Weaknesses: None yet. Will shake it out more and update if possible. This is a just-out-of-the-box, first-impression review.
Review for 2012 Trek/Gary Fisher Cobia 29er hardtail mountain bike. 23-inch frame, 10-speed rear cassette (30 speeds total) with SRAM X7 long-cage rear derailleur and Shimano XT front brake assembly installed prior to first ride. Rest of bike stock out of box. Bought at local bike store (LBS) for $950 on sale.
I am a large (6-foot-1), heavy (230-pound) man.
Until today, I'd ridden nothing but rigid cro-mo mountain bikes on 26-inch rims, frame sizes from 21-22 inch (down-tube length) since 1984. I was loyal to the cro-mo rigids because they were durable, reliable, versatile and reasonably inexpensive. I replaced the first one because I donated it. I replaced the middle two because they got stolen and I finally broke down and bought the Cobia yesterday because it was a deal and my current rigid (1990 Bridgestone Trailblazer MTB-6) needs brake pads (rim-pull), a bottom bracket and some serious TLC.
I was used to having a sore left shoulder/neck after every ride because that's just the way it was.
Took the shiny, fire-engine red Cobia for a light spin down a paved lake trail and a still-snow-covered stretch of single track. Had the shocks locked out because the only fork I've known to this point is cro-mo.
Rode for about 10 km, got home, and neck and shoulders were not sore. At all. A similar spin on my old cro-mo would have set off the discomfort within about five minutes.
Score one for the salesman (I'll call him Dan) at my LBS (Cyclepath, Calgary).
I really wanted the 2012 X-Caliber on sale, but they only had 21-inch. Dan insisted the 23-inch frame was the better fit after seeing me on both the 21-inch X-Cal and 23-inch Cobia.
LBS wins. Fisher wins. Trek wins. I spend $250 less than the X-Cal but don't get REBAs, better crank and other bits.
I'd read tons on MTBR about the various bikes out there. I really wanted Rocky Mountain (Ritchey out of my price range). Near as I can tell, Rocky goes 21-inch, max. Giant Talon 22-inch felt good in the store, but they didn't have any 2012 XTCs left in that size.
And I can source Gary Fisher's name back to the mid-80s because my buddy had one (Yup, fire-engine red). That figured in my decision to go with the Cobia, along with Dan's insistence I needed the 23-inch frame size.
Plenty of MTBR reviews have cited the contact points (pedals, seat and grips) as issues. I was pleasantly surprised by the pedals. I'm not a bear-trap fan because they're usually on the small side. These ones accommodated my feet very well and had a very positive grip on my shoe (a well-worn pair of low-cut, waterproof hikers with some tread left on the Vibram soles.)
Not enough saddle time to offer a good opinion on the seat, but because the bike fit so well it wasn't an issue. The bars are a little wide and will probably get cut down an inch on each end. The grips are marginal, but will be replaced with grip-shifters at some point.
Once I can get to Fish Creek and some of the crit-style single track down there, I'll better be able to speak to the Cobia's durability and reliability. I don't downhill or dirtjump, so this bike will be used primarily as a cross-country, single-track mule. I try not to beat on my stuff, but the nature of trail-riding does make durability/reliability one of the key thing's I look for.
But, for now, not having any back/shoulder/neck discomfort during/after a ride made this $950 purchase worth every cent.
I'm grateful for whatever Gary Fisher did to fit large people onto mountain bikes. And even more grateful to the knowledgeable staff at my LBS for fitting me to the proper-sized Fisher frame.
Looking forward to some XC single-track pedalling in the near future (if it ever gets warm.)
This Review is for the 2013 Trek Cobia 29er. This is the bike that got me back into riding. i was amazed the first time i really got a chance to take it out and put some miles on it. The bike preforms flawlessly, the 29 wheels roll over everything with minimal effort. If you are looking at buying a bike in this price range the Cobia in my opinion is hands down the best. In regards to components this bike is great there is some room for improvement but that’s the case with all bikes unless you want to shell out 10k. My advice is don’t get the upgrade bug you really don’t need it with this bike it handles everything you can throw at it. Wait till parts wear out and or break then throw on the upgrades. I would suggest new pedals but that’s it. The breaks are a bit noisy but who really cares, unless you’re a stealth ninja going in for the kill break noise shouldn’t bother you. The G2 Geometry is a perfect fit for me. Of course everyone is different but this is my review. Bottom line if you’re looking for a bike in this price range the stop reading reviews and pick up the Cobia you will not be disappointed.
Strengths: Value. Beats any bike in this price range in terms of components. Lifetime warranty on frame from Trek is also great.
