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Early Fisher MountainBikes, Ritchey vs Teesdales?

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Early Fisher MountainBikes, Ritchey vs Teesdales?

Old 02-24-22, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Santuri32
That's the idea Frank, we'll have you uploading pics of your nice bikes pretty soon.
  • None of the handful of 1984-85 Everests I've seen have stamped TT or TET, but again no bike prior to 87 either.
  • The start braze-ons were Teesdale's that's is an important detail that I suspected, what is a top hat braze-on?
  • I've seen the files stars in the inside but only on the seat tube, on the down tube they have the four points
Do you remember making early bikes without rear roller cam brakes or with dual water bottle bosses on the down tube only? I know it may be hard to remember

Thanks
Sorry didn't answer all your questions. The Top Hats are the water bottle braze-ons. The part with the threads you braze into a tube. Most call them top hats as they look like a small little Top hat if you hold one in your hand.

The reinforcement stars were only modified on the seat tubes for clearance to adjust the front derailleur enough up/down for the chain rings.

Frank
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Old 02-25-22, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by fhaas
Oh, yes, the first year we built a number of frames that had double water bottles braze-ons on the down tubes and cantilever bosses front and rear. I would say the first 6-8 months into working for Fisher. This was for Everests and Tams mainly on the larger frames. I don't remember doing any double WB mounts on down tubes and rollercam chainstay brake studs.

Fisher did send us blue prints from time to time with new specs on the frames. I think the first ones were when the head tube angles changed. Teesdale would often makes notes on them and roll them up and store them near the drafting table. I think Matt or John his sons have several copies still. Back then Tom would always do a full scale drawing of every frame we built. He was a math teacher before turning to building frames for a living. Had a bunch of formulas for figuring out tube lengths based upon frame angles and top tube length but he'd still want a drawing to double check the math. This was before computers were common.

Frank Haas, White Salmon, WA
I would love to see those prints, they may hold fine details of Teesdale first bikes for Fisher. Such as Geo, Lug assembly technique, etc.

Based on the information you have kindly provided. It seems all we miss is a mid-year 1984 catalog detailing Teesdale frames as the Feb 1984 Bicycling specs and the available '84 Fisher MountainBikes show Ritchey-made bikes.

I infer by your information and these early catalogs that two water bottle bosses on the down tube with top hat braze-ons and rear cantilevers are 1984 Ritchey-made MountainBike frames, two star-shaped braze-ons and rear cantilevers are 1984 Teesdale-made MountainBikes, and bikes with the combination of water bottle bosses with star-shaped braze-ons in both seat and down tubes and roller-cam brakes in the seatstays are 1985 Teesdale made MountainBikes.

I believe your comments about the star shaped water bottle braze-ons provide one characteristic of 1984 Teesdale frames and a way to differentiate them from Ritcheys. This is fantastic information, thank you
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Old 02-25-22, 10:13 AM
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This makes this beauty a mid year 1984 first batch Teesdale Everest and a very rare bike at that.




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Old 02-25-22, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Santuri32
I would love to see those prints, they may hold fine details of Teesdale first bikes for Fisher. Such as Geo, Lug assembly technique, etc.

Based on the information you have kindly provided. It seems all we miss is a mid-year 1984 catalog detailing Teesdale frames as the Feb 1984 Bicycling specs and the available '84 Fisher MountainBikes show Ritchey-made bikes.

I infer by your information and these early catalogs that two water bottle bosses on the down tube with top hat braze-ons and rear cantilevers are 1984 Ritchey-made MountainBike frames, two star-shaped braze-ons and rear cantilevers are 1984 Teesdale-made MountainBikes, and bikes with the combination of water bottle bosses with star-shaped braze-ons in both seat and down tubes and roller-cam brakes in the seatstays are 1985 Teesdale made MountainBikes.

I believe your comments about the star shaped water bottle braze-ons provide one characteristic of 1984 Teesdale frames and a way to differentiate them from Ritcheys. This is fantastic information, thank you
The blue prints I know Matt Teesdale had a set and posted a photograph of it. I can always email him and ask to send it to me. Tom didn’t make notes on assembly, just sometimes tubing lengths or angle changes. Many would have coffee stains on them from Tom putting his cup on them and studying them. Fisher didn’t send us many blueprints in the early days it wasn’t till they got computerized and had in house engineers designing the bikes. Probably 1987. I visited Fisher after they had moved into their new shop in 86/87 and rode around Mt. Tam for a week.

