The ride was natural and telepathic. That’s what you want to hear on a fairly short test ride session right? It was very easy to get used to as the position seemed natural and not to high off the ground. Acceleration was awesome and traction seemed like it was always there. Descending on the bike seemed really easy as it carved through the singletrack of Park City with ease. Continue reading →
geometry turns a 29 into 26 on tight twisties
Weaknesses: Wheelset, grips, tires, bars
This is my first FS after a lifetime of riding hard tail 26er's. I'm glad I waited until FS 29er's evolved to this great machine. I've got about 100 miles on my 2011 that I got for a good deal this spring. 29er is da bomb for just about every situation.
Suspension: The Fox front and back are silky smooth and adjustable. The pro-pedal works well for removing most climbing bob. I'm not looking forward to rebuilding these as much as they say they need to be.. we' see.
Frame: This is a piece of art. Stiff with nice lines and no welds. The G2 frame with the axle pivot seems to allow the suspension to work under braking. It is strange figuring out how to remove the rear wheel.
Components: x9 all around. I've always been a Shimano guy so SRAM was a stretch but the x9 has been working fine, no finess here just smash 'em.
Brakes: ElixerR. I'm not a disk brake expert but these work fine and modulate pretty well but mine are noisy as hell. I guess I didn't seat them properly or something.
Bontrager: Not too impressed with these parts. Sweeping bars are a joke for cross country. grips are crap. Wheels seem heavy and nothing special. The 29-1 tires are worthless for the northwest terrain I ride but may be good for dry .
Overall: I'm in love
Strengths: Light, fast and can handle most trail riding as well as racing
Weaknesses: Early model had some frame cranking issues but I should note that GF replaced promptly.
This is the best all around bike I have owned. It excells at endurance racing. The early models had some fabrication issues with the frames but Trek/GF replaced promptly. The service at the Boulder Trek store was stellar.
Bike Setup: Stock set up except wheels. Installed Stan's race wheelset.
from Arlington, MA
Date Reviewed: December 3, 2011
Strengths: Light, great steering, plush suspension (like having a trail bike stuffed into your XC race rig), at speed it handles heavy chop better than any other 29er full suspension. Lifetime warranty on 2010 (and I've needed it). Stock 3x9 worked well. Steamroller RXL wheels (heavy, though).
Weaknesses: Cracked the frame (who didn't!?), Avid Elixir brakes suck. Stock tires, grips, and saddle were tossers, so is the bar unless you happen to like it (fine with me). The pedals smack the ground a lot!
Let's start with the bad and go to the good.
1. The failure rate among the group of people I know with the 2010 SF100 was 100 percent. 5 of us. All of us had heard of the frame failures, all of us called to make sure our bikes were not in the defective (read, fail in the first 20 minutes) group, and yet we all had failures. Trek stood by their warranty and, as far as I know, we are grandfathered in to the lifetime warranty. They have replaced my 2010 with a 2012. I have not heard of a lot of 2011 failures, so we'll see what happens.
2. Avid brakes. Avid brakes suck. They are a pain in the rear to bleed, and the cam rocker which is supposed to provide such great modulation gets crap behind it after about 18 months of use. It requires the caliper to be rebuilt. Most mechanics look at it and think since the piston won't retract that it needs a bleed, but the bleed doesn't solve the problem. Then you either have to have a really good mechanic to rebuild them or send them to Avid. This happened to me at the Cape Epic in Africa. I switched them to 2010 XT. Identical performance. And I can bleed them myself (with olive oil if I have to!) and not use caustic chemicals. And 2011 (and now 2012) XT/XTR is better. Replace the brakes.
3. Tires, grips, saddle, and bars all sucked. The saddle was laughable, it belonged under my aunt's big butt at the beach. FWIW, these all end up being swapped often, anyway, but it would have been nice to have something worth eBaying!
4. After sag, the low BB causes more pedal strikes than anything I have ever ridden. You can adapt to this.
Now the good:
The bike is just plain fast, and the Fisher geometry with the specific crown offset is real. I test rode every 29er FS I could, this was the only one where I felt I could be riding a smooth flowy section and accelerate into hard chop. The travel is less than a SC Tallboy but feels as plush or better. I've had a bit of a time getting the suspension dialed so that it's perfect on slow, bony singletrack and then good for the ripping descents. But there is nothing like it wide open.
Uphill I do use propedal and (if it's a long climb), will slide the low speed compression damping dial on the fork to limit bob. Even with PP on, climbing out of the saddle has too much bob, but seated I always have so much traction it's rarely an issue.
With a fast rolling tire it just hauls a$$. In one of my first races on it in 2010, still getting to know the bike, I was able to bomb a bony singletrack descent wide open, totally in control, right past a local pro who was taking it fast. Unreal.
If the 2011's have held together and you want a really fast bike, a 2011 or 2012 is a great choice. The warranty is now 2 years, though, so read the forums and make your choice.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: June 23, 2011
Strengths: light, fast, nimble, smooth
Weaknesses: none yet
bike rips. only about a month on the bike so far but very happy. lucky to find a 2010 demo at LBS with 300 miles and full warranty which mitigates potential frame issues. this is a xc race machine but i ride it AM and love it. only weaknesses so far are the stock sweep bars.
