First Impression: 2008 Fisher Paragon and G2 Geometry

In an earlier post I detailed my first impressions of the new Fox F-29 fork. This fork has the new 51mm offset that was developed for the Fisher G2 29″er geometry. In light of this, the Fox fork really becomes essential to the geometry package and in a way it can be looked at as a proprietary component to the frame. It’s an interesting move on the part of both Gary Fisher and Fox. Is it worth it? Does it work? That’s the big question on a lot of folks minds these days.

Not only do you have the new geometry, but you have an entirely redesigned from the ground up frame in the new 2008 Paragon. A lot is going on here, so let’s start taking a look see!

The initial impression I had was ,”Is that a Ferrous with a white saddle?” The baby blue color and subdued graphics were familiar, but upon closer inspection it was apparent this was an entirely new bike. Highlighting the bike is the Fox fork, of course, but also the frame is striking with it’s hydro formed top and down tubes lending the bike a softer, more organic look. It’s not just about looks though, as this frame was designed to address several short comings of the previous generation of Paragon 29″ers.

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The frame has a new top tube/seat tube junction designed to eliminate the issues Fisher hardtails seemed to have with breakage at this point in the previous generation of hardtails. The hydroforming giving the tube a built in “gusset” if you will. The reinforcements and hydro forming don’t stop there though. Fisher added a new down tube/steertube/top tube design to give more strength to shorter 29″er headtubes and have plenty of “Reba clearance” for fork knobs to pass under the down tube in crashes. Even the chainstays got the hydro formed treatment with an assymetrical design and huge tire clearance for up to 2.5″ rubber.

G2 is Fisher speak for an update of the original Genesis geometry. It includes a longer offset to the fork to give a bit of a boost in the steering quickness at slow speed, yet retain a stable downhill stance at higher speeds. Corners are said to be easier to carve without over correction. Does it work? Well, in my extended trail test ride I can say two things really stuck out for me right away with this geometry package.

First was that I indeed did see an improvement in slow speed handling. I could manage little directional changes during climbing without sawing away wildly at the bars to over correct for my choice of line. I also noticed that picking my way through some gnarlier sections was a bit calmer ordeal than with some other bikes.

The second thing was that this bike steers with very little input from the rider, showing me that it does have a quicker steering nature than some other geometries for 29″ers. This is what I love about the bike. It’s not everyones cup of tea, and some will complain about it being “twitchy” perhaps, but not I. In fact on higher speed, rock strewn downhills, I felt the bike was rather well composed for a hardtail.

Line changes were a snap at speed. the front was easy to loft, and the climbing traction was rather good. I was able to weight/unweight the rear wheel as I wanted with ease. The fork was perhaps a bit stiffer than a Reba, but as I said in the fork impression, I really wasn’t able to explore any other settings during my time with it. This may have helped make the bike feel even more stable and plush had I had the time and knowledge to bring to bear on this fork.

The bottom bracket is really solid. I couldn’t see much movement down there as I mashed a climb single speed style in a bigger gear. The ride quality of the rear of the bike was pleasant for an aluminum frame. Still not in the league of a fine steel bike, nor anywhere near a Mamasita or Cannondale F-29, but not at all harsh. Definitely solid feeling.

I give this bike a big thumbs up for the redesign. The G2 geometry? The jury is still out, but it appears to have merit and seems to be doing some of the things it claims. At least in the short time I had with it. The spec is outstanding with the addition of Rhythm Tubeless Ready wheels, hydraulic brakes, and the Fox fork most notable over last years bike. (Umm…..that’s this years bike and next years is better, or something like that…..) The graphics are a step in the direction of what we have seen with other Fisher products- less and subtle. The “computerized” graphics of the ’07’s have thankfully been left behind. The blue color and white fork are a bit polarizing. I like it, but it does remind me of mid eighties 20 inchers for some reason!

Keep an eye here on Twenty Nine Inches for any more news on Fishers ’08 29″er line up!

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No Responses to “First Impression: 2008 Fisher Paragon and G2 Geometry”

  1. Cloxxki Says:

    Thanks GT!

  2. Glenn Says:

    any hints at the MSRP?

  3. Jake Says:

    I assume Fisher will use this same setup only with a lesser spec for the other existing 29er models, Cobia, X-Cal, etc. Did they mention that at all GT?

  4. Guitar Ted Says:

    Glenn: I will get back to you on that.

    Jake: Yes, at least down through the X-Cal and Rig as well. I’m not sure on the Cobia. I’ll confirm that.

  5. Guitar Ted Says:

    Glen: MSRP’s are still being set for the line. We probably won’t know those until August, maybe late July.

    Jake: Indeed, the word I just recieved is that all the Fisher hardtail line up will be G2 geometry. I assume the Cobia will have a lower end fork, but I haven’t heard any solid info on that as of yet.

  6. Glenn Says:

    Wow, thanks for checking. I’ve been really interested in this bike since it was first reported. Hopefully the MSRP is similar to the current Paragon – I’m hoping that the Fox fork doesn’t push the cost up much.

