I bought this 2 years ago in 2011, at the time it suited my needs and I didnt know too much at all about bikes. So, I went with a namebrand trek. How could you go wrong with the gary fisher name? PRETTY WRONG. I started to get more into mtbing, and i also used it around town. The tires are crap for anything off road, dont corner at all. 15 dollar ones from the store worked far better. The front suspension is crap, cheapiest fork ever, it seizes up real fast and is pretty much a pogo stick. The derailer is terrible as well, chain fall offs, not shifting, shifting too much, all these problems and more are constantly a problem. The tires dont stay true, the brakes drag no matter how much tuning. They arent very powerfull either. The bottom bracket makes bad noises early on, its just a very cheap beginner bike, ok i guess for your first mtb to use mostly around town, on the trails forget it. Terrible value though no matter what the use. For the money you are far better off getting something off of craigslist or if you must purchase new go with something like airborne bikes, they have a bike with better components and a better fork for literally half the price of this bike!
Similar Products Used: Other bikes in the price range, from name brands like trek, gary fisher, specialized, also lesser known but quality brands like airborne, kona, etc.
Date Reviewed: August 20, 2012
Strengths: Great shifters
Weaknesses: Brakes are awful, wheels break easily, tires pop easily, VERY HEAVY
I bought this bike thinking it would be good for around town and sometimes on the trail. I have had nothing but problems with it. My bike store, high gear, told me I would get free adjustment with their bikes, and they didn't stick by their word. I am never buying a trek bike again. specialized all the way
from West Vancouver
Date Reviewed: October 24, 2010
Strengths: Strong, light, works well, no problems, just big enough to put a bike engine on it.
Weaknesses: Paint scratches easily, but that doesn't really matter. Shocks not big enough, but I don't really need it for my motor bike.
Great bike, with my engine on it, it feels like a motorcycle.
If I didn't put an engine on it, it would be a good trail bike, nice wide handlebars. Great for the price that I got it at $60.00 from some person on Craigslist :)
Bike Setup: I put a 66cc engine on it, it's legit (can go up to 60km/h)
a Weekend Warrior
from Miami, FL
Date Reviewed: January 1, 2010
Strengths: excellent entry level bike (for the price).
Weaknesses: fork and tires are more for novice, and beginning intermediate
if you are thinking about getting into mountain biking, this bike will do because it won't break the bank and it is also adaptable to upgrades. it comes with a Suntour (like a Honda) 100 mm travel fork and tires you can use on pavement or trail with no problem.
Strengths: Excellent Frame (same frame as higher GF G2 models). I believe the G2 Geometry was new to the 09 Models, mine is the latest 2010 model. The bike is fast and responsive, sturdy, looks good and rides well and is an overall good value for entry into the sport.
Weaknesses: I would like to see an upgrade in components. Maybe Shimano Deores instead of Altus. The fork is adequate, but I'd like something higher end there too. The V brakes are good, but for this price range mechanical disk brakes would be reasonable too. The bontrager components are adequate but I will soon be upgarding the LT3 tires to velociraptors.
Bought the His and Hers Tarpons for my wife and I. Should have gotten a better deal on the Hers model as some of the components aren't as nice. The frame is not just a step thru, it's also a step down in quality (GF silver series). I think that since the bike was debuted years ago GF has increased the quality of the bike and gone up on the price as well. Overall it's adequate and since it's the same frame as the next few steps up, if you can't afford the full package, get this bike and upgrade the components over time. However, if you can afford it, it's worth it to spend a little extra and get the better components up front. It will save you money in the long run. Overall we're happy with these bikes and have found something we can enjoy together. The first things we'll be upgrading are to SPD pedals and grippier tires.
a Weekend Warrior
from United States
Date Reviewed: August 9, 2009
Strengths: Good, solid frame(a bit heavy)
Weaknesses: stock forks (RST) are horrible, no even pre-load adjustments. But that was good for the time.
