Strengths: This bike being my first 29er, has given me some decent finishes in races. I particularly like its lightweight frame and Sram X9 components. Not a big fan of the stock seatpost, cockpit, and WTB Trail29 wheelset. The RS Reba performs well too.
Weaknesses: The Wheelset is its ultimate weakness. It didn't even last me 3 months. the stock cockpit and seatpost are a bit heavy. the tires wear out pretty fast(they're racing tires anyway)
This bike is perfect for racing. Sure, it's not as good as the Niner AIR9 carbon and Scandium, but its just as good as the EMD9. plus only a third of the price. The bike doesnt need any major upgrades to reach 24lbs. Only the seatpost, stem, saddle, and handlebars will do the trick. I suggest you buy a can of touch-up paint, because once the bike gets scratched, for some reason, the paint just starts to chip off around the area of the scratch. I suggest you cover the scratch-prone areas of the bike with transparent bathroom tape to avoid getting it scratched.
a Cross Country Rider
from Fairfield, CA
Date Reviewed: September 20, 2010
Strengths: Price, considering the high level of components on the bike. Weight for the price, sub 30.
Weaknesses: Ugliness factor: looks like a big brown rolling turd but it performs very well.
I have put in about 20 hours on this bike since I bought it. This is a great value for the money. I don't think you could beat Fuji period for what you get for the price. The frame is similar to a Niner E.M.D. frame with the S-Bend Chain Stays, but you can get the whole bike for about the price of a Niner frame.
I have no idea why I don't see more Fuji's out there. I have fond memories of the ones I used to see on the trails back in the eighties. I will beat this bike into oblivion and then we will see how it held up. I don't jump my bikes but I do ride hard mostly on rocky single track and rock gardens.
So far, I did knock the rear wheel out of the mounts which knocked it slightly out of true. However, my LBS trued it back in about two minutes for me. The poploc on the 2009 Reba is a little troublesome when it gets dusty, but it works. I hear they have since redesigned this device.
The ride is stiff yet compliant. The climbing is excellent and the downhills are much quicker for me. I am cleaning extreme technical stuff without unclipping as my confidence level is way up with the bigger, sexy wheels.
If you can still find one of these bikes, buy it! You won't be sorry. Fuji is out of the prettier 2010 models, but they have plenty of these ugly brown 2009 ones. I have never really cared much for appearance. I also have a very ugly yellow Gary Fisher which I have been beating on for 10 years.
This is a great bike for bigger guys who prefer hardtails and are curious about 29ers. This is a good way to get in without breaking the bank. This bike is set up for years of abuse with reliable operation, that is just my opinion based on my experience with components.
Look closely at the frame technology and set up. Fuji is paying attention to what customers want and I think you will find this bike is a great value. This bike is spec'ed out much nicer than anything you can pick up for less than $1,000 bucks.
I am 6-2 and 195 lbs. I have a 35 inch inseam and I went with the L 21" size. Fits like a glove.
Bike Setup: Stock, Reba SL Dual Air, Avid 7 Juicy, SRAM X9, Truativ 3.3 Firex Crank, WTB Laser Disc and Conti Mtn King 2.2
a Weekend Warrior
from Potomac, MD USA
Date Reviewed: September 7, 2010
Strengths: Great for intermediate/advanced rider, no complaints on climbing, braking, maneuvering, etc. Shifting is really smooth. Shock lockout definitely comes in handy. Frame is tough- a few really good bashes to the bottom bracket shell and seat tube haven't compromised the frame integrity. Two major endo's too (one crash landing and the other front wheel slamma jamma stick in the spokes).
Weaknesses: Stock components on the heavy side. Also, felt like my center of gravity was a bit high in the beginning. At 6'2" a large frame is good for me but took a little getting used to (I had ridden medium frames almost exclusively until the Fuji's and medium's always felt short!).
Similar Products Used: Fuji Tahoe Pro 29er, Air 9er, Peace 9er, ...
Bike Setup: Stock rock at present. Going to upgrade crank (Shimano LX FC-M582) and cassette (Shimano XTR M970 12-34T) soon.
a Cross Country Rider
from Southern Virginia
Date Reviewed: July 20, 2010
Strengths: Good bike setup for the rider moving up from noob.... The components (Reba fork, x.9 drive-train, hydro brakes, aluminum frame) make this a good bike, especially the fork & drive-train.
Weaknesses: Elixir R brakes and Conti Mountain King tires. Brakes are Elixir R's and these brakes have a recall on them (some particular bike setups have a horrible "shudder" in the rear - so much so that everyone hears you for miles around). Not a joy, but bike does stop, just has a vibration so bad that the noise is awful! LBS worked to fix, but hasn't been able to really address without replacing things (pads, rotor). Search and you can find the threads on the problem to make your own judgment call. Tires are just OK - rear wore out after just 350 miles, and the grip is not the best on the front. Rider preference here, so use them until worn and then upgrade to your riding conditions. The MKs are not best for hardpack or pavement, so research for a F/R tire combo that matches your trail!
