Lynskey Performance Designs Pro 29 29er Hardtail
|MSRP : $6520.00|
Product DescriptionThe Lynskey Pro 29 VF’s multi-shaped tube set offers stiffness, race proven geometry, excellent responsiveness and confident handling. Ideal for tight and twisty singletrack, this bike is at home on technical terrain and gobbles up speedy fire roads and double track. Our chosen build includes brands like Fox, Shimano, Stan's NoTubes, FSA for a truly unbeatable combination of speed, stiffness, and head turning blurry march to the podium. For more specific product details about components check the specific manufacturer's websites or other parts categories on our site.
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Date Reviewed: October 4, 2014
Strengths: Sexy bike that's fun to ride! Handles well and is Built to Go...Fast! It's also really comfortable.
Weaknesses: The only thing that bugs me are the decals. They look cheap. They cracked shortly after having the bike and now they are wearing right off. I liked the decal because it emphasized the twist in the frame. However, for the price to replace and the quality of them, it’s not worth replacing them. It would be nice if there had been a clear coat protection over them.
This is my first 29” wheel bike. My previous bike was a carbon Orbea Alma with 26” wheels. There are some big differences in how these bikes feel and perform. I bought the demo 2014 Pro 29 from Lynskey in November of 2013. Taking into consideration that a 29 preforms different than the 26, I would have to say this bike is awesome! Most of my issues are with the components not so much the bike. My seat post does not move but my seat tends to tilt. I attributed this to the seat clamp. I also think some carbon grease will fix that problem.
This bike performs better the faster you ride. My friend says this bike accelerates better than her Jet 9 Niner. I can only compare the acceleration to my 26 and this is definitely slower. Again, not so much the bike as the 29” wheels. This is by far more comfortable than carbon. My body does not have to absorb the small vibrations from the trail. This is a big energy saver! I’m not in the shape that I have been in the past and I’m still beating my QOMs on Strava. This tells me this bike is fast! I have a smile on my face whenever I ride it.
Over all, I love riding this bike. It feels great, it looks unique and it’s a whole lot of fun!
Purchased At: Lynskey website
Similar Products Used: None
Bike Setup: I have Enve carbon wheels and handle bar, with a full XTR build. Ti Lynskey seat post with Enve seat clamp. Tubeless Schwalbe Rocket Ron tires. Selle Italia Diva seat. King Cage Ti bottle cage. Fork: Fox 32 TALAS 29 120 FIT CTD Remote
Date Reviewed: July 10, 2014
Strengths: Overall this bike seems to be a good performer. Bike rides fast and build seems to be as advertised but for the issue below
Weaknesses: Seat post slips; customer service
Do my research on line. First thing that pops up is another customer complaining about his Lynskey and the slippage of his seat post. Also, many complaints about Enve seat post slippage.
Call Enve, customer service rep says no problem, whatever they can do to help and sends me new seat post clamp 2 day delivery.
It amazes me that a company that sells a $200 seat post on $6,800 bikes uses seat post clamps that clearly have problems. As a customer I have my ride ruined numerous times and when I call the company that makes the bike and the seat post they act like it's never been a problem and send me off to fend for myself. It doesn't matter ultimately to me how the bike performs when a company cant back their product. Their reputation starts with customer service and for that it's a big zero.
Date Reviewed: June 18, 2014
Strengths: progressive, absorbs shock well and is quite comfortable. But above all it is beautiful.
A bike to do it all, from a cross country race in competitions unsupported.
Sper to participate in the Tour Divide in 2015 because I think I found the right bike.
Uphill on uneven ground salt everywhere without any problem and tends not to hop around holding the line perfectly set at the beginning. So even when going downhill, especially on bends, bends very well and never changes trajectory. Hilarious in the single track.
Duration Product Used: 24 h and so
Date Reviewed: June 5, 2014
Strengths: Stiff, fast climber, outstanding in the tight stuff
Weaknesses: The medium size accommodates 2 bottles but one has to be a small bottle, rather than two large bottles like the old one did.
