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  1. #1
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    Community Restomod - 2002 Gary Fisher 29er - advice wanted

    Hi - first time poster on this forum. I bought my first mtb the summer before college in 1995. Rode that Mongoose Rockadile throughout college and was hooked, even skipping classes just to go ride. I built that bike over time, but stopped riding after college as I lived in a city. The bike was stolen last year and I hope the seat falls off and the thief gets impaled on the stock seat post.

    I just bought my second mtb and it's a well-used 2002 Gary Fisher 29er (19 inch frame). It has a 3x9 drivetrain and I just found out last night there's such a thing as 1x12 now! The bike was taken care of, but is a 15 year old bike and I want to build it back up - smartly and inexpensively - for normal riding on trails. That's where I need your help especially since I've not picked up a magazine or read about MTBs in over 10 years!!

    Goal: solid bike for trails; light weight is good, but not paramount; budget-friendly = used parts are fine; I will DIY (with your tutelage); end up with a cool looking bike (I like Singer Porsche 911s, though I can't afford one, as a reference )

    Location: near Boston MA

    Top priorities:

    - WHEELS: needs a new set as the surface that the brake pads contact have developed a concave groove. Can folks point me to a site or ad for good wheels at a better price? What should I be looking for?
    - TIRES: recommendations wanted, but this is one of the first 29ers (so I've read) so clearance may limit width. What width do I want anyway?
    - Shifting: shifting is slow to respond in certain gears, so a tuneup is needed. Any good links for a DIY?
    - Fit: I'm about 5-9 with a 30 inch inseam. The bike feels big. Should I get a shorter stem?
    - Pedals: I'll use the Time ATAC pedals from my old bike (only thing left from her). Or are there clipless platform pedals that don't weight a ton? I ride around with my young kids, so maybe this is the best solution.

    Please let me know if you can think of anything else I should address. If you have good parts you think I NEED, let me know. Thanks!!
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  2. #2
    WillWorkForTrail
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    The problem you're going to run into is this: I quickly checked three of my favorite sites for finding parts quickly, and none of them even had an option to narrow wheel searches down by rim brake - everything was disc. I'd highly recommend you check the vintage/retro/classic forum. I doubt you're going to be able to do a great deal of updating on that bike for anything that resembles "cheap" but you certainly found a killer retro ride.

  3. #3
    Just Ride!
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    I had an '02 Supercal 29 which was the same frame, but a different alloy blend and paint scheme. When I first started riding it, I ran rim brakes as well, but soon opted for disc brakes the first time I rode in snow and ice. You can probably still get the optional disc brake adapter and that would give a lot more wheel options plus better tubeless comparability if that is important.

  4. #4
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    Youre gonna have a tough time finding new wheelset. I'd be checking ebay and pinkbike classifieds. The entire industry has switched over to disc specific wheels with thru axles. You need quick release, rim brake, 29" wheels. Worst case is you might have to have your hubs relaced to some new rims.

    Try to find tires around the 2" wide mark

    You will need to check the chain, chainrings, and cassette for wear. Those parts are not too hard to find. You'll need new cables and housing. I have an entire 3x9 drivetrain sitting in my parts box. Pm me if you need/want to change it out. Check out Park tool youtube for good how-tos.

    Good luck and have fun
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  5. #5
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    Thank you all for the replies! I went for a loop around a local walking trail (where bikes are allowed) and it was good to ride the trails again - for the first time in almost 20 years...

    Based on your suggestions, and the fact that the wheels are out-of-round and the XTR hubs make a whirrrrrring noise, I will look into:

    - a disc brake adapter for the rear; the fork is disc-ready
    - used 29 inch wheels for disc brakes
    - used brakes and rotors front and rear

    ? - Do I need new brake levers for disc brakes?
    ? - Should I take this opportunity to go with a 1x11 drivetrain?


    The cassette and maybe even the chain rings have been replaced - the previous owner is a racer and treats his bikes like his kids.

    I know it may be unwise to spend the money on this bike, but I tend to get attached to my toys with wheels (still have a Monster Beetle remote control car from 30+ years ago) and I won't be racing any time soon. I see keeping this bike for a long time.

    the_joe: I'll keep your offer in mind. Thank you.

  6. #6
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    If you could find avid bb7 mechanical brake calipers, i think your brake levers would work. They are made to be used with the avid levers thouh. Hydraulic brakes are more common these days. You can usually find shimano slx hydraulic brakes complete for $75 per side on Jenson usa.

    If the drivetrain is in good shape, i would use it until it is worn out. 1x11 is nice though
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  7. #7
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    Try looking for a sun-ringle rhyno lite wheelset, those come in a machined sidewall version still widely available, like these

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00D2...ID=71ZFmTZ47kL
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  8. #8
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    We have a bike shop around here that sells only used bikes. I am sure they have some wheels that you would need. Check around and see if you have any shops like that. Or check some really small local shops.
    I don't think an adapter for a disc brake is a great idea if you are riding any kind of steep trails.
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  9. #9
    Just Ride!
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfgiantsfan View Post
    I don't think an adapter for a disc brake is a great idea if you are riding any kind of steep trails.
    The disc adapter is a great idea! It is made for that frame specifically by Trek/Fisher and bolts straight on to work tons better than rim brakes. I ran one on mine for over ten years.
    Trek International Disc Brake Mount - www.trekbicyclesuperstore.com

  10. #10
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    Time for an update. I debated going with disc brakes, but in the end wanted to save a few dollars and most importantly, didn't like the fact that the disc adapters' bolts would be in shear relative to the brake forces.

    Thanks for the Sun Rhyno Lite suggestions - that's what I went with. I bought them from Nashbar during one of their sales.

    I also bought WTB tires and tubes that were on sale. So for about $160, my bike has new shoes.

    The next update will be about the brake pads and general maintenance.

    Community Restomod - 2002 Gary Fisher 29er - advice wanted-img_6291.jpgCommunity Restomod - 2002 Gary Fisher 29er - advice wanted-img_6302.jpgCommunity Restomod - 2002 Gary Fisher 29er - advice wanted-img_6292.jpgCommunity Restomod - 2002 Gary Fisher 29er - advice wanted-img_6294.jpg

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