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Thread: New monocog!

  1. #1
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    New monocog!

    I rode my local trail this AM on my new Monocog and.here is my take on the 29er thing, the rigid thing, and the SS thing:

    First, about me.

    I have ridden for almost 20 years. For a bit of that, I raced, did some 24 hour races, and worked as a mechanic in a shop while in college/grad school. I consider myself a good rider with a smooth flowing style. I have had many bikes, notably I had a FS bike in the mid-90s and my first *real* bike was rigid (with top mounts thank you!). The trails here in central VA are rolling with abundant short steep climbs, but overall, most people would consider these trails fairly flat.

    The 29" wheels are lots of fun, they absolutely have more traction than my 26" ones..noticed this most in the quick corners..didn't wash out at all and when standing to climb, no spin outs. I normally ride by Homegrown in my 44t big ring and use a 11-30 in the back and I normally sit to climb so on the SS, I was able to use the 32/20 gearing well and sit through most of the short climbs. I never had to walk. I think the gearing on the Monocog is a decent compromise for me. The rigid ride is fun, and reminds me of my first real mountain bike. I think those of us who learned on a rigid bike probably aren't as shocked by riding rigid. You just use your body to absorb the bumps. I can also see where a carbon bar would help deaden the vibrations. The biggest thing I miss from my Homegrown is my USE seatpost! I may put it on the Monocog. The USE is just something I think I can't live without..it goes with my sit and spin style and keeps my prostate under the size of a basketball. The Tektro V-brakes are adequate, they don't stop as well as the XTs on my Homegrown (probably due to the bigger wheels/weight), and felt like canti's did to me on some of my older bikes. I have never ridden with discs and may try them out on this bike. Just like it mattered back in the day, low tire pressure helps out and I can see why the tubeless set ups work well with the SS rigid, I think I may try the ghetto tubeless set up as well. I am happy with the bike and had a great time!

    On the second ride of the day with my kids, there is a super-steep loose climb up the side of a berm. On my Homegrown, I have to do this in the granny sitting/hunching and most of the time I spin out. I just stood up and hammered right up on the 29er..never spun the wheels once. This thing is MONEY.

    Update for 8/8:

    Ok, I have some more riding time on this thing and I feel like I am fully comfortable on the SS 29er. Definitely buying new grips, probably Ourys..the OEM ones are way too thin for me. The headset is already loose and I have read that this was an issue on the 2007s, looks like a cheap one to me, will just continue to tighten it down and throw something else on it soon. I LOVE THIS BIKE. I rode 8 miles on it this morning and had a blast, no issues riding fast. The bar is much wider than any bar I have ever ridden but I dig the extra leverage but I tagged a tree today...think I have it figured out now. At some point, I may go up to a 18t - I spin out badly on the flats but don't have to walk up the hills so I am not sure here, the 20t is probably about right..what do yo guys think? The big wheels absolutely make the bike more compliant, I have heard the analogy that it will ride like a suspended bike..I wouldn't say that, but it does have more compliance than a similar 26". I may throw on my 175 Race Face Turbine LPcranks off my homegrown...I don't know if I will even notice the 5mm difference from the 170 mm stock ones...I just like the way the Race Face's look. Also, I take back the comment above about putting on my USE..don't need it now that I am used to it. All I can say is this the cheapest bike I have ever bought and is the funnest!!
    Last edited by TiGeo; 08-09-2009 at 06:12 AM.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  2. #2
    Drinking the Slick_Juice
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    no pictures?
    "If women don't find handsome , they should at least find you handy."-Red Green

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by nuck_chorris
    no pictures?
    Yeah where's the pics???
    Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life son...

  4. #4
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    Here it is

    15" - its a 2007 that I picked up *brand new* off of craigs..was sitting in a guys shop. I ride myself so hard to get action shots..I guess I got just park it against a tree and take a picture of it
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  5. #5
    pyroclastic flow
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    congratulations

    im happy for you and your finding of the fountain of youth. yes this thing will take you back to when it was just you and the trail.
    the slippage with the headset might be remedied temporarily with moving your stem further down the fork.
    i had the same problem where my star nut would keep riding up the fork. i initially thought i needed a better headset. i purchased a green chris king and the same thing would happen. i then moved my stem down and it help but not permanently. i had to buy a Hope head doctor. works perfect!!!!!
    i got some ergon grips and they work really well. i think the next thing will be the carbon handle bars.
    my bike is a monocog flight 2008 super blue. it came with an 18t cog, i live in ohio and it works perfect for my terrain. i guess do you prefer spinning out or walking up hills. it seems like where you live might be hillier.
    anyway have fun and ride on!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo
    15" - its a 2007 that I picked up *brand new* off of craigs..was sitting in a guys shop. I ride myself so hard to get action shots..I guess I got just park it against a tree and take a picture of it
    Sweet! Yeah I got a few pics of my bike on the trail...took em myself while riding solo.
    Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life son...

