. I have 2 Chilcotins one medium one large 2 very different builds.
    Yellow= burly rims, coil shock, 36 fork.
    Raw= DBa, 34 fork, XC rims, 27.5 front wheel 26 rear.
    The bikes feel completely different. It's uncanny the build does make the package the Knolly frame is the heart or foundation to an unbelievable ride.

    First the bike you "need" very much is dependent on your riding preference & the trails you ride.
    I've found in Florida 29ers rule the sandy trails.
    In Arizona it was a mix of 29/26 depending on the above "need" noted.
    In the NW it seems 26 is applicable.

    It is my belief trail construction is a very strong influence in this wheel dilemma.

    Everyone is in a uproar over trivial crap like wheels. It's good to have choices! It's a sign the Mtn biking industry is booming.

    I'm currently looking at the Warden to replace my 29 5" travel all Mtn bike & be a do all on unfamiliar trails.

    Don't listen to the advice that you cannot feel a difference because you can.

    Marketing gimmick says its the best of both worlds. I see it the other way, it's just enough big wheel to ruin the snappy acceleration of the 26. But it may just be the ticket if your thinking 29 but want to ride aggressive. Be honest with yourself though. Do you really ride aggressive like the pros or do you just think your being aggressive. Gopros have the truth within them.

    We could go round & round. At the end of the day this is a first world problem. Enjoy it!

    If you have no parts go Endorphin or Chilo ride until the Wardens are available.

    I am being honest with myself, and no, I don't "ride like the pros".....

  18. #18
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    FNG, if I was in your position ( "feeling overbiked" on the Chili) and wanted only one bike, I would get the Warden. I'm sure it will be a great all rounder and a better peddler than the Chili.

    I have a Chili with 650b front/ 26 rear, coil both ends. 34ib, soon to be 33lb (going 1 x 10) which I want to keep for bike park days. The Warden will become my trail bike with air both ends. Hopefully sub 30lb.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by F.N.G View Post
    I am being honest with myself, and no, I don't "ride like the pros".....
    Just trying to add content to the topic not try to disrespect :-)

  20. #20
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    my take on this is it is mostly industry driven. where are the people that were demanding 27.5"? if you go back 6 months to a year, all people on this forum were talking about was how much the chili ruled and then how the new endo did too and that it was an awesome trail bike. to the point that people started selling their chilis and just riding endos. maybe dave turner was right to drop the rfx. just look at how many used chilis are on the market and look at how cheap they are selling for. maybe the 160mm segment is really dieng and a well designed 140mm bike with great geometry and a good suspension design is all the majority of riders need

    where in the last year on this forum was this huge movement and request for 27.5"? sure, i saw a few guys say maybe the endo would be 27.5" and that'd be great, but i sure didnt see anyone insisting on it.

    kirkl pacenti has been touting 27.5" since 2004 and suddenly 10 years later we have some brands going full 650b and dropping their 26" bikes out of the blue. fox and roxshox finally jumped on board. my question is why? was it a marketing/sales decision or consumer driven? was the market for 29" and 26" saturated and stagnant? is this where manufacturers can drum up a buzz and sales and get you to switch to a new frame with the same suspension design but requiring a new fork and new rims too? hence new sales as you drop your current ride for the next, latest greatest thing. maybe following apple's business plan of making you want something that really isn't that huge an upgrade over what you currently have. the new iphone 5s is hardly groundbreaking compared to the 5, yet the apple sheep are lining up waiting to buy in. where were all these manufacturers that are now dropping their 26" line up 10 years ago when geometry wasn't even close to being dialed and a bigger wheel would have made a bigger difference?

    are we on the cusp of an incredible leap in biking performance or are we victims of our own insatiable desire to have the latest and greatest? look at the khs dh bike that was at interbike, a taiwan catalogue turd dressed up this year with 27.5" wheels and being marketed as a big leap in performance. hell, their own pr guy admitted the design with 26" wheels was lacking but now poof, it's a dh slayer. lol. would anyone here take a 27.5" khs dh bike over the current podium?? a good suspension design and geometry are key imho. if you have that, how big a leap will the wheel size make? will i suddenly be steve smith? i don't think so, i'll still be a middle aged hack who enjoys riding a bike. will i have more fun? i doubt it and i know my bank account won't be having more fun

    i'm not ragging on progress or the wheel size, ride what you like. i just don't buy the hype. imo it's almost completely industry driven and of course you have the zealots just like the 29er did. but it took years for the 29er to finally crack the am markeyt once they finally dialed in the key ingredient, geometry. like the banshee prime, but is the prime head and shoulders above the rune?