I love the bike. It's not perfect, and it's not the 29" full suspension I wanted, but the cost is half and the components alone make that a great deal. For a good solid 29er, one can't go wrong here. As a clyde at 6'4" and 220lbs, this upgrade from a 26" was like going from a tricycle to a real bike - awesome climber, but best to stay in the seat. All the pros for a 29er are here - good climber, rolls over roots and rocks like not there, and the front fork - once you get the pos air, neg air, and floodgate set to your style - makes the ride like a Cadillac. Fork even has remote lock for aggressive climbing!! Only gave 4 chilis for value because of tires and brake issue
Similar Products Used: Several 26" HTs - Diamondback Response Sport 26" HT, K2 ZED 26" HT; this is my first 29er
Bike Setup: Mostly stock, except for short cage dérailleur, crank brothers candy pedals, wide ergonomic grips, Higher rise bar (I'm 6'4" and even on large frame needed more cockpit height)
a Weekend Warrior
from Jakarta, Indonesia
Date Reviewed: June 29, 2010
Strengths: strong but not stiff, I bought as frame set only
Weaknesses: so far, none
I build this bike to replace my old KHS XC Team 2k8. this frame set was so atracting to me (its white sexy colour). the bend on top tube and connection on rear triangle. i felt like riding soft tail bike with this frame. when i tried in my fave trail, that frame so responsive and so friendly in uphilling. deflection in rear triangle minimize my effort when in downhilling.
Bike Setup: actually this is 29ers frame but I buld became 26" bike, mix Shimano and SRAM groupset (SLX-XT, SRAM sprocket only), DT Swiss X 430, Novatec 4 bearing (hub-freehub), Truvativ cockpit, Rockshox Recon Solo air race.
a Cross Country Rider
from Ft Kent
Date Reviewed: June 12, 2010
Strengths: Components. SRAM stuff works better than I expected. Shock is great. Wheels are nice and tires are better than expected-initailly wanted to switch them, but they're good. Fuji brand cock pit is fine.
Weaknesses: Frame-low bottom bracket causes you to knock your cranks on way too many things. Can't put two water bottle holders on-wont fit. Wont even fit a large (tall) water bottle.
Aesthetically, the frame is ugly, but I didn't buy it for the frame. I bought for the components.
I want to put bigger volume tires to see if ride quality changes, but for a hard tail, it's not bad. I'm 6.1 and got a med size. I didn't have a large to try, but the med is pretty easy to throw into turns and ride tech. terrain. I thought it would climb better, but it's just OK. Stay seated and it sticks.
Hard to compare this bike to anything else as my last bike was a full suspension Kona Dawgma. I do miss the full susp. ride.
I'd suggest this for a person who rides cross country almost exclusively. It does trail riding, but you feel it and I'm not sure if I'm any faster rolling 29".
a Cross Country Rider
from QC Philippines
Date Reviewed: June 26, 2009
Strengths: Value of the bike. SRAM X9 Drivetrain, Avid Juicy 7 Disc Brakes, RS Reba SL.
Weaknesses: The weight of the bike is a weakness. House brand cockpit-stem, bar and seatpost are heavy. Wheelset-house brand hubs I've been told are made by Formula, spokes and nips are generic, rims are WTB LaserDiscs. Gurus claims that the wheelset is the weakest part of the Tahoe SL. Some weight can be saved by improving the wheelset components but then that would make the price of the bike go up. The RS Reba SL is set at 3 inches of travel and it had a tad of fore and aft flex, the 29 inch wheels probable creates more leverage than a 26. The RS manual came with 2 plastic spacers but does not explain what they are for. Maybe if they had a DVD like Fox they can probably provide more information about the fork. I felt the Conti Mountain King tires couldn't makeup its mind on where it would excel, I found it slow on hardpack and lacking on trail stuff. I'll be using it until it wears down. The frame doesn't have much eye candy appeal. I don't like how the downtube was suddenly tapered at the bottom bracket like an after thought. It looks like a guillotine amputation. I would have rathered that they started the taper maybe a third down of the downtube.
Having said all the weaknesses. The bike is a very good value for the major components that come with it. The weight will matter to those who are already into mtbiking but for a noob into mtbiking it might not matter. If you are former roadie there isn't much difficulty jumping on a 29er. I was planning to build a 29er around a Niner Air 9 frame but the build would have meant selling my main ride which was a Santa Cruz Bullit (I had a SS that I sold to fund the Tahoe SL purchase), the value of the Tahoe SL allowed me to keep the Bullit. Future upgrade will be a lighter wheelset, Maxxis CrossMark tires. I also plan to buy an Air 9 frame in December. If you have the budget for it buy this bike, the components that come with it will give you a better resale value. If you plan to upgrade later all you have to buy is a frame...or you can keep it the way it is and just have fun.
Similar Products Used: None, this is my first 29er.
Bike Setup: Upgraded the cockpit-the bar is now an On One Mary Bar that came from my SS. Stem is now a Ritchey WCS as well as the seatpost. Replaced the WTB Rocket V OEM saddle with an after market WTB Rocket V saddle. The Grips are Salsa Chili Peppers, these are the longest grips locally available. Replaced the Xpedo pedals with Shimano platform SPD pedals because my son also uses the bike and doesn't use SPD shoes. All the upgrade parts were available from my parts bin. I installed a Cateye Wireless Strada Cyclocomp. I'm 5 feet 8 inches, the bike is a 17 inch and the stem is a 90mm (stock stem is a 100mm). Present setup weighs 28.40lbs.