I had heard a little about the new Gary Fisher Rumblefish from the Fat Cyclist’s post from the Trek Media Camp, so when I got a chance to ride it, I thought I’d give it a whirl to see if my impressions were different than his. After all, he is a leg-shavin’ singlespeed-loving machine and I tend to love the downhill a bit more, so here goes.

Built to compete with the other long-er travel full-suspension 29ers on the market, the new Rumblefish sports the typical suspension technology from the Trek/Fisher camp including ABP, G2 Geometry and the proprietary Fox RP23 shock with the descent-loving Dual Rate Control Valve (DRCV).

Rumblefish II Specs:

  • Rear Travel: 110mm via Fox RP23 with DRCV
  • Front Travel: 120mm via Fox F120 FIT RLC with 15QR and tapered steerer
  • Wheels: Bontrager Rhythm Elite 29
  • Drivetrain: Shimano XT/XTR mix
  • Brakes: Avid Elixir R
  • Full Spec: Visit FisherBikes.com
  • MSRP: $3989

Gary Fisher Rumblefish 29er

Gary Fisher Rumblefish II 29er Review

Gary Fisher Rumblefish II 29er Review

2010 Gary Fisher Rumblefish II 29er Quick Review

As the second bike of the day, I had fresh legs, cool temps and mostly uncrowded trails. So, off I went. I’m a big fan of the 29er platform. I can’t say that I subscribe to the philosophy that the 26er will be completely phased out, but lets just say I wouldn’t cry too hard if that ends up being the case.

The Rumblefish is appropriately named in oh so many ways. For one, it’s not the most pleasing on the eyes (just my opinion) and it’s really built to excel on the downhill. I’ll start there. The trails in Bootleg Canyon are rocky, and technical. When I say rocky, I mean a fall will be met with serious carnage. Heading downhill, the Rumblefish felt ultra-stable and smooth. The wheelbase felt a bit long-ish, so handling wasn’t racecar-esque. However, there are few obstacles the Rumblefish can’t rumble through.

The combination of the Fox DRCV with the APB suspension produces downhill fun–no doubt, but what about the uphill?

Glad you asked… well, the uphill is a bit less efficient than I’d like. Not that you’ll be laboring your way up the trail, but you’ll definitely not be the first to the top — lockouts will be your friend. But, that may have been a combination of both the geometry and the meaty tires — hard to tell for sure with only 45 minutes on the bike.

Full-suspension 29er designs have to be precisely executed in order to maintain a lower center-of-gravity. While not being super top-heavy, this bike does feel a bit tall. This “tallness” may raise its head on slow, technical ascents or descents were the propensity of tipping may come into play.

I did have fun on the Rumblefish, but it isn’t quite in the same league as the Santa Cruz Tallboy or the Niner RIP 9.

The Good 

  • Very capable and very fun on the downhill
  • Will power through the rough stuff
  • Proprietary Fox DRCV provides extra cush
  • Love the Fox fork (15QR is a necessity in a 29er IMO)
  • Solid and laterally stiff all-around
  • Excellent parts spec

The Bad 

  • A little sluggish on the up
  • Aluminum frame can feel harsh (I’m a carbon junkie, what can I say?)

Bottom Line: 2010 Gary Fisher Rumblefish II 29er

With so many options in the 29er market these days, Gary Fisher is banking on a few downhill aficionados to jump on the Rumblefish and give it a go in the rough.

More Info: Visit FisherBikes.com

About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.


  1. I’m a bigger guy(6’2″ 215lbs) who rides a six inch trail bike, the Diamondback Mission to be exact but am intriuged by the new longer travel twenty niners. My riding is very “all mountain style” leaning more towards aggresive due to the terrian in Washington state and our neighbors to the north. Do you think that these types of bikes, mainly the wheels could handle jumps and drops the same as a twenty sixer with six inches of travel?

