Gary Fisher Bikes Rumblefish: Update II

Several folks were wondering what the differences were between the Rumblefish 29″er full suspension rig and the HiFi line up, which at first glance seem to be the same bikes with different names. Here I will dissect the two models using the Fisher 2010 catalog I obtained by courier today. Let’s take a look….


The Rumblefish: Okay, let’s take a look at the spec on the Rumblefish and the geometry chart for it afterwards.

The Rumblefish II starts out with a Bontrager Rhythm Elite wheel set shod with 29-3 tires. The fork is the Fox F120 FIT RLC 29, 120mm travel, 15QR, and G2 of course. The rear damper is a custom tuned Fox Float RP23 with the exclusive DRCV canister. Featuring a boost valve and a three position Pro Pedal switch. The drive train is all XT with a direct mount front derailluer. Things get whoa-ed up with a set of Avid Elixir R model brakes.

The Rumblefish I goes with a set of Duster rims laced to a front “Bontrager” 15QR specific hub and a Shimano M529 rear hub. All this topped off with the 29-3 tires again. The front fork goes to a F120 RL 29, 15QR, G2 offset. The rear damper is a custom tuned Fox RP2 with the DRCV canister again featuring a two position Pro Pedal switch. The drive train is mostly SLX with a M542 crank and is all stopped by Avid Elixir 5 brakes.

Both models feature the same 6011 aluminum frame with the E2 tapered steerer compatible head tubes, ABP braking pivot, and hydroformed tubing. Both models also receive the new Shimano 12-36T cassette as well.

Geometry is as follows for head tube and seat tube angles with trail figures.*
Static: Head Angle-70 degrees, Seat Tube Angle- 72.6, Trail- 80mm
Sagged: Head Angle-69.1 degrees, Seat Tube Angle-71.7 degrees, Trail-86.3mm

*Note: Fisher gives figures for each size. I averaged out the numbers from Small to XXL.


The HiFi Line: Okay, now let’s compare to the HiFi line up…

The HiFi line consists of three models again, the HiFi Pro, HiFi Deluxe, and the HiFi Plus. All three share the same frame with a 6011 hydroformed main frame and stays, E2 tapered steerer compatible head tubes, and ABP braking pivot. The HiFi gets a traditional 11-34T cassette and 100mm travel forks.

HiFi Pro:Wheels similar to the Rumblefish II shod with XDX tires. The fork is a Fox F100 FIT RL 29 with G2 offset and E2 tapered steer tube. The rear damper is also a Fox- the RP23 with a three position Pro Pedal. The drivetrain and brakes are similar to the Rumblefish II.

HiFi Deluxe: Wheels again are similar to the Rumblefish I shod with XDX tires, The fork is a Fox F100 RL 29 with the E2 steerer and G2 offset. The rear suspension gets the Fox RP2 with the two position Pro Pedal switch. The drivetrain and brakes are again similar to the Rumblefish I.

HiFi Plus: Wheels go to Shimano 525 hubs on SSR rims shod with XDX tires. The fork is a Fox F100 RL29 with a standard 1 1/8th steer tube. The rear damper is the same as the Deluxe model. Drive train highlights are a mix of SRAM X-5 and X-7 with a SLX direct mount front mech.

Here’s your geometry for the HiFi line.*

Static: Head Angle-71 degrees, Seat Tube Angle-73.6 degrees, Trail-73.5mm
Sagged: Head Angle-70.1 degrees, Seat Tube Angle-72.7 degrees, Trail-80mm

*Note: Fisher gives figures for each size. I averaged out the numbers from Small to XXL. Also, the same figures for the HiFi are given for the Superfly 100.

Conclusions: Curiously, it would seem that the HiFi and Rumblefish lines are only separated by the front fork travel. Perusing the Fisher 2010 catalog, it is hard to find any spec on travel for the rear suspension of the Superfly 100, HiFi, or Rumblefish. (Or the 26 inch wheeled Roscoe, for that matter.) I had to resort to the official dealer book to find that the rating for the Rumblefish is 110mm rear travel and the HiFi is 100mm.

