Gary Fisher Paragon 29er Hardtail

4.3/5 (111 Reviews)
MSRP : $2029.99


Product Description

  • Frame: Platinum Series 6066 butted & hydroformed aluminum, cold-forged dropouts, G2 29" Geometry
  • Wheels: Bontrager Rhythm 29 Disc, Bontrager XDX tires
  • Componentry: SRAM X.9 front derailleur, SRAM X.9 rear derailleur, SRAM X.9 shifters, Shimano FC-M542 crank, Avid Elixir 5 hydraulic disc brakes
  • Suspension: Fox F80 RL 29, 80mm travel, custom G2 Geometry 51mm offset crown


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Reviews 1 - 15 (111 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Yupper a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: July 23, 2013

Strengths:    Frame, Fork, Rear Der, shifters,

Weaknesses:    Stock Tires/Seat/Avid Elixr 5 brake levers/brake shoes/chain

Bottom Line:   
Bought the '11 last year on closeout at a LBS for $1300 and change. The stock brake shoes appear to have been contaminated and despite several attempts to clean and break-in they reside in the trash as of last weekend (replaced with Serfas). Also the brakes were not properly bled and the shop was not willing to fix for free (go figure). I tossed the seat (always do) and grips and cut down the bars a few inches (at 6'2" the bars are still 4" too wide). I think the bike is overpriced at MSRP (when specialized bikes come with better builds at the same price point) and my review is based on the price I paid. I changed out the tires (to a 1.9" small block pattern) and think the wheels are a little weak for a 200# rider. Rebuilt the rear wheel last saturday with DT stainless (not anodized) spokes and it should hold up. Bottom line, use some of the money you save to buy a bleed kit (Jenson was cheapest) and brake pads (you should bleed these Avids every year). It's a solid bike and with 1400 miles on mine, it seems to be holding up well.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Dirt Roads

Duration Product Used:   1 year

Price Paid:    $1300.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   Trek 8900

Bike Setup:   Small Block tires, serfas grips, giant bar ends, serfas brake pads, Eggbeater 3 pedals.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Giant11

Date Reviewed: May 22, 2013

Strengths:    SRAM X9, Juicy 5 Brakes, Fox shocks, Superlight, Great looks, Climbs like a goat, rolls over everything in it's path

Weaknesses:    Seat, nothing else yet

Bottom Line:   
This is my first 29er, which I bought used a couple years old. I have owned 7 or 8 26"ers before and everything they say about the 29er is true! Fast, rolls over everything, who needs full suspension, buy a 29er, what a change in biking....wish I would have bought this bike a year ago! This is by far the best bike I have owned and it's replacing my Giant ATX 870 26"er, which I now have up for sale. I still have a Trek 26" that I will keep, but I have a feeling I will be riding this bike every chance I get. I looked at all the reviews on this bike and most of them are all true, not too much wrong with this bad boy. I have the Powder Blue one, which at first I was unsure about, but now I just love it, the color grows on you and with the right accessories it's a pretty sick looking bike. I truly love my GF 29er! If you can get your hands on one of these bikes, don't hesitate, grab it, you will not be disappointed. Buy it used and save yourself a pile of money. Mine is 2 years old, bought new for $2200.00 and I purchased it for $620, what a steal!!!! Start saving today, this bike is all the bike you'll ever need!!!

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by rustywin a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: September 20, 2012

Strengths:    Strong responsive frame, incredibly light, great color.

Weaknesses:    None that I can tell so far

Bottom Line:   
Bought my Paragon used from a buddy. Running Sram XO components, stans wheel set, reba race fork. Love this bike. Flies along the single track like a dream. Super light bike, my neighbor has a carbon superfly HT, almost same weight!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   50 year trail

Duration Product Used:   5 months

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   freind

Bike Setup:   Stans & American Classic wheels
Sram XO components
Noir Carbon crank
Reba race fork

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Noloitering a Racer

Date Reviewed: June 20, 2012

Strengths:    Great components, my model was a 2011, came with x9. I have had no problems with the drivetrain. The fox 32 f100 rl that it came with has taken a lot of punishment from small jumps and hauling balls down hills and has held up exceptionally well. The bontrager mustang wheel set have been great, no problems whatsoever or any tacos thank god. The paragons frame just makes you want to go faster, I go up and down hills as fast as the trail and my body allows and have never felt like my bike was struggling to keep up. It's just a great bike. And the color is pretty awesome I don't know why everyone's hating on it

Weaknesses:    Elexer 5 brakes, I didnt include these brakes in the rating because I feel they do not represent the quality of the bike. The brakes have Been bled 3 times, replaced pistons, replaced both organic an steal pads, and have spent many nights in the shop but still the lever will hit the grips without full braking force.

