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  1. #1
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    2010 HiFi Pro - My Review

    Got my HiFi Pro back in December and started riding I think in late March. Iím in New England so many of you are probably familiar with the types of trails we have here. The last full suspension bike I had was a 2008 Yeti 575. When I had the 575 I also picked up a Kona King Kahuna 29er and the Yeti started collecting dust. I sold it towards the end of last season. I realized pretty quickly that 29ers were the way forward for me.

    The search began and I had the desire to tone down my bike a bit. I wanted something that was XC specific and a bike that could be raced as well as fill the role of a trusty trail bike. Iím a hair over 200lbs so I wanted a bike that would be laterally stiff also. When I saw the specs and pics of the new HiFi I was stoked. Not that I was in love with Trek or that I didnít look around at other rides but my LBS sells Trek/GF and their prices canít be beat so I ordered the Pro blind. I should also add that I did demo a Pivot 429 and it was an outstanding bicycleÖÖ..outstanding. But, the difference in money here was huge and I did not want to sell my Kona to get it.

    The spec ÖÖÖI would prefer to build my own bikes as I have in the past but I am just not bothering anymore. Itís far cheaper for me to just by a built bike and swap out some parts. Thatís what I did here. I am not a fan of SRAM stuff, just my preference. I replaced the shifters, rear derailleur and cassette with XT components and sold the OEM parts on eBay. I also ended up going to a set back seat post due to a poorly speced almost zero offset post speced by GF. Why is it poorly speced? The new HiFI has a seat tube placed further forward in the frame than many bikes and for many itís hard to get the saddle positioned properly in the clamps. So, Thomson post and stem (110mm) and an Easton Monkey Lite XC cut to 26Ē. I also threw on a WTB SST Ti railed saddle. Finally, I set up the XDX TLR tires tubeless about a month ago.

    I am still running the OEM wheels. They are a little on the chunky side (2100 grams?) but so far have proved very strong.

    Sizing/GeometryÖÖ..I am 5í10 and my inseam is about 33.75Ē so I could have fit on a 17.5 or a 19Ē. I went with the 17.5 after looking at the geometry. But, the measurements are deceiving. The 23.8 inch top tube doesnít quite feel that long on this bike. I think itís a result of the G2 geometry and the forward set seat tube. Whatever the reason it feels shorter than the specs indicate. Getting rid of the big sweep bar and adding a 110 mm stem definitely set up perfectly for me. Yeah, I think a 19Ē would have worked fine as well. The bottom Bracket is really lower than I like. This is really my only nit pick with the HiFi but I have adjusted to it.

    The rideÖ..Set up the sag properly, get your rebound damping dialed in and you have one of the most balanced full suspension bikes Iíve been on. Letís be clear, this bike is not a Rumblefish. I had a chance to ride a Rumblefish and they ride totally different. The Rumblefish is softer compression damping and is very plush. The HiFi has stiffer damping and really is closer to a racing set up. Itís taught and snappy feeling but not harsh. With a combination of tubeless tires at around 28 psi the ride is awesome. The FIT fork is great and neither end ever bottoms harshly.

    There are a couple other things I really like about the HiFi, stiffness and G2 geometry. First off the rear of this bike is locked in; there is hardly any deflection whatsoever. This is one of the biggest improvements (other than wheel size) over my old Yeti. There was way too much deflection in the 575ís rear swingarm and I never felt confident jumping that bike. The HiFi? Straight as an arrow. Itís really confidence inpriring. The G2 geometry takes a little adjusting to. Once I was used to it I canít get enough of it. Stable as hell on the descents and nimble in the trees. The bike never feels like itís going to endo. Awesome. Climbing is straight forward and the bike keeps the front wheel planted better than any other bike Iíve owned.

    The build quality is pretty good but itís no custom. Welds are clean enough and thereís no alignment issues at all. No squeaks or creaks so far. Pivots are all still nice and tight. Paint quality is outstanding. I did place a bunch of 3M clear mask in a bunch of vulnerable areas where the cables rub. Picked the stuff up at the local tint shop as scrap for no cost.

