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Early Fisher MountainBikes, Ritchey vs Teesdales?

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Early Fisher MountainBikes, Ritchey vs Teesdales?

Old 11-30-20, 01:08 PM
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Markeologist
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Early Fisher MountainBikes, Ritchey vs Teesdale?

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?















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Old 12-22-20, 09:01 PM
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Early Fisher MountainBikes

Beautiful machine you have there Markeologist. Love to see more than a seatpost pic!


As a long-time Fisher dealer, I may have answers to some of your questions.

> First the TET question. Tom Teesdale (RIP) made most of the Tams and presumably lots of the Everests (1984 -85 only?) and Competitions. However, Fisher contracted with other frame builders. They included excellent craftsmen like Brent Steelman and a handful of others.

> The Ritchey fastback style was spec-d by Fisher until mid-87 or so. Teesdale told me that he developed the seatstay wrap-over configuration (as seen in your yellow frame pic) and built some 1989-1988 frames using that technique. Fisher asked him to move to the new seatpost-clamp style as seen in the Mombat pic b/c the other frame builders couldn't replicate the wrap-over technique. (his words not mine) All of the final seatpost clamp models will be 1988-89.

> I do not have a record of a TET stamped frame with the fastback type clamp.

> I do have a load of these things and they are all unique in their own way. In addition to production improvements over time, each frame builder had subtle touches that are difficult to spot but add character.


And, I would love to compare your lists with my own.
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Old 12-22-20, 09:18 PM
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I've had a couple of Jeffrey Richman bikes and have been trying to find more info on him. From what I understand is he built frames for Fisher early on.
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Old 12-23-20, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by curbtender View Post
I've had a couple of Jeffrey Richman bikes and have been trying to find more info on him. From what I understand is he built frames for Fisher early on.
Jeffry Richman is not on my list of known Fisher frame builders. Judging from pics on the WWW, he certainly had the chops and was in the right place at the right time. According to Repac Rider, it looks like he produced a couple and maybe more.
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Old 12-23-20, 08:29 PM
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https://www.mtbr.com/threads/the-art...in-bike.258525
From post 51...

I can't believe I'm typing this....I spoke to Jeff Richman tonight.

He was very gracious, and told me about some of the history on the bikes we love.

Funny thing about his "Art" bike...it was the only bike from the show that sold...so it's out there somewhere!

He also told me he built two early customs for Gary Fisher a year before he built the bike for Mike C. that is in the Breezer pic...wow!



Steve
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Old 12-24-20, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by flacochico View Post
Beautiful machine you have there Markeologist. Love to see more than a seatpost pic!


As a long-time Fisher dealer, I may have answers to some of your questions.

> First the TET question. Tom Teesdale (RIP) made most of the Tams and presumably lots of the Everests (1984 -85 only?) and Competitions. However, Fisher contracted with other frame builders. They included excellent craftsmen like Brent Steelman and a handful of others.

> The Ritchey fastback style was spec-d by Fisher until mid-87 or so. Teesdale told me that he developed the seatstay wrap-over configuration (as seen in your yellow frame pic) and built some 1989-1988 frames using that technique. Fisher asked him to move to the new seatpost-clamp style as seen in the Mombat pic b/c the other frame builders couldn't replicate the wrap-over technique. (his words not mine) All of the final seatpost clamp models will be 1988-89.

> I do not have a record of a TET stamped frame with the fastback type clamp.

> I do have a load of these things and they are all unique in their own way. In addition to production improvements over time, each frame builder had subtle touches that are difficult to spot but add character.


And, I would love to compare your lists with my own.
As requested, here is a pic of my Fisher Comp I've posted elsewhere on BF. It has extremely rare Fisher aluminum clamp-on bullmoose bars which were subsequently recalled. Back in the day I narrowed the bars to lessen the amount of leverage I could place on them and in process I mounted the shifters inside the triangle....worked great.



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Old 12-26-20, 06:14 PM
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Early Fisher MountainBikes

I don't recall seeing an unpainted aluminum 1Bullmoose. It looks awesome!

