Strengths: Handles very well. I'm finding that I can hop the rear around corners with ease as compared to my two other 29er's, appears to handle well overall, front Fox shock locks out perfectly and gives enough gush when I need it, G2 geometry works for me with a setback seat post on a 19" frame (I'm ~6'2" / 195# / 32" inseam).
Weaknesses: Somewhat heavy components and lousy documentation on the Trek www site (thankfully, the MTBR archives have been very helpful in that regard). I am glad I have the EBB version. There have been a lot of issues keeping proper tension on the later revision that uses horizontal dropouts.
Excellent value. My other two 29er's have Chris King ISO hubs and to be honest, I do not notice the stock Bontrager hubs are all that bad in terms of points of engagement (POE). I'd recommend this puppy to anyone.
Similar Products Used: Other 29er's (hard tail and full suspension). I've ridden Niner SS'es and like the feel of the Rig better (and it is like HALF the price (new)!).
Bike Setup: Purchased the Bontrager asymmetric rim strips and valves to setup Racing Ralph tires tubeless with Stan's goo. I was able to inflate both tires with a standard floor pump. Rode the Rig stock w/ Chris King 20t cog at Patapsco State Park and found it to be the right gearing for me. I've since installed an 18th cog for other rides and it's been a great ride everywhere I've taken it. I purchased a carbon seatpost and low rise handlebars. The stock post and bars are plenty light; the only reason was that I wanted a bit of flex in the post and a little rise on the bars.
from east berlin
Date Reviewed: February 28, 2012
Strengths: Bang for the buck, Front fork, Fisher geometry
Weaknesses: beginner tires, too much sweep (annoying) on stock handlebars
I will be switching out the stock handlebar for a carbon one with less sweep and adding thicker grips. The stock tires look and perform like a big box store brand bike. I will be taking the Maxxis Ikons off last years race bike and will put them on this one, setting them up tubeless.
Otherwise the bike performs well and I will probably only swap out other parts as they brake or if I decide to race it more then a few one offs. All in all it is an excellent bike for the money.
a Cross Country Rider
from Colorado Springs, CO, USA
Date Reviewed: January 31, 2012
Strengths: Great frame and fork. Good package for the $. G2 fork handles amazing.
Weaknesses: A little heavy as stock bike. Long top tube can be tough for shorter riders.
I've been singlespeed riding for a long time and the Rig gave me the best ride for the money. I really like the G2 fork handling. I've ridden the G1 Rig and this version handles much better. I test rode a ton of bikes before purchasing the rig and if I had a custom bike made I would keep the Rig's geometry. I'm 5'8" and ride a medium Rig. The bike fits pretty good but I would like if the top tube were a half inch shorter. I've raced this bike in the SS class at Angel Fire, NM Winter Park, CO, SS World Champs in Durango and many many other places. I usually get a new bike every year but this is my 4th season on the Rig and don't think I'm replacing it any time soon.
Similar Products Used: 2010 HiFi Deluxe, Santa Cruz Heckler, Bianchi SASS, 1997 Fisher Big Sur converted to singlespeed
Bike Setup: XTR cranks. Race X Lite carbon seatpost and bars. ESI grips. Surly cogs. 32x20
a Weekend Warrior
from Denver, CO, USA
Date Reviewed: December 20, 2011
Strengths: Solid, light frame; geometry; rims; front fork; handling; stability; traction; good price for what you get
Weaknesses: Some cheap, heavy components, but not bad for the price when you are making the plunge to SS
I made the plunge from FS 26er to SS 29er based largely on the reviews here. I absolutely love this 2010 bike and have two seasons on it now. I echo all the great things people have said.
On my first ride I was on an unfamiliar trail and wasn't used to the speed and momentum of the 29er. I missed a tight turn in the woods and the bike simply ate everything in its path. I rejoined the trail as if nothing had happened. The front fork and G2 geometry work great together for ascending and descending.
Unlike the other commenters, I've had no problem with the EBB. I keep it clean and greased and it doesn't creak. I like to frequently change the sprockets -- usually 18T, 20T and 20T, depending upon the terrain -- and the EBB makes it so easy. Although it's a tad heavy, it adds a lot of stability to the bike. I'd prefer it over sliders, especially after I read the reviews of the newer model. I also prefer the simple mechanical disc brakes over cheap hydro.
The bike has lost more than a pound from simple upgrades. My next big upgrade will be the wheels. Although the rims are good, I'd like to have better hubs and a lighter setup. The stock tires do well on Colorado's dry trails.
