3 SS Options - which would you purchase?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    3 SS Options - which would you purchase?

    Looking to purchase a new single speed, and I've narrowed it down to 3 options:

    New 2013 Carve SL 29er - $1,250
    New 2012 Kona Unit - $850
    Used 2011 Redline Monocog Flight - $500

    What would you do?

  2. #2
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    You need to ride all 3. Then compare specs - for example, what are you getting for paying more, and does it really matter to your style of riding?

    Which one rides the best?

    Which one do you like the looks of the best? Being stoked by your gear is part of it.

    Then weigh your options against your priorities.
    Mind your own religion.

  3. #3
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    I saw one of the Carve SS in an LBS in New Mexico and it looked like a pretty rocking bike for the price. I'd definitely try to ride them if you can. Fit counts for a lot.

  4. #4
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    Of those three? Assuming they all fit me and the way I ride? The specialized.

  5. #5
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    Monocog Flight. Then put the money saved towards a nice wheelset.

  6. #6
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    Fit is a huge part and then adding a nice wheel set is the next big thing changes the bike lots.
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  7. #7
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    The Specialized is aluminum, which while a nicely engineered aluminum frame, will still ride like an aluminum frame. So unless you want a very stiff ride or you're a weight weenie I'd skip that. (yes I've owned and own several aluminum hardtails over the years, even the scandium enhanced ones still cannot match the ride quality of steel).

    So then I would test ride them both...if one feels WAY better than the other get it. If they're even consider that the Kona will have a warranty and does have better brakes (big difference between BB5 and BB7 brakes IME). That said, the extra $350 saved on the Redline over the Kona can buy you a set of BB7's and still leave $250 in your pocket for other items.

  8. #8
    nothing to see here
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    I have the 2012 Carve SS. Get that and run a big tyre on the front with a carbon bar. That'll give you all the squish you'll need, and it'll be lighter and climb heaps better than the other two. And it has hydro brakes.
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  9. #9
    Robtre
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    My vote would be for Redline monocog. Get a nice wheelset and upgrade the brakes to disc.
    -rides bikes for fun.

  10. #10
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    I would get the Kona Unit, and use the difference towards some nice wheels or a carbon bar and seatpost, or some other stuff.

    The Specialized is cool but im not fond of the company and i prefer BB7s to Elixir 1s big time.

    The Redline is cool but the others are just better equipped, which the prices reflect obviously.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by robtre View Post
    My vote would be for Redline monocog. Get a nice wheelset and upgrade the brakes to disc.
    Monocog Flights are disc only. So they already come with discs.

    Quote Originally Posted by shenny88 View Post

    The Redline is cool but the others are just better equipped, which the prices reflect obviously.
    How is the Kona better equipped? Both Redline and Kona come with similar components and a rigid fork. Kona is a nice bike, but certainly not $350 better.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by phsycle View Post
    How is the Kona better equipped? Both Redline and Kona come with similar components and a rigid fork. Kona is a nice bike, but certainly not $350 better.
    Yeah, they're almost identical, but you get BB7s on the Kona, which to me are a substantial upgrade over BB5s. You also get a little bit nicer external bearing crank with the Kona vs the ISIS on the Redline (maybe preference?). Plus, the Kona is new, so you get shop support (if it matters to you) and a warranty.

    At $500, you do have a lot of room to modify the Monocog as you desire, but the OP simply asked "which bike".

  13. #13
    Robtre
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    2012 mono of flight is disc only psycle monocog is rim brake. I know because I have owned 2.
    REDLINE BICYCLES 2012 ARCHIVES 2012 MONOCOG 29ER
    -rides bikes for fun.

  14. #14
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    **** mechanical disc brakes. I would probably go for the MCF because I'm a cheap ****ing bastard. Buy some hydros, new wheels and a titanium seatpost. Look for a cheap, light wheelset- say Bontrager Rhythms and Shimano LX/SLX brakes on ebay. Snag a ti seatpost off ebay too.