    Iíve done a couple races with my HiFi and been to a bunch of venues this year of varied terrain. I was unsure how the bike would fare at Harold Parker SP in Andover MA as its one big rock garden. Surprisingly the bike was excellent. Hereís my buddy on his HiFi climbing a really rocky climb at HP.

    http://www.youtube.com/snemba10#p/u/14/D0Mm2kUXbAE

    As you can see the bike can be hammered out of the saddle very effectively. Not sure what else I can say about the bike. Two thumbs up!

    Here I am leading the pack down some trails in East Burke VT!

    http://www.youtube.com/snemba10#p/u/5/h6J3I7lNcs0

    Keep your shorts long!

    JRA Cycles
    My Trek HiFi
    NEMBA Racing
    SNEMBA
    I love learning new things in my pajamas.

  2. #2
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    Thanks.

    I just got my Deluxe on Wednesday. Haven't posted pics yet, might wait until next month when I take a road trip to some burlier trails.

    How's the Thompson working out? I want to get more set back, but I read some places that the Thompsons actually don't offer as much set back as they seem due to something about their design? I need a new seat too, but the WTB I like appears backordered. I was looking at the Salsa Shaft, but it also seems like the 31.6 version is discontinued? What other good setback shafts are an option? Titec Hellbent says its 25mm but it looks like it might be cheap stuff, not sure if anyone has experience with that one.

    I'm thinking new bars too, but living with the big sweeps for now, definitely new grips but also thinking I might let the stock ones get torn up. As much as I paid for this bike I'm in no great hurry to upgrade stuff, but the seat and the setback are almost essential.

    Did you go tubeless with strips from Trek/GF/Bonty? I totally forgot to ask the dealer about ordering that. I see on Stan's site that the Flow Strip is listed as compatible with Duster 29's. Not sure if anyone has tried them instead of the manufacturer version.
    Last edited by picassomoon; 06-12-2010 at 07:46 AM.

  3. #3
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    Pics are the best demonstration on seat posts





    I used the TLR rim strips without issue. Stay away from the Bonty Super Juice, use Stans sealant.
    JRA Cycles
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  4. #4
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    Hm, I was under the impression that I needed a specific rim strip other than the one that came on the rims. I also notice now that they sell the Bonty tubeless strips online, I don't need a dealer to order them. I guess its the "RXL 29er Tubeless Rim Strip" I need. Then can I get a Stan's kit with everything else but the strip and valve? Or do the bottles of sealant come with everything I need. Sorry, I'm brand new to tubeless, maybe this is the wrong place for the discussion.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by picassomoon
    Hm, I was under the impression that I needed a specific rim strip other than the one that came on the rims. I also notice now that they sell the Bonty tubeless strips online, I don't need a dealer to order them. I guess its the "RXL 29er Tubeless Rim Strip" I need. Then can I get a Stan's kit with everything else but the strip and valve? Or do the bottles of sealant come with everything I need. Sorry, I'm brand new to tubeless, maybe this is the wrong place for the discussion.
    No problem. Ask your LBS to order you some 29 Bonty TLR strips and stems. The bike does not come with them. You'll also need a bottle of Stans sealant.
    JRA Cycles
    My Trek HiFi
    NEMBA Racing
    SNEMBA
    I love learning new things in my pajamas.

  6. #6
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    Make sure you tell your LBS what rims you have. The RXL's need a asymetric rim strip. I have a set of duster wheels on my Rig and they take a different strip. So make sure you tell the LBS which wheels you have or they WILL order you the wrong strips. If you are going to order them online first send Bontrager an email asking them which rim strip you need and tell them your wheels and they will email you back the correct rim strip.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jasontech
    Make sure you tell your LBS what rims you have. The RXL's need a asymetric rim strip. I have a set of duster wheels on my Rig and they take a different strip. So make sure you tell the LBS which wheels you have or they WILL order you the wrong strips. If you are going to order them online first send Bontrager an email asking them which rim strip you need and tell them your wheels and they will email you back the correct rim strip.
    Primo advice. Thanks.

  8. #8
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    The Bontrager strips are heaps better than the stans strips.

