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Gary Fisher – Fast City – Mendota

by Warren T

I’ve been off the Mendota for a couple weeks. Peter T, my 19-year-old son, is back home for the summer and I thought it might be a nice chance to get a fresh perspective on this bike from someone who has ridden a box store bike for his entire life.

Peter and I have taken several rides on the bike path during this last year and I’ve always been out in the lead, looking over my shoulder to make sure I wasn’t out-pacing him too much. When we got on the trail this time, with him on the Mendota, it was a completely different story; he was the one out-pacing me and turning around to make sure I was okay… I checked the data after that ride and we’d bumped up the average MPH for the ~20 mile ride by 4 MPH.

Peter’s review will follow, but I wanted to take another ride on the Mendota after a couple weeks back on my normal ride. My thoughts:

So. Incredibly. Light. I’d forgotten just how light this bike is until I lifted it off the hooks in the garage. Wow! I’d been asked to weigh the bike in an earlier review but my scale at home is a magic scale and it would probably tell us the bike weighs -2 pounds. I just grabbed the scale at work and it indicates this 22.5″ frame version weighs in at 20 pounds (9 kilograms). Note: this cannot be considered an official weight, but I gotta believe it is close.

Durable. Even though the bike is light, it feels incredibly sturdy. I rode it like I’d drive a rental car and it took a pounding and performed like a champ.

Shifting, breaking and pedaling — the key word is smooth.

The Mendota is a beautiful bike and fun to ride. Is it worth the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $929.00 U.S.? In my mind it is, and I’m a pretty frugal guy.

One thing I’d like to see is a 25″ frame version; that is what I’m used to riding and that was the one reason I enjoyed getting back on my Trek. Don’t get me wrong, the 22.5 worked well with the seat raised to the proper height, it’s just that those of us who are around 6’6″ might appreciate this ride a little more if it were available in a 25″ frame.

Here are a couple more shots taken in my office.

And Peter’s review:

  • A lot faster than my cheap bike. Doesn’t use nearly as much energy to go fast.
  • Smooth – A really smooth ride.
  • Doesn’t take long to adjust to riding this bike. I didn’t have any stability issues whatsoever.
  • Fun
  • With how fast it goes and the small amount of energy expended, it is just a really fun bike to ride.
  • I would definitely consider purchasing the Mendota.

See all the posts in this review…

 
Burley nomad 229

58 Responses to “Gary Fisher – Fast City – Mendota”

  1. Bike Commutr says:

    I recently purchased a GF Cronus over the Mendota. The Mendota was nice, but the Cronus was just as nice but cheaper. The extra commuter friendly items on the Cronus swayed my opinion the most. In both cases, the bikes are great and easy to ride.

  2. Glenn says:

    I ordered a Mendota sight unseen a two weeks ago & it came in within three days and to my surprise was set up by my LBS in about thirty minuets. My weekly rider is a 97 but very well kept and cherished Cannondale F900 stock except for Continental Goliath’s semi slicks.

    This is not a comparison as to what is better rather, what one is better suited for me for a 14mile paved FL. flat commute.

    I wanted something just a bit street faster while keeping a familiar geometry and I think I met both objectives. While I’m getting the Mendota dialed-in “only 52 miles” I feel my average speed has improved roughly two mph but more telling is the effort required seems considerably less than the F900. On the surface these bikes are somewhat similar in layout but the differences as a commuter to me are readily appreciated. The appreciable speed variation is all in comparing a 700cc tire to 26′s. The Mendota is lighter in the front end while the carbon fork in conjunction with the grips do a better job at absorbing road vibrations as compared to the F900 with the Headshock in lock out. The Mendota’s Sram X-7 is dead on and seems quicker than a similar level LX “perhaps one is just dialed in better or being new makes a difference”, either way I am impressed with the Mendota components workability. The disk brakes are just an added benefit during wet stops, but they are very very smooth.

    I switched the Wellgo’s out for a very inexpensive single sided “Pyramid” clipless & these seem to work fine but may be a little light on float, I felt a slight twinge in the left knee. My lying Health O-Meter scale puts the Mendota at about 23lbs or about two lbs lighter than the F900.

    So far no regrets in the Mendota purchase “it looks very cool by the way” and although my limited commuting speed differences could be chalked up to headwinds I’m betting “hoping” my averages will remain.

  3. Daniel says:

    Please keep us updated if you have any mechanical problems with it.

