Gary Fisher 2001 Sugar 3 Full Suspension Bike

4.6/5 (63 Reviews)
MSRP : $1529.99


Product Description



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Reviews 1 - 15 (63 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Phil Esempio a Racer from Cleveland, OH

Date Reviewed: November 29, 2005

Strengths:    Great hardtail-like handling, awesome climber with shock upgrade, great stock fork.

Weaknesses:    Poor rear tire clearance, difficult to upgrade rear shock.

Bottom Line:   
This is a long-term follow-up to my earlier review on this bike. While the "state-of-the-art" in full-suspension XC racing bikes has advanced quite a bit since 2001, this bike can still hold it's own - provided you spend the cash to upgrade it. I upgraded to a Fox Float RP3 ProPedal rear shock in 2005, and this really revitalized the bike. I went through a lot of trouble to get this shock ordered and installed, though - see my review of the Fox Float RP3 '05 for all the details - but the bottom line is, it works as advertised, damping out pedal feedback on long climbs. Another sign of this bike's age is the rear triangle has relatively little tire clearance; running a 2.1" rear leaves very little room for any kind of mud buildup. However, I typically run race tires from 1.7" (for mud) to no more than 1.95" (technical hardpack), so this hasn't been a real problem for me; but for riders who prefer a higher-volume tire, this can be an issue. I did try to set the bike up with IRC Mythos 2.1" tires once, and it was a very tight fit. However, having a rear suspension somewhat obviates the need for a high-volume/low-pressure tire, since the suspension keeps the wheel tracking on the ground; so the 2.1" tires all end up on my hardtail now. The Marzocchi Z.3 air fork has stood the test of time, however - laterally stiff, while providing plush but controlled damping. I'm considering upgrading to a Marzocchi Marathon Race, or Fox F80X with the TerraLogic circuit for '06, but even if I do, the Marzocchi Z.3 will find a home on my hardtail for many years to come.

Reliability of the original parts has been a mixed bag. The Bontrager SuperStock wheelset has taken tons of abuse while holding true - they live on with my hardtail - but the bearings are cheap and wear quickly, and the braking surfaces are showing signs of wear as well. The rear suspension bushings were shot after 2 seasons of racing, which really isn't too bad; I replaced them when I upgraded the shock. The Cane Creek Shock held up quite well; it was still serviceable when I upgraded it for better performance. The original Bontrager crankset has also found a second home on my hardtail; since I'm not a fan of the ISIS system because of the too-small bearings required, I've stuck with square-taper cranks on all 3 or my mountain bikes. I've replaced the rings once with RaceFace Race Rings; this was a huge upgrade in terms of service life and shifting. There is some minor wear damage from where the chain beat on the driveside chainstay due to excessive chainsuck; I later determined this was the result of an incorrect chainline; switching to a 110mm BB with my RaceFace crankset from the original 113mm UN-52 BB fixed that problem completely - no more chainsuck, even in heavy mud.

All in all, this has been a great bike. The later models (2002 and up) have more rear tire clearance due to a redesigned rear triangle and pivot; but if you can deal with running 1.9" tires all the time, this is a great way to go. Trek's support for replacement bushings and hangars has been outstanding to date.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Mohican Loop

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   Eddy's Bike Shop

Similar Products Used:   Specialized FSRxc, Trek Fuel, Cannondale Scalpel

Bike Setup:   Not much stock left on it. Shock upgraded from Cane Creek AD-5 to Fox Float RP3; disc wheels w/Avid Mechanical discs (7" front, 6" rear); RaceFace Next LP crankset w/Taperlock Cro-Mo BB; flat bars w/OnZa Ti barends; Titec Big Al stem; Time ATAC Alium pedals

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Tob a Cross Country Rider from Switzerland

Date Reviewed: October 1, 2005

Strengths:    geometry, weight

Weaknesses:    cranks (Bontrager... oooh what a surprise !), no bearing at the pivot

Bottom Line:   
From the beginning to the dustbin : middle ring bent even if my shop change it for a better one (with pictures I explained why it bent to GF but no reply), . Swingarm was brocken after 2 years. GF didn't take it in warrenty, my shop did it... so I ride now with a sugar 2 from 2003 until it will... 2001 until yet just problems with this stupid pivot (supermarket bicycle technology...)

