a Weekend Warrior
from El Paso, Texas, USA
Date Reviewed: March 25, 2010
Strengths: Light, Strong, Fast, Components are above average!
Weaknesses: Bottom bracket is a bit low, but hasnt really bothered me on the trail. Tires are made for hard surfaces, not good for lose sand.
I bought the bike after i accidentally won it on ebay. I thought i would be over bidded, but found out i had won. For the price i paid i got a steal. The bike rides awesome, the components it comes with are great. After reading reviews on 29'er i didnt believe the hipe...well after riding a 29'er i will never go back to a 26'er. This bike rides great, the suspension is only 3" but it works great for the rides i like doing.
Strengths: Very light
Very good steering
Weaknesses: weak paint?
I can only review the frame, I picked it up second hand and traded parts over from my 2008 Norco Nitro Niner.
I was suspicious of a 29er full suspension frame but after 5 rides on a variety of trails I cannot say enough good things about this bike. It makes me a better rider.
The harder I push it the more it wants to go and I can tell already that I'll need better fitness to really bring this bike to it's peak performance.
What can I say? I love this bike, probably the funnest bike I've ever owned.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: March 8, 2009
Strengths: larger wheels feel more stable and roll over obstacles easier.Has great contact patch.
Weaknesses: when I compared bike with others and 26" it felt good but had more flex. It felt like frame flex but must have been loose spokes because dealer serviced bike and it was gone. I tried to make it flex and it wouldn't, so for those who notice lots of flex try to tighten everything including spokes. I'm 200lb.and love the bike now.
Bought bike new for lifetime warranty. I test rode other bikes and picked the 29er over 26". I chose the larger frame since I was between sizes and could go either way. After racing motocross, etc. for years I felt like this bike fit much better than the smaller frames. It felt comfortable and that's what I needed for crosscountry type riding. After the flex problem was solved I have been very happy. Couldn't find another 29er close to what I paid which beats all the others hands down since I could use the saving to upgrade bikes weaknesses if I felt there were any.
a Cross Country Rider
from Mount clemens, MI, USA
Date Reviewed: August 19, 2008
Strengths: Just wanted to throw a few words out there to correct some misconceptions I have read in this thread. Gary Fisher has one of the best warranties in the industry- BAR NONE. I was GIVEN a caliber 29r by Gary Fisher FREE of Charge, because they sent out the wrong size replacement frame for a warrantied sugar 29r I had bought the previous fall as a DEMO bike. Gary Fisher stands behind their products 100%, and will repair and replace then at no cost to the consumer. Their warranty is lifetime, and will transfer- all you have to do is take it to a GF dealer.
After getting the caliber for free, 3 months later I too cracked the rear triangle. Guess what, I took it in, GF approved the warranty and sent out a new triangle and paid for the repairs. ALL on a bike I didnt even PAY FOR! Do not let the welding problems hold you back from buying this bike. Everything else said about this ride is dead on target. It screams down hills, SCREAMS. If you can keep the RPMS up, you will fly up hills, it rolls over everything, it takes an act of congress to fall on this bike as the gyroscopic effect of the wheels is insane. I have recovered from insane washouts, spinouts and others by just keeping the front wheel straight and upright. The grip this bike has is incredible, you can lean it into turns and maintain momemtum like crazy.
Weaknesses: lateral rigidity. At first, I thought I had broken the bike it flexed left and right underneath me so much. Then over time, I realized it was just how the bike rides and I got used to it. Expect the bike to flex left and right underneath you alot if you are over 200lbs. I have grown kind of fond of the flex though, and use it to my advantage.
Bottom line is, dont shy away from GF due to frame cracks. They will cover the repairs, and you might even get a brand new bike for free like I did. Who cares if you break a frame every year, if you get a brand new one and a fully adjusted rebuilt bike out of the deal??? especially when its ZERO out of your pocket.
Combine that with the excellent ride, climbing, descending, speed, sand ability, and you have one heck of a deal
Similar Products Used: Redline monocog Rigid SS 29r, GF sugar FS 29r. Trek 4900 disc 26"r.
Bike Setup: Stock, except tires. Nanoraptor in the rear, exiwolf up front for insanse stick.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: March 4, 2008
Strengths: Rolls over bumps and dips good. Light weight. Decent 29 for the price
Weaknesses: Flex...too much side to side flex cornering at speed and in slow technical areas. Broke rear trianlge at the weld of the chainstay after 8 months of riding even though I do not ride hard. This is a totally different bike than the much superior GF 292 or HiFi 29...they have much less flex and handle a lot better.
