Review: Haro FLC 29 Pro carbon 29er hardtail

Lightweight hardtail offers an amazing ride and value

29er Cross Country
A carbon hardtail 29er that can pull XC race duty as well as All Mountain trail bike fun at a great price.

A carbon hardtail 29er that can pull XC race duty as well as All Mountain trail bike fun at a great price.

The Lowdown: Haro FLC 29 Pro

Haro is a SoCal based bike brand with its roots deep into BMX, so it’s easy to forget that they have a pretty rich history in mountain biking as well. Although they don’t have the extensive mountain bike model line-up that they once had, Haro has recently made changes to help build up their MTB brand including hiring a new brand and advertising agency to help them up their game for 2015 and beyond. The top-of-the-line Haro mountain bike is the FLC 29 Pro, a carbon 29er hardtail that provides amazing performance at an amazing price. If you want a part-time XC race bike that can also serve as your daily fun bike and you are on a strict budget, you would do well to take a closer look at this one.

Stat Box
Intended Use: XC, trail Wheel Size: 29-inches
Travel: 100mm front Wheelset: SRAM Roam 30
Weight: 21.75 pounds (size S, no pedals) Frame Material: Toray 700 Carbon
Drivetrain: SRAM X01 MSRP: $3,699
Suspension: Rock Shox Reba RL 29″ Taper, w/ 15mm Maxle Rating: 4 Flamin' Chili Peppers 4.5 Chilis-out-of-5

In the same league: Santa Cruz Highball C, Fuji SLM 29 1.3 Disc, Cannondale F29 Carbon 3, Trek Superfly 9.8 X1, Specialized Stumpjumper Comp Carbon 29, Niner AIR 9 Carbon

Pluses
Minuses
  • Great value
  • Love it or hate it graphics (only 1 choice)
  • Burly downtube provides plenty of stiffness
  • Comes in only 3 sizes (15.5″, 17.5″, 19″)
  • SRAM 1x drivetrain
  • Stock tires too skinny
  • Internal cable routing options
  • Foam grips too hard
  • Toray 700 high-modulus carbon frame is lightweight

Full Review: 2015 Haro FLC 29 Pro

The frame of the Haro FLC 29 Pro is where it all starts. The sub 3 lbs. frame is made from T-700 high-modulus carbon and has a nice, short tapered head tube and a super wide down tube. The burly downtube is what provides the rigid, efficient ride quality of the FLC Pro. At the same time, the frame isn’t so stiff that it beats you up over the long haul. One look at the massive downtube and you might think that the frame must be a jackhammer in the rough stuff. But this bike is quite the opposite, in fact. With the larger wheels and the light weight, this bike gives a distinct feeling of floating across the top of the chop.

Haro has been making this frame for a few years now, so the frame construction itself is dialed. We have ridden previous iterations of this bike and it has only gotten lighter and better (and a bit cheaper, we might add). The frame has two water bottle mounts except for the size small that we rode that has one on the downtube. There is also routing and bosses to fit a front derailleur if you choose to go that route (we wouldn’t recommend it, but the option is there).

The skull chief graphics and feathers offer an interesting look.

The skull chief graphics and feathers offer an interesting look.

The geometry is pretty standard XC fare with a 71 degree head angle and a 73 degree seat angle. The size small we rode has a top tube of 22.4 inches and a seat tube of 15.5 inches. The chainstay length on all size models is 17.5 inches which is not super short. Regardless, the handling of this bike was far from sluggish. There is ample standover in all sizes and there is also ample tire clearance to fit a tire wider than the 2.00″ that comes with the bike (which we highly recommend).

All of this adds up to a very responsive handling bike. The word “responsive” is not always associated with 29ers, but the stiffness, geometry and light weight all add up to a bike that handles great and climbs awesome. It’s hard for me to fathom that people still debate the climbing ability of a 29er vs. 26″ wheels (even right here in the Mtbr forums), when the climbing advantage of a 29er is so clear. For the rider who has never ridden a 29er before, the Haro FLC 29 will have you setting new Strava records in no time. With the explosion of new mountain bikes with 27.5″ wheels, the carbon hardtail will be the one platform that 29ers will continue to survive and dominate.

As an occasional race bike, the Haro FLC will serve its master well. For all around trail rides, this bike won’t replace your full suspension rig on the downhills and drops, but for your local weekly rides or after-work rides, the Haro FLC 29 Pro is capable and will provide plenty of fun. You’ll enjoy just how capable it is even more on the climbs.

Continue to page 2 for more on the Haro FLC 29 Pro and full photo gallery ยป

About the author: Gregg Kato

Gregg Kato studied journalism and broadcasting in college while working many different jobs including deejaying, driving a forklift and building web sites (not all at the same time). Kato enjoys riding local Santa Cruz trails. Besides being an avid mountain biker, he is also a motorcycle fanatic. Two wheels, one Passion.


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