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $1800.00

Purchased At:   shop

Similar Products Used:   Specialized, K2, Cannondale, Yeti, Scott,...

Bike Setup:   Marzocchi Z3, Bontrager,...stock but with XT disc brake and XT-Mavic wheels (I'm very confident on Bontrager material...)

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Donovan Brooke a Weekend Warrior from Lodi WI USA

Date Reviewed: October 30, 2003

Strengths:    Strong Frame and essentials and hayes Disk Brakes. The overall feal of the bike

Weaknesses:    Stock Crank: I've had the bearing repacked a couple of times.
Derailers (particularly the front): I can't seem to dial in perfectly... especially when comming off a down hill to an uphill. (Even if I pre-plan the switch, I can sometimes miss the gear and occassionally lose the chain.) Believe me, I've spent lots of time with bike folks trying to dial in. Wheelset. About the Can Creak Shock. I would agree that there is better out there!... However, a note for some. People have stated that it loses air. Yes. However, After riding this bike for 2 years I have found a Zen answer to this problem. :-) The Shock doesn't actually get worse. Believe me, I've pounded it at MOAB with pretty serious drops and perhaps more at my commute to work (hitting the curbs hard at times). The answer is to set your presure before any major ride. The shock presure will last through the ride making for a good ride. However, over time, the presure will disipate.. or after a day at a MOAB trail. Just set the presure each time you ride and you should be good to go.


Bottom Line:   
Perhaps this is a perfect bike to have over time. The essentials are all great products. If I had the money, I would upgrade the wheel set (Oh the dreams of Spinergy), Crank set and the delrailures. I then would have the sweet bike that I always wanted... (perhaps I would upgrade the rear shock also). Great all around bike and will stand the test of time!.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Moab Trails

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $1200.00

Purchased At:   Bike Rack (Omaha)

Similar Products Used:   I've always owned Gary Fisher Bikes but this is my first full susp.

Bike Setup:   Stock accept Time atac alium pedals, Azonic 3deg bar (stock one didn't quite do it for me).

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by niklas a Cross Country Rider from espoo, finland

Date Reviewed: July 30, 2003

Strengths:    Geometry, disc brakes

Weaknesses:    Crankset?

Bottom Line:   
Great bike. Often wonder if the shock really is working, since there is no bobbing, but looking at it and realizing that I'm riding uneven terrain reminds me how well everything works. The crankset is causing minor problems with a creaking sound and occasional chainsuck and ghost shifting. The Hayes discs are good, but they needed a break-in period and some initial adjustments. Maybe in the future I'll start upgrading the shifters, crankset when needed. For now, everything works as it's supposed to! I'm very happy with this bike. Previously I was into competitive stuff, but now I'm starting to lean more towards epic bike adventures. With my old hardtail, I'd be beaten up after a few hours ride off-road, but with this bike you can ride on and on..No need to compete, just to ride and enjoy nature and explore! :)

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Bike Setup:   Sugar 3 disc stock, bontrager jones wheels / continental explorer supersonic front & conti supersonic twister rear for competition

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Eli Hariton a Weekend Warrior from CT

Date Reviewed: June 16, 2003

Strengths:    Great feel, not too heavy, not too light, great in the technical stuff, good control in all terrain. Good stock componants.

Weaknesses:    sometimes the shifter is a little screwy, shifts back a forth alot so i've needed to keep tunning it.

Bottom Line:   
Great bike for the technical mt. biking, good in the downhill, kicks ass on the rocky cruisers. great all around bike. Pretty advanced bike, this is my first full suspension and it's workin awsome for me.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1200.00

Purchased At:   Cycle Dynamics

Bike Setup:   all stock components.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Phil Esempio a Racer from Cuyahoga Falls

Date Reviewed: January 27, 2003

Strengths:    Marzocchi Fork, geometry

Weaknesses:    Bontrager Crank, non-adjustable shock

Bottom Line:   
Seeing as how it's 0 degrees here in OH right now, not much chance to ride the beast hard yet. Got a great deal on an '01 Sugar 3 (not a +), great for me since I already own a '98 FSR Extreme with 5" of travel. This bike will be my XC race bike for '03, doing everything from local races to 100 milers, and replacing my '96 Trek OCLV Pro Issue.