Wouldn't buy another one but would consider a HiFi 29 or 292. This is my first 29 after several 26ers...I think my next bike will be a 29 also
Bike Setup: Stock. Ride year round at low elevation and high elevation during the summer...Mt. St. Helens, Adams, etc.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: November 4, 2007
Strengths: Well, I still love the bike but the bad news is that the rear triangle cracked in the same place as some of my other friends Supercaliber Gary Fishers.
Weaknesses: I have never cracked a rear triangle ever and don't ride all that hard technical stuff. Must be a defective weld on these bikes. Thankfully the frames are fully covered under warrenty for defects !. I ride fast but am not a very technical rider in most resepcts since I CANT afford to get busted up and I choose my lines carefully. Or walk sections that are over my abilities. Not too much in Pittsburgh that I cant or wont ride with exceptions. Many climbs in Pittsburgh and various terrain depending on the location you choose to ride. Laurel Mountain at the Lynn Run section ( THE SUMMIT ) has the most technical rock riding conditons but limited hills... and Quebec Run near Laurel Caverns is also a hard ride if you ask me ?. I Don't think this bike rear triangle should have broke this soon and less than one seasons riding. I ride 3 times a week in the spring,Summer and fall months since we can thanks to global warming. Maybe 1-2 times a week in the winter...but I pray for more global warming please !.
Maybe think about the an upgrade to a Hi-Fi ?. Still the best, the BEST bike I have ever had despite this unfortunate rear triangle break. Rides and climbs like no other bike I have ever had for the price!.
Similar Products Used: Yeti ASR-575, Santa Cruz Chameleon that is now a 69er single speed home built at a major expense in parts.
Bike Setup: Stock except for Thompson stem,carbon bars,Chris King head set and comfort grips and a gel seat.
a Weekend Warrior
from cape cod, ma
Date Reviewed: November 4, 2007
Strengths: Wow is this bike alot of fun, my first softtail, my first 29-er. Feels huge and tough to steer at slow speeds, takes some getting used to, that's for sure. But the thing really descends like crazy, rolling over everything, the full-sus feeling plush. Short travel fork and big tires make it feel like long-travel. climbs great, rolls over everything. At my immense size, my legs give out before the bike hits something it won't roll over. Like the green paint, finish seems pretty durable. Push-push sram 7 shifts crisp...quick. Cable disks will stop you quick, but feel a tad spongy, not bad for the bucks. All in all a great riding bike, good componenets for the money. Probably about the same weight, maybe less than my old retired hookooeekoo...
Weaknesses: Low bottom bracket, I seem to be hitting the big ring on everything. much different turning radius than my 26 er.
The best value in a full-sus 29 there is, hands down. Goes like crazy, use the stockcomponents, upgrade as needed, the frame is worth hanging new kit on.
a Cross Country Rider
from Rockville, MD, USA
Date Reviewed: November 2, 2007
Strengths: Amazing traction can get bike up hills that were unthinkable on a 26er, geometry and suspension give ride that feels dialed in but very relaxed, the last 2 miles of my daily commute is on city streets and the Caliber almost makes that part of the ride enjoyable. The lime green is a hit with kids--it reminds them of the Green Goblin from Spiderman.
Weaknesses: Rear tire occasionally rubs on front derailleur cage when delivering a lot of torque in the lowest gears; other drivers tend to gawk at it when on my roof rack making the drive to your favorite trails more hazardous.
Having a super lightweight F/S bike with the Dagger, I was in no hurry to replace it. Suspension technology has been improving, but there was no breakthrough 'must have' innovation on other 26ers. Riding the Caliber changed that--the Genesis 2 geometry with the 29 inch wheels is a hugely improved chassis that delivers a lot more usable power. So if you get this bike, you will have a whole new motivation for improving 'your engine.' The Fisher website aludes to this in talking about a small weight penalty (less than 1% of bike+rider weight in exchange for sustained momentum, better clearance of obstacles, better floatation over soft terrain, improved cornering) but they are really just preaching to the choir. When you spell it out in horsepower (or watts), the benefits are a lot more concrete. A competitive rider able to generate 300 watts should be able to just barely climb a 28% grade hill given a 22 X 34. Put him on a 29er, assuming a weight penality of 2 lbs. (intentionally overstated), and he will have to generate 304 watts. Now, lets assume that a 29% grade would be scalable if the rider had enough power on the 29er but would have insufficient traction on the 26er. To make it up the 29% grade, the rider would have to generate 315 watts. So, if you trade up from a 26er to a 29er you will have to increase your power by 1.33% to go as fast up the hill, but the 29er will be able to deliver (at least) 5% more power to the dirt. From my own experience, the difference in scalable grades is considerably more than 1% between a 26er and 29er. So if you buy a Caliber, and you like climbing hills, set your sights on increasing your watts by 10%--the bike can deliver it. If you are a weight weenie, the Caliber will always be a bad bargain.
