Strengths: Tough as nails. Great tires, handlebars and locking grips. Frame is ready for upgrades. Wheelset is of the heavy, cheap, and strong vaiety.
Weaknesses: Brakes and brake levers. My levers were loose and made annoying chirping sounds before I replaced them with some Avids. Crankset also seems cheap, my drive side kept coming loose.
I took one for a test ride just out onto the streets around the bike shop and instantly fell in love with it. I've now owned it for just over 6 months and have ridden it over hundreds of miles of singletrack, gravel roads, and city streets. It is extremely stable and solid feeling, especially on the Kenda Nevagel tires that come stock.
On the trail this thing just eats up anything I've thrown at it, with the sole exclusion of super long, deep sandy patches and a massive, uphill rock garden on one of my local trails that I've never been able to make it through. On downhills and speedier sections, the bike can get moving pretty fast and always feels stable and in control. I've taken it pretty fast through some eroding berms and, even though the vibrations through the rigid front fork can get pretty bad, as long as you keep relaxed you'll be fine. On the monocog, the tires, steel frame, and your limbs are the suspension. Understand that and you will have a blast!
Monolog likes to keep things simple. He may be a little heavy but he more than makes up for it by providing the rider a great time for many many years. Technological "advances" like shifting, disc brakes, or suspension aren't important to him. He does not enjoy parking lot posing at your local Starbucks while you drink your venti mocha caramel skinny sugarfree pansy drink. In fact, he will likely kill you in your sleep if you try this.
Monolog enjoys long rides offroad, cheap beer, and the company of a hairy legged rider (man or woman..he doesn't discriminate) who cares more about the ride than appearances.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: September 17, 2012
Strengths: Extremely durable and reliable. This bike will take whatever punishment you can dish out and come back for more. Simplistic as it gets. Easy to work on. Just plain fun to ride. Will never go back to gears.
Awesome bike for the money. Pure enjoyment to ride. Will make you a much stronger rider.
Bike Setup: All original equipment,except for upgrade to disc brakes (BB7)
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: September 15, 2012
Strengths: The monster truck of the bicycle world. Simple, high quality frame. Basic but solid parts spec. Smashes over anything and is a lot of fun to ride.
Weaknesses: A rigid singlespeed with v-brakes is never going to be the fastest way to get from point A to B off road, but these are not really weaknesses of this model, just the type of bike.
This is the probably the most fun you can have off road for the lowest amount of coin. My normal bike is a 1 year old carbon 5" travel duallie, which cost more than 10 times the amount of this Redline. Only the Redline has brought a smile to my face and made me laugh out loud while riding. If you see one, buy it.
I did play with the gearing a little, upgraded the crank, shorten the stem and narrowed the bar. It is amazing how quick this bike is. I love the WTB exiwolf tires, they wear a little quicker than other tires but the ride is perfect and good in every road condition. I love this bike. I keep my bikes pretty clean on this bike it is necessary to keep the seat post greased up or you will get a squeaking noise out of the contact. I don't under stand upgraded the v brakes on this, mine is a 2009 with tekro and they work perfect. If you can only have one multipurpose bike, get the Redline.
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: August 7, 2012
Strengths: Okay, this bike is a beast. It is by far one of the most durable bikes out there. It's a bare-bones performer that relies on the rider to push through. I say the bike is a beast, because if you saw the beating I give it in South Texas on some pretty much all rock trails you would know what I'm talking about. Also come with great tires!
Weaknesses: None if you're a minimalist. SS29er baby!
If you ride on a lot of sharp rock, invest in some slime tubes right away and always check your tire pressure. You will get "snake bites" on your tires if you don't, no suspension = less give.
You will want to upgrade the v-brakes eventually especially if you want more control of your bike in braking scenarios. I noticed that once the v-brakes are warm... they grip very very easily usually allowing you to lock your wheels which I don't care for too much. I have since upgraded to Avid BB7 mechanical disc brakes with a 185mm rotor in the front and a 160mm rotor in the rear (in-case I do some major downhill). I also upgraded to Shimano PD-M985 clipless pedals. With those two upgrades... and some guts you will be passing up multi-speed bikes with no contest.
Bike Setup: Redline Monocog with AVID BB7 Mechanical Disc Brakes and Shimano clipless pedals.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: August 6, 2012
Strengths: It is crazy strong, reliable, and a great bike to blast around in the trails!!!! I like it so much, I have two. They are identically setup with BB7 Avid disc brakes with 185mm rotors. I have WTB Exiwolf tires them. Other than those upgrades, they are both stock. The wheels are still the originals too.
Buy this bike with confidence. This bike will make you a stronger rider as you pick agressive lines to get ready for the climbs. My Redline Monocogs are 2009 and 2011. My 2009 Monocog has approaching 5,000 miles of singletrack. I have previously owned and broken 4 other 29er singlespeeds by other makers. Redline knows what they are doing.
It took me forever to special order this bike as no shop in the bay area carries them in stock. It finally arrived and I've been on it every day since. I love this bike. It's my first SS 29er and I could not be happier. It is solid, rides quiet, and the geometry is great. I'm 6'2" and went for the 19" and it's a perfect fit for me. One thing I am noticing is that on a SS I have to plan much further ahead than with my geared bike. On my geared bike I usually don't look too far ahead because I can always pick a new gear for the terrain. On the Monocog I look way far ahead so I can plan my attack because you can end up at the bottom of an incline and not have enough momentum to help you make it up it. I feel like it's making me a better rider because of this. I'm thinking I will upgrade to disc brakes at some point in time and anything else that breaks or wears itself out.
