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  1. #1
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    Knollfest: WARDEN Edition

    Well, interested to hear everyone's take on the Warden. I'd like to know how it handled Phx chunk and Hangover in Sedona.

    Thx!

    Mark

  2. #2
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    Me2

  3. #3
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    I had no ride time on the Warden but I did spend some time eye f*cking it. The updates to the Knolly product are really clever, small refinements added to the construction of the frames really shows Noel's attention to detail.

    Look closely at this picture for some examples
    Knollfest: WARDEN Edition-853318d1386561415-knollfest-2013-extreme-edition-lv-ridn-knolly.jpg
    "Mi amor Nuevo Miťrcoles!"

    -cabra cadabra

  4. #4
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    LV Ridin was the only one who had any extensive time on the Warden. I will drop him an email and ask him to update you guys on his thoughts.
    "Three balls at once...who knew?" - Cotton McKnight

  5. #5
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    I will be riding and testing the Warden here in LA in the next few weeks. I will post my ride thoughts within the next week in comparison to the Endo and Chil!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calhoun View Post
    Look closely at this picture for some examples.
    Stealth dropper post routing.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by lilknollypunk View Post
    I will be riding and testing the Warden here in LA in the next few weeks. I will post my ride thoughts within the next week in comparison to the Endo and Chil!
    pick a trail you know well, fast steep rough, ride the life out of all three, time yourself, post your thoughts, that would be a brilliant post to read
    2013 Knolly Endorphin | 2013 Knolly Chilcotin | 2014 Knolly Podium.
    Tweed Valley, Scotland.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by cfrench View Post
    pick a trail you know well, fast steep rough, ride the life out of all three, time yourself, post your thoughts, that would be a brilliant post to read
    lilknollypunk is an incredible rider. I'm confident in his ability to put the Warden through its paces.
    "Three balls at once...who knew?" - Cotton McKnight

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrashTheDOG View Post
    Stealth dropper post routing.
    Yep, very clean and nice. It sounds like it will also receive completely modular cable routing.
    "Three balls at once...who knew?" - Cotton McKnight

  10. #10
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    Be cool if the new Chilcotins come with that dropper routing.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiSS'er View Post
    LV Ridin was the only one who had any extensive time on the Warden. I will drop him an email and ask him to update you guys on his thoughts.
    Cool. What does he normally ride? Another 650B or 26? Thx

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by F.N.G View Post
    Cool. What does he normally ride? Another 650B or 26? Thx
    He was the lone Endorphin on the Knollfest and killed it in all the super chunk....... and it's his one bike. He'll certainly be able to give a good comparison.

    I got a very short ride on the large Warden and can say it fit well on my 5'11.5" body, it felt balanced, and fairly light (29 lbs with pedals).
    Last edited by KRob; 12-12-2013 at 08:07 PM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by F.N.G View Post
    Cool. What does he normally ride? Another 650B or 26? Thx
    LV Ridin rides a 2011 or 2012 Turner 5 Spot. He has Spent a short time on the Santa Cruz 5010 in Colorado as well. He is going to post his impressions at some point, he is a rather busy guy.
    "Three balls at once...who knew?" - Cotton McKnight

  14. #14
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    after knollfest anybody thinking about the warden in addition to a chili and endo or to replace one or the other with the warden? where does it sit in the line up?
    2013 Knolly Endorphin | 2013 Knolly Chilcotin | 2014 Knolly Podium.
    Tweed Valley, Scotland.

  15. #15
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    I was fortunate to spend 2 days with the Warden.....deets coming soon! Sorry, just been trying to catch up on the work I was supposed to have done Friday after shuttling...but instead consumed beers with Noel! Beer or work? It was a wise decision.
    Quote Originally Posted by F.N.G View Post
    Well, interested to hear everyone's take on the Warden. I'd like to know how it handled Phx chunk and Hangover in Sedona.

    Thx!

    Mark

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob View Post
    He was the lone Endorphin on the Knollfest and killed it in all the super chunk....... and it's his one bike. He'll certainly be able to give a good comparison.

