Knolly Warden or Devinci Spartan- Mtbr.com

View Poll Results: Think of like a multiple choice test, is there only one right answer?

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  • Warden (Used)

    3 12.00%
  • Spartan (new)

    14 56.00%
  • Knolly Frame (build a dream)

    9 36.00%
Multiple Choice Poll.
Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
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    New question here. Knolly Warden or Devinci Spartan

    So here is my quandary to buy a new carbon Spartan XP (with that lifetime frame warranty) or a used Knolly Spartan at about the same price point.

    The Knolly looks to be exceptionally well cared for, XO1 11 speed drive train (not a big selling point to me as 1x10 with a OneUp is certainly cheaper to build and currently maintain), needs a dropper post (I have a post but I'm getting mixed reviews on using shims with dropper posts) and a new stem, but with Fox 36 Factory Float. Or I could just buy the frame at discount and build my own bike up (but whole bike deals are so much easier on the cheque book).

    I love the look of both bikes, the Devinci in black & white looks so "classic", and the Knolly has an aesthetic all its own.

    I've only had a parking lot test on the Devinci and it feels good. I have had the pleasure of descending a groomed trail on the Knolly and it rails, the owner loves it (but does look wistfully at the Pivot Mach 6 sometimes).

    Devinci likely a little cheaper with the bro deal too, and added LBS support.

    If it helps, I've ridden the Transition Scout, really liked this bike, then spent a day on the Transition Patrol which I loved (alas, it is more expensive than either of the two bikes above). Sitting right between these would be the Rocky Mountain Altitude Rally, easy on the fire roads, great on the technical climbs, better than the Patrol going up, but the Patrol is more fun and stable (subjectively) on the down, alas the RMB has a flared top tube that snags on my knee brace hinge.


    Your thoughts....

    edit: "Think of [it] like...." Oops.

  2. #2
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    The Devinci has shorter reach, and a higher reach than the Warden. How does it fit you?
    I would have a hard time getting a good position on the Spartan so this would make my choice easy. We are likely not built the same so maybe the Spartan will fit you better. I recently bought a Warden and the Devinci didn't make my list because of the reach and stack. Especially the stack.
    Formerly Travis Bickle

    Team Robot. "modulation is code for “I suck at brake control.” Here’s a free tip: get better."

  3. #3
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    Funny you mention stack height, I had a chance to do a side by side with the Kona Process 153, the Kona is noticeably lower, and the bar that felt longer was actually shorter, and the shorter bar felt longer (now if I could only remember which was which). I liked both the Kona and the Devinci, but no Kona carbon yet, and the Devinci finish detail is nicer (and its not orange).

    Knolly feels like your sitting in the bike, I was waffling on size, I'm 6'1" a Large with 50ish mm stem or XL with a short stem. The first large I tried had a short stem, too short, felt a bit "knees up" when pedalling in the seat. But I still really need a good chance to do a technical climb and Northshore descent to be sure. Parking lots and groomed trails don't really count.

  4. #4
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    My quick review Warden VS Spartan: Blog - Mad Elk Cycles

  5. #5
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    Thank you for the comparo.
    Formerly Travis Bickle

    Team Robot. "modulation is code for “I suck at brake control.” Here’s a free tip: get better."

  6. #6
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    No problemo.

    One think I learned after spending 4K on my current bike (which I like but not love): I will never, ever again buy expensive bike without riding it first! Just don't. It's better to buy any other bike you can get hands on than something form internet. Same with shoes, gloves and helmets. Anything that depends on perfect fit - try it before you buy it.

    Why? - Well simple. I have my bike. It's a good bike. I learned how to use it. I like it but I know all it's limits. When I tested Knolly - instantly when I sat on it I felt - Man!, This bike fits like glove! What happened? WHy my bike does not feel this way? WTF! - Answer - Fit above everything. Most important part for me now is REACH.
    Secondly - all bikes even with same numbers have completely different characteristics. It's Like Toyota and Honda within same class. Both great cars but different characters. Spartan was technical speed machine. Warden was like 4x4 but in a good way.
    To sum it up. Really try to test your bike even for a short ride or even by sitting on it before you decide to buy it. You will know if it fits you instantly. Search for shops, ask people if they know somebody. Check forums. Bikes are not cheap and you will be stuck for years with your choice. Sometimes not even knowing how your bike does not fit you at all besides correct frame size. Frame size it's just part of it. Reach is more important IMO, then chainstay and so on.
    Good luck!