I like the riding position that Fisher's Genesis Geometry puts you in - I've been using this setup on hardtails for years. I had the option of buying an '01 Fuel 90 with similar components at the same price, and preferred this bike by a long shot, particularly due to the fork choice and riding position. I also really like how well this bike accelerates, thanks to the very short chainstays and rigid rear end. Of all the bikes listed above that I tested, only the Titus felt faster, and I didn't have the $$$ to shell out on one.

Based on all the complaints on the Bontrager cranks, I yanked 'em off right away, and put on the RaceFace Next LP's (scavenged off of the Trek). The Bontragers will get new rings (probably RaceRings) and find new life on my hardtail in the spring. I also swapped out the stock stem for the Moots from the Trek, since the length was right. I'm sticking with the risers for now, although I'm generally a flat-bar racer - I like the position it puts me in, and I can always swap it out later. Also the grips got the boot for ODI Lock-on's. I'm suspicious of the non-adjustable AD-5 shock, but I'm going to give it a shot, even order in new valving for it if need be, and re-evaluate when it blows up or the end of the season, whichever comes first. The Marzocchi Z3 Air fork, like all Marzocchi products, is amazing at this price point - low pressure air, adjustable rebound, open bath, all at only a slight weight penalty compared to similar products (SID, Manitou SX/Skareb). The Avid brakes are fine, except for not having cartridge pads, something that I'll fix for all of 20 bucks as soon as the originals are worn out.

Basically, this is an all-out XC weapon for the racer on a budget. If you want an all-around bike, buy a Sugar +, or even look at Specialized's Enduro. All the major parts are there, and with only a little upgrading you've got a 25 lb. duallie ready for a full race season. I'll report more on reliability as the season progresses.

For now - 5 chili's for value, and 5 overall - where else can you get a bike this great for this kind of money?

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Snowshoe, WV

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $999.00

Purchased At:   Eddy's Bike Shop

Similar Products Used:   Tested Trek Fuel 90, Specialized FSRxc, Cannondale Jekyll, Titus Loco Moto, Giant NRS

Bike Setup:   Stock, except for crank (RF Next LP) and stem (Moots Ti)

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Aaron Guyer a Cross Country Rider from Ann Arbor, MI, USA

Date Reviewed: January 9, 2003

Strengths:    Full suspension for great price, smooth ride even on the rockiest of descents, light, bombproof pedals

Weaknesses:    Bontrager Crank, Bontrager rear hub, WTB velociraptor tires

Bottom Line:   
This is the first full suspension bike I have owned and overall I am very happy with it. I've riden in a variety of conditions-sand, mud, rocky trails and ice/snow covered trails-and the bike did well. Even the biggest drops feel soft with this suspension setup. As with some of the other reviews I've read, I have had problems with the crank. I broke two chains, the first of which on the first ascent of the first ride I took the bike on. That problem was solved with the Wipperman chain, but I still get chainsuck sometimes. Also, the rear hub came apart 3 months after I got the bike. And the Velociraptor tires slide all over in the sandy conditions of Michigan, the Wildgripper tires do ALOT better.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Potowami Trail

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   Two Wheel Tango

Bike Setup:   Stock except for upgraded tires to Michelin Wildgripper Hot S, and Wipperman stainless chain

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Sean a Weekend Warrior from Amherst, MA

Date Reviewed: November 15, 2002

Strengths:    Weight, balance, rear shock for trail use

Weaknesses:    Rear shock bottoms on 4+ foot hits when set up for trail use, stock crank sucked

Bottom Line:   
Is now a peice of my body on the trail, great traction uphill, and I'm now faster than every hardtail downhill I've ever met. Genesis geometry so good now every other company is emulating it, so it's not unique anymore. Light bike, probably only about 26.5 pounds. I've got about 2000 miles on it now and it still works as new. After crankset it's 5 n 5.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Over the Notch

