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Redline 925 Review

by RL Policar
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Disclaimer:
As a product reviewer for Commute By Bike, I am providing my unbiased opinion of any products provided to us by any company. I do not posses any type of relationship with the product’s company or parent companies. Companies that send in their goods to be reviewed do not compensate me in any way.

Product: Redline 925

MSRP: $499

Features and Specs:

+ “Steel is real”-double butted chromoly with tapered fork.
+ Multi-Hand position moustache handlebar.
+ Fenders by planet bike, with mudguards.
+Flip Flop rear hub easily converts to fixed track cog or freewheel.
+ Available in 5 sizes.

About Me: I am about 5’7″, a size Husky with perfect hair and perfect legs.

Here’s the deal…
Redline offers the 925 as a single speed commuter with flip flop hubs that can be transformed into a brilliant fixed gear or “fixie” bike.

When I first received the bike, I rode it with the freewheel. But within a few days into it, I flipped to the fixed gear. The bike does come with both front and rear brakes as well as a chain guard, toe clips and fenders. Oh and yeah the moustaches handle bars.

Looking at this bike, you would definitely develop affection for it since it does have that nostalgic look and feel due to its fenders and handle bars. However, that nostalgic sense is nothing but a facade.

The 925 is what we call a sleeper bike. Sure it looks like its a perfect campus riding bike or one you would take to the local coffee shop to enjoy your latte and scone. But the 925 is a rabid wolf under sheep’s clothing.

What do I mean by that? The 925 will chew up any other commuter bike out there. This bike can haul! The 42 by 15-tooth fixed gearing allows any rider to reach unbelievable speeds with precise control and handling. The steel frame rides like no other bike. It gives a rider a sense of security knowing that this bike is stable, strong and mischievous!

Sure the bike looks like a coasting, cruiser type. But that’s the beauty of it. The folks at Redline certainly knew what they were getting themselves into when they designed the 925. They knew that people would be impressed with the low MSRP of $499 and they knew that people would love the fenders, chain guard and the fancy bars. But buyers wouldn’t realize that the 925 delivers more punch per dollar!

The 925 can be best described as an old mare on a ranch. It may not look like an impressive and expensive Stallion. But once you get on it, the ride is far better than a prancing pony or a galloping horse. Because of that, the Redline 925 has become my favorite bike in my stable. I use is for all of my errands, commuting and recreational riding.

The only thing I didn’t like…and this is my personal opinion and preference, was the low stem. I replaced it with a stem that gave me more of an upright position.

Other than that, the bike is pretty much perfect.

Would I recommend it?

Duh, Yes I would. The Redline 925 is perfect for anyone that wants to get into fixed gear riding. It’s also a great commuter bike for the price.

I’ve heard of people that want to turn an old frame into a fixed gear. So they spend up to $200 for a set of wheels, and more for the chain, brakes (if they want it), handle bars, tires and what ever else they need. All that can add up to more than what it would cost to buy the Redline 925. It makes more sense to get the Redline 925 than building one up.

 
Burley nomad 229

25 Responses to “Redline 925 Review”

  1. Nick says:

    How much does it weigh?

  2. Craig Barrette says:

    “…a rabid wolf under sheep’s clothing” eh?
    WOW.
    Sounds like the ultimate bike for me. I remember Redline from my youth. Good to see they are expanding their reach, creating a bike for us 40-something’s who rode their stuff as a kid.

  3. RL Policar says:

    It should weigh about 23lbs.

  4. Nick says:

    Not too bad. I expected heavier.

  5. Jay says:

    Looks like a great bike–and I just sold my own hone-built SS a few months ago before a big move.

    I have to say, though, that even if the cost of building a DIY SS or fixie is comparable to what you’d pay for this one or a Raleigh, etc., out of the box, you can’t beat the sense of accomplishment. It’s a fun project.

  6. [...] It sure looks different from what it used to look like. [...]

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  8. Max O. says:

    One thing you might want to change is the position of the brake levers. You’ll be astounded that those bars have a couple more positions. This guy’s web page has a pretty good guide:

    http://www.stanford.edu/~dru/moustache.html

    I find his position to be a bit too far inboard, but you can experiment. I’ve got a 925 as well, and they ship to the stores with the levers in a strange position. You want to be able to use both the curves and the hoods for aero cruising.

    It’s indeed a sweet bike, and an unbelievable value. There is nothing on it that you want to replace first thing. Even the saddle’s really nice, sort of like a WTB Speed-v. The hubs are shockingly nice, and the rims are Alex Ace-19s, which are cheap as chips, but will outlast Mavics at 3X the price. I’ve ridden those rims on another commuter bike. They’re unreal. Trued them 0.5 mm for the hell of it after 30K miles!

