BikeCommuters.com (west coast) received the RYD Masher back in September to review. I just have to make sure I note that this product was sent to us as a demo; we did not get paid for the review. Here’s our disclaimer.
What: Red You R Dead Masher
Specs:Frame – 100% 4130 Full Cro-Mo
Fork – Full 4130 Cro-Mo, straight rake
Headset – Fully Integrated, Neco Alloy 1-1/8″ Threadless
Handlebars – RYD Alloy 2″ Riser Bar, 480 mm width
Stem – RYD Alloy 60mm extension
Grips – RYD 120mm
Seat – RYD, Steel Rail
Seat Post – Alloy 26.6 x 300
Crankset – 3pc. Lasco Alloy Forged 165mm, 46t
Chain – KMC Z410 white
Pedals – Alloy Body 9/16″, plus PLASTIC cages w/ double leather straps
Front Rim – Maya 650c Alloy double wall 32h, w/ black stainless steel spokes
Rear Rim – Maya 700c Alloy double wall 32h, w/ black stainless steel spokes
Front Hub – KT Alloy 32h, loose ball, nutted
Rear Hub – KT fixed/free Alloy 32h, loose ball nutted, 16t fixed cog
Tires – Kenda Road Racing, 700x23c
I’ve been riding the Masher for a few months now. This bike isn’t your typical commuter bike that we often review, the kind that has fenders, racks and etc. But I wanted to get some time on this fixed gear rig because one of the favorite commuter bikes I’ve ever ridden was my old Redline 925 and I commuted with that as a fixie.
So, let’s get down to the nitty gritty of this bike. Let me start off with how the Masher felt on the road. Since this thing uses 4130 Cro-mo, I looked forward to the smooth riding experience. Sure enough, the Masher lived up to the promise of a nice riding steel bike.
With the 650c front wheel, I was concerned that I would be leaning over too much. But to my surprise, the smaller front wheel didn’t affect my riding position. One thing I did enjoy about the 650c front wheel was the lack of toe over-lap. That’s pretty important especially if you’re riding a fixie, you don’t want your front tire clipping your foot as you’re making a turn.
You may have already noticed that the Masher doesn’t come with brakes. Since this bike really was built as track/trick bike, brakes were not included. Even if I wanted to install a rear brake, I probably wouldn’t because the sidewall of the wheels are painted and having a set of brakes grabbing the rim wouldn’t be too effective nor would it be pretty. So what does that mean for a boy like me who is used to grabbing a fist full of brakes when I need to stop? Fortunately, I’ve had prior fixie riding experience so I already know how to slow down my pedaling or skid stop if necessary.
Some of you are already thinking, “what about the fenders and rack?” Nope. This doesn’t come with them. Besides, the Masher doesn’t have the ability to accept traditional racks — it’s a track bike. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use P-Clamps to install them. Fenders… I’m sure you can fit in some nice Planet Bike fenders in there with the use of P-Clamps.
However, there’s a certain level of “cool” that you would lose if you were to add those accessories. Let’s be honest, if you’re going to buy the Masher, you’re not likely to put on those things just because it would make it look goofy. Anytime I needed to carry stuff, I just busted out my handy dandy Banjo Brothers Commuter Back Pack.
Since the Masher is a fixie, there are less things to go wrong. During the last few weeks of testing, the bike never had any major problems. However, it did develop a slight creaking when I would “mash” (get it) on the pedals. That problem was quickly remedied by greasing up the threads on the pedals and adding a bit of lube on the chain.
As far as handling and performance, the Masher is quick and nimble. It’s hard to describe, but when I would mash on the pedals, to get into a sprint, the bike would respond. One of the things I’ve noticed with bikes is that aluminum frames tend to have a snappier feel when sprinting, but with steel, I can feel the rear end trying to catch up with the rest of the bike. But with the Masher I get that same snappy feel as aluminum.
The gearing on the Masher was a bit too big for my liking. The 46/16t drive train made it a bit tough to start at the stop lights. I think a 42/15t would have been more ideal for all around use. The area I live in is relatively hilly. In fact there’s one hill by my place that I usually use to test bikes on. When I took the Masher up this hill, I really struggled with the 46/16. I know for a fact that the 42/15 combo works really well for this climb and it was tall enough to get some good speed on it.
Overall, the RYD Masher really is a great bike. It’s very comfy, it is super attractive and it has been reliable throughout this time. I think for the price of $599, you’re getting a great ride. Just think about it, 4130 cro-mo, all white (I dig white bikes) and this is the kind of bike that will need very little, if any, maintenance. I understand that a fixie or even this trick/track bike isn’t for everyone, but for those who are in the market for this style of bike, you really can’t go wrong with the Masher.
By the way, for those that aren’t too familiar with fixies or fixed gear bikes, here’s a great video that showcases them: