Gary Fisher Sugar 2+ 2002 Full Suspension

4.14/5 (49 Reviews)


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Reviews 1 - 15 (49 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Ryan a Cross Country Rider from Upstate NY

Date Reviewed: June 19, 2007

Strengths:    Great handling bike, fits great, easy to control for a big / tall rider (Size XL frame - 6'5" 200lb rider). Frame warranty and a company that stand behind it (good thing, see below).

Weaknesses:    Poor frame design, not built to hold up to big riders. My orignial Sugar 2 cracked lower swing arm by the crank, Gary Fisher graciously replaced, with a Sugar 2+. After 3 seasons, another crack, same location - now a new rear triangle.

Bottom Line:   
Great handling bike, easy to control in many conditions. Great company and great warranty. BUT bike not suited for big riders....

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Dryer Road Park

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Similar Products Used:   Old Bontrager and Raleigh hardtails.

Bike Setup:   XT/XTR shifters, XT hubs and Crank. Manitou Minute 1 fork, Hayes Mechanical Discs

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by David Coplon a Cross Country Rider from Mt. Desert, ME, USA

Date Reviewed: May 17, 2006

Strengths:    Climbs great, descends great, handles very well. Great all round bike. Great components, Especially like the XTR rear derailer.

Weaknesses:    Phylo never quite seems to perform the way it should. It my keeps leaking oil.

Bottom Line:   
I love this bike, I wish that it had a different fork.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   Bar Harbor Bike Shop

Similar Products Used:   Epic comp

Bike Setup:   Full XT with XTR rear derailer, full Bontrager race, Rock Shox Phylo SL, Cane Creek add 12

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Kris Buckles a Cross Country Rider from Indianapolis

Date Reviewed: August 15, 2005

Strengths:    Very Versatile with the Psylo and Sybal suspension. A ton of fun when operating.

Weaknesses:    Pivot Bushings wearing out every two months. The bushing kit is around $100. If you let the bushings go too far the swing arm cracks. Very bad engineering design for the caliber of bike purchased. Constant maintenance of the cables and shifters to avoid chain suck.

Bottom Line:   
The design flaws kill the bike putting it in the shop every other month, currently Trek is trying to make up for the situation with a frame replacement other than the sugar which will have internal bushings.

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Favorite Trail:   Nebo Ridge

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $1500.00

Purchased At:   Bike Line Carmel

Similar Products Used:   Gary Fisher Pro Cal, Giant Iguana

Bike Setup:   OEM

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Jason E a Cross Country Rider from Bozeman, MT

Date Reviewed: June 27, 2003

Strengths:    geometry, suspension design


Weaknesses:    psylo, bont cranks, cane creek 12

Bottom Line:   
I think that everyone is missing the point of this bike. Some think it is a joke as a freeride bike, others feel it is overbuilt for xcountry. The reality is that this bike is versatile. Great for epics. Perfect for climbing logging roads and bombing singletrack. Great for technical, rocky trails - POINT AND SHOOT. With a coil in rear, it can take 4 foot drops all day (I weigh 170lbs). I would never go back to a 3" travel bike - you just can't power through rocky trail w/ short travel. Plus - descents suck w/ 3inchers, not fast/fun.

There are three major (costly) problems with this bike
1. Cane Creek AD12 - after less than a year, had to rebuild. Held air for two rides, then would not hold for five minutes of riding. I like reliability - so I bought a Vanilla RL (coil). It is reliable and solid on drops, lockout is nice.
2. Bontrager cranks - not stiff enough, chainsuck. Will replace with beefier TV hussefelts.
*this is not a good shifting bike. All sugars have a bad chain line - they wear chains and cassettes very quickly.
3. Psylo SL - liked it at first, now hate it. flexy - does not steer well. basically feels like crap after one year. Hard to work on, results of rebuild are limited.
I will replace with a Z1 bomber.

Once I have this thing the way I want it, I think it will be a solid but very spendy ride. Good thing I got employee price on it.

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Favorite Trail:   middle cottonwood

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1300.00

Purchased At:   EP'd at Budget Bicycle Center, Madison, WI

Bike Setup:   disc model, stock except fox vanilla rl in rear

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jordan a Weekend Warrior from Orange County, CA

Date Reviewed: February 23, 2003

Strengths:    Great suspension design, some nice component choices, frame is pretty durable, looks killer

Weaknesses:    Some really bad component choices, chainsuck problems

Bottom Line:   
I love this bike when it's working. When it's not, I can't stop complaining about it.