  4. Warren T says:

    Will do. It has ~200 miles on it and the shifting is going to need to be tweaked ever so slightly on a couple of gear changes. Other than that, it is still running like a champ. Having riden it again the other day followed by two days on my regular bike (2006 Trek 7.5d 25″) I’m thinking about switching back to the Mendota for a bit…

  5. Fritz says:

    Nice review, Warren.

    I’d double check that weight; I suspect you’re five to ten pounds off. You’ll need to spend at least $500 more to get a $20 lb bike.

  6. Glenn says:

    Yes Warren nice write up!
    Your initial reports are what got me looking towards the Mendota in the first place.
    It really is a great bike that gets very little coverage & that isn’t such a bad thing.

  7. Darryl says:

    I looked at the Mendota, specifically because of the disk brakes, but it was out my financial reach. So I went with the Gary Fisher Wingra. ($459 retail; I got mine for $399.) Like your son, I was upgrading from a cheap bike, because I decided to start commuting to work, and anywhere else I could. WOW! What an incredible difference. Even though I don’t focus on speed, I shaved an easy 10 minutes off my work commute, one way, without even trying.

    The Wingra is light, nimble, fast, responsive, and handles a rear rack with panniers with ease. I am able to do hills on the Wingra that my old bike wouldn’t let me do. The ride position is great, the seat is comfortable, and I love the looks.

    I am posting this here, even though I don’t have a Mendota, because they are very similar. From what I found, and what the store told me, is that the Mendota is very similar to the Wingra, but the Mendota adds a carbon front fork and disk brakes as the major upgrades.

    In any case, from my experience with the Wingra, any of Gary Fisher’s fast city bikes should be great for commuting.

  8. CRAIG KELLEY says:

    I have had my new Mendota for 10 days and 160 miles, and I LOVE THIS BIKE. I chose the bike over the Trek FX series, the Giant FCR, and the Cannondale Bad Boy, and it is VERY light, and VERY fast and VERY comfortable. It replaced a 2004 Giant Cypress Hybrid bike and it is 5 mph faster in every riding situation than the older hybrid/comfort bike. AT LEAST ten lbs. lighter than my old Giant, and maybe 15 lbs. Position is slightly lower than a mountain bike, but way more comforatble than a Road bike (I had back surgery a few years back. DEFINITELY test this bike out as a choice in teh fitness bike arena, as I thnk it is the best buy out there for the money (I paid $899), and the other two bikes in the new Fisher “FAST CITY” category (Monona and Wingra)are REALLY great buys at their MSRP’s.

    HAVE A GREAT SUMMER OF CYCLING
    Craig Kelly, Omaha, NE

  9. Jody Rutherford says:

    I’ve enjoyed finding your bike commuting site! I just had to add my comments about my new Mendota, which I’ve owned about a week now. It replaced my 20+ year-old Univega, which had gears that slipped whenever I rode uphill. I turned 50 this year and decided I deserved a really great bike to last me the next 20+ years (I buy cars only a little more frequently), and the Mendota is perfect for both my commuting and fitness needs.

    Jody in Portland, OR

  10. Hugo in Paris says:

    I have fallen in love with this bike and what to buy it online. However, I live in Paris France and there are no distributors and Europe rarely imports that bike. Could one of you tell me what online store you bought your mendota?

    Thanks

  11. Warren T says:

    I checked their dealer locator at http://locator.fisherbikes.com/ …and it looks like Gary Fisher Bikes doesn’t let their authorized retailers sell over the internet — and — it looks like you are correct, they don’t have any dealers in France. The closest they get to Paris is the UK and Belgium.

    I did find several Trek dealers in Paris … perhaps they could get the Mendota

    http://locator.trekbikes.com/?map_max_miles=&brand=trek&lan=&locatorbutton=true&country=FR&city=Paris&state=&postalcode=&radius=25&locatorbutton=Search

    Anyway, I hope you find one. I LOVE this bike.

  12. Fritz says:

    Hugo, no American top-tier bike manufacturers allow their dealers to sell their bikes online. The French distributor for Trek is Bikeurope B.V., phone 33 825 00 4404 or 33 825 00 0532. I don’t believe the Mendota is available in France, but I know Trek dealers in the UK carry them.

    Thanks all for the comments. Keep on riding!

  13. Nils says:

    I have had my Mendota for 2 months now and I am extremely happy. Only thing I changed were the cheap pedals, could not take the noise after 100 miles of use. Price paid at my LBS $829.00 + 7% Miami-Dade tax.

