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Early Fisher MountainBikes, Ritchey vs Teesdales?

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Early Fisher MountainBikes, Ritchey vs Teesdales?

Old 10-08-21, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Markeologist
I pulled out a bunch of my old Fisher catalogs and cruised the internet this past weekend, looking specifically at the domestic models (Comp and Mt. Tams from the 1984 - 1988 time frame) as I was wrenching on my 1985 Fisher Comp (18C8) that I bought new from Point Reyes Bikes in summer of 1986 as a frameset. I had viewed my frame at Fisher's Indian Summer Sale in fall of 1985 but being a struggling grad student, I bought a 1985 Montare instead. I still have the flyer from that sale which lists the Fisher bikes for sale by model, year, serial number, size and color (if anybody has an early Fisher, mostly 84 and 85s, send me the number and I can check if it was for sale at this time, and let you know the pricing).

Anyway there are lots of posts on BF and elsewhere on early Fishers including the Ritchey bikes sold by Fisher and Kelly as well as the bikes built by Tom Teesdale. Folks who have seen my frame around Marin (I live a few blocks from original Kelly and Fisher shop in San Anselmo) think my bike is a Ritchey but Ritchey parted ways with Fisher and Kelly in 1984. I've also been told that Fisher still had a supply of Ritchey-built frames in 1985 which were decaled as Fisher MountainBikes. My bike is not marked "TT" or "TET" which identifies the Teesdale frames. The Teesdale Fisher's I have seen also don't have the fastback seat stays as found on Ritchey-built bikes. Here is my 85 Comp with fastback stays, a Fisher Comp from Pro's Closet collection also with fastback stays, and a couple of Teesdale-built Fishers with non-fastback stays...one is a Comp from the Mombat collection that they state is an 1985 with a seat stay finish seen often on 86-88 Fishers and another that I have only seen on a couple of Fisher's that looks decidedly European to me. I've also thrown in a Ritchey Comp from Vintage Mtn Bike collection with fastback seat stays for comparison. Does anybody know if there was another frame builder(s) building frames for Fisher in the transition from Ritchey to Teesdale?... or does anybody have a clearly marked Teesdale frame with fastback seat stays?
Although, I can't still help you on other builder Fisher might have contracted after his split from Ritchey, I put as best as I could, information on the bike seat clusters you put plus others and hope would help and can become improved with some more information. Sorry for the long post.

Some notes found about Fisher and Ritchey collaboration and about Fisher bikes

1983-Late 1982, Ritchey splits from MountainBikes which became K&F MountainBikes for 1983, all 1983 models made by Tom Ritchey. “… you’ve known us as Ritchey MountainBikes but we are changing to a name to one that we feel better describes our company. “

1984-Since next model year bikes begin being built late summer to fall the previous year and Ritchey was a one-man factory, he may have built many 1984 frames. The Bicycling 1984 Buyer’s Guide published Ritchey/Fisher bikes Montare, Everest and Competition. Montare is made by Toyo, Japan.

February 1984 (approx.) mentions Everest84 model ($1656, Feb Bicycling); September 1984 mentions the Everest ($1186), but it does not appear in a later 1985 Catalog (thanks Markeologist).

-August 1987 Fisher gives interview saying he contracted Teesdale in January 1984 not with Tom Ritchey anymore. Time here may be not precise.

Competition model possible builders

83-Ritchey

Early 84-Ritchey, late 84-Teesdale and others (Ritchey leftover frames likely)

85-Teesdale and others (Ritchey leftover frames possible), your bike is likely a late ’85 may or not have the “beveled” seat reinforcement of the 1986 model year, but has the NORBA National Champion? decal of that period. I guess there may be 1985 models with and without Roller Cam brakes as these were available in the Summer of 1985. The treatment of the top of the seatpost of your bike looks like Ritchey’s or someone as good as him.

