A season of riding my Civilian Young Turk hooked me on the idea of 29ers. With parts from my Santa Cruz Heckler and the Young Turk, I was able to build this Diamondback Mason. I was attracted to this particular frame because of the slack head angle (66.5 deg), 12×142 rear axle, and dimensions that closely matched the fit of my Heckler. Thanks to Mr. Brian Bernard for the wrench time, the teachable moments in the shop, and a general beardiness.
Look for a mid-term review once I’m able to ride the Mason a little more. Bike Magazine posted a review here.
For the stats nerds: this is a medium frame with 750mm bars, 70mm stem, a 140mm fork with 20mm thru axle, a 1×10 drivetrain, and one seriously long rear brake line.
|| Tiny wheels turning bigger wheels turning still bigger wheels. Six inches of suspension saves your butt far more often than you know. Sometimes it’s nice to drill the pedals and feel the trail immediately through the handlebars. On smooth singletrack it’s amazing how fast this bike picks up speed. Two rides on a prototype and I was hooked, there was no turning back. Although limited in my hardtail experience, I feel like you can sense the difference between a bike made by a mouse-jockey and one crafted by a designer who rides. CAD might spit out an acceptable knockoff, but shaping a bike that feels like it was poured in under your feet and sculpted from the surface of the ground into the palms of your hands, that’s art. I’ll take it.
I shot these photos of my Young Turk 29er mountain bike after picking it up new from Civilian Bikes on Backcountry.com. After a long summer of riding, I know it’ll never look this clean again.
In case you’re curious about the 29er vs. 26 debate, here’s an interesting article from Bike Radar.||