SS riding completely changes your perspective and amplifies all your faults as a rider. I know exactly what a particular gear ratio will do and how to maintain momentum. I have two geared bikes and two single speeds. I ride the single speeds most of the time. I also have a Fisher Triton SS road bike and use it for commuting and cross training. My old FS 26er is on a stationary trainer for making me a stronger SS rider. I have no plans to go back to gears unless it's for long-distance touring with heavy loads.
One of the greatest joys of SS riding, besides the simplicity, is blowing by geared bikes and seeing reminders of your former self.
Similar Products Used: HiFi Pro 29er (test ride), my old Gary Fisher Sugar
Bike Setup: Race Face wide carbon handle bar (for leverage), Selle Italia Gel Flow saddle, Crank Brothers Eggbeater pedals, Thomson stem, Bontrager Race X Lite ACC seatpost, various Surly rear cogs, tubeless upgrade
Strengths: Great value.
Love the geo, e.g., slack HA, and the handling.
Weaknesses: A couple questionable components, e.g., the tires and the narrow width bars. Performance weakness would be the rear wheel won't stay in place in the paragon sliders. The stock 18T, should be a 20T.
I would give this a great review if not for the rear wheel slipping repeatedly, like during every ride, and if they simply used the same size hex bolt or maybe just different sizes instead of 3 for the rear wheel adjustment.
This is my first SS, so maybe my complaint is ignorant, but it's frustrating that the rear wheel moves so much, is this normal? I replaced the stock 18T with a 20T an of course had the move the wheel back to take slack out of the chain, but since then my wheel moves during every single trail ride and the chain falls off when I stand it give it full power. Maybe this is just life with paragon sliders? But i don't want to take this back to the LBS after every single ride, tightening a wheel should be something you can do yourself with 100% confidence that the wheel is not going anywhere. Had they just spec. this thing with a 20T stock and thus had the chains such that you could cram the wheel as far upfront as it would go, then there wouldn't be this problem to begin with. I think they want you to go back to your LBS to do the upgrades, but i won't.
If the rear wheel would stay in place I'd give it 5 stars, but it does not and it's extremely frustrating, so just 1 star. I'd go with an EBB for my next SS.
Similar Products Used: None. tested other SS bikes but nothing really used.
Bike Setup: F29, replaced the bars, tires and grips, everythign else stock.
a Cross Country Rider
from so.bend,IN, USA
Date Reviewed: September 12, 2011
Strengths: Awesome frame. Fox fork is what you expect of a Fox product. Fisher 51mm fork crown makes it lightening quick steering.
Weaknesses: Expect the bottom bracket to creak when peddling unless you pack it with grease or spring for a Carver ceramic sleeve.
It's a speed demon 29er, so don't expect to retain the cable actuated disc brakes.
Fast, comfortable, as positive as a train on rails!
cannot imagine riding a dinosaur 26" wheeled bike in the Midwest ever again.
Similar Products Used: Ridden many a 29er; bought one.
Bike Setup: converted it to an X9 one by nine.
from WoodStock, Ga. USA
Date Reviewed: September 11, 2011
Strengths: Geometry, gear ratio, frame, nimble
Weaknesses: Brake hose too long from the factory, ball bearing headset
This is a review on 2012 model. Great SS for the price. I will start with aesthetics. My geared bike id a RumbleFish and this years Rig has a similar color scheme. There is a nice pop of red in the front hub and over all it is an appealing bike. I purchased the bike today and this review is only based on the first ride today.I will preface this by saying i rode three very different trails (fast single track, very technical and fast with tons of climbs. Overall the Rig handled very well in the mixed environment on hard pack and rooty rocky terrain. This bike is rolls very fast and accelerates smashingly. Going from a FS geared bike to this was a natural transition and it only took me a mile or two to get settled in. It was nimble enough to handle the tight twistys in the pines and allowed me to establish a 9.8 mph (avg) through the 13 miles early on. The front end handled as expected (same as my Fish). It comes with 680mm which lended itself to a stability and leverage on climbs. Climbing was easier than other SS bikes i have riden and the 29" wheels keep you rolling nicely on the technical stuff. I weighed the bike when i got home and it came in at 25.8lbs. The Elixer 1s performed well for me and it would probably next to last on the list of upgrades. The headset is ball bearing and should be replaced immediately if not sooner. I was skeptical of the Bonty stock tires however (after converting to tubless) they performed surprising well. There were a couple of slips on roots and soft stuff however that is to be expected. My first impression of the Rig is that it is an excellent, capable bike for all mountain and i would highly recommend it to first time SS and experienced SSers as well. The frame and shock alone are well worth the price and make up a great foundation for future upgrades. My upgrades (in this order) will be a sealed bearing headset, Thompson seat post and stem, rigid (carbon) fork and bars, SS hub (hope or Chris King) for better engagement, brakes and saddle (not in it very much. If you are looking for a quality production, fully assembled SS, i would highly recommend the Rig. Giving this a 4 chili rating overall for the poo headset and the extra long brakes hoses.
