Bontrager Switchblade G2 Rumor

We’re hearing out of Michigan that Gary Fisher made a visit to a shop and spilled the beans that indeed a new G2 offset Bontrager Switchblade fork would become available by Fall of this year.

We had speculated as much after hearing Mr. Fisher muse on this very subject last summer at Trek World, the dealer only show held in Madison Wisconsin. It only makes sense since the introduction of Fisher’s G2 offset/geometry for the ’08 model year which pretty much rendered the Switchblade useless to any ’08 Fisher owners that wanted to use the Switchblade as a rigid fork option.

Twenty Nine Inches will post any updates on this as they become available.

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No Responses to “Bontrager Switchblade G2 Rumor”

  1. AC Says:

    I run a Switchblade on my Monocog 29er and I think it steers nicely. Am I missing something and should start saving my money? πŸ˜‰

    ( http://home.socal.rr.com/coleys/Bike/DSCN0002_resize.JPG )

  2. jeremy Uk Says:

    You’re missing something

  3. GBK Says:

    You are not necessarily missing something….but if you have ever heard Gary Fisher talk about his new G2 platform and bike geometry in general he believes that if you change wheel wheel sizes head tube angles and even frame sizes there is no reason you shouldn’t at least tweak the offset of the fork to optimize its handling. Maybe the switchblade with the standard 38.1mm offset used by many, but not all, of todays fork builders is the best but maybe a new custom offset could yield better handling. That being said I want one!

  4. a.lo Says:

    But as both you and I know, KGB =), Fisher does make a very valid point when he goes into talking about geometry. Fork offset is the one thing that is overlooked or just let be or a certain ‘Solid’ Shox say what flies… So if there is one place for development it would be there.

  5. Nasty Says:

    He speaks of fork offset to benefit his own bikes. Fisher bikes run stupidly slack head angles for their xcountry bikes. They essentially created their own need for an offset fork. Build it and they will come.

  6. Cloxxki Says:

    Or, did bikes up till now get short offsets because frame builders somehow thought that a mountainbike should have angles as close to a road bike as possible?
    Even road bikes get quite a bit more offset than a mountainbike on average.

    Offset is simply what allows us to ride our bikes like bikes

    Buddy of mine had a bike made with 65mm offset. It rides grand. Really, really good. For some reason no-one commecialized anything close to it, for as long as I can remember or find info on. Except, for Jones Bikes. Not exactly know for its unwillingly handling bikes… πŸ™‚

  7. Guitar Ted Says:

    Nasty: Strange comment. If you ran a bicycle company you would speak of offset to benefit other companies? Uh-huh…………..riiiiggght!

    And just so you know, this geometry change has benefitted all 29″er riders. It is highly doubtful that Fox or SRAM/Rock Shox would be offering longer offset forks had Fisher not put up the OEM contract to spec the forks in the first place. So, if you are not into “stupidly slack” head angles, you can still tune your steering geometry, largely thanks to Fishers efforts in this area.

    Also, it should be known that when testing was being conducted for G2 offset/head angle that several combinations were tried and test ridden on off road single track by several test riders including Travis Brown. It was agreed to that what we have come to know as G2 for 29″ers was the best of all combinations tried by the testers. Travis Brown said himself that he was really surprised to find out what the combination of head angle and offset really was. He said he would have thought that it would never have worked if He had known what it was ahead of actually riding it.

    So, as you can see, this wasn’t just some randomly thought up combination to dupe the masses. No, it works as advertised, whether the numbers make sense or not. I have ridden more than a few bikes that “by the numbers” shouldn’t ride well, but in actual use, ride just great. I suggest actually riding some G2 bikes and making a decision based upon performance rather than a spec sheet. πŸ˜‰

  8. a.lo Says:

    AMEN…. preach it brother!

  9. Anonymous Says:

    Fisher’s XC 26″ hardtail bikes have 69 degree head angles…that’s ridiculous.

    What are the 29″ head angles?

