Strengths: The rake and the rest of the geometry is perfect for our rocky, rutted & rootie rides in the midwest. Climbs like a scalded ape and has a really great feel for the trail. Very happy with the drive train spec.
Weaknesses: Crappy brakes - I didn't realize the Elixers were so low end - buyer beware. Mine came with Racing Ralph tires because they were all out of the Bonti's at the factory. I was happy about that for about two weeks until I shredded both of them. Replaced. I have read a lot of complaints about the big sweep bar, I just took an inch and a half off of each end and I really like it. Bonti saddle did NOT fit me, that had to go. I'm very happy with the rest of the spec though.
This bike has a very tight and precise feel for a 29er plushie. I used to race a lot but now I just focus on a few big events each year, like 70+ mile cross country races, and this is going to be just the ticket for that style of racing. I had an older Sugar 292 that I was really in love with but finally broke one of the carbon seat stays and sadly, had to shoot it. I didn't think I could be as happy with a different bike but this one is definitely a step up. It's a solid performer with some mediocre parts that could always be better, but hey, that's the fun part right? I had a set of SunRingle Charger Pro wheels that I had planned to put on it, but found that the Bonti Race Lite wheels were lighter and so far, solid as a rock, which is good because I am almost 200lb now and still pretty aggressive. I like the lockouts because I like to ride to the ride and it's a great looking bike to roll up on.
I suppose if I were still a real hammerhead, off-the-front racer I would think twice or plan to do some serious upgrades. But I am a busy guy who gets out on the trail a couple of times a week at best and this is a spectacular bike for me.
Strengths: Susupension is very nice, both front and rear. Size 17.5 is perfect for my 5' 7" frame. Aside from the cassette, a solid drivetrain.
Weaknesses: Handlebars were ridiculous, OEM brakes (kudos to Avid for replacing) were terrible (pad rub), Wheels, for a $3700 msrp bike were heavy, SLX cassette on a "pro" bike? Rings of cassette not on carrier cut into/ruined freehub body. Schwalbe RaRa's cut open (TLR converted) within 8 miles of maiden voyage, both ruined (kudos to Schwalbe for replacing on non-warranty issue). Would have been better w/ 2x10 -vs- 3x10. There is no "platform" with the pro-pedal on the RP23 regardless of setting. There used to be, however after a year the difference is not at all noticable. I also had a warranty claim on the bike w/ Trek, they handled it to my extreme satisfaction.
Handling wise, the bike is brilliant. It did take me a bit to get used to it/set up to my preferences and now that it is, I find it to be an extremely enjoyable bike to ride. The front suspension is easy to set up and it is simple to set up the rear though depending on your local trails you may find that you wish to further dial it in. It is my feeling up here in the midwest that the BB is pretty low to begin with and w/ 25% sag, it gets quite a bit lower, especially in the rough.... though that is your penance for having a faster handling bike (which only you can decide what your are willing to and to not give up).
I don't understand and continue to not understand the beach cruiser bars that the bike came set up with. To be honest, I didn't even give them a shot, their weight was a casualty of my effort to lighten the bike, which also included the wheels. I actually increased weight in the tires for something more resistant to cuts (lots of rocks up here).
At the end of the day I highly recommend the bike I am riding now. I love my bike. There are many like it, but this one's mine... that being said, I cannot recommend the bike out of the box. If you want a "Pro" bike, there is just too much to do to it (or at least mine) in order to make it sensibly race/performance trail worthy. Wheels, Bars, Tires, and Brakes all add up to a healthy sum. Yes, no one made me upgrade the X9 to X0 but the rest are a necessity. $1100 additional out of pocket (MSRP) is what it takes to condition this rig, give or take. If I had to do it all over again, I probably would have gotten a Salsa Spearfish 1 or a Niner Jet 9 in X9 or XT.