    The stem is indeed too low out of the box. I ride the 60cm with the post far enough out to show the logo 5mm, which is about average for this size. The bars are still lower than the saddle, but should be about dead even for this size. I’m saying that as a guy that likes drops 4″ below seat level.

    Can’t beat it for the money, and a new stem is cheap. One last thing to check is the chain tension, the shop I bought from did not adjust it from the factory line. It’s dangerously tight out of the box. You just want it loose enough that there’s no binding or visible slack at any point in the rotation. Yes, it will not be consistent throughout the stroke.

    Nice review, I’ll chime in and second the recommendation.

    Mine:
    http://static.flickr.com/108/280647897_fc0ccc250f_o.jpg
    http://static.flickr.com/107/299862934_f8f6ee917c_o.jpg
    http://static.flickr.com/122/299862935_f6d37940ab_o.jpg

  9. [...] So I figured it out! I get up as I normally would, get geared up, get on the Redline 925 and ride. I don’t have a specific destination, I just ride. Most mornings I do laps in my personal velodrome (the church parking lot) to get warmed up then I hit the streets and ride anywhere from 6-10 miles. If I’m feeling a little aggro, then I’ll hit the local trail system on my mountain bike and ride 10-12 miles. [...]

  10. jim seely says:

    I bought my 925 in Jan. 2006 and rode it with the frewheel for a while then flopped it to fixie for most of the spring and summer. Took the fenders off (it looks fantastic!) and went back to freewheel (there’s another word for fixed, neutered!) and now have put a 32 tooth chain ring on and “cross” tires on and am doing the Shasta Winter Cross series on it. I love this machine! Lots of fun and attention.

  11. JBHemlock says:

    Nice review! I’ve been a moustache bar nut for a few years, having one on my old commuter (a late 80′s Stumpjumper with slicks). I noticed the 925 in the bike shop window because of the bars, but was turned off by the single speed thing (I was a gear bigot, I’ll admit that). I stripped all the teeth off of my primary sprocket last summer, though, which put me in the market for either a new bike (easy) or a repair (hard – the bike is about 20 years old, so there’s no telling what else I’d need to replace). I decided to get the 925, and I haven’t regretted it one whit! The bike is easily the most fun of any bike I’ve ever owned, and converted me into a fixed gear evangelista! I replaced the seat with one that works better for me, added a rack and some clipless pedals, and ride it to work every day. Your bit about the stem height is spot on, too, as I feel too much pressure on my palms after about 15 miles, but that’ll be easy to change. All in all, though, it’s my favorite bike yet!

  12. Brian says:

    I bought my 925 in the fall of ’06 when they were trying to get rid of the 06 models for 07 and actually got an even better deal on it. I totally agree with the above review. I really love this bike. I was only able to find one shop in Chicagoland that had one in stock, but was happy I made the trek out to the suburbs to get it. It has been my every day commuter since I got it and it has held up well. The low maintenance of a fixed gear bike in the winter (especially in Chicago with all the salt and melting snow on the streets) has been great. Having the bike come with fenders and braze ons for a rack was a real plus (unlike some other manufacturers that make fixed gear and track bikes). Also, I really liked how the bike came with half toe clips. Riding in the city its really nice to be able to get in and out of the pedals fast. The only thing I didn’t care for was the mustache bars. I rode with them for a week and didn’t really mind them. But, they felt to wide for me when trying to fit in between cars. So I opted for a pair of bullhorns made from cut-off drop bars. If you’re looking to get into riding fixed gear I’d definitely recommend this bike. Also, you definitely can’t argue with the price.

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  14. Michelle says:

    So I have been stalking this bike in my local shop’s window for a couple of months. I have a couple of questions
    1. Has anyone attempted attaching a trailer to this? I got a little schwinn trailer that I completely restructured to transport my 50lb dog. It CANNOT attach to my racing bike which I have unfortunately been using for commuting the past few months.
    2. Would it be possible to put tires with more tread on for the winter? Has anyone tried this?
    3. The single speed thing, honestly, I am scared, is it REALLY possible to do this, use a single speed or fixed gear for primary (read: only) transportation?? I live in Michigan, it is flat, but really… Being gear free seems so elegant, so graceful, something Nobokov would write about… I almost feel freed by the thought but I might just be caught up in the fad… Any thoughts on this??
    4. I am debating on investing in this or just getting another (cheap, used) road bike. If you have ridden this, do you think it is worth the investment?
    Thank you!!!