86-Teesdale and others

87-Teesdale and others (TT stamped frames)

88-Teesdale and others (T.E.T stamped frames)

89-Teesdale and others

Last edited by Santuri32; 10-08-21 at 09:14 AM. Reason: format
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Old 10-08-21, 09:14 AM
  #27  
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I believe I have 87 too, give me a bit and I’ll dig up and photo (sorry, no scanner).
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Old 10-08-21, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Markeologist
I believe I have 87 too, give me a bit and I’ll dig up and photo (sorry, no scanner).
That would be great, It would be nice to see a bike too from the catalog if not much asking, preferably one handbuilt model to see the seatcluster and perhaps other details. This is early Christmas for a bike nerd
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Old 10-08-21, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Santuri32
Although, I can't still help you on other builder Fisher might have contracted after his split from Ritchey, I put as best as I could, information on the bike seat clusters you put plus others and hope would help and can become improved with some more information. Sorry for the long post.

Some notes found about Fisher and Ritchey collaboration and about Fisher bikes

1983-Late 1982, Ritchey splits from MountainBikes which became K&F MountainBikes for 1983, all 1983 models made by Tom Ritchey. “… you’ve known us as Ritchey MountainBikes but we are changing to a name to one that we feel better describes our company. “

1984-Since next model year bikes begin being built late summer to fall the previous year and Ritchey was a one-man factory, he may have built many 1984 frames. The Bicycling 1984 Buyer’s Guide published Ritchey/Fisher bikes Montare, Everest and Competition. Montare is made by Toyo, Japan.

February 1984 (approx.) mentions Everest84 model ($1656, Feb Bicycling); September 1984 mentions the Everest ($1186), but it does not appear in a later 1985 Catalog (thanks Markeologist).

-August 1987 Fisher gives interview saying he contracted Teesdale in January 1984 not with Tom Ritchey anymore. Time here may be not precise.

Competition model possible builders

83-Ritchey

Early 84-Ritchey, late 84-Teesdale and others (Ritchey leftover frames likely)

85-Teesdale and others (Ritchey leftover frames possible), your bike is likely a late ’85 may or not have the “beveled” seat reinforcement of the 1986 model year, but has the NORBA National Champion? decal of that period. I guess there may be 1985 models with and without Roller Cam brakes as these were available in the Summer of 1985. The treatment of the top of the seatpost of your bike looks like Ritchey’s or someone as good as him.

86-Teesdale and others

87-Teesdale and others (TT stamped frames)

88-Teesdale and others (T.E.T stamped frames)

89-Teesdale and others
Boy, I just wrote reply here and it looks to be gone...hopefully not posting this twice. Your labeling of mine frame as an 86 is incorrect. I have had this bike since new, its a low serial number (18C8) and it was for sale at Fisher's Indian Summer Sale in October of 1985 where it was listed as an 85 model. The sale was a clearance of existing stock, primarily new but some used too, in preparation for the 86 models (they were cleaning house at the Fisher shop). Most of bikes being sold were 85 models but there was an 84 Everest and several 84 Mt Tams and Montares listed too (a couple of used Team Stumps as well). I noted previously that there were 25 Everests for sale including 3 used models, well there were only two new Comps being sold, mine and 21C1, both in maroon and both listed as 85 models as well as 4 Team Comps listed as "used." What is a little odd is that the 85 spec sheet I posted lists 3 available colors for the Comps, "Team Red, Indian Red, and Bright Blue" yet here are two 85 Comps in maroon. For the record, there were 69 Mt Tams for sale, 12 of which were used. I have the serial numbers for each of these bikes at the sale as well as their model year and original color.

