a Cross Country Rider
from Tijeras, NM, USA
Date Reviewed: May 3, 2008
Strengths: I replaced my Sugar 2 26" machine with this bike. I have gone up things I could never do on the old Sugar 2. I run away from people who are sticking with their 26" machines on the down hills. I demoed a Prophet, Jekyl, Blur, Fat Possum, Nomad, and Rock Hopper FS Pro before this purchase. No regrets. Excellent bike. My wife ran the thing under a rigid barrier while on a roof rack. The seat broke, the back wheel bent slightly, and the roof rack was destroyed. But I rode the bike about 2 hours later.
Weaknesses: Two weeks after purchase the cranks broke. I'm not sure who to blame on that. The original seat was wack. I have bent two set of handle bars on endos. Chain suck is a problem if you don't keep the small gear fresh. I replaced it with Ti.
Just an excellent machine. I haven't ridden other 29ers, but I out perform all of my younger friends on this bike. I am 43 and my main riding partners are 28 and 34. Love this bike.
Similar Products Used: Prophet, Jekyl, Blur, Fat Possum, Nomad, and Rock Hopper FS Pro, Sugar 2 26", Trek 9800
Bike Setup: Stock except for carbon fiber handlebars and Ti granny gear.
a Cross Country Rider
from Rochester, NY
Date Reviewed: June 18, 2007
Strengths: MOMENTUM! It's no joke, the 29ers just keep rollin' no matter what's in the way. Makes a rock garden feel like a gravel road!
Weaknesses: Stock components need upgrade. V brakes don't cut it on 29ers, Shimano dual action brake levers with rapid rise are awful! Geometry puts your butt directly above the bottom bracket (not necessarily a weakness, I just don't like it). Slightly more difficult to squeeze in tight turns, but manageable
Ok, this bike took a little while to adjust to after riding hardtails for the past 10+ years, but, I am now a convert! The 29er rolls over everything with ease with little downside. Climbs like a beast!
Geometry: The only real downside to the geometry is where the saddle puts you--directly above the bottom bracket. Personally, I'm used to being set back a bit. No problem, as I've got a new seatpost in the mail.
brakes: Plain and simple: V brakes don't cut it on 29ers. Fortunately, this bike comes ready for disc brakes.
Shifters/derailleurs: Personally, I just don't understand why rapid rise was invented. And now that there are dual action brake levers, my confusion has been confounded! WHY is it beneficial to be able to upshift while your fingers are on the brakes? I don't know about you, but most of the time I'm braking I need to downshift! Also, why do I need to be able to upshift several gears at a time, while downshifting one by one? Is that what's going to get me out of a jam?
Strengths: Typical advantages of 29er: big wheels roll easily, fast even with stock weight. When you get is going it rolls for ever. This bike is very surefooted in the turns. Never had any problems sliding in turns or slipping uphill.... rides uphill much better than my 26er.... I guess that must be the 29 inch wheel. The best deal around for 29er full suspension if you can buy it.... used ones maybe.
Weaknesses: Frame, rear end could be stiffer, Fork could be more stiff. But that is really fork, not the bike... Some say the the White Brothers fork is better than reba- cannot testify to that as I did not ride WB fork. Reba is OK even for heavier guys, but you will feel the flex little bit, expecially when comparing to stiff Fox Forks from 26er world. As stock is too heavy if you plan to ride it fast.
I like it and would recommend to anyone who is cought by 29er wave. This bike is excellent for epic rides, great as one and only bike, and also good for racing (endurance or shorter)- with some upgrades. For the money is the best deal around. For pure racing there are probably better choices- lighter, stiffer and far more expensive... Buy it if you can find one around and do not have $5000 for more expansive brothers from full suspension world. Also the selection of full susp. 29ers is still very limited.
Bike Setup: Stock with Reba 29er + some upgrades- weight 26 lb
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: January 13, 2006
Strengths: 4" of true suspension travel, very fast descending bike, decent weight after some work, great looking bike
Weaknesses: Rear end has some flex, unusual amount of chain slap
I got a really good deal on this complete bike. I took all the stock Bontrager components and sold them in the classifieds here. The bike (stock) was a hefty 29.5 pounds! I trimmed her down to 26.5 by putting FSA MegaExo intergrated carbon cranks, Magura Marta SL brakes, WTB ti saddle, carbon bits, etc to reduce some weight.
Some background: I have been racaing hardtail 26"ers un until 2000 when I got an Independent Fabrication 29"er which I still own. The IF is stiff, smooth, but a bit heavy at 27 pounds w/ suspension fork. I started doing some endurance (50-100 mile) races a few years ago and the hardtail was wearing my back out at around mile 50-60. So I jumped on the 292 to try the FS 29"er out for size.
I really like the 292 for doing long, 3-4 hour Saturday morning rides. I ride about 10 miles of pavement to my favorite trailhead and then a few hours of trails HARD then ride 10-12 miles home. I can pound a protein smoothie, mow the lawn, and still have energy left over at the end of the day.
The 292 mix of components is OK - but my suggestion is to find a 293 if you plan on swapping out stuff to lighten up the bike. The 292 is a very smooth and capable descending bike at 4" rear and Reba 100MM up front. Pick a line and hold on for the sweet ride down! There is a bit of chain slap - but I cured this by wrapping my chainstay in some of that clear plastic "bra" that new car hoods come with which protects the aluminum chainstay. I haven't gotten the dreaded "chainsuck" that others have, although the FSA cranks might have solved that issue.
The 292 is a very capable full suspension race bike when components are picked wisely. I have only one gripe: that is rear end flex. At 155 pounds, I am not a big guy putting down a lot of power...but I can feel the rear end "squirrel" a bit pounding over technical terrain. Also, if you are a racer type and like to get out of the saddle to sprint short, steep sections you will won't be doing this on the 292 with the stock setup. At least I can't...I've had to stay seated and power up really focusing on a nice pedal rotation to maximize efficiency.
Is the 292 the best race bike? No. Where this bike excels is if you ride a hard and want the cush a FS bike provides. If you do more riding than racing - want 4" of plush 29" travel - but do some racing than this bike is for you. If you race, have been around the block and really know suspension designs from riding 26" full squishy bikes - then a Titus 29" racer X, Lenz Leviathan, or even a Dos Niner might be for you. Want the best value on a do-everything full suspension 29"er? Then this bike is for you.
I need a new fork for my Sugar 292, and am trying to compare the 2009 Reba Team and the Fox f100 RL with G2 off set. Which do you think I would be happier with, both in terms of general geometry, i.e. genesis bike with G2 fork, and also in terms of general performance. I do a lot of se ... Read More »
Before I shell out some $$ - sight unseen - for a [URL="http://www.entro.com.sg/arundel.htm"]sideloader[/URL] water bottle cage to fit in the limited space area on a Fisher Sugar 292/293 frame, I wonder if anyone has found one that fits in there well and still allows one to use a big bottle (Camelba ... Read More »
Someone posted some photos here of a really nice cable routing mod for Fisher Sugar 292/293. Anybody remember who it was or know how to find the photos? Really excellent work, about two or three years ago, I think.
Thanks.Read More »
I am new to this forum, so if this question has already been asked and answered, I appologize in advance.
I have been riding a Sugar 292 for about a year, and was wondering why GF discontinued it. Also, the new GF 29ers seem to all be shorter travel. Why?Read More »
I paid my MTBR Classfied Ads fee, so wanted to announce a Gary Fisher Sugar 292 size small for sale in case anyone is looking for such a bike on this board. I ride the Sugar 293 myself in the XL size and am selling the size small 292 as my son has outgrown it and my wife has switched to the darksid ... Read More »