Overall a good bike for a beginner. It has been thrown into many trees and off multiple sets of stairs. This was basically my first real bike, so it has made it though the beginning of my biking experiences; As well as me taking everything on it apart to figure out how it all worked (after a few hours though I would always get it working again). Very good first bike, or just one to mess around with.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: July 21, 2009
Strengths: Great ballance, didnt break the bank
Weaknesses: components are what you expect for the price
I bought this bike to get into mountain biking. I rode it on the local trails for a few years. I love this bike. It has been able to handle all the trees and stunps i havnt been able to avoid. it has done well with my learning how to maintain a bike. im not an expert so the bike has not been subjected to extreme conditions. i would recomend this bike to anyone who is not wanting to spend a lot of money to find out if they are interested in the sport.
Strengths: cost, reliable even with somewhat crappy components, frame has some give especially near the bottom bracket, it has outlasted all of my expectations of how long it would last as I tend to abuse it more so than any other bike I have owned, somewhat light
Weaknesses: the frame is somewhat flexible as stated above causing the tire to rub against the chain stay when i tried a 2.1 nevegal causing me to have to return the tire, plastic pedals broke within 6 months, grips literally decomposed after 1 year, RST fork is literally an iron piece of crap that lost it's rebound so for a year or two it was as good as riding a rigid bike (which was fine with me) until I got my downhill bike and realized how important suspension was...
I bought this bike as a freshman in college expecting it to last a year or two, I just graduated and upgraded the fork to a RockShox TORA sl (ebay) which costs almost as much as the bike itself and breathed a new life into the bike which I freaking love...
I literally neglected it for a year or two and have been using it as my winter/ice bike as Vermont winters are not forgiving but recently I have been riding it really hard as a xc bike... for some reason I just cannot get rid of it and I have grown to love it...
Bottom line, I went to the bike shop to buy a new pair of shoes and mentioned that I was thinking of upgrading my wheel-set, fork and drivetrain and the salesman instead insisted in me buying a whole new bike... I walked out with a bad taste in my mouth I love this bike no matter how crappy it is... allthough i only ended up getting a new fork I think ill wait till i destroy the other components and the frame before i get another hardtail...
Similar Products Used: 90's specialized hardrock SS rigid, 90's GT rigid (cant remember name) Specialized Bighit, (and am i allowed to say on MTBR that I own a raliegh road bike aswell?)
Bike Setup: stock everything except 09 ROCKSHOX Tora SL, specialized captain 2.0 on back, kenda nevegal 2.1 up front, red YETI grips, crank bro's pedals (i switch between mallets and egg beaters depending on where I am riding...) lots of stickers to cover holes in the paint job... had a really cool rack that acted as a fender but it got stolen the week i bought it...
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: May 4, 2009
Strengths: superb frame
Weaknesses: cheap components
I love the bike ! although it came with cheap parts..... but I would say you get what you have pay
a Cross Country Rider
from Zagreb, Croatia, Croatia
Date Reviewed: April 10, 2009
Strengths: Very nice trekking style frame. Price. Tektro V Brake works more then excellent!!
Weaknesses: Crankset is way too big for MTB, cassette is not flexible, fork and back hub are low quality. Low number of cassettes makes it inferior on uphill drive.
This bike will do the job and the price isn't so bad. So after your first or second ride you will fall in love in it.
However, if you try to drive it on more difficult and challenge path i.e. 1,5h up hill drive - then comfortable frame will prove not to be so comfortable - as it was not designed for uphill drive.
Regarding setup; there is huge crankset that just doesn't belong on these kind of bike, as it is more suitable for Road bikes. Also hub, fork and cassette will inevitably brake down since they are of low quality.
During three years which I owned this bike, due to brake or upgrade) I changed: hubs, crankset, cassette, fork, pedals.
a Weekend Warrior
from Tamarac, Fl. US
Date Reviewed: February 5, 2009
Strengths: Frame is strong, V brakes are decent.
Weaknesses: Components are mediocre, I have replaced the seat post, seat, handle bars. Since being purchased Nov 2008. Now the bearings in the free-wheel/cassette fell out this past Saturday ! Nothing has been covered under warranty !
I was happy with this bike in the beginning, and as I have progressed in my riding on intermediate trails it has fallen apart! I found out at a Trek/G.F demo day at the park I ride at that I should have been fitted to larger frame! "That Burns!" The shop was more interested in getting the sale rather than being honest and telling me the truth! I would have spent more money on a bike that fits me "6ft tall & 235lbs" on a 17.5 frame. Plan on selling it to recoup the money lost on this poor choice, not getting a Fisher ever again, too much hype & money behind the name.I have made several e-mail attempts to Trek/G.F. with no response.This was my first mountain/trail bike as an adult and the entire experience has left me with a bad taste in my mouth !