Favorite Trail: Any trail with evergreens and watercourse
Duration Product Used: 3 months
Purchased At: Capitol Hill Bikes
Similar Products Used: Test rode a Cannondale Rush--nice bike but skittish in comparison; retired a Dagger F/S with Amp Research B-3, that has become my rainy day bike.
Bike Setup: Stock, added Planet Bike Protege 9.0 Bike Computer.
a Cross Country Rider
from Highlands Ranch, CO
Date Reviewed: June 13, 2007
Strengths: The geometry felt just right. The bigger wheels make it feel like a bike with about 5" of travel instead of 3'. On my initial test ride, side by side with a Gary Fisher Hifi Plus, I easily climbed two hills that I struggled with on the HiFi. They both had the same Bontrager tires. The front end felt planted and the rear tire never spun out.
Weaknesses: Haven't found any yet. Maybe the color- it's growing on me though. Will update after more time in the saddle.
I test rode the Caliber 29 after reading some 29er reviews. I'm glad I did! This bike is FUN. I ride mostly singletrack with nothing too aggressive (big drops, etc.) Race an occasional off-road triathlon. The geometry on the 26er bikes, except the Jamis, felt weird to me. If you're looking at a 4-5" travel XC/Trail bike check out this bike. I previously rode a Giant XTC DS-2 and wanted something more relaxed. I can't wait to ride the wheels off this thing.
Similar Products Used: Tested: SC Superlight, Jamis XCR Expert (great bike), Specialized Stumpjumper, GF HiFi, Trek Fuel EX
Bike Setup: Stock except Time ATAc pedals and Serfas bar-ends.
a Cross Country Rider
from Pittsburgh,PA 15229 - USA
Date Reviewed: May 25, 2007
Strengths: I cant find a thing wrong with the bike and I have had my share of bikes over the last few years to compare.Maybe the one negative fact is that I need to re-learn how to take off camber tight switchback turns. The bike is fast it fits me better than any bike I have had. The bike climbs easier. I just love my 29er !.
Weaknesses: Tight Turns on off camber switchback trails . The stock seat hurts the tomato's after awhile.
BUY IT !. I am 6'1" and I got the 19.5" frame and its perfect !.
Purchased At: Scholls Bike Shop- West view,PA 15229.
Similar Products Used: Yeti 575, Santa Cruz Chameleon ( Still have the Chameleon ). Trek 8500, GT XCR2000, GT Rukus,Trek Liquid 30.
Bike Setup: SRAM X9. all stock accept for I added a Thompson Elite stem,carbon fiber flat handle bars, and a nice gel seat.
from Tyler Texas, U.S.A
Date Reviewed: March 17, 2007
Strengths: amazing suspension ride, fork works great, convertable, and is infinitely tunable. bb7 mechanicals worked much better than i thought they would. all the components are great
Weaknesses: i love the glow in the day green,....others may not. i wish it had come with x7 instead of x9, and it scares me that the rear triangle is not removable.
i love the 29er. better sand traction, faster turns, better traction, easier on the hills, faster on the downs, and although requires slightly more energy to accelerate, it maintans its rotational intertia (momentum, and in a bikes case, speed)much much better coasts more efficiently and is slowed down much less by bumps. the decreased angle of attack means that when ever you go over a obstacle less of youre bikes forward momentum is converted to vertical motion and more is converted to horizontal/forward. you can also go over bigger obstacles without bunny hopping (more on that later.) the suspension design on this bike is flawless. laterall stiffness i could not flex, i am 180 lbs, i was going 28 mph downhill, the camera we had set up showed no lateral flex. also although the wheels that came with it are not bad, they were too heavy for my taste and i built my own the bike perfectly. there are only two serious complaints about this bike. the first one is according to our camera, the stock handlebars suck (flexed almost 10 degrees.) i highly recomend upgrading. also i highly recomend against buying this bike used because if you damage the non-removable rear triangle, you are out of luck.(warranty is non transferrable.)
Purchased At: Simpsons, Fitness and Adventure Tyler Tx.
Similar Products Used: ellsworth truth, and enlightenment, i rode a klein attitude for 4 years.
Bike Setup: stock, but considering taking the drivetrain off of my klein ( race lite cranks, full xtr shifters and levers and 8 speed cassete)
a Cross Country Rider
from santa fe, new mexico, usa
Date Reviewed: December 24, 2006
Strengths: Last summer I rode a custom Zinn (XXL) over a long weekend. It was my first 29er to demo. I really loved the bike but was gun shy of the $5K purchase price. I waited to see if anything else got my attention. Many months later the Fisher Supercaliber 29er came out. I demo'd the XL frame for a long ride, did some research on it, compared it to the Zinn specs and was just amazed! It is as big as Zinn's bigest frames, lighter, built almost to the same specs, and almost half the price! What I look for in a bike is for it to be an extention of me. I want it to be transparent. I just want it to work! And this bike flat out does it! It climbs, turns, brakes, and rips downhill without my needing to pay loads of attention. And it is stiff. I am 6'7" tall and 205lbs. If I can't flex it, and I can hammer a bike hard, it is stiff.
