Montague Boston - Joining the single speed crowd

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Montague Boston - Joining the single speed crowd

Postby sogood » Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:55 am

This had to happen I guess but needed the right bike to entice me. So I am now 'N+1' and officially joining this sub-forum.

I picked up this Montague Boston single speed folding bike yesterday. Although it has a flip-flop rear hub, I don't think I'll be using the fixed side much. But time will tell. The thing that caught my eye was its solid folding design. With a foldable 700C bike, I am looking forward to more opportunities to take a bike with me on holidays and potentially work trips. The default gearing is 42/16 (around 70" with 28mm tyre) and I understand it should be quite rideable in Sydney. In the longer term, I am eyeing at the possibility of converting it to a hub geared all rounder ( Nexus 8 ). Otherwise the frame is very solid (where I think the bulk of the financial and IP value is) while the build kit is pretty un-exciting and likely to be subjected to eventual upgrades... Drop bar, 23mm road wheels etc. The original platform pedal has been replaced with a set of old spare Crank Bros as I almost fell off when I test rode the first hill on the original platform pedals. In due course I'll probably change to a platformed SPD.

So ta da... A photo and it happened!

Image

Nope, hasn't taken it for a decent ride yet (the drizzle this morning didn't help). The first thing I want to know is how it'll go on that Anzac Br climb. Without that, this is not going to be a useful run around bike.
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by BNA » Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:58 am

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Re: Montague Boston - Joining the single speed crowd

Postby Strawburger » Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:58 am

Nice bike! Welcome to knee grinding fun :wink: :wink:

The anzac bridge climb shouldn't be too much of a problem with 42/16. I run 46/16 - i'm not going to say it's easy, but it's not that hard either.

So how does the locking mechanism work on the TT?
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Re: Montague Boston - Joining the single speed crowd

Postby sogood » Sun Feb 27, 2011 1:03 pm

Thanks and knee grinding "fun" alright!

Just took a slightly longer ride to a colleague's home down the road. It must be that I am not used to the "fit" and/or the shorter stem (mixed in with the relaxed fork geometry), the steering was much more twitchy when standing up than on my road bikes. I almost fell off. If I can't stand and mash properly, I won't be able to get this bike over the hills around me. :roll: So there's some adjustments needed and a need to get used to this new "toy".

The folding mechanism pivots around the seat tube for front and back parts of the frame. The locking mechanism is a physical engagement b/n these 2 halves (straight under the QR) and secured by the QR at the top of the top tube. It's not as compact as a small wheel folding bike and one needs to take the front wheel off. But the frame felt pretty stiff for a folding design. Along with the small rear triangle, the seat stays are heavily welded to the seat tube. The front forks are Cr-Mo and the frame is alu alloy. Weighs a tad over 10kg and those cheapy (Alex/Formula) wheels are heavy.

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Re: Montague Boston - Joining the single speed crowd

Postby Strawburger » Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:16 am

sogood wrote:Just took a slightly longer ride to a colleague's home down the road. It must be that I am not used to the "fit" and/or the shorter stem (mixed in with the relaxed fork geometry), the steering was much more twitchy when standing up than on my road bikes. I almost fell off. If I can't stand and mash properly, I won't be able to get this bike over the hills around me. :roll: So there's some adjustments needed and a need to get used to this new "toy".


When you are up out of the saddle, get your body back sightly from your normal road position so the weight is not over the bars. That should remove the twitch

sogood wrote:The folding mechanism pivots around the seat tube for front and back parts of the frame. The locking mechanism is a physical engagement b/n these 2 halves (straight under the QR) and secured by the QR at the top of the top tube. It's not as compact as a small wheel folding bike and one needs to take the front wheel off. But the frame felt pretty stiff for a folding design. Along with the small rear triangle, the seat stays are heavily welded to the seat tube. The front forks are Cr-Mo and the frame is alu alloy. Weighs a tad over 10kg and those cheapy (Alex/Formula) wheels are heavy.


Great mechanism. Looks smooth and quicker/tidier than the smaller wheeled foldups.
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Re: Montague Boston - Joining the single speed crowd

Postby sogood » Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:31 am

Strawburger wrote:When you are up out of the saddle, get your body back sightly from your normal road position so the weight is not over the bars. That should remove the twitch

Is that right? What's the mechanism of that? Up to this point I've been thinking that I already have a more upright seated posture and the twitchiness was related to the shorter bar-saddle distance. So I was thinking I needed a longer stem to allow me to put more weight forward? Not the case? Is it something related to flat bar also? I'll give your suggestion a shot when the rain clears.
Great mechanism. Looks smooth and quicker/tidier than the smaller wheeled foldups.