    i'm sure the warden will be a good bike. it'd be hard for it not to be as the v2 versions of the endo and podium are better than the v1's and the chili is a great bike. how much better can the warden be? hopefully we can look past the hype and see if it really is

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by qbert2000 View Post
    my take on this is it is mostly industry driven. where are the people that were demanding 27.5"? if you go back 6 months to a year, all people on this forum were talking about was how much the chili ruled and then how the new endo did too and that it was an awesome trail bike. to the point that people started selling their chilis and just riding endos. maybe dave turner was right to drop the rfx. just look at how many used chilis are on the market and look at how cheap they are selling for. maybe the 160mm segment is really dieng and a well designed 140mm bike with great geometry and a good suspension design is all the majority of riders need

    where in the last year on this forum was this huge movement and request for 27.5"? sure, i saw a few guys say maybe the endo would be 27.5" and that'd be great, but i sure didnt see anyone insisting on it.

    kirkl pacenti has been touting 27.5" since 2004 and suddenly 10 years later we have some brands going full 650b and dropping their 26" bikes out of the blue. fox and roxshox finally jumped on board. my question is why? was it a marketing/sales decision or consumer driven? was the market for 29" and 26" saturated and stagnant? is this where manufacturers can drum up a buzz and sales and get you to switch to a new frame with the same suspension design but requiring a new fork and new rims too? hence new sales as you drop your current ride for the next, latest greatest thing. maybe following apple's business plan of making you want something that really isn't that huge an upgrade over what you currently have. the new iphone 5s is hardly groundbreaking compared to the 5, yet the apple sheep are lining up waiting to buy in. where were all these manufacturers that are now dropping their 26" line up 10 years ago when geometry wasn't even close to being dialed and a bigger wheel would have made a bigger difference?

    are we on the cusp of an incredible leap in biking performance or are we victims of our own insatiable desire to have the latest and greatest? look at the khs dh bike that was at interbike, a taiwan catalogue turd dressed up this year with 27.5" wheels and being marketed as a big leap in performance. hell, their own pr guy admitted the design with 26" wheels was lacking but now poof, it's a dh slayer. lol. would anyone here take a 27.5" khs dh bike over the current podium?? a good suspension design and geometry are key imho. if you have that, how big a leap will the wheel size make? will i suddenly be steve smith? i don't think so, i'll still be a middle aged hack who enjoys riding a bike. will i have more fun? i doubt it and i know my bank account won't be having more fun

    i'm not ragging on progress or the wheel size, ride what you like. i just don't buy the hype. imo it's almost completely industry driven and of course you have the zealots just like the 29er did. but it took years for the 29er to finally crack the am markeyt once they finally dialed in the key ingredient, geometry. like the banshee prime, but is the prime head and shoulders above the rune?

    i'm sure the warden will be a good bike. it'd be hard for it not to be as the v2 versions of the endo and podium are better than the v1's and the chili is a great bike. how much better can the warden be? hopefully we can look past the hype and see if it really is
    Thanks for the input that i referred to, in my starting post, that you have. My dilemma isn't "will my riding style be suited for Warden or Chili". I was just wondering due to this market shift, is it wise to jump to the 650b? I wouldn't even be in this situation if I hadn't sold Chili and upsized to Medium. I just don't want to be on an obsolete bike design in quick future.

    Your point about Dave Turner is spot on. Just my simple opinion...the Warden will eventually replace either the Endorphin or Chilcotin later on. The bottom line is Noel has a business to run just like Dave Turner does. Dave saw a potential loss in revenue in RFX, despite the loud few who objected. I thought the poor man was going to be burned at the stake by the homers on that forum. So, regardless, it was smart of Noel to design this bike for market changes. It simply has to be done...