When it is in working condition I really like the bike. it is light weight,rides and handles great. A big upgrade from the 2000 Cannondale I was riding before. Like a lot of others I am having issues with the frame. I have had two of the lower swing arms replaced. The first cracked at the pivot and the second broke completely in two at the mid point of the chain stay. Also I have had a sleeve/bushing in the lower pivot come un bonded from the frame. I was told this sleeve is to take up the slack in the pivot. When it came un bonded it allowed the rear triangle to flex side to side. LBS glued it back to the frame. Said if that didn't work the frame would have to be sent back to the factory so they could press fit a new sleeve in to the frame. Finally I am beginning to suspect I am having issues with the rear hub. Whenever I push the cranks hard, especially standing, it makes a really loud clanking noise as the drive train skips forward. Through out the LBS has been great and Trek/GF had honored the warranty and had the bike repaired in reasonable time. However, I am disappointed to be having so many issues with this bike in such a short time. Can't help but wonder how many more issues I will have as the bike gets older. If I had it to do over again I do not think I would have purchased. Think I would have sacrificed the low weight and other pluses and went with a lower end bike for less cost.
This is a great, fast, good-looking XC race bike that can handle some rougher trails. It's quick yet also stable when it needs to be. It feels like a 26-inch bike. It's so fast and smooth that riding it feels like cheating. Here are some notes:
1. A lot of these frames have been breaking. From what I could gather, these were frames made early in the production run (they changed the carbon lay-up later in the run). Call Trek Tech Support at 1-800-585-TREK and give them your serial number. They'll be able to tell you where in the run your frame was made. Nearly al the early-run frames broke but the mid-later frames seem to be OK. The lifetime warranty should take care of this.
2. The BB is restrictively low. I smash pedals/crank arms all the time, way more than any other bike I've owned. You really have to be aware of your pedaling in technical terrain and through corners. Get some pedal boots from Race Face that fit right over the Noir crank arms.
3. I don't like the Bontrager Big Sweep bars at all. Low-riser bars work a lot better on this bike.
4. The brakes are an absolute P.I.T.A. to set-up. Love them when they are set-up, but getting them there takes a lot of time and effort.
a Weekend Warrior
from Perris, CA
Date Reviewed: February 6, 2011
Strengths: Lightweight, climbs very well, descends surprisingly well, great suspension design
Weaknesses: Flexy wheels, front brake squeal (F29 FIT RLC + Avid Elixir CR), narrow bars, long stem, saddle creaks and rear catches shorts, foam grips are terrible, cable housing not trimmed--lots of cable rub on fork crown
One of the lightest production FS 29er on the market. Very fast and racy. My riding buddies are more reluctant to ride with me since I'm so fast on it--they're happier when I'm on the Kona Dawg (which rides like a dog in comparison).
I'm 5'7" and I went from a medium GF Rig (17.5) to a small Motobecane Fly Team Ti 29 XO (15.5), thinking the Rig was too big. I kind of regret that I sold the Rig, which handled so much better, so I got a medium GF Superfly 100 (17.5) which lived up to my expectations and is my primary go-to bike. The Moto Fly is like a Ti copy of the Superfly (HT) w/o the G2 fork and pedals the best out of all my bikes. The SF100 doesn't pedal as fast even with ProPedal, but I think it's more likely due to the tires (Ikons on Moto and Captains on SF100). The traction the SF100 gets is amazing, so I find it an acceptable trade off. I have tons more confidence at speed in corners and do so much better in deep sand compared to the Moto on Ikons.
This suspension is great. I haven't been sold on dual short links, but I've only ever tried the Flux. I think a well tuned 4-bar is no worse, such as the case of the 575's suspension and ABP. I haven't bottomed it out yet, following all the recommended settings. 150 psi in rear, 60psi in front with 140 lbs of riding weight. The Turner Flux DW and 575 were much plusher, but the Flux bottomed out fairly often. I didn't ride the 575 on the same trails as I ride the SF100 on, but I get the about same fun on this, since it climbs so much better, but I do miss being able to launch off of rocks, roots, and rollers. The 575 definitely wins on the descents, but just isn't as fast or light as this SF100. The Kona is burly, but very noisy--I mainly bought that to abuse on jumps and big hucks anyways.
The components need a little tweaking. The stock Bonty saddle catches on my shorts whenever I go behind the saddle and it's nose creaks. I might need to trim the seatpost since it doesn't go very deep into the frame, but the WTB saddle I put on does better about not catches my shorts. A little chain suck, but there's reinforcement there and it happened as a combo of too much pressure and a dirty drivetrain. Wheels were too flexy and did poorly off-camber, in ruts, and bouncing through rock gardens. Stem is too long for sure... the ETT on GF bikes are a bit longer than usual, but it works great with a short stem and wide handlebar. My front shifter must've got bent somehow, since the upshift paddle gets stuck behind the one that shifts down. I found I like the upshift paddle adjusted further out anyways (love that feature on XO shifter). It descends so fast that it needs a stronger brake up front--I plan on upgrading it to 185 down the road.
