Test: Knolly Warden LT – Pinkbike


Navigating trails at a slower speed it kinda feels like the bike is giving you nothing in return and sometimes it is a bit difficult to keep a line. The bike also barely got out of the slack setting, mostly trying to lower the bottom bracket shell to avoid the feeling of being heavy and tipping around in the corners. Increasing the speed on the trail causes the manager to give more back. It’s a bike that can go really fast and attempt to keep up with some of the more common 29-inch enduro bikes today. But there is a small window to where the manager feels best on the trail, as at the jagged edge it starts to get a bit wild on board.

It’s also not a bike that pushes you to go faster and push harder. As you ride around at low speed, you don’t feel like you’re being pushed by the bike to pick up the pace a bit. You tend to end up riding faster and then find out that it’s in the mid-zone that it’s best.

The operating window has started to become more noticeable on much rougher sections of track which are best touched at high speed and with a lot of aggressiveness. In these sections, the Warden LT started to feel less precise and more unstable. While he can move through those difficult and fast parts, I really had to pay less attention to what was going on under you and keep going. If I paid it too much attention, I would probably reduce speed to put it back in its comfort zone. So while it can go really fast, you need to ignore the chaos that is going on a bit and focus on the work at hand. At these speeds and levels of aggression, it didn’t seem like this is where the Warden LT excels.

When the trail is a little smoother and a little less demanding, the director starts to shine and everything starts to fall into place. In the Alps there are a few trails that really have a Canadian feel, these secret trails around the Sea to Sky area being my go-to. They’re soft, loamy, rippling, and start to get a bit more rooty and rocky as the loose soil breaks up and exposes them. Although I call them a little corner of Canada here in Switzerland, they are sort of replicas of Knolly’s playground and that was the light bulb moment with the Warden LT.

Give him something like that, and he’s in his element. Not absolutely at the jagged edge, but still creaking over terrain that ripples so smoothly up and down as well as left and right that you’re not all twisted and tossed around. All the while needing to absorb the constant crackle of those roots and rocks that just broke through the ground, as well as supporting yourself in the ripples as the trail descends the hill.

Despite the angular contact bearings, the bike exhibits some flex. You may notice that the rear of the bike shifts when you really ride in particularly rough sections of track that has a lot of terrain and rider twist. The pivots are very small in diameter and the rear tube sections are very thin. This increased flexibility doesn’t lend itself well to inspiring the utmost confidence on jagged edges and when you need to be precise but powerful and aggressive with your ride. But then again, that doesn’t seem to be where the director is good at.

That slightly larger than normal bottom bracket shell and low bar height can also contribute to the recommended 30% sag, and the Warden LT feels better with more sag in the rear, as well as a setup. fork much stiffer than recommended. I even experienced near 35% sag to lower the bottom bracket shell and counter some of that deadlift feeling, but it got too far in a corner of setup and the negatives of the big sag started to kick in. outweigh the positives. But, even with 30% sag in shock, the Warden LT didn’t hit the bumper hard all day. While I could melt it down with a few good flat hits, I felt like there was a good dollop of bottom support in there and the increased sag didn’t make it feel too sluggish in it. suspension.

On that note, it’s an easily maneuverable bike, partly attributed to the slightly shorter reach in real life than on paper with the tower of stem struts and high amounts of sag. It’s a bike that likes to play on the track. A manual here, a bonk nose there are welcome, possible and encouraged.

Over the past few years I have ridden a lot of bikes so focused on the speed and aggressiveness of the trail. Of course too, because there are so many out there right now that need to be tested. But having ridden in that part of Canada, the idea of ​​a big pedal to ride a big tech line, maybe not at the top speed, seems to be what the Warden LT is for, and therefore excels. If there is a stopwatch, the Knolly prefers to go have a beer. This is also something Knolly was referring to when we were discussing the setup of the test bike. While the Warden LT could take part in an enduro race, that’s not really my forte.

It’s a bike that will haul you up a hill in an unhurried way, then put a smile on those technical, steep, and challenging descents where your riding satisfaction will come from removing a section of tech rather than dropping it off. death grabbing her and hitting her as fast as humanly possible. And in these gentle, winding trails, often described as silty, it’s actually a pleasure to ride. There are many ways to have fun on a bike and with all those ridiculously fast but sometimes determined 29ers, I might have forgotten some of the other ways to have fun on a bike other than scare myself with speed. .

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About Jeffrey Wurtsbach

Jeffrey Wurtsbach

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