a Weekend Warrior
from Portland, OR
Date Reviewed: December 1, 2010
Strengths: Rides great.
Weaknesses: rear disc brake pads wont stop rubbing (although this could be because the brake needs to be re-bled, so its not necessarily a manufacturing issue).
It's one of Gary Fisher's first crossover bikes (Half mountain bike, half road bike), if not the first. It has a virtually indestructible aluminum frame that is made from the strongest and thickest American-made aluminum that you can find, or at least that I have heard of (Platinum Series ZR-9000 Genesis Frame). I put thinner tires then what it came with when I got it (the thinnest I could put on the rims, 700x35c), as to access this bikes full speed-potential. I got it for at a steal; paid only $400 (worth $1500) I also only had to do minimum amount of work to get it on the road (replace the rear caliper, true the tires and true the rear brake disc). Although the rear brake disc is rubbing (need to re-bleed) and the wheel bearings could use a good overhaul, it still rides like a dream.
a Cross Country Rider
from Oxnard, Ca USA
Date Reviewed: March 9, 2007
Strengths: Solid components- Hayes discs/Shimano hardware= reliability. Good quality wheels.
Weaknesses: What's with the fork? The Manitou South fork feels better suited for girls- seriously, I weigh 185 lbs., and from what I can tell, there is no way to significantly stiffen the fork. 75mm travel, but it sags half that as soon as I get on the bike. Forks aren't very stiff- LOTS of flex when braking/ cornering, can be quite scary even on the street.
All in all, I'm fairly happy with the bike, especially considering the price I paid. I ride the hell out of it, and while the forks leave me wishing for something with more travel and durability, as long as I don't get to crazy, they work on the street. I wouldn't dare ride the bike on a trail, and as such, this is the first bike I've ever owned that still has straight wheels! I tend to be really rough on my bikes, and to have a bike where everything works as well as it did new is a novelty for me. I'm in the market for something with full suspension- lots of travel and beef so I can get my offroad fix. If you are in the market for a good bike to ride around the city, and can't stand skinny tires and harsh rides, then this is a good bike to start with. Good geometry and solid controls make this a reliable bike with a decent ride.
Similar Products Used: Raleigh M40 set up similarly
Bike Setup: Shimano LX/XT derailers and levers. Hayes HFX9 hydraulic disc brakes. Bontrager neck, bars, bottom bracket, seat post, rims. Mythos Slick (?)tires. SRAM rear cogs.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: January 30, 2004
Strengths: Great overall quality, has a mix of components that make for an affordable and nicely outfitted bike. Frame is top of the line, so its worthy of later upgrading.
Weaknesses: The Manitou South Super is a little disappointing, and to me the IRC Mythos CX Slicks don't inspire much as confidence on the trails as my IRC Notos do. Also not very light.
Let me start out by saying that this is my first MTB ever, and that so far I've gotten loads and loads of fun out of it riding it over fine dutch mtb-trails! Overall the bike is great, it feels really reliable, shifting is without problems and the Hayes HFX9 offers excellent braking power.
I chose to buy a 29er because I wanted a bike thats also suitable as a roadbike (as it turns out I only ride it on trails though). After testing two 29ers (a Nishiki and a GF) I became convinced that the whole niner idea really works offroad. They feel fast and stable and aren't much impressed by most bumps. I don't feel that my acceleration and cornering is significantly worse than that of people I ride with on their 26" bikes.
I finally picked a Gary Fisher because of the amount of passion for biking that this company manages to communicate through their site and catalog. A good indication to me the company deserves my dough.
I decided on the 129 because I liked the paintjob of this bike better then of the X-Caliber_29, and because I had the idea that the 129 offered more value for money with the hydraulic brakes and overall higher technical spec (XT/LX/LX/Hayes Disc Brakes for the 129, LX/LX/Deore/Standard V-brakes for the X-Caliber, to mention the most obvious differences), for a relatively small extra price. To make it more of a true MTB I switched the more road-oriented chainrings for normal ones.
The main disappointment of the 129 really is the fork. As there was very little info on the Manitou South Super at the time of the buy, I had to go on the opinion of my LBS that you can't really go wrong with a Manitou. Although I wouldn't go as far as to say that it's a bad fork, I do think that it could be more responsive to the bumps it eats. On the new Answer Products site the South Super is called a fitness/trekking fork, which further indicates to me that I might have to upgrade the fork to maybe a White Brothers model. I want to stress that I haven't given up on the fork yet, as I'm still an MTB newbie I'd really have to compare other forks more before I dismiss the Manitou as unsuitable.
The other thing is the stock tires, skinny IRC Mythos XC slicks, that somehow don't offer me much confidence when I'm cornering. They seem fast, but on the trails I ride I feel better using IRC Notos tires.
Finally, comparing the weight of the 129 (about 13-14kg, weighed on an nearly half-decent scale) to other bikes in the same price-region, it could be less. But knowing I've got an excellent top of the line ZR9000 frame with a lifetime warranty, I feel that I've bought a great bike. And it can only get better over time as I will upgrade parts when I feel ready (and my wallet is ready as well).
I give to 4/5 flamin' chilis, not 5, because there's always something left to be desired and no bike can be perfect. Still, this is the bike that got me hooked, and I intend to keep it forever.
Similar Products Used: tested a '04 GF Tassajara, '02 Mt.Tam and '03 Nishiki Bigfoot.
Bike Setup: All standard, except I switched out the original 22/38/48 chainrings for a normal 22/34/44 LX set. Oh and I put on Shimano M545 pedals so I can also use my normal shoes. Added to the stock tires I've also got a pair of IRC Notos.
I'm looking to get back into biking and have lurked here for awhile. My son's desires to ride/get into xc and ride together is no small part of this. I had a Specialized (can't even remember the model) around 15 years ago and had all kinds of issues with it so I've shied away from those an ... Read More »
Hi all, I'm new to this site and to the mountain biking scene so please be gental. ;) I am interested in getting a hybrid type 29er since I do more road trekking than trail riding and was looking into getting a Dual Sport 129 by GF. When I went to purchase one a salesmen told me that the 129 is di ... Read More »