Last edited by Markeologist; 10-08-21 at 10:05 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 10-08-21, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Markeologist
Boy, I just wrote reply here and it looks to be gone...hopefully not posting this twice. Your labeling of mine frame as an 86 is incorrect. I have had this bike since new, its a low serial number (18C8) and it was for sale at Fisher's Indian Summer Sale in October of 1985 where it was listed as an 85 model. The sale was a clearance of existing stock, primarily new but some used too, in preparation for the 86 models (they were cleaning house at the Fisher shop). Most of bikes being sold were 85 models but there was an 84 Everest and several 84 Mt Tams and Montares listed too (a couple of used Team Stumps as well). I noted previously that there were 17 Everests for sale including 3 used models, well there were only two new Comps being sold, mine and 21C1, both in maroon and both listed as 85 models as well as 4 Team Comps listed as "used." What is a little odd is that the 85 spec sheet I posted lists 3 available colors for the Comps, "Team Red, Indian Red, and Bright Blue" yet here are two 85 Comps in maroon. For the record, there were 69 Mt Tams for sale, 12 of which were used. I have the serial numbers for each of these bikes at the sale as well as their model year and original color.
Yes yours its a late '85, not beveled seat reinforcement correct? It may have not changed much for the '86 model year (one water bottle on downtube and one on seat tube, versus early 85s with two water bottles on downtube, this could have been options too) that's why I placed it in the pictures as an '86 and could not find any '88 model year bikes either, the one in Mombat is a '89 bike (might been the same in '88) due having the Hipstay chainstay, which was simply going back to '82-84 mountain bike chainstay design but with shorter stays, IMHO.

The color of your may be a shade of Indian Red as that color is described in the '85 catalog, all '86 had multi colored paint schemes.


Cool info about Indian Red. A warm red pigment made from synthetic iron oxide, Indian red stems from one of the world’s oldest pigments and can be found in prehistoric cave paintings dating as far back as 40,000 years.

Originally an organic pigment, Indian red was made from natural oxides in red earth. Being one of the first permanent pigments, painters would search around the world for the right soil to find the pigment, which explains why it is also known as Venice red, Turkey red, Spanish red, Pompeian red, and Persian red. The version known as Indian red was made from the red laterite soil in India.

It is the iron oxide in the ground that creates the red color. Unlike yellow and brown earth colors, Indian red does not contain water in its chemical structure, which gives it its deep red color. Earth colors were among the most permanent pigments between the 15th and 18th centuries, so artists relied heavily on them, notably in Old Master oil paintings. The pigmented earth was dug up in sticks and used as makeshift crayons for drawing by artists such as Rembrandt and Michelangelo.

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Old 10-08-21, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Santuri32
Yes yours its a late '85, not beveled seat reinforcement correct? It may have not changed much for the '86 model year (one water bottle on downtube and one on seat tube, versus early 85s with two water bottles on downtube, this could have been options too) that's why I placed it in the pictures as an '86 and could not find any '88 model year bikes either, the one in Mombat is a '89 bike (might been the same in '88) due having the Hipstay chainstay, which was simply going back to '82-84 mountain bike chainstay design but with shorter stays, IMHO.

The color of your may be a shade of Indian Red as that color is described in the '85 catalog, all '86 had multi colored paint schemes.


Cool info about Indian Red. A warm red pigment made from synthetic iron oxide, Indian red stems from one of the world’s oldest pigments and can be found in prehistoric cave paintings dating as far back as 40,000 years.

Originally an organic pigment, Indian red was made from natural oxides in red earth. Being one of the first permanent pigments, painters would search around the world for the right soil to find the pigment, which explains why it is also known as Venice red, Turkey red, Spanish red, Pompeian red, and Persian red. The version known as Indian red was made from the red laterite soil in India.

It is the iron oxide in the ground that creates the red color. Unlike yellow and brown earth colors, Indian red does not contain water in its chemical structure, which gives it its deep red color. Earth colors were among the most permanent pigments between the 15th and 18th centuries, so artists relied heavily on them, notably in Old Master oil paintings. The pigmented earth was dug up in sticks and used as makeshift crayons for drawing by artists such as Rembrandt and Michelangelo.
The colors of the many 85 Mt Tams at 1985 clearance sale likewise don’t match 85 spec sheet. I would not get bogged down on my bike’s color…Fisher called it maroon and there is at least one Mt Tam on same flyer listed as Indian Red.