    Bontrager strips are moulded plastic that goes inside the rim. They snap into place and fit perfectly and they are heaps cheaper than stans strips.

  9. #9
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    Do the Bonty strips have a valve with removable core for easy sealant injection?

  10. #10
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    Nice review tinshield! I again don't have the set-back seat issue on my XL, lucky me I guess! I am still trying to set up my forks, the rear is great but the fox fit rl29 is not getting full travel, I'm getting 3.5" max and that's with sag set at 30%+ so I don't know what to do with this, it does seam like the extra 1/2" would be nice! I have slammed the pedals and cranks into rocks a number of times but I'm getting better about that. I truly love this bike thou. Your review is very good!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Cobb
    Nice review tinshield! I again don't have the set-back seat issue on my XL, lucky me I guess! I am still trying to set up my forks, the rear is great but the fox fit rl29 is not getting full travel, I'm getting 3.5" max and that's with sag set at 30%+ so I don't know what to do with this, it does seam like the extra 1/2" would be nice! I have slammed the pedals and cranks into rocks a number of times but I'm getting better about that. I truly love this bike thou. Your review is very good!

    Thanks Capt. The fork is very hard to bottom. Raced today and got my first hard crash on the HiFi!
    JRA Cycles
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    SNEMBA
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  12. #12
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    I have read that with the Fox forks you will not get full travel out of them. GT from Twentynineinches has posted this a few times.

    I do not own a Fox fork so I can't give you first hand experience.

  13. #13
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    Good review of a great bike!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinshield
    Thanks Capt. The fork is very hard to bottom. Raced today and got my first hard crash on the HiFi!
    How did you place? How do you normaly place?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Cobb
    How did you place? How do you normaly place?
    That was my third race in Novice clydesdale. So far I won every one. Only three in my class this Sunday though. 9th novice overall.
    JRA Cycles
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  16. #16
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    Just put some Maxxis Ignitors on today. Set up tubeless with the TLR strips and Stans sealant. So far they set up perfect. The XDX roll fast but the lack of side bite is not to my liking.
    JRA Cycles
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    SNEMBA
    I love learning new things in my pajamas.

  17. #17
    Pirate!!!
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    Tinman how's that sst seat working out for you? I'm looking into that for mine.

  18. #18
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    No complaints. Rocket V is good too.
    JRA Cycles
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    I love learning new things in my pajamas.

  19. #19
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    Great looking bike.

    I bought mine about a month back. Still getting used to it and really just getting (back) into mountain biking.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tinshield
    The rideÖ..Set up the sag properly, get your rebound damping dialed in and you have one of the most balanced full suspension bikes Iíve been on.
    Still working on this. Also, I feel like maybe rear shock loses air quicker than I'd expect, but being my first FS, not sure I should expect anything.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tinshield
    Stable as hell on the descents and nimble in the trees. The bike never feels like itís going to endo. Awesome. Climbing is straight forward and the bike keeps the front wheel planted better than any other bike Iíve owned.
    This is what I liked. I had it narrowed down to Rumblefish and Pivot Mach 429. I did endo the Mach 429 on a demo, but really liked how fast it was, and this felt like the perfect compromise between the two.


    Size 23. Changed nothing to date. Kind of want one of those joplin seatposts, though.

  20. #20
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    I think the G2 geo is the way to go. Also, I don't think my PP works at all. I can't feel much difference with it on.
    JRA Cycles
    My Trek HiFi
    NEMBA Racing
    SNEMBA
    I love learning new things in my pajamas.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinshield
    I think the G2 geo is the way to go. Also, I don't think my PP works at all. I can't feel much difference with it on.
    You may want to look into this. I have my pro pedal set on the #2 setting and it is amazing! I have a compaint! I don't like all the chain slap I get on decents! It appears to just be slapping the Fwd. derailer cage and I'm usualy in the middle ring, but it's quite annoying. back in the day I had a chain tension devise that attached to the rear der. hanger like an arm that was about 8" long with a spring that hooked to the bottom of the derailer. It was silly even in the 90's! Oh and it was annodized purple

  22. #22
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    If you don;t like chain slap shift into a different gear ot put more tension on the chain. Big ring/middle rear or something.

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