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Discussion Starter #1
I am kinda a newbie to the whole sport of MBing and recently began biking everywhere I can in order to save some gas. I also would like to start riding some trails during the week and on the weekend. I am currently riding a very "tired" Gary Fisher Wahoo (far from trail appropriate) and I am considering purchasing a Gary Fisher Sugar 293. One of the thoughts behind that choice is I was interested in trying out many new components (disc brakes, full suspension, front shocks, and of course 29" wheels). Fishers seem to hold up pretty well atleast for my riding and I would like it to last for some time. I also plan on learning a little from the LBS that I would purchase it from and maybe help out the "tired" Wahoo. Does anyone have any advice on this choice of bike as a first 29er? Or if you have any other thoughts or opinions they would be appreciated again I am a newbie.
 

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Recovering couch patato
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Welcome to the forum!

Honestly, you being an MTB newbie, I can hardly think of a more appropriate bike to buy! All say it's a good bang for the buck, many reviews in this forum have told about it's handling, the bike just works. Since you made it this far to begin with, we don't have to give you the 29" rap, do we?

Please, as a newbie, try not to bother about anything people will try to tell you about lighter bikes being soooo much better. Light weight is the ultimate way to persuade riders to upgrade otherwise perfectly fine bikes.
What a luxury, an FS 29" as your second bike!

Enjoy!

J
 

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Always Learning
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palndrm12 said:
I am kinda a newbie to the whole sport of MBing and recently began biking everywhere I can in order to save some gas. I also would like to start riding some trails during the week and on the weekend. I am currently riding a very "tired" Gary Fisher Wahoo (far from trail appropriate) and I am considering purchasing a Gary Fisher Sugar 293. One of the thoughts behind that choice is I was interested in trying out many new components (disc brakes, full suspension, front shocks, and of course 29" wheels). Fishers seem to hold up pretty well atleast for my riding and I would like it to last for some time. I also plan on learning a little from the LBS that I would purchase it from and maybe help out the "tired" Wahoo. Does anyone have any advice on this choice of bike as a first 29er? Or if you have any other thoughts or opinions they would be appreciated again I am a newbie.
You get a lot of bike and components for the price in the 293. The fork, rear shock, Avid disc's and the SRAM drivetrain all make the frame sizzle for the price at sub $2K. You will absolutely enjoy riding off road with this bike. As to riding around on pavement to save gas as you ride everywhere, I'm not sure how the bike would perform in that capacity as I only ride mine off road. You would obviously want to lock it up well when it is out of sight if you will be using it as your transportation during the week.

BB
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hey thanks for the warm welcome and the encouragement Cloxxki and Bruce. Now I just need to convince my significant other that spending just under $2K for a bike isn't crazy and I will be home free. As for locking it up during the week I can park it inside the building where its safe and protected from the beautiful Michigan weather. Again thanks for the replies!!
 

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palndrm12 said:
I am kinda a newbie to the whole sport of MBing and recently began biking everywhere I can in order to save some gas. I also would like to start riding some trails during the week and on the weekend...
On a side note...

If you do commute with the 203, get a cable to use in conjuction with a u-lock. The cable will secure your wheels. Also, if the seatpost collar is a quick release, replace it with hex tool collar, the QR one will get your seatpost/seat stolen.

One cool thing about the Avid mechs for commuting is that you can use the pad adjuster dials to lock the wheels and prevent them from rolling. So thieves will be confused as to why your bike is not rolling even if they bust the lock.
 

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palndrm12 said:
I am kinda a newbie to the whole sport of MBing and recently began biking everywhere I can in order to save some gas. I also would like to start riding some trails during the week and on the weekend.
Well, are you going to be using the bike mostly for commuting? If so, I frankly think the 293 will be overkill. Don't get me wrong it is a great bike, but for riding on the road and path and easyish MTB trails, I think there are bikes (probably even inside the Fisher lineup) that will perform better or just as well, and cost you less money. I think this is one of the best applications for a nice mid quality 29er hardtail with fast rolling tires.

Just another opinion, but in any case welcome to the forum.

LP
 

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I have to agree. If you commute to work AND back over pavement, the 293 will be bling, but seriously overkill. If your way home leads you over local trails and mountains (lucky you), hey, you've got yourself a bike that will bring you home safely. If you only hit the trails after getting home, keeping something cheap and easily maintainable for the commutes will probably keep the 293 an extra pleasant experience to get on when you throw a leg over it. I always keep my commuting and trailbikes apart, commuter bikes can be great at what they're meant for, a trail bike on commutes feel very "naked" to me or something, perhaps like riding Ferrari through alleys, where a small Fiat would do.
 

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Welcome aboard. I have to say I would share the advice of LP and Cloxx on the hardtail suggestion. For your intended use - it souds like one of the Fisher dualsports would be ideal - and a lot less money to try and get past the bosses budget!

Sam
 

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I'm gonna ditto what the last few said. In fact, I'm gonna go one further. Think about a rigid fork. For commuting, it's the best option, and for trail work it isn't too bad with a big fat 29er up front aired to 30 psi. It depends upon what trails you will be riding. Pontiac Lake almost demands a front shock, where Island Lake or Highland are definitely smooth enough for a rigid front end. In any case, before you buy, decide which type of riding is most important and decide accordingly.
 

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One route that many have taken, to get plush without overkill, is mate a Fisher hardtail to a Thudbuster 3" travel seatpost ($100). I even have one on the otherwise rigid Surly I currently temporaily race, although I bought it with the Fisher in mind. It offers a lot of relief, I got mine because I could no longer ignore the raving reviews. With a Fisher Paragon hardtail plus Thudbuster, you'd plobably spend less, and have nicer parts on the bike. Should the idea to go rigid appeal to you, a Surly fork can be had for $50-80, the reba on a Fisher sell for around $400-450, and a $375 buy-now will be taken immediately I'm sure.
With the reba in the Paragon, though, you have one killer bike that will get your newbie butt out of trouble when you look for it. Much like my FS bike often did when I was a newbie and didn't notice each rock or root.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Overkill...