For the past 5 years, I’ve enjoyed riding what I considered the best bike in the world, the 2009 Lynskey Pro 29. The handling was quick, the fit was perfect, it was always the bike I always reached for first. Last month Lynskey gave me a tempting offer to upgrade to the 2014 Pro 29 for a relatively small fee. At first I thought no way, the curved top tube of the original Pro 29 is gorgeous and the 2014 seemed too modern. I crave tight twisty single track and my 2009 Lynskey was the only 29er I’ve ever rode that could eat it up, I’ve had six other 29ers and they were all a joke in the tight stuff. This got me thinking about the performance advantages of a larger head tube, bottom bracket shell and running a tapered fork, features that were lacking on my 2009. Before I knew it, I had a 2014 heading my way from Tennessee.
The first thing I noticed when my 2014 Pro 29 arrived was that all the tubing was a larger diameter especially the notable helix down tube and the craftsmanship was still top notch. I had feared the quality may have dropped now that Lynskey has grown, but my frame was flawless and the attention to detail was obvious. I selected the bright brushed finish with the etched logos just like my old bike, these little upgrades cost more but are worth it when you buy a lifetime frame. The larger tubing combined with a big PF30 bottom bracket shell, 142mm rear through axel and the beautiful tapered headtube told me this frame was going to be very stiff, hopefully not too stiff. The headtube really is a work of art and is capped with pressed in stainless steel inserts to hold the headset. The integrated headset makes installation a breeze just pop in an IS42 on the top and IS52 on the bottom and you are done, no headset press needed. Another nice upgrade to the prior Pro 29 models is the cable routing. The shifter housing no longer runs under the bottom bracket where mud likes to hang out and the cable stops were changed to allow full length cable housing run under the top tube to keep the crud out.
A few hours after my frame came in it was built up and ready to ride, the moment of truth was near. Will switching from a 80mm to a 100mm fork combined with the longer chainstays going to wipe out the super fast handling I was accustomed to? Was it going to be too stiff? Is the slightly longer top tube going to mess up the perfect fit I had before? The short answer is heck no. Despite all the subtle and not so subtle changes the 2014 still has the Lynskey magic.
I live at the bottom of a hill and it only took two pedal strokes to know this bike wants to go fast, all of my power pushed me forward and nothing was wasted, the big tubes were doing their job. Five minutes later I was on some rooty leaf covered technical singletrack, no messing around with the easy stuff on the maiden voyage. Surprisingly I felt at home on the bike in no time and soon I was railing most of the corners and smoothly navigating over roots and large logs. I knew if I could handle the tricky stuff on the first ride things would only get better. My second ride was a 30 miler that sampled a variety of trails, from super fast and flowy to tight and inconsistent. Within an hour I felt like I had the bike completely dialed in and I could corner faster than my old bike. There were a few lines I will need to relearn because I exit the corners so fast that I goof up the next one. How is this possible, all the numbers told me it would not handle as well? I’ve heard it’s best not to judge a bike solely by the numbers and to look at the complete package, then actually test ride the thing, but after 25 years of riding mountain bikes I thought I was smarter than that. I’m not…
Not only does the Pro 29 eat up the tight and technical it climbs like a champ. When out of the saddle this bike rockets uphill, this is particularly noticeable on the short high torque climbs that you have to muscle up. I couldn’t stop thinking about how much more efficient a stiff bike is especially on a long day. The PF30 bottom bracket, tapered head tube and massive helix down tube were not only great for tough climbs they also kept the bike tracking forward on technical descents, threading through roots and ruts with precision I was not accustomed to.
I am very happy with my Lynskey upgrade, I felt it was a risky move at the time but the increased performance has certainly paid off. Riding a beautiful handmade bike from Tennessee doesn’t hurt either. If you are looking for a quick handling bike that likes to go fast, this is the one for you.
Date Reviewed: April 10, 2014
Strengths: Precision assembly, welding, frame geometry, impact strength.
Weaknesses: It can get a little heavy. The weight of the quality
Date Reviewed: March 1, 2014
Strengths: Beauty, pure beauty, speed, pure speed, welds frigging amazing, customer service, Ti, customer service again. Not crappy carbon that my kids will crack by waking by with a school backpack for goodness sake.
Weaknesses: None yet
Date Reviewed: January 1, 2014
Strengths: Great ride, lifetime warranty, customer service
Weaknesses: Frame crack
Date Reviewed: May 30, 2013
Strengths: Beautiful aesthetics; stunning finish; titanium; unique design; comes together easily.