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1075.00

Similar Products Used:   Full rigid, trek fuel 90

Bike Setup:   Avid mag brakes, Truvativ Stylo Team and SL bb, Selle Trans-Am seat

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Robert a Cross Country Rider from Hollywood, FL

Date Reviewed: July 1, 2002

Strengths:    Geometry, balance, brakes (disc)

Weaknesses:    Crankset, swingarm

Bottom Line:   
After cracking my swingarm for the SECOND time in the exact same place Fisher upgraded me to the Plus Frame and swingarm. Now I have an 02 frame, shock, swingarm with Hayes Disc brakes and Marzocci z3 airs that are 100mm. The 4.1" setting rocks compared to the 2.5" on the 01. You can set the bike up so much plusher, and take bigger hits with more confidence. My riding style is further away from racing than it is "adventure" riding. If yours is similar and you crack your swingarm, push for the PLUS frame from your fisher rep. You will not regret it.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Markham

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Bike Setup:   stock + LX cranks and chainrings

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by martin fenner a Cross Country Rider from brighton, england

Date Reviewed: June 17, 2002

Strengths:    looks, great ride, rear sus is always working and there when you need it

Weaknesses:    there's something strange about the design that affects the crank - see below

Bottom Line:   
i bought this s/h with a big sur in p/x. i didn't like the big sur, primarily because of the crappy bontrager chainset - which bent a middle ring the first time out, so i got a s/h xt chainset fitted on this, and blow me, if it hasn't shot 3 of the 4 chainset bolts through the force of the chainsuck i got today! i'm not a happy bunny, it's such a lovely bike to ride, but there's something cranky going on with the chainset - and it's not just the bontrager one. ho hum. at least i didn't pay full whack for it - hence the 4 chilis.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $800.00

Similar Products Used:   fisher advance, marlin, big sur

Bike Setup:   stock, except with XT chainset

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Dave Tokarz a Cross Country Rider from Schaumburg IL

Date Reviewed: June 13, 2002

Strengths:    Once you dial in the suspension for you riding style and weight the bike becomes an extension of you. Does everything well.

Weaknesses:    The crank set-up I guess. I've just broke my 2nd Sram chain in les then a year. and that's saying alot especially since I don't ride in the winter. Also I wish I would have gotten the disc brakes.

Bottom Line:   
THis bike is 85% great. That stupid crank set needs to be replaced. I'm going to contact Gary Fisher today to see what the can do. I don't want to spend any more $$$ on chains.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Kettle Moraine

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Purchased At:   1500

Similar Products Used:   Specialized Hard Rock, Dean Colonel, Trek 4300

Bike Setup:   Completly stock, Z3 Bomber, Bontrager Crank, XT derailller AD-5 cane Creek shock.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by scwman a Cross Country Rider from Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Date Reviewed: June 1, 2002

Strengths:    I bought the + disc model with Hayes standard. Disc brakes rock! Climbing is a joy. Like others have stated, one can go up and down the hills faster with this geometry.

Weaknesses:    Bontrager chainrings don't work with this setup because the chain won't stay on! They are garbage. I got the bike shop guy to warranty the small and middle and replace them with Shimano LX with me paying the difference. This fixed all the problems.

The Cane Creek AD-5 needed some work. After a month it would drop pressure from 110 to 60 psi after 2 hours of riding. I disassembled it and found that the seal between the nipple and body was destroyed. Also, the cylinder had a large scratch that had cut a groove in the piston o-ring. The rebound damping effectiveness was destroyed by this. I used a small piece of emery cloth to smooth it out.


Bottom Line:   
Besides the above mentioned problems I am pleased with this bike. It rides really well when you get used to the geometry. The 2.5 inches of rear travel is fine for what I ride and I rarely bottom out the shock. I would have given 4 chilis overall if I didn't have the chainring problem.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Vulture's Knob

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1700.00

Purchased At:   Eddy's Bike Shop

Similar Products Used:   '99 Rockhopper Comp

Bike Setup:   stock

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Mark a Cross Country Rider from Telluride

Date Reviewed: April 25, 2002

Strengths:    Relatively Light for a duallie. Z3 fork can be relied upon to bail you out of unexpected dropoffs. Climbs smoothly up steeps & over scree. The light weight & suspension are excellent for technical-trialslike climbs.