For dating, I think you need to focus on more important, structural data to date the Comps rather than placement of water bottle cages or bevel on seat tube collar. Most importantly, head tube angle as that was evolving rapidly at this time. They were going from the 68 degrees as found on 85 and earlier bikes (I’ll post backside of 85 flyer) to 69.5 in 1986 to 70.5 in 1987.

I think a large reason Fisher was dumping so many bikes at his Indian Summer Sale was because the slack angles of his initial bikes (84 and 85) were fast becoming obsolete.

Last edited by Markeologist; 10-08-21 at 12:30 PM.
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Old 10-08-21, 11:49 AM
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1985 68 degrees for head tube angle on Comp as well as all others.

1986 69.5 degree head tube angle for Comp…Mt Tam was same.

1987 70.5 degree head tube angle on Comp, Mt Tam remained 69.5
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Old 10-09-21, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Markeologist
The colors of the many 85 Mt Tams at 1985 clearance sale likewise don’t match 85 spec sheet. I would not get bogged down on my bike’s color…Fisher called it maroon and there is at least one Mt Tam on same flyer listed as Indian Red.

For dating, I think you need to focus on more important, structural data to date the Comps rather than placement of water bottle cages or bevel on seat tube collar. Most importantly, head tube angle as that was evolving rapidly at this time. They were going from the 68 degrees as found on 85 and earlier bikes (I’ll post backside of 85 flyer) to 69.5 in 1986 to 70.5 in 1987.

I think a large reason Fisher was dumping so many bikes at his Indian Summer Sale was because the slack angles of his initial bikes (84 and 85) were fast becoming obsolete.
I agree that geometry is very important, but as this changes with bike size a bit, I think little design elements do help. The scalloped top of the seat tube and the beveled lower edge of the seat collar reinforcement were design element indicative of the model year features. And frame details are always better than components, and paint. I have revised the timeline, in this case by color, the tricolor paint scheme appears on the 86 catalog, not in the 85. But the finishing of the scalloped top of the seat tube in your bike is so much more refined than in the pros Closet Museum '85 Competition? that (in yours) this could be an indication of an earlier bike, perhaps made by Ritchey. If Ritchey in fact made your fine bike, then based on the availability of the Suntour Roller Cam (Summer 85) it could have been modified after his built. But another alternative is that late in 1983 when Ritchey was still making frames for Fisher, they began considering using the Cunningham's WTB Speedmaster Roller Cam (available before March 1984). see pic from March 84 Fat Tyre Flyer.


Last edited by Santuri32; 10-09-21 at 09:31 AM. Reason: typos
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Old 10-09-21, 09:06 AM
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[QUOTE=Markeologist;22262514]
1985 68 degrees for head tube angle on Comp as well as all others.

1986 69.5 degree head tube angle for Comp…Mt Tam was same.

1987 70.5 degree head tube angle on Comp, Mt Tam remained 69.5 [QUOTE]

This is great information, too bad that catalog did not had the summary of all bikes as the '85 did. That's a fine detail Fisher included on his catalogs. Now what are the 1987's snakebite chainstays ?, I looked at 86 and 88 catalogs and that seems to be a 1987-only frame feature. As you were right there by their store, you were either getting mid year updates or they had a very late production that year that wouldn't surprise me give the split with Ritchey and the issues of finding reasonable great and affordable alternative builders to him. I noticed the citation of August 85 Bicycling on the Montare, does the front page has a month indication?



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Old 10-09-21, 12:50 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Santuri32
I agree that geometry is very important, but as this changes with bike size a bit, I think little design elements do help. The scalloped top of the seat tube and the beveled lower edge of the seat collar reinforcement were design element indicative of the model year features. And frame details are always better than components, and paint. I have revised the timeline, in this case by color, the tricolor paint scheme appears on the 86 catalog, not in the 85. But the finishing of the scalloped top of the seat tube in your bike is so much more refined than in the pros Closet Museum '85 Competition? that (in yours) this could be an indication of an earlier bike, perhaps made by Ritchey. If Ritchey in fact made your fine bike, then based on the availability of the Suntour Roller Cam (Summer 85) it could have been modified after his built. But another alternative is that late in 1983 when Ritchey was still making frames for Fisher, they began considering using the Cunningham's WTB Speedmaster Roller Cam (available before March 1984). see pic from March 84 Fat Tyre Flyer.

