Gary Fisher 1999 Level Betty SE Full Suspension Bike

1999 Level Betty SE

1999 Gary Fisher Level Betty SE, mountain bike, front & rear suspension, Mountain Mix components, Rock Shox Sid XL, 4.0" travel fork

User Reviews (34)

Showing 1-10 of 34  
slackard   All Mountain Rider [May 16, 2014]
Strength:

Acid Green MetalFlake paint job is unstoppable. Rode agressive XC trails for 10+ years then converted this frame to a 72v 40AMP E-Bike in 2012. Top speeds on the flat reach 53mph and this frame holds rock solid. Would trust this thing with my life and do regularly. URT suspension gives a superior fitness work out due to pedaling inefficiencies unmatched by modern designs.

Weakness:

Stock build was good spec for the day.. nothing original remains on mine, but the frame is solid. biggest weakness is 22mm disc mount (overcome with a 3d printed adapter I've designed http://shpws.me/opR9). Some will argue URT suspension is crap. It is less efficient than many modern designs but its simplicty and longevity outweigh in my eyes..
The head tube only accepts non-tapered 1-1/8", so most modern top tier forks are out of the question, though many options still remain.

If you're racing, this probably isn't your bike for all the reasons URT was abandoned years ago. If you're just riding, like me, this bike can be a lot of fun. The geometry is as good as anything modern and matched with a good fork and modern shock the rideablility in varied conditions. The construction is best described as stout -- full aluminum, with beefy welds in all the right spots, gussets and fancy castings to cut weight while maintaining strength. The head tube isn't the modern tapered style, rather standard 1 1/8", but it is extra beefy having been milled from a billet casting. The rear triangle is one piece, strong and wide enough to accept 26x2.3" knobby tires.

A few years back I designed a 3d printable disc brake adapter for this bike (http://shpws.me/opR9) which brings braking performance into the modern age. With my 3d printed adapter the frame will happily accept modern ISO calipers and 180mm rotors if so desired.

Fitting a new (2013) RS Monarch damper with hydraulic lockout has completely eliminated any URT hill climb performance issues, and has cut nearly 12ounces off the stock `98 Fox Float R.

As a trail bike its light weight, strong and durable. with a good build group this bike is as much a pleasure to ride as any modern $5k option.

As a Ebike retro fit the URT suspension design sings beautifully. there is a little bit of shock dive on acceleration, but otherwise totally plush and juicy at average speeds above and beyond 45mph. When in use, the lockout eliminates shock dive entirely, but i only use the lockout when im at a busy intersection or when my batteries are low on charge and I'm pedaling more to compensate.

If you can find one, grab it.. the paint alone is worth it!

Similar Products Used: Lots.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
derrik   Weekend Warrior [Jun 25, 2008]
Strength:

good first bike, i like its weight, pretty light.

Weakness:

kinda tall. the brakes have broken a couple times and are weird the way they go down the frame, makes it look like they will break a lot... i dont really know though they broke at the end so i guess it was just over braking or something.(dont over brake)

good, fun, cool. easy to ride when i want and fun to ride also.

Similar Products Used: friends road bike was a little slower on the takeoff(i think his was a specialized of some kind)
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
Joe Swenson   Cross Country Rider [Aug 17, 2007]
Strength:

Acid Green Metal Flake paint job, turns heads everywhere I go. Super beefy gussets & welds. Genesis geometry. Fox Float R shock

Weakness:

Some pedal bob due to URT design (im not complaining). A lockout for the shock would be handy

Got this frame/shock combo for $75 at Penn on a closeout from Trek, cant beat that price since the shock alone was worth 3x that price at the time.. Who knows what Trek was thinking. I built it up with a pretty good group and I ride pretty hard. This bike eats up about anything I can throw at it. I wouldnt do any big drops since the URT likes to buck a lil on rebound , but the frame can definitely take its medicine. Anyone interested in this bike should buy it up, its a looker and people comment on it all the time. Now I just need a pinup girl graphic to go with the name, Level Betty.

Similar Products Used: Giant AC1 & NRS, Fisher Cake1dlx
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Joe   Cross Country Rider [Jul 02, 2007]
Strength:

INSANE FRAMESET PRICE (Came with 05 Fox Float R shock--$249 msrp)!! Beefy gussets, beefy welds, beefy head tube. Genesis geometry for the win. Sweet Acid Green color. Great mid-level XC ride.

Weakness:

Some pedal bob as a result of URT design (could be eliminated with a lockout or SPV/Inertia valved shock). No IS disc tabs, only Hayes 22mm.