Anybody know when Fisher's handlebar replacement program started? I have several 1986 ProCalibers that have various handlebar configurations. I have sorted them into states -in the spirit of Beatles Yesterday and Today "Butcher Covers". First state is an original aluminum Bullmoose bar (painted to match the frame), Second state is a chromed chromoly replacement Nitto Bullmoose (never seen one painted to match), and Third State is a chromoly Rhyno (Nitto) quill stem with the alloy roller (sometimes painted to match the frame or black). I don't remember if Fisher extended the Bullmoose or Rhyno stem option simultaneously (rider's choice) or if the Bullmoose came first and the Rhyno came later. I know that my shop had a giant stack of unsellable at any price Bullmoose bars that came off of used and new bikes during 1987. Bullmoose bars were uniformly rejected in favor of the new Rhyno type standard that swept the industry in 1987.

That is a nice maroon color. I have a 1986/7 Mt. Tam in that color. Do you happen to know the name of that color?

I've pics to post, but BF rules prohibit newbies from posting photos. Maybe someday I will be permitted.
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Old 12-26-20, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by flacochico View Post
I don't recall seeing an unpainted aluminum 1Bullmoose. It looks awesome!

Anybody know when Fisher's handlebar replacement program started? I have several 1986 ProCalibers that have various handlebar configurations. I have sorted them into states -in the spirit of Beatles Yesterday and Today "Butcher Covers". First state is an original aluminum Bullmoose bar (painted to match the frame), Second state is a chromed chromoly replacement Nitto Bullmoose (never seen one painted to match), and Third State is a chromoly Rhyno (Nitto) quill stem with the alloy roller (sometimes painted to match the frame or black). I don't remember if Fisher extended the Bullmoose or Rhyno stem option simultaneously (rider's choice) or if the Bullmoose came first and the Rhyno came later. I know that my shop had a giant stack of unsellable at any price Bullmoose bars that came off of used and new bikes during 1987. Bullmoose bars were uniformly rejected in favor of the new Rhyno type standard that swept the industry in 1987.

That is a nice maroon color. I have a 1986/7 Mt. Tam in that color. Do you happen to know the name of that color?

I've pics to post, but BF rules prohibit newbies from posting photos. Maybe someday I will be permitted.
You can download them and they can be viewed in your albums. Takes 10 post before you can put them in your replys.
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Old 12-27-20, 12:56 PM
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In 1985, only Bullmoose bars were available (as per my 85 Fisher catalog) across the full Fisher line up (Comp, Mt. Tam, Excalibur, and Montare...no Everest listed). When I viewed frames at Fisher's Indian Summer Sale, I only recall seeing Bullmoose bars . some of the American hand-built frames (Comps, Mt. Tams, AND Everests) had painted to match clamp-on (threadless) chromoly handlebars but many had no matching bars (to be fitted with clamp-on alloys of buyers choice, low or high reach as I recall). Unpainted clamp-on alloys were standard on the 18 and 19 inch Excaliburs and chromoly on larger sizes and all Montares had painted to match chromoly quill versions. When I bought my 85 Comp, I had choice of high or low rise alloy clamp-on bars and all the alloys were raw/unpainted.

My 1986 Fisher catalog indicates only Bullmoose across range with the American built bikes having choice of alloy or chromoly clamp-on bars painted to match while the ProCaliber had only clamp-on alloy bars painted to match frame. The ProCaliber, as per catalog, used an expander stub to attach the bars rather than a longer threadless fork tube as found on the American-built bikes.

In the 1987 Fisher catalog, Bullmoose bars are gone, replaced by "one of our newest accomplishments" the special Rhino Stem. Sometime in this period the alloy clamp-on bars as found on some of the 85 and 86 models were recalled, presumably to be replaced with the Rhino.

This is all before the company name changed to "Gary Fisher" it was only "Fisher MountainBikes" during the period after the split with Ritchey, and Kelly and Fisher had also parted ways. Fisher MountainBikes moved from the small shop in San Anselmo over to East Francisco Blvd. in San Rafael. According to the price list for Fisher's Indian Summer Sale which was held at the East Francisco establishment, my frame is listed as "maroon" my frame was painted by CyclArt down in Vista, CA. Several other frames at the sale including the Camo-, Tiger- and Zebra-painted Everests were also painted at CyclArt. The price list indicates that the Everests are all 1985s but as noted above, the 1985 Fisher catalog does not mention Everests at all. Interestingly, Everests are found in Ritchey's catalogs. I've heard that some of the early "Fisher MountainBikes" were still Ritchy-built frames in 85...basically leftovers from the "Ritchey-MountainBike" days. This could explain the Everests and as I have noted, folks in these parts have remarked that mine looks to be a Ritchey-built frame. Though presumably the earliest Fisher bikes likely used the Ritcheys as a template.

