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  1. #1
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    versatile bike

    I recently bought a gary fisher kaitai. I was initially planning to ride this bike on paths and commute but i compared its components to other fisher 29ers and it has similar setup so i decided to take it offroad. It performed alot better than i thought and I was very impressed considering its not a dedicated mountain bike. I changed out the tires to kenda small block 8 2.1s. I think it would kill with a rigid fork. And, the same day i took it to the singletrack, i went home and threw on some wtb slickasaurus's and road 20 miles with my dad on the path. and its the same bike! just thought i would put that out there if anyone is considering a do-it-all bike.

    ps. i wouldnt take this bike on highly technical trails with lots of rocks though

  2. #2
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    Can you tell more about your experiences with Kaitai?
    I am considering 2006 or 2010 models for commuting, road riding and mild off-road use.

    What kind of riding position does it put you in - low and aggressive or more upright?
    Is the bike agile in tight turns? How is stability when braking and cornering?
    Does it lean easily into turns or do you have to push it in?
    Do you ever scratch rocks etc with pedals or bottom bracket?

  3. #3
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    any bike with a good rider is a versatile bike!

    I'm definitely not a great rider, but a triathlon barred miele doral is NOT supposed to be trail-worthy. I made it work. Paid an awful lot to get the wheels re-trued every couple months but y'know... learning curves are steeper at that age.
    If steel is real then aluminium is supercallafragiliniun!

  4. #4
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    It is a great all around bike and, like any bicycle, can be highly maneuverable once you get the feel of the geometry. The Kaitai has the G2 geometry like fisher's 29ers. Depending on your size, you may feel lower if you are smaller, however, I am taller and feel slightly elevated. I would recommend going to your bike shop and riding one or a similar (montare and utopia are the same bike). as far as cornering and braking i have no complaints. Alot of it has to do with your skill and your feel of the bike. I have had it for 3 months now and can maneuver pretty well. If you are on the trail, you may initially have difficulty because of the big wheel. On the trail I had a hard time on switchbacks and tight corners but with this bike you have to do a little bit of pushing and leaning in tight corners (because this bike does not have the G2 offset fork). On the road and bike trail this bike is super fast. Acceleration is pretty good with very little flex (which is remarkable considering its an aluminum frame). Braking is fine the disc brakes havent failed me yet. I havent encountered any scratches or rubbing against the bottom bracket (and I went over a few tough rock gardens). I would not recommedn this bike for rock gardens or anything technical. Like any bike you need to find what fits for you. I guess you could consider this a total review for the kaitai.Hope this helps.

  5. #5
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    Sorry, I'd go for a Surly Karate Monkey before something like this it's the most versatile bike you could want, all with a tyre/wheel swap.

    And BTW, that is a "real" mountain bike.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold
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  6. #6
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    Thank you so much for detailed response!
    It covers pretty much everything.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_MurdocChongo
    . Depending on your size, you may feel lower if you are smaller, however, I am taller and feel slightly elevated. I would recommend going to your bike shop and riding one or a similar (montare and utopia are the same bike). as far as cornering and braking i have no complaints. Alot of it has to do with your skill and your feel of the bike. I have had it for 3 months now and can maneuver pretty well. If you are on the trail, you may initially have difficulty because of the big wheel. On the trail I had a hard time on switchbacks and tight corners but with this bike you have to do a little bit of pushing and leaning in tight corners (because this bike does not have the G2 offset fork). On the road and bike trail this bike is super fast. .
    I am 5'10'' and because of strong winds here in my area i like to stay low rather than upright.

    The stock fork on kaitai 2006 and 2010 looks pretty flexy to me, are there reasonably priced ($200) forks on the market which would be able to handle mild off-road use or is the stock shock sufficient? I am fairly light (155) and "timid" rider, i.e. i do not do anything
    crazy like 5ft drops.

  7. #7
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    Yeah I would say the Surly all the way. If I could recommend one 29er to someone, it would be the Karate Monkey. You can build it to be a fairly light SS bike with wide or commuter oriented tires, you can run it geared with big old fatties and a super short wheelbase to ride some fun, technical stuff. You can huck it, you can race it (ok that one is a stretch, but if it were the only mountain bike I had I'd be out there in a heart beat.)

    The Karate Monkey is one bike in my stable which will never get sold. I will ride it until it breaks and then purchase another one. The funny thing is I bought it to be versatile, but I have a feeling that I will always run it with gears (either normal drivetrain or an internal) and nice big cushy tires. I love how stiff it is laterally, but does some vertical compliance. It could be all from the tires, but I ride a 16" and now that they have changed the tubing spec, I really think it is a little more comfy than the older models.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx

    And BTW, that is a "real" mountain bike.
    Thanks for the tip, it does look interesting but also somewhat pricey.

    I just got a good offer on a used 2006 Kaitai and i want to gather information about it.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by chamberlen
    ...because of strong winds here in my area i like to stay low rather than upright.
    I feel the same way about MTBR.

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