Upgrade the Monocog Flight 29er?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Upgrade the Monocog Flight 29er?

    I love my Flight, but my knees, rear end and elbows are telling me its time for suspension.

    The bike is 8 months old and has been ridden only a handful of times. Its in like new condition. Should I sell the Flight and purchase a used hardtail (fs if possible) or would it be better to upgrade with a fork and maybe some gears?

    Thoughts, ecspecially from those who have upgraded the Redline Flight?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Reputation: mo0se's Avatar
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    I am not trying to be negative in any way, but these bikes require a different technique. They will beat you up if ridden in a lazy fashion, meaning sitting down most of the time. If you pick lines and ride it for what it is, there is no such thing as a fork being an upgrade. We as riders have more suspension in our arms and legs, than anything currently on the market. If sitting and spinning is your thing, you should get something else.
    The only regrets in life, are the risks you didn't take.

  3. #3
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    Flights don't cost much new so you won't be cashing it in for a lot. Certainly not much of a dent in a decent FS. I would give it some time, sounds like you have not ridden it much. Maybe pick up a used Tora and see if that helps. A lot of knee problems stem from a lack of muscular support, you may be able to work through it as your body adapts.

  4. #4
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    Well, adding gears and a decent shock will cost you about $700. If you sell the bike (say, $700 sales price), you can pick up a good hardtail for $1400. I almost bought a Gary Fisher Paragon earlier this year for $1390. Fox fork, X0, etc. Nice bike. If I were in your shoes, I'd probably sell and get another bike.

  5. #5
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    p nut - he's already riding a good hardtail in my opinion.

    You can get a geared dropout for the Flight from Redline. And/or also look for a good deal on a used fork. Try and find a newer used one with the new/greater offsets though so you can keep the sweet handling of your Flight as close to intact as possible.

  6. #6
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    I ride in Florida and getting my butt kicked over roots and roots and roots is not something I am able to enjoy. I try to ride as smooth as possible but its difficult when you have no bounce to help you clear the constant root obstacles.

    I could be in better shape but at 7% body fat I dont think I do anything "lazy".

    I need something more versatile. If I upgrade I was going to try to find used parts. Not in a position to put 700 into the bike though. I will keep an eye on craigslist.

    Has anyone added a fork to the Flight with any problems?

  7. #7
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    The Flight is a fantastic bike, but a mo0se suggested, riding rigid means you got to be loose and involved in the ride!

    Recommend you look at a few options before investing in a fork or another bike. 1- try a larger volume front tire like the WTB WeirWolf or Panaracer Rampage. 2- look at an alternative shaped handlebar like the Titec J-bar. These bars tend to align the body a little better for active SS riding and they facilitate you riding loose. 3- Take the bike by your LBS and have them check your fit. Typically, SSing strengthens the legs and your knee pain should be going away so maybe you have a fit issue aggravating the problem.
    Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind than on outward circumstances. Benjamin Franklin

  8. #8
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    Thanks. I will look into that.

  9. #9
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    The MC Flight and suspension fork - sure no problems adding one. I'd recommend looking for one that features 44/46/48 mm of offset to keep in tune with the stock rigid fork which features 47mm of offset.

  10. #10
    loud hubs save lives
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    the flight is plenty versatile ... here's mine with an RST also with the geared dropout running 1x9. I've also put on a thudbuster ST for that extra cush on the rear. (not pictured)

    NC roots were giving me a beat down after riding rigid SS for over a year, so i added the fork and thuddy.

    They definitely do the job. And the RST is a good fork for the price and has the offset that matches the flight frame. Fork got way better after a rebuild. I love the handling of this bike, feels more nimble than the 26er i rode before it.

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  11. #11
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    Greenlight has some good suggestions, a good starting point. I ride a rigid flight on some pretty rooty ground and run a 2.4 up front (although it's not really a 2.4) and my air pressures make a huge difference. But, if that does not work I would follow Sennaster's advice. No need to sell that nice steel frame to switch over to an aluminum hardtail, it's not saving you any money and is going to be a harsher ride than the Flight with a fork.

    In regards to the knee problem I was not trying to question your fitness level. A change requires muscular adjustment and takes time no matter what your condition.

