RED YOU R DEAD Masher-Review

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

Price:$599

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.

Ride You R Dead 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:


26 Comments

  1. Bill Baker November 30, 2009 10:49 am 

    its good to see more bikes in review. And its good to see other aspects of bike culture. I have some friends that ride fixie some that ride geared myself i ride a single speed. its great to see all the cool toys we can ride. Great review and thanks!

  2. RL November 30, 2009 10:55 am 

    Thanks Bill,

    We actually have another bike review that will be set to publish on Wednesday morning.

    RL

  3. Ghost Rider November 30, 2009 12:42 pm 

    Jared Leto is rockin’ a freewheel in that video. But the bike looks similar!

    I wonder…does the gearing seem a bit steep for a trick/track bike? I don’t know what “appropriate” gearing is for such endeavors, but nearly 80 gear inches does seem a bit much.

    I love the way that bike looks…so pimptastic!

  4. Jon November 30, 2009 8:11 pm 

    You’re seriously reviewing this as a “commuter” bike? It’s a hipster-magnet fixie that would have sold like hotcakes last year, with what appear to be absolutely no original or redeeming features (unless you find the 26″ wheels somehow charming). White rims? Check. Ridiculous handlebars? Check. No brakes (illegal in most states, of course)? Check.

    The 26″ wheel is just goofy. The answer to toe overlap is PROPER FRAME DESIGN, which means an appropriate fork rake and wheel size proportionate to the frame.

  5. RL November 30, 2009 8:19 pm 

    Jon,

    Yes I did review it as a commuter bike, just because this bike doesn’t fit your definition of a “commuter” doesn’t mean its not a legit bike. Not sure if you even read the review, but I mentioned that I previously rode a Redline as a fixie.

    Another thing, do your math, its a 650 front wheel, thats 27.5 not 26.

  6. Ghost Rider November 30, 2009 9:46 pm 

    It may not be the “ideal” commuter for many of us, but in my mind any bike that takes me from my house to my job qualifies as a commuter bike. In fact, I regularly ride a very similar bike to work…fenderless, flatbar, “hipstery”.

    Different does NOT equal wrong. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but for someone who craves a quick, low-maintenance solution, bikes like these make a lot of sense.

    And, for the record, “toeverlap” is not a flaw. Plenty of good bikes (including several so-called “serious” commuter bikes) exhibit it. On bikes with more track-like geometry, the shorter wheelbase and tight clearances are responsible for the lion’s share of this phenomenon, but that doesn’t make it poorly-designed. The Masher has a smaller front wheel not to counter the toeverlap but to allow unimpeded barspins. This is a trick/track bike, after all.

  7. Cody December 1, 2009 7:45 am 

    I bet they sell this at Hot Topic and Urban Outfitters… $600 is far too much for these generic parts.

  8. Vegeterrorist December 1, 2009 10:41 am 

    The only thing I can’t figure out about this bike is “Red Your Dead”. Does that mean I am supposed to paint my dead red? Shouldn’t it read “Red You’re Dead”? This is a difference of “your” (meaning something belonging to me) and “you’re” (meaning “you are”). Is this a copy editing error on their part or is there a reason behind this? Someone please explain because it’s driving me nuts.

    As to the merits of the bike as a commuter, I think fixies make great commuter bikes and I’d be willing to wager that quite a few of us have one in our stable for those quick trips to the post office, grocery store, or other small errands around town. They’re wonderful over short distances and not having to worry about maintenance is great. This bike isn’t what I would call a good looking fixie (just not my style, plus I despise the color red), but I think it does, and can, make a legitimate commuter.

  9. Raiyn December 1, 2009 12:51 pm 

    I’m mostly with Jon on this one. Other than being an instant ghost bike I don’t see any redeeming practical qualities in this poseuriffic toy.

  10. Jamey December 1, 2009 1:04 pm 

    Add one more to the crew who thinks this is an overpriced poseur fashion accessory with zero value to commuters of distances >2 mi. to cover on a daily basis (and that it looks silly being ridden by a fattie in plaid grampa short).

    That said, I think it’s ridiculous that blogs alone have to hew to the promotional disclosure reqs slapped down by the FTC.

  11. clancy December 1, 2009 2:23 pm 

    Fixies can be a commuter bike. How often do you shift for those with a relatively flat commute.

    Many of us get stuck on what a bike should be. Racers want lightweight, commuters want year around functionality, and others want what they want. This bike is obviously more of trick bike, but I appreciate seeing “other” bikes in action.

    For those who think the front wheel is funny don’t look at an old Schwinn Prologue. http://bit.ly/4Kab5U or a Stayer bike http://bit.ly/7oDIxX

  12. Ghost Rider December 1, 2009 3:16 pm 

    @Jamey — it’s not only for bloggers, but I hear you: the new FTC guidelines are pretty silly and fairly unenforceable. But we’re better safe than sorry.

    By the way, that “fattie in plaid grampa short” is my dear friend. Your comment is not nice at all!

  13. RL December 1, 2009 4:34 pm 

    Jamey,

    get off your high horse, this review wasn’t about what clothes I wore, its about the bike and how it performed.

  14. BikeWhenYouCan December 1, 2009 7:24 pm 

    Looks like a lot of fun and would certainly accept one as a gift. Wouldn’t commute with it, given my rough regional roads.