First- the components:
You get the expected bontrager parts pretty much everywhere- the race stem/seatpost/riser bar are fine, but the crankset really sucks. The rings are soft, it's flexy, and you don't really get to experience the benefits of ISIS. I switched to an XT crankset, and even with less splines (octalink), it's still way stiffer. Also, if you keep the Bontrager, make sure you have a V5-stamped middle ring (as opposed to a V3), since newer Sugars get the new ring that's supposed to have better shifting. I don't really like the SD5 brakes, although if stopping power is really my thing, I guess I should have bought the disc version anyway. Also, for So. Cal., the IRC tires aren't very good- their cornering grip is bad, and I imagine that they shed mud well, but any muddy trail here would be closed for rain damage. As far as the good stuff, the WTB saddle is awesome, and the XT/XTR drivetrain is pretty sweet at this price. The ATAC pedals are amazing once you get used to having to swing your foot out to release.

Suspension/Ride Quality:
I dig the Rock Shox fork- it didn't get very high reviews on this site, but I love it's versatility and tuneability. It complements the variable travel possible on this bike very well. I also like the AD-12 although it tends to get trashed in bike magazines- I find you can make it adapt to your riding style by getting creative with air pressure and the compression and rebound adjusters. This bike climbs like a hardtail (or better, since it improves your traction), and even though the suspension moves while you're climbing, you don't really notice any bobbing or feedback unless you're in the wrong gear. Going back down, it rides like any bike with 4" of travel (if you ride in the 2.8" setting, you'll feel some hits, but it's still pretty smooth).

Chainsuck:
It is a problem with this bike, or at least, judging from the amount of reviewers who have this problem, it is something to consider if you're going to pick one up for cheap now that the 2003's are out. There is simply less room between the chainstay and the chainrings than there is on many other bikes, and this means that if your shifting is even a little off, you're going to have problems. Here's what I've done to minimize the problem: (sorry this is so long, but hopefully it's helpful to some people)
1) Get a better crankset or at least the V5 ring from Trek
2) Don't use a waxy lubricant like White Lightning- it gums up the chainrings and contributes to the chainsuck problem
3) Obsessively adjust your derailleurs and keep the cables well lubed
4) Time your shifts in terms of your pedaling cadence (this is pretty true for any bike, but especially here)
5) Bring a chain tool when you ride!!!

Bottom line- I have had only one problem with this bike, but it's been a recurring problem. I would recommend this bike nevertheless, because it is a sweet ride for the money as long as it is working.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1500.00

Purchased At:   Supergo

Similar Products Used:   Specialized hardtails

Bike Setup:   Stock except for XTR brakes, XT crankset, and WTB tires

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Russ a Cross Country Rider from Laguna Beach, CA

Date Reviewed: February 13, 2003

Strengths:    Everything.

Weaknesses:    None found yet.

Bottom Line:   
What a huge difference eight years made in bicycle technology. I saw all the new bikes on the trail, but kept riding my 1994 Raleigh. It had Rockshox Mag 21's and an aluminum frame. Couldn't get much better than that, huh? Boy was I surprised. The Fisher 2+ is lighter, more comfortable, climbs much better.

I've only had it six months, but I've ridden it a minimum of three days a week since last July. Most weeks it'll get four or five days of hard use and my log reflects over 500 miles on it. So, with that I would recommend the Sugar 2+ to anyone who likes to climb as much as they like to descend the rough stuff. Because it'll do both very well.

I've heard of chainsuck problems with Sugars, but this one has only exercised that demon twice since I've had it. For value I'd rate it very high. For overall rating it'll get a lower flaming chili rating because, there are better bikes out there. Lighter, smoother, and better balanced, you just gotta be willing to pay for 'em.

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Favorite Trail:   Rattlesnake

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1300.00

Purchased At:   Supergo

Similar Products Used:   Raleigh M800

Bike Setup:   Mix of XTR/XT and Bontrager.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Robert a Cross Country Rider from Hollywood, FL

