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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, so it's only a GF Utopia, but hey, they call it a 29er, so I will too.

It's the 19" size, and weighs in around 29.7 pounds stock, which I'm going to say is fine for a $700 29er, but correct me if I'm wrong. All components are as listed on the GF website with a few surprises (to me, at least) thrown in:
- no bar-ends, though it's pictured with them
- the WTB Speed Disc rims use Schrader valves
- the frame is ZR9000-- the website says it's Gold Series Al, but the sticker on the frame says ZR9000. That would seem to me like a pretty major spec change, but I'm not complaining.

For the price, and for his intended uses, I like the parts mix on this bike, with only a couple exceptions. The fork is a dog. It's super-heavy, has 2" of travel, and virtually no adjustability. But hey, it's a $75-retail comfort fork, what should I expect; I told my Dad if he gets more into biking we can get him something better in a year. The second disappointment is minor, but annoying: I didn't know much about the 700c Speed Disc rims-- does anybody?-- and couldn't find any good info on them online, but I didn't think they'd come with Schrader valves.

Admittedly, he is going to use this bike more for commuting than anything else, but he wanted a bike that would also allow him the kind of LIGHT off-road use he enjoys (his previous bike was a vintage 80s Stumpjumper: rigid fork, BioPace, chainstay-mounted brakes, oh yeah). I think this bike suits him well, even though I hate the fork. It almost inspired me to swap it out for a rigid, but we'll see.

Personally, having lurked for a bit on this forum, I am warming to the 29er persuasion. I'm not in the market myself, but 29ers will be on my list when I finally do get to shop for myself. Right now the biggest stumbling block for me would be that I am completely aboard the UST bandwagon, and shy from the diy-tubeless options. One of my wheels uses Bontrager's tubeless solution, and I think it's great; I wish they made "TL" versions of their 29er rims. That, and tire selection. I know, it's getting better, but of course we'd all like more. We'll see!
 

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My dad is on a 29" wheeled bike too

He's not an off road maven but he got in about 3000 miles last year and likes to hit the occasional off road race. He's 62 and pretty fit overall. He did the Chequamegon Fat Tire 40 2 years ago on a 26" bike (Titus hardtail) and had a "near death" experience. He mentioned it a bunch of times "that downhill with a curve to the left and a big tree.....". Anyway, in order to justify another 29" gearie, I had to get rid of my B29 and he started riding it and raced it in the 04 CFTF. He said it was SO much better and the scary descent that almost left me a half-orphan (at 36) was no problem with the big wheels. He's a full sized dude at 6'3" 205# and the big wheels look a lot better too. Sometimes I can talk him into a local ride or race and he's more apt to go with the big wheeled bike.

It sounds like the GF will be a nice ride for now and could be cheaply upgraded into a hot rig in the future if he gets enthusiastic. I think it's a perfect choice :)
 

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Diggin up the dead post - i just bought 06 Utopia and noticed that it says "Platinum series aluminum" on the frame however it looks different then the cobia (one that is supposed to have platinum aluminum) and the website says it uses gold series.

How is your dad liking his ride?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My dad likes it. He uses it regularly for commuting, and has done a few recreational rides as well. His commute can include some unpaved path, and even on occasion a brief stretch of semi-legit trail through a forested area, depending on route choice, but really he has not taken it on any serious mtb rides. I get some of the blame for that!

The parts are holding up well in general, no complaints.

GFUtopia said:
Diggin up the dead post - i just bought 06 Utopia and noticed that it says "Platinum series aluminum" on the frame however it looks different then the cobia (one that is supposed to have platinum aluminum) and the website says it uses gold series.

How is your dad liking his ride?
 

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This bike would have been an easy convert to 2.25's if the fork was just a bit wider. I suppose a person could get some mountain rims and look for a narrower tire but the front shock is still pretty much metro shock. I took mine on a little rough ground yesterday and it did ok - I am getting used to two things the 19in frame (went from 17.5) and the 700 tires (make the bike effortless to ride but sharp cornering seems to take a bit of hit). I like the fact that I could give my wife my old Marlin so I can still hop back on it if I want to carve some terrain. What kind of rig are you riding mcgarry?
 
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