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  1. #1
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    Monocog Flight 29 report

    Ok, so I've logged on a few rides since I bought my bike. About 12-14hrs now.

    I recently went on a very technical single track with some FS guys (2 Stumpy FSR and 1 Epic.)

    So on the surface, one would think that I would get clobbered by the rest of the pack on this very tight, twisty, root and rock riddled trail with lots of quick ups and downs.

    But no.

    I don't get it. I was actually leading the pack and pulling away from the others.

    So what gives?

    Ok, so here is where the sum of the parts equals a package to be reckoned with:

    1) The 29 wheels roll over so much and has great traction. Each time we hit some bumps, I am still rolling. Each corner, I want to believe I have a hair more traction allowing me to corner faster or at least leave a bigger margin of error. Also on some of the steeper climbs, if it is short enough, I get more traction as I crank on the pedals.

    2) Accurate fork. With a lighter fork, I can pick up the front end and drop it anywhere. I do have the challenge of keeping weight on it for cornering traction, but staying loose to absorb bumps to avoid chatter. Steering is super precise. I know...and reminded...of exactly what is going on.

    3) SS. I thought this was going to do me in. But for trails that don't have big climbs or wide open, I have just the right gearing to keep power flowing while I work the technical sections. It is very true that I can take some of the concentration I would normally give to selecting the optimal gear but working the pedals to get optimal speed for the gear.

    Actually, this is where I pulled away on a lot of occassions. While everyone optioned into a lower gear, I pushed forward up the climbs.

    Now, eventually, one of the stronger riders caught me as we were negotiating a smoother set of trails that were uphill most of the way. Without the technical challenge slowing him down, it was just power/weight ratio. I had burned a lot of my legs earlier in the ride (so this is about 1.5hrs into the ride) and I had to give up the lead. Granted, we were 100' from finishing the section and stopping for some food. :P

    Ok, we finished the ride after 2hrs. I felt I had a great workout. A couple of the other riders wanted to hit another 1/2hr loop. One FS-er was done. Me too. I think the rigid/SS is fast, but it takes its toll. Gotta ride some more to last longer on the rides!

  2. #2
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    nice report! if you don't mind me asking, where do you and your group ride at? i'm about 30 mins south of you in kent and usually head out to sawyer and tapeworm for a quick ride. i just picked up my 2010 monocog and i'm looking for a few more places to hit up thats close by.

  3. #3
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    So my ride report was from Black Diamond (east side of SR169). Should be just over the hill south of Kent-Kangley for you. Awesome trails. Get in there before the clearing takes it away.

    I ride a lot of the Pacific Bicycle shop rides. http://www.pacbicycle.com/shoprides.html

    Good group. The ride leader is Scott; 54y/o owner of the bike shop. He's a good rider. But more importantly mature in that he'll watch the group and try to make the ride fun.

    This Wednesday will be at Tolt MacDonald (near Carnation). This is probably the classic PNW trail. A good climb at the very beginning to get up to the plateau and then some really nice technical single tracks at the top. Not a whole lot of elevation inside the trails.

    There's another couple sets of trails just outside of Fall City

    Sunday morning will be at Paradise Lake Rd (a little NE of Woodinville). Very tight and bumpy single track. Not a lot of elevation. Intermediate when dry. ADVANCE when wet!

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    thanks! sawyer/black diamond is my go-to spot. sad that it'll be a subdivision soon. i rode the loops behind bd bike shop and by toy tree "faux-ss" with my geared 26" HT this past thurs, trying to get myself ready for the real thing. hopefully this thurs i'll be back out there with the monocog!

    i've read about tolt (and IAB at its start), and thats on my list. paradise lk rd sounds right up my alley, i'll check out the trail-wiki on emba. thanks again!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by kanai
    thanks! sawyer/black diamond is my go-to spot. sad that it'll be a subdivision soon. i rode the loops behind bd bike shop and by toy tree "faux-ss" with my geared 26" HT this past thurs, trying to get myself ready for the real thing. hopefully this thurs i'll be back out there with the monocog!

    i've read about tolt (and IAB at its start), and thats on my list. paradise lk rd sounds right up my alley, i'll check out the trail-wiki on emba. thanks again!
    I have no idea what the names of the trails are at BD. I love the east side of the road. Especially that first part and the section to the far east/south.

    I was really surprised at how well the Monocog did there. Basically made $2500 bikes look like a waste of money.

    The only mods I've done is to swap out the 18t for a Surly 20t. I added Oury lock-on grips. I'm not sure about this one. Love the solid feel, but I have small hands and the fatter grips made my hands tire quicker.

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    I was equally impressed and blown away the first time I took my flight 9er out to the local trails with a few buddies. It was relatively buff singletrack that I'd ridden countless times before on both a hardtail and my 5" tranceX. I made better time on my 9er than on both of those bikes, I think mostly due to the singlespeed factor. The big wheels are nice, rigid fork/rear are plenty stiff, but at the end of the day I think it's the fact that a SS setup forces you to hammer through the climbs and hold momentum through everything as opposed to flippin the granny gear and spinning sections...this bike is SO much fun!