    This thread was not to cause debate but just some realistic input as many of you have provided.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by qbert2000 View Post

    are we on the cusp of an incredible leap in biking performance or are we victims of our own insatiable desire to have the latest and greatest?
    We are victims of our own insatiable desire to have the latest and greatest
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    Quote Originally Posted by qbert2000 View Post
    my take on this is it is mostly industry driven. where are the people that were demanding 27.5"? if you go back 6 months to a year, all people on this forum were talking about was how much the chili ruled and then how the new endo did too and that it was an awesome trail bike. to the point that people started selling their chilis and just riding endos. maybe dave turner was right to drop the rfx. just look at how many used chilis are on the market and look at how cheap they are selling for. maybe the 160mm segment is really dieng and a well designed 140mm bike with great geometry and a good suspension design is all the majority of riders need

    where in the last year on this forum was this huge movement and request for 27.5"? sure, i saw a few guys say maybe the endo would be 27.5" and that'd be great, but i sure didnt see anyone insisting on it.

    kirkl pacenti has been touting 27.5" since 2004 and suddenly 10 years later we have some brands going full 650b and dropping their 26" bikes out of the blue. fox and roxshox finally jumped on board. my question is why? was it a marketing/sales decision or consumer driven? was the market for 29" and 26" saturated and stagnant? is this where manufacturers can drum up a buzz and sales and get you to switch to a new frame with the same suspension design but requiring a new fork and new rims too? hence new sales as you drop your current ride for the next, latest greatest thing. maybe following apple's business plan of making you want something that really isn't that huge an upgrade over what you currently have. the new iphone 5s is hardly groundbreaking compared to the 5, yet the apple sheep are lining up waiting to buy in. where were all these manufacturers that are now dropping their 26" line up 10 years ago when geometry wasn't even close to being dialed and a bigger wheel would have made a bigger difference?

    are we on the cusp of an incredible leap in biking performance or are we victims of our own insatiable desire to have the latest and greatest? look at the khs dh bike that was at interbike, a taiwan catalogue turd dressed up this year with 27.5" wheels and being marketed as a big leap in performance. hell, their own pr guy admitted the design with 26" wheels was lacking but now poof, it's a dh slayer. lol. would anyone here take a 27.5" khs dh bike over the current podium?? a good suspension design and geometry are key imho. if you have that, how big a leap will the wheel size make? will i suddenly be steve smith? i don't think so, i'll still be a middle aged hack who enjoys riding a bike. will i have more fun? i doubt it and i know my bank account won't be having more fun

    i'm not ragging on progress or the wheel size, ride what you like. i just don't buy the hype. imo it's almost completely industry driven and of course you have the zealots just like the 29er did. but it took years for the 29er to finally crack the am markeyt once they finally dialed in the key ingredient, geometry. like the banshee prime, but is the prime head and shoulders above the rune?

    i'm sure the warden will be a good bike. it'd be hard for it not to be as the v2 versions of the endo and podium are better than the v1's and the chili is a great bike. how much better can the warden be? hopefully we can look past the hype and see if it really is
    I like what Qbert is saying here...Most importantly ride what you like. I think a lot of this is thinking the next is best. A year ago there was drool on the threads regarding Knollys offerings. I was one of them and still stand by my original thoughts. The Chili is amazing. So is the Podium. It seems like a lot of folks are saying they are over biked and are therefore choosing the Endo or considering the Warden. I'm not sure how many here are freeriding and hitting 10,15,20 foot drops but likely the masses are more trail riders and would prefer a more pedal friendly bike. Personally, I prefer to suffer a bit on efficiency to have the added fun on the downs and trail features that the longer travel bikes yield. Others want the opposite and this is the most basic reason to consider when opting for a bike. If you feel over biked on the Chili, then the Warden would be a great choice. I have very little experience on 650B, but I can say it is much more fun to ride than 29ers!

  24. #24
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    I cant really say about whether the Warden will suit your riding style, trails or preferences. But it is a Knolly. So thats good. Also, Ive been on 650b wheels since 2009, and I will say that they handle like 26ers but have subtle rolling/traction benefits. Its not a night and day difference like that between 26 and 29, but its there. A long ride on rough and rocky trails would be enough to feel the advantage. Subtle.

    Now as a Knolly rider and therefore a connoisseur, Im sure you would appreciate these little subtleties enough to go for the Warden.