  2. 29er components have definitely come a long way–primarily thanks to Niner for their RIP and the WFO bikes, which have challenged the 29er market’s rigid roots to the core. While I haven’t ridden the WFO, I have ridden the RIP and can whole-heartedly tell you that these 100-120mm travel 29ers are as fun to ride as a 140mm 26er.

    Robb over at MTB198 has a WFO in the stable for review:


    Keep an eye on his review when it posts and ask him about the wheelset durability, etc. As far as components (wheels specifically) go, there are a lot of burly 29er wheelsets on the market. I know Crank Brothers is introducing their Cobalt 29er wheels in the Spring, but Stan’s and WTB also make good 29er wheelsets.

  3. Cool, thanks Jason. I should explained that I’m looking for a trail bike with less travel that I can race xc and super D on hence my interests in twenty niners, in particular the Santa Cruz Tall Boy with a 120mm fork looks perfect. I like my Mission but it’s a slow climber and I have a Demo 7 for whistler so I’m looking to down size the trail rig. I’ve tried alot of 100-140mm 26ers and they all feel too twitchy on technical steeps or higher speeds. They also feel like I’m on the bike instead of in it so the big wheels with less travel might be perfect.

  4. I really dig the Tallboy… great, great bike! The Niner RIP 9 is also killer.

    If you’re looking for something more “off the shelf”, give the Kona Hei Hei 2-9 a try. They upped it to 100mm front and rear this year and it’s supposed to be even that much better.

    But, if you’re going for it all, the Tallboy would be the trick. That bike is amazing!

  5. Hey guys. Just wanted to give a shout out to the Rumblefish. I just got this bike, and have only taken it for one ride, but I LOVE it. I actually don’t find it to be as sluggish as I thought it’d be on the up, and I find the bike to be pretty agile for a 29er. Perhaps it’s no Rip 9, but I’ve ridden the 09 Specialized Comp 29er, and I find this bike superior. I’ve also ridden lots of 26ers, my last being a Yeti 575 (which was a sweet ride), and I find the Rumblefish just plain outclasses that bike on the downhill. It’s fast, solid, and very, very confidence inspiring. The rear shock is amazing. That said, it’s at my LBS right now getting a better Bontrager wheelset put on it (Rhythm Pro as opposed to Elite), as I found the Elites pretty flexy. I hope the Pros work out, as I could only do those on trade-in (was actually wanting some I9’s). Also switching out some XT parts for some Sram X0.

    Anyway, this bike is for real. Most fun I’ve had going downhill on two wheels. Period.

  6. Zach… very stoked that you’re stoked on your new Rumblefish. Many times all it takes is the right body size and riding style to really make a bike sing. It’s obvious that the Rumblefish is money for you and that’s awesome.

    Keep us posted on your long-term thoughts. 29ers are sweet eh?

  7. My local bike shop just got a 2010 Fisher HiFi 29 Deluxe. It looks just like the Rumblefish II. Unfortunately it’s a 21″, which is way to big for me to take it out for a spin 🙁

  8. Hello team. I am 6’7” Tall (202cm), from New Zealand. I am considering the Rumblefish, I am coming from an old Kona Stinky (Freeride bike) – When I was in Canada riding on the north shore – So yes it would be a large step up. I have never riden a 29er but here great things about them, especially that they are great for tall riders. I was surprised that they make a 23inch version. Would that be the perfect size for me. I am never riden a ride like that and there are not many people in my size in New Zealand. I am considering the Paragon but think I would miss a full suspension. I do small jumps, mainly single track and may do the odd race but nothing to serious Are they any other giant riders out there. What are you guys riding? Any help appreciated. Cheers Rick

  9. Rick

    You are super-tall man! I’d have a hard time relating to that, but if you’re looking at bikes for tall folks, 29ers are where its at.

    If you are coming from an old Stinky and want something more squishy, the Rumblefish could be a great option. I’d also throw in there the Niner RIP 9 and the WFO 9 if you want a true freeride 29er or the new Santa Cruz Tallboy. Heck, if you wanted to stick with Kona, the Hei Hei 2-9 is a great option that’s also budget-friendly.