Date Reviewed: February 13, 2003

Strengths:    Great Geometry. Disc Brakes

Weaknesses:    OEM Cranks, chain suck problems
CRACKING SWINGARM


Bottom Line:   
I am an aggressive XC trail rider. I do not huck myself off of anything huge. However I am more inclined to take a technical line as apposed to the smooth one. If that entails takeing a drop, jump or going over a rock so be it. Since I purchased my original bike in 2/01 I have gone through 5! rear swing arms, all of them have cracked in the exact same place. A radial crack along the lower tubular crossmember of the chainstays. Here is the break! down (pun intended)
1) Original 2.5" travel - crack replaced with (in 3 days! Way to go Fisher!!!! I paid for overnight shipping ONLY!)
2) Carbon fiber seat and chain stays 2.5" travel - cracked - replaced with a 3) warranty nightmare ( 4+ weeks) they sent the wrong swing (from a 4" travel bike) finally they just sent the main frame and shock from the + model (wooo hooo)
Cracked the new 4" travel swing in the same place as the 2.5" model! - 4) replaced (regular turn around ~ 10 days) another 4 months and ANOTHER CRACK SAME PLACE. 5) This time they replaced it with a pre-production version of next year's swing that has carbon fiber chain and seat stays and a reinforced gusset on the tubular crossmember that kept cracking. I got this one ASAP, since I was constantly badgering Fisher about a re-engineered part starting at failure #3!

Although the experience has not been painless I have to say it is nice that a company stands behind its product. There have been numerous times when I almost just ditched the whole thing and went to another bike. However everyone that rides as often as I do (3-5x's a week on single track) breaks stuff. One of my buddies just cracked his $2,000 Turner Frame, that only had a 1 year warranty! DOH!

All and all this is a great do it all bike. If you are a little on the agressive side plan on replacing things. The 28 spoke Bontrager wheel in the rear just did not cut it for me. So I upgraded to a Sun Single Track and have not had a broken spoke since. The Hayes Brakes have performed almost flawlessly for 2 solid years and over 3500 miles. Including NUMEROUS downhill excurions in NC, UT and CO. The geometry is what really does it for me. Lay this bike next to any other medium frame and the cockpit is usually a good 2" shorter than my bike. I am 5' 10" and ride a medium frame with a 115mm stem. I can climb, hammer the pedals, carve single track, take a drop or a jump without making huge adjustments to my position. The bike is as comfortable on my regular 6.5 mile local trail (Markham Park) as it was on Epic 15-30+ mile trails such as Hermosa Creek, Porc Rim, Dupont, Kennebac Pass and numerous Pisgah NC trails.

Again it is not perfect but over 2 years and only about $2500 in total expense (including the bike, maintenance and upgrades) I do not know how you could do any better.

Ride on

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Favorite Trail:   Markham

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Purchased At:   LBS

Bike Setup:   Started life as a 2001 Sugar 3 with Disc 2.5" travel
now =
Sugar + Frame Marzocci z4air at 100mm, XTR cranks, XT rear, Bontrager Race disc front wheel, Sun Single trac (bomb proof) rear

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Skater a Cross Country Rider from Michigan

Date Reviewed: October 30, 2002

Strengths:    Light weight

Weaknesses:    Just snapped a weld on a 2000 Sugar 1 and the LBS is replacing the frame with a Sugar 2+ (I'm 6 ft 5 in 190 lbs).

Bottom Line:   
How much are XLg Sugar 2's weighing in at with & without disc brakes? You pay thru the keister for light weight bikes but rarely does anyone pay much attention to it.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   atom ant

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Similar Products Used:   Been riding a 2000 Sugar 1 for 2 years with the only problems being on the owner side. (weak minded & bodied)

Bike Setup:   Can anyone mention what they're running on the rear shocks for their weight?

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by JMoose a Weekend Warrior from Philadelphia

Date Reviewed: October 25, 2002

Strengths:    climbs like its on a rail
corners like a champ, smooth ride without the dips, tough - I took a tumble and the bike ended up falling off a thirty foot cliff without a ding
it hums along on any terrain


Weaknesses:    I had some serious chain suck with the chain lodging between the frame and the chain rings. After getting some bad advice, I finally got a new front triangle from Bike Line in Ardmore. They got in touch with GF and had a new triangle to me in one week. The GF rep said the original run of Sugars had front triangles that were off by a couple of centimeters. The replacement seems perfect. The bike has gone without a hitch since. If you have problems with a GF product, get to a regular GF dealer and let them know. Although I was disappointed that GF would put out a faulty product, I was impressed at how quickly they amended the situation.

Bottom Line:   
Awesome ride for everything you can throw at it......as long as they have fixed the manufacturing problem. I heard that all the new frames were going through an extra check for this problem. I tried out the cannondale scalpel and jekyll and a specialized bike before buying the Fisher. It really seemed to hold the turns the best and take off like a rocket when I pushed it. The others are good but this bike was clearly the best. Definitely recommend as a buy. The only reason I lowered the value rating was due to the hassle of chain suck issue.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   unnamed in central NJ

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $2500.00

Purchased At:   bike line

Similar Products Used:   old specialized rock hopper
k2 razorback



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by John a Cross Country Rider from Sterling, VA

Date Reviewed: October 16, 2002

Strengths:    Climbs like a scared cat. No suspension bob when climbing. Fast XC bike. Sweet paint job.