Got this as a closeout frameset through Trek in 04. Cant beat the killer price on this frame/shock. Sweet Color. This bike turns heads EVERYWHERE I go. I'm 6'2" 225lbs riding mostly XC on a X-Small frame (yes I use a long seatpost/stem). No problems, great ride, lots of squish, lots of fun. Wouldn't trade it for anything.

Similar Products Used: Giant AC1, Fisher Cake, Trek Fuel, etc.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Jo Mamma   Downhiller [Dec 10, 2001]
Weakness:

Not really a downhill bike. I broke the frame on the bottom side close to the headset.

I've had a Betty for about a year and had lots of fun with it, but it broke. I sent it back to Fisher and they couldn't replace it, but then they said they found one in the basement. It took them a month before they sent one back, with a new paint job. I asked for the Kawasaki green, but got some really strange green-brown color. It turn out to be a Joshua in deguise, I was pissed. I really like having the Betty, but it just doesn't compare to a real DH bike. I have a new Santa Cruz Super 8, and it just blows it away, that's for sure. I would recommend this bike for a beginner that doesn't really hit up the big trails.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
2
Codyody   Racer [Aug 18, 2006]
Strength:

Lightweight frame, Smooth while sitting down

Weakness:

Frame isnt strong

Its good for XC and its decent for X-Tended DH and freeriding. Ive changed the setup 3 times so far and its in the shop now getting new forks and all that stuff but it would be best to just go get a new frame. good entry level XC or casual freeride. As a jump bike out at Bootleg Canyon and up at Brian Head, it hasn't failed me.... yet

Similar Products Used: Kona, GT, Specialized similar XC bikes
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
Matt   Weekend Warrior [Apr 23, 2001]

I don't weight 200 pounds, but I'm no weasel.
This bike cannot be used as a DH machine. It has a Unified rear triangle design which means when you take your weight off of the seat by standing up the Rear suspension stops being active. Who rides DH sat down?
As for 7.5 inches? Must be a looong shock and a steep Head angle!
As an entry level XC bike its not bad.
As a DH machine its as much use as a Durex machine in the Vatican
Judging by your previous reviews it looks like you have only ever ridden Fishers so how can you compare it against anything else?
By putting a larger rear shock on the bike you will alter the geometry completely and make it ride like a happy shopper. I tried it on mine, even with machined shorter shock mounts its still pants.
The problem with this review system is that only people who love the product can be bothered to review it, those who think its OK, or even rubbish generally don't take the time.
Its a shame that Keith and Ching (See below) seem to have ruined the rating anyway. I have given it a 3 so as not to affect the average, but I don't think its worth more than 1.
I'm not having a go at you, but when I read some reviews saying that its a great DH machine I have to say something. I'd be gutted if I bought the bike on the strength of some of these reviews and then tried to use it as a FR/DH machine. I would be well dissapointed with its performance.
Use this bike for XC and paper fetching.
Never OVER estimate a fisher, and at least try something else as well.
Take it easy Kid, its not personal.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
Craig   Downhiller [Apr 22, 2001]
Strength:

EVERYTHING

Weakness:

bushings are expensive

well, i would just like to say, for all of you saying it is rubbish, GET LOST!!! you probably weigh 200 lbs, and that is why it is breaking... i weigh 126 and the bike is pefect i know of anohter small guy who 7.5 inch travel out of a joshua... these are sweet bikes, tale the time, set them up, !!! they are good bikes, i am just backing up the rating!

Similar Products Used: joshua
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Tom   [Apr 14, 2001]
Strength:

Big beefy gussets, love the colour

Weakness:

geometry isnt suited to a huge phat shock

Lovely bike. Feels perfect and so smooth over the rough stuff. I've been riding this thing for some time now and as well as a versatile cross country bike, its proven itself as a downhill weapon.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Craig   Downhiller [Jan 03, 2001]
Strength:

Man This bike takes what ever you give it with ease!! I am only 15 and this bike is perfect for me, like my freind said below, this is like a baby down hiller, love the frame,
BEEFY A LA COW!!! can we say MOOOOOOOO!!!

Weakness:

i wiped the rear bushings lately and they are hard to get... other than that its all good...

Man this is the sweetest bike i swear!!!!! for the money you can't get a better bike!!!! even words can barely explain it!!!!!!!!! look 4 anohter review come spring time!!!!

Similar Products Used: bin there done that tried em all
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 34  

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