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Old 06-27-07, 06:24 PM   #1
jonicarter
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Is the Gary Fisher Tassajara really that much better than the GF Marlin?

I just noticed the my LBS that I just bought my 06' Marlin from has an 06' Tassajara on sale for $589. I only paid $439 for the Marlin, so I got a pretty good deal on it. Of course, it's purple, but I'm trying to get over that. My main question is whether or not the Tassajara is really worth the extra $150. It has the same frame and fork as my Marlin, but a slight upgrade all around on the shifters and deraillers. I'd like to gets some opinions before I swap it out since I know the frame and fork are a large part of what I should be looking at anyway, and they are the same. Of course, the Tassajara isn't purple either, so thats a bit of a bonus as well, but not a huge deciding factor. The specs of the 2 bikes are as listed below. Thanks for the upcoming advice.

the Tassajara...

Spec Name Gary Fisher Tassajara
Frame Gold Series Aluminum, Genesis Geometry
Fork Manitou Axel Platinum, 100mm-travel
Rims/Wheels Bontrager Camino
Hubs Shimano M525 disc
Spokes 14-gauge stainless-steel
Tires Bontrager Jones XR, 26 x 2.2
Crankset Bontrager Select
Chainwheel 44/32/22
Front Derailleur Shimano Deore
Rear Derailleur Shimano Deore LX
Rear Cogs SRAM PG-950, 9-speed: 11-34
Shifters Shimano Deore
Handlebars Bontrager Crowbar Sport
Stem Bontrager Sport
Brake Levers Tektro Aluminum
Brakes Promax V linear-pull
Pedals Aluminum platform
Saddle Bontrager Select ATB
Seat Post Bontrager Sport



and the Marlin...
Spec Name Gary Fisher Marlin
Frame Gold Series butted-aluminum, Genesis Geometry
Fork Manitou Axel Comp, 100mm-travel w/lockout
Rims/Wheels WTB Dual Duty
Hubs Front: aluminum; Rear: Shimano RM60
Spokes 14g stainless-steel
Tires Bontrager Jones XR, 26 x 2.2
Crankset Bontrager Sport
Chainwheel 42/32/22
Front Derailleur Shimano Alivio
Rear Derailleur Shimano Deore
Rear Cogs SRAM 830, 8-speed: 11-32
Handlebars Bontrager Crowbar Sport
Stem Bontrager Sport
Brake Levers Shimano
Brakes Promax aluminum linear-pull
Pedals Aluminum platform
Saddle Bontrager Select
Seat Post Bontrager Sport
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Old 06-27-07, 07:19 PM   #2
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The Tass is a better bike. Better crankset, better fork, derailleurs, shifter. Plus it is 9 speed as opposed to 8 speed. Not that 9 speed is that better but it is easier to upgrade 9 speed shifters later if you choose to. Also the right color IS important. After all you have to live with it for quite awhile most likely.
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Old 06-28-07, 08:56 AM   #3
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i don't think it's really worth that much more.
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Old 06-28-07, 09:20 AM   #4
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If money's not an issue, go with the Tass.
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Old 06-28-07, 10:47 AM   #5
jonicarter
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Well, money is a bit of an issue, and the Tass would hurt the budget quite a bit more. Especially since I know the Axel fork on the Marlin is pretty bad, and it's the same fork they are using on the Tass. I was also looking at these bikes though:

Trek 4500, 06' model $415

Spec Name Trek 4500
Frame Alpha SL Aluminum
Fork RockShox Judy J1, 80mm-travel
Rims/Wheels Bontrager Camino
Hubs Front: Aluminum Rear: Shimano RM60
Tires Bontrager Jones ACX, 26 x 2.2
Crankset Shimano MC09
Chainwheel 42/32/22
Front Derailleur Shimano Acera
Rear Derailleur Shimano Deore
Rear Cogs SRAM PG830, 8-speed: 11-32
Shifters Shimano Alivio
Handlebars Bontrager Crowbar Sport, 25mm rise
Stem Bontrager Sport, 10-degree
Brake Levers Tektro
Brakes Avid SD-3
Pedals Aluminum platform
Saddle Bontrager Select Basic
Seat Post Bontrager Sport


GF Wahoo 07' model
Spec Name Gary Fisher Wahoo
Frame Fisher Gold Series aluminum
Fork RockShox Dart 1, 100mm-travel
Rims/Wheels Bontrager Camino
Hubs Front: aluminum; Rear: Shimano RM60
Tires Bontrager Jones XR, 26 x 2.2
Crankset Shimano
Chainwheel 42/32/22
Front Derailleur Shimano Acera
Rear Derailleur Shimano Alivio
Rear Cogs SRAM PG830, 8-speed: 11-32
Shifters Shimano EF50
Handlebars Bontrager Crowbar Sport
Stem Bontrager Sport
Brakes Tektro linear-pull
Pedals Nylon platform
Saddle Bontrager Select
Seat Post Bontrager Sport