  7. #7
    Suffering Mightily
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    Enjoyed reading about your first few rides on the Monocog. The combination of a singlespeed drivetrain and 29" wheels is the greatest innovation since pizza and beer.
    Cheers,
    Drbbt
    Without freedom of choice, there is no creativity. Without creativity, there is no life. The body dies.

  8. #8
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    I have some further impressions...

    I was thinking the brakes just didn't have much power..well, it was due to the position of the levers on the bar. On my geared bike, the brake levers are about an inch in b/c of the shifters. On the SS, the brake lever was too close to the grip and I was grabbing the lever too close to the pivot. I moved the levers in about a 1/2" and the Vs work fine now. I have also dialed in the tires at ~25 psi to be just about right in terms of cush, traction, rolling resistance, and not feeling the rim hit roots - I weigh 170.

    The lock-ring on the rear hub came loose and I tightened that up (it was making popping noises). The headset stayed tight today during my ride this morning so maybe I got that fixed. And finally, the front QR doesn't seem to work that great...I may swap to the XTR off my other bike if the front wheel shifts in the dropouts again.

    The non-butted frame rides great; to me, the biggest thing I remember about my last steel hardtail (butted) was that it was a bit more "springy" compared than this frame. The heavy weight of this bike doesn't bother me at all; it just doesn't ride "heavy". Also, I feel like I am every bit as agile on this bike as my Homegrown; I have no problem in the very tight/technical singletrack trails here.

    I got some great looks today as I barreled past a couple of guys on geared FS bikes!
    Last edited by TiGeo; 08-16-2009 at 03:30 PM.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo
    I have some further impressions...

    I was thinking the brakes just didn't have much power..well, it was due to the position of the levers on the bar. On my geared bike, the brake levers are about an inch in b/c of the shifters. On the SS, the brake lever was too close to the grip and I was grabbing the lever too close to the pivot. I moved the levers in about a 1/2" and the Vs work fine now. I have also dialed in the tires at ~25 psi to be just about right in terms of cush, traction, rolling resistance, and not feeling the rim him roots - I weigh 170.

    The lock-ring on the rear hub came loose and I tightened that up (it was making popping noises). The headset stayed tight today during my ride this morning so maybe I got that fixed. And finally, the front QR doesn't seem to work that great...I may swap to the XTR off my other bike if the front wheel shifts in the dropouts again.

    The non-butted frame rides great; to me, the biggest thing I remember about my last steel hardtail (butted) was that it was a bit more "springy" compared than this frame. The heavy weight of this bike doesn't bother me at all; it just doesn't ride "heavy". Also, I feel like I am every bit as agile on this bike as my Homegrown; I have no problem in the very tight/technical singletrack trails here.

    I got some great looks today as I barreled past a couple of guys on geared FS bikes!
    Moving the brake levers in on all my bikes makes the power alot better, mo betta one-finger braking. Levers don't get damaged in crashes as easily either.

    Tire pressure is dependent on the trail conditions and I've found myself riding faster and leaning it over more on the swoopy sectons of trail thus requiring more pressure for confident cornering....kinda a trade off and sometimes I'll raise/lower pressure during rides depending on the terrain and my attitude that day.

    Assuming you greased the lockring threads....I've learned to grease bolts and threaded peices before assembly that you'd normally assemble dry or with lock-tight on automobiles. Helps get proper torque and not seize together as one solid piece for next time you need to service it. Properly tightened it seems the headset should stay tight.

    Cheaper QRs with the nylon bushing under the lever don't get the gripping power or better skewers because the plastic compresses slightly. Try tightening it a bit more, if not go for at least an XT skewer but stay away from anything other than steel for strength reasons.

    Geometry plays a large roll in the handling/feel of the bike, I'm amazed by the handlig/ride of my steel Mary! Glad you are liking it, I hardly ride my geared HT anymore....loving the rigid steel SS!

    Yes funny to pass the geared/suspended guys on downhill and uphill. Thanks for the update.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drbbt
    Enjoyed reading about your first few rides on the Monocog. The combination of a singlespeed drivetrain and 29" wheels is the greatest innovation since pizza and beer.
    Cheers,
    Drbbt

    Yes and the latter goes great after using the former on an evening ride!
    Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life son...

  10. #10
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    I finally got my repair stand fixed (needed some parts). Being an x-wrench, it was driving me crazy to not have been the builder of my bike. I put it in the stand today and did it right. I took off the tires and tubes, put baby powder in the tires. Holy crap are the tires/tubes on this bike heavy!!! I removed the crank arms and bottom bracket, greased the threads, and re-installed. I removed/greased the chainring bolts. I removed the rear cog and re-installed greasing the lockring..hopefully that will help it stay tight. Finally, I got comfortable with removing the rear wheel and the whole chain tensioning mechanism(plus greased everything). I highly recommend doing this on any bike you buy if you are mechanically inclined!
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  11. #11
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    My gearing on my Monocog is 33x20. It's a good ratio for the trails around here. Lots and lots of climbing. I have to stand and mash a lot. I may try out a 21 or 22 in the back just to see how it feels.