Strengths: Excellent geometry and handling. Sliding dropouts. Fox fork is very nice.
Weaknesses: some components are just not very durable. Not particularly light. Useless stock rear tire.
Not a bad bike for the money. I've raced on this quite a bit this summer and it has held up pretty well overall. This is my first 29er but I've had other single-speed bikes before. The handling of this bike is excellent. It is excellent in slow technical single track and it very stable at speed too. I expected a 29er to be a bit sluggish in the roots and rocks but that wasn't the case. It handles just like the 26" bike I was riding previously. The Fox suspension fork is one of the nicest I've ridden.
The down-sides start with the components. Trek obviously cut some corners to meet a price point. The GXP bottom bracket is absolute trash. I've been through 3 this summer because the bearings keep failing. The Juicy 3 brakes are nice when they're new but eventually became such a nuisance that I replaced them with a set of BB7s. The rear tire that comes on the bike was garbage for the terrain I ride - skinny and very little tread for soft or muddy terrain.
One of my few complaints with the frame is that the sliding dropouts seem to let the rear end flex just enough to allow the disc rotor to occasionally rub on the calipers. I'm very fussy about bike noises so this may not be an issue for others. The sliding dropouts are a little tedious to adjust but they're not bad once you get things dialed in.
Weaknesses: The sliding vetical drops take forever to adjust properly if you're not a professional bike mech. The stock component set isnt the best. The original components (Bontrager) are mad heavy and cheap (Juicy 3 brakes, cog, Bonty Mustand wheelset/seatbost/stem/bars). Has been creaky & flexy all over.
I race about every other weekend & ride hard about 2-3 times a week. This was a good first singlespeed. However, the whole shabang is heavy/creaky and the frame is pretty flexy. The stock components are cheap and therefore heavy. The fork is sweet but everthing else (Bontrager) needs upgraded. My biggest beef is with the sliding vertical drops. They are generally a pain in the D*** to adjust and take about an hour or two to adjust inbetween swithing cogs. There are seriously 6 screws to adjust each time. I would prefer an EBB, even if it was creaky.
You'll need to spend about $500 to upgrade everything. For the money, I'd go with something else lighter & faster. At that point you'd be better off just buying a better overall bike anyways.
a Cross Country Rider
from Oceanside, CA, USA
Date Reviewed: April 18, 2011
Strengths: Cheaper single speed, reletively light.
Weaknesses: Warranty, durability, longevity
Fisher would not give me a warranty because I did not buy it retail at one of their distributers. I've ridden Fisher for twenty years but not anymore. The seatpost tube broke abaove the weld, which appears to be a problem with others, oviously a manufacture defect, but they gave me nothing.
Bike Setup: Bontrger XXX headset, bars, seat post.
a Cross Country Rider
from Montoursville Pennsylvania
Date Reviewed: April 15, 2011
Strengths: Very light, strong frame
Weaknesses: stamped steel rear cog, brakes and 160mm front rotor
This bike rocks! it's fast and very predictable through rough trails. If you haven't ridden a 29er you really should. it makes a world of a difference. If you have the money to get it and swap a couple components, go for it! it's deffinately worth every penny. As for the single speed aspect, you can't go wrong. It will make you a much faster rider and will make you in much better shape
Bike Setup: 2009 Rig with a 20t surly rear cog, Crank brothers pedals, XT rear brake and Juicy 5 front brake with 185mm clean sweep rotor
a Weekend Warrior
from Roseville, Ca USA
Date Reviewed: April 14, 2011
Strengths: The strength is just what the bike is...a 29er single speed.
Weaknesses: I have not found one yet.
I LOVE this bike. I have spent a year reading the reviews here and trolling my local shop watching "my bike." I was embezzling quarters and dimes to the secrect bike fund hoping no one would buy it. Fianlly end of the year sale and my fund aligned. I had been preparing for a single speed by not shifting on my XC. That made for new challenges for the same 'ol trail i've been riding. Not shifting on a full suspension 26er is a whole nother world from the 29er. The hard tail climbs like a beast...and I dont have the lungs or legs to brag about my climbing. I feel like a whole new rider. My local trail loop I ride I have 5 spots I need a little stop and rest catch my breath. On the Rig I am only making one stop at the halfway point. The bike is fast fun fast. Don't know what the new rig will be like now that its Trek. The new Trek Rig has a different bottombracket and now has hydraulic brakes. Better?? Maybe. But right now I'm lovin' my 2010 Rig. If your thinking about making the jump to either a 29er and or single speed, GET THE RIG.