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I am trying to decide which bike to purchase and am choosing between the Gary Fisher Piranha or Trek 4900. I've looked at the specs for both of them, and it appears that the components on the 4900 are a small step up from the Piranha. I want something that can ride around town and can also take me on some intermediate mtn. biking trails. I don't really care about the grip of the tires on concrete, but any other aspects that you feel important would be great. Also, how do the two different forks differ? The Piranha has a Manitou Axel Elite w/TPC Lock-Out and 100mm travel, while the 4900 has RockShox Judy J1 w/preload and 80mm of travel. What is the difference between 80 and 100mm travel, and what is each one meant for? I haven't gotten a chance to test-ride them both, so I need some thoughts first. Anything is appreciated. If it matters, I'm 5' 7".

Thanks,

~Shorty~
 

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The fork on the Piranha is way better IMO the judy is bottom line stuff and bad reviews. The Axel doesnt have the greatest reviews eather online but from those here who have ridden it they liked it alot. I weigh 160# so its perfect for me, if your a heavier person it may be abit too soft for hard riding. The lockout is great when I practice my urban rampaging and for riding paved trails with my friends.

I am a very happy Piranha owner and there are 2 or 3 others here that just recently got one that love it so I am slightly biased.

My advice is to ride both of them as much as possible, and go from there. Ignore the components as they will get changed one day but your frame will always stay the same.

Frame/Geometry are what should count.

As for the question on the fork travel, general rule is more travel = more "mountainy" the bike is a large travel fork is usually designed to take bigger bumps, drops and jumps. The 80mm forks I have seen are usually on dual sport bikes designed mainly for very light trails and road use.
 

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I rode the piranha quite a bit and was my choice of a hardtail, (for the price range) but decided to go full suspension. The Piranha just felt and rode great as you probubly know. As mentioned above the fork is the better of your two choices by far. Check out the reviews on mtb.com. The Piranha gets great ones.The genesis geometry is time tested and this bike looks awsome ! I don't need two bikes but am going to try and get a 06 leftover at the end of the year just because I liked it so much. Good luck.
 

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I just bought a Wahoo several weeks ago BECAUSE of the frame. It uses the same geometry as the Pirahna.
I was down to two bikes in my search: the Wahoo and the Trek 4300.

For me, the Rock Shocks Judy 1 is a decent fork. It IS a tad on the heavy side though.... It's a bit mushy, but still feels good IMHO and if you're under 160 lbs. it should be fine.... Just crank up the preload.
 
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