Restoring An Old Mountain Bike

How To's/Tech Tips Main

Ok, it’s not that old. It’s a few years from its prime but it was really really really neglected. The owner left it on her porch for a year while she lived right next to the beach in Santa Monica. The sun, combined with the sea air took its toll on this Gary Fisher Tassajara.

This drive train was pretty bad. I couldn’t even shift the gears at all.

Here’s a shot of the old chain compared to what a chain should look like.

This is what a little bit of salty sea air can do to your chain.

Poor poor LX…all it wanted was some TLC….ah but wait, its going to get some RLP….

Cables rusted out.

Here’s a comparison between the new and old cable. The lower cable is the old one.

During the install of the new cables, I lubed up the noodle with some Purple Extreme to help with smoother braking.

Here’s a list of parts that I used to get this bad boy back on the trails.
-SRAM 8 speed chain
-WTB Velociraptor Rear Tire
-Bontrager Big Kahuna Front Tire
-2 Bontrager Schrader tubes
-1 Set of Bontrager 5mm brake cables and housing
-1 Set of Bontrager 4mm derailleur cables and housing
-Feruls, and end caps
-1 Fat Tire Amber Ale

After a few hours of soaking, scrubbing and cleaning the drive train as well as installing all of the parts. The Gary Fisher Tassajara was back in action.

Look at that shinny drive train…Uber smooth!

Restoring the Gary Fisher was very fun. The parts retailed near $150, that’s still cheaper than having to buy a new bike. Sometimes when you are in a situation where you have to make a tough choice of either replacing your old bike or buy a new one. Back in its day, the Tassajara would have been a great mid-range hard tail.

A bit of detailing spray and this puppy looks even better!

Heck even now the MSRP on a new Tassajara would be around $700. So if you compared $150 (parts) to $700(new bike) restoring would make more sense. Besides our project bike here had some really good qualities such as the awesome frame and decent and still in great working condition parts which made it a great candidate for a restoration project.

Who knows, maybe your old bike might just save you some money.

Here’s an action shot of Melissa, the owner enjoying her born again bike!

RL Policar

RL Policar is an avid mountain biker and the Editor In-Chief of and Between the two sites, he's published well over 4,000 articles (and growing).

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