Strengths: Solid, well built bike with fantastic handling and looks great too. I bought this bike 10 years ago and have moved from the MB tires to more of a smooth hybrid type tire and getting around town is a breeze. Normally dont ride over 25 miles but it handles that just as well as my old road bike (maybe not quite as fast).
Weaknesses: My shifters have given me a bit of trouble over time but that is pretty typical for a 10 YO bike. Have had no trouble other than that. Some people might not like the dark green but to me it looks good.
GREAT bike! If you can find one BUY IT.
a All Mountain Rider
from San Francisco CA
Date Reviewed: February 22, 2012
Strengths: Handling. Handling. Handling. I just love this bike! It loves to climb and once you get used to the geometry, it loves to descend. That does take a little getting used to, though. The bike is gorgeous too with the polished aluminum frame. I have two sets of wheels for it so with the street tires it makes a grate urban assault bike.
Weaknesses: The only real problem is the Rock Shox Judy XC. It is still functional but there is no adjustment left so I have it crank all the way to max.
I went in to a consignment shop to sell my girlfriends old snow board and saw this bike in the rack for $400! It fit me so I took it around the block and had to have it. It had never been ridden. Not a single scratch on the pedals (that is not the case anymore) and all the little rubber teats were still on the 12 year old tires! This thing is a blast on the trails. I was a die hard steel frame road snob before but this bike changed all that. My road bike is getting a little dusty with this new kid in town. Especially with having a set of road wheels for it, I jam around town and ride out to the beach and tear up the actual mountain it was named for- Mt. Tamalpais. This baby does it all and well. Buy one if you can find one. -Diamond D
Favorite Trail: Marsh Trail Annadel State Park and anything on Mt. Tam
Duration Product Used: 2 Years
Purchased At: ReMatch Sports It wa
Similar Products Used: Basso steel frame road bike with all Dura Ace
Bike Setup: 1998 Gary Fisher Mt Tam Hardtail
Welded aluminum 17.5" frame.
Color: Polished Aluminum
Tubing: Easton 6061
Fork: Rock Shox Judy XC
Group: Shimano Deore XT/LX (mostly LX)
Brake set: Deore
Shift Levers: Deore LX Rapid Fire
Front Derailleur:Deore LX
Rear Derailleur: Deore XT SGS
Crank Set:D-LX 22-32-42
Pedals: Shimano SPD PD-M535 Clipless
Bottom Bracket: BB-UN52 113mm, 73mm English
Rear Cogs: Deore LX 11-12-14-16-18-21-24-28 for trails, Deore LX 12-13-14-16-17-19-21-23 for street
Chain: Shimano CN-IG70 1/2x3/32
Seat Post: Bontrager Comp 27.2mm
Saddle: Ritchey Comp Marathon V2
Handle Bar: Bontrager Race with Ergon GX-1 Grips(these are AWESOME!)
Handle Bar Extensions: Fisher Fish Fins
Stem: System 2
Wheels: Mavic 221 with LX Hubs and Tioga Psycho K/T Tires 26x1.95 for trails, Mavic 237s with LX Hubs and Vittoria Randonneur Cross Tires 26x1.75
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: June 16, 2008
Strengths: This bikes a billy goat climbing up a mountain. Its light, fast and really needs no rider when it'll happily climb a hill on its own steam. Gotta admit that going downhill can be a little scary when all it wants to do is race F1 cars or atleast match their speed.
Weaknesses: She's a damn bright colour and seems to attract punctures on a weekly basis but that might be due to the area i live in.
I've had this bike for 2 years now and though i don't get as much time to ride her lately. everytime i go out on her she offers me so much joy. I mock those slow riders and laugh at the fools pushing their bikes up hill when all i need do is just shift my weight and by beauty does all the work. The Mt Tam is a very fast and very sexy feeling bike. if only my girlfriend was a little bit the same.
a Weekend Warrior
from Brooklyn, NY
Date Reviewed: June 19, 2007
Strengths: Light, fast, well-balanced, has been reliable for over 10 years
Weaknesses: slightly tight cornering, stock Judy front shock isn't very stiff
I have been using this bike exclusively since I bought it in 1997. Being my first real mountain bike, it has a special place in my heart. I wouldn't trade it for anything! If you're a bit of a gearhead and you like to tinker, this bike responds very well to upgrading. All qualms aside, this is (was) one of the lightest and most enjoyable hardtails out there. I'm gonna have to get something else eventually but I just can't bring myself to do it. I'll be riding this one until it's a pile of shavings.
Not surprisingly, it benefited greatly from being upgraded. I have never replaced any of the major components but I got some noticeable improvements with just minor upgrades, mostly regarding the weight. New CF handlebars, seatpost and saddle and super-lightweight calipers brought the weight down quite a bit and the bike became more responsive and swift. The stock front-end is too mushy, even at its highest setting. What can I expect from a low-end shock from 1997, anyway? I am going to give it a complete overhaul soon and I think it'll be as good as new. Frame is still solid. I haven't abused it much so it's held up just great.