I bought this thing for sh*&ts and giggles and really fell in love with the 29 inch single speed. After 6 months of riding, I bought a Gary Fisher Superfly SS dripping with carbon...it weighed in at 17.5 pounds. However, it just wasn't nearly as comfortable as the monocog and the weight thing did little for my performance or enjoyment. In short, my Superfly is currently listed in the classifieds here at MTBR.
I have a geared race bike that I am riding less and less because of this bike. It was supposed to be my utilitarian, bike park hopping, strength training bike, but is becoming my go to bike. Go my Monocog early last year for $500 bucks. I ended up getting some Stan's Arches running tubeless and disc brakes and egg beaters pedals for it. Still heavy at 28lbs, this thing rides like a dream. My buddies all have these superlight SS rigs / with front suspension and I can still ride with the best of them. Running low tire pressures give it that buttery feel and in Park City where I ride, I don't need suspension. The Monocog is definitely the Willy's Jeep of single speeds.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: May 11, 2012
Strengths: BOMBPROOF frame and fork. LOW$$$$$ I got mine 325 or so plus tax
Weaknesses: Didn't get one sooner, shifts slow ;)
I LOVE this thing.... It is like driving a 2 wheeled monster truck. (but better handling) I plowed up some fairly steep inclines, bombed down a steep one on my first time out. It is great, the 29er makes a difference on riding over stuff (my first 29er). It truly brought back my childhood love of riding again. I felt like a kid while watching my kids ride.... Get one.... You won't regret it. I am stock and won't upgrade unless it breaks... just enjoy the simplicty....
Strengths: This bike is as simple as it gets, well built, cheap, pretty much worry free, handling is neutral, not for downhilling! A rigid bike doesn't bottom out when going over steep rocks and declines like bikes with suspension forks, so it inspires confidence to become a better rider. You can smash through rocks not worrying about ripping of a 250 dollar rear derailleur or busting shifters in a crash! Plus riding SS you can run cool stickers that say "I stand to shift" or "One freek'in Gear"
Weaknesses: It is heavy, stock rim brakes are the first thing to go. I swapped out the stockers for Shimano's push parallel designs,(just me, I like them) but you'll wanna get Avid BB7s at least, and the hubs and mounts are all ready for your upgrade of disc brakes which is a plus!
So, just in case your wondering I have a Trials/MX, Moto background, trail/stunt builder, clyde rider and put things through the test and expect them to hold up. I know the rewiew isn't about me, but you get the idea I'm not riding it on the bike path at the local shopping mall... LOL
I have ridden Redline Monocog SS 29ers since 2006 and Redline Monocog SS 26ers before that I don't get paid or work for Redline, just like the simple idea of the SS 29er Monocog. It will make you a stronger rider and if your board with the maintenance every week, send it to the shop, spend -o-matic to get full squish, double grape suspension, adjust your brains out tech, then this "IS" the bike for you! On this ride "you" will learn to be the "gears" "suspension"(although you can add a suspension fork) and "muscle bound animal" it takes to ride this bike into its full potential of trail fury!
Please take the time to learn to ride an SS bike. Don't go the steepest hill you can find and blow out your knees or back. Ride it on familiar medium difficulty terrain, you might have to walk hills you make on your gearie, but soon you'll become stronger and pass your gearie friends who sit & pee(sorry I meant sit & shift)... LOL
Another cool thing is; Others always comment "Dude a SINGLE SPEED" so you gain God like status riding it, and It will reward you many different ways, and save you extra cash to buy beer later, later at the local watering hole you will be over heard bragging like a Highland Scotsman: "I climbed that hill on my "RIGID SS"
Last but not least allow your friends to try it. I have done this and sold multitudes of Redlines sometimes to the fact that they sold off their gearie bikes and just have the 29er Rigid SSers now! They think single speeding is too hard, but they come back with a huge smile and ask how much was this? I'm getting one!
Favorite Trail: Rock & Log strewn singletrack!!!!!!!
Purchased At: Cedar Bike Scranton
Similar Products Used: Redline Flight 29er SS
GT Karakorum 4.0
Bike Setup: Stock, except for a brake change, swap out brakes(personal choice) Other than that? No drama, just go ride!
a Cross Country Rider
from Canton, GA, USA
Date Reviewed: January 22, 2012
Strengths: Solid bike that needs very little maintenance.
Weaknesses: Blutarsky's grade point average (0.0). For this price I can't come up with any weeknesses that this bike has.
I bought this bike to see what all the rage is about single speed and twenty niners. I was riding an intense 5.5 built up nice and light. After the first month of riding this bike the Intense got torn apart and sold. After a few rides I was getting pr's on every trail I ride with this heavy, inexpensive bike. I switched back and forth a couple of times and decided I hate suspension, hate 26 inch wheels, and for now I'm loving the single speed. I will probably go back to gears some day but never 26" wheels again.
Strengths: Bomb proof frame, 1st steel 4130 I have owned
Weaknesses: Stock brakes were the first to go, wheels, headset and crank will be replaced shortly.
For the price that bike is amazing, this will be with me for a long time. Big wheels and steel are where it at. This bike will be around for a long time. If you haven't jumped on the RSS29ER train, your missing out IMO!