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I have a 2010 Giant XTC 29er1 and a 2009 GF Rig,although the Rig is heavily modfied with a Shimano SLX M665 drivetrain making it a 2x9. I also upgraded on the brakes on the Rig to Elixir R's and changed the front rotor to a 185mm disc. The stock saddle was upgraded to a leather suspension saddle.

My XTC 29er1 is also modified,I'm running a 203 mm rotor in the front. I swapped out my my Avid rotors for Shiman RT 76 floating rotors. The brakes have also been upgraded to Code 5's. I changed the stock seatpost and use a leather suspension saddle.

Although both bikes aren't stock,especially the Rig,I feel qualified to write about the differences between both bikes.

The XTC 29er can definitely hit bigger stuff than the 2009 Rig,note that the 2009 Rig has 80mm of fork travel versus the 100mm found on the 2011 Rig. However despite the differences in fork travel I believe the tapered headtube and the 15mm t/a on the XTC29er1 are responsible for this effect.

The frame on the XTC 29er1 also feels more rigid than the frame on the Rig. The stock crankset that came with the Rig was definitely soft,the bike felt more rigid on landings after changing out the crank to Shimano's M665.

The only real disadvantage of the 2010 XTC 29er1 versus the Rig was the rear triangle. When I had the Juicy 3's on the XTC 29er1 would simply make a howling noise upon application of the rear brake. When I upgraded the brakes on the XTC 29er1 from Juicy 3's to Code 5's the brake noise turned into vibration. I think this vibration set in because the Code 5's have far more grip/stopping power than the Juicy 3's and transmitted this energy directly into the rear triangle. I ended up using Shimano floating rotors and elimanating the vibration,however I still have the noise.

By comparison the only noise problems I've had on the Rig were the BB7's,for some reason the BB7's howled like wolves or dogs baying at the moon on that bike. After changing out the calipers to Elixir R's the howling went away.

For 2011 Giant made some major changes on the XTC29er1 and went with Shimano for the brakes and went to a 10 speed drivetrain. If I'm not mistaken I believe that Giant has also beefed up the rear triangle to attenuate brake vibration/noise.

Overall I'm pleased with both bikes but would have to say the Giant is simply a more stiffer and burly bike than the Rig.
 

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wow thanks for the feedback. looks like I have made good decisions to land on the choices I have picked.

Basically you are saying that the both bikes are good but the Giant beats out the Fisher. However the Giant is $500 more. plus the 2011 Rig has a fox fork and G2 technology.

hmmmm. the GT looks sick anyone know anything about that??

cant wait to test drive all 3!!!
 

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Although they're different I think the Giant is a better bike overall. The G2 technology doesn't make that much of a difference in my opinion in fact my Anthem X 29er corners better than my GF Hifi Plus. The Giant XTC29er1 also uses a Fox Fork.

Just buy a 2010 Giant it's not to hard to find one for under $1,600. If you're in socal I can even give you a reference for bike shop that has a small XTC 29er1 at that price.
 

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I demod a 2011 zaskar pro, great bike, super light. Fairly similar in geo compared to my 2000 MY, main diff. is the moified 29er geo. I was set on another hardtail, and this would have been it, but I made the swap to FS b/c besides the newer components, its a similar bike to the 2000. IMO the GT tiple triangle frame is great and mine has held up fine for 10 years. Only problem I had was the absence of a tapered steerer on a $3000 hardtail....

all great bikes, prolly can't go wrong with either
 

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mefistofeles said:
The XTC 29er can definitely hit bigger stuff than the 2009 Rig,note that the 2009 Rig has 80mm of fork travel versus the 100mm found on the 2011 Rig. However despite the differences in fork travel I believe the tapered headtube and the 15mm t/a on the XTC29er1 are responsible for this effect.
The fork on your RIG can be changed to 100mm travel by removing the spacer in it. My 09 RIG came this way, not sure why, The fork failed on my first ride, (This was in July 2010), Took it back and they pulled a fork off an 2010 RIG and converted it to 100mm as well.
 

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The XTC 1 is on my list. However, I'm also considering the Flash 29er 1. It's a bit more, but not a lot, and can maybe even be had for about the same price. Have you already eliminated this from your options?
 

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I just ordered a GT Zaskar expert from my LBS. The black on black is so nice and i doubt you can beat the specs for the price. Can't wait to get mine out on some super trails. also the stock expert weigh 28.1lbs. I'm happy with my choice.
 

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Do you find that to be more the case in tight singletrack or on faster downhill corners?

The Anthem X 29er corners better on singletrack than the Hifi Plus. However the Hifi Plus is absolutely insane on the fast downhills no one on a 26 inch bike or perhaps even a 29er hardtail would be able to touch you.

On fast downhills 29 inch full suspension bikes are unbeatable.
 

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I love my Zaskar so I'm really biased, but I think the GT hardtail is pretty hard to beat. My LBS has a 2011 all white everything, Fox fork, thought it looked kinda meh in pics, but so nice in person.
 
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