GF Wahoo Disc 07' model $549

Spec Name Gary Fisher Wahoo Disc
Frame Fisher Gold Series 6061 T6 aluminum
Fork RockShox Dart 1, 100mm-travel
Rims/Wheels Bontrager Camino
Hubs Front: aluminum; Rear: Shimano RM60
Spokes 14-gauge stainless-steel
Tires Bontrager Jones XR, 26 x 2.2
Crankset Shimano
Chainwheel 42/32/22
Front Derailleur Shimano Acera
Rear Derailleur Shimano Deore
Rear Cogs SRAM PG830, 8-speed: 11-32
Shifters Shimano EF50
Handlebars Bontrager Crowbar Sport
Stem Bontrager Sport
Brake Levers Tektro
Brakes Shimano M465, mechanical-disc
Pedals Nylon platform
Saddle Bontrager Select
Seat Post Bontrager Sport


The guy at the shop talked me out of the 4500 initially, partially by telling me how great the Axel fork on the Marlin I bought was, especially compared to the Judy/Dart forks. After doing some research here, it looks like that isn't true. Of course, they had about 20 of the 06' purple Marlins left, so maybe they just wanted to dump them.

Is the Judy/Dart fork going to be just as bad? It looks like it is the better fork in general by reading reviews of it. I know they are both low end forks, but I'm not really spending high end $$, so I understand that. I would like to get the one that is better though. I've ridden both frames, the GF and the Trek, and they both felt different, but good in different ways. It's really just coming down the the best bang for the buck at this point. And I can't lie, at this point, the purple color scheme on the Marlin I bought is behind about 30% of this buyers remorse right now. Sorry to keep posting these questions, but I can't really decide, and don't want to spend an extra $150 on a different bike if it's not going to be a worthwhile, really noticable change.
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Old 06-28-07, 10:52 AM   #6
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i've had an axel elite on my last two bikes and have been really satisfied with them. a friend of mine witha j2 broke his fork after riding it about three times.

I do agree that if you have the money, get the tass.
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Old 06-28-07, 11:00 AM   #7
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+1 on the axel shock. I have been riding a Tass this season (i got an 06 lightly used and very cheap) and I have been more than impressive with the bike and the shock. The lockout works really nicely on the fly.
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Old 06-28-07, 11:58 AM   #8
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I had a bad experience with the Axel Platinum on my 06 Tass. Sent it back twice with no results. Finally dropped down on a Reba Race. What a difference!
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Old 06-28-07, 12:55 PM   #9
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The tassajara comes with the Manitou Slate Super fork. At least I know the new ones do. Its probably pretty similar to the axel fork. I think the Slate fork is a brand new fork that just came out. The fork was my only concern when I bought my tass about a month and a half ago. I was like you, I read all the reviews about the forks but there where none out yet about the Slate fork. I finally made the decision to go ahead and get the tass. since the fork has a one year warranty and I figured by then I could buy a better fork. After I bought it I was very impressed with the fork and Ive been riding hard XC almost everyday since I bought the bike and I have had no problems with the fork. One of the problems I read about the old forks was that they gradually get stiff the more you ride. Mine has not become stiff at all, it still feels like it did the first day I bought it. I did not ride the Marlin or any of the other bikes you listed but I can tell you that you wont be dissatisfied with the tassajara.
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Old 06-28-07, 01:24 PM   #10
jonicarter
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The Tass I was looking at is the 06' model, that's why it has the Axel on it instead of the Slate. The 07' Tass is way out of my price range.

At this point, I'm thinking that I may just swap out the Marlin for the Wahoo or the Trek 4500 instead of the Tass, and use the $150+ price difference I will save to start saving for a new fork, and just upgrade the front derailleur on them for now since that is such a cheap upgrade. Seems like the Judy/Dart forks have much better reviews in the low end side of things. Now I just have to decide between the Wahoo and the 4500.
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Old 06-28-07, 03:30 PM   #11
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I was in much the same situation just three weeks ago. I went with the Wahoo myself. What I really should have gotten is a Specialized Rockhopper. Oh well, live and learn.
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Old 06-28-07, 05:10 PM   #12
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I debated the Tass and the Marlin last year and ended up with the Marlin. I'm sure they're both great bikes, I just couldn't justify the jump in price since it was my first real mountain bike. I got the the Marlin 25% off, I was looking at the Wahoo as well and probably would have been satisfied with that too. I believe the Marlin has slightly better componenets than the Trek 4500. I was also considering that too.

Last edited by bspurrie; 06-29-07 at 04:14 AM.
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Old 07-01-07, 05:44 PM   #13
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I decided to get the 4500. It has better components than the Wahoo, and was $20 cheaper due to it being on sale. I also like the feel of the Judy for better than the Axel fork. The Axel felt way to soft, and the lockout seemed to be pretty useless. When I engaged it, I still had about an inch of travel before it bottomed out/locked out. Took the 4500 for a ride today and was very happy with it.
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