  10. Guitar Ted Says:

    Anonymous: Sagged or unsagged? Really…………you’ll just have to ride a G2 bike because if you don’t you will simply just not get it. It’s that simple. πŸ˜‰

  11. AC Says:

    Untill the G2 Switchblade comes out what can I test ride that’s rigid? Are there other rigid G2 forks out yet?

  12. Guitar Ted Says:

    AC: You could check out an On One steel or carbon fork. At 47mm offset, it will get you in the ballpark of what a G2 setup might be like.

  13. jeremy Uk Says:

    You are missing the fact that your Redline frame is set up with a 72 degree head angle [unless it’s the smallest size which is one degree slacker]
    The G2 Switchblade fork will be designed to run with a 70 degree head angle {if it’s the same as the G2 sus forks]
    Head angles and fork offsets work together; thus you can’t just change the fork to get Fisher G2 handling
    You will get faster less steady handing , but unless the fork is quite a bit [dependant on which frame you have] longer than your version it is very likely to be quicker handling than Fisher deemed optimum

  14. Guitar Ted Says:

    jeremy Uk: Yes, you are correct about the Redline’s head angle, which just so happens to be the same as On One’s 29″er, so my suggestion on the On One Superlight fork would be as close as he’ll get to what a G2 would/might be like for him. Make sense?

  15. jeremy Uk Says:

    The On One fork is designed to work with a 71/72 head angle
    My bike is 71 with the On One carbon fork and I can’t tell any difference between this and my 26″ hardtail as far as general handling goes. The wheel size making a difference I do happily notice

  16. jeremy Uk Says:

    Sorry Ted simultaneous posts!

  17. Anonymous Says:

    I have a Raleigh XXIX with a Bomber on it. I think it has a 44mm offset? Set up in a 1×9 and now I am looking for a an M29 and I think I will come close to G2. I have been riding a friend’s Superfly and I think that is new G2 and it is a ball. I am also looking at a carbon fork too. The Raleigh is my experiment platform and any suggestions are welcome.

  18. Cloxxki Says:

    Many know that the On-One with 72ΒΊ/47mm rides fine. Real quick.
    The Redline Flight 71ΒΊ/47mm rides fine too, well quick enough for tight singletrack and more stable.

    A Redline Flight with G2 fork, 4mm extra offset, is going to ride quick but fine too.

    Fisher found their sweetspot a bit slacker in the HTA.

    My buddy’s 69,5ΒΊ/65mm bike is on the quick side of what’s practical. Amazing feel and precision. Any change to that bike towards improvement, would be to tame it.

    The offset really does a lot. Maximum props for Fisher to put the effort in, actually testing all these HTA/offset combinations.

    The mentioned On-One and Redline (I was honoured to call some numbers for both bikes’ front geometries) each just had 1 proto made, and the spec was not altered (that I know of) after the first drawing. Pure theory. Fisher put it in practice, and in production with SUSPENSION. For me, pretty useless, but for the market, huge. I want a rigid G2 all-carbon Fisher Superfly, really bad…

  19. DZ Says:

    @ Anonymous: How did you set up your Raleigh XXIX as a 1×9? I have the 2007 version and it didn’t come with cable guides.

  20. jeremy Uk Says:

    A lot of the earlier head angles were designed to at least work acceptably well with the current aftermarket Rockshox fork, even if the frame designers didn’t think that fork was optimally set up as regards 29er offset as it used the same figures as 26″ forks
    Brant Richards of On One doesn’t like his bikes being tested with it. Fisher had the power to get the sus forks made to their spec, so they didn’t have to make their frames compatable with that fork.
    The jury is out as regards G2. It’s known to work well but it isn’t , as Ted and others say, the only good quick handling option.
    The new Rockshox appears to be around 46mm offset, a slew of other new designs appear to be on 44. These are all likely to sharpen up the handling of quite a few establised frame designs, {if that’s what any particular rider wants]
    What appears to be most important is the trail figure. That can be arrived at by various combinations of head angle and offset.
    It’s not the be all and end all but it’s more significant than just quoting the head angle or offset on their own.
    I know this is old ground. But a lot of us still haven’t grasped this; not surprising since it was pretty much never mentioned in 26″ circles.