Weaknesses: The only thing I would point out is that it has a long headtube. I've got a 100mm fork on there. I'm running an external lower cup and an internal top cup (Cane Creek 110). I use a flat bar. My stem is an inverted 90mm Thomson and I'm going to try run it flush with the headset, where I'm confident it will be low enough. But, having said this, I don't run my front as low as some of my mates.
Riders who like an aggressive geo will want to look at the numbers and the headset options to ascertain whether it'll work for them before laying down the cash.
Now. It is very difficult to extract the review of a frame out from the bike itself, so I will begin with frame-specific comments and then move onto how it rides, with a description of my build. At the price point I was expecting a hell of a bike, yet somehow I was still impressed. I went for the Industrial Mill finish. It's got a certain lustre that I really enjoy - a silver Thomson post looks quite shiny by comparison. I wouldn't personally want it any brighter than this. The welds are immaculate, and the little plate near the BB and the other insignia are really nice touches. Those big twists are a standout feature, and something about the large frame just looks in proportion. The build came together quickly and easily. No surfaces needed facing or chasing, obviously, and it all lined up where it should. I personally prefer an EBB to the sliding dropout system, but obviously I'm willing to yield, since I bought the frame. What I can say is that the sliding dropouts look good. The bolts don't quite go through the entire thread of the dropout, which worries me a little. I will be buying new bolts that go right through the dropout, since I've snapped these before - but longer bolts are cheap, and give you the option of customising the drive-system you use to do them up (hex, torx etc). It would be a nice touch to spec these frames with the upgraded Paragon kit, but that's being a little picky.
In pure trail feedback terms this thing is comfy, yet fast. It's a butter racehorse. Riding it is like bedding the girl next door and finding out she's a hellcat between the sheets - you'd better settle in for some spicy miles. But make no mistake, it is racey. It's incredibly stiff. That big ol' junction at the BB just does not give. The bike goes exactly where you point it, and as such you need to be direct and judicious with your steering. I found I oversteered it initially, but adapted quickly enough. But we seem to be straying into build territory, so here goes...
Cane Creek 110 headset. Wheels: Velocity Blunt SL's laced to Chris King SS rear & 15mm TA front (beautifully hand-built by my sensei and friend, Mike Anderson of The Bike Hutt, NZ). 100mm Reba Race fork - tapered 15QR. Thomson connectors. Niner 710mm flat carbon bar. XTR M960 crankset - single speed only - 33/20 gearing. Chris King BB. New generation SLX brakeset with ice-tech rotors, 180mm F and 160mm R. Charge Knife Ti saddle. Maxxis Ikon 2.2 tyres.
Since I've always been a single speeder, take all my comments against the single speed mantra. Spin spin spin - coast - spin spin spin. I don't know and I don't care how this thing rides with gears. For my purposes, with the engagement of the CK rear hub, and with the stiffness of this frame, I can put the boot in out of a corner and it absolutely takes off. If I get out of the saddle and thrash about, it lays down all the power. No flexing, no quaking, no bending. I just go forward. On the downs it goes exactly where I point it, which was disconcerting at first, since my riding style was previously to suggest a line to the bike through a corner and adjust on-the-fly. Now I'm scoping out the exact route, and I push the bike into it. I know it'll stay put. This is a credit, equally, to the wheel build of course.
Like I said, it's racey. In tight switchbacks I found a propensity to oversteer and almost came to grief. I've since learned to set the front wheel into the corner less vigorously, and I'm yet to find a switchback too tight to negotiate smoothly. This is a no-apologies race geo, and it rides like it. Fit for purpose - can't complain there. And I do love the way it rides.
I'm not going to be so effusive as to say it's the only bike I'll reach for from now on. I still love my Singular Swift. But if I ever need to haul ass, the Lynskey will be what I take out. And, having debuted it in a 6hr Solo, I can say that it's certainly comfortable enough for long ones. I wasn't pining for a full-sus at any point.
If you're looking to put together a no-compromise race hardtail with a bit of a different flavour, this is your frame. My build came in around 23.5 lbs, which is no anorexic, but I stand back from it and consider it perfect - it looks reliable, fast and fun.
I wouldn't have it any other way.
