Point / Counterpoint: Fatty’s New Superfly

03.16.2008 | 5:43 pm

A Note from Fatty: Last Saturday, I got a chance to take my new Superfly out for its first ride. I will now give my first impressions of this bike, but want to be certain I’m fair about it. So, for the first time ever, today’s post will be in point / counterpoint format.

IMG_0230 Point: My New Fisher Superfly Feels Just Like My Old Paragon 
by Elden Nelson

Even though last Saturday was cold, the wind was blowing, and it was starting to snow, I went on a mountain bike ride. I just had to. I really wanted to try out my new Superfly, which had been sitting in the garage for the two weeks since I’d bought it.

Well, after my first ride, I’m happy with it, but I can’t yet say whether I’m in love with it.

For one thing, it’s a light bike — under 23 lbs, according to Racer’s scale — but I didn’t really feel like I was climbing all that strongly. I guess I kind of expected a "shot out of a cannon" experience, but instead I got a "drop into the granny gear" experience on the climbs.

Next, I guess I expected the Fisher 2.0 geometry to be some kind of wild revelation, but instead, I felt pretty much the same as when I do when I was on my old Paragon. That’s not a complaint — I really loved the geometry of the Paragon and was frankly a little bit concerned about having it change too much.

And then there’s the fork. Truth be known, there wasn’t much in the way of trail to give a suspension fork a real test; I had to stay on low trails where the snow has melted, and there’s nothing very technical ’til you get up higher, so it’s hard to say whether I’m very happy with the Fox fork or not. I can say that it feels peculiar to have suspension again, after having gone without it entirely last year. And I was able to ride without a lot of wrist pain, which maybe means that I should actually be giving this suspension a very positive review.

I don’t want it to seem like I’m giving the Superfly a negative review. I’m just — so far — unable to give it much of a review at all. I’m sure that once more trail is clear (or when I sneak away to Moab for a day of riding, if I just can’t stand the wait), I’ll be able to give a more comprehensive rundown of what I like — and don’t — about the new Superfly.


Counterpoint: Elden Nelson is a Fat, Out-of-Shape Goofball Who Is Totally Unfit to Pass Judgement on Me
by the Gary Fisher Superfly

You, gentle reader, may be surprised to learn that — like humans — carbon fiber has hopes and dreams. Most carbon fiber hopes to grow up to be a really light, sexy road bike.

Not me. I wanted to be a mountain bike. I love dirt. I love technical rock ledges. I yearn for wet roots at the apex of a sharp hairpin turn. I dream of cross country racing.

As you can imagine, then, I was pleased to find I would become a Fisher Superfly. I would be on the vanguard of mountain bikes, from geometry, material, and wheel size points of view!

As I was built, I became increasingly excited. My cranks, front derailleur and saddle were all upgraded. I was built with expert attention. I was ogled by envious bikes and people as I sat in the store.

And then — to my chagrin — I was brought home and left in the garage for two weeks, without so much as a cursory ride.

Then, finally, Elden — who has a nickname of "Fatty," for crying out loud — took me out for a ride Saturday. Even before he swung a leg over me, I could tell the dude was about twenty pounds overweight.

Within the first few turns of the cranks, it was clear that he was not going to exactly test my limits. He dropped into the granny gear on the first climb — a climb that screamed for the middle ring, third cog.

Then, on the next climb, he crosschained. What a dork.

If his climbing was sad, though, it was at least offset by his comical descending. He dodged every rock and rut as if my fork were not perfectly capable — eager, even — of absorbing them, no questions asked. He kept his fingers on my brakes at all times, feathering them to slow down when he should have been pedaling to go faster.

This guy is as timid as they come, I tell you.

After a short two-hour ride on fire roads and wet singletrack, Elden took me home and put me, unceremoniously, back in the garage. Did he wipe me down and clean me as befits a new, top-of-the-line mountain bike? He did not. He just parked me on his bizarre do-it-yourself PVC pipe rack contraption (tacky), and left me — caked with mud — to dry off.