    I got a very short ride on the large Warden and can say it fit well on my 5'11.5" body.
    Enough time on it to provide one of ur evaluations?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrashTheDOG View Post
    Stealth dropper post routing.
    There are also bolt on cable guides on the linkage
    "Mi amor Nuevo Miťrcoles!"

    -cabra cadabra

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by F.N.G View Post
    Enough time on it to provide one of ur evaluations?
    No, unfortunately I didn't take time to get a good ride in on it. In hindsight, I should've switched on my pedals, got the suspension set up for me and gone for a 30-40 minute after the Hangover ride.

    Kevin offered, but I thought we were going to try and get in a Hogs ride after Hangover but with some mechanical issues, tired legs, beer/recovery time in the parking lot, and fading daylight it didn't happen.

    Then on the SoMo and Goat Camp days I really only wanted to be on my Chili for that stuff.

    Oh well. Maybe when I go down to SoCal for Christmas I can hook up with Kevin or Tanner and get a proper demo in.

  19. #19
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    The Warden!

    So, how was the Warden, you ask?

    First, let me state that I ride a 26er and my only prior experience with a 650B is on buff Colorado singletrack so its not a relatable experience to this occasion of pure chunky goodness. Taking an unfamiliar bike with a parking lot dial-in session down AZ chunk for the first ride on it is equal to bombing down Amasa Back in your freshly built Jeep rock crawler before even driving it down a gravel road....a bit nuts...but no better way to learn about it and quickly.

    As the Warden was a freshly built virgin, Noel generously assisted me in dialing in the suspension prior to the first run and that was greatly appreciated. The CC DB is somewhat complex to dial in but somehow Noel absolutely nailed it on the first attempt. He said he got lucky, I say BS! Itís almost like he has done this before. As a matter of fact, as we rode Noel kept asking me what I felt and what needed to change and I could only say ďDonít touch the shock!Ē We didnít quite get the fork dialed on the first attempt though, more on that in a minute. Quite a bit of the set-up was different than I am used to- the cockpit was lower and very compact, bars narrower, the wheelbase/wheel size obviously different, etc...but I was ret-to-roll. (Regarding compactness, Noel did say that this proto had a slightly shorter top-tube than the production bikes will. Not much, just a handful of millimeters.)

    The first run down Holbert- I was probably pushing it a bit too fast/too early since I was not used to the bike yet and as mentioned above, did not have the fork dialed. I had the fork too soft which would have been perfect on a normal flowing DH run but Holbert offers a lot of steep lawn dart opportunities with plenty of embedded and unforgiving tombstones. As the trail turns nasty and steep, I tucked the front wheel in a deep pocket and did not have the force to pop it out. Can you say Superman OTB with a half twist? Still sporting some nasty bruises, swollen wrist and few scabs as I left a bit of DNA on that section. Anyway, at the bottom of Holbert, we stiffened the fork slightly to accommodate the trail type we were riding. Mission accomplished.

    Next was the descent down Kiwanis which is another chunky-cold medina. The Warden was confident and stable all the way down. It plowed down the railroad ties at the top without hesitation and quicker than I normally roll it. The wheel size and the suspension worked together beautifully to smooth out this section of uncomfortably spaced ties. By now, I felt good on it. The rear would squat when needed and spring when asked, never lagging/never bucking and always very very supple. Not once did I bottom out the shock on the chunk but I used all the suspension it offered. To be honest, after watching TiSSíer and Dirtbag on weekly rides, I fully expected the bike to handle the downs like it did.....and it did...extremely well.

