Redline MonoCog 29er Demo Review- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1

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    Redline MonoCog 29er Demo Review

    The Redline Monocog 29er is designed as an affordable, tough, and fun 29er mountain bike. That is the idea that I will test in this review. Milltown Cycles was able to acquire a 15" demo frame, fork and wheelset from Redline. The frame and fork are made from 4130 chromoly steel. The wheelset is made up Redline hubs manufactured by formula laced to Alex DH-19 with 32 spokes each. I’m only going to review those essentials, but I will explain the parts spec, so you can have a better idea of what I was riding. Rather than the tektro linear brakes, our stoppers were Hayes Sole hydraulic disc brakes. Race Face designed our Deus XC singlespeed crankset. Bontrager select bars, Bontrager race lite stem, Thomson seatpost, and WTB seat made up the cockpit. We used WTB Exiwolf 29x2.3 tires which Redline stocks on the production Monocog 29er. For some foot connection, I rode Crank Bros. Mallet pedals Sans pedals, this bike would retail for closer to $600 rather than the $470 retail of the stock Monocog 29er.
    I’ll be honest, my first impression was that this bike was pretty heavy. I lifted the rear wheel and thought “whoa.” I’m used to race bikes that are a bit lighter. Some extra weight, however, is to be expected from a 4130 steel frame. I really dig the flat greenish-grey paint job. It’s the perfect design for a simple, no gimmicks mountain bike. I looked at the tires remembering that it’s a Minnesota winter, and there’s snow on the ground. I assumed the tires, with narrow knobs, would not hook up so well in the snow.
    Then I got out and rode the bike. I used it as a campus commuter, urban assaulter, and snowy ski trail invader.
    The 4130 chromoly steel of the frame and fork proved to be tough as nails. Between Ben (owner of Milltown Cycles) and myself, this bike was ridden off concrete drops, down concrete stairs, over mountains of plowed snow, through snowy trails. When I used it as a commuter I was throwing it up against all kinds of posts and rails to lock it up. After much bashing, no problems with the frame or fork.
    The frame and fork also had a good feel and were very responsive. I’ve only ridden a few 4130 bikes, but I always end up loving them. The steel softens up the ride a little and you can still beat it around with the giddiness and carelessness of a 4-year old with some toy trucks. The rigid fork made this bike extremely responsive and bunnyhoppable (no, that’s not a word, yet). For being much heavier than my favorite hopping machine, my ‘cross bike, I was surprised at how well I could throw this bike over stuff. With the suspension adjusted fork and laid back geometry it was perfect for riding across campus and through town, ready to jump anything.
    The wheels are very tough. They’re not lightweight, but the idea of this bike is to have something to beat up, not race up mountains. I consider myself an expert at finding a way to knock the best wheels out of true. After a week of riding this wheel set,, they were still about perfectly true. I was impressed by the WTB Exiwolf tires as well. As stated above, I was skeptical, but they even hooked up pretty well in the snow. Unlike my Bontrager Jones that hook up well in snow, but can’t roll on dry fast terrain, the Exiwolf still rolled well everywhere. I wouldn’t call it the best 29er tire out there, but for an all around tire on an inexpensive bike I’m satisfied.
    Overall I was really happy with this bike. If I didn’t already have a GF Rig, I would consider getting one of these as a cheap 29er singlespeed to use for everyday riding. I’m amazed at what you can get for $470 from Redline. If this was a few years ago when I was just getting into racing, I wish somebody would have shown me one of these, rather than a geared bike with crappy parts. I do wish the geometry set you back a little more over the rear wheel for cranking up steep hills, like on my Rig, but other than that I can’t complain. The frame and fork was tough. I would recommend it to anyone on a budget looking for a bike that can take anything. I would even recommend it for racing on a budget. Finally, don’t by this bike to upgrade it. If you put a Reba on it, you’re doubling the worth of it. The Monocog 29er is beautiful in what it provides for the money. It’s an awesome ride as it is. I’d say if you want a nice 29er, get one of those, and get a Monocog 29er as something to ride everyday to make your nice bike last longer.