  7. #7
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    I sold my knolly chilcotin about four months ago . I just built up a carbon Spartan ..

    I have ridden the new knolly delirium for a week as well .

    Fwiw , I really loved my knolly , great bike . Had it built up for local riding here in North Van B C .

    I am 6' tall and 205lbs . I am an aggressive rider who pedals up and descends pretty hard and fast .

    Set up on my knolly was a fox 36 , fox air rear end

    My new Spartan , fox 36 and now a cane creek coil DBCS ... The Rock shox monarch debonair can only lasted me two months till it died.

    My average local rides are in the neighbourhood of 15 Kms wit about 850-1000 meters climbing and some aggressive tech trails back down. Most climbing is done on tech climb trails.

    The knollys really have a soft , almost sluggish climb feel and stance ( you sit in the bike) now this isn't a bad thing .... Positives being traction ! If you can keep the cranks turning , you can find traction . Even if you are tired , just keep spinning and you will get up there
    Further , the knolly have negative chain tension ... This really adds to the plush ride , both up and down .

    I am really falling in love with my Spartan , the descending is so great . Dh bike like , and always accelerating! Over all my build weight on my Spartan is about 1lb and a bit heavier than my old knolly . With basically the same parts.

    Climbing on the Spartan ... It took me a few rides to get used to the pedal strikes ... Yes a much lower bottom bracket ( especially in the low slack setting!) also the chain tension.
    The Spartans design really has a bunch of chain tension.... Now this isn't always a bad thing , it helps propel you up the hill but can hinder you if you aren't prepared to make the body adjustments when climbing over ledges, roots square edges Ect as you will spin out the rear tire...

    I find if I am really tiered , and or feeling lazy I strike my pedals and crank arm ends a lot more on the Spartan ... BUT when feeling strong and really getting after it . The Spartan climbs faster ..

    Water bottle mounts ! Knolly only ....


    This is still an issue I struggle with . Seems silly but a few months in , and I still wonder if I will be ok with having a bottle in my jersey pocket all summer

    I am not the much of an analytical guy , but I have a lot of time on both bikes and if you have some specific questions I would be happy to answer them.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spyder22 View Post
    I sold my knolly chilcotin about four months ago . I just built up a carbon Spartan ..

    I have ridden the new knolly delirium for a week as well .

    Fwiw , I really loved my knolly , great bike . Had it built up for local riding here in North Van B C .

    I am 6' tall and 205lbs . I am an aggressive rider who pedals up and descends pretty hard and fast .

    Set up on my knolly was a fox 36 , fox air rear end

    My new Spartan , fox 36 and now a cane creek coil DBCS ... The Rock shox monarch debonair can only lasted me two months till it died.

    My average local rides are in the neighbourhood of 15 Kms wit about 850-1000 meters climbing and some aggressive tech trails back down. Most climbing is done on tech climb trails.

    The knollys really have a soft , almost sluggish climb feel and stance ( you sit in the bike) now this isn't a bad thing .... Positives being traction ! If you can keep the cranks turning , you can find traction . Even if you are tired , just keep spinning and you will get up there
    Further , the knolly have negative chain tension ... This really adds to the plush ride , both up and down .

    I am really falling in love with my Spartan , the descending is so great . Dh bike like , and always accelerating! Over all my build weight on my Spartan is about 1lb and a bit heavier than my old knolly . With basically the same parts.

    Climbing on the Spartan ... It took me a few rides to get used to the pedal strikes ... Yes a much lower bottom bracket ( especially in the low slack setting!) also the chain tension.
    The Spartans design really has a bunch of chain tension.... Now this isn't always a bad thing , it helps propel you up the hill but can hinder you if you aren't prepared to make the body adjustments when climbing over ledges, roots square edges Ect as you will spin out the rear tire...

    I find if I am really tiered , and or feeling lazy I strike my pedals and crank arm ends a lot more on the Spartan ... BUT when feeling strong and really getting after it . The Spartan climbs faster ..

    Water bottle mounts ! Knolly only ....


    This is still an issue I struggle with . Seems silly but a few months in , and I still wonder if I will be ok with having a bottle in my jersey pocket all summer

    I am not the much of an analytical guy , but I have a lot of time on both bikes and if you have some specific questions I would be happy to answer them.
    do you ever ride in the squamish/whistler/pemberton area...how do you find your spartan does in those areas if you do? I know all trhee are different in their own ways...thats why I ask..

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