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    i'll add my 2 cents, even though its for a humble monocog 29er. finally got to take my 2010 'cog out to see some dirt (bd/lake sawyer) and had a great ride. bike feels light and nimble, goes right where you point it.

    i was surprised at how well it handled all the log piles and larger rocks strewn along these trails. lift the front and let momentum carry you forward, not what i expected from a rigid bike. i was also surprised at how composed the bike was. i thought i'd be riding a jackhammer the whole time, but it only got really jarring when the trails were filled with grapefruit sized rocks. and when the trails got smooth and flowy, the thing rails!

    i'm not gonna go so far as to say its the most fun i've had on two wheels or that its the best bike ever, but it was every bit as fun as charging those same trails with my 26" geared HT or bombing it on my 5" DW-link MKIII. i'm looking forward to many more rides with my monocog 29er and would definitely recommend to anyone

  8. #8
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    tdotrider,

    I know what you mean about having to push harder up the hills. Also, in order to carry momentum through some of the whoops and bumps, I find myself pulling away from the other riders a bit to maintain my momentum and rhthymn. In the end, it ends up being a slightly quicker pace through various sections.

    kanai,

    The Pacific Bicycle group ride is going to be at Paradise Lake Rd trail. It's a bit of a drive from Kent. But it feels like the west side of SR 169 trails but with way more roots. Not a whole lot of elevation, but lots of little technical challenges all the way.

    I did do the night ride at Tolt MacDonald (http://evergreenmtb.org/wiki/index.p...Tolt_MacDonald)

    The ride begins with a climb from the river bank to the top of the plateau. Oye...had to stop 3 times. The first one also coincided with a spot that 30% of the riders stop anyway due to traction management issues. But I just couldn't stay in my anaerobic zone for the whole duration.

    Once at the top, it was a great ride. The trails are very twisty and we're constantly dodging roots, stumps, rocks, low branches, etc. The darkness limits our vision so it held back some of our more "fit" riders. Heh heh, that's where the extra traction of the 29-er and the pace of the SS allowed me to keep up with the "fast guys" on the geared FS bikes. Lots of puzzled looks and inquiries on what the hell I was riding.

    I will say that I got tired a lot faster though. And once tired, the bike was not forgiving...almost treacherous. I use my arms to apply pressure to the front but still stay supple to soak up the bumps and I just couldn't keep it up. My legs were also feeling like jello but it's not like I can click to a lower gear or sit down and pedal.

    But I finished the ride just fine. Had an awesome work out. And survived.

    I still have my gripe about the slow engaging hub and the brake feel. But it's still a cool bike.

  9. #9
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    Well rode a local trail called "The Beav" tonight. It's sort of my "backyard" now.

    But it was at night. We recently had a wind storm and leaves, branches, trees all over the place. Still, had a blast.

    Man, I'm just having so much fun with the 'cog.

    Rode over the weekend at Paradise Valley and had a blast. Again, no problems keeping up with FS guys. Actually, I ended up pushing them because of the SS.

    But toward the end of the ride, I was cooked. Man, once my arms turn to rubber, it's treachorous. I forget how forgiving a 110mm fork and rear suspension is... oh what I wouldn't give to be able to sit on the saddle and spin at that point.

    Ah...hoping this will help my fitness level.
    Just get out and ride!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by traffic002
    oh what I wouldn't give to be able to sit on the saddle and spin at that point.
    That's the point at which I start walking the long climbs...when you're sitting & spinning you aren't going much faster than when you're walking your bike uphill at a decent clip...

    I find that going back and forth between my 5" bike and my flight 9er really screws my riding up because the one day i'm bombing trails on the FS just flowing over the gnarl and the next day I'm carefully threading my rigid 9er through the rough stuff...

    and then there's the whole "but if I always take one bike out, what will the other bike think?"...

  11. #11
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    Climb in the saddle?? What's that?

    No, when your jamming along on the level terrain over small undulations and bumps, on my Rush, I can just sit in the saddle and spin away and let the suspension soak everything up.

    On the 'Cog, I have to hover over everything a la BMX style.
    Just get out and ride!

  12. #12
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    Kanai:

    Do you have the regular 2010 Monocog with the V brakes? The blue one?

    Jerry

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by olivej
    Kanai:

    Do you have the regular 2010 Monocog with the V brakes? The blue one?

    Jerry
    yup. i'd post pics, because the spec i have is different than redline lists on their website, but my camera is non-functional. my 2010 came with dtc nevegal 2.1's and truvativ five-d cranks w/ bash.

    took 'er out to sawyer again today and had fun slippin' over roots and slidin' over rocks, as we've had a few days of rain up here in wa. plus lots of blow-down from a windstorm we had earlier. i'm glad i didn't have to worry about snapping a derailleur! tried the nevegals at 34 psi, but i was still losing traction over all the leaves and roots. i gotta learn to keep my a$$ on the seat a little to keep some weight on that rear tire, too spoiled by my fs rig

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