    I mean, if you get lucky, you spend 400 on other bits and you have something only marginally more expensive than the next cheapest and it will be ****ing awesome and lots left to upgrade, though this is the case with all the bikes listed.

  15. #15
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    I'd go with the flight also, but upgrade to BB7's - hydraulic brakes are intimidating to me when it comes to do it yourself service. The wheel upgrade would be huge too - only thing I would add is to look for tubeless ready wheels when shopping. I don't know what you weigh (it seems lighter folk can get away with lower pressures in tubed tires than I've been able to run), but in general tubeless makes it easier to run low pressures that smooth out the rigid fork's ride just enough for me.
    Yeah I only carry cans cause I'm a weight weenie.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by shenny88 View Post
    Yeah, they're almost identical, but you get BB7s on the Kona, which to me are a substantial upgrade over BB5s. You also get a little bit nicer external bearing crank with the Kona vs the ISIS on the Redline (maybe preference?). Plus, the Kona is new, so you get shop support (if it matters to you) and a warranty.

    At $500, you do have a lot of room to modify the Monocog as you desire, but the OP simply asked "which bike".
    Have you used BB5's? Besides the ease of adjustment on the BB7's, I really can't tell much difference. I've had several sets already. But hydros are much superior anyway, so if you're going to upgrade, go with a Shimano hydraulic unit. Other components are middle to bottom of barrel garbage on either bike. Spend $500 now and save the rest for upgrades, would be my choice.

    Quote Originally Posted by robtre View Post
    2012 mono of flight is disc only psycle monocog is rim brake. I know because I have owned 2.
    REDLINE BICYCLES 2012 ARCHIVES 2012 MONOCOG 29ER
    The original question was for a Monocog Flight, not the regular straight-gauge-tubed tank Monocog. Thanks for the link---I've had 4 Monocogs and 3 Monocog Flights. Great bikes.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexCuse View Post
    I'd go with the flight also, but upgrade to BB7's - hydraulic brakes are intimidating to me when it comes to do it yourself service. The wheel upgrade would be huge too - only thing I would add is to look for tubeless ready wheels when shopping. I don't know what you weigh (it seems lighter folk can get away with lower pressures in tubed tires than I've been able to run), but in general tubeless makes it easier to run low pressures that smooth out the rigid fork's ride just enough for me.
    Hydros are the tits. You won't have to do much maintenance if you do your research and pick a good set up.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bike Whisperer View Post
    The Specialized is aluminum, which while a nicely engineered aluminum frame, will still ride like an aluminum frame. So unless you want a very stiff ride or you're a weight weenie I'd skip that. (yes I've owned and own several aluminum hardtails over the years, even the scandium enhanced ones still cannot match the ride quality of steel).
    I think the "feel" of the frame material is way over hyped. I think most of a bikes ride qualities comes from the wheels and tires. The main difference I feel between my steel and aluminum bikes is my aluminum bikes are lighter when I need to carry them.

  19. #19
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    I would go with the Carve because of the EBB. I've always had issues with sliding dropouts, but that's me. Spesh webite almost always post the price 200-300 more that what I've seen the cost in bike shops.

    I've ridden a 2010 SS Stumpy essentially the same EBB, no creaks and no slipping. I have over 2,000 miles on the bike.

    Choose what you like the most, the last thing you want to think is "I should have got the (other bike) instead."

    EDIT: It's also sub 22lbs for a 19".
    I'd rather be hated for what I am, than loved for what I'm not......Dolemite.

  20. #20
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    I'd go with the Flight. At that price there is plenty of money left over to build a nice wheelset and throw on some other upgrades.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB2 View Post
    I think the "feel" of the frame material is way over hyped. I think most of a bikes ride qualities comes from the wheels and tires. The main difference I feel between my steel and aluminum bikes is my aluminum bikes are lighter when I need to carry them.
    I think I'm with you on this. I wonder if the difference in ride feel in a steel frame is mainly due it being heavier than aluminum. I remember my heavy Nashbar 29er feeling similar to my Monocog in terms of trail feel. On the other hand, there's other advantages to steel other than feel.

