How about Gary Fisher bikes?
I just saw a Gary Fisher Mendota at my LBS yesterday. Looked like a nice, fast hybrid.
I have not seen much talk about this bike or, for that matter, any Fisher bikes on any part of the forum
What's the story? How do they compare to Trek?
I think they are owned( or made) by Trek, so they are on par with Trek. I have a GF in the stable, I got it at a sherif sale, it's a nice good quality bike.
GF is owned by Trek. The company has a reputation for mountain biking and 29er moutainbiking in particular. I believe their frames have lifetime warranties.
They are a solid Brand Name company. I am considering them for a 29er purchase down the road.
I'm sure their hybrids are as solid as any other popular bicycle manufacturer's.
They have a nice line of hybrids w/front suspensions - the Katai, Utopia, and Montare. As soon as the weather and time availability align, I will be test riding the Katai - the entry level one of the bunch. The owner of my LBS has the Montare, along with a dual suspension mtb and a dedicated road bike. He told me that if he had to choose only one, he'd keep the Montare. All 3 of them have disc brakes, & you could theoretically keep two wheelsets available for different conditions/applications.
On a broader note, although Trek owns GF (and Lemond, I think), another LBS owner told me that Trek keeps the manufacturing and design processes somewhat separate.
I recently purchased a Gary Fisher Zebrano from my local LBS 2 weeks ago. This is my first real bike purchase, since oh, I dont know, maybe since I was a kid. I am 41 now, and looking to get some much needed exercise and riding with the kids. I love it. There is lot's of Trek love on this site, and my intention was to get either a Trek 7200 or 7300. LBS dude, showed me the Zebrano, and after trying the 3, it just felt right to me. So now it's home with me. Almost 100 miles on it, since the 1st of April. I am happy with it. Been wanting to ride more, but the weather hasn't been the best, but it's early yet. So, I am happy with my GF, and would reccomend it to anyone.
As the proud owner of a GF Kaitai, I would strongly suggest stepping up to the Montare. The upgraded front suspension is worth the extra coin, and you get better quality components and a cf seatpost. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love my Kaitai. It has been the best bike I've ever owned, but after 10 months and ~1250 miles, I wish I had spent the extra for the upgraded suspension alone. The front end is just a little spongy for my taste, even set all the way to the firmest setting, and there are no stiffer replacement springs like there are for the shock on the Montare.
Originally Posted by matttheknife
I use my Kaitai primarily as a commuter. The first things I did where a cf seatpost, new saddle, and cf handlebars. I've since added a rear rack, and I had to get creative to mount them, but I also put on PB hardcore fenders. I've ridden single track with 700x42 knobby tires and i've commuted on pavement with 700x28 road tires. I love my Gary 29r and wouldn't hesitate to pick up another one......I would just go straight to the higher end next time.
Thanks for the review of the Katai. I still haven't had the time to test one out yet. I don't think I'll be able to upgrade to the Motare (and I will not be putting a fraction of the miles you have), but I may check out the Utopia. Very cool looking set up....
I forgot to ask... How does it do in the woods? How much off road abuse can it handle?
I just purchased a Montare. This is the first bike I have ever purchased (47 years old). I needed something other than running after my calf injury. I have already put about 70 miles on it in a little over a week. The bike is perfect, I tried several bikes and this one just felt right, I couldn't be happier with my decision. BTW, I'm 6'1" 200 lbs and the bike has performed flawlessly.
Last edited by 9Eleven; 04-22-10 at 12:41 PM.
It's a pretty robust frame. I think the frame can handle a lot more abuse than the wheels, so I'd make the wheelset the limiting factor. Last week I found a broken spoke on the rear and a couple of really loose ones on the front. That being said, I think it's just as capable as any hardtail mountain bike once you leave the pavement. The final drive ratio of a 29r is a little steaper, so climbing is a little more of a challenge, but you'll outpace most 26" riders on the flats. If I took it off road more than a couple times a year, I would buy a second, more robust wheelset so I could have an on-road and an off-road specific setup. If you're wanting a hardcore offroad bike, you might think about the Mamba or Cobia.
The wheels are another good reason to upgrade. I guess the Utopia does give you the same shock as the Montare, a 9 speed cassette, and more mountain oriented gearing.
Congratulations!!! I am about your same size and the fit of the bike is what really sold me on my Gary. I'm am pretty picky about how the bike fits and the Gary is just right for me.
Originally Posted by 9Eleven
i just bought a Kaitai a few days ago. 34 years old, 5'10" and 185lbs and haven't biked in 15 years with my schwinn high sierra. i wanted to get into shape and want to use this primarily to really explore NYC and do some light trails out here in jersey.
i looked at a ton of reviews and bikes and felt the kaitai was perfect for me. most commuter bikes to me have such a laid back upright position that they seemed to be worthless for any sort of trailriding. the kaitai geometry seemed to be a nice balance to let you get your groove on if you wanted to get off of pavement.
right now all the stores around me (NJ/NY) are sold out of the 2010 models and the Fisher warehouses have no more until June when the 2011 models come out. However, i found a few stores that had 1 of the 2009 Kaitai model left. Turns out the 2009 model actually has better components than the 2010. Better as in better dérailleurs, better fork, better brakes. The 2009 had an msrp of 750. the 2010 has an msrp of 599. Gary Fisher put in weaker components and lowered the price probably to create a more clear differential between their 3 hybrid models, so really, the 2009 is better, and some stores are willing to sell it for 600 or so since most folks just wont buy anything that seems so 'old'.
