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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm returning to the US for a month and am set on buying a new ride for my stay there, and to bring back to germany where 29er's are strange and mysterious things.

I'm trying to decide between the fisher rig and paragon. Both are pretty sweet rides for the money, and the LBS where I'll be staying is cutting me some pretty good deals below MSRP.

The Paragon is specced about how'd I'd put one together myself (I'll be swapping the cockpit/saddle out immediately). I think SRAM is the best. But I can't seem to get excited about a geared bike after just a couple of weeks on a singlespeed.

Can anyone speak about the ride qualities of the fisher frames?
Harsh or smooth? Does the genesis geometry handle like a bus? Anyone run either of these bikes with the Reba set at 100mm?
 

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ol'guy who says hi &waves
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I've had a Paragon over a year. I bought it based on spec's also. I've had no regrets. The ride is harsh so a suspension seat post has helped. The handling is a little more cumbersome than 26" but it climbs and descends very well. I like choosing my lines so the Reba is still set at 80mm.

My next bike will probably be a steel HT with a little quicker steering. There are a number of frames out there that can be SS and geared.
 

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I have a GF Paragon and a Rig. Personally I really like to genesis geometry. The Fisher's are the best fitting bikes I've ever owned. The long TT really suits my body type as I have a longer torso and stumpy legs. Unfortunately, I've broken 2 Paragon frames already within less than a year of riding them.

Prior to buying these bikes I owned a Ti 26" hardtail and the Fisher 29'ers had a much smoother ride than my old hardtail. I suspect the larger diameter wheels had a lot to do with that. Based upon your criteria I would recommend that you ask your dealer to order you a Gary Fisher Ferrous. It's a geared, OX Platinum steel frame with an eccentric BB that go be converted over to single speed. That bikes seems to address al your concerns. These bikes have been slow to arrive but are now showing up at LBS's all over the country. Call and inquire.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Marty, I also am in Heidelberg. I just started SSing with a Haro Mary, and indeed the odenwald puts a hurting on me, but I like it. I rode weisloch/gaiberg/konigstuhl/weisloch sunday, and it was good. The only thing I dislike is spinning out on the way back down.

I have a geared Conquest Pro and a tricked out Kikapu deluxe, so I will not be without geared options.
 

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arkadi said:
I have a geared Conquest Pro and a tricked out Kikapu deluxe, so I will not be without geared options.
You say that now, but after a bunch of rides on a 29er, those small wheeled bikes may seem a lot less like options...
 

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burner said:
if you already have a haro mary ss at home, get the geared bike so you will have both when you get back.
or you could get a deraillier hanger for the SS and set up a geared 1x9 quick change option as I plan to do for my Mary SS. But the green paint on the XC is nice, I have put a log over on and it was nice...
 

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arkadi said:
But I can't seem to get excited about a geared bike after just a couple of weeks on a singlespeed.
If you already have a gearie FS and you like SSing, I'd say go with the SS. A derailer hanger is available for the Haro, so you could always convert it to geared later. But what's wrong with the Mary? Trying to save weight? Depending on your personal preferences it might be worth it, might not.

arkadi said:
Can anyone speak about the ride qualities of the fisher frames?
Harsh or smooth?
I test rode a Fisher 29"er a couple of years ago, a few weeks before the Rig came out as I was considering getting one. I rode it back to back with my Karate Monkey, and even outfitted the KM with identical tires to make sure it was a fair test. The test rides were on a mix of pavement, smooth dirt and grass with a few larger bumps. Despite the suspension fork (KM is rigid) the Fisher transmitted a bit more road buzz from the tires to the saddle and handlebar. The difference was not dramatic, but it was clearly noticeable on pavement. My test course didn't include any "chattery" offroad surfaces (gravel, small rocks and roots), but I would presume there could be a noticeable difference in those conditions too. I didn't notice any difference in ride with larger bumps. Bottom line: Aluminum frames are smoother than they used to be, but you won't mistake it for steel.

arkadi said:
Does the genesis geometry handle like a bus?
The Fisher I tested handled noticeably slower than the KM. The difference was NOT dramatic, and I wouldn't quite call the Fisher bus-like, but back to back I could definitely feel the difference. On tight twisty singletrack the Fisher would be a bit more of a handful, but on more open trails I think most riders would get used to it and not notice it anymore. In any event whether slower handling is a "bad thing" is personal preference anyway. The tradeoff with slower handling is you gain increased precision and increased stability, and some people like that. Of course if you set the Reba to 100mm the handling will slow down even more.

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Bottom line: if you're trying to save weight, want a second SS (or will be selling the Mary) and you don't mind the Fisher's somewhat slower handling and harsher ride, the Rig might be a good choice. I believe the frame is almost 2 pounds lighter.

On the other hand, if weight savings isn't that important, and either ride quality or quick handling is important, I'd say keep the Mary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all the responses. I intend to keep the mary as well. This would be a second bike. However, one of my plans for the future ( and was my back-up if I didn't like SS)
is to try out a sram I9 internal hub, and I think the mary might just be a good candidate for that.

I guess what it comes down to is an excuse to buy another bike which my wife accepts. That is, I'll go insane without one for a month, especially someplace with trails as nice as VA, and the combined cost of a suspension fork that I want for the mary anyway, plus a travel case to haul it with me, almost gets me in range of a complete Rig anyway.
 
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