    RL, thanks for the video. Really enjoyed it.

  15. Jon December 1, 2009 8:42 pm 

    I sure look for baffling non-factual sentiments like “I can feel the rear end trying to catch up with the rest of the bike” when I read a technical review. What does that even mean?

    I also notice you dodged my brake comments. Since I assume you’re in California, I’ll point you to California Vehicular Code, Division 11, Chapter 1, Article 4, Section 21201, subpart a: “No person shall operate a bicycle on a roadway unless it is equipped with a brake which will enable the operator to make one braked wheel skid on dry, level, clean pavement. ” A fixed hub is not a braking device, period, even if it accomplishes the “dry skid” result. (Oddly, section b bans ape-hanger bars, and section c forbids tallbikes… clearly, California has its priorities straight!)

    For the record, 650c was, before it was stolen by triatheletes and turned all frenchy in this country, 26×1″ (not 26×1.00), among other 26xfraction variants.

  16. RL Policar December 2, 2009 12:04 am 

    Jon,

    Dodge your comment about the brakes? This is what you said, “No brakes (illegal in most states, of course)? Check.” That wasn’t even posed as a question.

    So to answer your “question”, NO it does not have brakes.

    Thanks for providing the CVC. But I was unclear on your non-factual sentiments-“(Oddly, section b bans ape-hanger bars, and section c forbids tallbikes… clearly, California has its priorities straight!)” What does that even mean?

    Again, you did not read the review completely, if you’re going to quote me, get it straight.

    “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.”

    If you didn’t know, steel bikes tend to have a flex feel when you’re sprinting. Though the Masher is 4130 chromo, it felt like I was riding an alum bike when I would sprint.

  17. Mike Myers December 3, 2009 2:37 am 

    Yes, I think it’s a poseuriffic toy. I kind of respect fixie hipsters who built their own bikes from old frames. It’s a green choice, and shows some style and artistic ability. This bike has no cred.

    I also understand that the name is Red You R Dead—-but why not fix it on the head tube? People are going to riding around with a glaring grammatical error on their bikes. My opinion? The bike makers didn’t realize their mistake until way after production started and the “Red You R Dead” is a way to cover. I think they, like many people, don’t know the difference between “you’re” and “your”.

    At least it has a steel frame. You would get laughed at by any messengers in NYC while riding it, though.

  18. aaron b December 4, 2009 6:12 am 

    It’s amazing reading some of these comments. I know exactly what the reviewer means when talking about the “rear end trying to catch up” during a sprint. Maybe the difference is that some of the commenters don’t have much or any experience on a fixed gear bike, be it an actual track bike or a conversion.

    I commute on 2 different bikes. One is a trek 520, and one is a “track bike.” It’s an IRO Mark V, so you might consider that a road bike with track dropouts, but it’s pretty close to track geometry. My commute is 7 miles one way. This is a completely reasonable distance on fixie. The bike is probably half the weight of my 520, which I really only ride if it’s raining, or if I feel lazy and want to coast.

    I do agree that this bike is a bit expensive for the generic parts, but they’re selling an image, and not a particularly good on in my opinion. The fact is there are people out there who would gladly pay $599 for this bike, regardless of spelling errors or whatever other flaws you perceive. The only reason I wouldn’t consider it a commuter is because it seems more like a trick bike, with the flat bars and the 650 front wheel. Nobody sets up a track bike like that unless they’re trying to do bar spins and the like.

    Having said all that, it’s good to see a fixed gear bike reviewed as a commuter, even if it’s one that’s not really setup as such. Because when it comes down to it, a bike is a bike. If it gets you from point A to point B it’s serving its purpose. To each his/her own.

  19. Lote Leto May 8, 2010 11:07 am 

    Somebody know what king of bike Jared have in that kings and queens video? Model or something? Please help!

  20. Raiyn May 9, 2010 12:07 am 

    Speaking of Poseurs……. the last thing Jared Leto did that was worth paying any attention to was “My So-Called Life” back in the mid 90’s.

  21. Ghost Rider May 9, 2010 6:42 pm 

    @Raiyn…even that is a stretch…another disposable TV drama.

    Gotta say, though, that I saw 30 Seconds to Mars live at Jannus Landing in St. Pete a few years ago…at the time, I had no idea that the heavily-mascaraed frontman was Jared Leto (they opened for another band that we were there to see), but they were pretty OK. Afterwards, when we found out it was him, I was actually more impressed.

  22. RL May 9, 2010 8:14 pm 

    I like 30 seconds to Mars.

  23. ginjar May 15, 2010 9:23 am 

    NO WAY. bought this whip when i was in la and needed a ride asap, after about a week got some creakin noises so i pulled out the bb and found the whole shell was oval shaped!!… threads were all good, no wear showing – just total junk. sent RYD an email (as i was in SF by this stage) and never got a reply. also the geo is horrific NOT TRICK. its cheap, but you still dont get what you payed for. ginjar

  24. ginjar May 15, 2010 9:49 am 

    oh yeh and when i tried to change the crappy stock peddles i discovered RYD had managed to cross thread the peddles in!! apart from being amazed at this feat i was boned. replaced cranks, pedals and repacked my bb cup threads with nylon tape and i was back on the road

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