There are so many tire and wheel sizes out there for dropbar bikes that it can be hard to choose what’s best for you. Fortunately, with the new Otso Warakin Ti, you don’t have to choose. OK, so that part is nothing new. Otso has been offering dropbar bikes with the ability to run anything from fat road slicks to massive 29″ MTB tires for a while now. What is new, is that that same shape-shifting gravel bike versatility is now available in Ti.
Like other bikes in the Otso bike range, the secret to its multi-tire success is their Tuning Chip dropout system. Many bikes claim to be able to run different size tires or even 650b and 700c wheels in the same frame, but without some sort of adjustment for the chainstay length and bottom bracket height, there will always be a compromise somewhere. The Tuning Chip system allows you to raise or lower the BB by up to 4mm while also adjusting the chainstay length by up to 20mm. That means you can raise the bottom bracket and slam the stays to make the bike come alive with 700c x 32mm all-road slicks, or throw in much larger 29 x 2.1″ MTB tires and drop the BB while pushing the position in the dropouts back for a comfortable and stable ride with plenty of mud clearance.
The Tuning Chip system provides three separate axle positions with two different chips. The main chip can be flipped to provide the shortest and longest axle positions, while the second chip positions the axle directly in the center of the dropout. Obviously, with tire clearance for up to 29 x 2.1″ or 650b x 50mm, you can also run any gravel tire you want. You can even run a 700c x 45mm tire on a wide rim in the forward Tuning Chip position and still have plenty of mud clearance.
For anyone that has nightmares of past creaky frames with adjustable dropouts – no need to fret. The Otso system is very smart in its design, and uses large ‘Tuning Chips’ that the dropouts are then bolted through with a large aluminum nut. Not only is the chip captured so it can’t go anywhere or creak, but then the system is further held together by the hub and thru axle. I’ve been running the same dropout system on my Otso Voytek fat bike for years and it’s as quiet as it was on day one.
Perhaps just as impressive is that Otso managed to manipulate the chainstays to provide all of this mud, tire, and chainring clearance and did so without resorting to a PF bottom bracket. Instead, the frame uses a standard 68mm BSA threaded bottom bracket for easy maintenance.
Not a fan of internal cable routing? Again, you’re in luck – the Warakin Ti uses a fully external routing layout with a downtube clamping system that guides the derailleur cable and rear brake hose to the back of the bike. There’s even a little guide just above the rear derailleur to help corral the loop of housing for Shimano rear derailleurs.
Technically, that braze on could also be used for a rack or fender mount since there are two matching braze-ons on the other side of the frame. Combined with the hidden fender mounts on the Lithic Hili fork up front, you have the option for full coverage fenders- and big ones at that.
The frame material itself is the most exciting addition thanks to the use of seamless, butted 3AL-2.5V B338 grade 9 titanium. Beautifully constructed, the titanium frame features a polished and bead blasted contrasting finish with a number of slick graphic touches. It’s been fun watching Otso mature as a company especially in the look of their bikes, and in my opinion, this is one of their best yet. The finish still has that classic understated titanium durability, but it still manages to catch your eye.
Other frame details include 142 x 12mm rear dropout spacing (15 x 100mm spacing up front), a 27.2mm seat post, and the potential to run a front derailleur with a 31.8mm clamp.
When it comes to geometry, the Warakin Ti has the same geometry as the existing Warakin SS which Otso considers more of a progressive gravel geo. That means a longer top tube meant for shorter stems, and a slightly more upright position.
This provides extra room behind the front tire which is helpful to prevent toe overlap with 29″ tires, but it also results in more room inside of the front triangle. I often run out of room when trying to mount two bottles and a small frame bag inside the front triangle of bikes that fit me, but not here. The large bottle just fits under the bag, and if I wanted to play around with a Wolf Tooth Components B-RAD plate, the cages could be positioned even better.
Along those lines, since Otso is the bicycle division of Wolf Tooth Components, you’ll find plenty of their excellent components throughout the build. The few parts that aren’t covered by Otso, WTC, or their Lithic component brand are covered by brands like WTB with a custom Otso branded saddle.
Available now, the frameset will start at $2,800 which includes the frame, fork, and Wolf Tooth Component accent kit. Complete builds start at $3,950 which includes a 1×11 Shimano GRX mechanical build with GRX 600 hydraulic brakes and DT Swiss C 1800 Spline wheels. Further customization can be made through the Otso bike builder.
Stay tuned for a complete review!