  7. Big29 Says:

    I think that is a great looking bike. I didn’t have a chance to ride that at the Ballyhoo. I rode the Ferrous and the HiFi and found the handling to be much improved over the previous generations of Fishers. The low speed climbing handling was spot on just like you said GTed. I like my bikes to handle a little fast. These bikes really carve the twisty singletrack. Kuddos to Fisher for their new line!

  8. carno Says:

    It is interesting that the Trek 69er uses the same 51mm fork that the Fisher 29er bikes are using, thus the Trek 69er is a G2 bike also??

    http://www.dirtragmag.com/blogarific/trek-camp-day-2/

    Also interesting, is that the Trek 69er does not incorporate the 2008 rear suspension upgrades that the carbon Fuel EX 9.0 and Fuel EX 9.5, (and also a Fuel Al model to the best of my knowlege), are getting. That is kind of sad.

    http://www.dirtragmag.com/blogarific/2008-trek-fuel-ex-sneak-peek/

  9. tbone Says:

    GT,

    Did you get any hints that we can expect these sometime during this summer? The baby blue makes me nauseous but I want one enough to go put money down now. I LOVE my 07 fisher hardtail and it sounds like they’ve solved everything that’s wrong with it (fear of fracture, tire clearance, etc) Thanks for feeding us all the info! What did you think of the wheels – and are they tubeless ready?

  10. tbone Says:

    (sorry for twenty questions)

    Did the reps give up any of the new geometry to you??

    Allright, I’m done. For now.

  11. Guitar Ted Says:

    tbone: Delivery on the first Paragon’s won’t likely be sooner than August, (as my comment above states, they don’t even have the MSRP settled on these yet!) So, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that Fall would be the delivery date on these. I’ll poke around though and see for sure. Fisher will probably have the lower end ones in first, (Cobia, X-Cal) and the Paragon will follow.

    The wheels are solid. Nice 28mm width, felt laterally stiff, and yes, they ARE TUBELESS READY! (Hooray!) All you will need to do is have the plastic tubeless rim strip installed with the tubeless valve stem, get some Bontrager Tubeless Ready tires, squirt in some Super Juice, and you’re there.

    I have more information coming on the new Paragon and Hi Fi soon, so I’ll post up anything I have not already covered then, including geometry specs. Thanks for checking in! 🙂

  12. Andy Says:

    I had the pleasure of test riding a new GF Paragon at a Trek event this morning. This was my first ride on a mountain bike and I had a blast. I was going to use winter riding as my excuse to get into the mountain bike world, but today’s trail was so fun that I don’t think I’ll be able to wait until the snow falls! I plan to test a couple different brands before deciding what to buy, but the Paragon was definitely tons of fun.

  13. Devin Says:

    Any idea on the carbon hardtail? What is it called, the Superfly? I am curious as to what the $$$$ will be on that. I am in the market for a new bike soon.

  14. Guitar Ted Says:

    Devin: The MSRP’s on the new ’08’s are not set yet, but the Superfly will be a spendy, top spec’ed hardtail. I suspect it will approach $3000.00 if not above, but that’s just a wild guess on my part. 🙂

  15. tbone Says:

    GT, thanks again. The Superfly’s sounding NICE. Can’t wait to see some shots of that.

  16. carno Says:

    Here is the best Superfly pic (frame only) I know of to this point.

    http://www.cyclingnews.com/tech.php?id=tech/2007/features/trek_mtb_launch07

  17. carno Says:

    Better link for Superfly pic:

    http://www.cyclingnews.com/tech.php?id=/photos/2007/tech/features/trek_mtb_launch07/gary_fisher_superfly_frame

  18. carno Says:

    MSRP on Trek’s 26er carbon hardtails might give us an idea of the price on the Superfly:

    Elite 9.7 $2860
    Elite 9.8 $3850
    Elite 9.9 $6050

  19. carno Says:

    Here is a pic of a built-up Superfly (about half way down the page). The caption calls it the “Supercaliber” in error. It you click on the pic and make it large, you can clearly see “Superfly” on the top bar.

    http://www.greggscycles.com/blog/labels/Trek.html

  20. eric Says:

    what is the weight of the G2 as is sold to consumers?

  21. eric Says:

    any idea on price? and when these will be out?

  22. fox 40 fork pic Says:

    […] F-29 fork. … It you click on the pic and make it large, you can clearly see “Superfly” on the …http://twentynineinches.com/2007/06/27/first-impression-2008-fisher-paragon-and-g2-geometry/jakewomack User ProfileBike I ride: 2007 Limited Edition International Specialized Demo 8 fox DHX […]

  23. jakeefer Says:

    I raced a 2008 Paragon for the 08′ season. Broke twice the same way the 07’s were breaking. However, it is an increadibly fast bike. Handles better than any other 29er I’ve rode and generally inspires confidence in turns and rough terrain. I just wish they’d resolve that break issue. The lifetime warranty will keep you in frames, but the wait for a new one sucks. The Superfly I raced for the tail end of the season is a much better built frame (actually made in the USA) and handle’s identically.

    Consider this an afteraction memo.

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