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1996 Gary Fisher Joshua X restoration

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1996 Gary Fisher Joshua X restoration

Old 05-03-10, 02:25 PM
  #1  
Olaf330
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1996 Gary Fisher Joshua X restoration

Hello, first post here and have a question about restoring a 1996 Gary Fisher Joshua X. I wasn't sure if this should go in Classic & Vintage or not, but I figured I'd try here.

I purchased this bike back in '96 and pretty much rode it all summer. Since then I've moved around a bit and the bike hasn't seen much use except a couple of days back in 2005. It was creaky and very unhappy at the time but the stock tires surprisingly held up. I'm back into biking again and really enjoying it. I'm currently riding a 2009 Fuji Sunfire 1.0 and it's fine for the roads but has some trouble with rougher gravel on some the trails I occasionally take it on.

Oh yeah, the question...

I'd considering restoring this bike. It's nearly stock except for some green colored accessories, handlebar, and shifters. It was always a favorite of mine and other than some scratches here and there, it still looks pretty new. Is this bike even worth a restoration? Is a modern bike that much better? I think the front shock (Quadra 21R) will need a rebuild as its quite bouncy and not much dampening. The drive train is creaky but I haven't bothered to clean it much yet. It also looks like the headset/steering bearings are leaking.

I put some new tires on and took it around the block on a test ride and it will need some adjustments, obviously, but again, is a bike this old worth a new cassette, chainrings, chain, bb rebuild, etc? I've always loved the look of this bike and I don't know how many of these bikes are even around these days. Is buying a cheaper mtb and transferring the drive train over worth a shot?

Any comments and suggestions are welcome. And sorry for the long post.

More pictures, if you're interested.
http://s175.photobucket.com/albums/w...30/Joshua%20X/

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Old 05-03-10, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Olaf330 View Post
I think the front shock (Quadra 21R) will need a rebuild as its quite bouncy and not much dampening.
That's the way the Q21 worked new. You're lucky the MCU elastomers haven't turned to sludge. Still, the bike seems to be in good shape, so if you like it, give it an overhaul and continue riding it.
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Old 05-03-10, 11:35 PM
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Beyond all reason I have retained a soft spot in my heart for the GF 'Y' bikes - - Joshuas, Level Bettys, etc. Like Svr says, enjoy it. Yes, modern full suspension designs are worlds away from the URT; but, hey, if you enjoy it don't be afraid to show it some love, within reason.
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Old 05-04-10, 03:07 PM
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Thanks for your input, guys.

I spent most of last night scrubbing, cleaning and adjusting the drive train in addition to general tune up work. I took the bike out today for a nice, long ride on the trails. Other than the usual bounciness of the back end, it seemed to run really well. All the gears worked and the general creakiness was gone. I guess I'll wait for stuff to break before I start swapping out components.

As for now, it's nice to have another bike up and running that's more suitable for trail riding.
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Old 10-19-10, 03:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Olaf330 View Post
Thanks for your input, guys.

I spent most of last night scrubbing, cleaning and adjusting the drive train in addition to general tune up work. I took the bike out today for a nice, long ride on the trails. Other than the usual bounciness of the back end, it seemed to run really well. All the gears worked and the general creakiness was gone. I guess I'll wait for stuff to break before I start swapping out components.

As for now, it's nice to have another bike up and running that's more suitable for trail riding.
mate, i can't believe i've found someone with exactly the same agenda!! i have the same (awesome) joshua x, and haven't ridden it in 8 years or so, and was wondering whether i'd be worth upgrading (i'd also have to haul it from my parents house in germany all the way to london wherey i live now to do that). how is yours holding up so far? mine has the added problem of my riding it like a maniac during my teens, so the frame clicks a fair bit from memory and i'd be surprised if the rear suspension was even still turnable!! WD40 to the rescue....
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Old 10-19-10, 03:57 AM
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[had to post this because i didn't tick "immediate notification by email for my previous post]
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Old 10-19-10, 08:43 PM
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If you want to play around with your fork:
Quadra Elastomers
Quadra Owners Manual
Quadra Service Manual
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Old 10-20-10, 03:29 AM
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Well actually the fork is one thing I already replaced after doing some serious downhilling for one season: I can't remember what the fork was called (and the bike is currently in another country so i can't check), but it was a Rock Shox with Oil, red, very very soft and cool, don't think that needs changing.

the reason why i posted here, is that i have another mountain bike (which i took of my old man). a seriously high quality piece of gear all XT/XTR and so on. only problem is, the frame used to be one of the first carbons (ace), but now is very old and too small for me (my dad is much shorter than me). So, i was gonna strip all the nice components of that bike and stick them onto the Joshua x, voila is a new bike.