  12. #12
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    pdeco1

    Since you don't have a ton of time on the bike the first place I would start is making sure your bike is fitted properly- on a SS your position over bottom bracket can be even more important because you are probably pushing a harder gear than you might in a geared setup (even in FL) on technical trails. This adds to the power/pressure you are putting through your knees etc.. also take a look at your foot position if you are running clipless.

    As for the rest of the bike you have gotten some good input- for cost oriented stuff I would start with a larger volume tire upfront and possibly out back so you can run at lower pressures and add some cush (WTB Weirwolf LT 2.55 and Stout 2.3 or Schwalbe Racing Ralph 2.4 are some favorites). then maybe some beefy grips (take a look at the thread on 29er named 'Handlebars to smooth a rigid' and it has some good info as well). Both of these should be able to do for under $100- they will help but it is still a rigid...

    Upgrades are a steep slope for sure and though just putting a fork on your bike is an option...but if you plan on upgrading wheels, brakes etc... you will soon be adding much more than it would cost to buy a complete bike. So just make sure your not putting a band aid on something you don't see your self being on for at least a while. The Monocog is a great bike but part of it's charm is it's simplicity and low cost. sennaster posted a sweet ride but just as a guess has ~$200 brakes (used...), a $150 seat, ~$450 custom built wheels etc... plus the at least $180 RST... which is a good bit of add ons. Over time if you love the frame it could be worth it but for $1000 (plus stuff I can't see in the pic) and the original cost of the bike plus paying a shop if you don't do your own work and you get the idea.

    Is the frame worth upgrading? Yes, just take a look at all of the things you are "thinking" of upgrading on your current ride and see if it makes sense. Otherwise do a few low cost things to make it more comfortable, ride it and research/test ride other bikes to see what you really want/like/need-
    I Just wish I could ride more!


  13. #13
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    I ride lots of rocks and roots. Put a RS Reba on mine and it's plush. I'll eventually get a fatter rear tire (Nevegal?) 'cause I hate the Nano's, then it'll be even better.

    FYI, I like the frame a lot more than my X-cal. When I wear out the X-cal, I'll just get another Flight and go 1x9.
    11 Flint
    08 Monocog Flight
    06 X-Caliber
    96 F400 (SS townie)

    08 Schwinn Sierra TDM (gravel tandem)

  14. #14
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    The only thing I was trying to say is, the Flight being rigid, requires more input from the rider. More focus. Slight body position changes make a huge difference. Standing on all but the easiest climbs. Having a relaxed grip, and keeping your shoulders, arms, and legs loose. Its a purpose built bike, one cannot expect to ride this bike like a HT, FS, and expect similar results. What it comes down to, is rider feedback and reaction. The things I mentioned are not dictated by strength, as much as technique, and finesse. Thats the reason I enjoy the bike. Its simple, but not simple to ride properly. Too much air in the tires, will work against you. Look at my thread in the Single speed section, at the terrain my wife and I ride. Everything I have suggested costs nothing.
    Last edited by mo0se; 09-04-2009 at 02:26 PM.
    The only regrets in life, are the risks you didn't take.

  15. #15
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    I have returned!

    I have come to the conclusion that the guys I have been riding with lately are way too fast. I am loving the Flight when I ride at my own speed. Only complaint is that I wish I could get some more air to clear obstacles. Still considering making some upgrades since I only have room for one bike right now. I have been doing a bit of research and I may opt for ordering from bikes direct and swapping over the parts I need and giving the frame, wheels, etc.. to a friend who wants to get into an affordable 29er or perhaps reselling.

    The Windsor Team has a Rock Shox Reba 29 SL Air, 80mm Travel w/Remote PopLoc, while the Windsor Pro has Rock Shox Tora 318 Air 29" w/Turn Key LockOut and 80mm Travel, while the Fantom Pro comes with a RockShox 29er Reba SL WITH Mission Control damping and PopLoc Adjust, 100mm travel*, Adjustable Rebound.
    ( http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/29r_bikes.htm )

    I read the reviews and did some searching on the different forks but I am still somewhat confused on which would be better. I have also read about the RST M-29 fork.

    Thanks again!

