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Re-Thinking My Obsession w/Fisher HiFi 29

1328 Views 13 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  LyNx
Hello all,

I am finally going to pony up and get a new bike this year (my old steel frame hard-tail has died). I have been secretly obsessing about the HiFi 29 series for about a year. I have never ridden a 29er, but it just seems like the way to go for me. So, can someone help me with my dilemma?

I have never owned a full suspension bike and for some reason, I have had this obsession with making my next bike a full suspension. I live in Colorado, and ride all kinds of trails. I became very excited to see the HiFi 29ers sport full suspension. The questions is, do I really need full suspension?

I would like to eventually get into some competition (amateur) and just need some advice from the 29 community on whether a full suspension 29 is overkill for a good all-around bike. PS - please don't try to talk me into SS, not going there yet... I am 5'11" and 200 lbs - so any experience with sizes would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance for the help (also looking to spend a max of $2500.00) :)
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I LOVE my new 2010 Hifi 29er!! I also ride a GF 29er HT and I was little skeptical on how well a FS would climb but I thought even if it didn’t climb great it would still climb good and I would ride it for races or events were FS would be a + and there isn't too much climbing. I was dead wrong...this bike climbs extremely efficiently both in and out of the saddle. I find myself wanting to pull out my Hifi for every ride I do but sometimes fight the urge and give my HT a turn. I know some have brought up flex in FS frames but the 2010 Hifi has been totally redesigned and is based off the Superfly 100 which has gotten great reviews. GF told me that the Hifi is simply an aluminum Superfly 100 with identical geometry, pivots and lengths. There are a number of great FS 29er out there but for your price range and an XC discipline I don’t think you can go wrong with a Hifi.
Ride a bunch of them , draw your own conclusions .
I just bought an HIFI Pro, I should pick her up on friday or saturday. I have enter a XC Race on Sunday and will let you know what it was like. I have been riding a trek 8K for a year and wanted a change.

Hope it was a good choice not sure! The problem of living in a small town the bike shops don't have much of a selection.
I rode a FS Kona The King (26er) and went from a Trek carbon HT, and while the Trek felt a little snappier, the Kona was way better if it got rough. (the Kona just got stolen, dammit...) The thing I really noticed was that when I got off the bike, I didnt feel as beat up. I'm 36 now (also 6'0" and about 185) and I'm not as fast-twitch as I used to be, so FS is definitely the ticket for me. About 5 yrs ago, I'd have said screw FS, but anymore, it really works well and combine that with great forks and disc brakes, and you can push further and more comfortably over more varying terrain than ever.

Now the 29er thing. I rode a buddies in Moab when I was there for the 24 hrs of Moab, and I loved it. So much so that it takes the sting off of my Kona getting stolen. And yup, it was a Fisher. The HiFi pro 29. It was sweet. And if you've looked around, I think you've noticed that from the price and the weight and all that, it's a lot of bang for the buck.

Also, something to think about -- I went into a bike shop over the Xmas break, and they're selling closeout 09 Pro's for around 2500.00 - even though they have to order them from Fisher (meaning all Fisher shops should have access...) You might be able to pull the trigger and get the next model up by getting an earlier year. (I even found a linky, but they only show 17.5" frames. I dunno if that's too small or not, just passing along the info.)
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Just an FYI, in 2010 they added the ABP, removed the carbon seat stay, shortened the wheelbase, change the shock position and greatly improved lateral stiffness. Although you may find the 09 for a good deal...if it's not much more I'd go with the 2010 for the ABP alone.

just my 2 cents
Here is an interesting article my buddy sent me. You might want to check it out if you're thinking about a HT over a FS.

take it with a grain of salt
THe new Hi FI 29er looks strong!

The old one was junk. I broke 5 of them. Fisher stood behind them. But it blows waiting on frame parts. If you do any AM riding go for the Rumblefish. Its a rock solid platform. Good luck.
HiFi would be good for Colorado.
Thanks everyone for the advice - back to obsessing about the HiFi. We have several local dealers here in Colorado Springs - time to start pricing!
Stop by Criterium and see if they have any demo Sultans too.
If you would consider an 09 I have a almost new one that I am looking to sell. Just frame, frame and fork, frame with crank and components. Let me know what you think
I, too, live in Colorado, ride all kinds of stuff, and had only owned a hardtail (okay, Moots YBBeat softtail, but...) for years. Two seasons ago I got my first FS bikes. Ended up with two of them, one of which was the HiFi 29.

I think that bike was an excellent first choice for a guy who likes to hammer hard on trails as if I'm racing. The suspension was generally stiffer than most of the trail riders around here prefer. But for me, it was great. Kept me feeling fast on the climbs and flats. Sped me up on the downhills, too, since I could be forgiven for mistakes in a way that a hardtail wouldn't.

The big wheels are a good part of it. The general trail chatter that we often have in Colo is much smoother just because of the wheels. (Helps to run tubeless, I think.) And in bigger, chunkier stuff, the wheels bridge across and smooth that, too.

So I think you're on the right track. The 2010 HiFi 29 should be a definite improvement. The '08/'09 had some disadvantages, mostly related to rear-end flex. But that didn't keep it from being fast and fun to ride.

I was grateful for my FS introduction season and the HiFi. Now I've stepped a bit further up the food chain and have a Rumblefish. Not quite as snappy. But excellent for a wider range of stuff that I'm learning to ride. And heck, I've still got some hardtails if that's what I want.

There should be demo bikes available here in Colo -- as the weather and trail conditions permit. I know they're available in Grand Junction, at least for the Rumblefish, which should help you get the idea. Have fun!


ps disclosure: Come March, I outa be back working for the GJ Fisher dealer.
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As someone who's visited CO a few times I couldn't see not owning an FS if I lived there and most especially if it was my one and only bike. Definitely FS and then whatever design/brand you like and fit. Also remember, that good wheels are a key element, don't skimp on them, get them hand built by a reputable builder.
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