Mountain Biking - Gary Fisher Level Betty
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07-13-10, 02:02 PM
My LBS has a 1998 Level Betty for sale for $250. I asked what the lowest he'd take for it was, & he said it wasn't his but he'd ask the owner. So he did, & the owner said, "Ah, just take whatever they offer." If it's worth buying, I would see if I could get it for $150. Good buy or stay away from the antique? It has the original RockShox Judy on the front, RockShox Super Deluxe on the rear (too firm for me..would need softer spring), Shimano Deore XT components, & V-Brakes (don't mind them at all..it's what I'm used to). I'm near positive based on the fork & what Bikepedia says about it that it was the FH1. The bike fits me well & feels comfortable, but having only been on a mountain bike for 4 months, I don't know about bikes of the past & their worth. Give me opinions & tell me why. "No." is acceptable, but it's always nice to know why not. Also, this wouldn't be a bike that I would expect to keep me satisfied for years to come. For me it would be something inexpensive to last me until I enlist & start getting those Army paychecks, & could build a bike from the ground up exactly how I want it.
Biggest 'problem' with a Level Betty is that the rear suspension is a designed called the Unified Rear Triangle, or URT for short. URT was one of the earlier designs that has basically been put out to pasture by the industry because it did not work that well.
Yes I lusted after them some 'back in the day' - - with their dual-crown RS Judys and their spare Y-bike charm - - but I don't know why now.
Also, the RS Super Deluxe, although RS' top-of-the-line shock at the time (Deluxe/Coupe Deluxe/Super Deluxe), is an antique. If it's not leaking now, it probably will and then your screwed, as they are long-past supporting it. At the right price, it could fall into the category of "fun-retro-full-suspension-to ding-around-on" - - if you had a basement-full of cool old parts to keep it going; but not as a primary ride.
Now if you find a Specialized Enduro from the about-99 to early/mid 2000s for a sweet price, that would be another story.
07-13-10, 03:35 PM
Good to know. I'll probably stick with the old GF Wahoo as my primary ride, unless I can find the money to get the Level Betty without having to sell the Wahoo. And to make sure I understand correctly, you're saying that if the rear shock went bad & couldn't be fixed, I wouldn't have the option of going out & buying a new shock that would fit that bike? If that's the case, I definitely won't even consider selling my Wahoo for it. If I could get the money to buy it as a secondary ride, would it be worth $150 for the parts? I don't know if it was you or never or one of the other regulars, but someone told me not to long ago that the old dual-crown RS Judy's were quality forks (I'm sure it wouldn't fit my Wahoo, but it would be cool to have around in case I ever build a beater up from old parts), & the XT components would definitely be an upgrade from my Wahoo's current SRAM 5.0 ESP crap. Also probably has better wheels than the ones I took off a 12-year-old Schwinn box store bike after I taco'd the ones that came on the Wahoo.
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