  21. Guitar Ted Says:

    DZ: The Raleigh XXIX+G rear replaceable drop out with hangar is a direct swap for the XXIX’s right rear drop out insert. There is your derailluer hangar. The cable is simply in a full run housing zip tied into place along the frame tubing.

    jeremy Uk: As far as On One bikes and 38mm offset goes, I can understand Brant’s dislike of that combination. I tried a Switchblade (38mm offset) on my On One 29″er and it was not a good match up. It steered very oddly in the fast single track and it was difficult to keep on line.

    I think that the current range of 44-46mm offset offerings will be quite popular. This seems to be what most fork manufacturers are settling on as a “standard” for 29″ers, if I dare write such a thing. The radical G2 offset and Brant’s Superlight forks being the only ones falling outside of this ‘umbrella”. It would seem that the 38mm offset is being abandoned for 29″ers. It will be interesting to see what Marzocchi does when it re-enters the 29″er market. I’m betting they will be in the 44-46mm range as well.

  22. jeremy Uk Says:

    Hi Ted, I don’t think On One at 1mm more [47] can really be thought of as outside of new trends. UK’s Singular also match 72 head angles with Sam’s own designed 48mm offset forks. As they are the only two UK 29er firms one could say that they are the ballpark!

  23. jeremy Uk Says:

    Further to the above [yawn] it’s Fisher’s espousal of more offset with a slacker head angle that sets G2 apart. Almost all other volume manufacturers seem on 71/72 head angles

  24. Cloxxki Says:

    My friend runs an On-One with alu Switchblade fork, and is very content about the front end. He’s also ridden all of my 29″ers and some others, so has seen more 29″ bikes than 99.9% of the 29″ fans.
    It’s not all bad of course, short offset. The pre-G2 Fishers all had slightly slacker head tube angles than the current On-One, and still managed to convert many thousands of us to the big wheels.
    That said, we now know there’s more to be had, at the same cost. Like eating an egg without the pepper and salt. Nice as well, but just not the same. I’ll have mine WITH the pepper and salt, please.

  25. Guitar Ted Says:

    jeremy Uk: Hey, I didn’t “draw the lines”, I’m just pointing out where they are at. πŸ˜‰ As for Singular, (which have some mighty tasty looking bikes, by the way) are they even available in the U.S.?

    G2 is a part of a Fisher “complete package” as you point out, but don’t think for a minute that folks won’t be mixing and matching the 51mm offset with other bikes. In fact, they already are.

    Cloxxki: I like the “egg ” example. I’m with you- salt and pepper please! But don’t stop there, pass the salsa as well! πŸ™‚

  26. jeremy Uk Says:

    I think one or two americans might have Singulars but I don’t think Sam has targeted the States, although he does pop up on the forums.
    We don’t have many steel frame builders in the MTB world, Chas Roberts and Dave Yates are the only active ones, and it seems that most of their work is bespoke road frames. I know we are a tiny country with fewer people but at 60 million here it surprises me just how many more frame builders the USA appears to have relative to it’s population.
    It seems that in the USA a lot of the innovators make their own frames, whereas in the UK virtually all of the production is outsourced as in the Niner business model. Hardly any of the guys here with a talent for design have ever made a frame, certainly not commercially

  27. Dirt McGirt Says:

    That’s cuz we invented mountain biking.. duh….

    And we did that whole “Tea Party” thing on your asses.

    “NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRENESTATION!!!”

    “NUGGA NUGGA NOOOOOOOOOCH!”

    I don’t know if that was exactly what they yelled that fateful day in Boston Haaaabaaah, but it probably was. I am from New England, afterall. It’s like in my blood and stuff. Maybe that’s why I’ve been getting headaches lately…..

  28. Guitar Ted Says:

    Dirt: You never cease to amaze me. πŸ˜‰

  29. Dirt McGirt Says:

    I please to aim! πŸ™‚

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