This seems to hit a decent point in comprimise between what I'm looking for in a bike that can race yet be a full time trail bike that can handle tours, trying out new trails. My other considerations when shopping were the Anthem 29 X and Rumblefish, but I'm kind of glad I went this route since I can give up a number of my other bikes while I think I probably would've kept my Ti 29er HT around if I went with my other choices.
Weaknesses: XX set up is tough during the winter months when your fitness level is lower.
I wanted one bike for XC racing and trail riding. Many say it can't be done but the superfly can do it with a few mods. My bike shop is awesome and they set it up with XX for 5500. I swapped the bars and grips. I use the stock wheels for trail riding and the Stan's wheels for racing. There is no better bike for racing XC in the northeast than the Superfly. It climbs like a goat and feels like a road bike on the flats. It desends better than my previous race bike (Kona "The King) and is lighter. I haven't had any problems with bike and I weigh 180. This is the best bike I have ever ridden and would marry it if I could get ride of my wife!!
a Cross Country Rider
from phoenix, az, us
Date Reviewed: December 1, 2010
Strengths: Fast, climbing, suspension is sweet
Weaknesses: so far only the fear that I am getting from the other reviews, and the tiny tires and weird handlebars
First off I got a great deal on the bike, so I am inspecting alot less from this bike than others. it has also been 13 years since I have owned a new bike (old one was a hard tail cannondale). I will skip raving about 29ers, but you have got to at least try one before you get preconceived notions.
This thing climbs like a champ, even compared to my ~22 lbs hard tail. Seriously, it is almost breath taking how easy I go up now. And when it comes to going down, gee this new fox stuff is amazing. Handling is different than what I am used to but I would blame some of it on the weird handle bars. I could go on for a while about, but in the end this bike truly made me a better and faster rider, all the while making biking more enjoyable.
I am scared about the frame breaking, but psssh I have broken 2 Al frames and just got upgrades so I can't worry about that to much.
In the end though this bike isn't worth 5K, but I don't think any bike is worth that much. If you can get it for under 3.5K I say go for it, otherwise shoot the Hifi is a great bike too.
Strengths: Slices through single track, climbs well, and bombs Fat Tire 40 downhills with aplomb. The weight for a FS is light, the looks are cool, and the bike is faster than anything I have ever ridden. Stock parts are very race ready.
Weaknesses: Shimano chain that came with the bike should be replaced.
I blew out two links of the Shimano chain in the first 5 minutes. I switched to a Sram chain and all was well. Had some creaks that were taken care of with some Loctite and this bike has been flawless since. The ride is smooth and the FS makes the bike float over the bumps. Even though it is a 29er, it is nimble and quick on single track. I use the Pro Pedal and it climbs like a hard tail. Heading downhill on fast open trail. Thanks to Mike and Back Yard Bikes in LaGrange, WI for setting me up and giving me good service. This bike rocks.
Similar Products Used: Niner Jet 9, Gary Fischer Rig, GT, Specialized
Bike Setup: Switched tripple to a double Race Face 36/26 with a 36 rock guard. Thomson seat post with 20 mm set back. Switched tires and made them tubeless. Running 30 PSI rear and 25 front. Sram chain!
a Cross Country Rider
from northern Michigan
Date Reviewed: July 12, 2010
Strengths: Good geometry. Light and quick. Climbs and corners very well. Minimal rear suspension bounce when climbing. Fastest bike I have ever ridden.
Weaknesses: Rear hub with multiple failures of the pawl mechanism and one drive ring competely stripped from hub shell. Frame cracks on chain stays and seat stays. Pressed fit bottom bracket bearings that have come loose and destroyed bottom bracket carbon. Low bottom bracket caused more pedal hits in corners before getting used to new geometry.
I really was excited about this bike after having ridden a Superfly hard tail for a season. Myself and two friends all got in line and waited six months for our bikes. There has been one problems after the next for each of us since getting them. One total rear hub failure due to a drive ring that stripped from the shell during a seated climb on the FIRST RIDE!! All of us needed to replace pawls just after getting the bikes. Another has noticed two frame cracks in the last few weeks. My bottom bracket is now shot because the pressed fit bearings came loose and chewed the carbon shell in my bottom bracket up. Frame is lifetime warranty but do I want all the same problems again!?! This bike is a great concept that was poorly executed!!!
Bike Setup: Stock. Quickly switched wheels out to Chris King ISO hubs and Stans ZTR rims because of multiple hub failures.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: July 10, 2010
Strengths: light, quick, really fun to ride
Weaknesses: it breaks
well i bought this incredibly expensive bike as a birthday present to myself for my 50th birthday thinking that the major deficit of 29ers was overcome by the development a of lightweight carbon bike. I absolutely loved the way the bike rides, however it broke (in the bottom pivot) within the first couple of months of light use. It is obvious from MTBR reviews posted that I'm not alone with this experience. I'm told that the bike has a lifetime frame warranty but Trek/Fisher needs to fix this obvious problem and replace the frames rather than continue to fix them.