Well, I finally made the jump to a 29er. Yeah, I know, it’s about time. A 29er always seemed so big to me. Also, with my short legs, sizing has always been an issue with a 29er. The standover hight was always too tall. When I decided to go 29er, I did a lot of research for about three months before I went to test ride. Most were just too big…like I already knew right? Well, what do I know? I also found a handful of bikes that, on paper, seem to be a good option for fit.
The first bike I tried for size was a 2010 Redline Mono Cog Flight 29 size 17 inch…PERFECT! The standover was right, the reach (top tube) was right and it rolled smoother and faster than I had expected…Sold! I like a single-speed in the winter too, no derailleurs and shifters to freeze.
After just a couple of short rides near home, I put the Mono Cog to the test by racing the Darkness at 909 night mountain bike race. Lights, single-speed, fully rigid and the Mono Cog rode great. Fast on the fire roads and double-track, and more responsive on the single-track than I thought it would be. The tight and twisty single-track was a bit slower than I could ride with my 26 inch, but the 29er handled much better than I expected. It also rode very smooth (for a rigid) over the rocks and roots that fill the 909 trails. That is a direct result of the 29 inch wheels. The 32/18 gearing was fast. I also have 20 and 22 rear cogs to try. I tend to like to spin a little more than I can with the 18.
My overall first impression of the Redline Mono Cog Flight 29…I’m hooked. If a fully rigid single-speed feels that good, I can’t wait to try a geared 29er with a suspension fork.