Is the full suspension line then really just a mix of “HiFi Lite” and “HiFi Heavy Duty”? The Fisher company line is that the Rumblefish is the “long travel” 29″er in the line up. Obviously the front fork lives up to the billing, and affects the geometry in a way that fits the category to some degree, but what about that rear travel? Of course, looking at numbers and geometry charts is one thing, riding is something completely different.

The HiFi and Rumblefish do have some impressive features, like the sub-18 inch chain stays, the tight wheel bases, and major improvements in the swing arm area. All very welcome things. In conjunction with the new front triangle, I am hopeful that Fisher has made the frame to be stiffer laterally and torsionally than the previous HiFi efforts. The ABP brake pivot and E2 head tubes will definitely point things in that direction, (and I felt the old HiFi had a very stout front triangle.)

Now if the Rumblefish can somehow make an additional 10mm of travel feel like an extra 20, then we’ll really have something here. Time will tell.


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No Responses to “Gary Fisher Bikes Rumblefish: Update II”

  1. Captain Bob Says:

    they still don’t seem to be that different to me. Another thing that I am not use to reading is angles being slacker when sagged. I guess I never gave the fs bikes geometry much thought. Hardtails have steeper angles when sagged. Just looks odd. Would this be due to the rear shock sagging more than the front?

  2. Per Says:

    Hi again!

    I still think you want to show a photo of rumblefish II while you actually is showing Hifi Deluxe!??

  3. Guitar Ted Says:

    @Captain Bob: The Bike kind of sags down in the middle more, making the head angle slacker.

    @Per: Thanks! The two look close to each other and I got them confused. Photo fixed now. 🙂

  4. Lee T Says:

    As a fan of Fisher, I have to say the Rumblefish is a missed opportunity. I do agree that both HiFi and Rfish seem to be an improvement over my ’08 HiFi 29 Plus, with APB and all, but Rfish is probably not the competitor to Lenz, WFO and others for the heavy trail/AM role i had hoped to see.

    A test ride will tell if the new frames and geometry are stiff enough to mandate a step up from my current Fisher to the new one – more likely, though, my old green machine with its hell-for-strong Curiak wheels and Stouts will not be going anywhere but my next ride, and a more dedicated AM machine will be in my future. (And as always, an SF100, for a different ride).

  5. Oderus Says:

    I find it funny that you are “hopeful that Fisher has made the frame to be stiffer laterally and torsionally than the previous HiFi efforts.” When I stated that last years Hifi was quite flexy, you were pretty quick to state that it rode quite nicely without any major flex. Knowing Fisher’s issues with flex induced damage, it’s funny to see you write that now.

  6. Guitar Ted Says:

    @Oderus: I stand by that, but having a stiffer chassis is always better, no? 😉

  7. Oderus Says:

    Yes, stiffer is better. I still contend that last year’s 29er Hifi were flexy as all get out. I think some folks at Fisher would agree. Too many broken or cracked rear ends is never a good thing. Now, don’t get me wrong, I actually own a 26″ Hifi Pro and I love it. I could spend all day it. All I’m saying is that the 29er version was flawed and long overdue for a design overhaul.

  8. JohnClimber Says:

    My Twitter challenge to Gary Fisher tonight

    JohnClimber @ Gary_Fisher – Challenge time – In one twitter post please tell me what’s the difference between the 2010 Hifi & the Rumblefish models

    His reply
    Gary_Fisher @ JohnClimber – Rumble = pound more, stiffer side to side, 20mm more travel, plusher, it likes big rocks and drop-offs.


  9. SUperCaliber-->HiFi Says:

    THe HiFi is considered flexy? It feels like a rock compared to my old Supercaliber. THat felt like a noodle compared to this HiFi

  10. grannygear Says:

    I found the Hi Fi to be flexy in the rear triangle.

  11. DP Says:

    First off, love the website. I had the opportunity to recently demo a Jet9 and loved the bike. I honeslty never thought I would fall in love with a 29er. I recently visited this site and saw the new GF 2010 HiFi line and was really impressed. Overall I’ve heard nothing but positive things about the GF 29er technology but havent had the chance to ride one. I know whats comfortable to me may be different to you, but would these bikes be a fair comparison and has anyone chose a HiFi over a Niner for any good reason. I appreciate any feedback and keep up the good work on the website.