You have to remember Teesdale built Fishers before we added the WB stars as well. So the first Everests and Tam’s, Tom made wouldn’t have installed WB star reinforcements probably before June 1984. The picture of the black Everest is one surely made by Teesdale and myself. It also has the early above BB shell cable routing for the front derailleur. This was changed to underneath the shell when we swapped to rear rollercam brakes. Some of the very early Fishers may not have the scallop in the top of seat binder sleeve. I remember making a couple very early bikes and it was left raw and not cut. Teesdale thought it looked better to shape them more like road bike frames, so we did that after the first couple batches of frames to Gary. Also that seat tube sleeve changed over the years. Gary put a machined lower “step” in the bottom of it to lessen the stress riser it caused by having a hard sharp edge end on seat tube. I think he had a couple bikes that cracked there. You can see this “step” in the Mombat Competition from 1986/7. Early Fishers this wasn’t there as in the Maroon Mt. Tam with fast back stays posted here earlier. On Everests we sometimes made a small scallop here to make it fancier.

A small detail, on rollercam bikes, we used silver rod and brazed on a cable guide to the RH boss to run the cable through for the rear derailleur. Same braze-on we used for the cable guides on the bottom of the BB shells. We used brass to do this and it was tricky to do, then switched to silver when we had more of it in house after we started sweating in the studs in the fork steering tubes for bull moose clamps and clamp on stems. Later on I vaguely remember drilling a hole in the stud instead of installing that guide.

Frank Haas, White Salmon, WA
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Old 02-25-22, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by fhaas
You have to remember Teesdale built Fishers before we added the WB stars as well. So the first Everests and Tam’s, Tom made wouldn’t have installed WB star reinforcements probably before June 1984.

Some of the very early Fishers may not have the scallop in the top of seat binder sleeve. I remember making a couple very early bikes and it was left raw and not cut.

On Everests we sometimes made a small scallop here to make it fancier.



Frank Haas, White Salmon, WA
I think you have better memory that you give yourself credit for. 1984-85 MT Tams had a flat top seat tube. I' attaching and 84 with top hat brake bosses and a yellow 85 with roller cams







Now I have a weird frame it matches the 1985 Zebra Everest with roller cam, slight scallops on the seat cluster but no star-shaped WB reinforcements, I also have not seen the star-shape reinforcements on any early Competition, was that to save weight?

Last edited by Santuri32; 02-25-22 at 12:45 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 02-27-22, 10:24 AM
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I am the original owner of a Fisher Competition, yellow/blue. Serial 18C19. The bicycle is in excellent condition. It is about 95% original I replaced wheels, grips, and handle bars. Handle bars were replaced by fisher due to their original bull moose bars having structural failure. I am look for the original grips, Magura ergo. I believe they were motorcycle grips they used. If i wrote price correctly on original brochure the cost of bicycle at that time was $1170.00. I would post pic of bicycle but don't have 10 posts yet.

Thanks
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Old 02-28-22, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Darme
I am the original owner of a Fisher Competition, yellow/blue. Serial 18C19. The bicycle is in excellent condition. It is about 95% original I replaced wheels, grips, and handle bars. Handle bars were replaced by fisher due to their original bull moose bars having structural failure. I am look for the original grips, Magura ergo. I believe they were motorcycle grips they used. If i wrote price correctly on original brochure the cost of bicycle at that time was $1170.00. I would post pic of bicycle but don't have 10 posts yet.

Thanks
Welcome, I would love to see your bike. Those grips appear from time to time at online markets, I sold my last pair in a Diamondback Apex, install them to see how they felt (hard as a rock) and were stuck for good, so they went. If riding it, may be go for something more plush unless you have rock tough hands or use gloves. Like the OURY since they are period correct, although that's probably what you have already.

Last edited by Santuri32; 02-28-22 at 08:53 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 02-28-22, 10:31 AM
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Megura grips

The reason I am looking for specific grips is to get bicycle as a close to original as I can .. it does have Oakley BMX grips that I put on when original bought . The only thing left that would not be original would be the wheels, which I did build current wheels that are on it during that time frame. As mentioned earlier I did buy bike brand new and rode/ raced it 80/90’s .. it was then stored inside since the 90’s ..
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Old 02-28-22, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Darme
The reason I am looking for specific grips is to get bicycle as a close to original as I can .. it does have Oakley BMX grips that I put on when original bought . The only thing left that would not be original would be the wheels, which I did build current wheels that are on it during that time frame. As mentioned earlier I did buy bike brand new and rode/ raced it 80/90’s .. it was then stored inside since the 90’s ..
Understood, then as do as I suggest. I'm curious as whether it has the "TT" stamp under the BB. The wheels are more important than grips IMHO, you missed a series of NOS RM-20 sold not long ago.
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Old 02-28-22, 06:03 PM
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There is no TT or TET under bottom bracket. I did check with Charlie Kelly some years back attempting to find out who was making the frames for Fisher in 1985-86. He said that during that time frame he had already separated from Fisher. He did believe Tom Teedsdale along with a Craig Smith were building frames then. At this time I have no idea who made the frame.

