New29er A cross-country rider
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: January 14, 2014
Strengths: Fit. Overall reliability and durability.
Weaknesses: Rear rim (somewhat anticipated because I'm a heavy rider on a hardtail).
Update from April 4 out-of-the-box impression.
Rode bright-red, 2012 Cobia 29er all summer on everything from paved cycle trails to greasy chutes on the south side of Fish Creek and both sides of the reservoir. Rode it right through the flood of 2013. Major improvement from my beloved cro-mo's of yore.
The red Fish is comfortable, predictable and reasonably durable for a bike in this price range ($950 Cdn).
Replaced the stock Bonty 2.10 tires with Kenda Nevegal 2.25 out back and Tiogo Psycho Genius 2.25 on front, both mounted with direction arrows pointed forward. The tire swap opened this thing up to much more off-road terrain, making it far more sure footed in all circumstances. Extra rolling resistance on paved commutes is well worth the swap. Didn't have to, but swapped out the stock bear-trap pedals for some studded flats. Both work well. Seat and bars are fine. Will get new grips this season.
After a summer of riding, all the gears still shift positively, the brakes work fine and the shocks are good.
Having left the rigid cro-mo 26er behind, it took me a few rides to catch up to the 29er geometry (the 23-inch frame at times makes steep plunges somewhat daunting), but this thing eats up the trail. Reduced front-wheel deflection and more ground clearance at the crank makes for a more confident ride over roots and other xc-trail obstacles.
Did I mention this thing is comfy? I'm 6 feet, 230+ and this thing just feels right. Not nearly the neck/upper back stiffness I used to get on the old stuff.
The only thing from a summer of xc-style trails and urban commuting (no DJ or serious DH) is one busted spoke in the rear rim. Getting some humming out of the rear cassette at certain RPM and the brakes squawk a bit, but it isn't affecting performance.
Will probably upgrade rear hoop before summer 2014 arrives. After that, just ride.
I like the Trek/Gary Fisher Cobia 29er. The big, red Fish puts a smile on my face every time I throw a leg over.
I can recommend buying one. The only reason I didn't give it a five-chili overall rating is because there's probably a better bike in the Trek/Fisher line at a higher price point.
Anxiously waiting for the snow to melt in the eastern slopes of the Rockies.
Favorite Trail: Anything on either side of Fish Creek, anything around the reservoir
Duration Product Used: one summer
Purchased At: Cycle Path
Similar Products Used: None, unless you consider '90s rigid 26er cro-mo crates similar.
Bike Setup: 2012 Trek/Gary Fisher Cobia 29er hardtail, 23-inch frame. SRAM X7 rear, X5 front derailleurs. Whatever rear 10-speed cassette, chain rings and SRAM crank came stock with the bike. Shimano XT front hydraulic, Hayes rear hydraulic brakes. Recon air fork.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: August 1, 2013
Strengths: FYI: This review is for the 2013 model. A great frame, 10 speed cassette and Rockshox solo air fork provide an awesome platform for you to immediately enjoy straight from the shop, and also down the road when you're ready for some upgrades. Trek's G2 Geometry is spot on, at least for my body type.
Weaknesses: My 15.5 inch completely stock cobia came in at around 30 pounds even. That is a little on the heavy side, but understandable for the price range of this bike. The Avid Elixir 1 brakes equipped have a known issue affectionately known as the "Turkey Warble". After about a month or less of average riding a very loud, and potentially dangerous sound/shuttering vibration starts to develop when the brakes are applied.
