Singlespeeds and 29-inch wheels go together like peanut butter and chocolate. Have a taste of Raleigh's XXIX and find out what all the buzz is about! You'll love how its massive 29-inch wheels seem to roll over anything and revel in the confident control and natural compliance of its butted-chromoly frame and fork. There are no frills (er, gears) on the XXIX — to go faster, pedal harder. A smooth-running, low maintenance Gates belt drive will take care of the rest. Plus, Geax's excellent AKA tires hold fast to the trail and when it's time to slow down all that momentum, grab a handful of the Avid mechanical disc brakes.
|Frame||Raleigh 4130 butted-chromoly|
|Fork||Raleigh 4130 butted-chromoly|
|Tires||Geax AKA 29 x 2.2|
|Chain||Gates Belt Drive|
|Rear Cogs||Gates 28T|
|Handlebars||Avenir 200 Series, riser|
|Tape/Grips||Avenir Moto Lock|
|Stem||Avenir 200 Series|
|Brake Levers||Avid FR-5|
|Brakes||Avid BB5 mechanical-disc|
|Saddle||Avenir 300 Series, mountain|
|Seatpost||Avenir 200 Series|
* Subject to change without notice.
Displaying reviews 1-4
The 29 inch wheel single-speed bike has taken the mountain bike world by storm. One gear, just you and the trail in the most simple form possible. It's often described as being a kid on a bike again. The 2011 Raleigh XXIX fits that idea perfectly. Why would one eschew the past 30 years of gearing innovations and go as simple as possible with a belt drive? I don't know everyone's reasons for this but mine are to make me a better rider, and have fun doing it. It's like an oversized BMX bike! It brings the fun back to the old trails for me. Too often when faced with steep climbs, rock gardens, and berms I hesitate. I spend time playing with my gears, trying to decide which one is best. When attacking that steep climb I don't always go all out. I've slipped in between gears one too many times. With a single-speed there are no gears to worry about, if I don't make it up that hill it is only my fault. It's all or nothing. It's all about momentum. That momentum is why this style of bike almost always uses 29 inch wheels, they just roll over things easier! You soon learn to use every feature of the trail to your advantage. Burms and moguls become opportunities to pump over for free speed. Without that small gear to fall back on for that climb or rock garden you are forced to hit it all with speed. Riding your brakes through corners will only cause you more work to get back up to speed. I soon find myself feeling like I'm 10 years old again, grinning ear to ear, going faster through the trails than I ever do on my other bikes. It's Jedi on a bike. Now, on to the belt drive aspect. Gates came out with their carbon fiber belt drive recently and within the past year or so it's really started gaining momentum (no pun intended). Why change a good thing and go to a belt drive? It's simple, cleaner, and easier. No lubrication ever, an estimated life of 8000 miles, and efficiency that's neck and neck with the formerly untouchable efficient chain. It makes sense. If I don't want to mess with gears, I don't want to mess with a chain. I really wanted to have some kind of trail revelation about the belt. But, true to it's design, it just felt normal. Other than the dead silent pedaling I wouldn't have been able to tell the difference from a chain. Perfect. And most importantly, the bike itself. The Raleigh XXIX has become a classic ride for the single-speed MTB genre. This year is the first year the frame has seen a major change since its 2007 inception. Aside from the seat stay being split to accommodate the belt, it also has noticeably longer chain stays. That combined with a 100mm suspension corrected fork gave a great plush ride. The taller fork is a welcome change from the earlier designs on the rigid front end. As someone who battles a sore back I was giddy when I finished a long trail ride and didn't feel the least bit of discomfort. The bike is also noticeably lighter than its previous incarnations. I'm unsure if it's just the belt lightening the load, or perhaps the new tires, or possibly the redesigned frame is more aggressively butted. Whatever the cause, I was pleased to feel a noticeably lighter ride. My last pleasant surprise was the bottom bracket. The classic eccentric bottom bracket shell is notorious for creaking and wearing parts out . The new split shell bottom bracket design is simplistic genius. Easy to adjust and maintain with no possibility for ovalizing, creaking, groove wearing, or any of the other plagues of previous designs. It's brings the simplistic maintenance free idea of the bike to a level of perfection. It's a great bike. Anything that makes me faster and brings me back to a simplistic mentality of trail riding is a good thing. It takes the old-hat trails I've rode countless times and makes turns them into a new challenge. It's making me adjust my schedule to gets more rides in on the bike. Not bad for a bike with no gears!
What more can you ask for really. A sub [$]4130 cromo bike that simply works. This is a fun bike in every way. Put air in your tires and go. No gears, no suspension, good stopping brakes ...what more do you need? Raleigh has really made a statement here, simple can be fun ! After so many years of super high tech rigs it is so nice to go out on this guy and have at it with the trail. Yeah it beats you up a bit, yeah you have to gut out some leg burners but man is it fun! 29" wheels for the win, ride one and see. Two hours on the trail with this straight shooter and you'll have a whole new sense of what mtb'ing is really about...Fun!
Great bike, I use mostly for commuting, but it can easily handle dirt trails. The 29" wheels allow this bike to ride easy and give alot of momentum without much effort.
This bike is just plain fun to ride. Even though it is full rigid, it rides pretty smoothly. Just let some air out of those big 2.3" x 29 tires and it will float over anything. My only complaint is that the paint chips way too easily and I wasn't crazy about the dirty red color. But other than that, I just love it. I've climbed hills and charged over roots and rocks that I thought would be difficult on a single speed rigid bike. Turns out they were easy. The single speed ratio (32x20) is great for tight single track and climbing. It might be a little low for more open riding, but it works great for where I've been riding.