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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm about a week and a half away from pulling the trigger on a 29er SS. I want to keep things pretty cheap, so I'm looking at a Monocog 29er or GT Peace 9. I'm leaning towards the MC since it's immediately and widely available, and I like the horizontal track ends and the lack of an EBB.

That said, I'm a little leery of a $450 complete bike. I plan to use it for its intended purpose, not as a campus coffeeshop cruiser.

So help a brother out: Are the headset, BB, hubs, and brakes worth a damn, or is this bike going to need one upgrade after another? Am I making a good decision between the two bikes? Anything else I should be considering?

Thanks!
 

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Only problem I've had with mine (more from my abuse ie trying to use it to jump more than it should) is the headset. Broke it but I was pretty brutal with the bike (2-3' air and landing). Replaced it with a Cane Creek S1 and it's good to go. Only thing I'm going to replace now are the brakes. Not b/c they are bad but because I love mud. :)

It's a sweet bike and I'm glad I picked it up.
 

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WWYD?
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I'm 1,500 miles into my MC29er and replaced the headset (immediately) for a Chris King, then swapped the brakes for discs (the stock brakes are good though), just replaced the cartridge bearings on the rear wheel (easy to do) and I also just recently replaced the bottom bracket (for my trusty old Phil Wood) after all these miles. Even if I bought the Phil Wood new, I'm still under $1,000 for a nice, sturdy, trail-worthy bike.

I'm saving for another to build up as a 1X9 for the steep stuff.
 

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I had the shop change out the headset immediately (free of charge) and I swapped the seat out with my old WTB. The brakes were uninspiring, but I think a pad change would've helped a lot. I don't like spending unnecessary money, so I lived with them until I got Avid mechanicals. However, don't let these minor details steer you away. The Monocog 29er is a great trailworthy ride right off the shelf and I've loved mine since day one!
 

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ballbuster
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The stock stuff is decent...

... and even though the headset looks cheeeeeepy McCheep Cheep Cheep, it has not broken on me or come loose in the 30 miles I put on the bike so far (including a couple of 18" drops). I have a Ritchey WCS I bought new for cheap at a swap meet on standby for when the craptastic one goes bad.

Wow, the stock hub has cartridge bearings? I did not know that.
 

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Headset, front skewer, and brakes.

The headset is poor. Run it or replace it.

The front skewer is a total nuisance. It is of poor quality and demands much attention.

The brakes are pathetic, but if I lived in Kansas or something, and buttered them up all nice, they would work well enough I suppose.
 

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WWYD?
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Cartridges are easy to find too. Standard stuff, can't remember the number right now, but same as Specialized hubs. By the way, the BB cracked inside at 1,500 miles and still rode smooth enough to get home.

One thing I noticed was the lack of tension in the rear spokes and the uneven radial trueness. You'll break spokes if you don't get the tension up.
 

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Ive had mine since last June and the headset was the only part that was obviously bad and the shop swapped it out--no charge. Common problem.

We later traced a creak back to the stock stem--which they also swapped out--but I think that was an anomaly, I haven't heard of anyone else with a similar problem.

A couple of months ago I accidentally drowned the bottom bracket when I spent about 30 minutes gently running water over the bike--trying to get some nasty clay-like mud off. While doing that I got a lot of water in the bottom bracket shell (apparently through the vent holes in the chainstays). The water sat in there for a couple of days. I didn't realize until I was getting it ready for another ride and the cranks sounded really nasty when turned. I pulled the bottom bracket and about a cup of water poured out on the floor. I drilled a drain whole in the bottom of the shell and plugged it, so I could drain it next time it gets wet. Oh, and I bought a new bottom bracket at Nashbar (house brand) for $12. It's been silky smooth. And this one was definitely my fault

The Monocog has been an absolute blast to ride and it is truly one heck of a deal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks, everyone. That's pretty impressive. Sounds like if I replace the headset, adjust the brakes, tension the wheels, and keep an eye on the bottom bracket, I should be good to go, at least for awhile.

Last question: How are the stock seatpost and clamp?
 

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I'm 210 lbs geared up and I haven't had any problems with my seatpost or clamp at all. Like you said, I've added disc brakes and a new headset and mine's been good to go for a while now and I really dig it.
 

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225 lbs and the seatpost has been great. I did get a little slipping with the original clamp so I stuck a Salsa Lip-lock on it. I probably could have messed around a little more to get the stock one to work, but the Salsa was cheap and dang it looks nice :)

My son, at around 200 lbs, has the stock clamp on his Monocog and it hasn't budged.
 

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The headset's upper race/adjusting cone allow the headset to rock even while tight. I replaced them with parts from an old Dia-Tech something unsealed headset that I had broke the cups on and that fixed it. After that, I've had zero problems with the remaining stock parts. My bike primarily is used for commuting, but has seen time riding at skateparks.

I'm planning on replacing the cranks with Profiles because me and square tapers typically don't get along, but the cranks have been holding up thus far with no problems.
 
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