    I would buy one if I hadnt just built up a new Endo a few months ago.
    Oh well.
    SCB Nomad, SCB 5010v2, Turner RFX, Voodoo D-jab 650B, Voodoo Wazoo CX/commuter
    ...so far...

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    Quote Originally Posted by cobym2 View Post
    I cant really say about whether the Warden will suit your riding style, trails or preferences. But it is a Knolly. So thats good. Also, Ive been on 650b wheels since 2009, and I will say that they handle like 26ers but have subtle rolling/traction benefits. Its not a night and day difference like that between 26 and 29, but its there. A long ride on rough and rocky trails would be enough to feel the advantage. Subtle.

    Now as a Knolly rider and therefore a connoisseur, Im sure you would appreciate these little subtleties enough to go for the Warden.

    I would buy one if I hadnt just built up a new Endo a few months ago.
    Oh well.
    this is a sensible view. but its important to factor in the rolling weight penalty 650b brings. ..to pick up from where you left off.. ive got the endo and chilco and wouldn't buy the warden because the endo can be built to ride sufficiently different from the chilco. I don't think a warden and a chili makes sense. but maybe an endo built up light, and a warden built up aggressive might. but still I think the best solution is to have a endo and chili. I also believe 26 wont disappear. I think people like specialised wont buy it for a start and while they don't go with it, others will follow suit, and manufacturers wont stop making 26 inch parts.

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    Interesting article from 2007. Guess who said this: "Kirk knows what he's talking about. The 650B wheel size makes more sense for a company looking to produce big wheeled bikes in the 100 - 150mm travel category because they get the rolling benefits of the larger tire, but don't have to modify frame geometries much, or have to contend with the design compromises imposed by 29 inch wheels."

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    I 100% agree with Qbert. I don't buy the hype of the 27.5. Yes, cool another wheel size that's fine, I am glad it works for people. I have zero issue with my 26" inch wheels. The industries push for this is frustrating. It is really annoying when they say we wanted it - BS! I am glad folks are starting to express their dissatisfaction with the 27.5 movement. I really hope companies start to verbally state their opinion, because it is going to be odd when they show to the trails with 26inch bikes or be forced to ride 27.5in bikes to sell products. Hopefully, the industry gets it and the media as well.

    To the 27.5 supporters, your wheel size bike is here to stay -enjoy it, but I am tired of you telling me that it is better. Everyone has their own riding preference - just like 29ers, 69ers, fat bikes, cyclocross, etc.

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    Agree^^ marketing is BS

    There's a bunch of different perspectives to look at it from, both for someone who could feel a change when trying it for the first time, and also for someone who couldn't tell the difference. There could be some real benefits once forks/frames with more travel start to come out *155mm and up.. Those wheels reminded me of a similar feel back in the day to the first time I rode a 26 DHF 2.5 tire after switching out the 2.35..
    ...

  29. #29
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    i'd love to know noel's take on 27.5". did he do it because he thinks it is a superior package or to keep up with the jones? it's easier to do a 27.5 platform when you are coming from 26" than to go 29" which knolly never did. geometry and design is so close to 26". in fact people have said dusty said you can run 26" tires on the warden with no issues, it's that close

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    Quote Originally Posted by qbert2000 View Post
    i'd love to know noel's take on 27.5". did he do it because he thinks it is a superior package or to keep up with the jones? it's easier to do a 27.5 platform when you are coming from 26" than to go 29" which knolly never did. geometry and design is so close to 26". in fact people have said dusty said you can run 26" tires on the warden with no issues, it's that close
    Did you read what I posted above?

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    Quote Originally Posted by StiHacka View Post
    Did you read what I posted above?
    Lol, not at all. I posted in a hurry from work. I saw the reference to pacenti to but didn't see who it was attributed to

    It actually seems unfair to pacenti when the poor guy has been into 650b since 2004 and no big supplier of forks or rims or tires showed any interest and the guy just languished away. Now 10 years later and the big boys are looking to create the hype for the next best thing and are selling 650b like they loved it all along. I don't mean small guys like turner or knolly I mean the big boys like trek etc
    Last edited by qbert2000; 09-21-2013 at 05:14 PM. Reason: Stupid auto correct

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by StiHacka View Post
    Interesting article from 2007. Guess who said this: "Kirk knows what he's talking about. The 650B wheel size makes more sense for a company looking to produce big wheeled bikes in the 100 - 150mm travel category because they get the rolling benefits of the larger tire, but don't have to modify frame geometries much, or have to contend with the design compromises imposed by 29 inch wheels."

