I test rode 4 different bikes in this category including giant talon, felt 9 comp, cannondale trail 2. I had toe overlap problems with all of them except the mamba. What can I say, I like platform pedals. I'm 6'4 220lbs and size 12 shoe. The bike also handled much more predictable to me. The brakes work outstanding. No noise whatsoever. Would like to have air shock, but you can't have everything for $849+tax.
Date Reviewed: July 6, 2012
Strengths: I've logged over 1000 miles on this bike so I know it inside and out. The bikes geometry fits me perfectly and it gives me confidence to really dig into turns and muscle through technical sections. Being a 29er, the bike rolls over obstacles like its nobody's business. Climbing on this bike is fairly efficient and it grips very nicely with the upgraded tires I put on it. Aesthetically, I have a red and black colour scheme going on and it looks absolutely bad ass !
Weaknesses: The Mamba I received had a 590 some odd millimeter handlebar and I instantly swapped it for a much more appropriate 700mm low riser. As previously stated I swapped for tires that were more appropriate for the muddy conditions of southern ontario. Major weakness is the front fork but for the value what would you expect. I've had it repaired 4 times and I'm now without a cap for my lockout (perhaps I'm too hard on it?). The brakes were initially squeeky but some fine tuning will do the trick. I also swapped for a lower angled raceface stem for better handling and now it is a singletrack speed demon. The drivetrain system is holding it's own but in the future I will probably swap for a 2x10 or 1x11 system.
Being my first mountain bike, and having ridden various full suspension bikes, I'm very happy with this hardtail and I really do think it's a great bike for it's relatively low price. Gary Fisher 29er hardtails have a common frame so the only thing separated the mamba from better quality paragon is the components which can easily be swapped for once you feel the need. Overall a great beginner hardtail. If this doesn't get you stoked on riding what will?
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: December 13, 2011
Strengths: Great geometry that works well with the 29er wheels. I would never go back to a 26er and I encourage anybody else who still rides a 26er to make the change. I suprise myself every time I ride. For the money you pay for this bike is good. Another couple hundred in upgrades and your styling. Sweet and simple.
Weaknesses: Get rid of the 15 degree handlebar, it feel wrong and its harsh on your elbows. If u plan on going number 2 with in 24 hrs throw the seat away asap and go with a WTB. A new stem will also be needed for a more weight up front and period and a sentance go with diffrent tires. Kenda Small blocks worked wonders for me.
Great bike for the money, it just needs a few upgrades for the serious rider who wants to keep costs around a grand. Hope trek doesnt kill the gary fisher name.
the 29er is just an incredible wheel. Totally awesome going over everything. Just save your money and get the next best bike. This one is too heavy, and those curved forward handlebars need to be thrown in the garbage.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: July 14, 2011
Strengths: The Mamba is a great choice for those looking for a hard tail bike. The lock out shocks make up hill peddling sweet. The 29'ers roll over everything and give the bike plenty of speed on the down slopes.
Weaknesses: Parts are a bit cheap but so far seem to be holding out ok.
Upgrades will be necessary for more hard core riders.
The Mamba 29'er is my first 29'er bike. I have to say I'll stick with this tires for a long time to come. I like trail riding with technical terrain and I like long cross country trips. This bike performs very well on both. I thought at first that I was too top heavy for technical riding but that was quickly resurrected when I got on the trail. Again, these big tires roll over everything. I strongly recommend this bike.
Similar Products Used: Had a Mamba 10 years ago. Liked it then, love it now.
a Weekend Warrior
from Stevens Point, WI
Date Reviewed: June 18, 2011
Strengths: Frame, 29er, Handling
Weaknesses: brakes, bottom bracket, tires, front derailer
The bike is good not great. I'm really happy with the handling of the bike. It handles better than my 26er Wahoo. The tires are awful and not from a traction basis. I never got a chance to test that. I had a slow leak in the rear within a month then got a puncture a month later. The bottom bracket was creaking in the first month and now it's shot so I'm installing and LX crankset and bottom bracket. The brakes aren't great, but better brakes won't help me go faster so I'm ok with them for now. I do like the sram shifting, but the Deore front derailer rubs the chain a lot and it's difficult to prevent. Great for entry 29er and actually turns faster than my Wahoo did.
Bike Setup: Stock with lock on grips, External BB to come, continental in the rear
from gettysburg pa
Date Reviewed: April 3, 2011
Strengths: rolls forever its my first 29er. climbs easy,
Weaknesses: front fork dosent want to stay tight. pedals to small and cheap, return to yor dealer to get fork to stay tight and fixed. they had to order me a hole new front fork componets to get it to stay tight. back tire should be same size as the front. its way to small.
the bottom line is its a good bike for the price. and i will be buying another 29er in the future
a Cross Country Rider
from Just East of Dallas, TX, USA
Date Reviewed: March 20, 2011
Strengths: 29'er - rolls over things with relative ease that a 26" wheeled bike would make you feel bad about hitting. Comfy saddle.
