a Cross Country Rider
from Houston, TX
Date Reviewed: December 8, 2003
Strengths: Weight, quality components
Weaknesses: not a full suspension bike ;-)
The Paragon was the top-of-the line Gary Fisher 2002 hardtail lineup. It weighs almost nothing, has quality components, and the Genesis Geometry is unparalleled! I've put a lot of miles on this bike and competed in 2 adventure races so far and I've never had a problem -- not even a flat tire! Unfortunately, Fisher took the Paragon in the direction of the 29" wheel in 2003 and the bike seems to be completely missing from the 2004 lineup. If you're looking for a great bike, grab a used one on eBay! You definitely won't regret it.
a Cross Country Rider
from Tallahassee, FL USA
Date Reviewed: December 20, 2002
Strengths: I bought this as just a frame, so the strengths are simpley described by Fisher's Genesis Geometry.
Weaknesses: Paint Job
The bottom line is this. The geometry on the frame makes for a very comfortable and technically sound ride. Your climbing and descending are more efficient and more stable respectively.
My only qualm is with that darn two-tone red paint job. I don't want to run this with the mars fork, nor do I want to put a skareb on there. These are the only two forks that match that stock candy red frame color on the front. However, I will not let a paint scheme interfere with a great rating for a great frame!
Similar Products Used: other genesis geometry frames
Bike Setup: litle bit of this and a little bit of that
a Weekend Warrior
from Jacksonville, FL
Date Reviewed: August 5, 2002
Strengths: Genesis geometry is great (6'3", 240). Can't say enough about it. Climbs fantastic and handles all the power I can muster with ease (no noticeable frame bending). Bike seems really light, even the XL that I got. Fork is smooth and tough. Wheels are worry free so far. Brakes work as advertised. Saddle is exceptionally comfortable. Clipless pedals, flawless.
Weaknesses: Rear derailleur giving some grief by skipping. Can't decide if it just needs to be broken in more or needs adjusting. Shimano's worked great for me on everything else so I'm not real worried. This is the reason it gets 4 flamin' chili's overall instead of 5.
These folks talking about Genesis geometry aren't kidding. It really works. I'm not smart enough to figure out all the angles and dangles in order to geometrically tell you why. All I know is that when I hop on the bike it is comfortable. Best of all, 2 hours or so later when I'm done for the day, it is still comfortable. Consequently, I can push my heart as long as it allows without worrying about how the rest of my body will hold up. The bottom line: except for the rear derailleur problem which will be corrected somehow, the bike has actually exceeded the expectations I had for it. I'm very happy with it and would highly recommend it for anyone, especially bigger folks because I am one. Quite simply, I got what I paid for and more.
Bike Setup: Time pedals; XTR shifters & XTR rear cassette; Bontrager Lite crankset; wide Bontrager bars; Thompson seatpost; WTB pedestal gel seat; Rolf Dolomite wheelset & Bontrager rear tire(last forever); Ritchey race front tire.
a Cross Country Rider
from Gaithersburg, MD, USA
Date Reviewed: July 9, 2002
Strengths: great geometry for climbing and descending, tough, light frame, great shimano components, easily upgradable
Weaknesses: heavier bontrager components
after getting hooked on mountain biking with my specialized hardrock (not meant for true offroading) and shaffer farm trails, i decided that it was time to invest in a bike that was meant for true mountain biking... the paragon came highly recommended... after testing it out a few times, i fell in love with it and bought it... the genesis geometry took a few rides to get used (compared to the more upright style on the old hardrock), but it does make climbing and controlled descending easier and more effortless...
the bike is tough too... on a recent epic ride, i got the rear wheel impaled by a huge branch and brought me to an almost immediate stop on a fast descend... after stopping and pulling it out, i got back on and went on... the logs at shaffer have also caused a few wipeouts too... the bike merely shrugs it off...
over time, i will be upgrading to lighter components instead of the bontragers that it came with, but that's just me gram shaving...
the bottom line: great value bike that will suit any one up to the racer... just take some time to get used to the long top tube, especially for short torso people like me...
Bike Setup: stock with xt front derailleur, selle italia max flight trans am saddle, time atac clipless pedals
a Cross Country Rider
from DePere, WI, USA
Date Reviewed: May 16, 2002
Strengths: Bike climbs amaizingly, part selection is good and the tubeless wheels are an excellent spec. the bike goes where you want it to go no matter what you are doing, i can climb things i never could before.
Weaknesses: the fork on it started to leak oil and air but i work in a bike shop so ill get that fixed in a week or two. thats not anything wrong with the bike only manitou
awesome bike, i had the choice to get any bike i wanted but i chose this one cause it had the genisis and it didnt have the 29 in wheels. frame and fork are good an thats all that you need, the rest can be up graded easily
Bike Setup: stock except XTR shifter brake levers, micelin comp s tubeless tires and soon XTR v-brakes
from Chambly, Quebec, Canada
Date Reviewed: May 5, 2002
Strengths: climbs extremly well. Genesis geometry works great. Rolls like nothing over mud. Wow amazing bike. thanks gary
Weaknesses: shifters could be upgraded, the manitou mars elite should have a lock-out.
this bike is really something. As a racer I must say that I have been impressed. It looks so ...simple but yet so strong and fast. Climbing is no problem. If you race and don't want to pay for the brands name or even get ripped off then I present you the one and ONLY racing bike ever built. It's like a knife that slices through butter.
Similar Products Used: gary-fisher tequila year:1998, trek 8500 year:2001, norco team year:2001.
Bike Setup: stock
from Toronto, ON, Canada
Date Reviewed: March 27, 2002
Strengths: very stiff frame, smooth shifting, precise steering, well balanced bike, seat is quite comfortable, great positioning for the rider, flawless crank
Weaknesses: brakes could be better
at the price that i paid i am quite happy ....for the money you can't beat this bike and it is all i need ....if you're not a diehard then this is a superb bike ....if you race then this bike probably wouldn't satisfy you especially with the sub-par braking
a Weekend Warrior
from Los Altos, CA, USA
Date Reviewed: January 26, 2002
Strengths: Good Price, good components (XT, LX, deore, and lots of Bontrager)
Weaknesses: Crappy Brakes (Avid Single Digit 3)which gave lots of problems, but otherwize it is a solid bike
Overall, the Paragon is a solid bike. I've ridden hard, and in harsh conditions and I have never had any problems so far. My biggest complaint would be the brakes. They need adjusting constantly. It's not a big problem though, you can easily upgrade the brakes cheap.
Buy it if... You want a solid hardtail at a good price.
I went to a different LBS and they had a leftover '11 Paragon. It was a 19" which felt better than 17.5 Treks. I'm actually between sizes and would rather go larger. Anyway, I didn't negotiate with him because I wanted to do some research on the bike. It's all been positive and the test rid ... Read More »
I purchased a Gary Fisher Paragon frame from The Pros Closet. The frame has never been built up. The guys at TPC said it is roughly a 2000-2002. I went through about 16 pages of the GF picture thread and could not find pictures of Paragon frames in the same paint scheme or year. Does anyone know rou ... Read More »
anyone use one yet? I was thinking about making one, and I was somewhat concerned about doing that, but [URL="http://www.paragonmachineworks.com/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?preadd=action&key=MS2009"]since Paragon is making one[/URL] it seems more interesting.Read More »
I have done some googling, but it's still not totally clear to me. Can I build a frame with Paragons Rocker drops with 135mm QR inserts, and then swap the inserts out to use a 142x12mm axle? It would be nice if I could build a 142x12 frame without making new jig parts.Read More »