By Lee Klevens, photos by Justin Steiner
The G29 is about as basic of a singlespeed mountain bike as you can get. Gravity is a small brand under the BikesDirect.com umbrella that strives to offer bikes with a bit more bang for the buck by making a name brand ride without the name brand price.
Although basic, the G29 does seem to have the right stuff where it counts. The bright orange frame is constructed from 6061 aluminum tubing. If hunter safety isn’t quite your style, then you’ll be glad to know the G29 is also available in black or white.
There’s a straight-bladed chromoly fork up front. WTB parts provide two of the more important contact points of the bike: the saddle and the grips. I enjoyed the couch-like qualities of the saddle when performing unintentional flying W’s. WTB Prowler SL tires are also nice touch, providing plenty of traction on a variety of surfaces. I was also impressed with the Speed Disc rims—no need for truing despite several imperfect landings. One last component worth mentioning is the stout 1/8” KMC chain; it instilled loads of confidence while I mashed up hills.
It took me a little while to readjust to riding a rigid bike, but when I did, the G29 did not fail to provide a fun ride. ‘Solid’ comes to mind when describing the feel. The stout frame and fork helped to keep it on track and it never felt wimpy or flexy. Turning at speed was simply a matter of weighting the front wheel to take advantage of the traction that 29” wheels provide and letting the rigid fork track straight and true.
Because I’m a wuss, I changed out the stock 33:18 gearing to a user-friendly 32:20. This had the unforeseen benefit of positioning the rear wheel all the way forward in the frame’s track ends. I have to say, I liked the way the G29 handled with the rear wheel tucked under me. Catching air and getting over trail obstacles was a blast on this bike. It felt tight and quick, not bus-like, compared to other 29ers I’ve ridden. Tight switchbacks seemed to be much less of a challenge on this 29er. Out-of-the-saddle climbing traction was aided by the short toptube, which allowed me to keep more weight over the rear wheel.
I found the Tektro mechanical disc brakes to be adequate in dry conditions, less so when it was wet. The stock gearing was too tall for my local trails, and the paint chipped easily. Other than that, it is hard to find fault with this $350 singlespeed.
Basic bikes like the G29 are sure to appeal to with budget-conscious riders, and those who appreciate the low maintenance associated with owning a singlespeed. Gravity did a good job of creating an affordable singlespeed capable of handing pretty much anything you throw at it. The G29 is a sturdy bike that’s a blast to ride.
- Price: $350
- Weight: 28.3lbs.
- Sizes Available: 15”, 17”, 19”(tested), 21”
- Country of Origin: China
- Age: 48
- Height: 6-feet
- Weight: 175lbs.
- Inseam: 32 inches