  22. #22
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    Guess it depends on the individual. There is a huge difference in trail feel between my aluminum Trek and steel Monocog...both run the same tires and similar spec wheels. Weight is approx the same on both.
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  23. #23
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    I'm a fan of sliding drop out and steel frame.

    If I had a choice between aluminum HT and rigid steel ss, I would go for rigid steel ss.

    I haven't been on a Monocog or even seen one in person, but I love my Unit. I much prefer mechanical disc brakes over hydro (I didn't give hydros a fair chance though), and unless I shell out for something that is highly recommended (e.g., Shimano XT), I wouldn't replace my BB7 on Unit.

    If you can't really see or feel the difference between Unit and Monocog, I would go for Monocog purely for the price and then use the extra dough to upgrade. I used my stock wheels for 2 years and recently upgraded to Flow/CK even though stock wheels still had some life in them.
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  24. #24
    CB2
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    Quote Originally Posted by A1an View Post
    Guess it depends on the individual.

    Very true.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB2 View Post
    I think the "feel" of the frame material is way over hyped. I think most of a bikes ride qualities comes from the wheels and tires. The main difference I feel between my steel and aluminum bikes is my aluminum bikes are lighter when I need to carry them.
    +1.

    Like you wrote, components like the wheels, tires, saddle, and seat post make a much more tangible difference than frame material. I think some of it can be attributed to steel bikes just being heavier (all else equal), and like heavier cars, they tend to soak up the small bumps and chatter better than lighter cars. But I also think a lot of it is the placebo effect. Some people like the aesthetics of steel tubing, so naturally they want to ascribe beneficial ride qualities to it as well.

    Never the less, we still hear ambiguous terms like "lively" and "compliant" and "harshness" thrown around with regards to certain frame materials, some of which you'd be hard pressed to find in any major MTB manufacturer's line up. I've yet to hear a reasonable explanation of how a frame can be "compliant" but not "flexy".

    Of course, this topic essentially amounts to a religious argument here on MTBR.

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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoisonDartFrog View Post
    +1.

    Never the less, we still hear ambiguous terms like "lively" and "compliant" and "harshness" thrown around with regards to certain frame materials, some of which you'd be hard pressed to find in any major MTB manufacturer's line up.
    "... the simplicity, strength, comfort, resilience and playfulness of Kona Cromoly ..." - Konaworld.com

    Kona has found the magic cromoly blend!

    OP: the Carve looks a lot racier than the Kona IMO. Its lighter, stiffer, plus the Unit has a very tall head tube, taller seat tube, and taller bottom bracket height. And the Unit has slacker head tube angles in the smaller sizes. The Carve looks designed for speed if thats a priority. Great spec on the Carve, good spec on the Unit. I'm personally 100% happy with my '11 Unit frame but speed is not my priority and I ride super rocky trails.

    I love hydros but BB7s are plenty good for a rigid SS. I've also had much better experience w/BB7 vs BB5.
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  27. #27
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    the Carve looks a lot racier than the Kona IMO. Its lighter, stiffer, plus the Unit has a very tall head tube, taller seat tube, and taller bottom bracket height. And the Unit has slacker head tube angles in the smaller sizes. The Carve looks designed for speed if thats a priority. Great spec on the Carve, good spec on the Unit. I'm personally 100% happy with my '11 Unit frame but speed is not my priority and I ride super rocky trails.
    Agreed. There are a lot of differences, but the geo is the only one that can't easily be changed with parts swaps.

  28. #28
    Oaktown Honkey on Strava
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    I would take the time to piece together a bike with clearance items online. Some used Ebay, some new (wheels and XT brakes, cog, chain, ring ). Make it a fun hunt for deals if you already have a bike.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by JUNGLEKID5 View Post
    Fit is a huge part and then adding a nice wheel set is the next big thing changes the bike lots.
    Yes....ride them first if you can.
    Get off the couch and ride!

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