    Definitely recommend this bike if you want a fast fitness bike and drive the 2K plus road bike riders crazy as you will be riding right on their tail.

  14. Hugh Strickland says:

    What is the weight of the Mendota? I do not seem to find it on a google search.

    Any one really know?

    Thanks

  15. Fritz says:

    Trek’s policy is to not disclose the weight of their frames and complete bikes. Their dealers don’t either. You have to buy it and weight it yourself if you want to know.

  16. Glenn says:

    Here is a 2nd lame attempt @ the Mendota weight, bathroom scale.
    Slightly modified including:
    Profile Design long bar ends,
    Cateye wireless, bottle & pump cage (hardware only)
    rear blinky
    Pyramid clipless pedals
    700×23 Conti’s ultra Gator Skin
    = 24lbs.

  17. Matt Southerden says:

    Can anyone who’s got the Mendota tell me if there are mudguard/fender mounts on the frame (dropouts, chainstay bridge, and seatstay bridge) and fork (dropouts and crown).

    Many thanks. :-)

  18. Hugh Strickland says:

    Here is some info direct from trek about the mendota

    28c can be used on those wheels, nothing smaller, Mendota 23.34
    lbs

    Josh Vick | Trek Bicycle Corporation | Gary Fisher/Trek/Bontrager |
    Technical Support | (nine two zero) four seven eight – two one nine one
    | josh_vick@trekbikes.com

  19. Gene James says:

    This message is for Glenn. I have had my Mendota for about 2 months. Being an old roadie, I set out to make it better(faster). I contacted Gary Fisher and they recommended that I go no lower than 700/28 as the seal may not keep against the rim with a narrower tire. Also, I have a Jamis road bike,631 DB steel,105 equipt. My Mendota is just as light as that bike.

  20. Glenn says:

    Thank you Gene, I didn’t know.
    With about 700 miles total & 300 with the 23c’s they have been working fine but it doesn’t sound prudent. Like you I’ve been trying to lend advantage towards speed. Flipping stem & bringing the aftermarket bar ends inside the controls has worked well, they act like mini-aero’s. Held 19mph for 7miles & that’s exceptional for me. I will consider going up the size scale with 28c now that I know better.

  21. John says:

    I got my Mendota in today at the bike shop where I work. It is a stock 22.5″ with the only thing not stock being the Forza carbon fiber bottle cages. The weight on our bike scale, which is a very accurate professional bike scale , was 24.25lbs. Everyone in the shop was very impressed including me. I’m going to put 700c x 28′s on it, change the bar to a flat carbon bar with Cane Creek bar ends, and change the pedals. I’m guessing it will come in less than 24lbs all said and done. Overall, I’m very impressed with the bike. Hope to put some miles on it next week.

  22. Hugh Strickland says:

    I have a 2006 Raleigh Route 24 (flatbar road bike) which has been great except for the wheels. I had some 36 spoke deore hubed mavic rims that gave me o ver 10,000 miles. After reading abou the Gary Fisher Mendota I thought I might buy it. Instead I got a set of bontrager Special disk wheels just like the Mendota. It made my Route 24 the same weight as the GFM. I have spd 520 pedals and replaced the bb and cranks when I wore them out. So the up grade of wheels was a good step. Cheaper than a $1000 bike, but some effect.

    I have used the wheels for a while and find them better than what i had and very tough so far.

    So going for Bontrager wheels seems a good way to improve the bike. As a clydesdale I am very pleased with the toughness.

  23. Gene James says:

    I now have 1500 miles on my Mendota. I use it primarily for fitness riding. I have had no flats and the wheels are still true. This is why I bought it. I live in Las Vegas and throwing glass bottles out of moving car windows is an Olympic event here. But I like to ride fast. Some things to consider when purchasing this bike. From what I read putting disc brakes on 700cc wheels is a little overkill. The bike is not drilled to accept caliper brakes. I say this because I’ve found if you want to upgrade your wheels,there are very few 700cc disc wheels on the market. The bontrager select wheels are very reliable but I plan on riding a century or two with this bike. The wheels with a disc brake being reciprocal weight may be a little slow. Other than that,this bike is very versatile. I’ve ridden on surfaces that I would never ride a road bike on,yet I can still maintain a decent average road speed.

  24. Slava says:

    Can Mendota owners comment on how well gear shifting works on the bike? I went to the local revolution cycles shop determined to get a Mendota. The bike is great if I don’t try to shift gears. I get skips or no shifting at all. The mechanics tried to tune it several times, and it didn’t help. Unfortunately they didn’t have a second 21″ bike for me to try and I’m going to a different rev. cycles shop this weekend to try the same bike.