Purchased At: Sunflower Bike Shop, Lawrence, KS (1997)
Similar Products Used: Cannondale full-suspension, Specialized RockHopper
Bike Setup: stock: chain, crank, deraileur, front shock, wheels upgrades: carbon-fibre seatpost and handlebars, aluminum bar ends, better stem, racing saddle, super-lightweight calipers and different brakepads
Jason Van Elderen
a Weekend Warrior
from Grand Rapids, MI
Date Reviewed: April 17, 2004
Strengths: Genesis geometry Wango Mango
Weaknesses: Frame creaks a bit
I'm a big guy (260 lbs) and I was a bit skeptical about an aluminum frame. It was a good deal from a friend so I had to get it. This frame has held up incredibly. I just overhauled the whole thing, replaced all of my drivetrain and brake components and finally retired the Future Shock Pro that I've run with for 7 years and two bikes. Its a pretty light frame, but still beefy enough to handle some rough stuff. Although I will probably go with a steel frame next time, I don't regret buying the Mt. Tam. If you can find a used one for a reasonable price, snag it.
Bike Setup: XT front/rear, Marzocchi EXR Pro, Bontrager/Velocity wheels
Date Reviewed: June 10, 2003
Strengths: Genesis Genesis and Genesis. The geometry is just the best out there...at least in my opinion! And after 5 years of racing, the frame is still strong.
Weaknesses: Bontrager components. I hope that Bontrager improved their products since 1998! Thus the reason why the overall Chilis is at 4.
I Purchased this bike at the beginning of the 1998 race season...and have been racing with it ever since...Why? Why change something great? Oh sure, most parts have been replaced over the past few years (the Bontrager Race wheels had to be changed after two years, the SID this year) but the overall performance of this bike made it unnecessary t change.
So if you are looking for a good second hand bike, a Gary Fisher will do the job!
Similar Products Used: Specialized M2, Mongoose NX7.2
Bike Setup: XTR Braket set and levers, XT Crank and Shifters, Mavic Cross Ride wheelset, Duke XC Fork
a Cross Country Rider
from Minot, ND
Date Reviewed: April 17, 2000
Strengths: I love the way it climbs. Really smooth
Weaknesses: The icon pedals suck, they don't work for me anyway
I love this bike. i bought it for 900 bucks in november of 98. It was brand new so i couldn't pass it up. The ride is super smooth, especially with the seat shock. the bottom line is if you want a quick hardtail and you find a good price i would buy it. If you want to rip downhills it is good, but not the best. The fork absorbs and rebounds very well. I would however, change the pedals and maybe the siguno 700x crank- why is this on it.
Similar Products Used: specialized stumpjumper or something
Bike Setup: XTR/XT components, Manitou XC fork, mavic crossland wheels/rims
a Cross-Country Rider
from Vancouver, BC
Date Reviewed: July 31, 1999
Strengths: Climbs like a bandit Nearly indestructible
Weaknesses: Must pay attention on cornering
Simply awesome. I rode (and crashed and bailed) many on the North Shore trails and at Squamish and I don't think I can break this thing. It survived a 30mph crash into a concrete bridge abutment that left me dazed and confused with only a bend in the front deraillur guide. Makes me climb well and I'm only now getting some skill at it. Only drawback I can think of is its cornering in switchbacks. Turns real tight, but the long top tube lets the front and back end do different things if you don't pay attention. also it (or I ) seems to be merciless on rear tires.
Bike Setup: Mt. Tam, Manitou SX r, crossland's basicly stock.
a weekend warrior
from Salt Lake City, Utah
Date Reviewed: March 4, 1999
Got this bike used, but with King/Bontranger wheels & Ibis handlebar. Paid $1200. Not too light, and not too heavy, which I like. The ride isn't bad for Aluminium. The Sugino cranks have to go, I got replacement chainrings when I bought it, and broke them in a week. Probably going to get RaceFace Next, XT 98 ( I hate the way the new stuff looks), or XTR to replace it. The Avid brakes are good, but I'd have preferred XT or XTR becasue they use a bearing instead of a bushing. Overall, I am very happy with the bike, taking off 1 star for the cranks.