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Old 01-10-21, 11:47 AM
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Early Fisher MountainBikes

OK! found time to post a few pics of my late 86 early 87 maroon Mt. Tam. Check my Photo Gallery.
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Old 01-10-21, 03:27 PM
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Picture assist

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Old 01-10-21, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by flacochico View Post
OK! found time to post a few pics of my late 86 early 87 maroon Mt. Tam. Check my Photo Gallery.
What's the number of your Tam that I think Curbtender graciously posted for you?
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Old 01-18-21, 05:32 PM
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Thank you Curbtender for the re-post. As pictured, this Tam has the proper head and downtube badges but no Mt. Tam decal.
It came to me used and equipped with a Shimano 600 headset; Dura-Ace hubs and cassette; Deore XT M-700 f. der; New XT (SIS) M-730 shifters, r. der, and cranks; Superbe Pro seatpost w/ the Hite-rite; Suntour XC brake levers, rollercam, and XC Compe pedals.
It has the scalloped but not beveled seat collar with the early fast-back seatpost clamp. The bottle mount braze-ons do not have the reinforcement stars like many of the later (and earlier) models. The seatstay rack mounts are modern and less like threaded washers than the early Fishers and Ritcheys.
It has a Nitto roller-stem and Fisher aluminum handle bar.
The ideal desert trail set-up. Replace the chain and brake pads from time to time and the bearings hardly ever -- and everything on this bike will run perfectly and last forever.
Similarly numbered 19" Tams were Real Teal blue or dark blue to light blue fade or yellow to green fades. This is the only Maroon Tam I have in my database so I will assume a custom color.
The serial # is 19T96 which puts it in the late '86 to early '87 build range.
# 19T95 appears as a blue-blue fade on Retrobike. (It is the one re-popped in red with Columbus logos on it.)
19T93 and 94 were Real Teal and similarly had no Mt. Tam decals applied. BUT they did incorporate stared bottle mounts and used the washer style rack mounts. I suspect that they were built by a different frame builder than the builder of my maroon example. 19T93 is shown with a bullmoose and it is possible that the maroon example here was retrofitted with the later bar/stem combo.
Would love to compare other databases to get a more complete idea of what was going on at that time.
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Old 01-21-21, 12:21 PM
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Such a cool thread, Love it.

here is a pic of my 1986 Montare in Forest Green. mostly all original except for Tires/tubes and chain/cables

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Old 01-23-21, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Markeologist View Post
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?
I'll do appreciate a scan of that flyer if possible . Regarding your frame, it does carries Ritchey's/MountainBikes 1984 Competition format ssCnn (ss=size/C=Competition/nn=serial number). Fishers personal 1983 Competition has that same fake lug/seatpost support rounded bottom end that differs from most ending on a downfacing arrow facing the front. I would say is more likely your frame was done by Ritchey than by Teedale. Ritchey had some help at a time, I wonder if those not ending on a arrow tip were finish by someone other than him; however all I know for sure is that by 1987-8 he was finishing all by himself as likely when he started making frames for Mountainbikes. Beautiful lugs on your bike nevertheless.

Cheers
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Old 01-26-21, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Santuri32 View Post
I'll do appreciate a scan of that flyer if possible . Regarding your frame, it does carries Ritchey's/MountainBikes 1984 Competition format ssCnn (ss=size/C=Competition/nn=serial number). Fishers personal 1983 Competition has that same fake lug/seatpost support rounded bottom end that differs from most ending on a downfacing arrow facing the front. I would say is more likely your frame was done by Ritchey than by Teedale. Ritchey had some help at a time, I wonder if those not ending on a arrow tip were finish by someone other than him; however all I know for sure is that by 1987-8 he was finishing all by himself as likely when he started making frames for Mountainbikes. Beautiful lugs on your bike nevertheless.
Cheers
Just a few more comments. I studied the Competition info from the 1983 and 1984 catalogs, the color of your bike may be the "dark burgundy", described in the 1983 K&F Mountain Bikes Catalog, when the bike still carried the RitcheyMountainBikes downtube decal. In an '87 interview Fisher was describing how he felt he was losing the company to Ritchey, something you can read in the '83 catalog " we are still handling Ritchey frames but look for K&F MountainBikes in the future". In the interview he mentioned how he pulled all the Ritchey names from everywhere and contracted Teesdale. Then the 1984 catalog describes the Competition very similarly to the '83 model, i.e., same weight and same dark metallic burgundy color was available. I had only access to a parts Catalog for the '85 Fisher year, so I can't comment on those bikes, but I have seen another '85 Competition with Ritchey style fastback stays and with the lower straight border of the seat lug collar. I can only imagine your bike was still a left over from the 1983-84 "separation" period.
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Old 01-26-21, 04:15 PM
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This beauty!
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Old 01-26-21, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by flacochico View Post
I don't recall seeing an unpainted aluminum 1Bullmoose. It looks awesome!