Bottom Line:   
This is a great bike, it does what it's supposed to, bomb down hills and get up just as fast. In the 2 years I have had this bike I have had no problems. If you want a 29er I would recommend it.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   anything in arkansas

Price Paid:    $2100.00

Purchased At:   Phat tire

Bike Setup:   Xt brakes, Esi grips which are great, spd's, maxis ignitor and crossfire, stans tubeless stuff

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by skipnay

Date Reviewed: May 13, 2012

Strengths:    I like the fact that I got this for way under the MSRP. It's light, strong, and very nimble. It doesn't flex and feel cheap. It's sturdy and gives you that feeling to keep riding. The shock on it, it AWESOME. You can make it almost like a solid shock or make it soft. It's nice because you can change it as your riding. I drove this home in over an hour and a half in the rain. Didn't wipe it down and rode it 2 days later. It never missed a beat. Buy a cheap bike and the gears probably wouldn't work properly. The brake also work great in the rain

Weaknesses:    Color

Bottom Line:   
I also got the LBS to let me take it out and ride it with other bikes way over the price of the Paragon and way under price. Probably alot more bike then I needed but I figured if I spent this much I would ride it and not let it sit going to waste. I would say for the money I got a well built bike.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by charliecl1 a Cross Country Rider from California

Date Reviewed: July 15, 2011

Strengths:    Rolls over everything, light, tracks very well, comfortable, nimble, good fork and wheels. Tubeless set up was a breeze.

Weaknesses:    color scheme is a combination of matte light gray, matte medium gray and matte charcoal gray. The salesperson called it "stealthy" but it's really very gray. Not much of a weakness, though. I'm getting a little gray myself.
A major weakness was the Schwalbe Rocket Ron tires. They were more airless than tubeless. The rear constantly sprung leaks along a seam in the sidewalls. The front was fine until a month after purchase when it blew off the rim while on a bike rack. Neither I nor two bikes shops could keep it on the rim past 20 psi. LBS gave me two Bontrager 29-3 tires in exchange. These are a HUGE improvement.


Bottom Line:   
29ers in general: I rented a 29er before buying one to see how it would be. Sounds like a cliche, but I couldn't remember having more fun on a mt bike in years. Pretty much everything people have said is true: they roll better, they are generally faster everywhere cross country riders ride, I haven't missed my full suspension bike, blah, blah blah. It's all true, but I wonder what it will be like when all of us 29er converts get on brand new full suspension 26" "clown bikes" in 10 years. We'll see. Whatever happens, riding a bike is fun, so who cares?

Paragon in specific: very stiff laterally; surprisingly compliant in the rough stuff; very stable; tracks like a champ - you point it and it shoots; though it's a size larger than I thought I would need, it is actually nimble - I took it on tight single track up at Tahoe and it never had a problem zipping around the ax heads, trees, boulders, bear scat, etc.; Schwalbe Rocket Ron tires had to be replaced - wouldn't hold air, wouldn't stay on the rim - replaced with Bontrager 29-3s with no muss, no fuss, no more tire sealant spraying all over creation; I'm getting used to the very wide, sweeping handlebars, but they're ergo and light; the saddle is a little on the soft side but fine; the brakes are fine but who wants to slow down?; the crankset is chunky but it works fine.
I did a lot of shopping and I don't think you can get a better bike for the money.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Pogonip

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1940.00

Purchased At:   Chain Reaction Bikes

Similar Products Used:   This is my first 29er. Replaces my Santa Cruz Superlight. Had a series of hardtails, both steel and alu before that.

Bike Setup:   Fox F29 fork, SRAM X9 rear der., Bontrager Mustang Tubeless Ready rims, Rocket Ron tires (replaced with Bontragers), Bontrager stem, handlebars, saddle, seat post, Avid Elixer 5 brakes, X7 shifters, X9 rear der, some obscure Shimano fr der, added some ODI Rogue grips, Chromag post QR and Titec bar ends

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Gilo a Cross Country Rider from Jerusalem, Israel

Date Reviewed: July 9, 2011

Strengths:    Good geometry for my body type (6'3", long torso). Makes me a better rider. Rigid - good for climbing while standing. Strong - frame did not bend when a car crashed into my back wheel and the bike and I hit the road hard. Classy but low-key paint job.

