Gary Fisher (or his company, I don't know which) is the inventor of
"Genesis Geometry". Out of all of the bikes I've ridden, Fisher bikes
tend to climb the best and descend the best. One of the reasons for
this, I believe, is the Genesis Geometry. It's hard to draw a picture
here, but basically it puts your weight further back on the bike, or
further over the back wheel, while you're sitting.
It's pretty well known at this point that standing up while ascending or
descending a hill is a pretty bad idea. When going downhill it puts
your weight too far forward and you take the chance of an endo. When
you're climbing it takes weight off of the back tire, which you need for
traction, and it will compress the bike (and shocks) more, sucking
power out of your legs for no useful purpose. When you're seated, the
Genesis Geometry stablizes your position on the bike, giving you balance
while descending and traction while ascending.
The frames aren't the lightest or best in the world, but if
you take the frame, pop some nice tires on it, good pedals, a wicked suspension and a good set of derailers,
rings and cogs... you've got yourself one hell of a contender. I'm
not talking about those softtail bikes, but the Fisher hardtails are
pretty damned wicked.
I've seen a number of people with the bikes from the "Sugar" series
and these are good bikes, but people never seem to be using a softtail bike
for what it was meant for: Downhill Mountain Biking. If all you're going
to do is cross country type stuff with some climbing and descending, bunny
hops and a few baby heads here and there, what they hell are you doing with
a Sugar? Don't get me wrong... Fisher's are cool, and if I were doing some
downhill, i just might head the Sugar route, but if you're doing cross
country, why are giving all your energy to your suspension?