Weaknesses: The brakes SUCK. Although I may be spoiled by the Juicy 7's on my FS Cannondale...My hands got tired after an hour or so or having to squeeze the snot out of them to get the bike to stop.
The majority of the trails I ride are better suited to hardtails and I found that I had to lock out the rear shock to even attempt to climb most of the hills around here. I decided that if I was going to go back to a HT it was going to be a 29'er.
Having ridden my Cannondale Rush 5Z for a couple of years prior I realize now that I should've been on a 29'er all along. I'm 6'2" and weigh about 240 so a 26" wheeled bike feels like a little kid's bike compared to this.
However - I have been spolied by my Cannondale's Fox 120 RL fork, SRAM X-9 rear derailleur, SRAM X-7 trigger shifters, and ESPECIALLY the Juicy 7's (I added them to the Cannondale).
The Dart 3 seems to be OK, but I haven't really pushed it yet. Lockout works but the fork feels a little mushy at times and is quite HEAVY at around 5-6 lbs.
The brakes SUCK. I can't stress that enough. I can get going a lot faster on this bike than my Cannondale Rush and these brakes are NOT up to the task of slowing me down quickly enough.
I'm already hunting hydraulic replacement brakes (Elixir R's are at the top of the list), a SRAM X-9 rear derailleur (already ordered), an X-7 or X-9 front derailleur, new shifters (X-9's most likely), and DEFINITELY a new fork - probably a Fox with 100mm of travel and remote lock out.
I'm only giving it 4 chilis because I feel the components on the bike aren't the greatest...they'll work for a newbie, but for someone who's ridden bikes with higher quality stuff they won't cut the mustard. And oh yeah...the brakes SUCK.
I would strongly caution you to NOT try a 29'er unless you're willing to never go back to a 26" wheeled bike. Small uphills that I struggled to climb on my FS Cannondale are absolutely a breeze on the Mamba. And every bump feels smaller on a 29'er...
If you're 6'+ and 200+ lbs and are currently on a 26" bike - SELL IT and get a 29'er, you won't regret it.
a Weekend Warrior
from Richmond, VA
Date Reviewed: November 1, 2010
Strengths: all the typical of a 29er
Weaknesses: fork seems to loose, components are alright
I just got this bike a week ago, and really like it. The fork is very nice, but I wish I could get it a bit tighter. the lockout works great. Shifting is relatively smooth. love the 29er so far and am probably going to stick with them from here on
a Weekend Warrior
from Pinehurst ,NC, Moore
Date Reviewed: October 19, 2010
Strengths: Gets up to speed pretty quick, great geometry, life time warranty on the frame.
Weaknesses: Could have came with a better fork but it gets the job done.
Great product for the price. Rode a little over 254 miles so far so I can't give a full blown review but the bike has been good to me and a blast to ride so far. I wasn't familiar with the stock brakes so I threw on some BB7's and they work great with the stock rotors. My last bike that I,ve rode for the past 7 years was a Fuji Sunfire. So this is my first time with a 29er and disk brakes and it's awesome beyond belief. The mamba frame is the same as the other fisher 2010 29ers so it's deff. worthy of upgrades down the road. I love the geometry of this bike along with the chi red color. Hard to go wrong with this one!
Love this bike, especially for the price. It beats some full susp that I've paid $2K for before, thanks to the G2 frame. I've beat the heck out of the bike so far this year with some epic rides in Leadville CO and Jackson Hole, etc, plus several technical trails. The only component replacements were due to my breaking two chain rings on large rocks. I get the urge to purchase new every year but I decided to ride this bike until the other components break and then upgrade. It's hard to beat this geometry in my opinion.
Bike Setup: (Stock) Shimano Octalink bottom bracket, Big Earl peddals.
a Cross Country Rider
from New Zealand
Date Reviewed: January 26, 2010
Strengths: Excellent frame and build quality. Geometry superb!
Weaknesses: Original kit!(actually rims are not bad)
This bike/frame is awesome. I had converted my Avanti 29er to single speed recently, and had the opportunity to purchase the 2009 Mamba at a fantastic price. A bit of a switcheroo of cranks, forks, cluster etc etc, and I have the equivalent of a Rig for 1/3 the price! Even got away without having to use a tensioner! Totally stoked.
Turns in way tighter than the Avanti and climbs beautifully. wouldnt/couldnt go back to a 26er OR a 27spd.