Replying to both posts. What I posted are from single page flyers as well as two fold flyers, I have data on the other bikes it’s just that taking photos of a sheet is cumbersome.
The 85 flyer has no date but it is from later in 1985. There was a lot of notices and announcements given the introduction of the Excalibur which, as noted above, was a late year introduction. As also noted, the slacker head tube angle found on all Fishers was becoming obsolete and here was Fisher introducing a brand new imported model. I think there was likely a little panic and they made quick decision to update and rename as the ProCaliber for the 86 model year.
Problem with your seat tube collar analysis is that you are mixing Everests, Mt Tams and Comps. Mt Tams filled same niche as Everest but were less finally finished.
Some dates of bikes in collections is wrong, take with grain of salt…it’s the problem with the internet, stuff becomes gospel with folks not doing due diligence.
Joe Murray’s Team Comp is tig-welded … it was also built by a guy out of Sonoma County if I recall. I point this out as Fisher was in flux in 84 and 85, no longer with Ritchey or Kelly, looking for builders, but still fielding the top team…nothing was static.
Please look more closely at the head and seat tube angles. Those do NOT change with size EXCEPT for the 16 inch Comp in 1986 which gets a 1/2 degree steeper head tube.
I think the big takeaway for me in all this is that Teesdale may have produced frames for Fisher without his initials. Would need confirmation but unfortunately he has passed.
Over the years folks have told me my bike WASN’T a Teesdale because it lacked his initials and when I saw bikes WITH his initials none had the fastback seat stay finish… many of those same folks said, not a Teesdale but sure looks like a Ritchey. When I got my Ritchey tandem last year and compared the details, I instantly saw what folks were talking about…thus the reason I started this thread. I’ll post some pics of head tube and seatstay finish on these bikes later today. I’ll also get the various flyer pages posted.

Last edited by Markeologist; 10-09-21 at 04:20 PM.
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Old 10-09-21, 04:18 PM
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Head tube and seat stay finish on my 85 Fisher Comp and my late 70s…maybe very early 80s Ritchey Palo Alto Tandem…brothers from a different mother (but same father????):



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Old 10-09-21, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Markeologist
Problem with your seat tube collar analysis is that you are mixing Everests, Mt Tams and Comps. Mt Tams filled same niche as Everest but were less finally finished.

Please look more closely at the head and seat tube angles. Those do NOT change with size EXCEPT for the 16 inch Comp in 1986 which gets a 1/2 degree steeper head tube.

Over the years folks have told me my bike WASN’T a Teesdale because it lacked his initials and when I saw bikes WITH his initials none had the fastback seat stay finish… many of those same folks said, not a Teesdale but sure looks like a Ritchey. When I got my Ritchey tandem last year and compared the details, I instantly saw what folks were talking about…thus the reason I started this thread. I’ll post some pics of head tube and seatstay finish on these bikes later today. I’ll also get the various flyer pages posted.
I think you you may be referring to the light green bike on the timeline pictures, is this correct? I have only seen three '84 Comps and all are very similar, in the Fat Tyre Flyer book, Charlie Kelly mentions that Ritchey was making bikes less detailed at the end for MountainBikes. The green bike is serial 19C2, the other two '84 where apparently Team Bikes and headtube was lacking the fake lugs, I read on a Ritchey aficionados forum the serial on these made reference to John Finley Scott and the C is preceded by an S, where SC11 was supposedly Fisher's personal Competition bike. Those two "Team" Competition bikes had shorter stays than 19C2 I used as an example for '84 in the timeline. All other bikes have the same head tube treatment that was only found on Competition model after Everest disappeared.

You are correct about the geo, only chainstay length changes in some more sizes, my mistake. And definitely now having that geo thanks to you is the way to go.

