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I stopped by a LBS close by, one I don't usually go to that was close to work and was suprised to see two calibers hanging on the wall - a lorge and a medium. I've owned two sugar 29ers and liked them and have been wondering how this bike would compare.

So from a ride in the parking lot, I can say that I really like the new bars - flat bars with around 11 degrees of bend. very comfy. I even liked the manitou shock - again, this is just a parking lot ride (albeit a long one). The shock showed very little bob while pedalling in and out of the saddle.

Overall, it had a great feel - until I stood up and hammered. When I did, I felt the frame waffling under me. A little unsettling to say the least and I have to tell you that I weigh more than the average rider at 230# so this may not be an issue for lighter guys. It was so noticeable that it almost scared me when I first stood and pedalled. I've been looking forward to this bike coming out for awhile but am disappointed.

Spec looked OK for the price ($1750.00): BB5's, Reba, Superstock wheels, LX cranks (nope, not Bontys) X7 ders and shifters. Not bad for the price of a Lenz frame, however, I think I might need the Lenz or something in that range for stability's sake. Too bad, would have been a nice inexpensive FSer.
 

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Recovering couch patato
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thanks for the report Tbone!

They call it RaceDay, not very surprising it would suit RacerBoy best.
I agree that it's disappointing when you find suh a thing. I had it with a Giant TCR road bike. My original TCR was stolen, and the new model was much lighter. It never felt the same, and I never managed to ride out in front by myself on it anymore, the frame seemed to suck up my forces with flex.

It's great that such a big company is now carefully increasing handlebar sweep. My 11º Salsa's are also a huge upgrade over anything 5º, FOR ME.

I've been in pretty good (well, light anyways) shape lately, sub 180lb. I'd love to try the Caliber, but likely my closest Fisher dealer will never stock one, let alone in XL. I'll have to convince a friend to order one so I can ride it. It worked with the Pugsley :)

$1750 for a complete bike...good thing I'm not feeling rich today, or I'd just take a chance to own my first FS since a '97 VooDoo I still have catching dust.
 

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Dirt Rag complained that the Fat Possum's rear end was loose, I would imagine the same would go for another single pivot like the Race Day. I guess pretty much everything "hinges" ;) on the strength at the pivot on these bikes.
 

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I Have Gnarly Potential
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Quasi said:
Dirt Rag complained that the Fat Possum's rear end was loose, I would imagine the same would go for another single pivot like the Race Day. I guess pretty much everything "hinges" ;) on the strength at the pivot on these bikes.
Im with flat_chipmunk, it may very well of been the wheels, which when not built with top parts (with spoked aimed at your riding stile/weight) usually pose a much bigger cause to flex like that on a 29r.

Did you try the same model in a 26r? If it diddnt have the flex then it deff was the wheels, as that extra little bit of rear traingle length wouldnt do it.
 

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no fat chicks
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dude that is such a weird coincidence
just yesterday i was thinking about how the new fisher caliber would perform if a fat guy rode it in a bike shop parking lot
by the way did you session any sick curb drops during your long parking lot ride
 

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Harmonius Wrench
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Part of the design

The Race Day design, with it's swimgarm arrangement, is going to reward a smoother pedaling style. Anyone with a "mashing stroke" and alot of excess side to side motion in their style is going to discover that the single pivot swing arm that the Race Day employs will flex laterally. I don't care how much you weigh, although a bigger guy will get the swing arm to flex more easily perhaps. A strong, lightweight rider with a "less than fluid style" will do the same.

This complaint has been heard about swing arms similar to this from other companies too. It's really just a matter of physics. What I'd be interested in knowing is if the Race Day displays this trait on undulating, off camber, or rocky terrain where any lateral flex will make the wheels seem as if they are going in two different directions. That's a very unnerving feeling and one I hope the Race Day design doesn't impart. Only time spent in demanding terrain will tell us. I'll wait for the first "guinea pigs" to report. It's too big an investment to take on just for an experiment.
 

