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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

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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 Miércoles!"

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  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.
    Employed by Pivot Cycles - www.pivotcycles.com

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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

  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.
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  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.
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  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.
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  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.
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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?

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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 Miércoles!"

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  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.
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  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! It’s 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 “Don’t touch the shock!” We didn’t 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 TiSS’er 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 isn’t 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 it’s 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 6” 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.
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  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
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  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?
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by LV RIDN View Post
    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.
    I have been taking with Noel and he agrees that based on your riding, skill set, and terrain, you would be better suited to a bigger fork. I love the idea of a Warden as an intermediate National, Sedona, Moab type bike.
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiSS'er View Post
    I have been taking with Noel and he agrees that based on your riding, skill set, and terrain, you would be better suited to a bigger fork. I love the idea of a Warden as an intermediate National, Sedona, Moab type bike.
    Any chance we are going to see the trifecta?

    Bummed I missed the Fest. Nice work putting it all together.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by G-AIR View Post
    Any chance we are going to see the trifecta?

    Bummed I missed the Fest. Nice work putting it all together.
    Sure, anything is possible. However, there is so much overlap between the 3 that it would simply be a "luxury" rather than a "necessity" I could see a X01, full air build coming in at 29lbs and being a killer bike. I'm curious what all the 650B buzz is about. My Chili is so dialed for the chunky stuff, not sure how much time the Warden would see. I could see the Warden getting more trail time than the Endo.

    I wish you could have made it out this year. Sedona and shuttling was over the top, and just too much fun. I have thought about getting Dusty and few others back this spring for a mini-knollfest. We should talk.
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiSS'er View Post
    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?
    I am a bit enamored by this bike as well to be replace my Rune V2 as my do-all trail/AM shredder here in the PacNw. I think 150 front/back and geo of Warden (low/slack for me) is perfect for ride everything, trail bike kind of rig.
    Ride On!

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    Quote Originally Posted by tiSS'er View Post
    Sedona and shuttling was over the top, and just too much fun.
    Sorry to go off topic, but what trails do you shuttle in Sedona?

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    Quote Originally Posted by westeast View Post
    Sorry to go off topic, but what trails do you shuttle in Sedona?
    We didn't shuttle anything in Sedona. Two separate points were made in the same sentence.
    -Sedona was great
    -Shuttling was great

    See the Knollfest thread for details
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    We'll chat about it more this weekend Brando....but just go ahead and give Noel your CC cuz you know you have to have it! Oh, nevermind, he already has it on file....so just state your color!
    Quote Originally Posted by tiSS'er View Post
    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.

  33. #33
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    I've got it easy. I want 1 bike to rule them all across BC, Utah and Arizona. Has to climb like a champ and go back down just as well. Must love tech!

    I like not having to think when gearing up for a ride. I grab "the" bike and go.

    Seems like the Warden is good choice for that type of mission.

    My only choice now is do I keep the 5yr old SC Nomad as my sloppy conditions winter bike or not? I probably do 80% of the damage to my MTB over 4 months of the year here in coastal BC.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    I've got it easy. I want 1 bike to rule them all across BC, Utah and Arizona. Has to climb like a champ and go back down just as well. Must love tech!

    I like not having to think when gearing up for a ride. I grab "the" bike and go.

    Seems like the Warden is good choice for that type of mission.

    My only choice now is do I keep the 5yr old SC Nomad as my sloppy conditions winter bike or not? I probably do 80% of the damage to my MTB over 4 months of the year here in coastal BC.
    I tried keeping my back up 26" bike but once I drank the 27.5 Koolaid, it felt so strange riding my 26er, 2 months later it was sold and it wasn't just any bike, it was my all time fave AM machine. Do I miss it no, maybe looking at it is all! For me first rides on a 27.5 bike weren't too mind blowing, spending time is where I found all of the benefits and strange as it is, going back to the 26 is where I REALLY noticed the 27.5 benefits!

    I think you will be SUPER happy with the Warden over time...