Your two bikes have both fine work that is very hard to tell apart, it would have to be Ritchey himself who may have the final word.

This are the bikes I used for 86, 87, and 88-9, the last is '89 due the hipstay which was the frame feature for 1989 model year bikes. Again these bikes were likely added that feature late the previous year.


Although the rear tire looks closer to the seat tube on the 87 than in the 89 it may be due the different sizes. However I haven't given this much thought. This is a quick post of this pic.

Last edited by Santuri32; 10-09-21 at 09:28 PM. Reason: add pic
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Old 10-09-21, 10:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Santuri32
Although the rear tire looks closer to the seat tube on the 87 than in the 89 it may be due the different sizes. However I haven't given this much thought. This is a quick post of this pic.
This might not be the best comparison, since photo angle was not the same on any of these pictures, but the '89 has steeper ST/HT angles than the '86, although he same can't be said about against the '87.



red headtube bike (86) has a more relaxed geo than the yellow head tube (89) bike


Blue headtube bike (87) seems steeper than yellow headtube bike (89), this may be a picture artifact.
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Old 10-09-21, 11:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Santuri32
This might not be the best comparison, since photo angle was not the same on any of these pictures, but the '89 has steeper ST/HT angles than the '86, although he same can't be said about against the '87.



red headtube bike (86) has a more relaxed geo than the yellow head tube (89) bike


Blue headtube bike (87) seems steeper than yellow headtube bike (89), this may be a picture artifact.
Overlay is cool.
The larger team tricolor is reported to be 85 and it’s slack head tube angle as well as the early Fisher decals would seem to confirm 84 or 85 with early 85 being likely given roller cam.
The red/white/blue is a respray if I recall but it looks to be an early Teesdale with the seat stay ends that wrap over top of cluster. Maybe mid-Teesdale IF Teesdale made fastback seat stays ala Ritchey early on.
The small team tricolor is poorly dated by Mombat, clearly more like an 88 given later-Teesdale type seat stay finish which was also found on Mt Tams and the imports.
enjoy your digging in, this is something I have been looking at for a while myself but was shocked about how much my Fisher looked like my Ritchey tandem. Those aren’t fake lugs on head tube BTW, those are reinforcement bands, more metal at the edges of the headset races to prevent deformation. Everests and Comps had them, I’ve seen Mt Tams with out.
You are clearly pulling together some good data…you should send me the serial numbers for some of these earlier bikes if you have, I can check to see if they are listed on my sheet and I can tell you the model year as identified by Fisher if listed. The list includes probably 90 to 100 of the domestic hand-builts.

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Old 10-10-21, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Markeologist
The small team tricolor is poorly dated by Mombat, clearly more like an 88 given later-Teesdale type seat stay finish which was also found on Mt Tams and the imports.
I found this new to me 3/89 catalog on the vintage Trek website, its a very poor scan, and I can't see the Competition there. The Competition is shown on the 10/23/88 1989 Product line also on the vintage Trek website. But the following insert on the Hipstay is there, there is no mention of hipstay on the 88 catalog.

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Old 10-10-21, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Santuri32
I found this new to me 3/89 catalog on the vintage Trek website, its a very poor scan, and I can't see the Competition there. The Competition is shown on the 10/23/88 1989 Product line also on the vintage Trek website. But the following insert on the Hipstay is there, there is no mention of hipstay on the 88 catalog.

…and only a year or two before, Fisher focused his advertising on his single bend crimpless chain stays. This near 180 for the Hipstays along with the Hoo Koo E Koo was when Fisher began focusing more on increasing market share rather then producing high end niche bikes. His 85 and 86 line ups were perfect IMHO, four bikes, two high end domestics, one for touring and one for racing and two imported clones for those who couldn’t afford the domestics…same function and quality just no quite as pretty.
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Old 10-10-21, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Markeologist
…and only a year or two before, Fisher focused his advertising on his single bend crimpless chain stays. This near 180 for the Hipstays along with the Hoo Koo E Koo was when Fisher began focusing more on increasing market share rather then producing high end niche bikes. His 85 and 86 line ups were perfect IMHO, four bikes, two high end domestics, one for touring and one for racing and two imported clones for those who couldn’t afford the domestics…same function and quality just no quite as pretty.
That how it goes, money over quality...I was hearing an interview with Steve Potts "I wanted to make bikes that lasted forever" he was told what a bad business practice. That brochure is nice seems to present the imported bikes features like on my 86.5? Montare. Would you happen to have the spec sheet for 87 of the Montare? See my bike, is a tad small for me.