Weaknesses: Color would not be my first choice (or 2nd or 3rd) but its not that bad; White seat is a terrible idea. Mine is now light brown.
Haven't had a ton of time on this bike so far due to weather but what I have experienced so far has been great. I did a lot of research before settling on the '12 Cobia and am not disappointed at all.
- Bike has handled the few singletrack trails I've done very well and it rolls over roots and rocks without flinching.
- Handling, being a 29er, isn't the best but you get used to it pretty quickly.
- I am a big guy (280 lbs) and this bike has handled my weight quite well.
- The fork is really great and I am glad I decided to get a bike with air coil. It is great being able to adjust the PSI depending on where I am riding.
- SRAM X5 drivetrain works fine and I do not see myself upgrading this until something breaks.
- Hayes Dyno Comp hydraulic brakes stop on a dime. Have had them mudded up pretty good and they still worked great.
- Only change so far has been the addition of a bash guard and the subtraction of the big gear which I rarely used.
- Local Trek store has been awesome with support and advice.
About 100 miles in and I do not have any regrets. I may look to upgrade the wheelset but I am not in a hurry to do so unless something fails. Look around and compare the bikes in this price range but I don't think you will find anything that offers as much as the Cobia does. Bike is sold and setup as a XC bike but it can definitely handle some dirt. Great hardtail for anyone not willing to drop $2-3k for a FS but also still wants to ride in the woods.
looking to buy this bike(cobia),but wanna know if its worth it over the mamba.i dont ride that hard but might.is there a bid difference between the 9 speed and 10 speed,or between coil or air shocks,can someone help me out ?,need a bike badly and where can i buy it the cheapest?
-SRAM 3x10 speed
-RockShox Recon Silver air fork
Weaknesses: -Slight weird feel in brakes
-Seat can get dirty VERY easily
This is a review for the 2013 Trek Cobia.
I really live the blue/black/white color scheme. My older F9 uses the same colors. The 3x10 is awesome, but may be a little too many gears. The air fork is incredible, and absorbs all of the bumps (it is the 100mm fork). The tires are good, but not as grippy as the all mountain tires that I put on my F9.
The Avid Elixir bakes are not the highest end, so a small problem can be expected. Because there is a white seat, it can get dirty very easily.
It is a great bike overall.
Strengths: Outstanding bike. Have put well over 450 miles of upstate New York single track. I bought this bike after I bought a 12 Hardrock disc, and knew that I was seriously getting back into the sport after a good 15 year lay off. Hard to fine Rock Shox Recons on a $1200 bike, usually you have to fork over a few more hundred for it, but the Gary Fisher Trek series 29er's seems to be a awesome line up. Good Value for the money. I was either gonna pick this or the Carve comp, the Carve had an SLX RD and Deore shifters(only 9 speed) with a Rock Shox XC32... I weight 210, so the air fork had me sold along with the way the cock pit set up was...
Just reflecting on what another post was up at the top of this page. I believe a guy wrote that he "upgraded" to Shimano Deore cranks and drivetrain? I just have to state that that move was not an upgrade man. The Sram X5 group is the equivalent, if not a little superior to the Shimano Deore group.
Over all though. Nice bike. And I really don't know why everyone always says "upgrade this, upgrade that" in terms of Drivetrains. I ride hard and all year long. This summer I rode this bike almost 3 days a week right up until about a month ago, which now because of winter, I choose to just ride on the weekends.
I have ridden bikes (including my own) with drivetrains from Sram X3, X5, X7 . Shimano Zee. Deore and Acera. And to be perfectly honest with you. They all function fine to me. I do not notice the difference in terms of durability. Now in terms of "feel" while shifting, thats another story. My Cobia still has the X5 rear mech, however it has X7 shifter due to something I did to the product, the product only broke because of me. It def shifts a little smoother than the x5 and is quieter as well. But like I said, in terms of all of the Rear Mechs I have ridden listed above, I do and did not notice a difference in terms of durability. They all and have taken the same amount of punishment and still function. Hell I ride my 12 Hardrock (which I upgraded to Panaracer Xc fire pros, Bontrager stem, lock on grips and Rock Shox xc 28 's mg. Which I must say, after all of the bad things I have heard about XC 28's, whenever I choose to ride this bike over my cobia (which is not very often) I still have a nice ride and am very comfortable riding the XC 28 fork. Good product by rock shox..
Date Reviewed: November 30, 2012
Strengths: This is My first 29er hard tail and it rocks! It is super lite, climbs quick and can take a beating. Great fork, frame and drive train.
