Monday, July 12, 2010

The Fitty vs The Fisher

(Old shot by McMillar)...Thanks to Kent in at Gettysburg Bike and Fitness, I got the opportunity to ride the Superfly SS while my fork was being repaired. This is the same bike I used to ride but I retired the frame out of extreme paranoia that it was going to disintegrate underneath me. I could never get over the sound of dirt and rock hitting the down tube that resonated like sand and pebbles hitting an empty milk carton. That being said, I always rode it well. Unlike Kent's frame, mine was made for gears but a very little known fact is that 32x20 gearing fit perfectly for single speed use with a slightly worn chain. This was a perfect gear for Michaux. As far a geometry is concerned, the Fishers are as laid back as it gets. Seat tubes are right around 72 while the head angles are slackened somewhere around 71 or a bit less, ...too lazy to look them up. The ETT is right around 600mm with chain stays  about 17.3 inches making for a a pretty long bike but short as compared to other 29ers. Due to companies trying to drop riders inside the bike and lower the center of gravity, the Fisher had a huge bottom bracket drop as well. This is quite different than the Ti IF 96fitty.

You see,.... the Fitty has a longer front end (610mm) and much shorter rear, sub 17 inch, thanks to the 650b rear wheel size. It also has a steeper seat tube (73) and head angle (71.25,....yup 71.25!). But the best thing about the frame is there is very little bottom bracket drop but still has the same clearance as the Fisher. This creates one of the more noticeable differences between the two frames,...some surprising, some not so much so.
The most surprising to me is that the carbon Fisher actually felt much springier,...yes I am going on record as saying the Fisher frame actually felt livelier. Was it the carbon? Longer wheel base? Lightness? I don't know but it was a softer, more welcome ride than the Fitty.
The least surprising was that the Fitty climbs much better for a single speeder that is always standing to get up the steep technical grunts found in Southy,...and everywhere else in Michaux. With sub 17 inch chain stays, its got the traction of a unicycle. You don't spin out, you run out of steam! The wheel sticks. The Fisher does well and I know there is a sweet spot but it still isn't the Fitty.
Another major difference is the ability to flick the bike up and over logs. Riding the Fisher, the quick flick did little to get the bike up and over things. Given the same amount of effort, the Fitty would fly much higher. This is attributed to two things. One is the shorter chain stays, the other is the lack of BB drop.  It seems the farther companies lower the BB below the rear axle, the harder it makes it to get the front end up,....think about it.
As far as Fishers G2 front end geometry compared to the Fitty's,...there isn't really any difference. Although my bike has a slightly steeper HA, I still left it fairly slack compared to the 72 degree trend for 29ers. As long as I am on my meat, it's a great all around ride. Which brings up the last difference between the two bikes.
When the ride is done and I do a midget toss with the bike into the back of the T, I don't worry about scratching or rubbing on the frame! That is what will always make Ti better than Carbon for the real world rider.  Given all the money in the world,...sure, I'd ride carbon. But given a single income, and five mountain rides a week with little time to care for my ride,....I'll take the high initial cost of Ti for it's longevity and almost as good ride qualities. Of course, all this is open to debate.


camps said...

Hmm, I'd be happy enough with your "five mountain rides a week", on any frame.

I soon will get to experience a new kind of flickability.

brett said...

oh, you're so damn obtuse and secretive.

Travis said...

Larry, nice being a teacher in the summer, but soon,....I MTB ride a week until trail season.