'05 Paragon - First Ride Report- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    C-Hog
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    '05 Paragon - First Ride Report

    Just got back from my first true ride on my new '05 Paragon, and wanted to share my thoughts / impressions. First of all, and to give you an idea of the perspective from which I base these comments... I have spent the past two years racing Fisher 29"er hardtails, with a BW.8 fork and Thudbuster LT (long-travel) seatpost. Although I never felt like the bottom bracket height was an issue, I must admit I frequently had pedal strikes while riding through rock gardens. Now for the '05...

    Let's start at the front of the bike. The Reba is AWESOME!!! All I did to the fork was pump it up to the recommended pressure for my weight, and turn the rebond dampning to full. (I've felt that every RockShox fork I've owned in the past has been under-dampend, so I've always run the rebound to the max setting.) This fork handled everything I could throw at it. I don't have anything negative to say about the BW.8. However, the Reba is hands down better, in my opinion. For example... there are numerous rocky, technical climbs on my local 2.5-mile singletrack loop. One of these climbs is a 100-yard long granny gear thigh buster, that I have never cleaned. About 3/4 of the way to the top is a slight dogleg to get around a small tree. Just before you get to the tree, there is a large rock that before has always knocked my front wheel off line and brought me to a sudden stop. I rode this same climb four times today... cleaned it each time. The Reba ate that rock for lunch, as I rode over it like it wasn't there.

    The '05 frame is much more compliant than last year's frame. My local loop has several long rocky downhills, which have always rattled my teeth as I listened to the chain slap and the frame thud and bang. Today, all I could hear was the wind in my ears. The new frame is so much more forgiving. All I could think about was the local series of 3-hour and 6-hour marathon races which will soon be announced for the Kansas City area... and how much I'm going to love this frame (and fork) during the second half of the race.

    Like I said, in the past I ran the long-travel (original) version Thudbuster seatpost. With this new build, I chose to try the new ST (short-travel) model. I don't know if this is a matter of the '05 frame, or the new model Thudbuster, but I felt my new bike rode significantly smoother through rock gardens than last year's model.

    Another word about the bottom bracket height. As mentioned before, I never felt this was a real problem, but I did frequently have pedal strikes. There is one particular climb in the loop I rode today, on which I would almost always strike a pedal once or twice before I got to the top. Today... nothing but smooth sailing.

    Well, I could go on and on, but my wife is calling me to come help get dinner on the table. Bottom line... The 2005 Fisher hardtails and Reba fork are stellar performers. I am extremely happy with my new ride, and eagerly looking forward to this years racing season.

    Happy Trails,
    Jim C.
    Last edited by C-Hog; 01-24-2005 at 04:58 AM.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
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    Oh yeah, thats what I needed.

    I've been patiently waiting. They told me mine would show in February. Now I've gotta call out find if there are any updates. No more RR until I get mine.

  3. #3
    My gloves stink
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    BB questions...

    Hey Hog,

    Thanks for the review. I have a 2002 Tam and have been wondering about the new, higher BBs of the GFs.

    I have lumbar degenerative disk disease. I find that a low seat height relative to the bars is easier on my back, since it puts me in a more upright position. The low BB on my Tam combined with the high head tube does wonders for me. (So does my Thud LT).

    Questions: do you find that you had to raise your seat relative to your bars because of the higher BB? Do you notice a higher center of gravity?

    Thanks,
    App

  4. #4
    C-Hog
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    There is a slight difference...

    Quote Originally Posted by Appendage
    Hey Hog,

    Thanks for the review. I have a 2002 Tam and have been wondering about the new, higher BBs of the GFs.

    I have lumbar degenerative disk disease. I find that a low seat height relative to the bars is easier on my back, since it puts me in a more upright position. The low BB on my Tam combined with the high head tube does wonders for me. (So does my Thud LT).

    Questions: do you find that you had to raise your seat relative to your bars because of the higher BB? Do you notice a higher center of gravity?

    Thanks,
    App
    I'm using the same bar/stem combo on my '05 Paragon that I had on my '04 Supercal, and the bars are about 3/8" lower in relationship to the saddle height. I've been bouncing back and forth between trying a low-riser bar, or going with a slightly taller stem. Made the decision this morning to order a 17 degree stem. (Currently using a 7 degree.)

    I thought I noticed a higher center of gravity on my first trip out. That went away very quickly. It feels like my favorite pair of faded out blue jeans now.

  5. #5
    My gloves stink
    Reputation: Appendage's Avatar
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    One more piece of info, please...

    Quote Originally Posted by C-Hog
    I'm using the same bar/stem combo on my '05 Paragon that I had on my '04 Supercal, and the bars are about 3/8" lower in relationship to the saddle height. I've been bouncing back and forth between trying a low-riser bar, or going with a slightly taller stem. Made the decision this morning to order a 17 degree stem. (Currently using a 7 degree.)

    I thought I noticed a higher center of gravity on my first trip out. That went away very quickly. It feels like my favorite pair of faded out blue jeans now.
    Thanks for the info. One more question, please. Are the bars 3/8 inch lower than then previously because the BB is 3/8 inch higher, or are there other changes in play?