So far I have found this bike to be excellent. For your riding needs, you don't need a mountain bike. The Kaitai can handle dirt roads and gravel roads just fine. With more agressive tires i suspect it could handle quite a bit more than that.
What i did was get a new seat, new pedals, flip the stem so it didn't rise anymore, add bar ends, and get schwalbe marathon cross tires (puncture resistant with a more off-road tread). Also added the planet bike blaze 1w front light and supertailight combo. It is a pleasure to ride.
the only better thing about the 2010 model to me was the paint job and the tires. Or you gotta wait for the 2011. Every store i called checked the fisher warehouses and the 2010 was done. finit. sure if i had the money i would have gone with the next level up but for 600 bucks, this is one heck of a bike i think.
Last edited by idiotekniQues; 04-25-10 at 10:21 PM.
We're within the same neighborhood re: age, size, riding experience, etc... I also looked at the GF's but they've been sold out. I eventually realized that I would be doing a little more off-roading, so I went ahead and bought a 29" hardtail mountain bike (a Jamis Durango 29). It was a leftover from last year and I, to use a NY/NJ term, was given an offer I couldn't refuse ;-). Best of luck w/your GF!
The Mendota is a pretty cool bike too. I almost bought one last year.
This story is almost identical to my experience last August. Love the Zebrano, but kinda wish it weighed a little less. I'm sure there's things I can do to reduce overall bike weight, just gotta get smarter and find the time to do it! In the meantime, I'd rather be out on the trails!
Originally Posted by dwnrigr
after 125 miles on the kaitai, boy do i love it. i like the aggressive geometry for quick urban steering changes, the road leaning gear ratios, and the lockout suspension. what a great urban ride.
cant wait to take it on some trails as well.
I have a older gary fisher zebrano and it has about 1500 miles on it. I had to replace the rear wheel because of broken spokes, probably related to my weight. The bike has served me well and has held up very good. I added a rear rack and changed the seat, other than those few changes, I have been very pleased with it. I also have a Gary Fisher Marlin MTB and that bike has been a absolute pleasure to ride.
Born Again Pagan
How about Gary Fisher bikes?
I'd love some, thanks!
Sizing advice: 2011 Montare
I'd appreciate any feedback from those of you who own a newer model year GF Dualsport -- Montare, Utopia, or Kaitai (circa 2009/10).
I'm planning on buying a 2011 GF Montare. Intended use is for path riding ("leisure"), occasional commute, or occasional lengthier rides on Nantucket.
But, I'm having trouble resolving the frame size I need. On the Trek chart, I'm in between the 15.5-inch and 17.5-inch. I'm 5'-5" and about 160-lbs, 28-inch inseam. I've testridden a few Trek bikes (7300 and PDX), but I haven't test-ridden a GF Dualsport. I've read that the geometry and top tube length of the GF DS's stretch a rider out in the cockpit.
If any owners were "stuck" between frame sizes when they bought, I'd really appreciate hearing from you. In my situation, Trek recommends sizing down. Were any of you faced with that situation? How has it worked out? For those of you who sized down, did you need to purchase add'l parts (eg, stem) modify the cockpit length?
Thank you very much for your responses!
I'm a very happy owner of a GF Utopia bought earlier this year when my Giant MTB was getting a little long in the tooth.
Being 6ft I went for the 19inch and although a far bigger frame than my old Giant this bike still feel nimble and for speed competes well with more road orientated (non-suspension) hybrids.
For the money I don't think you can get a better bike, if you can still get a true GF bike.
I've got nothing against Trek but the look of the Gary Fisher frame (rather than the Gary Fisher collection Trek bikes) is something special. It can't hurt to have a bike that looks good as well as rides good.
On the toughness factor I completely agree with Breathegood
Originally Posted by Breathegood
appreciate all the insights, folks.
i moved to California this past summer and sold my GF Marlin rather than ship it.
i'm looking @ the 2011 GF Montare. beautiful bike.
the Utopia specs are OK but the Tektro Novela mechanical disc brakes are a tad on the low end. most of the shops around San Diego look to carry more Trek FX lines than Trek GF Collection. will probably have to special order the GF Montare.
i'm looking at the Trek FX line but i'd definitely prefer disc brakes.
also looks like the specs on the GF Hybrid 2010s were superior to 2011s.....
If the Mendota is a little much on price look at the Wingra. To me there is not enough difference in the two. Not enough to justify the price difference. A friend of mine has the Mendota and side by side mine and his look like the same bike. sept mines black.. Just sayin.