Strengths: strong frame, decent components, takes a beating
Weaknesses: none so far
in stock form ive taken this bike on many different types of trails and some decent size jumps and its never failed me. its a 2009, and is my first actual mtb this bike definitely has got me into the sport even more and eventually if this bike ever fails i will upgrade some of the components or go for another fisher
a Weekend Warrior
from Houston, TX
Date Reviewed: November 11, 2008
Strengths: Frame, finish , shifters,
Weaknesses: Rims, grips, seat
After being a runner for 35 years, I decided to try biking to take some stress off the body and joints. Wanted to experiment with a mountain bike before trying a road bike, and I didn't want to break the bank right out of the gate.
Being a total novice, but telling the folks at BikeBarn what I was trying to do and pricing, etc. they suggested the GF Tarpon. I did also test ride a comparable Trek. Although, a 10-15 minute test ride on the streets of Houston will not tell you everything you will experience.
All in all, I have been very happy with my bike. It seems very sturdy and responsive, and after about 500 miles, the only issue with my "free" initial tune up was that both rims were slightly out of true. I have not been off road or on any trails, so I thought that a little strange.
The front fork also seems harsh. But, for the price tag, I couldn't be happier. And thrilled that I have found another acitivity that I enjoy so much.
Any suggestions on upgrades that would make this neat little bike all the better.........again without breaking the bank. Or should I just ride it until I'm ready for a new one and upgrade then?
I'd say anyone wanting to test the mountain biking waters and looking for an entry level bike couldn't go wrong with the Tarpon.
a Weekend Warrior
from Janesville, WI, USA
Date Reviewed: June 16, 2008
Strengths: Lightweight, durable, very sturdy to ride, good control, easy & reliable shifting, sweet looking bike.
Weaknesses: Rear cogs skip over time.
Very nice bike for the price. I bought this bike at 6'6" & 330 pounds for road and light trails, and it has held up beautifully. This is the 1st Aluminum frame bike I've owned. The plastic pedals it came with were cheap, and one cracked in half when I dumped it last year taking a downhill turn too quickly, prompting me to change them out with metal ones. The smallest 4 rear cogs began to skip within the last few weeks or so, making it difficult to push hard, especially up hill. Outside of that, the frame is light and has held up exceptionally well, Both front and rear deraileurs work immediately and consistently. A friend that I ride with owns a Trek 6500, and in comparing the two I have much more control over my Gary Fisher and it feels much sturdier and more responsive. Given what he paid for his Trek, I expected much more from it. I would highly recommend a Tarpon for anyone who doesn't want to spend a ton and wants a reliable bike.
Tore up my '09 Tarpon last October. Took a nasty crash, broke the derailleur, tore out my brake cable, and bent a rim.
Birthday is rolling around in May and my parents told me they'd buy me a new bike as a present.:thumbsup: I've been looking all around, at all sorts of bikes. Mainly been lookin ... Read More »
hi guys, the gary fisher tarpon i have, i bought (probably paid like 250 for it) when i was 15 and i beat the snot out of it, i never lubed it up or anything like that because i wasnt aware of proper bike care. and a few years ago, i got the genius idea to paint the bike and i started using it again ... Read More »
Which would be a better decision for someone just getting into the sport?
The Tarpon has very little ride time and is in great condition as well as shimano alivio cranks and a bontrager trip 2 computer. $375
The 4300 is non-disc, great condition with ver little ride time as well. $350
Than ... Read More »
I don't remember exactly what year it is, but it was the last year they came rigid. My wife bought one the next year and it had a suspension fork. I see people post all the time about rebuilding older bikes but I've been told that it would not be possible to put a suspension fork on this bike. I ... Read More »
I need some advice guys n gals,
I've had this bike for about 6 months. Im a pretty built guy, Im 250 lbs right now and its going down gradually.
I ride my bike relatively hard. Im starting to find the weak links in my bike.
The rear hub is on its last legs, the rear deraileur is messed up, and ... Read More »