It's not as compact as those small wheels but works for the occasional need and the frame feels solid, and for those longer trips where every bit of compactness helps. After I have my standing posture sorted, I'll put the front end through its paces and see how stiff or flexible it is on a real climb. Otherwise I note TrailGumby reviewed a MTB model from Montague on BNA last year.
http://www.bicycles.net.au/Australian-C ... eID%5D=835
Last edited by sogood on Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:14 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Montague Boston - Joining the single speed crowd

Postby Strawburger » Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:10 am

sogood wrote:
Strawburger wrote:When you are up out of the saddle, get your body back sightly from your normal road position so the weight is not over the bars. That should remove the twitch

Is that right? What's the mechanism of that? Up to this point I've been thinking that I already have a more upright seated posture and the twitchiness was related to the shorter bar-saddle distance. So I was thinking I needed a longer stem to allow me to put more weight forward? Not the case? Is it something related to flat bar also? I'll give your suggestion a shot when the rain clears.


As you know i'm no expert here, just speaking from my own personal experience. My fixed gear has a shorter wheelbase than my racing bike, i found when i first started riding the fixed gear my weight was over the handlebars a lot more when climbing out of the saddle. This caused a lot of twitching. I adjusted my riding out of the saddle technique by pushing my body back over the pedals more rather than over the bars and it corrected any twitching i had.

My thoughts were similar of that to pushing a bike along whilst walking. Hold it by the seat and it steers smooth, hold it by the headset and it wobbles around. In my case it's a weight distribution issue. I think it could be a similar problem with the difference in wheelbase measurements.
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Re: Montague Boston - Joining the single speed crowd

Postby sogood » Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:16 am

That explanation sounds logical. I'll give it a go and play... Thanks! Every start is a hard push on this bike. :oops:
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Re: Montague Boston - Joining the single speed crowd

Postby sogood » Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:12 pm

Just read this write up on Baum's take on bike geometry and handling and had this to say,
http://www.cyclingtipsblog.com/2011/02/ ... -handling/
Stem Length And Height

The stem isn’t part of the frame per se, but it’s position does affect handling. The longer and lower the stem, the bike will handle with more stability. This doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a good idea to put your stem as low and long as possible however. You actually have to be able to reach it comfortably with your elbows bent and have the flexibility to be in that position.

If you draw a line down to the front axel from where your hands are placed on the handlebars drops, the closer those are together with falling in line with each other, the more stable the bike becomes. For example, track bikes usually have long and low stems.

I now compared my hand position b/n this Montague and my road bikes. It's clear that with over the hood position on the road bike (typical stand and climb position), my anchor points by hands are either on top or ahead of the front axle. With this flat bar Montague, I am way behind. Looks like this may be a solid geometric explanation of my experience.
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Re: Montague Boston - Joining the single speed crowd

Postby europa » Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:00 pm

That's a very interesting folder, much better than the usual things you see. Good pick up mate, I'm sure you'll have a lot of fun with her.

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Re: Montague Boston - Joining the single speed crowd

Postby sogood » Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:25 pm

Yes, quite a unique and solid design with big wheels. Upgraditis is biting right now, and badly too. :twisted:
Last edited by sogood on Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Montague Boston - Joining the single speed crowd

Postby trailgumby » Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:34 pm

I reviewed one of Montague's folding mountain bikes sometime last year for bicycles.net.au, and I have to say it exceeded my expectations. Have a look on the mtb articles section and it should come up on the first or second page. Here's me playing on some log roll-downs at Manly Dam:

Image

The bars were way narrow on the MTB (580mm) which made handling the bike at slow speed on rough terrain somewhat challenging with the very relaxed steering angle, but I felt it was nothing that my favoured bar width (685mm) wouldn't resolve.

Agree, the design of the folding system is excellent and while heavier than a normal double-triangle frame, there was no sense of the frame being even remotely noodly. The bike felt very solid and planted. I had a lot of fun.

Let us know how you go. If the bike is too much work getting up the hills, you can always go to a bigger rear cog. A lot of the singlespeed mtb nutters I know swap ratios around according to the course profile when they race.
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Re: Montague Boston - Joining the single speed crowd

Postby sogood » Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:53 pm

trailgumby wrote:I reviewed one of Montague's folding mountain bikes sometime last year for bicycles.net.au, and I have to say it exceeded my expectations. Have a look on the mtb articles section and it should come up on the first or second page.

The bars were way narrow on the MTB (580mm) which made handling the bike at slow speed on rough terrain somewhat challenging with the very relaxed steering angle, but I felt it was nothing that my favoured bar width (685mm) wouldn't resolve.

Agree, the design of the folding system is excellent and while heavier than a normal double-triangle frame, there was no sense of the frame being even remotely noodly. The bike felt very solid and planted. I had a lot of fun.

Let us know how you go. If the bike is too much work getting up the hills, you can always go to a bigger rear cog. A lot of the singlespeed mtb nutters I know swap ratios around according to the course profile when they race.

Yes, I've already referenced your article on the main site in one of my earlier posts. I read it and was helpful in my purchase decision.

