Access XCL 29er 29er Hardtail

4.44/5 (25 Reviews)


Product Description

  • 6061 aluminum frame
  • Rock Shox Tora Race 29 front suspension
  • SRAM X.7 27-speed drivetrain
  • FSA aluminum handlebar, stem
  • WTB Rocket V Comp SE saddle


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Reviews 1 - 15 (25 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Dok Tari a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: June 18, 2012

Strengths:    Fairly light, handles good.

Weaknesses:    Poor quality.

Bottom Line:   
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.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Sycamore Canyon, San Diego

Price Paid:    $600.00

Purchased At:   Performance

Similar Products Used:   none

Bike Setup:   XC32TK fork, Cobalt Iodine 3 bars, Sram X.0 twist shifters, Sram X9 FD, Sram X9 RD, Sram PG 990 11-34 cassette, Shimano XT M770 Crankset

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by zenkem a Weekend Warrior from Germany

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

Bottom Line:   
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

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   The one I'm Riding

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $85.00

Purchased At:   Performance Bikes

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

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Xterradork a Weekend Warrior from Baltimore, MD

Date Reviewed: August 19, 2011

Strengths:    Lightweight, stiff, good geometry

Weaknesses:    headset, paint

Bottom Line:   
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).

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Loch Raven

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $150.00

Purchased At:   Performance Bike

Bike Setup:   Access frame, RockShox Dart3, WTB rims, SRAM hubs, BB5s, SRAM X-7, blah, blah

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by specialforces93 a Cross Country Rider from Gianesville, FL

Date Reviewed: July 20, 2011

Strengths:    good light aluminum frame,

Weaknesses:    hard to find headset for it anyone know where i can find a headset for it? if so email me at specialforces93@yahooo.com thanks

Bottom Line:   
it going to be a nice bike if i can find the headset .. please help if you have a access 29er frame

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Favorite Trail:   the rock

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $100.00

Purchased At:   from a friend

Bike Setup:   rock shox dart 3, shimano drive train, shimano hydraulic disc brakes

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Cutterkids1271 a Cross Country Rider from Elkton, MD, USA

Date Reviewed: June 16, 2011

Strengths:    This frame is light and strong! I'm 230 lbs., ride 3x a week and this frame has been a beast.

Weaknesses:    No weeknesses for me but some would find the frame a little to stiff.

Bottom Line:   
This bike is indestructable, inexpensive and fun to ride.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Fairhill

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $100.00

Purchased At:   Performance Bike - O

Similar Products Used:   Cannondale 29er and F500.

Bike Setup:   29er Rigid SS - Performance frame, Voodoo fork, BB7's, Rynolite wheelset with XT hubs and Maxxis Ignitors. It's painted black with no markings other than my bike club's logo.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by darton23 a Racer from acworth

Date Reviewed: June 8, 2011

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.

Bottom Line:   
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

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Allatoona Creek/ Pitner road

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $600.00

Purchased At:   Performance bikes on

Similar Products Used:   road bike 12 speed Bianchi 1980s

Bike Setup:   stock 21 inch i am 6'4' 185 perfect size for me

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Coltion a Cross Country Rider from USA

Date Reviewed: June 5, 2011

Strengths:    29inch wheels is the only way to go. The frame has great geometry for a large rider(I have long legs and longer arms.) I am 6'3" and 210lbs.

For the Price... the x5 components all around and apocalypse proof frame. A light set of wheels and an good look to whole bike.


Weaknesses:    The Brake levers are kinda Gimp. there is no quick release seat clamp. Grips are thin. Seat is for racers. I'll let you know when
I find more.


Bottom Line:   
You would be hard pressed to find a better Entry level 29er for the price.

If you a big guy the frame is not going to let those legs get near that stem.

B.E.A.UTIFUL bike! Go ride one... go buy one!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Seymour Johnson AFB

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $630.00

Purchased At:   Performance Bikes

Similar Products Used:   Trek 3700

Bike Setup:   Stock, just bought it. Pedal, stem and personal upgrades to come.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by bigpedaler a Weekend Warrior from NE Indiana

Date Reviewed: May 11, 2011

Strengths:    light, strong, well built

Weaknesses:    huge seatpost size! Full-housing brake cable (rear) 'chimes' on the frame....

Bottom Line:   
I needed a frame FAST to replace my old FS when it broke; the XCL was the best deal available, and the 29er had better geo numbers than the 26.

I have yet to regret buying this frame! We are still 'getting acquainted', but it's been a fun transition. I'm a gear higher on the cassette, it hops just by thinking about it!

I know there will be component replacements coming, and 29-specific is looking better all the time.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   the next one

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $120.00

Purchased At:   performancebike.com

Similar Products Used:   various FS & HT

Bike Setup:   set up with 26" components right now; may go 29" in the 'next evolution'....

