Saturday, January 28, 2017

1985 Fisher Competition

I've never really been a big fan of Fishers and don't expect to ever own one. I feel like if you're going to own a common NorCal steel bike might as well get a Ritchey. All that aside there is a lot to like about this bike. Full fillet brazed frame famously raced Joe Murray up and down on the early NORBA circuit and the read/yellow/black paintjob is one of the more iconic ones from that era.

I originally acquired this bike as a package deal with a very nice 1985 Potts. I didn't really want this bike, but buying it meant I was able to get the more impressive Potts. This is what it originally looked like. The bones were there, but it needed a period correct stem, matching rims and a few drivetrain components swapped out.

A friend of mine was selling a nice Bullmoose bar which was perfect for the bike, so after a matching coat of paint that was sorted. 

I was able to source a nice quill stem adapter which had to trimmed down to size to match the head tube and stem length, all in all it worked out rather well.

Purpose built mountain bike headsets and hubs were still in their nascent stages of development so the common trend in equipment selection in NorCal was to use high end road bike parts. This Fisher features an early Dura Ace headset and hubset, with a 600EX crankset and freewheel. 

I'm not one to build bikes with Biopace but the new owner and I agreed that it actually works on this build as a racer at the time might have opted for the newest and best components offered which would have included Biopace <cough cough> technology.

Look Geoff, metal toe clips... hope you're happy!

The remainder of the drivetrain is Shimano's new Deerhead XT grouppo. This was Shimano's first foray into mountain bike specific components and was the start of their eventual dominance in the developing marker.

While a normal bar/stem combo would have also worked here, the matching Bullmoose bar really makes the bike stand out.

The DA hubs had to be modified with a longer axle and some extra spacers to fit the wider rear spacing usd on mountain bikes.

If you didn't have a cable stop or didn't want to route the cable under the BB Shimano had a solution for you by adding a cable stop to the front derailleur. 

Finding a matching Saturae HX22 rim proved to be one of the more difficult tasks on this build, happy it worked out in the end. If you ever thought that mounting tires on early Mavic MA40s was tough, you should try the HX22s!!! I was going to mount some Fisher Fattrax to really make this bike 100% correct, but for the life of me I couldn't get them onto the rims. So, instead a nice pair of Ground Controls will have to suffice.

The details on this fillet brazed fork are one of my favorite features of this bike, it's a really elegant fork and everything is blended smoothly and with a lot of attention to detail.

I'm happy to see this bike back in original trim and hope it gets to see some dirt one of these days. Onto the next project.


  1. Sweet bike, but damn I detest that front derailleur housing route. Perfect for trapping water and letting it sit in the bottom of that loop and corrode everything.

  2. The out of focus photo makes me so sad :-( any chance you can re-take and re-post?

    1. If it was the first photo you were referring to then I fixed that one. Thanks!