Gary Fisher X-caliber Bike Bike 1998 or Older

4.5/5 (22 Reviews)
MSRP : $1300.00


Product Description

X-Caliber


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Reviews 1 - 15 (22 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ian Colvert from Seattle, Wa

Date Reviewed: October 11, 2007

Strengths:    I bought my beloved Xcaliber nearly 10 years ago and it is still going strong. Recently I've tried to buy a new bike -- at a budget more than triple the cost of my old Xcaliber -- and havn't found anything that is as light, or has as good of feel.

I've put on at least 10,000 miles on my Xcaliber, and she's still going strong.

The best thing about the Xcaliber is how she climbs, and how nimble she is going downhill, and how light she is overall.

I love the old brakes (not those disk brakes they have these days), because they are lighter and I can work on them myself. Same goes with the old radial shifters -- I can work on them myself, too.


Weaknesses:    I've busted my front wheel four times within the first 6 months of owning her. But broke down and invested in some top of the line wheels ($400) and they've lasted very well over the years.

Every year I take her in to the bike shop for a deep cleaning / overhall -- costs around $150 but i love to pamper my baby.


Bottom Line:   

Over all, you can't beat the feel of the old Xcaliber -- i know 'cause I've tried.

I'm very happy with her and will probably ride her another 10 years.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Arcata Community Forest

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $800.00

Purchased At:   Missoula, Mt.

Bike Setup:   pretty much stock, aside form the wheels and different pedals.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Scott a Weekend Warrior from Seattle, WA, USA

Date Reviewed: March 2, 2003

Strengths:    I debated between this bike and a Stumpjumper. The Specialized had better looks but this bike offered the ride and performance that I was looking for.

Weaknesses:    Cream-colored bike can look "dated" unlike Stumpjumper
Shim 535's were not a light pedal but were excellent.
Traded out the stock WTB's for IRC's etc. Weight of those tires seemed to be an issue. Stopper's (LX's) not up to original $1800 price tag.


Bottom Line:   
I was happy with the decision to get this bike. I think the fork ranks up there with the best if you're looking for light weight and not running an air fork. I really like the ride of steel and have confidence in this ride. The look of this bike looks a bit dated now but I really don't care that much how my mountain bike looks - I care how it performs. I'll upgrade it but I'd be hard pressed to replace it with anything out there.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   McDowell Mountain,AZ, Greenbush,WI

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $1150.00

Purchased At:   Trek Factory Store, Madison,WI

Similar Products Used:   Hoo Koo, Trek 8000, Gunnar Rock Hound, Specialized Rockhopper.

Bike Setup:   I've got the '97 cream-colored 853. I put SRAM 9.0 on but it came with X-ray shifters and XT rear. I'm running Avid brakes instead of LX Shim. I lusted over getting this bike big time. I found it to be perfectly spec'd out and very tough. I'm not planning on replacing it any time soon. I'd like a set of 517's and Hugi or XTR hubs (Maybe I'll build 'em) or some RPM's. Possibly some Time pedals to replace the Ritchey Pro (gold)ti pedals (mud!). I've got a FSA ti bb that once I got it snugged in has not moved or lacked of any performance whatsoever. I've got the 9.0 but I think I was a Rapidfire guy but was concerned about weight alot. ??. The Judy XC is a 3.0 lb stock fork of that day with hydraulic cylinder - that was a killer fork. Fisher front hub made a huge difference in wheelset. WTB SST 98, Bon Revolt tires

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Tim a Racer from Rochester, NY

Date Reviewed: July 9, 2002

Strengths:    frame

Weaknesses:    fork, x-ray shifters, wheelset, seat, old-style brakes, cables scrtch the paint

Bottom Line:   
This is a great bike, but since it's older, I've had to make a few upgrades. I recently taco'd the front wheel replaced both with Sun Ringle RPMs. I bougt some 'Zokes and upgraded to V-brakes at the same time. I had to do a little trick to get the V-brakes on since the frame isn't made for them. The stock X-Ray shifters bacame too hard to turn, so I just ordered some SRAM X.0 Shortys today. Also that stock seat was hard as hell, so I got a new one and thrw on a Thudbuster.

The frame is light, looks cool in copper, and has held up well. I'm happy with this bike and will just keep upgrading as I go. Rock on brotha!

