Strengths: 2012 RF Elite - Suspension - like the ride, really feels bottomless, Brakes - good stopping power, pads have lasted all season. Tires - stock tubeless, good grip, and ride. Drive Train - awsome shifting.
Weaknesses: Seat - bad for me.. switched out. Tires - loud on road and harder to pedal. Rear Rythem Elite hub - bad bearings, in for warranty, same for crank,, left bearing feeling crunchy. Been dry around here this year.. so figure it must be factory defect..
Perfect bike to go 29er, better obsticle clearence, FS & 29er wheels really smooth out the trail. which is good and bad. After 4 months I go faster and push harder.. which lead to a few good wipeouts..Steep rocky downhill sections lead to going over the bars.. as the DRCV forks compresssed all the way as front wheel got hung up. It was either get protection or a dropper post.. choose the Kronolog... no more wipe outs and a lot more fun. Everytime I put the o ring on the shocks to zero... I am surprised how much travel I actually use...front and back.. DRCV realls works. Climbing seemed harder at first... Coming from 20/36 w/26" wheels the 22/36 w/29" felt alot harder gearing to climb in. Now I find myself climbing everything but the steepest climbs in 32/32 or 32/28. I am sure that has to do with the speed at which I am hitting the hills, and the climbing of the RF. I rarely swith to "propedal" climbing, unless getting tired and on a long paved climb. I find even when standing on the trail it feels tied to he trail. I am thinking of trying some Schwalbe Racing Ralphs..but for now I am liking the Bonty 24-4's.
Strengths: More travel than the Hi-Fi and Superfly 100 which means able to take more of a beating. Meant for Beefier riders who love a good descent. Great climber for bot sitting and standing. Easily tuneable to rider's liking. It gets better each time i ride it.
Weaknesses: Bottom shock screw has a tendancy to come loose, even with thread lock and properly torqued. Tires...the 29-3's just do not give it the low and high speed grip to make the bike AMAZING. The 2012 version comes with the 29-4's and they do the job.
This bike is the best bike i have ever owned. Off the bat, i upgraded the stock Brakes(Elizer5) to SLX and the stock crank(Deore) to SLX Dyna Sys Crank. I just wanted the whole system to be SLX. I also upgraded to the Bonty 29-4's and Rhythm Pro 29er Wheels.
With the rest of the set up, the bike is a pleasure to ride. Being it was my first Full Suspension bike, off the bat it is a fast climber and killer on the descents. I have ridden the Giant ReignX, Giant Trance, and the Pivot 429..with this bike being the one i loved them most out of the 3 i tested. It just felt right. I have started tweaking the fitment and response of the bike by first getting the Bonty Rhythm Pro 750mm Carbon bars. It made the bike really stable, but a little less responsive. I then replaced the 90mm stem with a 70mm stem which improved it, but still wanted more response out of the steering so i went back and put the stock 690mm bars with the 70mm stem and it was very responsive after that. I still felt the bars were not wide enough(having pretty wide shoulders) i put the 750mm bars back and added a 50mm stem and that is what did it. Now, the bike handles awesome and is much easier on descents and doing drops and rollers.. you can see more of the front tire with out psyching yourself out. You have to bend over a little more for climbs when seated, but it's ok..the downhills more than makes up for it. BTW, if you want to get the most out of your riding, i recommend a dropper post 100%!!!. I use the Crank Brothers Kronolog and LOVE IT!!! I would have given this and overall of 5 chilis but the stock tires are just horrible and had to upgrade some of the stock parts to the specs i wanted.
Bike Setup: Shimano SLX Brakes, Shifters, Dreailers, Crank, and Cassette, XT SPD Pedals
Bontrager Rhythm Pro 750mm Bar, Bontrager Big Earl 50mm Stem, Carbon Stem Spacers, Rhytym Pro 29 Wheels, and 29-4 Tublesss Tires
Odi Rogue Grips
Crank Brothers Kronolog Dropper Post
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: May 14, 2012
Strengths: •Uphill - I thought the extra weight of the rear suspension and larger tires would make my climbs more difficult (compared to the hard tail). Not so. I can stay in the saddle for nearly any climb and assuming I don't do something stupid, I never spin out or stop. Now, I just cruise up climbs I spun out on in the past when riding with the hardtail. I just shake my head in disbelief.