  15. Michelle says:

    Hi Brian,
    I read your review of the 9*2*5… It sounds like an amazing bike!!! You live in Chicago, right? How is it in the snow?? Do you use the tires it has? I live in Michigan, we have the same salt problem and I refuse to do that to my racing bike…
    Do you know if I could attach a trailer to it (a Schwinn trailer, modified for a dog)?
    Thank you!!! :)
    Michelle

  16. Jon says:

    After reading this review and others like it I bought a 925. I must say that the reviews are true; this is a nice bike! I use to commute and ride around the Boston area, which has some awful roads. Thus far (after about 150 miles) this bike is holding up well and still feels solid.
    Not only was this my first fixed gear, but my first road bike, too (I have been on BMX’s for 18 years). It was an easy change; perhaps the quality and design helped me transition.
    Oh, and I am finding the mustache bars to be more enjoyable all the time, though they were weird at first. I like that I can use about 4 different hand positions without having to let go of the bars. It’s nice when you’re on a terrible road that is jolting you about.
    As for the dog trailer question: I think it may work, there are screws/holes for mounting a rear luggage/pannier rack.

  17. JBHemlock says:

    Michelle – You’d have a hard time getting wider tires with more tread on this bike, as it’s a very tight fit as-is getting the wheel through the brakes. I have to deflate the stock tires as well as flipping both the brake release levers (one on the brake, one on the handle) to get them in or out. The stock tires, though, are great for daily commuting. I’ve owned my 925 for a year, now, and have ridden it in all but the iciest days here in Seattle, and I’ve had no troubles with the tires.

    I understand your concerns about commuting daily on a fixie, but it really isn’t that big of a deal. It was tough for me for the first couple of weeks (I have some decent hills to climb), but you soon adapt to it. Now I can’t ride a freewheeling/geared bike without getting the heebie geebies.

  18. Edmo_SF says:

    I’m 100% convinced that the Redline 925 has the most bang for the buck and if one of my local shops had them in stock, I’d be riding one today. (925s are all pre-ordered and are hard to get in my area at least.)

    If the 925 gets you excited, I found another bike that while it is significantly more $$ it has huge bang-for-the-buck: the Van Dessel Country Road Bob. (I also got it on sale for much less than MSRP)

    http://www.vandesselsports.com/crb.php?bike=9

    It basically aims for the same single/fixed commuter customer — doesn’t come with fenders, but has fender/rack mounts and tons of features. The most significant is cantilever brakes and monsterous tire clearance. It doesn’t come with a moustache bar, but the curvy frame/stays adds major style points.

    The reason I’m so high on this bike is that if needed, there is (removable for a nice clean look) cable routing and derailleur hanger to convert it to a standard bike if you ever tire of riding single in the future. I can see myself putting 35mm knobby tires for off-roading or my 23mm slicks for road racing on this frame if I needed to.

    The downside (for some) is the aluminum frame, so the “steel is real” folks won’t like it, but I prefer not to worry about rust and have always riden aluminum. And the carbon fork will need to be replaced at some point. I’ve added a silver rack and rear baskets to it, so another downside is that this bike may look TOO good for a daily commuter — so I make sure to lock it up really well.

    FYI, the other bikes that I also seriously looked at were the Raleigh One Way and Surly Crosscheck. There are other single speeds out there (IROs, Bianchi San Jose, Schwinn Madison) but these fell more into the track/race category.

  19. dave says:

    So these are pre-order only? Could I get one in the Seattle area??

  20. Quinn says:

    I had a Totally different experience with the 925, after buying my XXIX I realized how fun single speeding was, looked into a few fixies (langster, Lager, one way, San Jose) and a local shop had a 925 in stock, so I tried it, I took it on a 2 minute test ride, because I immediately felt that it was going to fall apart During the test.

    I did enjoy the moustache bars though!

  21. mark says:

    Tried the Redline. Too heavy. Try the Fisher Triton– as of 2007, it had good wheels (bontrager select/track hubs). Total weight was 19lbs. In either bike, trash the bars and replace with drops. I added, on average, 1 mph to cruising speed.

  22. Patrick says:

    Hi 925 fans —

    Regarding tire size clearance with fenders, I wanted to share the reply I received from the guys at Redline:

    With fenders, the 30mm tires are the largest that will fit. Without fenders you can fit a 35mm, as it does use long reach brakes. Maybe even a 38mm, but I haven’t tried.

  23. TONY STARKS says:

    LOVE MY 925!! GOT HIT BY A TRUCK ON IT AND IT MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE SAVED MY LIFE? I FLIPPED THE HANDLEBARS UPSIDE DOWN AND I LIKE THEM BETTER THAT WAY.

  24. Michael says:

    I also got hit, and while I didn’t really get hurt that badly, my fork is slightly damaged (read: no longer safe to ride).
    Does anyone know what size the fork is? I measured it and it looks like 1 inch diameter, but I want to make sure before replacing it.

    Thanks!

  25. Mike says:

    I recently picked up this bike, only I was able to get a bit of a deal on it thanks to the awesomeness of the fellas at my bike shop. They pulled the newer model wheels and handlebars off of the latest version and swapped them out for me. The wheel set and the handle bars on the newer 925 are a big improvement, and now I’m beyond happy with my purchase.

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