Riding My 2009 Gary Fisher HiFi Pro 29er in Middle Tennessee

It’s been a couple of months since I purchased my 2009 Gary Fisher HiFi Pro 29. I thought I’d update what I thought of it since the novelty has worn off and now I’m simply getting down to riding it. Man, this thing is a blast. I knew for a few years now I needed a comfortable mountain bike. I figured it would be a dual suspension. I was right. But the 29er takes it to a whole different level.hi_fi_pro_29

It took a couple of rides to get used to what the 29er can do. When I rode the trail on my 26-inch hardtail I would choose carefully what route I would take through the rock garden or roots. You know how it is. You would roll up to a rocky outcrop and have to pop the front wheel up and pull the back end behind you to keep rolling. Particularly with a hard tail. Forever mindful of being clipped in and stalling on a rock and flopping over. With the 29er I quickly realized I could simply roll over most obstacles where I would normally have to worry about balance and route. Those big wheels are very forgiving and of course the dual suspension keeps those whels on the ground.

The bike is fast. I love to climb. It took one good long hill to realize this bike is an outstanding climber. And like I mentioned before, you just roll over the rocks and roots much easier than on a 26-inch bike. The downhills are great. I rode a hard tail for years so anything with full suspension is going to feel fantastic. I think the 29er handles great downhill. I’m a tall rider. A little over 6 feet. The bike feels good beneath me. If you are a shorter rider you might not like the size of the bike though.

My only complaint is living where I do. Middle Tennesse is not exactly a hot bed of mountain bike trails. There are about 4-5 OK trails around the area. It’s pretty tough to drive back down to N. Ga, or Chattanooga even, with gasoline as high as it is. I drive a 4 cylinder Toyota but to get down to better trails will still cost around $40. Think about that. Do I want to spend $40 and 4-6 hours of drive time each time I want to ride? Maybe, maybe not.

There are two fantastic trails that are within an hours drive from me. One is in Columbia and the other is at Montgomery Bell State Park. The people who built and maintain these trails have done an outstanding job. They are tight and twisty single track trails. I like these trails a lot. The thing is I also like long climbing, or descending, Jeep trails and double track trails. Trails like those at Hamilton Creek are maddening because you just twist around and around a very small area and never get a chance to really unwind.

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