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   Bicycle Outfitters, Brockport, NY

Bike Setup:   Marzocchi Z.2 Atom 80 Coil Spring Fork (blue), Cane Creek Thudbuster Seatpost, Avid Rival 50 brake system, SRAM X.0 Shorty shifters, Bontrager FS +10 Race saddle, Sun Ringle RPM wheelset... everything else is stock

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jason a Cross Country Rider from Cortez, CO

Date Reviewed: September 5, 2001

Strengths:    Just about everything, especially the frame,

Weaknesses:    24 gear, old brakes (only because it is over 5 yrs old)

Bottom Line:   
This was a '95 model that I bought in '96 and it still going strong. I am now looking for a similiar bike since I have ridden this bike for over 5 years. I have looked into upgrading this bike or buying a new one for a couple of months now. Now I think I will buy a new bike so I can keep this bike as an extra bike for friends and bad weather bike. It is too bad that Fisher stopped making this model, because I would buy a new one in a second. My friend just bought a new Mt. Tam and thinks that if I decked my bike out with all new componets, I would have a better bike than him, so I think that in itself is a great compliment for this frame. I just cannot say enough about how I have enjoyed this bike.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   East Creek Canyon

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $1400.00

Purchased At:   Fisher's in Salt Lake

Similar Products Used:   None, haven't had to try other bikes, this one rules, trying to find a new bike that is similiar

Bike Setup:   Everything is the same since I bought it in '96 except for the back wheel

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Gramps a Cross Country Rider from North Bay, ON, CA

Date Reviewed: May 22, 2001

Strengths:    Inspired frame geometry. My X-Cal climbs anything.

Weaknesses:    None that I've found.

Bottom Line:   
I'm a 60-year-old rider who needs an almost constant fix of backcountry trails. My Mt. Tam was the finest piece I'd ever ridden until I got the X-Cal. I now ride up hills and over obstacles that used to cause me to shoulder the Tam and do some hiking. Going fast into deep corners, the X-Cal feels like its on rails. I've ridden lots of other bikes but nothing I've tried even comes close. It's a pricey bike, especially in Canadian dollars, but huge value and performance for anyone who's serious about trail riding.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   White Bear

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $2000.00

Similar Products Used:   Gary Fisher Mt. Tam

Bike Setup:   XTR/RapidFire/Manitou/Bontrager

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by weather expert a Weekend Warrior from iowa

Date Reviewed: March 11, 2001

Strengths:    (i have the '96 model, true temper oxii frame.) wonderful STEEL feeling. very nimble. light.

Weaknesses:    x-ray grip shifters (personal preference)
canti brakes (blame on time, not the bike)
no rear v-brake cable stop (blame on time again)


Bottom Line:   
the last of fisher's true temper frame--hell of a ride. bought it second hand and ppl ask me why do i buy a '96 bike. they haven't ridden x caliber yet. with my current setup it's very durable and forgiving without sacrificing too much to wieght. handles extremely well. the only problem i've ever had is when i was ugrading to v brakes. teh frame was from '96 and it was configured for canti's. a backstop from qbp solved the problem (available @ universalcycles.com).

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Similar Products Used:   noting comparable

Bike Setup:   z2, lx brakes, levers & drivetrain w/ xt rr der, wtb wheels, ritchley alfa/omega tires (kicks a$$). NASHBAR PEDALS(!)hahaha

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Kevin Diamond a Cross Country Rider from Sewell, NJ usa

Date Reviewed: November 6, 2000

Strengths:    There is strength in the numbers, as Reynolds likes to say. 853 rules hands down best tubeset ever. Light, strong, steel...yummy! Bike has undergone many modifications the most worthwhile being Englund Total Air fork upgrade, and S-Works wheelset. Very light very compliant, very ginchy. She is my better half and I will never get rid of her. Best bike ever, and I have owned quite a few as a shop employee. Even made me buy an 853 Le Mond, Eww... road bikes!

Weaknesses:    As if!

Bottom Line:   
If you are ever blessed enough to get your hands on one of these finely laid out 97 X-Caliber 853 Bikes, Take It. If you love steel you can't be let down. And lets face it folks, Steel Is Real!

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $750.00

Purchased At:   Employee Purcahse


Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Dan Paulson a Racer from Winona, MN

Date Reviewed: December 13, 1999

Strengths:    
The frame is very light for being made of steel, and the component package it originally came with was a very solid base to uprade from.


