Subaru-Gary Fisher riders have added another 29"-wheeled race bike to accompany their current Gary Fisher Superfly carbon fiber hardtail – only this time it's a similarly high-zoot full-suspension rig.
The new Superfly 100 features 100mm of travel at both ends yet frame weight is still very impressive at just 2.2kg (4.85lb) including the rear shock and associated hardware – light for a 26" dually but even more so considering the bigger wheels. OCLV carbon fiber is used for the front triangle, the seat stay assembly, and the asymmetrical chain stays, and even the top tube-mounted swing link – all 44g of it – is made of carbon as well. In full team trim, total weight is around 10.6kg (23.5lb) with an extra-large frame.
In addition, there are supposedly no aluminum hard points in the frame whatsoever. The headset bearings insert directly into integrated carbon cups, the extra-wide bottom bracket uses molded-in bearing seats with drop-in cartridge bearings a la the Madone and even the suspension pivot points are aluminum-free. Save for the alloy hardware, the rear derailleur hanger, some threads in the direct-mount front derailleur stub, and the riveted-on housing guides, the new Superfly 100 is apparently 100 percent carbon.
The Superfly 100 isn't just about being light, though. A tapered 1 1/8"-to-1 1/2" 'E2' head tube makes for more precise handling and surer brake performance – not to mention a beefier connection between the down tube and head tube – and the Trek-exclusive Active Braking Pivot dropout design yields better traction and reduced skidding, too (read: more control).
According to Gary Fisher PR man Travis Ott, the Superfly 100 is also "as nimble as a 26" full-suspension bike" thanks to the relatively short wheelbase and proprietary Genesis 2.0 front-end geometry, which uses more offset at the crown to reduce trail.
Key team testers for the new bike include US riders Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski and Sam Schultz and though sponsored riders are expected to speak highly of their provided gear, initial ride impressions were still somewhat unusually praiseful.
"I feel more at home on the Superfly 100 than I've ever felt on any full suspension bike," said Horgan-Kobelski. " Descending, the bike is just unbelievable between the large wheels and suspension travel - the bike's strengths really emerge when the terrain gets rougher. I rode Hall - Picture Rock - Heil [a notoriously rocky trail near his Boulder, Colorado home – Ed.] last week, and the rough climbing on Picture Rock was made so much easier on that bike. I think I rode the front-side technical descent of Hall twice as fast as I've ever ridden it.'
Though Horgan-Kobelski has only been on the bike for a couple of weeks, he's already hoping to race on it at the US National Marathon Championships in Breckenridge, Colorado and some east coast national events depending on the conditions – a weighty endorsement considering his well-known preference for hardtails.
"Compared to the hardtail Superfly for racing the course would have to be very rough to take full advantage of the bike's strengths," he continued. "Overall though, I am surprised how impressed I am with the bike already. It reminds me of when I first threw a leg over the original Superfly."
Retail pricing and final specifications for the new Superfly 100 are still to be determined but consumer versions are already schedule for delivery around August.
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