  16. #16
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    I ran a Fox F29 100 on my Flight and was amazing!!!!! I've got a Singular and the Fox is on that now and the Flight is in Touring mode - but I'd say get a REBA (I'd go with 100 and then you can adjust down to 80 if you want) and save yourself a whole lot of $ compared to a new bike. The flight is one of the best 29ers out there in terms of handling... it is a bit heavy - but for the price of the frame/fork and its adaptability (geared, SS, rigid, squish, etc.) it can't be beat!

    Put a fork on it and GO!!!!!!

    S
    "You know how they make aluminum bike frames? They take steel and suck out all the soul..."

  17. #17
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    How is putting a fork on the Flight going to help you get more air? Its technique, not equipment. :-) Also, never let anyone set your pace, it is after all, YOUR TIME. :-) If I ever get to the point where I would need, or like a fork, I would put one on.. but that just kills the ss fun........ So I would have to make my Flight a 1x9.
    The only regrets in life, are the risks you didn't take.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevereeneo
    I ran a Fox F29 100 on my Flight and was amazing!!!!! I've got a Singular and the Fox is on that now and the Flight is in Touring mode - but I'd say get a REBA (I'd go with 100 and then you can adjust down to 80 if you want) and save yourself a whole lot of $ compared to a new bike. The flight is one of the best 29ers out there in terms of handling... it is a bit heavy - but for the price of the frame/fork and its adaptability (geared, SS, rigid, squish, etc.) it can't be beat!

    Put a fork on it and GO!!!!!!

    S
    Thanks.

    The research goes on.

  19. #19
    loud hubs save lives
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    I put what i thought was an 80mm RST on my flight ... turns out i've been riding in 100mm mode for over a year ... duh.

    Well, it handles great, and i couldn't imaging it with less travel in the front.

    The thing to look at is the offset of the fork ... most current forks are matched (or close), to the flight's rigid 47mm offset fork.

    Although i have an rst, not sure i can really recommend them. The fork has worked great, especially after rebuilding it, however i haven't been able to find any support from RST as far as converting the travel, or info about new seals etc.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by knottshore

    Upgrades are a steep slope for sure and though just putting a fork on your bike is an option...but if you plan on upgrading wheels, brakes etc... you will soon be adding much more than it would cost to buy a complete bike. So just make sure your not putting a band aid on something you don't see your self being on for at least a while. The Monocog is a great bike but part of it's charm is it's simplicity and low cost. sennaster posted a sweet ride but just as a guess has ~$200 brakes (used...), a $150 seat, ~$450 custom built wheels etc... plus the at least $180 RST... which is a good bit of add ons. Over time if you love the frame it could be worth it but for $1000 (plus stuff I can't see in the pic) and the original cost of the bike plus paying a shop if you don't do your own work and you get the idea.

    Is the frame worth upgrading? Yes, just take a look at all of the things you are "thinking" of upgrading on your current ride and see if it makes sense. Otherwise do a few low cost things to make it more comfortable, ride it and research/test ride other bikes to see what you really want/like/need-
    A-men!

    I thought about upgrading to a larger volume tire. And maybe I will when the originals wear out or are not the right one for the terrain. But they are working pretty good.

    I had to relearn how to ride rigid again.

    I found it challenging to balance just enough pressure on the bar to maintain traction while remaining loose enough to absorb mid corner "irregularities." These are subtleties that's difficult to feel on a suspension fork. Or being able to place your front wheel on any single line...or place your wheel on any single part of the trail feature is something that has to be truly appreciated. Embrace the rigid fork and it will most certainly make you a more skilled rider.

    The 'Cog seems to be a very simple and fun bike. For me, it is a training tool to beat the 20y/o FS riders on the group rides and a fun bike to ride with my lessor riding friends and my 6y/o boy.

    I would, however, like to get a new hub with increased number of engagement points as I feel like the drivetrain is a bit abrupt at times. But what do you expect at this price point. So maybe that will be a pet project of mine whenever I'm not riding.

  21. #21
    Recovering couch patato
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    Fatter tires are ALWAYS worth it.
    I otherwise agree with all the above on forks to choose. ~47mm, ~80mm is what the bike fits like stock.

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