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Hi everyone,

I'm looking into getting either a GF Marlin or Piranha. I was looking into FS bikes before but i think i might just end up wasting my money on them. This is my first mountain bike (used to ride mountain bikes about 6+ years ago but am riding road cycles right now) and I live in the Houston area.

A LBS is closing soon so they have slashed their prices. I'm 5'11" - 140is pounds so i was looking at the 19". They are a GF dealer and have sold a lot of their HT stock so i'm pretty much looking at the Piranha. I could of course go to another LBS but if i can get a great deal here then why not?

Piranha - $712
Marlin - Non in Stock but another LBS is selling for $800

The Piranha ends up being a better deal but could the price better? if so, by how much?

I would appreciate any guidance you can give me. Please let me know if you need more information.
 

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I have heard from several that the only better thing about the Piranha is the Tora fork. The SRAM X5 components are generally considered equal to the Deore on the Marlin. Personally, I love the black on the Marlin!
 

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I have the 2008 GF Piranha and have to say it's a great bike. I got the matte pearl white, but everytime I see the dry green color, I like that one too. Component-wise, I used the Sram X5 drivetrain for 2 years with no troubles. When the 951 chain broke the beginning of this season I changed the drivetrain out to Shimano XT rear derailleur and chain and the SLX Mountain crank with Deore shifters. I really would not have known the Sram components were inferior without upgrading as they served me fine.

As for the fit of the bike, you really need to ride it. I am 5'9" and ride the 19" and find it's a tad on the large side for me, but the 17.5 is just too small, so you will definitely not find it to be too big. I like the extended wheelbase, it adds stability and lets me brake harder on downhills without worrying about going over the handlebars. I think I paid around $750 2 years ago, so if you are getting it for $720 now, id say that's a good deal with inflation and all. I find the Marlin feels chincy when I ride them at the LBS compared to the Piranha. The Shimano hydraulic brakes on the Piranha work very well, at least for every thing I have thrown at them.

The last word is that I absolutely detest the new Fisher paint jobs, so if you are set on a hardtail and want the Piranha, I think the older model is the way to go. I think they want around $950 for the new models and I don't see much difference other than paint and tube shapes.
 

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if you're talking both 2009s, no doubt about it- go with the piranha. the tora is a nice step up.

also, looks aren't everything on a bike- yeah, you want it to look nice, but i feel should not be that important. and surprisingly, the 2009 gf graphics do look better in person.
 

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You might not waste money by getting a FS bike. I started biking in Feb with a Gary Fisher Marlin hardtail and had to upgrade to a FS, I got so much better very fast and the size of the stunts (drops etc) really required a FS. I love my FS so much better than my hardtail even for riding the trails. Look at the specialized pitch, its affordable and all mtn, it can climb like a hardtail. I bought it for 1800, it was the 08 model tho. MSRP on the pitch is 2100
 
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