    Has anyone had similar problems with the X.7 on mendota?

    By the way, I also wanted to try a Trek 7.5FX disc since it’s similar to mendota, and it turns out Trek discontinued the the FX disc models.

    Thanks.

  25. Gene James says:

    Maybe it has a bent derailleur. I have used Sram products in the past from x5 to x9 with no problems what so ever. I don’t know how long you’ve been cycling but the x7 derailleur isn’t ultregra. You can’t stand on the pedals and shift. You have to let up a little the pedal pressure to shift efficiently. I think maybe the set-up is just wrong on the bike. Try a different shop. Quite frankly,my Mendota is bullet-proof. I have a hard time keeping up with the Litespeed’s of the world but I usually make up time because I never have a break down.

  26. Warren T says:

    Perhaps Gene is correct. My Mendota shifts as smooth as can be and doesn’t miss a lick. Funny you should mention the Trek FX 7.5 Disk… That is the bike I ride most every day. I’ve got it loaded down a bit more than the Mendota so I ride the Mendota when I want a fun, fast ride and the Trek is my work horse.

  27. John says:

    Slava,
    The bike must not have been set up correctly. To be completely honest with you, I’m not very impressed with the SRAM components. It is a matter of personal preference as they work just fine. I grew up riding Shimano and I can’t get used to the “feel” of the SRAM for some reason. Because of this I will probably put some XT shifters and derailleurs on the Mendota. The SRAM x5 shifters and x7 derailleur are not the smoothest in the world, but they should work fine and do on my bike. My guess is that the bike was not tuned correctly when it came out of the box, or that a cable was bent somewhere when being packaged or unpackaged. The mechanics should get the bike fixed where it works correctly. If they find the problem and can’t fix it then move on to a different bike store because this is something that any bike shop should be able to fix. Also, if they do see the problem and still haven’t fixed it, that should show you their level of dedication to any customer including you. On the flip side, a bike can act differently on the stand then when actually riding it. If the mechanics can’t find the problem you describe, they should ride the bike themselves and still be able to fix it. I would call them and see if they have corrected the problem yet.

  28. BroDo says:

    I have about 1200 mls on my current Mendota. I absolutely love the ride. However, I have had so much trouble with it that I may swap it for something else. I had another one for about 800 mls and after three trips back to the shop I swapped it for another because the there were noises that they couldn’t get rid of. This second one is developing similar problems. In particular there is a ping on the down stroke L peddle. On the other bike it was the R peddle. Only when under stress – excelerating or maintaining 20+mph.The shop has service the bb and arms. But- tick tick tick it goes in time with the peddles. Drives me nuts. I wish I could figure out what is causing it because I love the bike otherwise. I just sucks riding a thousand dollar bike and riding companions asking “whatks that noise?” Any ideas?

  29. Glenn says:

    BroDo
    I wonder, did you notice this noise early on with both bikes or did it occur with time?

    “From a rookie with very limited bike know-how”
    Other than checking the torque on the crank arms, peddles, & lube for the bushing to crank arm face my suggestions are limited. I frequently hear a similar noise on another bike & the solution is an easy fix, sloppy foot placement is the blame. Simply by double checking a parallel feet address remedies the noise, also the torque translated within the bottom bracket can be tamed when the feet are inward of center on the peddles. Still I agree with you, you should be able to ride without noise in any natural position as long as that position is one that wont contribute to stress injury.

  30. Fritz says:

    The noise is indeed weird. The way to find the precise location is to put the bike up on a stand, pull out a stethoscope, and start pedaling. If a stethoscope isn’t handy, use a piece of rubber tubing.

  31. Chuck says:

    I just bought my Mendota yesterday, a 15.5 frame and love the weight and ride. After getting it home last night I went out and took a little 10 miler on some local country roads and again this morning for 30 minutes just before dawn. It’s a great bike from my limited experience on it but as someone else posted in here – I have noticed a lot of slipping of gears and some problems with gears not shifting at all. Personally it feels a little cheap. I’m planning on taking it back to the shop to have them look at it and see if there are some adjustments needed to correct the problem.

    It’s very cool looking and one this morning I took to a couple of flat dirt roads, it handled like a champ.