Is that possible / would that be more hassle than it's worth?! I fear this is one of those "how long is a piece of string questions...."
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Old 10-23-10, 11:36 PM
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Originally Posted by janwayne69 View Post
...the frame clicks a fair bit from memory and i'd be surprised if the rear suspension was even still turnable!! WD40 to the rescue....
Servicing your rear suspension pivots should be quite easy. I recently tore down my '97 Giant ATX990 (which has way more pivots than the Joshua), cleaned all the bushings and lubed them with Finish Line Teflon grease. Made a world of difference. Just don't waste your time with WD40.
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Old 10-26-10, 01:58 AM
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screw this, i'm using the cycling to work scheme to get either one of these....

http://www.evanscycles.com/products/...%20kula%202010

http://www.evanscycles.com/products/...%20kula%202010
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Old 10-27-10, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by cobba View Post
If you want to play around with your fork:
Quadra Elastomers
Quadra Owners Manual
Quadra Service Manual
Sweeet. Thanks so much for posting this. I've got a '96 GF Hoo Koo E Koo that I ride all the time but the Quadra 21R is pretty well shot. I've been looking at replacing with a cheaper end fork (Dart II) but this may be another route to take as I like the bike but don't want to spend too much on upgrades on it as I would prefer to put that money toward a new dual suspension bike in the near future.
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Old 09-04-14, 12:58 AM
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Woo hoo! Here's my '96 Joshua X that I literally just overhauled this past weekend. Honestly, it's barely a Joshua X since literally the only original parts on it are the front triangle and the headset. My original swingarm was out of alignment straight from the factory so my dealer replaced it with the polished one you see here. On top of that, I installed a full XT M750 group, a Rock Shox Duke XC fork, and a Cane Creek Cloud Nine rear shock on it back in the '03-'04 timeframe...now the bike just serves duty as my wife's pedal-around-the-neighborhood ride. Bikewagon is currently having a blowout on NOS Titec bits so I threw some of those on there also.

The bike's actually in excellent shape although the green paint has never been very durable. At some point I'll strip the front triangle and have it repainted if I can get it done cheaply. As long as the pivot bushings stay serviceable (BTW does anyone have a good source for these) I see no reason to trash the bike.

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Old 09-04-14, 10:16 AM
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^^ Very cool! Hey, be sure to post it in the 'Post Your Rigs' thread too.
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Old 09-04-14, 01:53 PM
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Around the neighborhood? That thing is way too sweet to not still be ripping singletrack! Sweet job on that rig man.
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Old 09-10-14, 07:48 PM
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I have a 1999 Joshua F4 that I recently bought on craigslist. It only needed cables, chain and a new control for the rear shock lockout and I got it working pretty easily. It rides really, really nicely. There is quite a bit of bobbing when pedaling, but the shock lockout helps quite a bit with this. I just used an old thumb shifter as a lockout switch. Not sure what it originally looked like.

I have been using it for the last few weeks because the rear shock on my other bike (2002 Trek Fuel) was blown. I got the trek running and took it out today, and was a bit disappointed at the rough ride compared the the Joshua. The trek has air shocks, so it could be that reducing the pressure a little will fix it right up, but I was surprised at the harsh ride after my time on the Joshua.

If I had to take a long ride, especially with hills, the Trek would certainly be the way to go, but for a short ride on bumpy, rooty, singletrack, the Joshua is a nice ride.


Edit: I forgot the best part. Apparently, this bike came out at a time when Shimano was trying out something different and the right trigger shifter works opposite to normal. So, a long thumb push results in a harder-to-pedal gear, while a quick finger-pull, results in an easier gear. It shifts nicely, other then the time spent thinking about it.
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Old 03-13-19, 06:57 PM
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I got the same bike and did a tons of updates to it including disk brake conversion
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