I am not sure how the Boston compared with the X-90 you reviewed, but the Boston's build kit is not quite up to my liking. Yet perfectly understandable and consistent for the RRP on the Boston. I have now started to comb through the bike in far greater detail and is starting to build an upgrade list. The first off the list is 2 new pairs of KoolStop Salmon brake shoes/pads from eBay. The default front pads already have metal shaving embedded and is getting noisy. The wheels as mentioned earlier aren't that fancy and I've just noted the front hubs have cone bearing and is a bit gritty in my hands. The rear flip-flop hub have sealed cartridge bearing and spins smoothly. Otherwise the frame itself is great and the only fault I can identify is its track fork end, which was made of a thick piece of alu alloy, not steel. Wear may be an issue here over time. Would love to hear if anyone knows of an after market solution to this.

I'll ride the present 42/16 (70" on 28mm tyre) for a while and see how I adjust to it but can foresee some pains coming my way.
Last edited by sogood on Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Montague Boston - Joining the single speed crowd

Postby trailgumby » Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:11 pm

Glad the review was helpful. :D Goes to show I gotta be careful to be accurate with what I say - folks might believe it ;)

WRT pedalling out of the saddle on a flatbar/mtb/hybrid, I aim to put as little weight on the bars as I can, tending to hover just over or just in front of the saddle. It's a habit picked up from spin classes, but the mtb skills course on the weekend reinforced it as useful to stop the rear wheel slipping on loose climbs. No problems with twitchiness that I've noticed... or maybe I'm just used to it and don't know any different :oops:
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Re: Montague Boston - Joining the single speed crowd

Postby sogood » Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:14 pm

trailgumby wrote:WRT pedalling out of the saddle on a flatbar/mtb/hybrid, I aim to put as little weight on the bars as I can, tending to hover just over or just in front of the saddle. It's a habit picked up from spin classes, but the mtb skills course on the weekend reinforced it as useful to stop the rear wheel slipping on loose climbs. No problems with twitchiness that I've noticed... or maybe I'm just used to it and don't know any different :oops:

I think it's a bit of habit issue. I am used to the forward hood position on a road bike for standing climbs, and with flat bar, my body is just out of space. Relearning basic skills is always a challenge.
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Re: Montague Boston - Joining the single speed crowd

Postby sogood » Sat Mar 05, 2011 11:47 am

Progress report:

Done the first significant ride from home to CP and back on single speed. As been reassured, the 70" was no problem tackling Anzac Br both ways and surrounding hills. As a matter of fact, it felt easier than on my road bike. Maybe the absence of a bike computer "helped". The earlier concern about steering "twitchiness" turned out to be just an adaptation issue. I was not familiar with the new fit and the handling is perfectly fine now. The bike handled nicely on the climbs with no sense of significant flex and the ride was not short on standing action. The brake pads were truly crappy though and the front pads were picking up alu shaving like crazy. I'll replace the whole lot with new KoolStop (Salmon) brake shoes when they arrive in the next week or so.

So thanks for all the advice and I say this bike is now fully commissioned. Even had a wet rain ride on Hickson Rd. :mrgreen:
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Re: Montague Boston - Joining the single speed crowd

Postby DrJay » Sat Apr 30, 2011 10:51 pm

How's it been going with the Montague? I do like the look of it, and it scratches the fixie and folder itch at the same time...
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Re: Montague Boston - Joining the single speed crowd

Postby sogood » Sun May 01, 2011 12:16 am

It's working well. Been taking it out on Saturdays and some during the week. Doesn't have the feel of a light weight road bike frame, but it's solid. Had the rotating part of the frame adjusted and tightened (like a headset) a few weeks into my ownership as it rocked a bit when released. I don't believe this is a long term issue as it was the first adjustment since factory. Has been solid since.

Otherwise the brake pads were replaced with KoolStop units and braking performance has been perfect. I've decided not to upgrade the wheels until they die but did get a few spacers for the valve holes, so that I can use standard Presta valved tubes.
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Re: Montague Boston - Joining the single speed crowd

Postby CheapFixed » Mon May 02, 2011 10:41 pm

sorry if this has been covered, but where did you purchase this?
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Re: Montague Boston - Joining the single speed crowd

Postby DrJay » Wed May 18, 2011 8:27 am

CheapFixed wrote:sorry if this has been covered, but where did you purchase this?


I second this Sogood, where did you get it?
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Re: Montague Boston - Joining the single speed crowd

Postby sogood » Wed May 18, 2011 10:52 am

Sorry, only just saw this. I got it through a bike auction house, but it was offered for a fixed price here in Sydney. It was from a limited opportunistic stock. Otherwise Montague has an Australian site and can be contacted for stockist.
http://www.montaguebikes.com.au/
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Re: Montague Boston - Joining the single speed crowd

Postby DrJay » Thu May 19, 2011 3:25 pm

Yeah, the website says no stock at present.

What size did you get? I'd love to have a look at some stage if you're willing.
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Re: Montague Boston - Joining the single speed crowd

Postby sogood » Thu May 19, 2011 7:01 pm

DrJay wrote:What size did you get? I'd love to have a look at some stage if you're willing.

I have the 19" frame and you are welcome to take a test ride.
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