Weaknesses: noisy, single speed skips and jumps, overall pretty cheap and rickety
It seems that I'm alone on this but my 26 Monocog has been a total disappointment.
I was genuinely excited about this bike and really wanted to like it. Universally people seem to love it. I don't get it. Maybe I got a lemon (if that exists with bikes). I ride mine on the street mostly and uphill for workouts. VERY low impact rides, yet it seemed to need a serious tune-up after every outing. I think it's a piece of garbage. It would be laughed off any trail if it even made it there. Decent frame sure, but all of the components are crap. And those aren't my words. That's straight from almost every mechanic I've had look at it, which is very different compared to the rave reviews online. The only guys/gals that seem to love it that I've talked to have simply customized everything (or much of it). Overall it's just a normal/good frame made ridable with some of the cheapest parts available.
Similar Products Used: 2005 specialized FSR XC comp (full suspension)
Bike Setup: upgraded to avid BB7 disc brakes 32x20 gear ratio,otherwise stock.
a Cross Country Rider
from Carbondale, Co
Date Reviewed: June 13, 2011
Strengths: cheap, single speed, very low maintenance, chromaly
Weaknesses: heavy, ok brakes, geared a little too high, shifters dont work :P
This is a great SS and i use it just as much as my jet 9. My only problem is that it is geared a little too high at 32x17 and i got a niner 20 tooth cog which solved my problem. this bike has opened up my mind and made me realize that i really only need one cog.
Similar Products Used: niner jet 9, cannondale caffeine 29er, gary fisher superfly
Bike Setup: stock
from San Diego, Ca, USA
Date Reviewed: July 29, 2010
Strengths: Chromoly 100%, a high carbon steel, making this ride stronger, lighter and stiffer than less pure steel frames. The cycle is aggressive, and the welds are fairly burly. Horizontal dropouts are crucial for ss riding. SS = extremely minimal upkeep. Easily customized. Looks extremely clean and mean.
Weaknesses: The seat post is 29.0, a fairly uncommon size. This frame is mass-produced, not hand made. You may need some device to keep the chain taught, or deep enough into the drop outs(recommended for all single speeds w/horizontal dropouts).
I bought the frame for only 100! Don't buy this bike complete, spend the extra $ and dress her up nice. This frame is miles ahead of any in it's price range. Some may call it heavy and jarring, I call it strong and responsive. In fact it's miles ahead most frames up to $400 and beyond! You can set it up with cushy forks, rigid, fix the cog, ride urban, trails and even light downhill. It's bulletproof, you will not break it unless your jumping something massive, ehh even then it'll surprise you. This is the all around best first-timers 29r ss bike out there.
Similar Products Used: BMX bikes of all kinds, varied hardtail trail rides. GT peace.
Bike Setup: 2008 black w/gold decal 15" 27lbs total, SS 34t chain ring with 22t cog, Avid Juicy 3.5 brakes, Sun Rims with sealed bearings in hubs, 2.4 tire in front 2.2 in rear, Kona rigid junk(but wider than stock) fork, Ritchy headset, race face bb, Shimano Deore 175 mm(not ss specific) crank, sealed platform/clipless pedal.
a Weekend Warrior
from Austin, TX USA
Date Reviewed: June 22, 2010
Strengths: High reliability! Ditching the gears and the rear suspension was the best thing I ever did for my biking pleasure.
Weaknesses: Headset. I had to replace the stock headset after 12 months. Everything else has been rock solid.
Awesome awesome bike! I have a $2500 Specialized Enduro Expert and never ride it because this one is so much fun. A few minor tweaks and upgrades and you have a massively fun, nearly indestructible bike.
Strengths: Excellent frame geometry with reasonably short wheelbase offers good combination of nimbleness and stability. The 26" wheeled version feels like a slightly lighter-weight BMX bike for Big People. Steel construction feels strong, inspired confidence without feeling klunky. Stock parts are decent enough to start with but you'll definitely want to upgrade if you plan to ride this a lot.
Weaknesses: Syncros flat bar with 31.8 clamp size -- not my ideal choice in reach or shape, had to go asap. Also, my bike was factory-assembled WITHOUT lube on the BB and crank bolt threads AND was installed with too much torque, which made removal a nightmare. I *almost* had to destroy the Drive-side crankarm to remove it!
Great bike for the money, great ride quality, excellent value for an entry-level rider wanting to get into singlespeed. Rides really well, with just the right conbination of nimbleness and stability. Stock parts are decent enough to start with but if you upgrade right away you can probably sell the stock parts and make a little money back on your investment.
Favorite Trail: Barton park, PIR, Forest park/Germantown road area
Duration Product Used: Less than 1 month
Bike Setup: I bought this bike for the frameset and upgraded the drivetrain and brakeset pretty much immediately after purchase. I will use the wheels for the time being but am looking for a lighter pair. This bike will be raced singlespeed class in both short-track xc and cyclocross disciplines, so I also removed the V-brakes and swapped in cantis.
a Weekend Warrior
from Laurel, MD
Weaknesses: Stock bar grips are thin and slip, only comes with V brakes.