    I love my Monocog. I have been tempted to get something else, like a Jabberwocky, SIR9, etc. Those are very very nice bikes, but I think the cheapness of this Monocog is part of the appeal. I love my commuter Civic, because I can park it anywhere, I'm not worried about dings, etc., and it just works and works for me. Same deal with the Monocog. Every time I think I should sell it, I can never bear to. It's a great work horse that gets it done. Over the winter, I will probably replace the headset with a CC S3 or something. I'm not crazy about the tires and would like more volume, so maybe a new set. The BB will more than likely need replacement, too. The last thing I might replace is the brakes. Tektro's are good, but I'd like to get some BB5 mech. discs.

    Enjoy the bike. I think it will always have a place in my stable of bikes. Good for a quick trip to the grocery store. When the baby is old enough to be in a trailer, it'll be pulling that around. And of course, hitting the trails.

  12. #12
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    Its what cycling should be,inexpensive and simple.

  13. #13
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    I'm about to acquire a used 08 cog and the seller asked me if i wanted the fork set to 80 or 100...

    which is best for this frame or is it more based on my riding style?

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    That's just me, though. I have the stock rigid fork. It's more for your riding style, but set it at 100 and if you don't like it, go down to 80.

  15. #15
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    Just a note about the gearing. I was running 32/18 and 32/20 (alternately) on my 26er. On the 29er I went to 32/18 and the very first ride my worries were put to rest. The gearing doesn't kill me on climbs and gets gradual stuff over with quicker. On the steeps you do have to attack more to keep momentum but I haven't had to walk anything yet. Plus it'll make you stronger, and stronger is always better.

  16. #16
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    Put on discs

    My wife got me Avid BB7s, Avid Speed Dial 7s, an Avid Flak Jacket cable set, and a pair of Ourys for by birthday. Got it all installed yesterday. It was my first time installing discs - I was a shop mechanic in the 90s but the discs weren't really common at that time. It was very straightforward following the instructions. Just had to add some presta washers to the mounting bolts so the bolts wouldn't hit the rotors. Can't wait for the snow to all melt so I can hit the trail and try them out!
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  17. #17
    Life is Go0d!
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    Isnt it nice, sticking it to the man? A hell of a lot of fun for the money. I have the Flight model, and have ridden the regular cog... both great bikes. Hard to beat the value. Have fun on your cog!
    The only regrets in life, are the risks you didn't take.

  18. #18
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    Awesome monocog. Mine should be in this week, can't wait.

  19. #19
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    Sorry that this thread is turning into my Monocog upgrade blog, but its fun to write about doing things to your bike...I feel like I am a rider/mechanic reborn! Well, I have been busy this Christmas with my time off from work...I ordered a slightly used UN-54 on Ebay for $13 and installed my Race Face Turbine LPs from my Homegrown on the 'Cog....these are my favorite cranks and get me back to 175. I had to order a new 5-arm 94 BC SS chainring and the associated shorter bolts to make it work (total of ~$42 with a combo of Pricepoint/Ebay purchases). The BB was just a "good measure" replacement while I had it apart..the stock unit is fairly light, but doesn't impress me as durable. I also ordered a Cane Creek S3 off Ebay ($26). Will toss that on this week and post up a pic when I am all done. The snow has finally melted and I think if the rain holds I can hit the trails this weekend (hopefully they will be open). Total cost to date on the 'Cog is ~$580..not bad for a bad @ss 29er SS!!! Ebay/Craigs/Pricepoint/personal parts box definitely are your friend! Next upgrade is some form of tubeless and I think I want to try one of these new-fangled bars (On One Mary). After I get back on it more regularly this spring, I think I will look at increasing the gearing a scosche with a 18 or 19T cog. Not sure, I think the way to go is to buy some cheapie cogs so I can fiddle around with the gearing. The last few rides in the fall I was having zero issues with the 20T and was itching for more speed on the flats. My poor Homegrown is just hanging there in the garage, crank-less, and looking pitiful..farewell trusty old friend! She was there for a 24-hours of Canaan and a whole lot of local races/riding..maybe I can restore her to her glory and post a pic on the retro board
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  20. #20
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    Here are some photos after I got the rest of parts delivered/installed.
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  21. #21
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    Nice. Glad to see you are enjoying your 'cog.

    I've got my first upgrade coming up soon...Hope pro 2 - ss hub.
    Just get out and ride!

  22. #22
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    Nice Ride

    I just picked up the same year and color cog 29er that you have there. $175 and in pristine condition. Tossed on a race/face chainring, Surly 20T cog, a set of Juicy Carbons, thomson stem, carbon bars and oury grips. Whew, out of breath now. I have put about 30 miles on it since and I love it. Riding a SS is amazing, no noise, no trouble. Next is a wheelset, post and saddle.

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