I just finished Charlie Kelly’s excellent book on the founding years of mountain biking, and was jonesing to experience one of the early generation of purpose built frame sets when my buddy Jeff discovered this little gem on Craigslist. He picked it up for a song, and hot damn, was I jealous. You just don’t find something like this everyday. Lucky for me, he found one in a larger size and flipped this my way making himself a tidy profit in the process.
What you’re looking at is a very early Fisher MountainBikes Tom Ritchey built Mt. Tam. One of the first to be offered after Fisher and Kelly dissolved their partnership in MountainBikes and Fisher MountainBikes was born. From a message with Gary Fisher “That’s a B frame made by Tom Ritchey. 23″ center to center. The 35th of that size. They cost me $50 for an unpainted frame without fork. I provided the tubing.”
1984 Fisher MountainBikes Mt. Tam
Frame: Ritchey “B” Series – Size 23″
Shimano XT: Shifters, Brake Levers, Derailleurs, Brakes
Cranks : Takagi Tourney XT
Headset: Campagnolo Nuovo Record – not original
Bull moose: Nitto Stamped Mountainbikes
Saddle: Avocet Touring 1
These are the parts that I know are not original to the bike: rear derailleur (though correct), headset, bull moose bars, seat post, saddle (though correct), grips (though period correct), front skewer (though periodish correct)
The bike was sold through NOW sports in Minneapolis who was one of the earliest dealers of mtb’s in the Twin Cities. Selling Fishers and Ritcheys eventually.
Here’s the deal, I am looking to put together an early 80’s period bike to go do the Pearl Pass Tour, having been thoroughly inspired by Charlie’s book and these photos from the 1981 edition. I can ride this thing, but would be better off with a 21 or 22″ bike. I’m looking for an early Ritchey, complete bike or preferably a frameset, to build up for the task. This is too rare of an example, and too complete for me to go just tearing apart and hanging XTR on. Even I am not that much of a heathen. This bike is my trade bait. If you’ve got something and want to talk deal, let me know.
The star of this bike is most definitely Tom’s lovely fillet brazing
A stunner for sure!