    Any Questions? Comments? Rants?

  2. #2
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    Thanks for the review! I had to delete some over-the-line spam though.

    Funny how one will call the Exi's too **** slow, and the other will call them faster than an XR :-) I never tried them myself. I'm sure they're good for something, but I don't think my usual riding is it.

    I'm really looking forward to see these bikes his showrooms, presonal bike garages and of course trails. Seems like it could be a bike that takes away some reasons to spend more, and offer a new reason for many to try 29" and SS in one painless go, and get a really good ride to boot.

  3. #3
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    The moment the first Monocog 29er hits the shows, we can all consider the contest open for "best customized Monocog". As long as it's built to be ridden. Awards will also go to the rider that manages to ride it stock for the longest/most. Used pedals allowed.

  4. #4
    I like endos
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    good review

    but I must take issue with one thing- what makes a bike upgrade worthy is how much the rider likes the frame/fork- not how much said frame/fork is worth. There are lots of people out there riding around on $2000 Karate Monkeys. Nuff said. Personally I'm planning about 250 dollars worth of upgrades on my Monocog when I get it. You have to like the bike you're riding- and even you said that you did some upgrades from stock (hydro stoppers, raceface and bonty race stuff).
    As for the Pyramids, there is nothing to wonder at in them so much as the fact that so many men could be found degraded enough to spend their lives constructing a tomb for some ambitious booby, whom it would have been wiser and manlier to have drowned in the Nile, and then given his body to the dogs. - Henry David Thoreau

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ParkerFly
    but I must take issue with one thing- what makes a bike upgrade worthy is how much the rider likes the frame/fork- not how much said frame/fork is worth. There are lots of people out there riding around on $2000 Karate Monkeys. Nuff said. Personally I'm planning about 250 dollars worth of upgrades on my Monocog when I get it. You have to like the bike you're riding- and even you said that you did some upgrades from stock (hydro stoppers, raceface and bonty race stuff).
    I agree. I built my monocog 26er up from the frame and it's a wonderful bike. I've got some carbon, a reba and haven't felt the frame "beneath" all the more expensive parts. The fact that I paid more for the stem and the bar then the frame doesn't really matter to me
    On-One Lurcher SS
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  6. #6
    Master of the Obvious
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    Yeah, I got some sweet parts I am going to Toss on my Mono the second I get it, including H-Bars, fizik saddle , and a cool (and inexpensive) Ringle stem that will color cordinate well with the redline (there supposed to be Gunmetal grey but they have this cool green tinge) It won't be the Blingyest (I no not a word...yet) but it will rock, and I do plan on racing this beast for 2006.....
    Check out my Blog!
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  7. #7

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    Bling

    Cloxxki- what do you mean "over the line spam"? I'm confused.

    This is just my opinion: Why put $2000 into a steel frame that weighs more than two scandium, aluminum, carbon or ti frames all of which are still comfortable rides. Or get a quality steel frame (i.e. 853) to blow some cash on. It's not a quesiton of how much the frame/fork is worth, it's the quality of the frame and fork. I mean you can spend a lot more on a custom made frame then a stock frame, but the stock frame can still be high quality. All I'm saying is you shouldn't try and turn a 4130 frame into something lightweight. That's antithetical to the ideology the frame is based on. I love surly, but I don't understand putting that much money into one (except for maybe a pugsley if you're planning on doing some crazy-long snow races). The idea is to have a bike that's tough and a fun ride, not a bike that's bling or color-matching or whatever. If you want bling, get some gold-spoked dubs from Industry Nine, and match that up with a nice frame and fork.........

    The only reason the Monocog 29er had different parts from stock is because the Demo stuff we got from Redline was a frame, fork and wheels. We just threw on whatever parts we had, while trying to keep the spec a similar quality (though it wasn't). In all honesty, I would rather have the cheap rim brakes on there. Those Tektros actually work pretty well for the price, especially if you tune them well once. I wasn't very happy with the Hayes stoppers.