  32. Gene James says:

    Chuck; this is what I can tell you. I’ve been riding seriously as a adult for over 40yrs. When I was riding the Mendota,I had absolutely no problems. It shifted flawlessly. Then I let my grandson ride the bike to school. He started having problems with shifting,chain drop,missing shifts,etc… The components are not top of the line. Look at the thiness of the cable going to the derailleur. Now look at the thickness of your legs pressing down on the pedals. Even though you have to keep pedaling to shift,you must feather the pedals when shifting. Ease up on the pressure you’re applying when shifting.If you’ve stretched the cable,turn the adjusting barrel a quarter of a turn counter clockwise. That may help. Also if you’re riding dirt road,you’re going to have to keep the chain and cassette clean. This will affect shifting and movement of the chain.

  33. Chuck Carter says:

    Hi Gene – I’ve also been riding for some 40 years too. Just bought my first hybrid to get some exercise with something other then the 4 or so Mountain bikes I’ve had over the past 20 years. I don’t take it on any rough dirt roads – just some old farm roads out here in MD.

    It seems to slip up when after I’ve shifted up or down – and am putting torque on the pedals. I’ve adjusted the adjusting barrel already a couple of times with mixed results. So I’m taking it in for a profession adjustment. Any recommendations for a serious upgrade? Something more beefy for those uphill climbs when you’re legs are torquing at maximum pressure?

    And I’m cleaning it every time I use it to mitigate the slippage due to dirt or road dust.

    I bought the bike to lose weight and because my doc tells me I better or I’m looking at pre-onset diabetes. Thats what I get for sitting behind a damn computer 12 hours a day! And I really love this bike!

    Thanks!

  34. Gene James says:

    Chuck; This is what I can tell you. I live in Las Vegas and things are not cheap here. I bought this bike for $700. To me that means most of the money went into the frame. I do feel that this series along with Trek’s FX series will be discontinued next year.If you want an upgrade in derailleurs,I would suggest Shimano XT or XTR. But I would have to question whether or not the bike is worth that kind of an upgrade. The wheels cannot be upgraded. This what I feel the problem might be. In the 60′s, I took some hits from shrapnel and lost a lot of cartilage in my knees. When I got home I continued to run road races and race bikes till one of my knees wore out. I had a knee replacement three yrs ago. I just got back into riding with the Mendota.I thought it would be good enough. It wasn’t. I then bought a Lemond Zurich.I owned one back in 2001.(American made ,great bike) This Zurich is from China or Tiawan. I had little annoying problems that took weeks to workout untill the bike was working the way I wanted it to. It seems that if you get an American made bike from the Trek series(Trek,Lemond,Klein,or Gary Fisher),it works fine. But with the China produced bikes,it’s hit or miss. I know that the same Trek model as the Lemond with the same frame materials and components is $500 more. So when I read some people saying the Mendota is great and some saying they’re having problems,something has to be rotten in Denmark. I do know that I replaced the crank on the Mendota(175mm down to 170mm) and I got a deore crank. It works just fine.I know I didn’t answer your question,sorry. It seems that if you want a decent bike you have to pay at least $1500. I know some people are going to disagree.

  35. Nils says:

    I have about 3k miles on my Mendota and the only complaint I have is the constant rubbing of the disc brakes.

    I been thinking about a second and better bike and would LOVE to hear some comments on the following bikes:

    Fitness bikes:

    1- Marin Highway One.
    http://www.marinbikes.com/bicycles_2007/html/bikes/bike_specs/specs_hwy_one.html

    2- Jamis Coda Supreme.
    http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/bikes/07_bikes/codasupreme.html

    Road bikes:

    1- Jamis Eclipse.
    http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/bikes/07_bikes/eclipse.html

    2- Motobecane Immortal Ice. http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/immortal_ice_08.htm

    I have read a lot about the Motobecane and Bikesdirect and I feel very comfortable about the whole Internet buying think I would like to hear about what do you guys think about the bike.

  36. Don says:

    I’v had my Mendota for a month now. I LOVE this bike!

    That said, it has taken a bit of time to get it properly adjusted; and until I did, I questioned my investment–clunky shifts, noisy brakes, wheel out of balance (I took the wheel to my LBA and they trued it for me. The LBS also offers the free 30 day re-adjustment, but they are just far enough away to make it inconvenient at this time. I have adjusted on the fly. Here’s a tip–don’t follow the instructions in the GF Manual, instead download a component specific manual ie Shimano Deore, SRAM x.7, Avid Brakes, etc, then do your adjustments, you’ll be impressed! Now I am not ashamed to tell my friends how much it cost :^)

    I got my first flat on day 10, I’m sure as a teen I went nearly a year on my new Schwinn Continental before my first flat.