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I Have Gnarly Potential
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Guitar Ted said:
The Race Day design, with it's swimgarm arrangement, is going to reward a smoother pedaling style. Anyone with a "mashing stroke" and alot of excess side to side motion in their style is going to discover that the single pivot swing arm that the Race Day employs will flex laterally. I don't care how much you weigh, although a bigger guy will get the swing arm to flex more easily perhaps. A strong, lightweight rider with a "less than fluid style" will do the same.

This complaint has been heard about swing arms similar to this from other companies too. It's really just a matter of physics. What I'd be interested in knowing is if the Race Day displays this trait on undulating, off camber, or rocky terrain where any lateral flex will make the wheels seem as if they are going in two different directions. That's a very unnerving feeling and one I hope the Race Day design doesn't impart. Only time spent in demanding terrain will tell us. I'll wait for the first "guinea pigs" to report. It's too big an investment to take on just for an experiment.
:D exactly. I wanna see how peoples impressions are of it on trails and with custom strong built wheels (i cant see most 29' bikes coming with strong enough wheels stock, they have to be built damn good for the extra potential flex)

As you said, it just comes down to style of riding and potentially refining it, like short cage shifters, they benifit you with less chain slap and faster response, but if shifted wrong can self destruct and take your dropout with it :p
 

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Guitar Ted said:
The Race Day design, with it's swimgarm arrangement, is going to reward a smoother pedaling style. Anyone with a "mashing stroke" and alot of excess side to side motion in their style is going to discover that the single pivot swing arm that the Race Day employs will flex laterally. I don't care how much you weigh, although a bigger guy will get the swing arm to flex more easily perhaps. A strong, lightweight rider with a "less than fluid style" will do the same.

This complaint has been heard about swing arms similar to this from other companies too. It's really just a matter of physics. What I'd be interested in knowing is if the Race Day displays this trait on undulating, off camber, or rocky terrain where any lateral flex will make the wheels seem as if they are going in two different directions. That's a very unnerving feeling and one I hope the Race Day design doesn't impart. Only time spent in demanding terrain will tell us. I'll wait for the first "guinea pigs" to report. It's too big an investment to take on just for an experiment.
i guess the Race Day isnt a good buy for this 250 lbs pedal mashin gorilla. i hope the Paragon im gonna get in a couple months holds up my weight. i can feel my 05 marlin flex while mashin be it uphill or flat. it flexes so much that the front derailuer rubs on the chain and gear while on my right leg push(i ride 3rd ring). my LBS says everythin is adjusted right its just the frame flexin. oh well...viva 29'r!!!

:D
 

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Quasi said:
Dirt Rag complained that the Fat Possum's rear end was loose, I would imagine the same would go for another single pivot like the Race Day. I guess pretty much everything "hinges" ;) on the strength at the pivot on these bikes.
Ventana dealt with this very successfully by using the "Superlink" which made their former models the Pantera and Chamucho the stiffest single pivot bikes ever. The Caliber has no such link at the top of the swingarm though it could probably benefit from one.
 

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Wu-Tang Academy Alumni
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thefatmonkey said:
i guess the Race Day isnt a good buy for this 250 lbs pedal mashin gorilla. i hope the Paragon im gonna get in a couple months holds up my weight. i can feel my 05 marlin flex while mashin be it uphill or flat. it flexes so much that the front derailuer rubs on the chain and gear while on my right leg push(i ride 3rd ring). my LBS says everythin is adjusted right its just the frame flexin. oh well...viva 29'r!!!

:D
In June I bought an '06 Paragon (size XL) and I'm already thinking about getting a Sir9. It's not a dig at the Paragon, I just think steel is better suited for people of our riding style. I love the 29er feel and I think the genisis geometry is a great design but after ~150mi of trail riding I can tell that the aluminum frame is not enjoying itself as much as I am.
 

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Same initial findngs here...

Guitar Ted said:
This complaint has been heard about swing arms similar to this from other companies too. It's really just a matter of physics. What I'd be interested in knowing is if the Race Day displays this trait on undulating, off camber, or rocky terrain where any lateral flex will make the wheels seem as if they are going in two different directions.
I've got one of the prototypes...After the initial build, I took it on a shakedown ride to work the next day. That means a pavement/MUT bike path commute for about 7 miles. Initially, the rear end wag (on pavement) is a little unsettling...it seems to disappear on the trail though. I haven't had a chance to race this bike yet (tomorrow I will though) but I've got some fast trail riding in on it...so I've been pushing the bike a little bit. I'm a mostly single speeder too and sometimes I find myself overgeared on climbs forcing me out of the saddle to get up the hills without hamfisting through a bunch of gears. This bike responds just fine to those kinds of mistakes however.