•Downhill - Without question the coolest riding experience ever. I am giddy after some rides. Can't imagine a more fun riding experience. I just open it up and fly through.
•Frame - The geometry of the Rumblefish is a big key. Whether climbing or descending I feel like I'm in the right position all the time. When I tested bikes before buying the Rumblefish I noticed how well its geometry worked for me compared to other bikes. I don't know if it's the body size to frame size ratio or what but it just feels right.
•Components - While they are middle of the road in some cases, the specs are reasonable and reliable. I have had some issues with chain movement but the dealer has been very responsive in tuning and repairing as the cables stretch.
•Suspension - Be sure to tune both sets of suspension for your weight. Once I got mine dialed in I barely notice when I hit obstacles, etc. I reserve my energy for longer more intense rides instead of protecting against bounces and jarring obstacles.
•Brakes - Great stopping power.
•Tires - I've seen a ton of reviews where this is listed as a con. However, while they're not the best, I've found them very sufficient. I think what happens is the dealer has his choice of rubber to apply. I've seen the same bike with crappy stock tires at different dealers. When buying, I'd stick it to the dealer to swap the tires out if they look weak.
Weaknesses: •Design - Very small issue: I can live with the white and black but not the best design. Could even become a pro because it is less of a theft issue. :)
•Super Technical Riding - The larger tires require a little more work in very technical riding. I don't notice any issues in most scenarios but if there are a number of abrupt turns or manuveurs in a very short distance, I have to decrease speed more than I would on a 26er and it requires a bit more effort to build momentum after each. The bike is funnest when you can maintain the momentum.
•Maintenance - As a preface, my hard tail was a tank and in 10+ years did very little maintenance. In 4 months I've had this bike into the shop twice to tune up the derailuers. Supposedly the cables have stretched causing the chain to make noise and skip. They also changed the small cassette ring because I use it a lot when descending. I hope ongoing maintenance isn't a long term issue.
In my opinion, the Rumblefish frame and bike is perfect for a little bigger rider. The wheels/tires are noticeably larger but when the rider's body mass compensates the larger wheel base is very welcome. I'd say that for someone between 6'0 and 6'6 the frame sizes 21 and 23 work perfect. I'm on the 21 and it is just right. The effective frame and bike size of the 23 is less than an inch for the top tube. I don't seem to miss the fraction of an inch at my height.
The bike also works well for moderate downhillers or riders who don't want to feel the pain of the trail. For the price, you'll want to be a pretty avid rider to get the use out of it.
For the avid rider who craves downhill yet wants efficiency in climbing the Rumblefish gets it done and is a blast to ride. Its value/price can be justified, especially when buying a previous year's model or used after the depreciation event of driving it off the lot. I strongly recommend the bike.
Full review: http://cycling.activeoutdoorslife.com/posts/explore/trek-rumblefish-bike-review.html
Favorite Trail: Alpine Loop near Provo - Tibble Fork or Cascade Springs - Depends on mood.
Purchased At: Mad Dog Cycles Provo
Bike Setup: Stock
a Weekend Warrior
from Hemet, CA
Date Reviewed: November 23, 2011
Strengths: Very stable, rolls over anything, point-n-shoot downhill, climbs like a mountain goat
Weaknesses: Rims might be a little flimsy (but I am a Clydesdale rider at 210 lbs, 6'1" tall), the tires are "okay"
Fan-friggen-tastic bike! I have been mountain biking since 1986 and this is the first bike that performs and feels like what I have always imagined a mountain bike should perform and feel like! It climbs trees and descends cliffs almost as if it's on autopilot. From what I've heard, 29ers have a sluggish feel. However, with this bike, I don't notice it. So, it must be the voo-doo magic of Genesis geometry because it doesn't feel any more or less "snappy" as my 26" mountain bikes. I'm thinking that 29ers are the future of all mountain bikes and this model is the razor's edge to that future.