Gitane Blast/ Giant Iguana / Gary Fisher Tassajara?


New Member
Feb 3, 2004
Hi All!

I've narrowed my search for a mtbike down to these three options.....

Gitane Blast 2003/ Giant Iguana 2003 or 2004/ Gary Fisher Tassajara.

Any help you guys could offer me would be swell. The all seem great...particularly the Gitane for parts....many LX's in there :) . I can't really find any detail on their bikes though...and really no reviews. It's also a tad heavy. Where the Iguana has glowing reviews, and heaps of them. The Gary fisher when it get reviewed seems to win out over the Iguana in spec and wheight, but I'd have to order it from another state probably. I'm not sure...i know reviews are very helpful...but i don't want to pass the Gitane up just cos there's not a lot of info on them. I mean, their French...and they have been arouind for 75 plus years! They are apparently trying to re-introduce their presence into enlglish speakinbg countries from the look of their new website (currently eng. version under construction).

here are the specs for each

Gitane 'Blast'

FRAME: 6061 Alloy Tig Welded
FORK: Rock Shox Judy C
HEADPARTS: VP Fully Integrated Threadless
FRONT HUB: Shimano Deore
REAR HUB: Shimano Deore
F/BRAKE: Shimano Deore Cable Disc
R/BRAKE: Shimano Deore V-Brake
B/BRACKET: Shimano ES 70
FREEWHEEL: Shimano 11-32t 9 Speed
HANDLEBAR: Zoom Alloy with 20mm Rise
HEADSTEM: Zoom Alloy
PEDALS: VP-D72 Clipless
SADDLE: Cionlli # 6788
SEATPOST: Zoom Alloy

Giant 'Iguana' (disc model featured)

user Recreational XC Mountain Biker
frame ALUXX FluidFormed 6061 Aluminum XC
fork Answer Six Sport 80mm Travel
headset FSA 1 1/8’ Ahead Sealed Integrated
derailleur Front:Shimano Acera 34.9
Rear:Shimano Deore 8/9 speed
cranks Shimano Acera 22x32x42 170/175mm
derailleurshifters Shimano EF29 24 Speed
cassette SRAM 5.0 11-32T 8 Speed
chain KMC IG51
bottombracket Sealed Cartridge
hubs Shimano M475 Disc 32H
rims Alloy Black DW-64E w/Brushed Sidewalls 36H
tires Hutchinson Mosquito 26x2.0
brakes Hayes D160 Mechanical Disc
brake levers Shimano EF29
pedals VP992
stem HL Corp Alloy Riser 15 degree 1 1/8
handlebar Alloy Shotpeen Black Riser
seatpost Kalloy Alloy Black 30.8
saddle WTB VL1021
grips Velo G-16

Gary Fisher Tassajara

Frame Size: XS (13") | SM (15.5") | MD (17.5") | LG (19") | XL
Colour: Bluegray, Bright Silver + Fisher Red
Frame: Genesis Gold Series butted aluminum | Genesis Geometry
Fork: RockShox Pilot XC | 80mm travel
Crank: Shimano M440 44/32/22
Pedals: Alloy platform
Saddle: Titec Ithys
Seatpost: Bontrager Sport
Stem: Bontrager Sport
Handlebar: Bontrager Crowbar Sport
B/Bracket: Cartridge
Headset: Aheadset | Semi-cartridge
Front Hub: Alloy QR
Rear Hub: Shimano Deore
Front Derailleur: Shimano Deore
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Deore LX
Shifters: Shimano Deore
Front Brake: Alloy linear pull
Rear Brake: Alloy linear pull
Brake Levers: Alloy linear pull
Rims: WTB Dual Duty
Tyres: IRC Mythos XC | 26x2.1

OK, after some thorough's down to:

Iguana non-disc for $ 850 AUD (retail $999) , Giant Ranier for $1059 (retail $1699) or the Gary Fisher Tassajara for $ 1140 (retail $1249).

The Ranier seems like the best bang for buck.....the Tassajara excites me more, and seems to have better shox.