I did look at some spare wheels i have. I did find a new rear RM-20 with a Suntour cyclone hub. I kept the Dura-Ace AX rear hub the bicycle originally came with and put the 26 " Matrix Iso-c aero rims on due to being lighter in weight .
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Old 02-28-22, 07:07 PM
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If you read the thread you'll find the discussion with Frank Haas were we discuss that most likely Tom Teesdale with his help were likely the primary builders of custom MountainBikes 1984-88 and that there were not much stamping in the beginning (1984-86?). Most bikes 87 have TT stamps and most 88s TET stamps. Thanks for the information but as all 86 and earlier bikes your keeps with that pattern.
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Old 02-28-22, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Darme
There is no TT or TET under bottom bracket. I did check with Charlie Kelly some years back attempting to find out who was making the frames for Fisher in 1985-86. He said that during that time frame he had already separated from Fisher. He did believe Tom Teedsdale along with a Craig Smith were building frames then. At this time I have no idea who made the frame.

I did look at some spare wheels i have. I did find a new rear RM-20 with a Suntour cyclone hub. I kept the Dura-Ace AX rear hub the bicycle originally came with and put the 26 " Matrix Iso-c aero rims on due to being lighter in weight .
Does your bike has star-shaped WB boss reinforcements? And does your bike resembles that of the OP? Thanks
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Old 03-01-22, 07:50 AM
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No star shaped water bottle bosses. Hopefully get this 10 posts out of the way to actually post pics of bike ..
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Old 03-01-22, 08:26 AM
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I can help you reach 10 posts with my questions Do you know the weight of the bike? Fisher mentioned the weight on years before 1985 and its hard to gather this info
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Old 03-02-22, 08:49 AM
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FINALLY 10 posts .. lol
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Old 03-02-22, 08:52 AM
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Weight is 26-27 lbs .
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Old 03-02-22, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Darme


FINALLY 10 posts .. lol
Congrats!!... and what a beauty she is. Its very similar to the OP's. Did you change the stem and the headset?
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Old 03-02-22, 04:59 PM
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The bars and stem were replaced by fisher due to bull moose bars being recalled. Head set is original ..
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Old 03-02-22, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Darme
The bars and stem were replaced by fisher due to bull moose bars being recalled. Head set is original ..
Got it!, so your bike was assembled very late in 1986 as the XT-m730 groupset was a 1987 issue (likely available in the Fall of 1986), the parts of earlier bike should follow catalog specs and come as the OPs with Dura Ace headset. I think the rims look well, specially since they are similarly anodized as the RM-20 that came stock. Tires I consider a good upgrade. Very nice and hard to see bike, thanks for sharing the pictures.
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Old 03-02-22, 06:16 PM
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Now we know what bike size Joe Murray rode. Is that a 19" ?
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Old 03-02-22, 06:23 PM
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Darme, Could you post a close up of the seat cluster side, front and back, it would be great to look at the details
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Old 03-02-22, 07:47 PM
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18” in size. Here is the original brochure I kept from the day. The specs were correct for the bike. As said earlier the only thing I changed was grips, rims , and of course bars due to original ones being recalled.
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Old 03-02-22, 08:01 PM
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If I remember correctly I ordered the bike when it first came out at Long Beach trade show 1985/86. I was working for a couple bicycle shops and racing extensively back in that era .
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Old 03-02-22, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Darme
If I remember correctly I ordered the bike when it first came out at Long Beach trade show 1985/86. I was working for a couple bicycle shops and racing extensively back in that era .
All agree with availability of components, perhaps they also changed the headset when they changed the stem/bars during the recall. It has very nice details, late 1985 as the OPs and also shares the NORBA Champions decal that its seen in late 1985 bikes
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Old 03-02-22, 08:22 PM
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I see some creeping, wavy lines under the paint...do check inside the seat tube for corrosion, they are also on the back of the headtube. Tange Prestige is sweet for rust.
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