I do not want to seem judgemental, but I am far too nice of a bike to be ridden by this appropriately-named "Fatty."

PS: A few people have called my attention to The Awareness Test. This is the best PSA I’ve ever seen. Go take a look and tell me how you did (I did poorly, to my shame). (The comments section of today’s post contains spoilers, so don’t read today’s comments until you’ve taken the test.)


  1. Comment by Kathy | 03.16.2008 | 6:02 pm

    Your Superfly is an excellent writer and should be encouraged to contribute a guest column in the near future. Love the Awareness Test. I’m sending it to all my friends.

  2. Comment by Barbara | 03.16.2008 | 6:11 pm

    I sure hope my bike can’t write!

  3. Comment by Craigaroonie | 03.16.2008 | 6:22 pm

    Did Fatty take the Awareness Test or did the Superfly?

    Whatever, loved it.

  4. Comment by Born4Lycra | 03.16.2008 | 6:42 pm

    I took the test and knew what I was looking for (polar bear, juggling guy on a unicycle, fairy etc) and still missed it. Did get the pass count correct tho. I agree with Barbara if my bike learns to write I am in big trouble. Having said that I wouldn’t mind reading Al Maviva’s Bike’s impression of the world as he/she sees it.

  5. Comment by Duane | 03.16.2008 | 7:59 pm

    I had the pass count right. Sawe bear walk through – but didn’t know it was a bear.

    My bike understands what happens on the trail stays on the trail. The crack on my helmet is from a monster wipe out on an epic decent – not from shifting into the big gear on a climb and falling over like an oak tree. I think I heard my Fisher yelling “timber!”

  6. Comment by Debamundo | 03.16.2008 | 8:05 pm

    I was so proud of myself. I thought thirteen, easy, I did great. Never saw the bear. Not even a hint of it.

  7. Comment by JWBIKES | 03.16.2008 | 9:28 pm

    Got the number right, missed the bear completely. Sometimes you eat the bear, sometimes the bear eats you.

    I think your Superfly is “carbon related” to my 5500. At least they have the same issues. Mine is reading on a college level now…I think she will be leaving me soon for a skinnier, smarter, rider.

  8. Comment by Dobovedo | 03.16.2008 | 9:35 pm

    If you are ever chased by a bear, you don’t have outrun the bear, you and 11 of your friends only have to outrun the 13th (and soon to be former) friend.

    I banned my bikes from logging into my blog and posting quite some time ago. I was tired of their whining. Admin rights have advantages.

  9. Comment by Ant | 03.16.2008 | 11:16 pm

    PHAT bike! (Pretty Hot And Tempting – wouldn’t want to hurt it’s feelings now, or give it a complex, or worse, an eating disorder). It would appear Mr Fisher, Esq, certainly got the name right with “Superfly”

    Now on to more important issues, has the new stallion in the Fat Cyclist stable been officially named yet?

    PS my bike’s jealous at the moment, and acting it out in a very childish, petulant manner. Apparently it took offence when I ‘test rode’ an ‘08 Trance 0 Advanced on the weekend. I have since been punished by 2 slow leaks (on tubeless tyres no less), a loudly squealing and tortured drivetrain, and a random ticking noise that no-one but me can hear, and therefore the LBS monkey can’t diagnose either.

    Guess it pays to stay faithful…

  10. Comment by Primal | 03.16.2008 | 11:33 pm

    Arhh the Superfly should meet my Giant TCR C1 the I won last year. It’s been ridden twice and just last weekend was taken down from it “Super Smick” floor to roof bike stand and dusted it. It’s sad but true. If you win something you won’t give it the time of day! On the test… well failed that bugger but it get the message across. Keep safe out there!

  11. Comment by trio | 03.16.2008 | 11:54 pm

    Love the awareness test, like many others I got the number of passes correct but failed to see the bear.

    I’m worried what my bikes think I’m glad none of them have tried writing on my blog yet. I can just hear my full-sus, please please fix me I only need a gear cable, is that too much to ask?

