I generally enjoyed building this bike up over 6 months and it was fun to ride putting about 2000 miles on it. I'm 54, weigh 195 and don't ride that hard or fast or have crashed hard. The frame has cracked at the seat post and top tube. The seat post is not overextended. So for quality it gets 1 chili.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: December 9, 2011
Strengths: Price and Geometry, excellent climber and tracks well on the descents
Weaknesses: With a riding weight of 300lbs the frame is a little flexy, more then my 26" C'dale, but I've grown use to it. The paint rubs off pretty easy too
Bought this bike on sale for $85 to see if the 29er was for me and now I almost never ride my 26er. As already stated, this has been my Clyde Ride on rocky, rooty, sandy, muddy Single Track and some asphalt in between. It has severed me well for almost 2K miles. The current set up weighs 25.3lbs
Similar Products Used: My first 29er, C'dale F4, GT Avalanche and Huffy
Bike Setup: Once I started enjoying this ride it's been a continuous upgrade. 2012 XT brakes w/180 rotors, XT 9sp shifters w/ SLX front derailleur & 2010 XTR rear derailleur, SLX Crank and BB, ZTR Flow w/X9 hubs, WTB Pure V seat, WTB Wilderness Headset and 100mm Manitou Minute fork
a Weekend Warrior
from Baltimore, MD
Date Reviewed: August 19, 2011
Strengths: Lightweight, stiff, good geometry
Weaknesses: headset, paint
Bought frame only, built up to "try" 29er. Immediately after first ride decided to ditch all my 26" stuff. Light, nimble, stiff but not harsh. Great frame for the price. This is NOT the same as getting a high end frame from Niner or someone else, but if you want to get into 29ers cheap, or ride just enough to have trouble justifying the cost of a high end frame, give this a try. So much better than a 26 hardtail and climbs well, asborbs bumps from rocks/roots without the cost and weight of a full suspension frame. Paint chips a little easy and the headset (zero stack)will likely need to be replaced soon. But a great value (5 chilis).
Strengths: For being my first real mountain bike i was looking for lockout shoxs disk brakes and a 29er. This bike has everything i was looking for and it was for the right price. The brakes are great it shifts smoothly and handles well on everything.
Weaknesses: The grips kind suck but a nice pair of glove would solve that. You will get blisters from the best grips. The stem and the handle bars will be my first upgrade that are really poor. they do the job thought.
It is a great bike for the price. It is fairly lite and rides better than what i had before a (huffy piece of sh*t bike) I m a college student and this was a great choice for me.i dont regret it at all. I not really into having the top brand or what not. i am into a quality made bike that will get the job done at a good price. I love how it is not very flashy. Since i got it site to store i have free lifetime adjustments and discounts on everything. I looked for two weeks driving to different places and performance was the best. I went into one store and told the lbs guy i was a college student and said i had a small budget but he kept showing me thousand dollar bikes so i quickly left . Great bike love it
Bike Setup: RockShox Reba 29RLT. Shimano XT Front and Rear Deraileur. Shimano XT Cassette (11-34). Shimano SLX Crank. Cane Creek 110ZS Headset. Avid BB7 Disc Brakes (185mm F&R) w/ Speed Dial 7 Levers. Shimano XT Shifters. Truvativ Stylo Team stem (110mm 5 deg.). Sette Duo Mid Riser bar. Velocity Blunt Wheelset with Shimano XT Hubs. Kenda Small Block 8 tires. Thomson set back Seatpost. WTB Laser V Saddle. Ergon GP-1 grips.
a Cross Country Rider
from Tyler, TX, USA
Date Reviewed: February 15, 2011
Strengths: Relatively lightweight for the cost, decent mix of components for the price, handles well on the trail.
Weaknesses: For the price, none
This review is for the Access XCL 9.7 which retails for $1299 at Performancebike.com. With a 20% coupon, free shipping, and some Performance points I had saved up, I got the bike for around $800. The frame is bulky but fairly lightweight (I think right at 5.5 lbs). The components consist mostly of Sram X7 with Firex cranks. The tires are good, the wheels fair. I have been very pleased with the geometry of the bike. When I am going for short rides this is the bike I'll pick. Being 43, my back doesn't like the hardtail for much longer than an hour and a half or so. If I ride for longer the Rumblefish 1 FS is my choice. The stock XCL 9.7 weighs in at right at 27.5 lbs. Not great, but not horrible. With a few upgrades this bike could easily hit the sub-26 lb mark. For a good all-around 29er hardtail this bike certainly fits the bill. Upgrading the stem, seatpost, and handlebars is a must. Saddles are a personal thing, but the one that it came with did not work for me. Great bike at a great price!
Similar Products Used: Various 29er hardtails, most recently 2008 Gary Fisher Paragon
Bike Setup: Mostly stock: new stem, new handlebars, Thompson stem, WTB seat, Specialized grips, Stans tubeless kit
a Weekend Warrior
from Tucson, AZ
Date Reviewed: January 23, 2011
Strengths: bang for the buck; front fork
This 6'4" roadie wanted to experience single track. Trek had a local ride-it-try-it trailer full of $4K bikes they want you to fall in love with. Comparing a 26" directly against a 29er convinced me my height needed the 29er. I wanted to stay low-end. Could have had a Trek Gary Fisher Collection Marlin for less, but the front shock was too poor - no rebound damping and clunked at top. Access came in the 21" I needed and had a much better Rock Shox Dart 3 fork. I've given it heavy use over very rocky trails with no problems and am having a BLAST! Great value for 29er entry level cost!
Similar Products Used: Specialized RH 29er, Trek 4300
Bike Setup: Surly rigid fork, BB-7 brakes (185/160mm), Sram X-5 derailleur and shifter (1x8 speed setup) with FR-5 levers, the rest - leftovers from the past bikes ))
from san diego
Date Reviewed: January 22, 2011
Strengths: Excellent geometry, rolls very fast is like having a turbo climbs and descends well, doesnt feel as heavy as it is. this bike is holding up very well almost two years of heavy riding and have done only chains and tires and bike is still holding up great.
Weaknesses: keep breaking spokes in the back probably would have paid more for the mavic wheels, but whose complaining at this price.to heavy to race but very fun budget trail rocket
In a market where you get more for less this bike is king the price, service, warranty,parts mix, a bit heavy but fun to ride i cant wait to get the carbon version
Similar Products Used: my first and only 29er its nothing like my other bikes.
Bike Setup: Reba fork (awesome) wtb wheels (OK) sram x5 (flawless)bars stem seat post fsa (no complaints)
a Cross Country Rider
from Baltimore MD
Date Reviewed: January 7, 2011
Strengths: Light weight, stiff, great cable routing, neat welds, good geometry, perfect budget 29er frameset that performs much better than expected.
Weaknesses: Have not found any weekness in the product. Riding a 29er singlespeed sometimes feels like driving a truck, compared to a 26 inch bike.
I wanted a 29er singlespeed that I could convert to a multi-gear if I wanted to, within a reasonable budget. For less than $800 total, I have a light, fast, stiff 29er that is a blast to ride! I am keeping the single speed setup and love the responsiveness of the frame with the reba sl fork.