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by penaltybox a Weekend Warrior from Pasadena, MD, USA

Date Reviewed: March 27, 2011

Strengths:    Very light weight. Tracks smooth for a bike this big (21" Frame).

Weaknesses:    Minor imperfections around the head tube top and bottom

Bottom Line:   
Excellent frame for the money. Very pleased with the ride and performance so far. Not sure I'll go back to small wheels after riding this down the trail.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Rosaryville

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $99.00

Purchased At:   Performance Bike

Similar Products Used:   Jamis Dakota XC

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.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by TX-BoneDigger 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

Bottom Line:   
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!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Tyler State Park

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $800.00

Purchased At:   Performancebike.com

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

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Phil Roper a Weekend Warrior from Tucson, AZ

Date Reviewed: January 23, 2011

Strengths:    bang for the buck; front fork

Bottom Line:   
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!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   50-Year, Sweetwater, Pistol Hill...

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $700.00

Purchased At:   Peformance LBS

Bike Setup:   Stock

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by paul121 a Cross Country Rider from Poltava, Ukraine

Date Reviewed: January 23, 2011

Strengths:    Has my size 23" with great geometry - feels very comfortable and right. Bought only the frame (so price stated is a price for just a frame) and then built a bike

Weaknesses:    none for the price

Bottom Line:   
Great frame for the money - you can really give it a hard time and when you are done with it just get a new one - it's that cheap so it doesn't get any better )

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Offroad flat and mountain trails

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $120.00

Purchased At:   Performancebike.com

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 ))

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Josh lindsey a Racer 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

Bottom Line:   
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

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   noble canyon

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $699.00

Purchased At:   performance

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)

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Dwayne Weeks 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.

Bottom Line:   
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.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   LORBA Blue Knob trails

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $100.00

Purchased At:   performance.com

Similar Products Used:   This is my first 29er hardtail and it bears little resemblance to my Giant NRS full suspension bike.

Bike Setup:   singlespeed with chain tensioner, kona cockpit, FSA singlespeed crank, Alex 29er wheels, maxxis tires, rock shox reba sl, avid BB7 brakes.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:5
Submitted by BikePartPorn a Racer from Denver, CO

Date Reviewed: November 16, 2010

Strengths:    great value! Geometry is excellent. Similar to Niner Air9 in appearance but different ETT length and head tube angle makes for a very different riding experience.

Weaknesses:    About 0.5lbs more than the scandium Air9. But for the price this is not bad at all

Bottom Line:   
see complete review here:
http://bikepartporn.com/2010/10/access-xcl-9r-mountain-frame-review/

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Apex

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $120.00

Purchased At:   Performance Bike

Similar Products Used:   Niner Air9

Bike Setup:   Rigid 1x9 with WTB wheels and tires

Reviews 1 - 15 (25 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


2009 Diamondback Mission 1 26 FS or Access 9.5 XCL 29er HT for a Newbie?

Hello all, Another Newbie here. Trying to decide where to start. I have been doing spinning classes for the last month and actually bought a pair of clipless MTB shoes today. Thought the class would be a good way get used to riding and using clipless pedals, if I should even use clipless to star ... Read More »

2009 Diamondback Mission 1 26 FS or Access 9.5 XCL 29er HT for a Newbie?

Hello all, Another Newbie here. Trying to decide where to start. I do not have a reference point on 26" vs 29er because I really haven't ever ridden a real trail on a bike. No habits one way or the other. This is a new hobby I am picking up with some friends. If it matters, I am 5'9 and about ... Read More »

Access 9.5 XCL 29er or Diamondback Mission 1 26 FS for a Newbie?

Hello all, I realize this is the 29er forum, but I was hoping to get some unbiased opinions on these 2 bikes and I am leaning toward a 29er, but the deal I have found on the DB FS is incredible IMHO. Keep in mind I do not have a reference point on 26" vs 29er because I really haven't ever ridd ... Read More »

Need help figuring out some unpublished specs for my Access XCL 9.7 29er

I recently purchased and began upgrading a 19" 2010 Access XCL 9.7 29er from Performance Bikes. (I absolutely love it!) I've already purchased and installed a few basic upgrades, but I'd also like to upgrade the wheelset, forks, cranks, headset, and BB. The problem is that the published specs don' ... Read More »

09 Fuji Tahoe Pro 29er vs 10 Access XCL 9.7 29er

Just started to get into mountain biking last summer. I have a cheapo Walmart bike I rode last summer to lose weight but want to upgrade to a nice 29er before summer hits. My LBS has two bikes on clearance at $899. Both the Fuji and the Access are similar in components and both test rode beautifull ... Read More »

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