  12. Shop Mechanic Says:

    I agree with Lee that Fisher may have missed an opportunity here. At any rate, the new frame will be vastly stiffer than the old one which was its Achilles heal.

  13. simenf Says:

    Hmmm…funny to read so many conclusions already without a single test ride available.

    I own and ride a 2008 HiFi Deluxe 29er and find that the rear flex is not an issue to me (170 lbs). No breaks so far neither. If it occurs I will get it replaced. Of course a stiffer structure is welcome, but let’s keep things real here: It seems like most owners don’t have an issue with the flex, some don’t even feel it.

    Read GT’s review once more and give him some credit for a good review instead of whining about it over and over again. I got the comments on flex about a year ago. If you are unhappy about your bike, get another bike and let us who are happy with it enjoy it without your whining.

    Looking forward to the ride reports, GT!

  14. dan Says:

    Hi folks hindsight is always 20 -20. my hi fi was flexy on rear triangle too. I wonder if my 200lbs plus amplified the feeling?mostly the good ofset the bad. with the new rumblefish sounds like it’s tailored made for us big guys. thx for listening.

  15. Oderus Says:

    Simenf, the discussions on flex are towards the 09 and 08 Hifi 29ers, NOT the 2010…..keep up. At 170, you’re not big enough to flex much of anything. But for larger riders (who tend to fit 29ers better) flex was an issue. Cracked chainstays and bridges are an issue. Make no mistake, I am happy to see the design change. I think it is overdue. Having ridden a Roscoe for a while, I know that it is a solid and better functioning design. Don’t mistake whining for criticism. Criticism leads to more research and development.

  16. simenf Says:

    @Oderus: Read my comment again, it was about the old model. I am not saying breaks are not happening, but the four other owners (of different sizes) I´ve been talking to face to face have not had a problem with flex or breakage, even though flex was noticeable to two or three of them. Some used the flex to turn better. I just think that the ones you hear on forums are the ones who shout the loudest, not necessarily representing the majority of owners. As I said, I am welcoming the improvements too!

    Making your point once or twice is sufficient. If you keep on repeating it over and over again people will stop listening to you. That is called whining.

  17. Oderus Says:

    Knowing 4 other people who ride them is greatest sample. I draw my conclusions from riding, selling and supporting the product here in the shop. I speak from daily experiences with 100+ bikes……not 4.

  18. Oderus Says:

    Oops, left out NOT on that first sentence. Knowing 4 other people who ride them is NOT greatest sample.

  19. simenf Says:

    Congrats with selling more than 100 HiFi´s! Must be highly recommended by the shop then 🙂

  20. Oderus Says:

    lol, return business for better bikes. DOH!

  21. Oderus Says:

    simenf, by the way, thanks for a being a good sport in our little playground war. At the end of the day, we both like riding and that’s what it’s all about! Cheers!

  22. Chad Says:

    Got inside info from our tech rep @ trek.
    Rumblefish II in med weighs 28.6 lbs.

  23. JohnClimber Says:

    Any idea when it will be over here in the UK?

    Is it in the shops in the states yet?

  24. Big Red Says:

    The ’09 HI-FI is much improved from the Caliber (frame failure) line offered in ’07. I have a tendency of being pretty rough on Fisher’s frames (6’1″ 220lbs.) and I am quite pleased with this current product. I will be curious to see the reviews of the ABP and the boost valves on the new shocks, but I’m not giving up my ride, ’til I need a new one.

  25. JohnClimber Says:

    What does the boost value actually do?

    And does the RF 1 have a lock out on the front fork like the 2?


  26. Guitar Ted Says:

    @JohnClimber: The DRCV damper has two air chambers that keep the spring rate from ramping up sharply from mid-stroke to bottom out. The extra air volume is controlled by the “Dual Rate Control Valve”, or DRCV. The “Boost” valve, near as I can tell from the Trek Pitch Book, is the Schrader valve which fills both air canisters simultaneously when you set up the shock with your shock pump.

  27. Guitar Ted Says:

    Oh! And I do not have a definitive answer on the fork lock out. Sorry!

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