By Sue George
The Gary Fisher Hi Fi trail bike platform was introduced last year as the replacement for the discontinued Cake, and also is the first model to feature the company's newly revamped Genesis 2.0 geometry.
Gary Fisher's new HiFi trail bike picks up where the single-pivot Cake left off, at least in terms of its target market. With 120mm of travel front and rear, it's aimed at today's core group of mountain bikers who focus on XC-style riding (with the occasional race thrown in for good measure) but also are looking for something with a little more overall capability than a pure race machine.
Interestingly, although the HiFi is more closely related to the Cake in terms of lineage, its physical appearance bears a striking resemblance to the old short-travel Sugar with a similar profile and linkage configuration. However, the HiFi offers substantially more travel and is lighter to boot. Like the old Sugar, the HiFi is also essentially a single-pivot design but the addition of seat stay-located dropout pivots on the new 'faux bar' configuration better accommodates the additional movement, and a full complement of widely-spaced press-fit cartridge bearings in each pivot (including the linkage and the 'Four Barrel' dropout pivots with two cartridges each) replace the old wear-prone bushings.
As compared to the Cake, Gary Fisher claims the HiFi is both lighter and more rigid, thanks to beefier asymmetric chain stays, carbon fiber seat stays, and more extensive hydroforming throughout the Platinum Series 6061-T6 aluminum main frame and chain stays. In addition to the geometry changes associated with 'G2', the HiFi also boasts a lower bottom bracket height in order to lower the center of gravity, improve stability, and also make it easier to dab a foot in technical sections.
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