Weaknesses: None yet, at least that I have found.
This IS the deal of the year. The msrp on the bike is $2400. NM Bike & Sport did it for $2200 and upgraded the extra parts. They know fit and did an excellent job getting me the bike. Sure you can get a flashier bike, but you can't get a better deal for a bike of this quality!
Similar Products Used: Zinn 29er, Lightspeed Owl Hollow, Santa Cruz Blur LT, etc...
Bike Setup: Scram X-O with Avid Juicy 5 (forget that 7 stuff, just bling) 180 XT cranks, Time petals, Thompson post, the rest is stock
from Houghton, MI
Date Reviewed: December 17, 2006
Weaknesses: To flimsey to ride quickly on singletrack.
The handling of this bike is the worst of any full suspension mountain bike that I have ever ridden. The rear end and bottom bracket area on this bike are so flexable that the back end steers itself around. I weigh 175lbs, so it may not be too bad for someone weighing significantly less than that. The 26" version is the same way (and still heavier than the HiFi).
If you want to get a GF, get the hardtail version or HiFi, both are fantastic bikes.
a Cross Country Rider
from LaCrosse, Wi, usa
Date Reviewed: November 18, 2006
Strengths: I am reviewing the Supercaliber. Same frame, but a step up in components. This is my first 29er so pardon my unabated enthusiasm. This bike is a blast. I have been riding mtn. bikes for 20 years. I am not a great rider but can hold my own and have fun. This bike is a whole new experience. It is so stable and nimble on the trails. I go over obstacles so much easier, with greater confidence, and certainly with much more joy. The bike just fits me well. Maybe it is the genesis geometry, the long top tube, or the 29 inch wheels. I can curve around switchbacks faster by taking a "29er line". I use the outside margin of the switchback and accelerate as I approach the apex. Climbing is excellent with much better traction than my 26er. The bike is heavier than my 26er and is more work in that regard, but the energy cost is far offset by the pure joy and fun factor. I find that I am able to distance myself from some of my 26er pals for the first time. The dual suspension is perfect. No bob with acceleration and climbing, and great ability to absorb whatever I throw at it. I love the front fork lockout feature and use it all the time on climbs. It is so easy to engage/disengage the lock out. The SRAM shifters are flawless. It is nice to need to use only your thumb when wearing lobster mitts in the Wisconsin fall/early winter.
Weaknesses: The grips are firm if not harsh, but rather than switching them out to some marshmallow grips, I'm finding that I'm getting used to them. The seat looked way too plush. I thought I would upgrade to something lighter and more firm, but I have kept it because it is comfortable and doesn't negatively affect my riding whatsoever. In fact I never think about the saddle, which is the way it should be.
I love riding this bike. Some of it admittedly must be new bike lust, but there is an amazing difference between this bike and my 26er. This bike just flows through the woods! Our trails have been considered very technical and the bike allows me to ride beyond my skill level. It forgives my flaws and weaknesses. I no longer have to pick the perfect line through a rock garden or root orgy. I just point the thing where I want to go and accelerate. Log, rock and root crossings are much smoother and subsequently safer. The fun factor is priceless. I saved and reviewed various bikes for quite a while before purchasing this bike and it has been a blast. My greatest bike rides are when I actually forget about the bike and just ride easily on the trails. This bike allows me to do just that. It is similar to xc skate skiing. I just flow around, down and up the trails. Highly recommended.
Between these two Hardtails if the price is within $200 based on the specs which is a better buy? Here are the links:
[url=http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/mountain/cross_country/29er_race/x_caliber/#/us/en/model/details?url=us/en/bikes/mountain/cross_country/29er_race/x_caliber]Trek Bicycle ... Read More »
I am in the market for a hardtail bike and was thinking between Trek X-Caliber 2012 or Scott Scale 29 Elite which one will u get and why thanks. They both in the same price range..Read More »
need your opinion after a lot of thoughts my two finelists that fit my budget are Scott scale 29 team vs GF X-caliber .
I'm 174 cm tall (medium)
looking for light frame mostly for xc cycling
the X-cal seems to have better components than the scott ,except the brackes.
Thank you for any adviceRead More »
So i took the great advice of the people who answered my previous thread and test rode a bunch of bikes. These are the 3 29'ers that i enjoyed most. I am just looking for your expert opinions once again as to which you would choose out of the 3.
---------------------------------------------------- ... Read More »