Bike Setup: The only things stock on this bike are the suspension, stem and front derailleur :(
a Cross Country Rider
from Bonsack, VA, USA
Date Reviewed: December 2, 2011
Strengths: With beautiful lines, the one and only year model of the Trek HiFi is a good looking thing. With a reasonably light frame, and tried and true Fox suspension front and rear, the HiFi can be upgraded into a raceably light contender. it really likes to roll fast, and when this happens, she rewards you with intuitive, predictable, on-a-rail handling. Climbing is good--not hardtail good on the steep-steeps--but with ProPedal enabled HiFi does just fine. I still dream of a proper lock out 3rd option to really stiffen the rear (the fork really, really locks tight like that). But that's a Fox concern, nothing to do with an outstanding bike.
Weaknesses: Whack spec. I don't mind Bontrager parts, but Big Sweep bars? Really?! Gone, replaced with Monkey wide flat. 2100 gram wheels on a bike called pro? Really?! Stan's Arch shaves 300+ grams of inertia, really noticeable. Sram X-9 plasti-derailleur on a bike called "Pro?" Really?! Thankfully, this is balanced with proper Shimano XT cranks and front derailleur, but the SLX cassette had to go in favor of the much lighter XT version. The shop was great at swapping value-for-value on all components I had to buy for spec repair. Did not like the Jones tires at all either, even run in the mandatory (personally speaking) tubeless configuration. There's way better options out there,take your pick. The Avid brakes had to go. The new Shimano's are other-worldly, easily best in class.
The long running Gary Fisher HiFi begat the 2011 Trek HiFi which begat 2012 Trek Superfly AL, making the Trek HiFi a one hit wonder. I'd collect this year's Superfly in a skinny minute, or a new one better yet. As good as the HiFi is, the Superfly brings a couple of cool refinements and vastly superior spec. The rear shock is slightly longer with a refined stroke that is less sproingy, silky smooth. Feels like it had a Push rebuild or something. You will make a great decision when you choose to buy one.
Similar Products Used: Klein Palomino, Klein Adept, Rocky Mountain Speed, Titus Racer X.
Bike Setup: Easton Wide Flat carbon bar. Shimano XT 785 brakes (yes!). Stan's Arch wheels. Thomson seatpost. Lizard Skin Moab grips. XTR pedals. XT cassette. 22 granny ring replaces the inexplicable 24 teeth latest standard. Tioga Psycho Genius tires, tubeless.
a Weekend Warrior
from Chicago, IL
Date Reviewed: October 11, 2011
Strengths: The frame is superstiff, Active Suspension yet plush. Feels more trail oriented than race. Active Braking Pivot
Weaknesses: Tuning RP23 shock is a little tricky, Shock needs to be sent back in and new compression valving for heavy riders or if you plan to ride really aggressive
The bike was a warranty upgrade from a broken Paragon 29er frame. The frame is super stiff and the suspension is active. Fisher/Trek markets this as an aluminum superfly 100 but I would not say this is a race bike. It feels more trail/xc to light all mountain. Rear Travel is 110mm which equals out to 4.33 inches. I have no problem getting all the travel from this bike and never felt it bottom out. On the same token it feels snappy, fast and nimble. Its all like Trek wanted race like handling but trail all mountain plushness. The rear abp pivot is upgradable to 12mm thru axle to stiffen the package up a little more. I will visit this in the spring. For now I can say this is a capable climber that accelerates great and holds nothing back over medium technical terrain. I plan to get more rides and run another review soon
Weaknesses: Suspension configuration - tricky to achieve optimal set up...
The machine has really impressed me and inspires a great deal of confidence. I have only been mtb'ing for a year and tested 2 other 29er's (Full Suspension) - and the Gary Fisher HiFi Pro performed best. You feel as if you riding ‘in the bike’ not perched on top. Would highly recommend, especially to newcomers looking for a bike that will help develop skill and experience. This is a machine you can easily grow with but not out grow – it constantly wants to be ‘pushed further’. Enjoy the ride!