    Other than that, it’s a sweet ride.

    With winter coming on, I’m thinking of investing in one of those cyclotrainers–can’t make up my mind.

  37. Draxula says:

    Hey all.
    Been riding my mendota for a good 6 months now and have about 2400 miles (give or take). I really like the bike BUT it also needed many adjustments (brakes and Gears) which i did myself because the guys a the shop who built it, apparently suck at their jobs. I’ve also put on fenders, flipped the stem and also bought studed tires for the winter (COME ON SNOW!). I’m a little disappointed that the frame has so much flex (I notice it mostly in the hill climbing). The wheels kinda suck too! I’m having a wheel set built with XTR hubs…not sure how it’s going to work out with the sram cassette (i’ll keep you informed). After many worries… I finally decided that i really like this bike. I agree with Don… Get the on the net, find the info and fix your own bike! You’ll really be happy with the results!!!
    Drax

  38. Dennis R says:

    I just purchased a 19″ Mendota. I checked it on a reasonably accurate scale – weighted in at 24.5 lbs. I’ve only put 20 miles on the bike but my early impression seems to be in line with others are saying. Its fun to ride; fast and responsive and behaves well on light trails. On the flats it shifts fine but on hills there’s a tendency to randomly jump gears when one puts torque on the pedals. I have several older inexpensive bikes, such a Giant Sedona, that never exhibit such a problem. I’m going to take it back for some adjustment but I fear this problem might be related to flex in the frame, which then creates slack in the cable resulting in a an unintended shift. I’m neither huge (180lbs) nor was I cranking like a wild man so I can’t say this bike is inspiring a high level of confidence. To be fair, I’ll give Hudson Bay a chance to adjust the cables but at this moment, I’m not totally sure I would make this purchase again.

  39. Sam C says:

    Test rode the Mendota a couple of days ago:

    The Good:

    - Anyone who like Fisher’s genesis frame will be pleased. This is a familiar and flagship frame for Fisher
    - Nice carbon fork, light and make the bike look cool.
    - Disc brakes

    The Bad:

    - Kind of a heavy bike
    - The gears (in all fairness the bike I rode needed a tune up – the store admitted to that too). The gears were pretty noisy and sloppy. Nice shifters on the Alivio system.
    - Do you really need discs on a city bike, seems like over kill. I with the Menona came with a carbon fork.

  40. Chuck says:

    Well – I wrote earlier and have put about 1400 miles on the bike and lost about 25 pounds – love this warm weather we’re having now… And I have taken it to pavement only a few times for short distances to get to a series of Canal tow paths along the Potomac River. It handles well on muddy but flat trails, dirt, leaves, small sticks or branches (usually under the leaves) and fine gravel. I like the bike a lot but am still having trouble with the shifting slippages I get when torquing it on hills. It’s been adjusted a couple of times now and usually falls back to the same slips right around the middle gears – after a couple rides.

    But other than that – The bike has proven worthy and very comfortable to ride over trails and some slightly rougher terrain. I still think I made a wise choice in it’s purchase though I plan on upgrading all of the shifters and derailleur and possibly the crank and get some some new pedals when it goes in for it’s tune-up.

  41. Jonathon says:

    I was looking at the Mendota, but was trying to find something a little less expensive. I am 6′ 215lbs. Is the Wingra a good alternative? Are there any Trek bikes that are the same quality as the Mendota but less expensive? (7.3 FX?)

    I would like to spend under $600 unless the quality is so much better by spending the extra $300.

    I haven’t ridden a bike in awhile, but I am entering a Sprint Triathlon and need to get one. I would like something that can help me do well in the Triathlon, but is fine for leisurely riding around the city/C&O canal paths as this is my first Triathlon and it may be my last as I am not sure how I will like it (I live in Washington, DC).

    If anyone can help I would greatly appreciate it!

    Thanks!

    Jon

  42. Gene James says:

    Jonathon; I don’t think a bike like that exists. If you want a bike to ride leisurely on canal paths and to race it in a triathlon,well,just don’t expect to win

  43. Jonathon says:

    Thanks, for the reply Gene. I am not really interested in winning the triathlon. I just don’t want to race on a mountain bike. So I am looking for something in between.