  6. #6
    C-Hog
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    Yes, I think that is the reason...

    Quote Originally Posted by Appendage
    Thanks for the info. One more question, please. Are the bars 3/8 inch lower than then previously because the BB is 3/8 inch higher, or are there other changes in play?
    ... at least that's how it appears to me. Head tube is the same length. Axle-to-crown distance appears the same on my old BW.8 and the new Reba. Same amount of spacers between headset and stem. I'm guessing that's why Fisher spec'd the new Paragon with a 1" riser bar, to make up for this distance. (???)

  7. #7
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by C-Hog
    Just got back from my first true ride on my new '05 Paragon, and wanted to share my thoughts / impressions. First of all, and to give you an idea of the perspective from which I base these comments... I have spent the past two years racing Fisher 29"er hardtails, with a BW.8 fork and Thudbuster LT (long-travel) seatpost. Although I never felt like the bottom bracket height was an issue, I must admit I frequently had pedal strikes while riding through rock gardens. Now for the '05...

    Let's start at the front of the bike. The Reba is AWESOME!!! All I did to the fork was pump it up to the recommended pressure for my weight, and turn the rebond dampning to full. (I've felt that every RockShox fork I've owned in the past has been under-dampend, so I've always run the rebound to the max setting.) This fork handled everything I could throw at it. I don't have anything negative to say about the BW.8. However, the Reba is hands down better, in my opinion. For example... there are numerous rocky, technical climbs on my local 2.5-mile singletrack loop. One of these climbs is a 100-yard long granny gear thigh buster, that I have never cleaned. About 3/4 of the way to the top is a slight dogleg to get around a small tree. Just before you get to the tree, there is a large rock that before has always knocked my front wheel off line and brought me to a sudden stop. I rode this same climb four times today... cleaned it each time. The Reba ate that rock for lunch, as I rode over it like it wasn't there.

    The '05 frame is much more compliant than last year's frame. My local loop has several long rocky downhills, which have always rattled my teeth as I listened to the chain slap and the frame thud and bang. Today, all I could hear was the wind in my ears. The new frame is so much more forgiving. All I could think about was the local series of 3-hour and 6-hour marathon races which will soon be announced for the Kansas City area... and how much I'm going to love this frame (and fork) during the second half of the race.

    Like I said, in the past I ran the long-travel (original) version Thudbuster seatpost. With this new build, I chose to try the new ST (short-travel) model. I don't know if this is a matter of the '05 frame, or the new model Thudbuster, but I felt my new bike rode significantly smoother through rock gardens than last year's model.

    Another word about the bottom bracket height. As mentioned before, I never felt this was a real problem, but I did frequently have pedal strikes. There is one particular climb in the loop I rode today, on which I would almost always strike a pedal once or twice before I got to the top. Today... nothing but smooth sailing.

    Well, I could go on and on, but my wife is calling me to come help get dinner on the table. Bottom line... The 2005 Fisher hardtails and Reba fork are stellar performers. I am extremely happy with my new ride, and eagerly looking forward to this years racing season.

    Happy Trails,
    Jim C.
    Jim,
    Did you happen to weigh this bike out of the box? I suppose the size you got would be relavent too. I'm looking at a medium.
    s

  8. #8
    What's up Dut?
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    One other item to note...

    I now have an '05 Paragon. It does look very sweet. I tore it down and built it back up with Shimano parts. I threw on the water bottle cages...there is very little room there for decent size bottles. That is something that may be a hindrance for some people in a crunch race type situtation. My frame size is a medium as well. Would hate to see what a small would be like.

    I will weigh it for those inquiring minds. My first guess would say about 26 lbs or so. Although it is quite different as it is not spec'd now like it was when it came.

  9. #9
    What's up Dut?
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    Weight

    I weighed my Paragon last night... but first let me explain that I have changed the part spec a bit...

    Swapped:
    '05 Race Disc Specific Wheels for a set of '03 Race wheels.
    Bonti Race Cranks and BB for Shimano XT w/ integrated BB
    SRAM shifters for Shimano XTR STI
    Hayes HFX Hydraulic brakes for Avid Mechanicals
    SRAM rear derailleur for an XT rapid rise

    Everything else was left on the bike. Weight at this point with EB pedals and 2 water cages was 26 # 2 oz on my digital scale.

    Than, I decided to swap out the seatpost and saddle for a Moots layback post and SLR saddle. The weight dropped to 25.5 lbs.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
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    Its in!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by liltommy
    I've been patiently waiting. They told me mine would show in February. Now I've gotta call out find if there are any updates. No more RR until I get mine.
    Just got the call from my LBS. My Paragon is in and ready for pick-up. And of course, we got a few inches of snow yesterday to sit on top of what we already had, and the temperatures today and for the remainder of the week will be above freezing. The trails should be an ugly, soupy mess all week. Looks like no initial RR until the weekend.

    I hate this winter.

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