I have had this bike for four months and have put around 400 trail miles on it. I also briefly owned the 2010 version of this bike before I gave it to a good friend, but that is another review. As mentioned before is, there is a known issue with the Avid Elixir 1 hydro brakes. I had to file with warranty because the vibration became so bad the bike was unsafe to ride. I made the decision to actually "down grade" my brakes to Avid BB7 mechanicals for their solid reliability and easy trail repair. Ended up being a very good decision. Anyways, the rest of the bike has performed admirably. The X5 rear derailleur gets the job done and the X5 shifters have plenty of responsiveness. The wheelset is a tad heavy, but are definitely strong enough, and the Shimano hubs roll smooth. Everything else is Bontrager/Trek factory stuff that really aren't too bad. (handlebars, seatpost, seat clamp, grips, saddle, and wellgo plastic platform pedals are thrown in). Overall I have been very pleased with this bike and its performance and I'm proud to call it mine. I did ditch all the chainrings and get a Raceface Single 34t and bashguard for a while. Eventually I came across an X7 Double crankset with GXP bottom bracket as well as an X9 medium cage rear derailleur, X7 shifters, a Loaded Precision Inc. seat collar, 185mm Avid cleansweep G2 front rotor, a fancy Specialized body geometry saddle and of course my trusty Shimano SPD's. Weight is down to 28 pounds and a very big smile on my face.
Favorite Trail: Blue River to Peaks Trail, Breckenridge CO
Duration Product Used: 4 Months
Similar Products Used: Specialized Carve 29, Trek Super Fly 100 AL Elite
Bike Setup: Recon Solo air, Bonti AT-850 wheelset laced around Shimano hubs, X7 double crank with GXP BB, 10 speed X9 rear derailleur, X7 shifters, Avid BB7's, Specialized BG saddle and the rest is Bontrager specials.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: July 29, 2013
Strengths: Price, geometry and fit, performance
Weaknesses: Trek needs to develop more comfortable seats
I have had my 2012 Cobia for about 8 months now. I have put roughly 950 miles on it to date, all of which were singletrack, technical and hardpack easy riding. This ride has been great! it has withstood the rigors of some hard riding. I went from a DS to this hard tail and have no regrets. I have made some mods: Easton Monkey Lite bars, ODI TLD grips (Awsome BTW), kept the rear Bonti tire but went with a Kenda Nevalgal 29x2.22 in the front. WTB Vigo saddle (the stock is like plywood), FSA carbon seatpost and stem (reduced the stem from stock 90mm to 80mm), and Shimano 540 clipless pedals. Components are just fine for a bike in this category. I have had zero problems with them and they have been put through the test. I will upgrade these components when they wear out or I bust them but no need in spending the $$ now. If you are in the market for a new Hard tail and don't have the coin for a bike that is thousands then I would highly suggest this one. I will be holding on to this for a while now
Strengths: Researching for a 29er in this price range? This is the bike you will want. Just got off mine --again today-- and have put it through commuting, single track, rocks, stumps, log hopping, gravel trails, and up and down off my roof of my car many a time since I bought it. It rakes over rocks on NC mountain trails as easily as it helped get my groceries and both are possible with the lock out fork. I have noticed most of these reviews are from some good sized men. For a different perspective, I am a woman (5'9" and 145lbs.) and found my rides equally as enjoyable as my male counterparts have eloquently written here. That diversity of positive experience all probably speaks well of the bike too.
Weaknesses: You might want some new pedals.
Glad we are all out there on this bike. Have fun with the Cobia! It's easy to do so!
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: April 4, 2013
Strengths: Fit. Comfort.
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 .
[B]I posted this in the beginners forum and was directed to this one so here it is.
I am 6'2 and currently weigh 360lbs and would like to fit in healthy activities in my daily routine and biking is something that I am interested in. It would be mostly for ashpault and flat trails to begin with ... Read More »
I currently weigh 360lbs and would like to fit in healthy activities in my daily routine and biking is something that I am interested in. It would be mostly for ashpault and flat trails to begin with and as the weight comes off maybe some more robust trails in the future. I was thinking the Cobia ... Read More »
I'm just getting into mountain biking after not having ridden for over 8 years. I just graduated collage and I decided this be fun and a good way to loose weight since I have a bunch of free time now.
My research has gotten me to these two bikes. I was initially interested in the Trek Marlin since ... Read More »