  8. #8
    I like endos
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    everyone is entitled to their opinon

    and I understand yours. However, since I work at a shop and get a significant discount on the Redline, I'll be putting at least as much money as my discount is saving me back into the bike (though some of this stuff I already have just sitting around my workshop) in the form of:
    Thomson Elite Seatpost and X4 Stem
    WTB Rocket V ti saddle
    Avid SD5 v brakes and SD7 levers
    Ritchey V3 pedals
    Oury lock-ons
    IRD Techno-Glide headset
    Basically I want it to be as comfortable, good looking, and performance oriented as possible for as little $$ as I feel is reasonable. I'm not going to go spending $1000 on it or anything, but I don't own 1 single stock bike. Gotta make them personal. In the future I may also build it a cool wheelset and get some lighter tires, but that's the future.
    As for the Pyramids, there is nothing to wonder at in them so much as the fact that so many men could be found degraded enough to spend their lives constructing a tomb for some ambitious booby, whom it would have been wiser and manlier to have drowned in the Nile, and then given his body to the dogs. - Henry David Thoreau

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by NooNoo
    This is just my opinion: Why put $2000 into a steel frame that weighs more than two scandium, aluminum, carbon or ti frames all of which are still comfortable rides. Or get a quality steel frame (i.e. 853) to blow some cash on. It's not a quesiton of how much the frame/fork is worth, it's the quality of the frame and fork. I mean you can spend a lot more on a custom made frame then a stock frame, but the stock frame can still be high quality. All I'm saying is you shouldn't try and turn a 4130 frame into something lightweight. That's antithetical to the ideology the frame is based on. I love surly, but I don't understand putting that much money into one (except for maybe a pugsley if you're planning on doing some crazy-long snow races). The idea is to have a bike that's tough and a fun ride, not a bike that's bling or color-matching or whatever. If you want bling, get some gold-spoked dubs from Industry Nine, and match that up with a nice frame and fork.........
    Actually its quite not hard to build up a $2k Pugsley. The rims, tires, tubes and rim tape alone price out around $500 and the rare 100mm BB doesn't come in bargain prices. I put together most of the components to build a budget Pugs SS from bikeman.com and it came out over $1600 without pedals, saddle and wheel build. A gear version would ofcourse be more expensive.
    Luckily I was able to find mine on Ebay with some bling parts for much less than a budget build up.
    Craig

  10. #10
    Student of the Bike
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    Nice handle...this may begin to get pretty confusing.
    CBaron

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by CBaron
    Nice handle...this may begin to get pretty confusing.
    CBaron
    I noticed your handle a couple days ago. This is a handle I have used for several years on a couple of different sites but I am fairly new to mtbr. It actually relates to a recumbent I owned several years ago. That bike is still my favorite ride but a few off-road sections in the snow on my Pugsley and the Pugs is approaching the Baron in enjoyment. I think once I actually learn how to ride off-road I may have a new favorite bike.
    Craig

  12. #12
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    what frame sizes can you get the 29" monocog in?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by hrhitter
    what frame sizes can you get the 29" monocog in?
    The geo charts are on the Redline web site.
    mtbtires.com
    The trouble with common sense is it is no longer common

  14. #14

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    Since we are mtn bikers and like to personalize/customize/make it better, seeing a non-upgraded Monocog 29er would be like seeing a Hummer actually in the woods.

    I understand NooNoo's comments though. Keep it simple and fun. But I'll still upgrade mine too.

  15. #15
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    I stopped by my LBS yesterday and have 1 on order. It shout hit Dallas March 15.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by hrhitter
    I stopped by my LBS yesterday and have 1 on order. It shout hit Dallas March 15.
    March 15th? I was told March 24th

    Which LBS? I dont wanna wait!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by hrhitter
    I stopped by my LBS yesterday and have 1 on order. It shout hit Dallas March 15.
    Consider yourself lucky. I've been in 3 shops and none of them are interested in ordering one for me. Redline needs a better distribution system. Customer-direct maybe?