  12. Comment by Mike Roadie | 03.17.2008 | 1:55 am

    Jane, you ignorant slut.

    Happy St Patty’s Day!

  13. Comment by Big Boned | 03.17.2008 | 3:21 am

    Mike must have got up on the wrong side of the bed…PG-13 comment and no request for a donation!
    Fatty – I think it would only be right if you let someone else (ME!) break in the FREE 3 Month Loaner superfly. Why would YOU want to destroy the psyche of TWO superflys? Bet there is a special place in Hell for bike psyche destroyers!

  14. Comment by Marina | 03.17.2008 | 4:19 am

    I’m pretty sure this is not a case of inattentional blindness… where are Fatty’s weight stats?

  15. Comment by cheapie | 03.17.2008 | 4:49 am

    oh man. i pick up my new superfly today and am extremely excited about it. but i’m pretty nervous that selling my beautiful ellsworth in exchange for the new steed is a mistake.

    *chews nails*

  16. Comment by Si | 03.17.2008 | 5:03 am

    Maybe he’s updating the stats, or possibly is hoping we’d forget by distracting us with his holiday photos :)

    I started racing my bike last year and I think I can say on behlaf of both of us we loved the experience…even if the first few races felt more like we were taking a stroll in the park compared to everyone else. As I’m a cheapskate I did a couple of races with a faulty bottom bracket which sounded like it was about to fail horribly and got away with it…when I took my bike to the LBS though I think it had a quiet word with the mechanic and between them they seem to have emptied my bank account. I guess they’re right…look after number one….and number one’s bike.

  17. Comment by Bonzai Buckaroo | 03.17.2008 | 6:14 am

    I hate to say it, but I missed the count and the bear. But I’m a roadie, please forgive me.

    I just got a FELT Z-15 and it’s a dream to ride.

  18. Comment by Ethan | 03.17.2008 | 6:42 am

    Upgraded front derailleur? Wow, stop the freakin’ press! I bet you dollars to donuts that 80% of mountain bikers don’t know what kind of front D they have. (Hint: probably LX since most bike companies skimp in that department.)

    Just kidding around. The bike looks awesome.

  19. Comment by chtrich | 03.17.2008 | 6:52 am

    Bravo for allowing your bike to post. Perhaps you’ll read it carefully.
    What bear?

  20. Comment by timlees.blogspot.com | 03.17.2008 | 7:05 am

    expensive bikes won’t ever live up to our expectations: beyond that moment of purchase excitement comes the dawning realization that a bike half the price (probably a bike you already own) did just as good a job and was just as much fun to ride.
    What do I know??? I could never afford a superfly (and boy, it looks gorgeous).
    The awareness test is brilliant, I didn’t notice a thing but got the pass count correct……and was then brought back down to earth with an ego deflating crash as I congratulated myself on my fine concentration skills. Doh!

  21. Comment by axel | 03.17.2008 | 7:14 am

    This bike is already acting up when it is the newest bike in the stable. Just wait until it gets jealousy issues after being left home when fatty rides the single speed. Trouble is brewing….

  22. Comment by The D | 03.17.2008 | 8:00 am

    How annoying would it be to be in the middle of counting passes only to have a co-worker come up behind you and say, “Hey, why are you watching a moonwalking bear? Pervert.”

    I bet that happens all the time.

  23. Comment by buckythedonkey | 03.17.2008 | 9:07 am

    Passes: 13
    Bears: 0

    Nice work TFL!

    Having ridden through London for years I’d bet my last pound that none the drivers I encounter would spot the damned bear either.

  24. Comment by Rick S. | 03.17.2008 | 9:08 am

    Seriously??? You went for a MTB ride on Sat IN DRAPER without a call or email to the core team? I don’t even know you anymore.

  25. Comment by bikemike | 03.17.2008 | 9:18 am

    did the “bear” get the count right on how many passes the white team made?
    can the “bear” ride a superfly up the hills you rode in the middle ring?

    awareness test? i think not.

