Haro has been a household name in BMX for over three decades, but many people don’t realize they have made mountain bikes for about just as long.
For 2013, Haro has taken their Flightline 29 models to new
heights in hopes of creating their most advanced mountain
The Shimano XT brakes are workhorses and simply get
the job done. Shimano’s new MT- 66 wheels aren’t the
lightest option available, but they are bulletproof and
The RockShox SID RL fork offers enough adjustment
for most riders, as well as a remote PushLoc handlebar-mounted lever.
HOW DOES IT PERFORM?
Moving out: The FLC’s rider position is par for the
course for a cross-country race bike. The rider’s weight is
biased toward the rear wheel, while the front end features
a short head tube for a race-oriented, aggressive position
on the bike. The RockShox SID RL fork was a breeze
to set up, and the minimal external tuning
options was actually welcomed. Just set it
and forget it.
Climbing: We weren’t surprised
that the FLC 29 zips up climbs and
puts out exactly what you put into
it, but we were surprised that the
bike deals with square edges and
other harsh obstacles very well.
While most carbon hardtails that
make any claim to value offer a
stiff-as-a-board ride quality, Haro
has designed a bike that is efficient
as well as forgiving.
RockShox’s PushLoc lever is great
for when you want to lock out the fork,
but doesn’t play very nicely with the
Shimano brake lever. As a result, the PushLoc
is mounted too far away from the grip to be reached
without removing your hand or sliding your hand over
very far. Luckily, we only found ourselves using the
PushLoc on the road to and from the trail and on long
Cornering: Our 26-inch-wheel purist buddies seem to
always have the same concerns about 29ers: cornering
ability. One spin on the Haro and their fears should be
quelled. The FLC doesn’t have any problems whipping
around 180-degree switchbacks.
While the FLC is great around quick switchbacks and
tight turns, high-speed cornering is less stellar. Haro’s
spec of the standard 9-millimeter, quick-release front axle
is questionable. The 15-millimeter thru-axle design has
proven essential, especially on 29ers, which benefit from
the stiffer design as they deal with more wheel deflection
when side-loaded in corners.
Descending: Ripping down a trail at speed on a hardtail will always take bike-handling skills. While Haro
gives you the tools to get the job done, the FLC is still a
cross-country race bike, and it requires some finesse and
good old-fashioned knowhow to pick out the smoothest
lines. The FLC’s quick handling can feel a bit twitchy on
high-speed descents, but is crucial when dodging rocks
and ruts as they blur toward you.
Braking: Shimano’s XT brakes are consistent, powerful and ergonomically designed, three things that make a
Taking Haro To New Heights
The Haro FLC 29 Pro
WHO IS IT MADE FOR?
The FLC 29 is aimed at cross-country riders who are
looking for a fast, efficient bike that can take them to the
podium at a weekend race and still be comfortable and playful enough for the mid-week trail ride with their buddies.
WHAT IS IT MADE FROM?
The FLC’s frame is constructed of T-700 carbon fiber and
features a 1 1/8- to 1 1/2-inch tapered head tube, as well as
a BB92 bottom bracket. The shift cables run internally along
the top tube for clean aesthetics as well as protection from
Designed to transfer every bit of power to the pedals, the
frame features an oversized downtube joining the oversized
head tube junction and bottom bracket shell.
The rear triangle is evidence that Haro has aimed to
tune the FLC’s stiff frame characteristics toward a more
comfortable ride quality. The seat stays have a flattened,
more flexible shape to cut down on the effects of sharp,
square-edge hits, and the chainstays are taller to help the
bike get up and go.
WHICH COMPONENTS STAND OUT?
The Pro namesake means that this is Haro’s top-of-the-line, complete build offering. The Shimano XT drivetrain is
a proven performer that provides solid, positive shifts, even
under load. The 2x10 drivetrain is perfect for this cross-country race bike and takes a lot of the guesswork out of
hammering the pedals.