  10. I’m struggling between the purchase of a 2010 Hi-Fi Pro and 2010 Rumblefish I. I’m 5’10”, 160lbs and have been riding an 04 Cake 1. I’m looking for a 29″ bike that can eat up some rougher terrain but is weight conscious. I’m concerned about the Rumblefish I component group. The SLX derailleur and stock crank seem weak for the type of riding the bike is built for. For the extra $600 to geta Hi-Fi Pro it seems worth the shallower fork for the drive train upgrades and the Fox FIT system. I haven’t seem many reviews for the 2010 Hi-Fi Pro but I’ve read a lot of good things about the 2010 Rumblefish I. I’m not looking to spend more than $3,000. My local bike shop has GF bikes for 20% off now so I can get a decent deal.

    Any advice you have would be great. Thanks!

  11. Jarred

    For what it’s worth, the Rumblefish isn’t going to be to your liking if you are weight conscious. I’d go for the HiFi, but that’s just my opinion. The Rumblefish is a fun bike, don’t get me wrong, but it isn’t a super-fast machine like the HiFi or Superfly will be. Downhill it will scream, but as an all-around trailbike, I think there are better options in the 29er market.

  12. I have a few questions about the Rumblefish. What exactly is the G2 geo I keep hearing about? I can’t seem to find anything online that defines it totally. Also, I’ve seen a lot of Gary Fisher frames online that have broken. Mostly the chain stays and seat stays. Seems like some have been cracking around shock mounts too. Has Gary Fisher gotten past those bad times? There’s a local guy that I run into on the trails out here that rides some kind of GF 29er full suspension bike. He’s on his third frame in a year and a half. He’s a very timid down hill rider and a lighter guy (prob around 170, where I’m 210 right now).
    I’m interested in the bike, but I’d want to make sure the frame could handle some abuse. I currently ride a Kona coilair that’s built to do everything. The bad thing about it is that it’s good at everything, but not great at anything. It’s heavy, but I can climb it (42 pounds). I ride it at the local DH resorts, but it’s not as fast or smooth as a DH bike.
    If the durability on the Rumblefish is good, i’d seriously consider getting one. Anything will climb better than what I’m riding right now. Really the only thing I’d worry about is the frame strength. Mind you, I wouldn’t be doing any jumps or Dh resorts on it. Just normal XC riding and a bit of Moab.
    Do you think the Rumble would hold up?

  13. It sounds like you’d enjoy the Rumblefish. Though I have heard of some isolated issues with the HiFi 29er, I haven’t heard of any widespread issues on anything in particular. The Coilair is a comfortable and capable bike, but man is it heavy.

    Anything in particular that’s catching your eye about the Rumblefish? If you’re wanting a better, more efficient trail slayer, there are many bikes available, though the Rumble sounds like it could suit you well.

  14. Well, I’ve had a year on the RFish II, and what a year. The bike has done the best thing I could have ever asked for: it has made me a much better, much more confident rider. At first I felt the bike was sluggish on the uphill, but an upgrade to the wheelset and some better tires have really made the difference. This week I ordered a Truvativ Noir crankset, on which I’m exchanging the big ring for a bash guard to go 2×9.
    I still haven’t ridden a Niner or Santa Tallboy, but I have to say that, for me at least, the Rumblefish sings. Been riding it for a year and still feel myself improving every single ride, and smiling more and more every time.
    LOVE this bike.

    Safe riding!

  15. I just got the Rumblefish I and freaking love this bike!! I upgraded the crank to a slx with bash and am getting ready to throw a better wheel set on it but other than that this bike is sick. great trail bike..it handles the 3-4 drops i throw at it with ease and rolls like a beast. I suprisingly stiff and climbs pretty damn good as well in pro pedal position. overall, I dont think you can go wrong with this bike if you looking for a fun trail bike and not a cross country racer.

  16. Pingback: Put a 29er Under the Tree for Christmas - FeedTheHabit.com

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