Weaknesses: I've had mine about a year now and put 500 miles on it. First thing, rip the brakes off. Hayes is worthless and terrifying. Put something-anything else on. Upgrade tires, rotors and crank set. I did a basic upgrade to the Shimano diore set. Rock some ODI grips and some new pedals. You will have a mean hard tail. The color scheme isn't the most likable feature either. Be rough to resale. People love darker colors.
This bike rocks for the price. Upgrade a few basic components and you have a sweet hard tail no one saw coming. It's lite, fast and extremely fun down hill. I know it isn't your first pick visually, but buy it, trust my upgrade idea's and you will love it.
Date Reviewed: October 14, 2012
I just picked up and rode (of course) my '13 Cobia. WOW, a great ride the handling on the trail was great, rode over everything nicely, logs, rocks downhill drops and the like. Brakes worked great, very responsive. I looked at a lot of bikes around this pricepoint and this turned out to be a great choice. The only thing I changed out were the "starter" pedals and the seat (took them from my old bike, since I like them.) I went from a older 26"Trek no front shock to the 29" and I now wonder why I didn't do this long ago, came off the trails and felt like I could do it again (but didn't)
Strengths: Smooth shifting and ride, great quality parts for the price, takes a beating, lightweight, looks great
Weaknesses: Brakes are squeaky
I really enjoy riding this bike, it takes a beating from all the mountain riding I've done and it consistently performs very well. It has a great look to it and the solo air shock works very well. Shifting is smooth and I haven't had any problems yet besides some cable tension issues. Overall, I did a lot of research before buying this bike and this is definitely one of the top contenders in the $1000 price range.
Strengths: 30 speed , frame warranty, Rock Shock silver shock and hydraulic brakes
Weaknesses: Saddle, petals and grips.
Being my first bike I did a ton of research and test riding before buying and found the 2012 Trek Cobia the best for the money. With a great frame and bike warranty and good bike components it was easy pick at the end of my researching and test riding. On the trail it easy and comfortable to ride and it handles very quick, maybe to quick for this new rider. It climbs well and descends in the same fashion.Stopping is an ease with hydraulic brakes.The only negatives I've found was that the saddle, petals and the grips could have been a little better but all those can be changed out as I grow into this great bike. Thank you Trek for the intro to mountain biking .
I bought this in June 2011 just before moving to europe. I've put about 1100 km on it in 6 months and just got back from a 4 day mountain biking trip through the Alps. The Promax brakes are the worst, cheapest most craptastic brakes you can use. I had a lot of trouble with them on the trip so I'm upgrading to Shimano XT's. The Bontrager Ranger wheels also need to go as I've broken 3 sprokes in a month. I like everything else about the bike though. I'm 6'3" and 225lbs and the bike fits great.
Strengths: Good brakes, Comfortable geometry, 31 speed, Air shock with rebound, Double wall rims, Great climber, Fast descender.
Weaknesses: Saddle, tires (unless you only ride on gravel roads), slow shifting
I purchased this bike in May 12'. I was riding a Trek 3700 series previously and was left wanting.
The 29" bikes are a completely different experience. I was able to ascend most hills without dismounting thanks to the 10 speed rear cassette. The descents are also fun and fast. I have been on some steep grades and always felt in control. The shocks and tires absorb the rock gardens and roots very well allowing me to keep the speed on.
The only issues so far are the stock saddle which I bent on one of my recent rides. This is the second Bontrager SSR saddle that I have bent on 2 different bikes I weigh 215 lbs so it probably does not help. I have switched this to a more durable WTB Speed 5 saddle.
The stock tires had to go, however I did run them on the Muddy Buddy since I needed less rolling resistance. I have replaced the stock tires with Fire Xc Pro 29ers (The redwall tires look great against the red paint on the bike :) ) and have converted them to tubeless. The stock AT-850 rims seem to convert to tubeless well with these tires even though they are not tubeless rim.
I have also noticed some lag in the shifting some of this may be from crossing the chain up since there are extra gears available.
If you are ready to move up from an entry level bike and are a casual rider that would like a more stable, easier climbing and faster bike this is a good choice.
I wasn't sure this bike was the option to upgrade from my GT Backwoods. After all I had never been on a 29er before. After test riding a few different bikes, Specialized, Felt, Trek Mamba, I just knew this was the one. Comfort, that is all I can say. This bike feel like my favorite chair, and I love to ride it. The front shock really absorbs a lot, and the frame seems to be molded around my body when riding. I am a heavy/short guy and really had my doubts about the bigger bike, but I'm sold, on Trek and 29ers.