  44. Gene James says:

    Jonathon; If that’s what you want then I would consider giving these bikes a hard look: The Scott Speedster S60 $630,The Marin Venezia $845,The Schwinn Circuit $570, or the Trek 1.2 $770. Any of these bikes should move you down the road quicker than a MTN bike and still be pleasurable to ride.

  45. Anonymous says:

    Jonathon,I would think drop bars bike configuration should be a real consideration & why not forgo the disk brake set-up since this is just more rotating mass. I agree with Gene’s bike style suggestions. Personally I only prefer the flat bar for busy metro areas or leisure rides.

    New bike? Once you’ve narrowed down style & type of components excellent deals can be found in the used market. Nicer, lighter frame, better components while saving a bit to boot. Generally just a bit of motivation for typical service.

  46. Collin says:

    I am seriously thinking about a Mendota or something fast city commuter bike. Not sure how to size a big 700c bike. I promised myself that any bike I buy I would take take greater efforts to fit. Rather long torso short leg so sizing on the frame ends up small but over reach is long. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  47. McAngryPants says:

    WOW do I love this bike. I sold my car in November and bought a Mendota. Replaced pedals immediately, replaced the tires with Armadillo slicks, added bar ends, a front rack and a rear rack. The racks add weight but I like my painers in the rear and it’s gooooood to be able to strap down a pizza box in the front. My commute is only 14miles a day but I searched and searched for a bike that can take all 6’2″ (220lbs) of me. love this bike…repeat…love this bike.

  48. Mergus says:

    McAngryPants…What rear rack did you add to your Mendota? Did you have to alter it in any way? I’ve heard some rear racks don’t work well with the Mendota because of the brakes.

    I picked up my Mendota two days ago. The weather has been awful; snow/rain on Saturday, 30mph winds yesterday. I did manage to put 15 miles on though. I will say that I spent a great deal of time making adjustments and fixing things the LBS did sloppily. I could have taken it back to them, but the same tech would be messing with it again.

    I had the LBS weigh it for me. The 21″ version came in at 24lbs.

    I find the Mendota to be quite quick. Very agile and basically fun to ride. I’m still adjusting to it after riding a 1993 Trek mountain bike for 15 years. The stock saddle is awful, I mean AWFUL! I’m not crazy about the pedals either. I guess I’d rather have the manufacturer put money into the frame than things that are easy to swap out. The shifting was not good when I got the bike, but after adjusting it’s better now. I may need to tweak some more. Overall I’m, so far, happy with the Mendota.

  49. [...] my 19-year-old son, is back home for the summer and I thought it might be a nice chance to get a…http://commutebybike.com/2007/06/12/gary-fisher-fast-city-mendota/Construction to begin on pair of fire stations – San Diego Union Tribune???The two new stations will [...]

  50. Don says:

    It’s been a year since I got the Mendota. I only logged 400 miles this year, but I thought I would give an update. The bike in stock form is adequate, but there have been some issues.
    The most significant was a persistent shifting problem, that was finally attributed to a bent crank. The tech at my LBS is a moron, he agreed that it was bent, but said it was “not that much out of balance that it should be replaced.” I ended up buying a new crankset and BB from Ebay and what a difference.

    Most everyone complains about the pedals, and I am no different. I am more casual, so I went for the MKS Grip King pedals sold by Rivendell. Way Kool!

    As for the saddle, I had to go retro and I bought a Brooks Champion Flyer Special and it is AMAZING! If you can’t afford any other upgrade – GET THIS SADDLE!

    Other upgrades: SRAM X.9 components (shifters, F&R derailleurs), Schwalbe Marathon Plus 700×35 tires, Avid BB7 brakes, Topeak Rack, Planet Bike Cascadia fenders. I also changed the handlebars to a 25mm riser and it fits me perfectly.

    I must say that now, with all the upgrades, the Gary Fisher Mendota is one very nice bike.

  51. Allen says:

    Like the bike, fitted conti travel contact, for trails, and unmade roads. A set of 28mm conti gators, for road. I’ll get some spare rims soon. The brakes are good, just need setting up as per the sram web site. The stock saddle is terrible. I had bontrager race lite saddle but this was too narrow. I finally put on a Belair RL. I have added some Ergon grips with those mini bar ends, cut down the bars about 30mm each side, added some cow horn bar end between the grip and the brakes, and put on cork tape. This gives me about 6 hand postions. I’m about to upgrade to hollow tech bottom braket as I’ve has the creaking noise from the bottom brkt, I weigh about 102kg.
    You need to back off pedaling to shift gears. The frame flex and fork flex is a worry. I’m guessing this is why it’s not a good hill climber. I’m looking into Winwood blade forks.
    The cable under the frame get pulled with the frame flex, and causes gear changes some times. Needs good setup. Going to look at a different cable route for the re derailer.

