If you can only have one bike, the Longboard 9 is built with the same passion as the Longboard SS but, with gears to help ease the pain. This lightweight bike is a go anywhere, do anything workhorse capable of taking you places you have only dreamed about. Remember to take your camera or your friends will never believe you.
a Weekend Warrior
from albuquerque nm
Date Reviewed: August 2, 2011
Strengths: Excellent ride, nice handling, great for single track, cross country
Weaknesses: Prepare to do some component tightening and setup out of the box
After a year, I simply love tis bicycle. After going with tubelss tires the ride got even smoother and the tread considerably quieter. The rims were weak and required a complete teardown and retrue by a competent professional, but have been holding up well since. A crank honestly fell off early on but reattaching and torque checking the whole bike took care of all that too. Otherwise, no mechanical problems to report after a year of bouncing around on local rocks and ruts. The frame seems to be bulletproof and the bike overall is simply fun to ride. I have found myself wishing it had a second chain ring once in a while but there haven't been any trails that other bikes could do that I couldn't eventually climb. The specialized Captain tubeless tires helped there providing better traction over the maxxis ignitors. They are discontinued, so any bike now will likely be used. I highly recommend one as a great all-around hardtail singletrack bike. Lots of fun.
For a hardtail, the ride is spectacular. The true temper steel frame is pure quality, the manitou minute fork is among the best forks I have used, and the wtb wheelset is a very good choice for cross-country riding. The stock Ritchy seatpost and handlebar are solid and very trailworthy selections. Personally, however, I'm not a fan of Ritchey's saddle clamp, and frankly I'm always looking to add a little bling here and there, which is why I went with an easton monkey light bar and carbon seatpost. The bottom bracket started creaking after its first, and very brief, exposure to moisture. The crankset may be adequate, but I wanted something that would inspire a bit more confidence.
You owe it to yourself to set this bike up tubeless, and with wider tires. Maxxis don't accept tubless setup very well, btw. I went with 2.55 WTB weirwolf tires front and rear.
The guys at my lbs gave this bike a ride while doing the up-grades for me. They raved about the ride quality of the bike and had immense praise for the manitou fork. How it is that this bike is available for under $2,000 is beyond me. We are talking about a true temper steel frame that should sell for no less than $800, a $600 fork, a $500 wheel set...
Bottom line: if you have been considering this bike, you won't regret buying it. Just set it up tubeless.
Bike Setup: Stock except for stylo crankset, easton monkeylight xc low rise bar, specialized carbon seatpost and saddle. Also, 2.55 WTB weirwolf tires set up tubeless.
a Cross Country Rider
from omaha, ne, usa
Date Reviewed: January 23, 2010
Strengths: It has been a good bike so far. I like the compliant steel frame, it's great to look at and feels good to ride. It is vrey light weight for its price and thanks to the 1x9 drivetrain. Sram's x-9 rear-end is flawless with every shift; even underload downshifting is buttery smooth. The spot branded parts like the stem and crankset/bashguard combo seem well made. I thought I'd ride them till they showed wear or broke. it climbs like a mtn goat and makes me feel 5 years youger when I'm climbing on the bike. I'm 5'10" at 145lbs. with a 31 in inseam and the med. frame fits me like it was custom made for me. It is fast and nimble in the corners, inspiring confidance and eating up singletrack
Weaknesses: I love the bike, but it took a lot of adjustmants to make it perform fantastic. But, it was 1200 bucks. what do you expect. The fork felt like a pogo stick wwen climbing. Manitou was very helpful and walked me through fine tuning the for to my size and style of riding. I still wanted it stiffer on climbs, so I ordered their remote lockout kit. This fork is fantastic wit the lockout and should have been speced with one. Have the wheels rebuilt/tensioned by someone who good at this. it will make the banschee like squeal that comes fom them under hard braking go away. If you switch the 34 tooth chainring to a 36 it is an even better climber
good bike, buy one on ebay and pay to have a shop rebuild the wheels. I'm planning on racing it rvery weekend very close to its stock form. I changed the chainring, added a lockout, rebuilt th wheels with better spokes an nipples. Their website is a bit lackluster and needs more information.
Similar Products Used: Giant nrs air, waltworks custom,
Bike Setup: cross country race
from La Crosse
Date Reviewed: November 16, 2009
Strengths: The frame geometry is good, it is a fun bike to ride. I am on a Small @ 5'8"
Weaknesses: Pretty much the entire build of the bike. The WTB wheels blow (Poor tension spoke and nipple quality), the stock Spot Branded Stem is best suited for a commuter bike that wants max comfort. The post was branded as a Richey, but I figure it is a counterfit Richey and it is not strong. The shifter was a Sram X5, who puts SRAM X5 on a $2000+ bike? The Spot Brand Cranks fall off. The bottom bracket is junk. The Hayes stroker brakes are loud and grab inconsistantly. Overall I'm happy with the way it rides only due to the frame, but then again the head tube is too tall to be able to mount a standard 29er rigid fork due to it being built around a 100mm fork. Would have been better built around an 80mm fork, who needs 100mm on a steal rigid bike.
Had I waited an seen that these bikes were being blow out on Ebay for $1200, I might not be so upset. The retail for this model is around $2200. This bike should never have been priced a cent higher than $1500. Overall I enjoy riding it but have had many issues and overpaid a lot. In hindsight, I was looking to get into a 1x9 29er, and this came that way stock. I should have gone with my gut and bought a GF Rig, then converted it to a 1x9. I would been money a head, and had the option to ride single speed also.
In the end I am not sure what Spot was thinking when they spec'd this bike then...
Weaknesses: Rear tire clearance, needed a lot of work out of the box
I love the way this bike rides. It seems light, is easy to wheelie and hop, and seems well balanced. Even with the 1x9 setup, I am able to climb anything that I can on my 26" 3x9 bikes, and more. It's an especially good deal considering the current fire-sale prices.
The down side to me is that there's not a lot of clearance at the chainstays for a larger tire. This is an issue I had not seen mentioned before about the frame, and is the primary reason for this review. The bike came with Ignitor 2.1s, and there's only about 1/4" of clearance on either side of the tire. To me, that's barely enough to fit the tire and mud, and definitely not enough to go to a larger tire. At the price paid, I won't dwell on that, and will use this bike as a learning tool to help me decide what I want in my next, more expensive, 29er. But, don't buy the Longboard expecting to put s big fat tire on the back - it's just not going to fit.
Another point is that the bike needed a lot of work to get it rideable right out of the box. I was expecting that, but if you aren't able to tension and true wheels, address brake noises, and check the torque on all bolts, you will need to find someone to help. Of course, if you buy the bike through a bike shop, those things will already be taken care of for you.
The frame is great but most of the stock parts are too cheap.
Hayes stroker trail brakes don't last in wet conditions, bottom bracket bearings don't last in wet conditions, manitou minute 29er fork has weird squishy noise and does not lock out. 34 tooth chainring in front too small for me.
Chain came off all the time with stock guide.
The only stock parts I kept were the stem, bottom bracket, cranks, derailer, shifter, and of course the frame.
If I had to do over I might just get the frame and build from scratch. I love the geometry and the bike is great now with all of the upgrades. Weighs in just under 25 pounds in a large.
Bike Setup: Bontrager race x-lite wheelset, Bontrager jones xr29 1.8 tires, fox f29 fork, easton monkey lite bars, eggbeaters, rohloff chain tensioner, xt brakes, 38 tooth chainring. These are all non-stock parts.