Gary Fisher HiFi Pro review

Fisher’s low weight, longer travel HiFi

Our rating 
4.5 out of 5 star rating 4.5
GBP £2,099.00 RRP | USD $3,127.00

Our review

Light, super-lively and massively fun
Skip to view product specifications

The HiFi has had an interesting life thanks to its unique steering geometry and numerous frame changes. This year’s version is an absolute belter, though, with great trail manners in a high value package that’s light enough to race.

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With swoopy tubes, fat wheels, perky riser bars and a quick-witted, gung ho trail attitude you’d be forgiven for thinking this was as hard as a full-blown heavy-duty trail bike. At just over 26lb, though, it’s a versatile, fun and high-value way to hit the trails fast.

Ride & handling: Agile, super enthusiastic and capable trail bike that’s light enough to race

Fisher explain the reasoning and mechanics of their unique G2 frame and fork geometry on their website. Basically, it creates a lighter, faster reacting bar feel without affecting overall stability.

The increased twitchiness and amount you can steer before a G2 bike changes direction can be startling at first. However, get used to ignoring the initial bar flap and front end slide sensations and you’ll find few bikes will wrap round the back of trees or trail centre switchbacks faster. This is particularly true of the HiFi, although the angles are actually fairly relaxed by cross-country standards.

What really helps propel this bike into the ‘we love it’ category though is the increased frame stiffness. It’s still not the stiffest bike around but it’s far more controllable and front/rear coherent than the ‘two unicycles tethered by an elastic band’ versions we’ve wriggled round the trails on previously.

The 120mm-travel custom Fox RP24 (essentially an RLC) fork and 2in stroke ‘eXtra Volume’ shock give it a noticeable edge in suspension terms. It’s a supple, controlled and tuneable ride over small to medium-sized stuff, with only big, square edged blocks really slowing it down.

In short, this was a bike where we never felt we had to back off, charging into situations as hard as we’d normally do on 130mm bikes. With weight at just over 26lb this is an outstandingly light 120mm bike for just over two grand.

The weight, easy speed and supple ground connection make this an excellent technical climbing machine too, and any smooth surface pedal bob is easy to tune out with the various ProPedal platform damping levers and dials.

even in a world of increasingly swoopy frames the hi fi is the most bent of them all: even in a world of increasingly swoopy frames the hi fi is the most bent of them all
Seb Rogers

Frame: Seriously light for the travel but G2 geometry takes some getting used to

Even in a world of increasingly swoopy, curvy frames the HiFi is probably the most bent of all. The deep V top tube and S-bent downtube are T-shaped in section too. The seat tube gets a triple keyhole split to the spread post clamping stress, while the lower end bottoms onto a heavily hollowed out single piece main pivot mount and bottom bracket shell.

A neat forged H-link creates a ‘T’ with the rear of the Fox shock while unbraced carbon fibre seatstays give masses of mud room. Chainstay to downtube cable/hose routing is unconventional but works well and you get two bottle mounts on and under the downtube for bevvy and bottle battery duty respectively.

Equipment: Top-spec Fox suspension, powerful Avid brakes and decent Bontrager wheels

Not only does the overall weight stand out for the money, but the Fisher could be lined up for close component scrutiny with many £2,500 bikes.

We’ve already mentioned the top-spec Fox dampers, and control also gets a serious boost from the powerful Avid Elixir brakes.

The Bontrager Rhythm wheels are impressively light for broad rimmed, tyre plumping rolling stock and the new XDX rubber is a great match too.

The corpulent Bontrager tyres can be run soft for excellent traction and micro comfort, and they’re super-fast on drier, hardpacked trails injecting instant speed at every chance, even if they tend to surf rather than stick in wetter conditions.

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The XTR/XT/SLX transmission is typically smooth and accurate. Bontrager’s alloy gear is all well shaped, lightweight kit and we like the inside edge only ‘lock-on’ grips. The short stem/high riser bar cockpit makes upward mobility very easy.

There’s plenty of air and control in the xv shock as well: there’s plenty of air and control in the xv shock as well
Seb Rogers

Product Specifications

Product

Name Hi Fi Pro (09)
Brand Gary Fisher Bikes

Available Colours Red
Rims Bontrager Rhythm Elite 28mm wide tubeless ready
Top Tube (in) 23.4
Standover Height (in) 29.1
Seat Tube (in) 17.5
Chainstays (in) 16.5
Bottom Bracket Height (in) 12.8
Weight (lb) 26.2
Year 2009
Weight (kg) 11.89
Stem Bontrager Race X Lite Oversize with 7 degree rise
Shifters Shimano SLX
Seatpost Bontrager Race Lite 2014 aluminium shaft with infinite adjust Bontrager head
Seat Angle 73
Saddle Bontrager Race Lite with superlight hollow cromoly rails
Rear Tyre Size 26x2.25
Available Sizes 15 Inches 17 Inches 19 Inches 21 Inches
Rear Shock Custom Tuned Fox Float RP23 with 3 position Pro Pedal and external rebound adjust
Rear Hub Bontrager Rhythm Elite
Rear Derailleur Shimano XTR
Head Angle 69.7
Handlebar Bontrager Race Lite Oversize Riser with 40mm rise and 650mm width
Front Tyre Size 26x2.2
Front Hub Bontrager Rhythm Elite
Front Derailleur Shimano SLX
Frame Material G2 29" Geometry with 6011 hydroformed butted aluminium mainframe & chainstays, co-molded carbon seatstays and cold-forged dropouts
Fork Custom Fox F120RP24 with 120mm travel, custom G2 geometry 46mm offset crown, air spring, 4-position external platform adjust and external rebound adjust
Cranks Shimano XT with Hollowtech II arms and integrated spindle
Cassette SRAM PG970 9 speed with 11-32 tooth ratio
Brakes Avid Elixir R
Wheelbase (in) 43.2