I could really use some advice here!!

muich appreciated.

Originally posted by AnthoBoy
OK, after some thorough's down to:

Iguana non-disc for $ 850 AUD (retail $999) , Giant Ranier for $1059 (retail $1699) or the Gary Fisher Tassajara for $ 1140 (retail $1249).

The Ranier seems like the best bang for buck.....the Tassajara excites me more, and seems to have better shox.

I could really use some advice here!!

muich appreciated.


Congratulations AnthoBoy, you've really done your homework! When I first read your post I was going to respond with what you wrote in your second post.

The Iguana has had about the best reviews any "intro" mountain bike could have (I put the "intro" in quotes because only a person that is already into cycling could call a bike like that an "intro" bike). These reviews come from Bicycling Magazine, Mountain Bike Action, Mountain Bike Magazine, just to name a few.

My personal advice would be that if you're looking at the Iguana, go for the non-disk version. It's better spec'd and lighter and you probably don't need disks considering the bikes you're looking at.

I've ridden the short list you've mentioned here and there isn't a bad one in the list. The Iguana and Rainier are great bikes. No one can match Giant's value in their mid range hardtails. Essentially the Iguana is the same bike as the Rainier except for a small step down in components. One thing that has always picked my butt about the Iguana is that they put an 8 speed front derailuer on a 9-speed drive train. The rainier is full 9 speed.

If you want to save a few bucks, the Iguana is a great deal.

If you want maximum bang for your buck, go for the Rainier (although you are paying for disk brakes which add weight and complexity that you may not need).

If you want a great bike and want to be in the "Fisher Club", it's a good bike.

....if it were me, well..... The Iguana was my first Mountain bike. That bike had treated me so good that I purchased one for my wife's first real mountain bike. And I was so impressed with Giant's value that I now ride the XTC 2 (also a fantastic deal).

So back to if it were me.... out of the list you provided, since I like value, I'd go for the Rainier. :)
IMHO...I've riden all 3 and like the Fisher Tass the best....but I'm a fisher I'm bias
Thankx. Heaps.

I've narrowed it down the Tass and the Rain.

How about the forks on both? Going by reviews abroad...and by my own experiences test riding both...I'd say the Pilot XC's on the Tass have less instant give...and seem to not hit their bottom peak or whatever you call it as much. They seem perhaps better suited to road riding? unsure. The Rainier has the Manitou Axel Super's, and there's not really a single 'great' review on those to be seen :( They are mostly bad and I read them 'after' experiencing the 'too much give' problem in the forks at the store, so the reviews kinda just really confirmed my suspicions. The forks aint bad, I just want to get the best in that category of bikes, and I'm more concerned about forks than breaks.

There's another thing related to thie potential upgrade of forks on the giant. Bare with me

The guys in the bigger bikestore which stock many brands + Giant were very helpful and allowed test rides no worries.

The first guy in the Gary Fisher dealership was not at all keen on test riding and it was only when I pretty much put up an "I'm about to be walking out of here.." kind of attitude that he let up and accepted my wallet as security! the guy the next day at same store (owner) let me do it without a hitch. Different strokes I guess. Still bare with me,

Anyway,. the turn around is, the Giant guy is now saying if I get better forks and get them installed on my potential Rainier, the warranty on all parts on that bike is voided!!! I was really surprised & internally shat. I cant find this detail @ giant website, and i'm suspect about it. The guy was really nice worries there, bbut this? hhmmm. No warranty for upgrade of forks done by pro shop?

The Gary Fisher/trek dealer sayd ' no worries mate, we can upgrade anything and you'll still have a lifetime warranty on the frame and a year on other parts (Giant five yrs'). He found that Giant policy a tad limiting as well...wasn't to sure whether it was reality or not.

Anyways, thanks for your help. If I may? What do you think of that warranty situation, and the forks thing I mentioned on each bike as well.


Get the Fisher...

Ride the heck out of it...

then decide on the fork... .

I got a buddy with a stock Tass and he smokes me...

