Strengths: Climbing, agile, light, comfortable, fun, solid, always gets compliments on the trail,tracking, cornering. This bike is the complete package for XC. I'm thing about getting another frame and building it up with gearing.
Weaknesses: Maybe price but considering the way the thing rides it ain't a big deal.
If you had of asked me when I first started riding mtb's that 7 years down the road I'd be riding a rigid steel single and loving it more than anything else I have owned. I wouldn't have believed you. For the last two years prior this I've been riding a Pivot Mach 4 and have loved every minute on it. Then I bought this frameset and begun the build, ever since the first ride I haven't ridden the Pivot at all. I actually sold it last week.
Every time I get off this bike I'm more and more impressed. Whether it's a short 20km blast with mates or a 6 hour enduro this thing is super comfy.
Steel is real. Just went and bought myself self a steel roadie.
Bike Setup: P29 frame, Ritchey WCS carbon fork, Ritchey WCS carbon bar stem and seat post, XT brakes, XT crank, 32 x 18 gearing.
Stans Crest SS wheel set laced with Maxxis Crossmarks
Date Reviewed: August 27, 2013
Strengths: Very Durable!!! Lightest Steel! Really fast both trails and road.
Weaknesses: It make me sleep very late at night. Coz I cant stop staring at it!!!
I have been searching for the perfect bike for years, I tried road, i tried dh full sus bike, but I still have upgraded to another bike. Until I finally bought my P29er. From classic looks to superb performance, the frame itself dances in the trail even if your tires are quite hard. It feels like you are riding a fullsus. This hard tail does it ALL! Thanks to John Wilkie Bike Shop for bringing this beast to the P.I. Thanks Tom Ritchey. I will keep this bike till the end of time. :)
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: March 3, 2013
Strengths: Solid, predictable, rides like a 26er, but smoother than my full suspension Cannondale Scalpel. 23.3 LBS.
Most people complain about the red, white, and blue paint, but I remember watching the Grundig WC races and like the colors. Called my old school, but better than some of the "in" color schemes around. Classical!
Buy this if you are looking for a light hard tail that is different from the mainstream.
Weaknesses: So cool I ALMOST hate to get it dirty.
I built the P-29er (21” frame) with Ritchey WCS saddle, seat post, bars, and stem. I used the 2013 Sram XO 2 X 10 group, and Stan’s EX Flow wheel set matched to a set of Ritchey WCS Shield tires (tubeless). Shop scales said 23.3!
It is smooth as my full suspension bike but six pounds lighter. I was thinking that there would be a draw back or an adjustment to riding on the 29 inch wheels, but it felt just like my first Bridgestone MB-1. Smooth climbs, better than my Slingshots, and the XO four piston brakes are better than I hoped for.
This bike is light, dances through ugly stuff, and craves the twisty singletrack like a Jedi using the force.
Very happy I bought it!
Weaknesses: Integrated headset, this frame deserves a Chris King.
Wow, just built up my 19" P29'er SS from a mix of old and new parts. The bike is way beyond my expectations. Coming from a succesive line of Fisher Rigs (3 broken frames, all replaced at no charge/no question) I was ready for something different. This is a well made, well thought out frame that really works. It accelerates like no other mountain bike I've ridden. Its handles twisty single track really well and descends like a dream.
The geometry fits my longer torso well. The paragon sliders make for easy and solid chain tensioning and allow you to make tweaks to the chain stay length.
It's only flaw is the "Made in Taiwan" sticker, but money matters and you'd be hard pressed to find a better frame for less.
Strengths: Great feeling steel, sliding dropouts are great for SS for for adjusting geometry and ride quality of the bike. Love the integrated seatpost clamp. Stiff where it needs to be but comfy for all day in the saddle.
Weaknesses: Not a huge fan of the Campy style drop in headset
About 1000 miles on this bike and so far, it's been the perfect hardtail XC machine and race bike. I've got miles in on everything from pavement to dirt roads and jeep roads to technical singletrack. It's all I have ever wanted from a bike of this caliber. Fast, comfy, smooth and laterally stiff. Raced it in the Breckenridge 68 and wouldn't have had any other bike. With an X9 drivetrain and a Reba 100mm fork with light wheels, it's right around 26lbs for a large. Pretty good IMO. The P29er is a snappy handler but is capable of handling some pretty raucous descents under a confident pilot. If I'm going to ride all day, this is my bike of choice. It's a precision instrument and an all around fantastic bike.
Similar Products Used: too many to list. Been riding and racing for 20 years.
Bike Setup: large, Truvativ carbon post and bars, Ritchey 80mm stem, XO shifters and rear der, X9 crank and ft der, AC hubs and WTB i19 rims, Reba 100mm 15qr fork.
Date Reviewed: May 25, 2012
Strengths: Steel, price is steep for a frame but that retro look of the old P-21 is worth it. Great ride quality & perfect handling. Set up as a single speed, the drop out hasn't moved at all since I set it up, rock solid slider for SS application.
Weaknesses: About a pound more than my old aluminum frame but not noticable on the trail.
I have about 80 miles of single track on this bike and love the ride quality, I'm 6' riding a 19" frame, the geometry fits just like my old bike (VooDoo Bokor), no handling traits to learn just get on and hold on. I have it set up as a single speed, weight is 20 pounds.
Bike Setup: American Classic wheels & seatpost, Truvativ crank & handlebar, Avid brakes, Ritchey stem, Niner carbon fork, 32x17 gears.
Date Reviewed: April 28, 2012
Strengths: Steel IS real, welds are clean, paint is way cool lookin.
Weaknesses: Are u Kidding?
Just picked this up last night so still getting it adjusted, but managed a 20 mile ride on local trails. Had it built up with solid stuff, not lightweight weenie stuff. Stans Flow rims, full XT 2x10, Rock Shox SID XX. This bike reminds me of a 29er version of my old Fat Chance Yo Eddy. Just totally solid and tracks like it's on rails. Gives you the confidence to just throw into twisty singletrack at crazy speeds and it will figure it out for you...drama free. Great ride and worth it. Yeah it's a bit retro, compared to a 18lb Carbon Niner, but the feel is just like butter, as opposed to peanut brittle...Get it?
Strengths: Creamy steel ride quality. Climbs like it should. Descends like a precision instrument.
Weaknesses: Na- freaking- Da.
I just built it up with a rigid steel fork. I have ridden it with knobs and with slicks...Just a few rides in and it rides much like a 29er version of my old 1990 Bridgestone MB1. Steel is definitely still real. Tom Ritchey is a legendary frame builder and this frame is another classic. This frame is supple yet stiff. It really holds a line and absorbs texture in the trail very well. My bike mechanic bumped me in front of the line because he wanted to build it so he could experience it, if only in the parking lot. It is definitely a head turner as well. Lots of sincere compliments. I plan on riding her until I die baby!