from GREAT BRITAIN
Date Reviewed: December 18, 1998
I BOUGHT MY TAM AT THE START OF THE NATIONAL POINT SERIES IN MARCH THIS YEAR.INFACT, I TOOK DELIVERY THE DAY BEFORE THE FIRST ROUND AT MARGAM PARK ,SOUTH WALES.IT WAS A FOUR HOUR DRIVE FROM SHEFFIELD AND THE BIKE WAS STILL IN THE BOX.ON ARRIVAL I EMPTIED MY NEW TOY OUT OF THE VAN (TRUCK TO YOU YANKS), AND OH NO , SHOCK HORROR!!!!!! THAT STEM WILL HAVE TO GO! FAR TO LOW, IS THAT!! SO ,TO COMPROMISE, ON WENT AN X-LITE RISER.THE BIKE CLIMBED SUPPERBLY, AND WAS SURPRISINGLY GENTLE ON THE DOWN SLOPES.ANYHOW I CRASHED OUT ,COMPLETING JUST TWO OUT OF FOUR LAPS.THE REASON? TWO REASONS.FIRSTLY,THE ICON PEDALS FITTED TO THE BIKE ARE NOT COMPATIBLE WITH SHIMANO CLEATS, CONTRADICTING THE INFORMATION I WAS GIVEN BEFORE THE RACE .SECONDLY , SUGINO 700 CHAINSETS WOULD SERVE A MUCH BETTER PURPOSE BEING THROWN OUT OF A PATHFINDER SQUADRON OF B17's OVER BAGDAD.THIS PIECE OF FERRET DROPPING SERIOSLY LETS THE BIKE DOWN. THE CHAINLINE WAS WAY OUT,THUS CHAIN GAMES ARE INEVITABLE.YOU CAN'T TUNE THIS PROBLEM AWAY.SO MADISON, THE, THEN IMPORTER OF FISHER OBLIGED ME A FIVE ARM XT JOBBY. SUPER DUPER ,PROBLEM SOLVED. £1695 IS FAR TO MUCH FOR THIS BIKE AND IT WILL NOT SELL IN THE NUMBERS IT DESERVES BECAUSE OF THIS . INFACT ALL OF MR.FISHERS BIKES FOR 98 WERE PRICED OUT OF THE MARKET. IS THIS TREK'S DOING? I'D EXPECT XT V's ON A BIKE OF THIS PRICE ALSO . THE WHEEL'S, WHICH ARE SUPERB TRY TO MAKE UP FOR THE HIGH PRICE. XTR UPSIDE DOWN, BACK TO FRONT REAR MACH REDUCES THUMB ACHE ON A LONG RIDE. THE 27.2 BONTY COMP SEATPOST GIVES ENOUGH FLEX TO OFFER A RELATIVELY COMFY RIDE. THE FRAME IS A NO NONSENSE NO FRILLS (APART FROM THE STAYS AND YOKE)GOD SEND!!! IT'S LIGHT, STIFF IN THE BEST AREAS ,YET COMFY.(YES, I DO HAVE A BAD BACK ,re;CAR ACCIDENT) THE FORKS COULD BE LIGHTER. FIONA WILSON, EX FISHER/MADISON X-COUNTRY RACER (ALSO MY GIRLFRIEND) HAS A 98 PARAGON FOR WINTER,WHICH IS EMBARRASSINGLY LIGHTER THAN MY BIKE. CURRENTLY ALL I NEED IS A FRONT MECH AND B.B. / CHAINSET TO COMPLETE MY FULL XTR CONVERSION. A LIGHTER FORK FOR RACING WOULD BE NEXT.IT HAS TO WITHSTAND THE RIGOURS OF THE BRITISH CLIMATE , AND BE SERVICE FRIENDLY. THIS IS THE BEST HARDTAIL I'VE RIDDEN. JUST AHEAD OF A 97 KONA EXPLOSIVE. I'M BIDING MY TIME ,HOWEVER FOR THE ULTIMATE FULL SUS X-COUNTRY STEAD. I'LL KEEP THIS BIKE , BECAUSE IT DOES EVERYTHING I COULD ASK OF A HARDTAIL
a cross-country rider
Date Reviewed: December 13, 1998
This bike is O.K. If you race you need lighter stuff. this bike is a rip off at $1799 which is what I paid for it. The XTR rear rapidrise deraileur works great but the LX front is crap! It comes out of adjustment every 5 rides. The cranks, where's Gary Fisher, what kind of idiot is he putting Sugino cranks on an $1800 bike? What is Sugino whos ever heard of them. These cranks suck. There heavy, there ugly, they shift terribly. An XT crank would have been much better. The frame bent after one month but they replaced with a 99 Paragon frame which I like better. dont get this bike. Buy either the Supercaliber or a Trek 8900.It goes uphill really well but descends so so.
from bridgeport, CT
Date Reviewed: November 7, 1998
I recently purchased a 98 Mt.Tam and I'm stoked! This bike handles great and its climbing capabilities are amazing. I love to climb and love it even more on my Mt.Tam. Descending is not my greatest attribute but this bike has such a solid feel I find have more confidence coming down. The mango color is sweet too! If you can find a Mt.Tam on closeout GET IT! I can't wait for next race season.
a cross-country rider
from Menasha, Wisconsin
Date Reviewed: September 28, 1998
I'm looking for a new bike and can't decide between the Mt. Tam and the Ziggurat. I was wondering if its worth paying the extra money for the Mt. Tam, because I think ROCK SHOX suck but I really like Manitou forks. I also want to know if the Crosslands are worth the extra bucks. E-mail me at email@example.com if you have any suggestions. Thanks for any help you can give me.
Hi everyone...i posted this in another forum but this one might be more appropriate...
i live in norcal and have ridden/raced road for the last 20 yrs. i am looking for a fs 26er that is light and doesn't bob. currently im on a soft tail w/ 1.5" of travel but there are times (descending and climb ... Read More »