Some photos: http://bikehutt.tumblr.com/post/50689610538/friday-night-bike-build-party-beer-flowed
Date Reviewed: October 2, 2012
Strengths: The quality finish. Sliding rear dropouts. Its Titanium!! A real crowd stopper as well.
Weaknesses: 2010 model rear tyre clearance, although I am running a Schwalbe Racing Ralph 2.25 with no problem.
It does have tendency to creak around the seatpost, especially aluminium seatposts. I ended up fitting a carbon post with plenty of carbon grease.
I originally set it up as 2x10, then decided to single speed it. Just bought a E13 single XC crank and guide.and rear single sprocket. Fitted spacers on the freehub. Fitted the single speed rear dropout supplied. Removed all the gear shifters and cables and was ready to go. What a difference in weight!!! It was featherweight. Riding single speed really improves your riding style.
After a major surfing accident (broken neck), when ready to get back on the bike I decided to fit gears back on as a easier transition to getting fit again. I just refitted the geared dropout, cassette, rear derailleur and rear shifter and now I had a 1x10 speed xc racer. I found this to be my ultimate preference.
Price Paid: $1800.00
Purchased At: Chain Reaction
Bike Setup: Stans 355 rims, AC hubs, Sram xx running gear, E13 cranks-BB-F chainguide, Ritchey bars &stem, Kore I-Beam seatpost, SDG Belair saddle, Time atac pedals.
Date Reviewed: April 24, 2012
Strengths: Stiff where it needs to be, but with plenty of compliance
Very good geometry, rides lighter than it's weight
Finish and build quality is well thought through
Weaknesses: Premium cost for titanium, but all "Handmade in the U.S.A." is, and this is definitely on the less expensive end for American made titanium.
Initially, the 4.1lb frame weight (with sliders) was a little disappointing, but it is an absolutely beautiful looking frame with the helix bends in the top tube and down tube with the Industrial Mill finish, and the small details that Lynskey does to their frames. For 2012, a 73mm BB was added to the mix of the previous year addtions: 2in. downtube, plate chainstay, and 44mm head tube. When I built up the bike, it weighted more than my Salsa Selma by the difference of the frame weight (.4lb) but rode lighter. I attribute this to a superior geometry, and a lively material (titanium) that a ride that is more rich in feel, dampening, and responsiveness. The slider system (nearly mirrors that of Paragon Machine works) works very well. It is adjustable from 16.9" to 17.9" which gives a lot of flexibility in cog changes, and also creating a ride characteristic that is just right for the rider. Also a nice attribute, and the reason I chose the Pro29 SL over the Ridgeline was the rear tire clearance. The Pro29's rear tire clearance is drastically more generous than the Ridgeline. My Schawble Racing Ralph 2.25 had plenty of room to spare with the slider nearly all the way forward! The Ridgeline is rated to accept a max 2.1" tire.
I believe Lynskey really nailed it with the 2012. My experience with the other materials have been a series of trade-offs. The carbon (Orbea Alma) I rode was great...light, responsive..but didn't really offer compliance..it was more vibration dampening than anything. Steel: Niner MCR had great dampening at the expense of weight and flex. Aluminum (Scandium with carbon stays) was very stiff and responsive, and relatively low weight, but it would beat you up! The Lynskey Pro29 offered great stiffness at the bottom bracket and head tube like the Salsa, but rear wheel compliance (not flex) of the MCR. Yes it does weight slightly more, but having a dialed geometry and such a well performing frame with great stiffness for acceleration trumps the weight penalty. It rides incredibly light and continually asks for more!
I have to add that the Lynskey titanium post is a great addition, and probably attributes to the ride quality, but definitely worth the investment to just complete the package and provide a ride quality that will just wow you every time you clip in!
Price Paid: $2395.00
Purchased At: Bicycle Experience
Similar Products Used: Specialized Stumpjumper S-Works hardtail (STIFF!!!)
Cannondale Flash 29 (2) Great bike, but wanted something that was more timeless, and reliably SS or geared.
Salsa Selma: Great ride, fast, responsive, very little tire clearance, and EBB created problems where the geometry changed every time I changed the chain or a cog.
Soul Cycle Dillinger (Gen 4): Great riding bike for aluminum! Again...EBB, a little on the heavy side.