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Originally Posted by Santuri32
That how it goes, money over quality...I was hearing an interview with Steve Potts "I wanted to make bikes that lasted forever" he was told what a bad business practice. That brochure is nice seems to present the imported bikes features like on my 86.5? Montare. Would you happen to have the spec sheet for 87 of the Montare? See my bike, is a tad small for me.

yes, I have spec sheets for Montare too, I think 85, 86, and 87.

I see in a previous post you indicted the change in name from Ritchey Mtn Bikes to Kelly and Fisher Mtn Bikes…never saw that name on a bike and the Kelly and Fisher moniker was for their shop in San Anselmo. The split between the parties happened in 83 and effected the 1984 bikes. In 1983 “Ritchey Mountain Bikes” we’re still being sold by K&F out of their small shop in San Anselmo…as shown in 1983 Fat Tire Flyers.

The first 84 “Fisher” Mtn Bikes had label without silhouette of Mt Tam on them…see the large team tri-color you posted. In 1984 Fisher also introduced “Montare Mountain Bikes” which as originally introduced were a completely separate line…see photos below from inter web. They didn’t become more completely folded into Fisher Mountain Bikes until 1985. I still see some of these early Montare Mtn Bikes floating around neighborhood.


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Old 10-10-21, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Markeologist
yes, I have spec sheets for Montare too, I think 85, 86, and 87.

I see in a previous post you indicted the change in name from Ritchey Mtn Bikes to Kelly and Fisher Mtn Bikes…never saw that name on a bike and the Kelly and Fisher moniker was for their shop in San Anselmo. The split between the parties happened in 83 and effected the 1984 bikes. In 1983 “Ritchey Mountain Bikes” we’re still being sold by K&F out of their small shop in San Anselmo…as shown in 1983 Fat Tire Flyers.

The first 84 “Fisher” Mtn Bikes had label without silhouette of Mt Tam on them…see the large team tri-color you posted. In 1984 Fisher also introduced “Montare Mountain Bikes” which as originally introduced were a completely separate line…see photos below from inter web. They didn’t become more completely folded into Fisher Mountain Bikes until 1985. I still see some of these early Montare Mtn Bikes floating around neighborhood.
That's a beautiful example, I looked at it as it was on sale for many months. I believe this is an early 85 model year bike because its dated with serial 4L (Toyo December 1984), and it took a while to get to the US from Japan. The color is '84s Blue Metallic...a very nice color. What I don't have clear is what are the Metallic Green and Rose red metallic Montare bikes with the crowned fork, such as this.


Were these Canadian market bikes? some of the forks say Ritchey and chainstay can say designed by Ritchey but most have MountainBikes headtube decals.


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Old 10-10-21, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Santuri32
That's a beautiful example, I looked at it as it was on sale for many months. I believe this is an early 85 model year bike because its dated with serial 4L (Toyo December 1984), and it took a while to get to the US from Japan. The color is '84s Blue Metallic...a very nice color. What I don't have clear is what are the Metallic Green and Rose red metallic Montare bikes with the crowned fork, such as this.


Were these Canadian market bikes? some of the forks say Ritchey and chainstay can say designed by Ritchey but most have MountainBikes headtube decals.

I’d say not correct fork that somebody put a Ritchey sticker on. I know of Ritchey’s foray into Canada with Rocky Mountain. This fork just doesn’t look right though, Color is off, Crown looks odd but would need to see front. The TR decal has the “Mountain Bikes” wording like when K&F were selling/marketing Ritchey’s bikes…but after split never saw a Ritchey use that style decal.