  52. Chuck says:

    I am currently 64 and got a GF Solstice (26″ wheels, hybrid) back in 2003, the most I had ever spent on a bike as of that time. I rode it sporadically for a couple of years but in the Spring of 2006 began riding a 14 mile round trip mostly level paved trail almost daily for fitness purpose (overweight, high blood presure, all that stuff), lost almost 80 lbs, and came off all meds. Anyway, I kept up with riding and last year decided to get a road bike – Trek 1.2. I loved riding that, it took a rack and I was able to use panniers on it to run errands around town. However the shifters were terrible.

    This Spring I thought I was being clever and traded the Trek 1.2 for a 2.3. This is a great (for me at least) road bike, but it can’t carry panniers so I am limited in the errands I can do while riding it. I dusted off the old GF Solstice, but after a year on road bikes, it is like pedaling through molasses. Long story cut short, my bike shop is recommending a Mendota as an upgrade from the Solstice. Iknow it is a much more capable bike, but will it it serve as a ‘run around town to go shopping’ bike? Or perhaps more importantly, how much overkill is involved?

  53. Don Flowers says:

    Chuck, the Mendota is a great bike for fitness rides, short commuting and light errands, but not as an errand specific bike. I have a Topeak MTX Rack which allows quick interchangeability between a Topeak basket and the Topeak trunk – I find that I use the basket most of the time. Forget panniers as the front end is too light as it is and your front wheel will probably lift too much.

    I have crammed some Schwalbe 700×38 Marathon Plus tires on it and it rides better than any bike I have ever owned, but I realize its limitations and I think if I do get the LHT, then I would go to back to the 700×35′s

    I still love my Mendota and while I don’t plan on trading it in, I am seriously considering a Surly Long Haul Trucker as an errand specific bike. If you can only have one bike – I would recommend the Surly or perhaps a Raleigh Sojourner – not the Mendota.

  54. Matthew Weinle says:

    I have had my Mendota for 7 months now and it has done a lot of city riding in that time. Apart from a small adjustment to the front disc caliper it has not missed a beat. I have not noticed any problems with the Shimano Deore gears or the Octalink drivetrain – perhaps my 62Kg just does not push hard enough…

    The bike is stock except for Shimano SPD pedals and ToPeak rear pannier (I really treat it like a cart horse). After a quick ride on my girlfriends 7.5FX I am very tempted to put 700 x 28/32 slicks on it since these are very noticeably faster. In conclusion: a much better bike for me than the Bad Boy Ultra that I had for a lot less money.

  55. Anonymous says:

    Hi there, I dont know if I am writing in a proper board but I have got a problem with activation, link i receive in email is not working…

  56. John Fondinson says:

    I guess from the dates of these posts old Mendonta riders don’t die they just fade away. I hope a lot of the problems others have experienced in past few years have been cleared up by Trek. Even though dated, great reviews and lots of great info about the Memdota. Thanks. Oh. Got a new one one the way in five days.

  57. James says:

    I have a 2010 Mendota, been commuting on it for 10 months and I love it. It has turned into the do-it-all bike for me, I haven’t ridden my road bike very much since getting this. I had the shop perform their 100-mile standard tune up back in my first month of ownership and am coming up on it’s annual service… nothing out of adjustment just taking it in for a “wellness check”.

    My wife really likes the Mendota as well, we are in early stages of looking for one for her… maybe a 2011 leftover (if we can find one) or a new 2012. She considered the 7.3 FX Disc but just liked the brakes and gearing/shifting better on the Mendota. It’s a really good kept secret, this segment fits us well for commuting, recreational and fitness riding in comfort.

    I mostly either commute 15 miles each way or do 25 mile fitness rides but have started to work in some longer weekend rides, the longest has been a 60 mile solo ride but will be doing more soon.

    My mods are: Ergon grips, lights, computer, fenders (mostly for winter), horn, rear topeak rack with 2 mtx trunk bags, 2 bottle cages and mountain bike spd pedals.

    Ride safe!

    James

  58. Warren T says:

    Just checking in. The Mendota is still riding great. Like many other comments above, I did finally replace the pedals, but that’s been the only thing I’ve had to fix or repair. Keep riding everyone.

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