Anybody know when Fisher's handlebar replacement program started? I have several 1986 ProCalibers that have various handlebar configurations. I have sorted them into states -in the spirit of Beatles Yesterday and Today "Butcher Covers". First state is an original aluminum Bullmoose bar (painted to match the frame), Second state is a chromed chromoly replacement Nitto Bullmoose (never seen one painted to match), and Third State is a chromoly Rhyno (Nitto) quill stem with the alloy roller (sometimes painted to match the frame or black). I don't remember if Fisher extended the Bullmoose or Rhyno stem option simultaneously (rider's choice) or if the Bullmoose came first and the Rhyno came later. I know that my shop had a giant stack of unsellable at any price Bullmoose bars that came off of used and new bikes during 1987. Bullmoose bars were uniformly rejected in favor of the new Rhyno type standard that swept the industry in 1987.

That is a nice maroon color. I have a 1986/7 Mt. Tam in that color. Do you happen to know the name of that color?

I've pics to post, but BF rules prohibit newbies from posting photos. Maybe someday I will be permitted.
Hi Flacochico,

Is possible the color of both bikes is Dark Firethorn, which was offered in the 1983 top models, including the Competition, I did a quick google check and is a close match, I I think I was off on the Burgundy
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Old 10-06-21, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Markeologist View Post
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).
I'll take you on your kind offer. Do you have info. about 22E22 or 19E8? Does your '85 catalog has geometry, available colors or specs on Competition and Mt. Tam model bikes?

I found a price list of Fisher MountainBikes date September 1984 (Likely for 85 year bike models) that mentions the Everest, Competition and Mt.Tam

I appreciate your response

Santuri
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Old 10-06-21, 04:11 PM
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here is the September 1984

catalog page mentioning the models
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Old 10-07-21, 07:51 AM
  #21  
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Sorry, neither 22E22 or 19E8 are listed in the Indian Summer Sale flyer. There is a used 22 inch 1984 Everest in Metallic Dark Blue that is listed as number “2222” which seems odd and potential typo. At the sale there were a fair amount of Everests for sale: 3 used, 5 new, and 17 frames which could be bought bare or built out.

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Old 10-07-21, 07:57 AM
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Here is spec sheet for the 1985 lineup (Excalibur was one year, to be replaced by ProCaliber, but it was a late introduction); two domestic hand builts, the Mt Tam and Competition, and their Japanese-built counterparts, the Montare and Excalibur. Note no Everest models listed.

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Old 10-07-21, 08:14 AM
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Spec sheets for Competition and Mt Tam for 1986 run.
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Old 10-07-21, 12:42 PM
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While it isn't the same caliber as the bikes discussed here I wish I could have kept my '89 HKII, which I believe was made in Mexico. It was a great riding bike but I was offered a free Campi Olympus equipped Cannondale MTB but had to sell my HKII, no switching of components. I think the HKII would have been fabulous with that Olympus.

For a MTB I like the idea of that bike 1 1/4" Evolution headset but always though it need a bit more threads on the top nut to make it more solid.
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Old 10-08-21, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Markeologist View Post
Here is spec sheet for the 1985 lineup (Excalibur was one year, to be replaced by ProCaliber, but it was a late introduction); two domestic hand builts, the Mt Tam and Competition, and their Japanese-built counterparts, the Montare and Excalibur. Note no Everest models listed.
This is awesome, thank you so much for sharing it, now the 87 is only one I have left to see . I was making a database of bikes to get the specs of but colors was difficult as bikes could have been repainted and so components.
Thank you

Last edited by Santuri32; 10-08-21 at 09:22 AM. Reason: duplicate pic
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