  35. #35
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    I feel I can almost guarantee that the warden will eventually elbow one of the other two bikes out. Nothing to do with "Noel's" philosophy or anything. Pure business/market driven decision. Witnessing it with Dave Turners business moves.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    I've got it easy. I want 1 bike to rule them all across BC, Utah and Arizona. Has to climb like a champ and go back down just as well. Must love tech!

    I like not having to think when gearing up for a ride. I grab "the" bike and go.

    Seems like the Warden is good choice for that type of mission.

    My only choice now is do I keep the 5yr old SC Nomad as my sloppy conditions winter bike or not? I probably do 80% of the damage to my MTB over 4 months of the year here in coastal BC.
    The Warden sounds perfect for you. It is truly the mutant offspring of the Endo and Chili exhibiting characteristics of both. It won't give up too much to the Chili down (with the appropriate fork, think 160mm), and it won't lose much to the Endo going up. I have been talking with Noel about it, not as a replacement for either of my bikes, but as an addition. Although I LOVE my chili, if I were to get a Warden I have a feeling it would see less and less action. I would build the Warden to be a 1x11 and full air (CCDBA and probably a PIKE). I would however consider a Suntour or X-Fusion fork as well. Noel seemed very happy with the Suntour stuff, particularly at the price.
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by LV RIDN View Post
    We'll chat about it more this weekend Brando....but just go ahead and give Noel your CC cuz you know you have to have it! Oh, nevermind, he already has it on file....so just state your color!
    Thanks Rex. Funny thing is, Tonya asked me out of the blue last night when I was going to buy one I don't think it was a free pass, but the door has been opened.
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiSS'er View Post
    but the door has been opened.
    Dude, you already walked through that door looking for Noel to take the money out of your hand.

    If jackasses could fly this place would be an airport.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rdhfreethought View Post
    We didn't shuttle anything in Sedona. Two separate points were made in the same sentence.
    -Sedona was great
    -Shuttling was great

    See the Knollfest thread for details
    Thanks!

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiSS'er View Post
    The Warden sounds perfect for you. It is truly the mutant offspring of the Endo and Chili exhibiting characteristics of both. It won't give up too much to the Chili down (with the appropriate fork, think 160mm), and it won't lose much to the Endo going up. I have been talking with Noel about it, not as a replacement for either of my bikes, but as an addition. Although I LOVE my chili, if I were to get a Warden I have a feeling it would see less and less action. I would build the Warden to be a 1x11 and full air (CCDBA and probably a PIKE).
    That's I am thinking:

    - Pike 160mm [Low A to C to keep the geometry the same]
    - CCDB Air w/ CS
    - Race Face/XTR 1 x 10 - 28T x 11-36T [I don't need the 42T]
    - 35mm carbon rims w/ Conti Trail King 2.2" tires
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdhfreethought View Post
    We didn't shuttle anything in Sedona. Two separate points were made in the same sentence.
    -Sedona was great
    -Shuttling was great

    See the Knollfest thread for details
    You can shuttle up Schnelby Hill Road in Sedona if you have a vehicle with some decent clearance and then ride back down Munds Wagon trail for example. I did that last April when a friend wanted to ride Munds the day after I had ridden up and down it. I wasn't ready to do the ride up again so soon.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  42. #42
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    The warden deserves a 160 fork. I think the Pike is the perfect fork. Weight, amount of travel, and feel almost make it a no brainier.

    As mentioned above this bike falls right in the middle of the Endo and Chili. It's amazing how moving the bottom shock bolt that couple of centimeters can make the bike feel so different. Steep setting leans toward the Endo, slack towards the Chili.

    29 pounds even should be pretty easy to achieve.

    This bike will make a lot of people very happy.

    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    That's I am thinking:

    - Pike 160mm [Low A to C to keep the geometry the same]
    - CCDB Air w/ CS
    - Race Face/XTR 1 x 10 - 28T x 11-36T [I don't need the 42T]
    - 35mm carbon rims w/ Conti Trail King 2.2" tires

  43. #43
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    The large Warden I took for a spin in Sedona weighed 29 lbs with nothing too crazy cost wise.