Weaknesses:    Chain suck. Even with XT

Bottom Line:   
I built this from the frame up, using as much of my old parts as possible (almost everything except the front derailleur, seat post and cables). At 195lbs, the Marz fork could be a bit firmer as it bobs a bit, but it doesn't bottom out and is silky smooth. But that doesn't waste much energy when climbing, and the rear doesn't bob at all (or as little as is possible with an FS frame). From my old K2 frame, my speeds have literally doubled, as this thing is solid, stable and smooth in any direction. I have had some pretty wicked chain suck with my XT drive train, but my small ring was worn, so I replaced it with a Race Face steel 22t ring. Now I only get chain suck if I shift at the wrong time and under too much load. It's avoidable now. Going to a wider BB may solve it, but I've ground out some of the aluminum at the bottom pivot (with the chain - not intentionally), so the chain doesn't stay stuck, and it does not affect the structure any.

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Favorite Trail:   any single track

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $700.00

Purchased At:   frame only MTBR classifieds

Similar Products Used:   K2 Proflex 4000

Bike Setup:   Marzocchi MXC coil/oil 100mm fork; Avid Mechanical discs with 7" front rotor, 6" back rotor, XT components and drive train, Mavic 317 wheelset w/ XT disc hubs, Easton EA70 riser bars, Gore Ride-On cables, no-name seat off my old K2 because I like it, Cane Creek headset, Bonty seat post; Panaracer Fire and Smoke tires, Shimano 515 pedals

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mike a Cross Country Rider from Bloomington, Illinois, USA

Date Reviewed: August 26, 2002

Strengths:    The adjustible front & rear shock, the wieght of the bike, awesome paint job, disc brakes

Weaknesses:    Had the chainsuck once, front disk brake has to be adjusted frequently, but other than that, great bike

Bottom Line:   
I really like the lockout feature on the psylo, and the adjustibility of the rear shock. I don't like the fact that the seat clamp is not a quick release. reason being that i put the bike in the back of my jeep, and have to take the seat off each time i do so. I read the revues that complained of the chainsuck from the stock bontarager crankset, and so i decided to replace it with a race face turbine crankset to try and prevent the chainsuck. (LBS was great and gave me credit for the bontarager crankset towards the race face) But, the chainsuck i encountered was severe, but i just got off my bike and walked to my car (bummer). Drove to the LBS and they took care of it. Bought a lizard skin chainstay protecter and put it as far up the chainstay as possible. Then i took a few green quick ties and put them around the rest of the chainstay. Since i have done this, there have been no chainsuck problems. The IRC Backcountry tires seen to wear faster than my old nanorapters, but that is expected for such a nobby aggresive tire. I went over the handlebars twice, in the first week but that was my fault alone. The bike could easily handle my limits, but my limits could not handle this bike. No noticeable rear bob when pumping up hills. 5 flamin' chilis for value/overall becuase other bikes spec. like the sugar are a couple hundred $ more. Gary Fisher has hit the spot on this one.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   berryman

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $2200.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   first FS, fuji hardtail was only other bike owned

Bike Setup:   stock except for race face turbine crankset

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Ken Herman from Newark, Ca. USA

Date Reviewed: July 29, 2002

Strengths:    Good cross-country bike, well suited for my type of riding. A good balance of strength and lightness. The paint job is awesome.

Weaknesses:    The cane creek air shock seems to lose pressure, but I have only been riding the bike for a few weeks. Also the disc brakes rub sometimes.

Bottom Line:   
Only one complaint with the bike. When the suspension compresses, the rear brake line flexes outward and rubs on my left leg. I have tried to bend the holders to route the hydraulic line lower but I have had no luck. Have any other riders dealt with this problem? If so I would like to know how you adjusted this. Please e-mail me...Syncro5@aol.com
Enjoy your bike.
Ken

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Wilder Ranch / Santa Cruz

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Purchased At:   $2,000

Similar Products Used:   Santa Cruz Heckler, Cannondale Jeykel.

Bike Setup:   Stock with the Hayes Disc setup.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Mike a Cross Country Rider from San Francisco, CA

Date Reviewed: July 23, 2002

Strengths:    Like most of it. That seat is the most comfy I have ever used! NO BOB AT ALL!!

