Hey guys, just for fun I figured I'd put up a post about my initial ride on the SS Redline Monocog 29er I purchased from jmdeluca05 the other day. Took it over to Croom and rode the north blue trail and did a search for the Drunken Monkey trail (which previously I somehow couldn't find). Anyway, here are some thoughts on the singlespeed:
- Not a bike for the meek. The Redline has a rigid fork as many of you know, and although it's great on the flats, the ole elbows (and other body parts) do take a pretty good pounding after a while. The jarring also caused a little more soreness/stiffness this morning as well than I expected, although I did play a couple sets of tennis last night as well so that may be clouding the issue somewhat.
- 29er wheels are real nice. I was very pleasantly surprised with how well they handled, and how smoothly they roll over a lot of varied terrain. Did not encounter any issues with cornering that I've heard other people have had.
- Tire pressure seems to be key on a bike like this (certainly more so than on a FS rig). The tires do absorb jittery terrain fairly well, however I can see that I'll probably have to play with different pressures depending on the location I'm riding.
- Some short steep climbs, I think are just going to require a dismount and a walk-up. There were a few climbs on drunken monkey (i did end up finding it, more on that later) that are quite steep, and I tried 3 times on some of them to rip down the approach and hammer up, and there was just no shot. So, maybe this is just part of the SS deal?
- Great acceleration. There were plenty of less severe climbs that I was able to blast up with much more ease than I would have been able to on the Scalpel (unless I lock out the rear)
- Figured out what people are talking about when they say they "have more fun" on their SS. It's kind of hard to describe, but I guess it's probably a function of being more closely connected to the dirt while riding.
- Probably not going to be something I can ride every day -- at least not without a shock on the front. I'll re-evaluate this statement after a few more rides, but you do take a pounding (and the enduro damage on the blue trails doesn't help things) and being over 40, that's an area I've got to take into consideration.
- Very high-quality bike for the price -- even at retail. Was very impressed with the bike...it feels like a better bike than what they're selling it for.
One more comment, and this may be something I should pass onto the trail boss, is I think the Drunken Monkey trail needs some work on it in terms of getting some more signs on it so you know where you're going. Initially, the trail was very clearly marked, and I had no trouble at all, but then it started to snake around and the signs started to fizzle out and there were trails that were "under repair" I guess where they were logged off with brush to re-route the rider. I tried to follow it, but eventually I ended up getting frustrated and taking a small trail I found that went out to Nobleton road, and never did end up finding the 8 mile bailout point. Rode south on that until I found a spot to cutover to the Withlacootchee paved bike trail and took that back down to the car. Not griping here, and am happy to help out with some trail work if anyone agrees, but this is the 2nd time I've ridden through this part of the trail and had to go with "plan B" so figured I'd mention it.
Anyway, that's it -- very happy with the addition of the Redline in the toolbox.