  26. Comment by KanyonKris | 03.17.2008 | 9:57 am

    Give me the Superfly for a week and my timid riding and slovenly bike care will make it forever glad to be owned by you. :-)

  27. Comment by Mocougfan | 03.17.2008 | 9:58 am

    Stupid Bear.

  28. Comment by Orbea Girl | 03.17.2008 | 10:18 am

    Great PSA but it looked more like a walzing than a moonwalking bear to me. I have to concur with Buckythedonkey that 100% of London drivers wouldn’t spot the bear or even get the pass count correct. Fortunately where I live drivers are used to seeing and dealing with plenty of cyclists. At least 60% would spot the bear and then honk their horns at it while simultaneously talking on their mobiles and smoking a cigarette.

  29. Comment by Megan | 03.17.2008 | 10:33 am

    I got distracted in the middle of counting by something and lost track. I now realize it was the bear. Weird, I couldn’t focus on the basketball players, but I still ignored the bear.

  30. Comment by Cervelo Gal - formely Bent022 | 03.17.2008 | 10:48 am

    Great PSA.

    Nice review from the new bike. At least you are your bikes first owner. I would hate to hear what comparisons my bike would make between me and his previous rider. Of course my bike probably would speak in Spanish (it’s computer was in Spanish) and since I no habla I guess it would not bother me too much.

  31. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 03.17.2008 | 11:29 am

    Nice banner photo.

    Superflys are notoriously high strung; I wouldn’t put too much weight on it’s opinion of you. One ride up Tibble, and it’ll be singing your praises.

  32. Comment by Don (http://cyclingphun.blogspot.com) | 03.17.2008 | 11:42 am

    Bonzai: Kudos to you on the new ride. Saw one a couple weeks ago, nice. Sub 15# out of the box to boot! Good choice my man!

  33. Comment by db | 03.17.2008 | 11:45 am

    That is one bitter bike.

  34. Comment by graisseux | 03.17.2008 | 1:07 pm

    My favorite line: “Then, on the next climb, he crosschained. What a dork.”

    Your bike makes a strong counterpoint. It’s going to take a lot to change his/her/its opinion of you. To your credit, the bike is a bit high maintenance and quite snobbish.

    Didn’t see the bear. Because my pride was injured, I had to watch the video again to see if the bear is actually there the first time–it is. Terrible moonwalk though.

  35. Comment by KeepYerBag | 03.17.2008 | 3:25 pm

    I passed the awareness test, but only because my ADD kicked in.

    After the third pass and I said to myself, “I’m not even going to try to count these up” and just stared at the middle of the screen. He’s pretty obvious when you aren’t paying attention to the dudes in white.

    But then again, it also proves the point.

  36. Comment by cheapie | 03.17.2008 | 3:28 pm

    don’t be offended rick s. i’m guessing he’s going through a “oh crap, i just spend a week at disney pigging out so i’d better sneak in a few rides to get back in shape before my buddies notice” phase.

  37. Comment by kentucky joe | 03.17.2008 | 4:20 pm

    okay so PSA and the black/white shirts got me thinking this is some racial awareness issue thing and how odd since I don’t think that kind of “race” issue has ever come up on this blog….so I smugly got the count right and wondered what the point was…and then the “did you see the moonwalking bear”….huh?? so now I not only feel ashamed for thinking there was some weird racial overtones on FC but I also completely missed the bear and the point until the very end…dumb da dum…

  38. Comment by rokrider | 03.17.2008 | 4:34 pm

    Got the pass count wrong.
    Missed the bear.

    But I did see the 10 man pace line come through.

    Anybody else?

  39. Comment by Miles Archer | 03.18.2008 | 7:28 am

    I kept waiting to see a man in a gorilla suit show up. And I lost count.

  40. Comment by Clydesteve | 03.18.2008 | 12:12 pm

    The bear was not riding a bicycle. And, you call that moonwalking??

  41. Comment by guehead | 04.4.2008 | 3:09 pm

    love bears all things and “my” superfly love me alot and ways alot less than 23 lbs. its all about the shoes on that beast and they must be tubeless!!!

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