    Bicycle Newswire
    what an awesome find
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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by StiHacka View Post
    Did you read what I posted above?
    They quoted Noel. Interesting. Good find.

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    Quote Originally Posted by F.N.G View Post
    My question is to all the Knolly owners. If you are considering the Warden, tell me why? Just cuz you wanted 650b and Knolly finally came out with one or the Warden changed your mind?
    I've been running the biggest 26er tires I can find and the difference between a "normal" 2.35" tire and the large 2.4" tires I am running [essentially 2.5"] is noticeable on the trail in a major way.

    Roll through tech sections is easier and pedal strikes are less.

    Going to a "normal" 650B tire gets me even more diameter with less weight and if I run a big 650B tire I can get another gain in size although it would be at the expense of some added weight.

    I wouldn't ditch my 2yr old 26er to get a 650B bike, but I am riding into year 6 with the same bike so I'm ready for a change regardless of wheel size.
    Safe riding,

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  35. #35
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    Here's my epiphany from just a few minutes ago:

    29ers and 650b showed up at about the same time. All of a sudden we even had forums for the seperate wheel sizes, as we tried to figure out what would stick. Make no mistake, the 650b has been around for a long time, but it died out fairly fast and just barely survived while 29er boomed. 29ers turned out to not be a fad and people would show up for our freeride/super-gnarly terrain rides on a lenz lunchbox or even a 4" more XCish 29er, and they would do alright, in fact many times we'd struggle to keep up on everything but the most gnarly stuff where they only equaled us. So because 29ers became so successful and popular, there needs to be an option that is "less sucky" than what is currently available (26). Enter the 27.5, there all along, just waiting for 29er to be hugely successful to come in as the knight in shining armor.

    I've was in a "hold status" for several years due to this effect as far as purchasing bikes. I'm not interested in a 27.5, but I knew years back that my 26er "AM" bike was the last one I'd buy, just so crappy at climbing with a super-tall front end and losing traction easy and not giving me anything over a 29er anywhere else for 99% of the riding done on the bike. I got a bigger DH/FR bike, where I thought the wheel size wouldn't be a detriment, but I think this all goes back to 29er. Not necessarily the perfect wheelsize for everyone, but so much better than 26 in many situations for many people that it's killed off 26. The future of small-wheeled bikes lives with 27.5 IMO.

    I don't care about "the hype" any more than anyone else does, I think those 26" wheeled 6"ish travel AM bikes have been doomed for a while. They can still be fun, just a little easier to jump (but I'm getting pretty comfortable at bigger stuff on the AM 29er), little more nimble at times, but "slopestyle" and "park" were the precursors to the death of 26 for most mainstream genres. Those were the beginning of the niche 26er markets, which will be the future (DH will hold out for a while, but I expect a wide range of 27.5 AND 26ers soon for DH).

    I've been riding 29 and 26 for the last 8 years. I'd only consider 26 for a DH bike or fat-bike now. I wouldn't mind riding a 27.5 for most anything else, but it's not my first choice. It at least gives me a realistic choice. Companies are interested in making money and selling bikes. I knew there was a time to wait while the industry figured some stuff out, but the industry can't really do this on their level.

    If you truly believe in 26ers, like the pope truly believes in sky fairies, it doesn't matter that you just bought a 6" 26er rig last year or a little before. You won't be complaining. Parts will be available for years to come. You'll likely snap the bike in two before there's ever any problem getting 26" rims and if not the niche markets will continue to push it along years down the road. Just enjoy your 26er, nothing is going to stop you.

    If you're getting a new 27.5 because of "hype", well there's always going to be those, but if you're getting it because you see it as a realistic alternative to a 29er without the disadvantages of 26" wheels, then more power to you.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    I've been running the biggest 26er tires I can find and the difference between a "normal" 2.35" tire and the large 2.4" tires I am running [essentially 2.5"] is noticeable on the trail in a major way.