  18. #18
    Is it play time yet?
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    I guess Redline has some minimum order requirement. The LBS I deal with said I would need to find 5 other guys interested in the bike before they would order some. That would just about double their bike inventory :P

  19. #19

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    Wow, not interested in a guarenteed sale or not Redline dealers?

  20. #20
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    Grapevine Bike Center
    Grapevine,TX 76051

    Tell them Big Steve said hey

    Also around 500.00 stock

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by erik99
    I guess Redline has some minimum order requirement. The LBS I deal with said I would need to find 5 other guys interested in the bike before they would order some. That would just about double their bike inventory :P
    The minimum order size is just to recieve free freight, assuming that they are stocking Redine dealers. They could order one bike if they wanted too.
    I sell bikes here. Check out the Blog here. Facebook.

  22. #22
    Is it play time yet?
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    They don't have stock of much. They are a hole in the wall shop downtown. They do give sweet discounts for cash purchases, which is how I like to fly (right below wife's radar).

  23. #23
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    No minimums for Redline Adult bikes!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by erik99
    I guess Redline has some minimum order requirement. The LBS I deal with said I would need to find 5 other guys interested in the bike before they would order some. That would just about double their bike inventory :P
    As far as bikes go, SBS has minumum order requirements only with its BMX line (and that is only for initial order only). Dealers can order one adult bike at a time but they do get get free freight if they meet a minimum dollar requirement of combined bikes/parts purchase...maybe that was the reasoning behind this shop's actions.

    Looks to me like this shop didn't try very hard to make the sale.

    Mike Albright
    Seattle Bike Supply
    RedlineBicycles.com

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbzone
    ...Looks to me like this shop didn't try very hard to make the sale...
    "Try to make a sale"? More like refuse to take money for a guaranteed sale! What could be easier than a customer walking in the door with money knowing what he wants.
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  25. #25
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    The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself

    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    What could be easier than a customer walking in the door with money knowing what he wants.
    I think many/most shop owners feel it's easier selling you something on the floor, that they are familiar with. Most shop owners that I have talked to are afraid of stocking 29ers. Why?
    I think many lose their footing as far as being an expert on the subject and they don't like it.
    I've called 15 bike stores with accounts that offer 29ers and their general lack of knowledge on the subject is pathetic. Rather than learn about them, they have the same stock answer, "we just don't have much interest around here in 29ers". d'uh,wonder why.
    Last edited by 1-track-mind; 02-14-2006 at 04:19 PM.
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  26. #26
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    mtbzone.

    i called sbs three times and asked for dealer information.no reply.so it would seem that i am in the same situation, i wanted to sell your product. must be doing well to turn down a dealer inquiry.and no, no other dealers have rights to the area or anything like that.

  27. #27
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    The closest dealer to me according to the website is 50 miles away.

    The 3 shops I visited I do alot of business with, so it wasn't like a stranger walking in off the street. I figured one of them would be willing to make a phone call and order it. All 3 said no.
    They didn't offer a reason why not and I didn't push it.
    I hate to buy a bike sight unseen, especially size-wise. A hundred mile round trip doesn't appeal to me right now either.

    Would I have to have a shop to become a dealer???

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    "Try to make a sale"? More like refuse to take money for a guaranteed sale! What could be easier than a customer walking in the door with money knowing what he wants.
    True, but there's always that "after the sale service" to deal with too. Although I've never wrenched on a 29'er I can't imagine them being any different to work on than a 26'er is.

    Is it just the fear of the "unknown" or perhaps there's a problem further up the distribution chain?

  29. #29
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    you have a...

    Quote Originally Posted by midget
    mtbzone.

    i called sbs three times and asked for dealer information.no reply.so it would seem that i am in the same situation, i wanted to sell your product. must be doing well to turn down a dealer inquiry.and no, no other dealers have rights to the area or anything like that.
    Midget,

    You have a PM.......


    mike albright
    redline bicycles

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