    The Large warden Noel was riding in Sedona and South Mountain had the new Suntour Auron 27.5 fork which is adustable between 120-160 (not sure if it's external or internally adjustable) and has 34mm stanchions. Noel said he really liked how it felt damping wise but did mention that it felt a little under-gunned stiffness wise compared to a proper 35-36mm 160 fork on the SoMo shuttle days (Holbert, Mormon 24th, Kiwannis).

    So I have my doubts whether the Warden could replace my Chilly. I'd rather give up a little speed on climbing than competence on super gnar. Yet (for me) it seems to overlap too much with the Chilcotin and not offer enough advantage over it for the faster, swoopier stuff and climbs.

    I don't doubt that for most (and thus for knolly sales) it will, and the demise of the Chili is emminent.

    Still waiting for that 130 carbon 27.5 that I suspect they are working on to complement my chili.
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
    Isaiah 58:14

    www.stuckinthespokes.com

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob View Post
    I don't doubt that for most (and thus for knolly sales) it will, and the demise of the Chili is emminent.
    Im going to run my Chilcotin into ground, and with the way its built, I might still be riding it in 2020 26 aint dead for a long time.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    I've got it easy. I want 1 bike to rule them all across BC, Utah and Arizona. Has to climb like a champ and go back down just as well. Must love tech!

    I like not having to think when gearing up for a ride. I grab "the" bike and go.

    Seems like the Warden is good choice for that type of mission.

    My only choice now is do I keep the 5yr old SC Nomad as my sloppy conditions winter bike or not? I probably do 80% of the damage to my MTB over 4 months of the year here in coastal BC.
    I bet it would be! My Chilcotin is my 1 bike to rule them all across BC and beyond. Whistler Bike Park, North Shore, Squamish, Chilcotins. Plus some bigger trips. Love it, I think a Warden may be even better overall (though not enough to justify the change to my sensible side).

    The 'winter bike' idea is something I've leaned towards after building a really expensive 'main' bike, but for sure the additional maintenance of riding your good bike year-round will not be more expensive than maintaining a second bike. There's just no way. Also, if you ride your awesome bike year round, you get to ride your awesome bike year round.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by F.N.G View Post
    I feel I can almost guarantee that the warden will eventually elbow one of the other two bikes out. Nothing to do with "Noel's" philosophy or anything. Pure business/market driven decision. Witnessing it with Dave Turners business moves.
    +1 - Agreed. I get's expensive stocking lots of overlapping models.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by LostBoyScout View Post
    Also, if you ride your awesome bike year round, you get to ride your awesome bike year round.
    solid logic there!
    "Mi amor Nuevo Miércoles!"

    -cabra cadabra

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by LostBoyScout View Post
    Also, if you ride your awesome bike year round, you get to ride your awesome bike year round.
    Ride em and wreck em!

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    Overlap only exist if you build them to overlap! everyone was telling me that my Chilly and Endo would overlap to much and I called all there bs and got both anyway and they are completely different bikes. Now to make room for my RED Warden the chilly needs some adjustments to eliminate overlap that's why I got G-Air's avy coil. My chilly started at a smidge over 29 pounds with no dropper but with coil front and rear, dropper and bigger tires it will settle in around 32-33 which makes plenty of room for a 28 pound RED Warden to compliment a 24.5 pound Endo. Now I have overlap with the chilly and the delirium but its a good problem to have.

    I don't think Noel is concerned that much about overlap when designing a new bike. Since this 650 thing is driving the market he could have generically converted the chilly and endo to bigger wheels but that's a short cut better left to others to do. When you're a bike designer, why not make a whole new bike that fits perfectly in the middle. Brilliant!

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by pfarrell View Post
    Now to make room for my RED Warden...
    I can guarantee you a RED Warden if you get signed as a fully sponsored team athlete. Please send your resume and video reel to parkinglotposers@knollybikes.com

    Thanks.
    Global Director of Sales: Knolly Bikes

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