I picked up this bike as my first foray into 29ers, single speeds, and full rigid bikes. That being said, this thing is a hoot to ride! I think that I am faster on this bike than I ever was on my geared 26" hard tail Jamis Trail X3 or the BMC Super Stroke I built up. The BMC is not really a worthy comparison because it is not really meant for climbing.
I have no problem going over rooty and rocky sections of trail and after a few rides I stopped getting arm and shoulder pain not only because my upper body strength improved but I began to pick better lines, which is absolutely necessary on a rigid bike.
We are living in a disk brake world now and I think that all mountain bikes should come standard with them. I have never ridden this bike with the stock V brakes but given my rides on other bikes, disks are the way to go.
The wheels and hubs are decent; however, it seemed that the wheels were out of true relatively quickly. The stock tires are great for the trails I ride most often.
I also read on other reviews that there is issue with the stock saddle. Most of the trails I ride are up or down with little flat area. I spend most of my time out of the saddle mashing uphill or descending.
Overall, I think this bike is great and I see myself keeping it for a long time.
Similar Products Used: I guess my Huffy Mudslinger I had as a kid because it was also full rigid, though not a single speed and certainly not a 29er.
Bike Setup: Stock plus Avid BB5 disk brakes with 160mm Hayes rotors.
a Cross Country Rider
from Big Rapids, MI
Date Reviewed: August 25, 2009
Strengths: Sweet 4130 Steel frame
Weaknesses: Stock seat sucks, grips, stock tubes refuse to hold air...
I bought this frame a couple years ago and its sat in the box in storage for almost 4 years! Anyway, swapped over my components from the aluminum flight and I gotta say the ride is much better!!! Butter smooth I'd call it. I wish I'd would have bought this one first and saved my tailbone from 4 years of riding the aluminum one. If you're gonna buy one go for the steel, you won't regret it. Get back to your kid roots and enjoy riding again!
(Often catch myself staring at it saying I love my bike!!!)I love this bike, it goes over anything, and hasn't failed me yet! This is a SS, so don't expect to win races on straight aways, but if you like to have fun and get some air on a big BMX, this bike rocks! I eat up hills with no problems and often pass my friends using their granny gear. I plan to upgrade to disc brakes and perhaps a Reba shock in the future. If I was going to buy a geared bike I'd likely go with the Redline D440, but I just don't see any reason for gears so far! I hate the sound a geared bike makes after a big jump, I enjoy the silence and simplicity of a single speed! Buy a Monocog, you won't regret it!
Strengths: great price point! solid frame, fork & wheels. frame tabs & disc hubs are stock.
Weaknesses: grips & headset
After 3 days riding, i sold my ol 26 hardtail & found out what all the hype was on riding a ss rigid 29er. great intro to ss & 29er without robbing your wallet. great pricepoint & soilid great performing ride
Bike Setup: swapped the stock grips w/ oury & stock can creek headset to a fsa dh pignose. changed tires to irc mythos. changed rear cog (20t) to a 22t
a Cross Country Rider
from Boulder, CO
Date Reviewed: June 24, 2009
Strengths: Great quality, solid components, awesome price.
Weaknesses: Comes with V-brakes (not that big of an issue), Stock grips are very thin and gave me blisters.
An awesome bike. I considered buying a more expensive SS 29er, but I am glad I went with this one. As I said above, I changed out the brakes to Avid BB7's because I like the extra stopping power. I also changed out the grips to some Ourys because of personal prefrence. The nice thing about buying a bike that is this cheap is that you have money left over for upgrades. I wasent sure if I would like the rigid fork, so I saved some extra cash for a Reba or something. I do like the rigid, and I am now thinking about a carbon fork. If you are on the edge of buying a Monocog, just do it! You won't regret it.
Similar Products Used: Chumba EVO Iron horse warrior
from Saint George, Ut, USA
Date Reviewed: May 6, 2009
Strengths: Simple and Durable
Weaknesses: None noted yet
I just bought the bike and have rode it to work for the past three days (three miles both ways). I'm converted to single-speeding. One is all you need.
There is a long steep hill (Foremaster Ridge)on the way to work and I have to stop and take a breather. I don't mind stopping for a minute but I think as I get in better condition I will not need to stop. I can effortlessly travel at a good pace on the flats. I can jump curbs, have fun and save on gas. My wife rode the bike and loves it too. Maybe I'll get her one.
Prior to the Monocog, I had a Motobecane 24 speed road bike. I hated it. Very uncomfortable and the derailurs started skipping. I don't like maintenance.
To anyone interested in a good inexpensive single speed I would definatly recommend this one.
I plan on riding it everyday so maybe I'll check back in a year to let you know how it's holding up to daily use.
Strengths: Simple,Durable,efficient,inexpensive and fun as hell to ride!!!!
Weaknesses: For the money, Nothing!!!
Gets you back to the roots of Mountain Biking! It's an awesome bike!!! I needed a bike I could ride so my race bike (Ginat Anthem X0) didn't get beat up. I use this bike for commuting around town, trail ridng and running my dogs. The geometry is neutral/ laid back like a trail bike so its very comfortable to cruise on. The stock parts are pretty decent. I say get one just to have in your stable. I plan on taking it along with my XC and Road bike on trips to North Carolina and Pennsylvania this summer. Plus you just look O.G. Ruff,Rugged and Raw!!!!