I think the bike does exactly what it's designed to do. It's a RACE bike, and it's designed to be reasonably light (an XL proto built up to ~26 pounds). This bike would be the perfect enduro race bike, for me. I'm a sometimes clydesdale and a pretty efficient spinner. I had a hardtail in the past that showed more of the unnerving traits that G-Ted describes above than this bike does. I think the wheel stiffness plays a BIG factor in the rear end wag also. I've run it with 2 wheelsets, an XT/Salsa Delgado disc that I built along with a pair of Bonti Race X-Lite protos. The XT/Salsa set felt alot better after I tensioned the rear wheel up a little bit after the first couple of rides. The Bontrager set has felt great in the first few rides that I've got in on them...and tires actually fit pretty nicely!

Bottom Line: I don't think you can rule out any mountain bike based on a parking lot test...no matter how long it was. You need time to dial in the fit, shock pressures, tire pressures, etc...
 

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wrench
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Hey Nater- I have an XL RD as well- one from the pilot run. I have now raced it twice and have about 18 hours on it. I have used the RXL proto wheels as well.

I found the wheels to be stiff even with the 28 holes. I have set up 1.8 and 2.2 XR's with ease using only straping tape and electical tape as my liners. Hold air great. Thanks T.Brown for the tip ;)

As for the frame, I have to say it is one of the most responsive and best mannered bikes I have ridden. I run the Reba at 100mm's of travel and find it to handle better than at 80mm's. Not nervous at all on high speed DH's. Turns on a dime on tight switch backs and climbs well. Clearance on the BB is great- no pedal digs. I am a smooth pedaler so I do not notice much in the way of bob, and because of the high pivot location, if you stand up, bob goes away.

If any of you are at Brian Head, UT or Snomass, CO Norbas, come by and check it out at the Gary Fisher trailer. If ya's ride an XL, and you ask me nicely, you might could demo it (that is if I'm not already under my butt ;) )

Matt
 

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Any idea when we can expect these

MattMotto or any other Gary Fisher linked people. Any idea when we can expect the Production model supercaliber 29er? I have been eagerly waiting for some time now and hoped you have prior to my trip to CO the end of August. Thanks
 

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wrench
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TN29er- Not sure exactly when they will be available. I do beleive they are close to production. We had a pilot run- make sure all production is up to snuff. I do not think too long though. Dealer would surely know better than me (I spend all my time traveling going to races!)

Matt
 

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supercaliber availabilty?

the supercaliber 29er are supposed to be arriving this week for any shop who preordered. i am looking for mine today or tommorrow. i have several customers itiching to take em for a ride.
 

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rear end flex

Chiming in on wheels and Fat Possum comments:

I was surprised that both Dirt Rag and MBA criticized the Fat Possum for being flexy in the rear. I have one, and (to me) it seems VERY stiff back there compared to a GF Cake or SC Blur LT. I suspect the 28h wheels could very well be to blame- I hated them on my 293. MBA really hated the DUC32 and the stock tires, so I think those "problems" could also be feeding into their conclusions.

I built my Fat Possum up using Crossmax XL wheels and the only criticism I have of this frame is that it encourages me to go too fast and do more stupid things downhill. It admittedly doesn't climb quite as well as my Blur LT; I attribute most of that to an extra pound or two of overall weight and slacker angles.

I also had the pivot work loose in the first couple of rides, so I suspect that could be a problem for testers as well...

FYI I weigh 210 and weighed about 230 when I was riding the 293 with the flexy stock 28h wheels
 

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tiny rider
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For someone who's not going to upgrade a bunch of stuff in the short (or possibly long) term, is starting out with a SuperCaliber a better purchasing decision? Is the wheelset any better? It would be nice for Fisher to put the Caliber up on the website :)

The other question is how much tire clearance do these frames have?

Thanks.
 
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