Weaknesses:    The Bontrager Comp Crank has been unreliable from day one. The chain slips from larger rings to smaller rings without warning. SRAM PC59 broke as a result of chain slip. The Cane Creek AD5 rear shock has very little rebound control and rebounds harshly on hard rock trails.

Bottom Line:   
I highly reccommend this bike for any XC rider/racer who likes to climb & wants a faster,smoother descent with more control. You get a lot of bike for the buck without getting too heavy in the Full Suspension arena.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Porcupine Rim

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1250.00

Purchased At:   Telluride Sports

Similar Products Used:   Tested Fuels, Schwinn Rocket 88

Bike Setup:   As is out of the box

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by john schoonover a Cross Country Rider from redding, ca

Date Reviewed: April 22, 2002

Strengths:    CLIMBS LIKE A HARD TAIL. NO BOB AT ALL. MOST OF THE STOCK COMPONENTS SEEM ADEQUATE AND THE PRICE IS RIGHT.

Weaknesses:    THE CANE CREEK REAR SHOCK IS JUNK. I ONLY WEIGH 160 WET, SO IF I TELL YOU THIS SHOCK SUCKS, BELIEVE ME IT DOES. I BLEW THE FIRST ON APART IN 3 MONTHS, AND THE SECOND ONE IS WELL ON ITS WAY. (LEAKS EVERY TIME I RIDE. ALSO, THE BIKE SHOP REPLACED THE ORIGINAL SET OF BONTRAGER WHEELS WITH THE 2002 BECAUSE THE CUPS WERE TRASHED IN 30 DAYS. HUBS ARE SOMEWHAT WEAK AS WELL.

Bottom Line:   
THIS WAS MY FIRST FULL SUSPENSION BIKE. I REALLY LIKE THE WAY IT FEELS, UP AND DOWN HILL. I THINK IF I WERE GOING TO DO IT AGAIN, I WOULD NEGOTIATE A DIFFERENT REAR SHOCK INTO THE DEAL. MY FRIENDS WHO RIDE SAID THE CANE CREEK WAS JUNK AND THEY WERE RIGHT. ALSO, THE HUBS HAVE BEEN REBUILD A FEW TIMES AND I AM NOT REALLY A VERY HARD-CORE RIDER. I THINK IT IS A GOOD BIKE FOR THE MONEY, BUT SOME OF THE COMPONENTS ARE LACKING.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   boulder creek/ whiskeytown

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1200.00

Purchased At:   sports cottage

Bike Setup:   STOCK

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by John a Cross Country Rider from New York City, NY, USA

Date Reviewed: April 2, 2002

Strengths:    Weight, looks, Marzocchi Fork, Wheelset

Weaknesses:    Bontrager cranks (bent little and middle ring), upgraded to XT Hollowtech. Also upgraded to XTR rear...Love em both

Bottom Line:   
After about 500 miles I cracked the rear triangle at the pivot point. I weight about 220 lbs and ride very hard, but the crack happened on a less than 1 foot drop. I am still waiting to see what happens with the warranty.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Rocky Point, NY

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1100.00

Purchased At:   Grand Bike Shop

Similar Products Used:   Schwinn Mesa

Bike Setup:   Stock except for XT Hollowtech crankset, XTR Rear derailluer

Reviews 1 - 15 (63 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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


Gary Fisher Sugar 3 Disc 2001 modell

Hi, I am a owner of a Sugar 3 and right now my rear shock is broken and I need to buy a new one. Its difficult to read what its written on the shock, but I think its a Crane Creek AD 5. Can anyone help me with the specification so I can order a new rear shock. Thanks, TorRead More »

GF 2001 Sugar 3+???

Is the 2001 model Sugar 3+ frame the same as the 2002 and 2003? What all was changed from the 2001 models? Is the 2001 model the one that has the chainsuck or do all of them have this downfall? Any info on the 2001 would be greatly appreciated as GF does not have this year listed on there website ... Read More »


 

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