Bike Check: Warden 160mm
Full disclosure, this is my first 275 bike ever.
I've been riding 29ers for 10 years now on a few different travel iterations from XC, Enduro and also West Coast geometry aggressive hardtail.
How tall are you?
I'm 5'10 with a 32" inseam and a +2 ape index. I like to ride frames that have lower standover because I tend to use a lot of body English and lean the bike into corners. This sometimes means down sizing in frame size to get the top tube lower and running a "longer" 50mm stem to compensate for a smaller frame.
What size frame?
Medium frame. I'm that in-between size where I can go both ways depending on the frame.
However, with this Warden's frame size, I'm running a 40mm stem with an 800mm width bar and the saddle is right in the middle. This bike fits me like a glove with no compromises. I am set up right in the middle of the bike in terms of positioning.
What’s your build spec?
I wanted to build my Warden as comparison against my Fugitive given this is the first 27.5 bike I've every ridden. Short travel version of this chassis with 160mm front and rear end.
Swapped green linkage from a Knolly BUILDER frame to go with color theme.
SRAM GX Eagle Drivetrain
SRAM X01 Chain (because, oilslick masterlink)
Raceface NEXT R Crank (170mm) with green decals and green crank boots
One up 32t oval ring (flipped to work with the 157TRAIL rear end)
SRAM CODE R brakes
Rockshox LYRIK Ultimate RC2 160mm - reduced offset
I9 HYDRA hubs with WeAreOne Agent rims (not the lightest carbon rims)
(built with silver brass nipples for that extra bling to match the polished hubs)
I9 A35 stem in polished silver with a lime green front plate to match the color theme of the bike
One up bars (because I'm old and want that compliance, the photos were taken of Chromag OSX bars that I found a bit too stiff for my bones)
Chromag Basis grips
Chromag Lynx DT saddle
A FOX DPX2 that was custom valved for Knolly - I have no idea what tune but it was in the parts bin (also because I wanted to compare against my Fugitive that runs the same suspension combination)
MAXXIS Assegai EXO 2.6 / Dissector EXO+ 2.4 (the photos are of the old tire spec)
How much does it weigh?
32.5 lbs with pedals
What’s the intended use (where are you riding it)?
I'm riding it everywhere I normally do. North Shore Vancouver, Squamish, the Tricities.
This is my first 27.5 bike and I wanted to know what the hype is (or was).
Having ridden 29ers for the last 10 years I wanted to try the smaller wheel size.
The Warden is absolutely a ton of fun and all that hype around the 29er....not so sure about the larger wheel size now.
Where do you live?
Why do you love your new ride?
The smaller wheel size is so nimble! And this bike has every intention of going down fast - too fast that I've been pinching every other ride (time for a tire insert I think)
Slow tech confidence and the ability to pressure the bars into corners better because of the lower stack height and slacker head tube angle.
The lower center of gravity versus the 29er give that little bit more confidence into corners and extra braaaap!
I'm going to save a more detailed review for my upcoming 29er versus 27.5 blog post :)
But man, why was I late to the game getting on a 275?