1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    96' Gary Fisher Tassajra w/ RockShox Dart 1??

    I'm too looking to change my standard fork to suspension. Need some clarification. I have a 1996 Gary Fisher Tassajara - all stock components as described here but cannot tell if the headset is threaded or threadless... it says "steel" http://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/B...jara&Type=bike

    I found a RockShox Dart 1 suspension fork on amazon.com (chose this b/c I barely go offroad) but wanted to have some travel http://www.amazon.com/RockShox-Dart-.../dp/B003TZ3EYW

    I know my stock V-brakes will fit BUT will the Dart 1 fit my bike? Thank you all in advance.

  2. #2
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
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    Threaded vs. threadless is easy to tell from the stem. If you have a quill stem, you have a threaded headset. If you have the newer kind, you have threadless.

    This is a quill stem.


    You can see that the extension is welded onto the vertical part. Frequently, it's a single forging.

    This is a (overpriced) threadless stem. No vertical part, and lots more bolts.


    You didn't ask, but I wouldn't recommend putting a suspension fork on the front of a bike that didn't come with one. The geometry of the rest of the frame is designed around something with the ride height of the rigid fork it came with, and extra fork length can screw up the handling or even snap off the head tube. Fat tires will do a lot to mellow out a rough ride, and learning to ride smooth and light makes a big difference too. If you must go forward with this project, look for an 80mm fork, and try to get something nicer than the Dart. There are a lot of threads on "which fork for $xxx" so search around a little.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  3. #3
    Former Bike Wrench
    Reputation: mtnbiker72's Avatar
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    The Dart 1 is a pogo stick, no damper. Your better off with the stock cromoly fork and a fat front tire

  4. #4
    Picture Unrelated
    Reputation: zebrahum's Avatar
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    That link doesn't work to the bikepedia page, but as I own a '96 Tassajara I can tell you that the bike comes standard with a rigid 1 1/8" threaded steerer tube fork and does not have V brakes. Canti brakes will be able to be fitted to the Dart once you convert to threadless headset by use of a headset stack cable hanger. You'll need some extra height on the stack so make sure that the steerer tube is plenty long to fit all those spacers and be able to get a cable in there.

    I wouldn't suggest putting a Dart on anything as an upgrade, it's worth spending more if you're going to throw money at an old bike. Also, even at 80mm travel, my Tassajara rides really slack. I put a Fox Float on mine but it's because I wanted to resurrect my first real mountain bike into something I could ride and have fun on. So in order for me to put a new fork on (was already running V-brakes), I was in it for a fork, stem, headset, spacers, and I went for a new handlebar. Just things to think about in your upgrade quest.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  5. #5
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    ... and if we just ...

    Thank you all for your advice and suggestions. I did replace my old rigid fork with shocks... the new shocks just happen to come with a new bike Here are pics to see my new'ish Jekyll 500... purchased it @ craigslist for $400! I think this was a good deal as I saw other Jekyll 500s going for around a hundred dollars more. This one came with Avid BBDB disc brakes, albeit the older model... The seller also threw in a decent saris bike rack. So I think I made out pretty good. Would love to get everyone's thoughts as I'm such a noob' when it comes to MTBs.

    https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-C...2007.53.18.jpg

    https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-a...2007.55.09.jpg

    https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-s...2008.00.36.jpg

    https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-7...2007.56.21.jpg

    https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-F...2007.56.39.jpg

  6. #6
    R.I.P. DogFriend
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    None of the pics will show for me. I bought my daughter a Jekyll 500. I think they went for about $1,300 new back then. If it's in good shape that will be a nice bike.

    The Jekylls had a couple things to watch for. The biggest downside to the Jekyll 500 in particular is that they were all made before 2004, the year they started having the ProPedal valving on Jekyll rear shocks, and that is helpful in keeping the 'monkey motion' minimized on those bikes.

    The other thing to avoid in any Jekyll are the elevated chainstay models as the swingarms were prone to breakage.

    Can't see which one you have though.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffj View Post
    None of the pics will show for me. I bought my daughter a Jekyll 500. I think they went for about $1,300 new back then. If it's in good shape that will be a nice bike.

    The Jekylls had a couple things to watch for. The biggest downside to the Jekyll 500 in particular is that they were all made before 2004, the year they started having the ProPedal valving on Jekyll rear shocks, and that is helpful in keeping the 'monkey motion' minimized on those bikes.

    The other thing to avoid in any Jekyll are the elevated chainstay models as the swingarms were prone to breakage.

    Can't see which one you have though.
    Thank you for the heads-up! Will certainly look out for those. It's a 2003 according to bikepedia and yes it MSRP'd for $1300. I think I'm a few posts away from the minimum 10 that I'm supposed to have so that my pics/URLs are public. Just learned about this "Rule" after submitting.

    Everyone else please keep the comments coming as I'd like to get your thoughts as well!

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