I have gotten the positioning dialed on the Milwaukee Bicycle Company 29″er now and have gotten in a few decent trail rides on it. Let’s take a look at what I found out so far…
First, I did change out the high rise Answer bar for my Niner “Flat Top 9″ bar, which has a sweep very similar to the Answer bar without all that rise. This lowered my hand position and made the front end feel much more planted than it did before. Other than tweaking the saddle position some, these are the only changes I have made to the bike as delivered.
The bike came set up with a 32T X 19T gear and that has suited me just fine. The drive train has worked flawlessly so far. Not a sound or hiccup at all. Just as a single speed should be.
I wish I could say the same for the fork though. As many of you saavy readers know, the Manitou Minute 29″ers have been plagued with noisey Absolute platform valves and the clicking sometimes gets pretty annoying. Nothing that affects things from a mechanical or performance aspect, but it does detract from the experience of single speeding, if you will. I realize that there is a fix, but I have not pursued that avenue as of yet.
Other than that nit, I find the bicycle to be a rather enjoyable ride. It is funny that the bike came with a “race” oriented kit, because in this day and age of super carbon/alloy/titanium single speed race rigs that weigh next to nothing, this bike seems to be a bike with a whole different take than that. It is a bike that begs to go for a longer ride. I think it has a lot to do with its compliant nature and longer, stretched out chassis. This bike is one comfortable rig!
Oh sure, it would be a great race bike, but I think this 29″er is more than just that. This is about as comfortable a single speed hard tail as I could hope for. That makes it a choice for longer, fun rides. Explorations, and just grin inducing stuff that mountain bikers do off road are what this rig would be for in my stable.
Those sorts of rides are what I’ll likely be doing on the MBC 29″er in the following weeks. I’ll report back with my findings, but for now, I will leave you with the following numbers to chew on…
Seat Tube: 18″ center of BB to top of seat tube
Effective Top Tube: 24.25″
Chain Stay Length*: 18.25″
Wheel Base*: 44.25″
Bottom Bracket Height: 12.25″
Head Tube Angle**: 70 degrees
Seat Tube Angle**: 72 degrees
Weight: 25.2lbs with cages and pedals.
Note: * Sliders are set just past mid-point rearward. These measurements reflect that rear wheel position.
** These angles are unsagged measurements.