Niner MCR: Flexy, flex tend to make the bike feel like it wanted to wander. Great dampening and compliance..but it did not feel as stable or confident as the others. Also a bit heavier than even the overbuilt Soul Cycle Dillinger.
Bike Setup: Lynskey Pro29 SL (Small) - Industrial Mill finish
Lynskey titanium seatpost, 27.2
Rockshox SID 29 XX Tapered
Cane Creek 110 Tapered headset
Crank Bros. Cobalt 11 680mm (carbon) bars
Ergon GP-1 BioKork grips
Bontrager XXXLite 90mm Stem/spacers
Magura MT-8 brakes, titanium caliper bolts
Magura Storm SL rotors, titanium bolts
Roval Control EL 29 wheelset, DT Swiss 36T ratchet upgrade, Roval Titanium skewers
Maxxis Ikon EXO 2.2 front/rear
Truvativ Noir carbon crankset
Origin8 Ceramic bottom bracket
Renthal Alumi-gold racing ring, 32T
SRAM PC-1 chain
J.B.C. Stainless cog, 17T, Chris King Stainless 16T cog
VeloSolo cog spacers
Specialized Phenom Expert saddle, titanium rail
Shimano XT pedals
Date Reviewed: January 9, 2012
Strengths: Brilliant. Single Track Masterpiece. I have finally achieved the true soul of mountain biking.
Weaknesses: If I really was trying to nitpick it would be the tire clearance in the rear triangle. Their is a caveat - the pro29 is a race bike and is not designed for fat tires because you don't ride fat tires on the race course.
Duration Product Used: 1 Year
Purchased At: Billy's Bike Shop
Similar Products Used: Let's see over my 15 years of being a mechanic I have ridden EVERYTHING.
Bike Setup: Full XTR. The only group. C29ssmax wheels. Rock Shox reba dosequis fork (unfortunately I had to go with sram on the fork). Moots ti handlebar.
Date Reviewed: July 27, 2011
Strengths: bought a large as wanted the more racey stretched out feel, geometry just right and just a joy to ride
Duration Product Used: 1 Year
Similar Products Used: n/a
Bike Setup: full xtr, thompson post and stem, easton ec90 flat bars, stans ztr hoops on CK hubs,
Date Reviewed: June 19, 2011
Weaknesses: None at the moment
Duration Product Used: 6 months
Price Paid: $1500.00
Purchased At: Lynskey Loft
Similar Products Used: First Ti
Bike Setup: single speed
Date Reviewed: June 2, 2011
Strengths: Amazing appearance, definitely grabs attention. Versatility with dropouts. Climbs strong, turns quick, planted in corners. Maintenance free. Refinish-able.
Weaknesses: Too dirty to bring to bed with me. It's not legal to Marry a bicycle in MN at this time.
Duration Product Used: Less than 1 month
Purchased At: Angry Catfish Bicycl
Similar Products Used: Independent Fabrication - Deluxe 29.
Bike Setup: XTR group, I-9 wheels, Thompson stem/seat post, Chris King Headset.
Date Reviewed: May 12, 2011
Strengths: Light, nimble, versatile, compliant over trail chatter. Sliders work very well w/ Paragon hardware upgrade.
Weaknesses: 2010 rear tire clearance
I've been swapping SS gear ratio's often depending on individual races, which is quick and easy. Clearance isn't the best on my 2010, but I primarily run 2.1 XC race tires (WTB Nano, Conty Race King, various Bontragers) anyway and have plenty of room.
Local trails often have many rocks (some loose) and the Industrial Mill frame/finish has held up great, no need to touch up or any dents.
Handling is great, w/ minimal flex in BB area, but also don't feel as beat up over a long ride as an Alu frame. Similar to my steel Mariachi but a few pounds lighter. I've run it with short a2c rigid fork as well as 100mm suspension fork, handles well in both cases, noticeably quicker w/ shorter a2c, but descends great in 100mm mode.
Purchased At: Lynskey Loft
Similar Products Used: Various Niners, Salsa El Mariachi, lots of 26" aluminum hardtails
Bike Setup: SS rigid and suspended. Industrial Mill finish. King/Crest wheelset, Thomson post/stem.
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