Weaknesses:    
The frame may provide a little too much flex for my riding style


Bottom Line:   
Overall a great handling bike with a solid feel. This bike has to be one of the great all time deals for a 853 frame. It has totally sold me on steel. Steel is Real!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   
Holzinger Lodge, Winona

Duration Product Used:   
2 Years

Similar Products Used:   
I've owned several other bikes, but no other bikes similiar to this one


Bike Setup:   
I run the frame now with almost everything replaced. I've ridden the frame with a Judy XC, a Marzocchi Z-2, and a Judy SL.

Overall Rating:2
Submitted by Andy Luther a Cross-Country Rider from Franklin, TN

Date Reviewed: March 22, 1999

Strengths:    
The Cro-moly frame combined with a mix of LX and XT is a really great combination. The bike is lively, quick, and well-compatible with any race-ready trail.


Weaknesses:    
After taking a nasty spill in a rock haven, the frame easily dented and doesn't quite ride the same. The flexible steel provides a little too much give on the hard climbs.


Bottom Line:   
The bike's overall riding performance is well. Being that the bike is two years old without any major repairs, it well suits a wide range of riders coming from the average wekkend junkie to a moderate racer.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   
Franklin State Park

Duration Product Used:   
3 months

Similar Products Used:   
1999 Gary FIsher Big Sur


Bike Setup:   
1997 Gary Fisher X-Caliber/Judy XC

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Michael Rye a cross-country rider from Renton, WA

Date Reviewed: January 14, 1998

Bottom Line:   


We bought an 11.5 for my wife (4'10 90 pounds) and it is great!!! We paid about $900 and had some swap outs done to enhance the performance for her size (e.g. an Indy SL). We looked high and low and short of having a custom frame built we were hard pressed to find a better fit and buy.

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Justin Aronson a cross-country rider from baltimore

Date Reviewed: October 17, 1997

Bottom Line:   


I bought the fisher excaliber about a month and a half ago, and have been riding it almost every chance that I get. It feels great, much better than my aluminum specialized bike, and it climbs like a mountain goat. It just kicks arse.

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Dan H. a cross-country rider from Chapel Hill, NC

Date Reviewed: October 2, 1997

Bottom Line:   


I just got a '96 x-caliber with switched shocks (Indy SL) Shifters
(XT Rapidfires) and brakes (LX Vees) all for $850. I think this is a sweet deal, not to mention the bike is light for steel, and rides great.

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by BC Holicky a racer from Boulder, CO

Date Reviewed: September 16, 1997

Bottom Line:   


Hmmmm - one of the nicest, production steel frames you can buy. I have the '96 frame, and through product endorsements and sponserships almost every part of the bike has been replaced - which was the plan - I bought it for the frame. XTR brakes, Real x-levers, Crossland wheelset, synchros seatpost, controltech stem, gripshift ESP 9.0, and still the original shock and steel frame, which I figure cost me about $800 after I sold off all of the other components - subtract the $350 for the shock and the frame was about $450.My friends on their $2200 Ti frames and Aluminum Bassboat Blue Schwinns sure do like to make fun of the old fashioned steel - till they ride it. Then they look veerrryyy disappointed. I love that look.So buy the bike - you can upgrade every component on the thing and you'll never wanna lose the frame. Gary got this geometry just right.Nice job.

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by John Robertson a cross-country rider from Hamilton, Ontario

Date Reviewed: July 20, 1997

Bottom Line:   


I've been riding the '97 Xcaliber for two months now and it kicks butt. I used to ride mongoose but the lightness of 853 Chromoly and the ride of steel can't be beat. The angles are excellent and when climbing it makes the purchase all worthwhile. I did switch the wheels to the mavic crosslands (couldn't afford the crossmax) and they make the perfect compliment. I've ridden other fishers as well and they have great frame designs. J.R.

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Maciej Krok a cross-country rider from Squamish , Canada

Date Reviewed: July 19, 1997

Bottom Line:   


The best set of wheels I've ever had.
Very responsive and forgiving. Goes where I want it to go.
Fast on climbs and easy to handle on switchbacks.
Might be not for every one though, I'm heavy 195lbs and 6'2 tall. Frame very stiff.

Reviews 1 - 15 (22 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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