Hoo Koo E Koo. This bike has been my love for few years. After I graduated from High School, I bought this bike as a reward for myself for making it through High School. And what a great reward it was because it provided many hours of fun and enjoyment. I have used this bike for anything imaginable and it has stood up to all the crashing and bashing I have done to it.
Recommend this product?
Here is the Yr 2000 specs from Gary Fisher Website...
Frame:Handbuilt with 6061 T6 aluminum in the United States
Hand built with precision in the United States with double butted 6061T6
Precision laser mitered aluminum tubing.
Limited Lifetime Frame Warranty
Dedicated rear disk brake mount
Wheels:Durable Bontrager Corvair front Rim, with a disk specific front hub
Light, quick accelerating Bontrager Superstock wheelsystem rear wheel
Meaty WTB Motoraptor tires for the rough stuff
Suspension:Rock Shox Judy XC 100MM fork with Hydracoil damping
Componentry:New Icon Obsidian Crank
Shimano LX rear derailleur
9 speed Shimano drivetrain with an LX
Front disk brake for smooth, powerful speed modulation in all conditions
Bontrager Crowbar rise bars for better control
Sizes:SM | MD | LG | XL
First I want to mention that I bought this bike around 1997 so I have a 1997 version and these are all 2000 specification. My review is about 1997
Hoo Koo E Koo and not year 2000 model.
My 1997 Hoo Koo E Koo specification: Cromoly true-temper steel frame, Matrix Lobo Rims, Tioga Psycho-K tires, Rock Shox Quadra 21R suspension fork, Sugino Crank (cheap one not sure of the model), 7 speed STX drive train, Dark Green Color, Bontrager Plus 10 seat, Gripshift 400.
These components are all stock parts but I upgraded few parts. I replaced the brakes, bar, pedals, and seatpost(Brakes: Avid 2.0; Bar: Club Roost DH; Pedals: Ritchey Logic and Odyssey Trial; Seatpost: Kore Lite Post 2 anodized blue).
I want to express how great this bike is all in one word but that would not do it justice because this bike has so much nice features to boast. The frame I got was made of true-temper steel. I was rather reluctant about getting this bike because of it's frame material but that was before I got to ride it. After I rode it, I fell in love with steel. The geometry of the frame is just perfect for balance and those tough times blazing through trails. It is stiff laterally providing much needed control and somewhat soft vertically but it felt just right while riding through trails. Due to it's steel construction it weighed more than any aluminum bikes but at that price I didn't expect much more than what I got. After few upgrades I was able to shave off few ounces or pounds, but I'm sure if I was able to replace the drivetrain I could have even got the bike down to 26-27 lbs from 29-30 lbs. Even with this hefty weight, I loved the frame construction. It was practically indestructible. I had so many crashes and accidents that I can't count right now. I did trial with this bike and the balance I got with this bike was incredible. Jumping off a 10 ft. high stage - no problem; riding down set of stairs - no problem; Hops and performing basic trial skills - no problem; getting hit by a taxi driver in NYC - no problem (I really did get hit by a taxi with no damage to my bike...I think the taxi's bumper had some dent after though :) ). Anyway, you can see that I tried to kill this bike but to no avail. This bike has stood up to everything I could throw at and I truly believe that this bike is indestructible. Also it climbs very well. The back tire digs into the track with each pedal stroke and helps the traction. I never got tired of climbing and I was able to burn many people during climbs. With my clipless pedal(Ritchey Logic), I think I was faster on the climbs than descents :) . On descents it's very nimble and provides much needed control.
The stock components are rather low class parts. Looking at my parts now, it seems like these companies don't even produce them anymore. STX was great at the time but now it doesn't perform up to par. The shifting is rather slow and not accurate. The cogs that I have don't stand up great to daily usage. After many rides, it tends to skip a lot resulting in poor traction. Gripshift worked fine but the shifting takes too much effort especially in upshifting. Other stock parts, I didn't think were great but for the money I paid I didn't expect much more. Everything I got was worth the money at that time.
For year 2000, it seems as if Gary Fisher has changed the frame construction material from steel to aluminum. In process adding a derailleur hanger in case the derailleur becomes bent(aluminum is not fixable once it is bent). I think I'm biased towards aluminum because I have only ridden steel so I can't give any advice on this part. I just want to point out that aluminum is more flexible resulting in more damage during rides or crash, but it adds to more plush and comfortable rides. One big advantage to aluminum is the weight. It is much lighter than steel, so Hoo Koo E Koo should weigh much less now due to it's frame material. I believe it should be a great climber, maybe even a better one than 1997 model. Up until 1999, Gary Fisher only used steel for Hoo Koo E Koo so you can test ride the 1999 model and see how that feels. The price of that model should be even cheaper now that 2000 models are out. The components are great on Hoo Koo E Koo nowadays. LX are great components at this price range; how I wished I had LX components at that time. WTB is a great tire company so I trust that the tires are also great. Front Suspension is also great using Judy XC. Rock Shox is known for front suspension so you can trust Rock Shox to perform up to par. I had a Quadra 21R which used elastomer unlike hydrocoil in XC, which really suffered during cold weather. I would love to have a XC so you can believe me when I say XC is a great suspension. The only thing I don't like about 2000 specification are bontrager rims. I don't think this rim can last that long and probably weighs a lot so I recommend that you upgrade this to a better rim.
Hoo Koo E Koo is really the best value bike in my opinion. In 1997, I thought it was one of the better value bikes but now with all these great components I believe it is truly the best one out there. I don't know how aluminum will hold up but I don't think it will break before you move onto a newer bike. With the money saved buying this bike, you can upgrade few parts such as rims, drivetrain, cranks, and etc, to make it into an "ultimate" bike. Use it in DH, X-country, and trial, and you will see that it is truly one of the best bikes out there.
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