Gary Fisher Montare review

Skinny-tyred, big-wheeled crossbreed

Our rating 
2.5 out of 5 star rating 2.5
GBP £800.00 RRP | USD $1,209.99

Our review

A typically quirky alternative from Gary Fisher — worth a look if your off-road needs are modest
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Gary Fisher’s Dual Sport range is an intriguing take on the hybrid concept, with more than a nod to the big-wheeled 29er bikes that Fisher has championed. Neither fully-fledged off-roader nor flat-barred, wimpy roadster, the range-topping Montare aims to offer a dose of road speed with a hint of mountain bike practicality.

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There’s a reason cyclo-cross bikes never made it to the mass market and, for all its undoubted appeal, the Montare is a reminder that skinny-tyred bikes are high maintenance trail companions that demand constant attention.

Ride & handling: Speedy on the road and rugged enough for some light off-road abuse

With a stretched-out ride position that’s partly a result of Fisher’s proprietary Genesis geometry (which tends to feature long top tubes) and part influenced by road bike positioning, the Montare feels most at home reeling off the miles on tarmac or smooth bridleways.

The tall gearing makes light work of undemanding surfaces, while the lively chassis and remote lockout add a dose of grin factor to tractor-chasing sprints.

Don’t write it off entirely for off-road use, either. The light frame and supple fork help shrug off all but the biggest of trail hits, and a little finesse will get the Montare down all but the most boulder-strewn of trails.

Big wheels and a lowish front end contribute to steering that’s stable rather than twitchy – something that newer riders will appreciate.

There is a ‘but’ though: if you let your attention wander too far, or try to blast the Montare through rough lines that are only really suited to forgiving mountain bike tyres, you’ll pay the price in pinch punctures and dented rims.

Frame: Good-looking chassis with practical touches

Key to the Dual Sport concept is a light, good-looking aluminium frame built around a set of standard road-sized 700c wheels.

Practicality is high on the agenda, with the inboard rear brake calliper mounting leaving plenty of room to it a rack and mudguards.

This is a neat touch for a bike that will see its fair share of commuting duty. Shame that there’s only room for a single set of bottle bosses, though.

Equipment: High gearing and skinny tyres rule out serious trail-bashing

The kit is biased towards road-going speed but is practical enough to withstand some off-road use. The coil-sprung Suntour fork is pretty basic, but has enough travel to take the sting out of both potholes and the occasional bridleway.

It comes with the bonus of a bar-mounted remote lockout lever to prevent the fork bobbing when you’re out of the saddle.

Gearing is high enough to keep all but the most speed-obsessed commuters happy, although it’s arguably too tall for steep off-road climbs.

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That doesn’t really matter, as the tyres don’t have the grip to cope with vertiginous trails: a little light towpath cruising or dry bridleway bashing is all they’re really cut out for.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Montare (09)
Brand Gary Fisher Bikes

Available Sizes 15.5 Inches 17.5 Inches 19 Inches 21 Inches
Rims Bontrager Ranger 700c
Top Tube (in) 24
Standover Height (in) 30.5
Seat Tube (in) 17.5
Chainstays (in) 17.3
Bottom Bracket Height (in) 12.2
Weight (lb) 26.8
Year 2009
Weight (kg) 12.2
Stem Bontrager, 90mm
Shifters Shimano SLX
Seatpost Bontrager Nebula Elite carbon
Seat Angle 73.5
Saddle Bontrager Race Lux
Rear Tyre Size 700x38C
Bottom Bracket Shimano
Rear Tyre Interwolf
Rear Hub Shimano M525
Rear Derailleur Shimano Deore XT
Head Angle 70
Handlebar Bontrager Race alu riser, 620mm
Front Tyre Size 700x38C
Front Tyre Interwolf
Front Hub Shimano M525
Front Derailleur Shimano LX
Frame Material Gold Series Aluminium
Fork SR Suntour SF8-NRX with remote lockout and 63mm travel
Cranks Shimano M543 26, 36, 48T w/chainguard
Cassette SRAM PG950 9 speed, 11-32T
Brakes Avid BB7 mechanical disc
Wheelbase (in) 43.3