Fisher Hardtail or Full Suspension?



BrandonAggMtnBk

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Nov 12, 2003
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Trying to decide what to get. All models are 2004. I was originally looking at the Fisher Ziggurat until I read so many bad comments about the reverse arc Manitou forks. So then I looked into the BugSur and upgrading some of its componets. After that I was riding a FS and kinda like the way it feels, but haven't had it on a trail. My riding habbits are XC race with the occasional technical rides. So here are the choices (All '04 Fishers):

Ziggurat: top-of-the-line hardtail, would probably need different fork.
BigSur: highend hardtail, would need to upgrade some components.
Cake2: middle of the line FS w/ genisis geom., would need new fork.
Suger4+: middle of the line FS, would need to upgrade components and fork.

I prefer Fisher b/c the Genisis Geometry fits my body(tall, long torso). I also intend on upgrading to ChrisKing hubs w/ Avid mechanical disks. I appreciate all the advice and comments.

Thanks,
Brandon.
 

frey

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May 30, 2003
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I've not actually heard anything but good stuff about Manitou's new forks, but I might have missed something :)

Had a look at Fisher's website and all those bikes look pretty well sorted to me. I would go full sus, but that's just my personal bias, if you don't have one now then maybe it'd be a good time to have a change and give your riding something new to try out.

Out of the 2 full sussers, I prefer the Cake. Have heard good things about it, and it's a nice design. It might make a little more use of it's travel than the Sugar because the latter was designed to be a fast XC short travel frame, not sure though...
 

Hecubus

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Oct 18, 2003
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The cake should be a pretty good trail bike but probably not a good race bike. The geometry will be a bit slacker and have a higher BB. I wouldn't worry too much about the forks. I've never been a big fan of Manitou but they have supposedly improved a lot of the quality concerns in 2004, in particular with the Black line. In my personal opinion if you have the money and are willing to pay for a good FS I would take it over a hardtail ANY day.
 

Alnamvet

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Aug 17, 2003
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Any hardtail is the way to go...get a good frame from Salsa, Cove, or wherever, spend the extra money on components and wheels, and no F of S$%t suspension bike will touch it. My not so humble opinion.
 

Hecubus

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Oct 18, 2003
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I don't think you've ever even ridden a FS bike. And no, borrowing a friends bike and riding it around the parking lot doesn't count.
Any modern good XC FS (such as the Sugar) will pedal about as efficiently as any hardtail, reduce rider fatigue, allow more aggressive riding in technical terrain, and improve downhilling performance. Improved componentry only improves ride quality up to a certain extent. A good FS with average quality componentry will have far more impact on your ride than a hardtail with the best componentry.
 

Hecubus

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Oct 18, 2003
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Originally posted by BrandonAggMtnBk

Ziggurat: top-of-the-line hardtail, would probably need different fork.
BigSur: highend hardtail, would need to upgrade some components.
Cake2: middle of the line FS w/ genisis geom., would need new fork.
Suger4+: middle of the line FS, would need to upgrade components and fork.

You need to narrow your choice down to either the hardtail or FS first. I see the most expensive bike you picked was the cake and Ziggurat which are both around 1700 to 1800 dollars. Scratch the BigSur out completely. It is exactly the same frame as the Ziggurat with lower end componentry. No sense in buying it just to upgrade later, just go straight for the Ziggurat. Fisher uses the same frame in their lower end bikes most of the time. They just give it a different paint job and name. There's no need to change the fork on the Ziggurat either. The Skareb is a great fork. Most people have nothing but good things to say about it.
I might take back what I said about the Cake. Its mainly oriented as a long travel trail bike but it uses a proven single pivot suspension design matched with a stable platform shock. It should climb very efficiently and will be by far the most fun for everyday use and technical stuff. You could easily get away racing it simply by adjusting bar and saddle positions to a more XC racing specific positionaning.
The Sugar 4 while having the lowest end componentry of all the previous ones mentioned most of it is still quite acceptable and it is only $1100. If you are willing to spend up to $1800 for the cake 2, I'd say you have $700 dollars to do some kick ass upgrading on that bike. The sugar is an extremely well proven racing design.
 

fasterTHANyou

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Dec 8, 2003
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hecubus knows his stuff... while i don't agree that all expensive fs bikes pedal as nice as a hardtail, the sugar certainly does. i rode a sugar for a season, LOVED it. and that is coming from someone who wouldn't part with his hardtail in a million years. go with the sugar... very fun ride