    Roll through tech sections is easier and pedal strikes are less.

    Going to a "normal" 650B tire gets me even more diameter with less weight and if I run a big 650B tire I can get another gain in size although it would be at the expense of some added weight.

    I wouldn't ditch my 2yr old 26er to get a 650B bike, but I am riding into year 6 with the same bike so I'm ready for a change regardless of wheel size.
    Good description

    FNG to give you a visual, if you've seen the larger/chunkier 26 2.4 or 2.5 size tires in a vengeance or fox 36, you'll notice a good size gap for debris clearance between the top of the tire and the fork arch. The 27.5 mountain king ii and the trail king just about buzz the arch.. That same difference represents the extra bb drop that can be designed into the frame vs a 26", and while still having the same bbh/ pedal clearance.
    ...

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    In answer to the OP's question, yes I am considering the Warden. I am not a fan of industry hype either but I have spent some time on 650b wheels and I am here to tell you that they do work as advertised. I converted a 26-inch frame (Norco Range) and there is a noticeable increase in technical climbing ability and traction with the larger diameter wheels. The bike is also lighter, mostly due to the Fox 34 fork. It does require a small increase in rider input when cornering, which is very easy and quick to adapt to. Getting back to the the Warden, I know it will be a great climbing bike based on Knolly's dialed geometry and the my experience on 650b. The big question for me is how well will it ride downhill on rough trails (North Shore and Whistler)? If it descends anything like my Chilcotin then it may be the perfect 'one bike' for me. What I think is more likely is that the Warden will feel closer to the Endo on chunky descents and will not be a replacement for the Chilli. Since I would like to have a purpose-built 650b bike but don't want to give up the downhill capability of the Chilli I think the Warden and the Chilli would be the perfect stable for me.

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    wow, great discussion with alot of great points being made. Back in the spring I jumped on board the 27.5 hype train but have since backed off as I also fear it could lead to the end of the 26. My first impression of the Warden is that it's the perfect one bike for people that are only going to have one bike ( more like having all your irons on a round of golf but no putter or woods). It's not going to climb better than the Endo and its not going to descend better than the Chilcotin. I have never thrown a leg over either a 27.5 or 29er and I very happy with my Endo, Chilli, Delirium combo. With that being said, I am a sucker for all things Noel designs so of course I'm getting one. The only thing that slightly bothers me is that Knolly will not be offering partial build kits. I just feel that there are a bunch of us with a garage full of parts (or bikes that have parts that could transfer) that only need a frame, fork wheel and tires combo. well then there is the fact that I want a candy apple red Warden as well, just sayin

  39. #39
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    I dunno........I just hope there are some good reviews on this model in the near future and the rear has plenty of clearance for large high volume tires ! I'd like to get down to two bikes ( now have 5 ) and this might replace at least 3 of them ! I'm still rockin with my old model Endorphin !
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  40. #40
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    I think it is marketed for the new breed of trail riders that is why most of the bikes in 27.5 are designed within the 28 lbs mark and 140/150 travel.

    Old dogs like some of us, would still love/enjoy riding our beloved AGED 26'ers, Grab a cold beer, watch the sunset after a ride, And see how the dust of 27.5 hype settles in,
    When trails gets tougher, Just stand up and deliver.

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    I remember when I rode a 34-36lb 26" 6" travel bike.

    Now I have a more capable 29lb 29er with 6" of travel and even better geometry. I love progress.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    I remember when I rode a 34-36lb 26" 6" travel bike.
    Me too...I feel that way after just about every ride!
    Safe riding,

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    I remember when I rode a 34-36lb 26" 6" travel bike.

    Now I have a more capable 29lb 29er with 6" of travel and even better geometry. I love progress.
    That's an enduro29 you're referring to?

    I have not looked into those yet, can that be set up coil/coil?

    One of the reasons I haven't looked into carbn is the lack of a threaded BB, because the press fit style BB I saw (not sure what they're called) looked to be sitting on a plasic sleeve, didn't seem like that would be durable (never tried it though)
    ...

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deerhill View Post
    That's an enduro29 you're referring to?

    I have not looked into those yet, can that be set up coil/coil?