I kinda suspected the final take might be overkill for the 293. I did have a hardtail in mind from the Fisher lineup, the Tassajara Disc. Any thoughts? Probably a better financial choice. I also did like the looks of the component list for the Paragon. I didn't seem to see a Paragon at my LBS but I will go back and double check or see if they can get one in for a test ride. Also a quick thought on the overkill...my first ride to work (besides the Wahoo) is a gas guzzling $32,000 car. I was going to use that as my main point in the argument to "the boss". $2K is a drop in the bucket compared to that. Thanks everyone for all the insight I need it.
 

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palndrm12 said:
I kinda suspected the final take might be overkill for the 293. I did have a hardtail in mind from the Fisher lineup, the Tassajara Disc. Any thoughts?

My first ride to work (besides the Wahoo) is a gas guzzling $32,000 car. I was going to use that as my main point in the argument to "the boss". $2K is a drop in the bucket compared to that. Thanks everyone for all the insight I need it.
It will be hard to find good advice towards justifying a 26" wheeled bike with the missus on this forum ;-) Really, the Paragon is a splendid choice to do it all on. Too many commuting on a high-tech FS machine....that's just wrong! :) with the Paragon, you get to invest in quality you'll recognize AND use. Don't be shy asking for the Paragon, they're in quite a demand, not the easiest bike to obtain perhaps.
 

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Welcome!

Palndrm12,

Where do you live in Michigan? I live in Williamsburg, just outside Traverse City.

I own a 2004 293 that is hardly stock: All Sram, Avid, and Truvativ componentry. I just sold my 2004 GF X-cal to MichiganClydesdale's brother in law, so I just have my 293.

I to commute to work everyday. I put Bontrager 700cx38's on for a fast commute on my 293. I do not need to lock it out for the ride, learn to ride without lockout and you will not have any worries.

Also, check ADA Bike near Grand Rapids. They have a good selection of GF 29ers. I know they have some 293's in stock. 616-682-2453 ask for Steve.

Talk later and welcome to the board,

Chad
 

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palndrm12 said:
Also a quick thought on the overkill...my first ride to work (besides the Wahoo) is a gas guzzling $32,000 car. I was going to use that as my main point in the argument to "the boss". $2K is a drop in the bucket compared to that. Thanks everyone for all the insight I need it.
Re: overkill - I personally was not speaking from a monetary standpoint, but rather from a functionality standpoint. I think the 293 will be a little more cumbersome than necessary or desirable for mostly a commuter (if that is in fact your intended use). I personally like to commute and run errands on a much more streamlined bike. I personally use a Surly Cross Check. You can fit 44c tires on it and it does fine on the smoother trails.

To each their own though, if you want ultimate comfort for the commute the 293/2 will provide that at the expense of speed, and keep in mind that is in no way a bad thing.

Good luck with your decision

LP
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Still undecided

The bike will probably get more commuter miles than trail miles so I am leaning more towards the Paragon as Cloxxki has suggested. However, the many good things said about the 293 make me want to lean that way.

cjsbike I am in the Farmington Hills area which is near Detroit. Grand Rapids might be a little far but if I don't get much help this side of MI I will check them out first. I think either way I go I will have to get a faster set of tires too.

Well thanks to all for the help and hopefully I can make a decision soon so I can enjoy my new bike in the nice weather.

Bob
 

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palndrm12 said:
The bike will probably get more commuter miles than trail miles so I am leaning more towards the Paragon as Cloxxki has suggested. However, the many good things said about the 293 make me want to lean that way.
For what little it may be worth, I was very impressed with the Montare. Fast, fun, comfortable bike, with a decent part spec at half the price of the 293. The front shock is about right for rough roads, but didn't fair as well on trails. And that bike is light! (Then again, most bikes feel light compared to the 41 pound lead sled that is my Giant Warp.)

The 293 also struck me as a nice bike, but it is obviously designed for trail use more than commuting. Despite the advances in stable platform shocks, the 293 still bounces under load. Not much, but more than the Montare, which makes it feel a bit more sluggish on road. Get it off-road, though... *drool*

Unfortunately, I know nothing about the Paragon, so I can't compare either bike to it.

As might be obvious, my next bike will probably be either a Montare or a Sugar 293, depending on whether I replace my Warp or supplement it. I'd like to have them both, of course, but that's a tough sell to the missus. :) Either way, try to ride both before you decide. Pictures and specs never tell the whole story...
 

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Bigger wheels = better ...

palndrm12 said:
I kinda suspected the final take might be overkill for the 293. I did have a hardtail in mind from the Fisher lineup, the Tassajara Disc. Any thoughts? Probably a better financial choice. I also did like the looks of the component list for the Paragon. I didn't seem to see a Paragon at my LBS but I will go back and double check or see if they can get one in for a test ride. Also a quick thought on the overkill...my first ride to work (besides the Wahoo) is a gas guzzling $32,000 car. I was going to use that as my main point in the argument to "the boss". $2K is a drop in the bucket compared to that. Thanks everyone for all the insight I need it.
The 29er is ideal for commuting/touring. You get the same wheel size as a road bike, but you get risers instead of drops bars and front suspension for bumpy roads.

You had the right idea with the Fishers. The X-Caliber or Paragon will do the job. Throw on a $100 Thudbuster for (ass-pension) and a set up Panaracer T-Serv tires for pavement duty.

You'll have a bike equally comfortable on the trails or riding to work (just remember to change the tires between modes).
 
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