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Knolly Goes Big and Slack With the New Warden 170 MX

Knolly Warden 170 MX, rock roll
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Did you say freeride? Knolly had no doubts about using the term when describing their new Warden 170 MX. A quick look at the geometry, travel, and MX wheels and it’s obvious this bike is designed for riders who like to go big or those who like to shred the roughest terrain they can find.

The Warden is the third bike Knolly has updated with their Gen 6 frame revisions this year. Smaller riders will appreciate that the Warden 170 MX lineup now includes an S1 (XS) frame size. With head tube angles leaning out to 62.5° and rear travel bumped to 170mm, there’s no doubt this bike was designed with freeriding or downhill charging as the priority.  

Knolly Warden 170MX – Frame Features:

Knolly Warden 170 MX, raw, angle

The new Warden frame is made from 6066 aluminum. It now offers 170mms of rear travel, and all models come stock with 170mm forks. However, if you want to go longer up front that’s not a problem. The Warden 170 MX can handle longer single-crown forks or dual-crown DH forks.

The Warden carries on with Knolly’s Fourby4 suspension linkage, and this frame’s kinematics are optimized for downhill riding and maximum traction. All stock models will be sold with an MX wheel setup, but putting a 27.5” front wheel on the bike is an option.

Knolly Warden 170 MX, orange/black fade frame

Alongside Knolly’s other recently released Gen 6 frames, the Warden 170 MX gets several updates. The most visually obvious is the straightened top tube, which Knolly says has been well received. Another key update that’s not so blatant to the eye are the new size-specific chainstay lengths. While the S1 (XS) and S2 (S) frames share the same rear end, every larger size gets its own length. See the geometry chart below for the numbers.

Knolly has added an accessory mount on the underside of the Warden’s top tube and includes a water bottle mount on the down tube. The Gen 6 frames offer improved bottle clearance, so any size except the S1 should be able to fit a full-sized bottle easily. A smaller bottle may be required on S1 frames.

Knolly Warden 170 MX, rocker link
Photo (and title photo): Michelle Pittam

Another functional update is the new one-piece monoblock rocker link. This link is stiffer than Knolly’s outgoing two-piece design, and it reduces lateral stress on the shock mount. The lower shock mount is now a 30mm mount that’s compatible with roller-bearing shock hardware. On the topic of bearings, Knolly now stocks Enduro bearings in all the Warden’s pivots.

Thanks to Knolly’s ‘OSD’ straight seat mast design, S1 frames can run 175mm dropper posts, S2 frames can run most 200mm+ droppers, and S3-5 sizes can run most 220mm+ models. The frame accepts 31.6mm diameter posts.

Knolly Warden 170 MX, trail 157 axle
Photo: Michelle Pittam

The Warden 170 MX frame is now also UDH compatible, and it comes with a CNC-machined aluminum hanger. The bike continues to run Knolly’s preferred 157 Trail rear axle spacing, which helps provide rear tire clearance up to 2.6”.

Other fittings include a removable ISCG-05 mount, a 73mm threaded BB shell, and a 180mm brake post mount. The frame offers internal cable routing and comes with a chainstay protector.


Knolly Warden 170 MX, geometry chart

The new Warden 170 MX will be available in five frame sizes: S1 (XS), S2 (S), S3 (M), S4 (L), and S5 (XL). Two lower shock mount holes provide your choice of neutral or slack geometry positions.

The Warden’s head tube angles are definitely leaning into the ‘freeride’ realm at a slack 63.25°… or a super slack 62.5°! Effective seat tube angles are steep at 77.75° or 77°.

Knolly has gone very long with their reach numbers, as their S3 frame stretches out to 482mm, and an S4 measures 508mm. We are at a point where some brand’s medium bikes are longer than other brands’ larges, and in my case at 5’10” I’m torn between whether I would ride an S2 or an S3.

The Warden’s rear ends remain in a pretty normal range; they’re not super long but not too stubby either. Knolly generally keeps stack heights low, but not equal across the size range. As the chart shows, stack height increases with every larger frame size.

Model Lineup:

Knolly Warden 170 MX, two riders
(Photo/ Michelle Pittam)

Knolly is offering four build kits for the new Warden 170 MX. I noticed the builds don’t get into super high-end territory, which makes sense for a huck-and-thrash kind of bike. There are no wireless drivetrains, carbon wheels or cranks, or range-topping XTR or XX1 component groups in the lineup. Without getting excessively fancy, there isn’t a huge price range between the four models. See the chart below for complete build specs.

  • XT – $5,999
  • GX (with Fox Factory fork) – $5,599
  • GX (with Fox Performance Series fork) – $5,499
  • Deore – $5,199
Knolly Warden 170 MX, build specs
Knolly Warden 170 MX, frame colors

The new Warden 170 MX will be available in four frame colors: Blueberry, Orange Black Fade, Defender Green or Raw.

To kick off the Warden 170 MX’s release, Knolly is offering a 10% discount to the first 50 customers who purchase one before July 15th. See Knolly’s website or your local Knolly dealer for further details.


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Jason DW
Jason DW
25 days ago

How slack do people need to have a 62 degree ha?

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