I've got a Marlin but want a Klein...

...and have about decided I need to work on the engine before getting the Klein.

One of those mountain bike magazines said not to upgrade a bike with anything costing more than 20% of the purchase price. I don't know about that but it is food for thought and a fork is pricey compared to the cost of the Tass.

that's true.

From initial riding and testing, I like the feel of both bikes....but the Gary seems to have a smoother fork,,,,and it gives less which is what I want. If I was to be happy with that fork I'd be rockin. I'm already 75% sure the fork on the Rainier isn't what I'm after. I'm not sure about disc brakes so at the's probably the Tassajara.

I'm getting as few mates & my bro to check them out , they've been keeping up with bike stuff....I've just been riding a bike. I am pretty un-educated when it comes to the amazing new fangled featuers on these bikes.

I don't feel I can go wrong at this stage, thanks to you guys, the range of dealers willing to move on prices and the internet in general. Also, These bikes, even the crappier end of the spectrum (some other cheapies I've tested) are better in spec than my old Suntour driven GT Pantera! (which was a great bike, and lasted ten or more years and is still kind of going on many original parts!
"and it gives less which is what I want"

what I meant was, it seems less bouncy and doesn't hit its lowest most compressed point as easily.
Thanks for all your help riders!

I've gone for the Tassajara......a nice ride...with the better forks, and by far the better warranty.

I also decided I really don't need tdisc brakes yet.....I'll be doing a bit of off road.... but quite a lot of road I deemd it unecessary .

Here in Australia, the Tass doesn't seem to have quite as good a pricetag as the American selling price (after conversion , GST and customs tax etc etc....but I feel the warrantry & the below partswap policy makes up for the little bit xtra $$$

The partswap factor was that the Giant dealer (and recently a phone call to Giant) told me that if I was to swap any parts over from the Rainier....or any of their bikes for thatmatter.....then it would essentially void the entire warranty.

The Fisher dealer is going to let me swap and pay the difference on a few parts....with no effect to the warranty! Rockin news.

Thanks again for helping me make the right decision

Anthony from OZ
Congratulations AnthoBoy.

I have no doubt that bike will serve you well for a good while. The best part of taking the Tassajara is that you've given it a ton of thought and now you'll be getting what you want. Because of that you're bound to do more riding.

And THAT is what it's all about. :D
Coolness. Fisher rocks! The Tass is a nice bike.

And as Postie says, you will be ridin' and stylin' with what you wanted... Happy Trails!

Are there any other parts apart from the seat and pedals that I would cheapishly be able to upgrade? I've read a few things people have wanted to change on (my own choice from testing it ;0 , rims? Wheelset.

I really don't even know exactly what a wheelset is! But it sounds like it might add a fair bit of $$$ to the end pricetag.

Perhaps I would be wise just to do the seat 'n' pedals....and see how it goes.

It's just when a reviewer says.."I replaced the wheelset and I instantly felt like I had twice the stability/control" it makes me wonder about the 'alloy' stuff with the tass.

Any thoughts?

And thanks again. Truly.
I found out about Wheelsets...& I'd be spending more than I could afford to get something considerably better.

I'm happy! Deposits down...picking 'er up in one week :)

Cheers everyone. Thanks.
I'm a little late to this discussion, but congrats on getting your Tassajara! :D I've had mine for a few months now and have put nearly 300 miles on it. and aside from two flats :rolleyes: and a break-in adjustment, I've had no trouble with it's performance! It has handled everything I've thrown at it! :cool:

Have fun!
always better late than never :)

I agree fully it's a great bike.

I love the tass honestly.......and this imay seem kinda quirky, but i kiss it each day!

Gary Fisher bikes seem so rare over here in OZ, I haven't seen a single other one ever! people either look at it with complete disregard (those who 'don't know') or they go "holy ****'! It's a gary...sweet, can i ride?"

I generally hate riding on a name (forgive pun) for the sake of it, but I'm glad I am riding on an awesome bike that happens to have a good name like Fisher's!

Enjoy yours mate!