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Old 10-10-21, 10:53 PM
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This thread in the General sub-forum might be of interest.

45th Anniversary coming up
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Old 10-11-21, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Markeologist
I’d say not correct fork that somebody put a Ritchey sticker on. I know of Ritchey’s foray into Canada with Rocky Mountain. This fork just doesn’t look right though, Color is off, Crown looks odd but would need to see front. The TR decal has the “Mountain Bikes” wording like when K&F were selling/marketing Ritchey’s bikes…but after split never saw a Ritchey use that style decal.
Yes the color is off, but I have seen at least 20 of these bikes with serial as early as March 1983 May 84 was way off there.


But there's no catalog information, and in US the Montare was advertised from 84 on. I guess my questions should have been if these were only Canadian market bikes or if some were sold here by Fisher.
The ad on the left must be Canadian, I think the date is September/October 83 from Mombat, the one on the right if from January 84 Fat Tyre Flyer and both have the Tange 141 fork crowned-forks.

Here's another bike with no fork color difference, this bike had MountainBikes Cromo bars. The unique decals of Montare seem like they were trying to make another line of bikes, the Montare MountainBikes

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Old 10-11-21, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Santuri32
Yes the color is off, but I have seen at least 20 of these bikes with serial as early as March 1983. But there's no catalog information, and in US the Montare was advertised from 84 on. I guess my questions should have been if these were only Canadian market bikes or if some were sold here by Fisher.
The ad on the left must be Canadian, I think the date is September/October 1982 (Mombat says 83), the one on the right if from January 84 Fat Tyre Flyer and both have the Tange 141 fork crowned-forks.

Here's another bike with no fork color difference, this bike had MountainBikes Cromo bars. The unique decals of Montare seem like they were trying to make another line of bikes, the Montare MountainBikes
Well that’s the early Montare fork crown, pre-unicrown. Don’t recall seeing Ritchey decals on fork blades especially mixed with a Montare…maybe I’ve never seen a Canadian model!
The add on left is clearly pre-split as it references Ritchey’s name AND the MountainBikes shop in San Anselmo while the add on right is post split including split of Kelly and Fisher. Fisher was soon to vacate his small shop in San Anselmo and move to neighboring San Rafael. Always assumed the move was in anticipation of the need for more space given the importation of the Toyo built bikes in some significant numbers.
I always heard the split between Ritchey and Fisher was over the import bikes. I think the latter half of 83 and 84 and into early 85 was a turbulent period for these makers, sorting out their differences and assets which affected their lines of production of bikes. I think uncertain early pedigree of the Montare (before it officially becomes a Fisher model) and the presence of Everests as both a Ritchey and a Fisher model in 84 and 85 is evidence of this settling period.
I think Fisher finally got his lineup sorted out in second half of 85 with his two domestic and two imported models (Comp, Mt Tam, Excalibur, and Montare).

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Old 10-11-21, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Markeologist
Well that’s the early Montare fork crown, pre-unicrown. I think Fisher finally got his lineup sorted out in second half of 85 with his two domestic and two imported models (Comp, Mt Tam, Excalibur, and Montare).
Sorry for veering off topic. So, Everests...these seem to have received the same seat cluster treatment of your '85 Comp and the brazing looks fine as well. Here's a timeline.

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Old 10-11-21, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Santuri32
Sorry for veering off topic. So, Everests...these seem to have received the same seat cluster treatment of your '85 Comp and the brazing looks fine as well. Here's a timeline.

Not off topic, my original post concerned who built the post-Ritchey Fisher Mtn Bikes in 84 and 85… left over Ritchey, Teesdale, or somebody else. The 83 above is classic Ritchey with the faux lug work. The ones you have labeled as 84 and 85 could easily be Ritchey but these are post split… leftovers or a great imitator? I recall seeing Zebra and Tiger Everests at the Indian Summer Sale back in 85 but evidentially not 20E11!
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