ASK MBA: HOW DO I FIND VINTAGE MOUTAIN BIKE INFORMATION FOR RESTORATION?

OLD BIKES NEED LOVE, TOO

This Gary Fisher bike looks like it probably comes from the early ‘90s, but to get more precise than that, more research is needed.

OLD BIKES NEED LOVE, TOO

Q: Is there any info about restoring Gary Fisher bikes? I rescued a Kaitai 19-inch frame. It’s a U.S.-made bike, and I would like to restore it to what it was when new. Is there a way to get info via frame number? I don’t have wheels, brakes or controls. It has minor damage on the frame, handlebars, neck, Fox forks, chain wheels, crankarms, and front and rear derailleurs. It seems very restorable. Any input will be useful.
Bernard Lajoie
Tempe, Arizona

A: Hi, Bernard. It’s great to hear that you are saving an old bike from the scrap bin. Without seeing the bike, it’s hard to say what model year it is, but that is the first thing you should figure out. We are not aware of any sort of online serial-number decoder, but Trek owned Gary Fisher bikes, so you might start by reaching out to a local dealer. You can also compare online photos to what you have and narrow down the model year that way. Your best bet is to join vintage mountain bike groups on Facebook to post photos and ask there. They are full of extremely knowledgeable and helpful people who know a lot about older bikes. These groups and eBay are also great sources for parts to bring your bike back to its original form.

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