Weaknesses:    Stock 17 degree sweep handlebar concentrated pressure on heels of my hands = pain. (Trek has now noticed and changed stock to 12 degrees.) I switched to Niner Flatbar w/9 degree sweep - a big improvement. Seat is a bit gnarly - want to upgrade to WTB Rocket. Avid Elixir brakes often rub/squeak event when centered - the shop guy told me this is a chronic problem with them. Why could Trek not have chose something better?

Bottom Line:   
A superb bike. Needed some upgrades to get the cockpit dialed in and comfy, but aside from that, great. Worth every penny.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Gilo

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Similar Products Used:   None. Have not had a mountain bike since 1990. Been riding a Bianchi Axis cyclocross bike since then up until I got the Paragon this spring.

Bike Setup:   Came with Schwalbe Rocket Rons. A fine tire, but I will be switching the rear to a Maxis Crosstrack for lower rolling resistance. Will keep the RRs on the front.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by notfat a Weekend Warrior from Albany, NY

Date Reviewed: June 3, 2011

Strengths:    Very stiff and snappy. Excellent geometry for tall riders. They have improved the weld at the seatpost site. I broke my old Paragon there and the new frame is definitely more solid struturally.

Weaknesses:    None so far

Bottom Line:   
This bike rips....period. I owned an older stock but broke the frame. Fisher sent me a 2011 and they have corrected the previously flawed frame. It is rigid and I'm up to speed immediately after a few strokes. A great deal b/c the value of this bike exceeds the price.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Similar Products Used:   A 2007 Paragon

Bike Setup:   Easton wheel set, Hayes Stroker Trail brakeset, Fox Talas29,

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by BeJay Henrickson a Cross Country Rider from Boise, ID, USA

Date Reviewed: April 19, 2011

Strengths:    Best bike I have owned by far. I'd rather ride this bike than any full suspension bike I have owned on any xc trails. Its a great climbing bike and descends well on all but really rocky rough trails. Great combination of durability and weight reduction.

Weaknesses:    NONE....have put this bike through the ringer since 2006 and have not had one issue.

Bottom Line:   
Its not a Free Ride Bike or a DownHill bike....its a moderately priced Race equipped XC bike.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   United States

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $1400.00

Purchased At:   George's Cycles

Similar Products Used:   Fisher Tass, Fisher Marlin


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Pike14 a Racer from Port Jefferson, NY USA

Date Reviewed: April 1, 2011

Strengths:    Lightweight, solid groupset, not too much to upgrade (IMO), Decent wheels, durable.

Weaknesses:    Big Sweep Bars-might be ok for the West Coast, but here on the East Coast riding with those things would be suicide. Waaay too many tight spots on our trails.

Bottom Line:   
I was blown away with this bike. I actually switched from a 29er ('07 X-Caliber) for a 26er (2010 Trek 8000). I didn't like the handling of my old X-Cal, and wanted faster acceleration and nimble handling, so I went with the Trek 8000 and sold the X-Cal.
After doing some research on the new Trek/Fisher Collection bikes, I decided to try the big wheels again. They suit the racing I'll be doing better (endurance and XTERRA tri), as well as seem to be the 'missing link' between hardtails and FS.
Anyway, I pulled the trigger on the Paragon and have absolutely no regrets. Straight out of the box this bike handled very similar to my Trek 8000 26er. It accelerates slightly slower, but more than makes up for it once things get rolling. It's stable and nimble, with pinpoint steering. This bike is just as whippy as any 26er I've ridden.
Bottom line is it's an unbelievable value for the price you pay, and more than race worthy right out of the box. Simple upgrades would make it even lighter, rivaling even the carbon HT's Trek offers.
Contrary to what most say, I actually find the stock saddle (Bontrager Evoke 2) to be rather comfy. I'm used to a firmer saddle, but the extra cusion of the Bontrager saddle was in just the right places and didn't feel too squishy at all.
If you have any reservations about purchasing this bike, don't! You won't regret it. Trek and Fisher have combined for an amazing product.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $2000.00

Purchased At:   Campus Bicycle

Similar Products Used:   Gary Fisher X-Cal 2007

Bike Setup:   Stock except seatpost (swapped for carbon Bontrager model) and handlebars (swapped for Bontrager Race Light flat bar)

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by michael573114 a Cross Country Rider from Connecticut

Date Reviewed: March 21, 2011

Strengths:    Fantastic bike, top-notch components, great geometry, very reliable, reasonably light. Reba is very flexible and tunable. Can run 2.3" tires in the rear.