    One of the reasons I haven't looked into carbn is the lack of a threaded BB, because the press fit style BB I saw (not sure what they're called) looked to be sitting on a plasic sleeve, didn't seem like that would be durable (never tried it though)
    Maybe, idk, it can be set up with a cane creek air DB, it should have the same basic attachment as the other enduros, some of which are speced with coil shocks. Yes, I agree PF30 is kind of stupid. I haven't had any problems and recently upgraded to XX1 cranks, but manufacturers are putting PF30 on bikes across the board to make up for their lack of ability to design around a smaller threaded BB with carbon. I think there are enough problem-solver type options for the press-fit BBs now, with CK making bearings, others making spacers, and even other types of adapters. Still, not my first choice. I think this standard is going to survive due to carbon bikes.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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    Quote Originally Posted by qbert2000 View Post
    my take on this is it is mostly industry driven.
    rotflol!
    Nice KOM, sorry about your penis.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    I remember when I rode a 34-36lb 26" 6" travel bike.

    Now I have a more capable 29lb 29er with 6" of travel and even better geometry. I love progress.
    Are you dropping 15-20 footers on that 29er? I didn't think so. Let's be a little realistic and honest about the types of riding out there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mayha View Post
    Are you dropping 15-20 footers on that 29er? I didn't think so. Let's be a little realistic and honest about the types of riding out there.
    I'm doing 15-20 foot doubles easy on it. Basically the stuff that you're "not supposed to be able to do" on a 29er. They don't have many drops at the ski hill, but I have no reservations doing any.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Maybe, idk, it can be set up with a cane creek air DB, it should have the same basic attachment as the other enduros, some of which are speced with coil shocks. Yes, I agree PF30 is kind of stupid. I haven't had any problems and recently upgraded to XX1 cranks, but manufacturers are putting PF30 on bikes across the board to make up for their lack of ability to design around a smaller threaded BB with carbon. I think there are enough problem-solver type options for the press-fit BBs now, with CK making bearings, others making spacers, and even other types of adapters. Still, not my first choice. I think this standard is going to survive due to carbon bikes.
    If the res/lsc on that air version is the same size as rc4 it might work, they may have shortened it though. rc4 is a good shock with wide range, you can get inside to dial the lsc and hsr to blow off wherever you want and w/o having to send it in.

    The FSR looks different on this to me, or the main pivot seemed almost vertical to BB now and maybe a littler higher? Numbers almost seem like it's not a 29r, pretty crazy.
    ...

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deerhill View Post
    If the res/lsc on that air version is the same size as rc4 it might work, they may have shortened it though. rc4 is a good shock with wide range, you can get inside to dial the lsc and hsr to blow off wherever you want and w/o having to send it in.

    The FSR looks different on this to me, or the main pivot seemed almost vertical to BB now and maybe a littler higher? Numbers almost seem like it's not a 29r, pretty crazy.
    Pivot about maybe 2.5" above the BB center and .5" behind it.

    The way I see it, we aren't looking for "short" 29ers, we are just looking for 29ers with normal geometry, like a 26er. 29ers are already more stable, so we don't need them longer than 26ers. There's just no good reason for that.

    I won an enduro race last weekend on it at the ski resort, but there wasn't exactly a big field either. Cool to see to Enduros at the finish though. The 26er version looks like the exact same bike, you wouldn't know unless you have something to compare the 29er version against. Gunna do the DH race this weekend.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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    All this negative talk about industry hype, all I can say is get out and ride a 27.5 bike! I was always the one who hated on big wheels (still hate 29ers) but now that I have some time on a 27.5 bike I will never go back to 26" wheels for trail/AM. I currently have a Banshee Rune 27.5 and I am running a Fox Float 36 and Hans D 2.35 tires with PLENTY of clearance in fact the axle to crown is almost identical to the 650b "specific" Pike I had. The wheel size does feel a lot like a 26" wheels while avoiding the quirky characteristics of the 29er. This setup rolls over everything easier and when heading downhill picks up speed much quicker. I killed all my previous Strava times as well, probably due to a better frame as well as the wheel size and mostly me having more fun and riding with more confidence. Im sold!!!

    To the OP, with this opportunity how could you not jump on a new Warden!? Get another Chili and you will be kicking yourself (not saying the Chili is a bad bike)...

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