    The next run started very different than the first two- As the AZ Crew can attest, I am far more confident going up super chunk like Kiwanis or 24th than I am going down them. Since we started at Buena Vista parking lot headed to National then 24th, I got the opportunity to see how it climbed on tech. The climb out isnít much of a climb, but it is a steep and techie grunt and the Warden floated up it like I was on a magic carpet. Admittedly, I was concerned that the slackness may hinder me but no, surprisingly not at all. (It has adjustable geometry and I should note that I was in trail mode, not slack mode) There is one sizeable step up with an odd entry that I was a bit apprehensive of (mostly because of no bash guard and the timing with the wheel size difference) but I floated it with no bash, no pedal strike, no dab. Right then, I was convinced the Warden would climb too. This is one aspect of the Warden I would like to explore more...more time tech climbing. Once on smooth flowing National, it was as fast as I needed it to be but I was wishing for a more plush front end (This is a set-up issue, not a bike issue of course). However for 24th descent, I was glad to have it set the way it was. I know with more time, I could get the fork completely dialed with the plushness I wanted but yet a solid progressive bottom. The descent down 24th was absolutely buttery, completely confident and I was giggling like a 10yr old girl at a Bieber concert...until I flatted 100yds from the bottom. Damnit.

    And then there was Goat Camp. The beginning of the climb worked me more than normal strictly due to wheel base/wheel size timing as I found myself ratcheting occasionally and adjusting position on the techie part of the climb. This had nothing to do with the bike, just my unfamiliarity with its dimensions. A few more climbs on the Warden and I would quickly get used to the sizing and this concern would go away completely. Once the climb smoothed out, I flipped the switch on the CC DB to climb and just sat back and pedaled...and pedaled...and pedaled. By time I reached the top, I felt as confident as you can feel on GC and after a pancake/bacon sandwich I had stuffed in my pocket, it was time to drop in. The DH was insane as always and the Warden did itís job flawlessly, the pilot could have done better....damn that Spiral Staircase! The wheel size was appreciated, especially on the drop in section where it is basically a rock avalanche.

    Overall, a fine creation! The Warden was very stable, just point and shoot... Buttery plushness yet not spongy at all. Super stiff laterally and as light as can be expected on a 6Ē bullet-proof ride (I believe Tanner mentioned right at 29lbs-please correct me if I misquoted). As expected, the big wheels rolled over the baby heads and chunder with ease and yet the larger size wheels did not pose any issues as far as maneuverability.
    I guess my only complaint is.........I wanted day-glow green not raw!

    Noel, you sure gave me something to think about!

  20. #20
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    @LV that was a great, informative review to read for potential buyers like myself!
    Quote Originally Posted by lilknollypunk View Post
    I will be riding and testing the Warden here in LA in the next few weeks. I will post my ride thoughts within the next week in comparison to the Endo and Chil!
    lilknollypunk, Any shot you can PM me your whereabouts when you are here in L.A!? I would love to at least see the Warden in person.

  21. #21
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    Great write up Rex. I'll be curious to get more perspective on the 26 vs 650B debate on our weekend rides. I wish I had spent some time on it, but the Chili was just so good for our rides, I couldn't leave it in the garage.
    "Three balls at once...who knew?" - Cotton McKnight

  22. #22
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    Thx for time writing that. You may have mentioned it and I missed it, but what size fork? 150mm or 160mm? Thx

  23. #23
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    It was a Pike set up @ 150mm.....a great fork for sure but maybe a bit light in the loafers for the abuse it went through.
    Quote Originally Posted by F.N.G View Post
    Thx for time writing that. You may have mentioned it and I missed it, but what size fork? 150mm or 160mm? Thx

  24. #24
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    must - stop - reading.

    Want Endo to compliment Delirium and Podium.

    Too much overlap with the D I'm thinking....

    don't make me think!!! - it HURTS...

    michael
    A Dirtbag since 1969.
    A Knomer since 2007.

    Knolly Podium V.2
    Knolly Delirium
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    RM Slayer . . .

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by mykel View Post
    must - stop - reading.

    Want Endo to compliment Delirium and Podium.

    Too much overlap with the D I'm thinking....

    don't make me think!!! - it HURTS...

    michael
    Just do it. I'm trying to justify why I don't need it, I mean I do have a sweet Endo and Chili, but I can't seem to get it out of my head as an intermediate, do all bike. The Warden would be killer in Moab, Sedona, rides where I don't know what to expect, and on many of our rides here where my full coil Chili is too much and my xc/light trail Endo build is too light.

    You can't have too many bikes....right?
    "Three balls at once...who knew?" - Cotton McKnight

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