Haro Mary £549

Big-wheeled singlespeed cruiser

BikeRadar score 3.5/5

Haro’s Mary offers the whole kooky wagon-wheeled 29er singlespeed package – complete with extra bent-handlebar zaniness – at a more affordable level than most. Your wrists, however, will inherit the beating your wallet avoids.

Ride & handling: Gallops along easy trails, but brutally rigid over rough terrain

Once you’ve got used to the errand boy position of the Mary handlebar, the Haro rolls along the smooth stuff nicely. The effort of accelerating its heavy weight is offset by the smaller gear ratio and the backswept bar gives a naturally confident, weight-back position. The skinny top and down tube and bigger wheels help it gallop along easier trails. Handling is well balanced and free from the sluggishness of early 29ers.

The long top tube and chainstays help the Mary’s stability at speed. Slip into more technical stuff, though, or just let speed drop over stutter bumps, and all hell breaks loose. This is because the fork and rear end are so brutally rigid that even short rides can leave your wrists feeling bruised. Add the nerve-wracking braking lag from the cable discs and the Mary is definitely more of a smooth cruiser than a technical party crasher.

Frame: Retro looks, with emphasis on strength rather than light weight

The skinny double-butted steel main tubes certainly look the retro part. The short head tube is reinforced to stop the long forks stretching it out of shape, and a throat gusset spreads stress away from the down tube junction. 

A twin grub screw eccentric bottom bracket adjusts chain tension and geometry while the cowled dropouts get a neat geared or singlespeed insert. Cable routing is pure one-gear rig, though.

The seat tube and tapered stays are all relatively big-gauge pipes, which makes for a very stiff rear triangle, and the steel rigid forks aren’t skinny or forgiving either.

Equipment: You may grow to love handlebar but brakes won't fare so well

The most obvious thing about the Mary is the matching On-One bar with its distinctive swept-back profile. It’s an acquired taste but its vibration smoothing and enhanced climbing leverage make sense on the Mary. 

Ditto the chunky Kenda 29er tyres which allow lower pressures and more rattle respite. The Dual Tread Compound climbing grip is backed up by a low 32x20T gear ratio for less top speed but more climb capability. 

The spongy, delayed-action cable disc brakes show just how good even the most basic hydraulic discs are – and that’s before the winter gets into the cables.

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