warlock design notes

Whilst waiting for the framesets to arrive here’s some more info on the Warlock, Fearless’ new drop bar trail bike / bike packing & light touring rig. Despite it’s MTB-like profile it’s very much a gravel bike with a 68mm bottom bracket shell with clearance that’s good for 1x road cranksets up to 44t. It accepts 58mm 650b tyres (around 2.25”) and up to 47mm in 700c. Bigger tyres and progressive geo means it’s built for tackling technical sections and rough terrain over longer distances in comfort, covering ground that might be out of bounds for conventional gravel bikes. There’s continuous cable routing throughout and flat mounts make it compatible with the latest hydraulic drop bar braking systems plus all there’s all the rack and cargo cages you’ll need for longer adventures. There’s also dropper post routing if you need it- super useful for those steeper descents. The wheelbase is gravel bike short so it’s agile for hammering singletrack whilst stable enough for light touring and bike packing. Stick on a pair of wide & flared drop bars plus some fat ‘n fast rolling tyres and rack up those cross country miles. The Warlock is a mystical brew of all the things we love about riding drop bar bikes off-road.

404 Type 2 fork

The Warlock comes supplied with an updated 12mm thru axle version of the 404 Fork, the 404 Type 2. It shares the same 404mm axle to crown measurement meaning the Warlock is geometry corrected for carbon gravel forks. Size specific offset keeps nice handling across the size range with S & M frames coming supplied with a 52mm offset fork and the L and XL a 48mm to match their respective 71º and 71.5º degree head angles.

There’s eyelets and braze-ons for low riders or carriers plus 2x pairs of triple cage mounts so it’s ready for those longer self-supported adventures.


Tyre Clearance

Wide as you can get with short gravel bike chainstays that clear 1x road chainlines without resorting to a yoke or plate at the BB junction. Max recommended tyres give 4-5mm clearance at the tight clearance areas- the chainstay dimples and fork crown.

Maximum recommended tyres are 700 x 47c or 650b x 58c.  Front tyres are restricted by height giving safe clearance for a 47mm tall tyre. Slightly larger 700c gravel tyres may be possible if you use a rim with a wider than 20mm internal diameter rim which may reduce the tyre height a little. Fork crown clearance is the max you can get with a lighter weight unicrown design whilst keeping the geo compatible with ≈395mm A/C carbon forks.

650b/27.5” tyres are restricted by width. Max safe width is 58mm giving 4mm clearance. Measurements were made using a 650b rim with an internal diameter of 25mm.

1x dedicated

If you’ve read this far then you probably like big tyres. Big tyres, nice geo and front derailleurs don’t mix. Opting for 1x specific freed the Warlock up for some progressive design choices; short chainstays, proper dropper post ready geo, neater cable routing without empty cable bosses nor excess drillings and braze-ons on the downtube.  As of 2020 all three major component manufacturers now offer comprehensive 1x drive chain solutions plus there’s a wealth of aftermarket Narrow Wide chainrings & cassettes meaning pretty much every possible gear combination is covered, every piece of old 2x kit can be repurposed.

Interestingly a few months into the the run of Vulture framesets it became clear that very few owners who took their bikes off-road regularly were running 2x and those that did initially were pretty swift to make the change to 1x. There’s the reduced maintenance, increased reliability, increased tyre clearance and better performance on the kind of terrain the Warlock is designed for.

Inline & Small Setback Seatpost Optimised

Ideal for droppers, the Warlock’s geo is tailored for zero and small setback seatposts. The slacker seat angle gives 10mm saddle to handlebar distance whilst adding bigger tyre clearance at the seat tube and allowing for short chainstays. Most of the extra space created for optimising saddle to bar distance is done above the effective top tube line so there’s no overall increase in effective TT length per given frame size with only a factional reduction in reach.  It’s a nice compromise for long torso riders that need the extra space and those that prefer a riding position further forward over the pedals.

Fearless Select Chromoly Steel tubing

A bespoke mix of seamless double butted chromoly road and MTB tubing.  We used a beefier MTB seat tube to withstand the rigours of dropper posts and mixed it up with road tubes to save weight.  The whole package is put together with the same exceptional build quality and super neat TIG welding as the Vulture. 

Custom hardware

The tight space between the axle and the flat mount brake bosses required a custom dropout design. We kept the ever popular ‘Breezer’ or Wright style design from the Vulture and made a 12mm thru axle version of it. Ended up with a very compact and lightweight design using a durable rearward facing countersunk M5 bolt to attach the replaceable combined mech hanger and axle thread.

Frameset Specification

The Warlock is fully spec’d with all the bottle, cargo cage and carrier mounts you’ll likely need for longer days or weeks in the saddle. It comes supplied with high quality black anodised thru axles and seat collar.


Tubing Fearless Select Double Butted Chromoly Steel.  Internal E.D coating and powdercoat paint
Dropouts Rear: 142 x 12mm thru axle. Front: 100 x 12 thru axle
Tyres 700 x 47c, 42c with mudguards. 650b x 58c with or without mudguards
Brakes Flat Mount- 160mm front & rear Post mount- 180mm front, 160mm rear
Seatpost 30.9mm, routing for internal dropper post
Headtube 44mm- tapered carbon fork compatible
Headset Supplied 404 Type 2 Fork: Top cup- ZS44/28.6, Lower Cup- ZS44/30.
Tapered fork: ZS44/28.6 top cup, EC44/40 lower cup
Front mech 1x dedicated
BB Shell 68mm width. BSA/English thread
Chainring 1x road (Sram 1x Road, Shimano 1x road conversions) – 42T.  1x Shimano GRX – 44T
Fork Straight blade 4130 Chromoly Steel. 404mm A/C S, M frames- 52mm offset, L & XL- 48mm.
Mid-blade rack mounts, eyelets for mudguards and rack,2x pairs of cargo cage mounts



1. Effective Top Tube 542 555 577 590
2. Seat Tube 480 520 550 580
3. Head Angle 71° 71° 71.5° 71.5°
4. Seat Angle 74° 73.5° 73° 72.5°
5. Stack 556 569 601 629
6. Reach 376 379 385 389
7. Head Tube 125 140 170 200
8. Chainstay Length 425 425 425 425
9. Standover 700x45c 776 801 831 859
Standover 650Bx2.2″ 768 793 823 851
10. Wheelbase 1018 1025 1036 1041
11. Bottom Bracket Drop 70 70 70 70
12. Top Tube Angle 13° 10° 10° 10°
13. Fork Offset 52 52 48 48

Frame Bag Clearance