Weaknesses:    don't like the IRC Back Country tires

Bottom Line:   
I weigh 240 lbs. and am 6' 4". Bike (XL Size) handles my size well. I have put over a thousand miles on bike with a mix of road rides to XC to very technical trail riding. I have only had the chain jamming/chain suck once. Going uphill in granny on very rocky and muddy conditions. As stated in review below, the chain jammed when suspenion was flexing and I was cranking very hard. This was in the 4.1" rear wheel travel setting. Had to depress rear shock to get it out without damaging paint/frame. I mainly ride in the 2.8" setting and have had no problems. Bike over all has performed very well for me. I did experience the bottom bracket creaking. LBS took the BB off, cleaned it, and greased it. Fixed. Only other problem is a strong vibration from the rear Hayes disc brake during heavy braking. Turns out that I needed to get a brake stabilizer from the factory. Easy fix and appears to be working. May be more of a problem due to my size? Overall I love this bike more and more every ride. I hope the chain probelm doesn't start acting up during the wet months ahead. Lots of people think the RockShox Psylo is to soft. I disagree. I have hit big stuff and caught some good air and have not bottomed out. I think the bike handles great and is very good climber for a FS. AND BEST OF ALL NO BOB EVEN UNDER HARD CRANKING UP THE STEEP ONES!

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $2350.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   Rocky Mtn. Element

Bike Setup:   XL Sugar 2+ disc - stock

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Alan Eyre a Weekend Warrior from Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Date Reviewed: July 15, 2002

Strengths:    Adjustable front fork. Good suspention front and back. Good weight. Fairly good handling on downhills - better than my Proflex.

Weaknesses:    Major problem in the drive train! The bottom bracket axle is too short as factory configured and can result in the chain getting stuck between the chain stays and the middle chain ring. I have read some calling this "chain suck". The only way to get the chain out is to compress the rear shock enough to allow the chain to drop out. This situation occurs when the rear suspension is set up soft and you shift on to the smallest chain ring at the same time as you hit a small (or large) bump in the trail. Under this condition, the chain whips up and jams itself in. This usually occurs to me when going up a hill - mostly on lose rocky terrain. This is not the place I like to have my pedals come to a sudden stop. My last time out, the chain jammed, and after I released it, the cranks were making a terrible noise. I was afraid to really crank over obstacles as it sounded as thought the bottom bracket was going to break.
Needless to say, I am very disappointed with this set-up. I did discover, however, that if you adjust your rear shock so that it doesn’t move, then the problem goes away. But then you may as well buy a hard-tail.


Bottom Line:   
Gary Fisher made a error in the configuration of this bike and is now ignoring the problem. If you buy this bike, be prepared to pay more to get the drive train working properly. Depending on your weight and the rear shock setting, this may be the worst performing climber you've ever ridden!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Jumping Pound

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $3200.00

Purchased At:   Nouvelle Cycle

Similar Products Used:   none

Bike Setup:   Factory Sugar2+_DISC.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by b siegel a Cross Country Rider from denver

Date Reviewed: June 24, 2002

Strengths:    great price value. climbing as good as descending. great all purpose trail rig.

Weaknesses:    bontrager cranks. quasi freeride setup rather than xc for which it is intended.

Bottom Line:   
great all around trail bike - true point and shoot ride. climbs well. handles clydesdale rider at 210+ lbs. can stay seated and pedal up and through most x-country trails and technical sections.

made/will make the following changes to stock in order of priority to create better xcountry rig vs. fake freerider. note - i am not a weight freak at my size, but appreciate a more efficient climbing setup.

1) force your dealer to trade out horrible bontrager cranks (creak, chainsuck, poor shifting) for xt crankset and bb.

2) changed bontrager riser bar for flat bar with ends for comfort & efficiency.

3) changed out irc backcountries 2.25's for lighter/faster 2.1's.

4) headset looks weak. will replace or break, whichever occurs sooner.

5) will eventually trade out psylo fork when it wears out for long travel/smoother fork. psylo fork ok, not great. switching from long to short travel kinda cool but not needed on better long travel forks and not worth extra full pound.

6) will eventually trade out seatpost to raceface xy or similar to get more layback and weight over rear wheel.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   sol vista trails, grand county, co

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1700.00

Purchased At:   supergo

Similar Products Used:   fisher supercaliber hardtail, many others.

Bike Setup:   avid v brakes. changed out to flat bar/ends, lighter tires, and xt cranks.

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