Weaknesses:    Since I got mine in 2006, Trek has been decreasing the level of the components and increasing the price of the bike. It's just not the same anymore.

Bottom Line:   

I love this bike... the only reason I'm selling it is to go to a full-suspension, and am almost sad to see it go. I've no complaints at all, everything has been flawless. Enough that I'm building my new bike with the same component setup, just updated to 2011 parts.

I don't think you can find a better hardtail 29er from a major manufacturer.

Note: mine is a 2006 model.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Trumbull

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $1700.00

Purchased At:   Cycle Dynamics, West

Similar Products Used:   Rockhopper, HardRock

Bike Setup:   Stock except for a 90mm stem (100 is too long for me), remote lockout for the Reba, and converted to tubeless with Exiwolf 2.3" tires.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by cyclocrossboy a Racer from Franklin, MA

Date Reviewed: March 14, 2011

Strengths:    Light weight, great handling, the disk brakes are fantastic.

Weaknesses:    Frame Cracked on the seat tube above the top tube weld. Weird I've never really hammered on this frame

Bottom Line:   
A bit disappointed about the frame failing. I've never biffed on this bike where its taken the impact ... its usually been me flying off into the ozone..

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Gilbert State Park

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $1400.00

Purchased At:   Franklin Bicycle

Similar Products Used:   Fisher Montare 1998. Beat the snot of this beast and its still rolling even after breaking just about every piece thats bolted on the frame 1 or 2 times over.

Bike Setup:   Stock except for seat.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by aminiche a Cross Country Rider from Philadelphia

Date Reviewed: February 13, 2011

Strengths:    Best handling bike Ive ridden. Really solid frame, feels like you can throw it around the trail.

Weaknesses:    The paint was peeling off the brand new frame I was testing. It seems like theyre actually using decals instead of just painting the frame.

Bottom Line:   
This really is the best handling bike Ive ridden. I was throwing the bike into turns and never felt unbalanced. The frame is really stiff and the drivetrain seems extremely efficient. I could accelerate like I was on a 26er. The component combination was extremely solid. It felt like a much smoother shifting, riding, and accelerating bike than the Stumpy 29.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   PA

Duration Product Used:   Tested or demo'ed only

Price Paid:    $1950.00

Purchased At:   Philadelphia

Similar Products Used:   Stumpjumper Comp 29, Specialized Camber 29, C'dale Flash 29

Bike Setup:   Stock

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by mysteryman a Cross Country Rider from Houston, TX, USA

Date Reviewed: January 25, 2011

Strengths:    Awesome drive-train. Never Used SRAM before, very happy with it!

Weaknesses:    None so far

Bottom Line:   
This bike is great, my first mountain bike(also my first 29er). Came from Road Biking and couldn't be more excited/pleased. The whole Trek/Gary Fisher experience has been a great one, they threw in some Schwalbe upgrades and I got some nice eggbeaters to go with the bike. It looks great, it shifts great, it eats trail like theres no tomorrow, and the sweep bars are comfortable. Some people complain about the seat, it's all about preference(and shorts!) but I haven't had any problems with it. If you have the money and are considering it, buy it.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Meorial Park

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $2100.00

Purchased At:   Bike Barn

Similar Products Used:   n/a

Bike Setup:   Stock, crank brothers eggbeater 3ti pedals

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jacobna a Racer from Pittsburgh, Pa

Date Reviewed: December 15, 2010

Strengths:    Fairly light for a 29er and Fast. Good spec overall, especially the brakes and the fork.

Weaknesses:    Chain suck problems and uncomfortable seat. Stock tires are also a bit lame.

Bottom Line:   
Now I have read the other reviews and understand I am probably a light guy, 5'8" and 155 lbs. But I have absolutely beat the crap out of this bike and it has not flinched. I race on my college's mountain bike team and I have ridden this bike in races from xc to full on downhill and dual slalom. The wheels and frame have been great. The bike has a great ride and was fairly easy to get used to on the change over from 26 inch wheels. The only real problem I have had is some serious chain suck problems with the front chain-rings and I haven't had a problem like that on any other bike. The chain will sometimes get wrapped around the whole granny gear and get stuck between the gear and the frame. But that problem aside the bike is amazing and I couldn't be happier.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $2000.00

Purchased At:   Trek of Pittsburgh

Bike Setup:   Stock except for upgraded to the team issue 2.3 tires front and back and made tubeless.

Reviews 1 - 15 (111 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


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