1991 Rocky Mountain Fusion: Where to begin?

NB1984

Retro Newbie
Good evening all,

I recently acquired a 1991 Rocky Mountain Fusion. All original. It's been sitting in the first owners garage for years. I actually got the bill of sale from 1992! Anyhow, I've never done a restoration before... And I'm not all that familiar with bike maintenance in general. I'm looking for some direction on where to start. Here's what I'm noticing so far:

Rear wheel is not true.
Rear tire sidewall is all chewed up... Should probably replace both tires, right?
Rear derailleur works surprisingly well, although the down shift lever is a little stiff.
Front derailleur moves the chain into position, but then swings back when pressure is taken off the lever, thus moving the chain back to the smallest ring.
Front brake lever work well, front brake works well.
Rear brake lever is stiff, and rear brakes are quite weak.

Thanks in advance for the tips!
 

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domo

Old School Hero
YouTube as a start. Look for red_dread, he's a helpful start, as for more specific parts etc plenty of knowledge on here
 

TreaderSteve

Retro Guru
Rocky Mountain - coool. Good call domo, Youtube is a good source of practical advice. You don't have to take it completely apart which means you won't need (at least) a crank-removing tool (although they're not expensive).
It looks like you have some under-bar STI shifters. Search for 'STI cleaning' - that might bring some results of what can be done to un-gum the insides which will improve shifting. I've read that you need a physics degree to take them apart and put them together! I think I read they can be flushed-out with GT85 - as I say try a search.
By taking the rear wheel to your local independent bike shop for it to be trued you'll get to know them and they can provide new cables.
One satisfying and probably necessary job for longevity is to strip the hub bearings. You'd need cone spanners of the right size but again they're not expensive. It might seem a bit daunting but YT will help and when tensioning the cones you'll get a feel for what's 'right' and the result should be gratifying.
Take the brakes apart, making notes, keeping 'sides' together in bags can help, clean, maybe polish with Autosol, grease and re-assemble. Probably with new pads - KoolStop or Aztecs, although pads for the rear U-brake you might need to take advice on as I'm not sure if they're slightly different and uncommon.
A set of allen keys should do most other jobs - remove and re-grease seatpost and stem. A big adjustable spanner and a headset spanner (of correct size!) will enable you to strip, grease and adjust the headset, if needed or you felt like it should be done. Ebay has lots of cheap tools - certainly cheaper than years ago when I started buying tools I needed,
I learnt how to do all these jobs on my own as a kid 35+ years ago working on my BMXs so just get stuck in!
Good luck.

Oh, and get a new or nice used saddle of some quality and panache - that thing that's on it is a honker!
 

FluffyChicken

Archivist
Retrobike Rider
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Get some new tyres and inner tubes.

The rest is just cables and shifter troubles.
Either undo the case from the shifter, blast it with WD40 or GT85 and get a tooth brush at it.
Then a last blast of either.
Let it dry then use some light lube or spray grease lube can work well and work it in.
If you have some normal grease, add a few dabs to the ratchet areas.

Stick it in large gear at the back and largest cog at the front. Then when there, trigger it into smallest (top lever) on both (don't spin the crank or wheels) this will slacken the cables.
You can now unhook the outers from the frame, clean and lube moving it up and down the inner to clear out and get lube in.
Put it back.
That should be the gears.

Brakes, unhook from the brake, unhook from the lever.
Do similar cleaning

Charing clean it up as best you can, and the cogs.
Lube.

Test it, check it changes gear.etc.
Tweak as needed, read the instructions in the Archive, Shimano section.

Then look at the rest of it.


That should be the basics anyway and require no tools. (other than pump and tyre lever)

Ask aways as you need tom
Can't say much about YouTube as I tend to be a reader than sit through a long video.

Park Tool site has some good information too as do the Sutherland 6th and Barnnet books (pdfs)
Or try the library for some books.
 

NB1984

Retro Newbie
Thank you very much for giving me plenty to get started with! I'll take this and run with it. When I've made some progress, I'll repost in the pre 1997 part of the forum. Thanks again!
 

NB1984

Retro Newbie
Ok, a pretty productive day today. I headed out to the shop in the morning and got some new tires and tubes, grease, spray lubricant, and a spoke tightener. Watched a few vids on trueing wheels and realized that I probably don't have the tools or patience to get that done... Headed back to the shop in the afternoon with the new tires mounted and asked them to true the wheels.

Took the bottoms off the front and rear derailleur levers. Worked the pawls, sprayed with WD40 silicone spray, over and over. Put them in a bucket of hot soapy water for a while. Lubricated with the spray from the shop. I've got them loosened up to the point where they're functional now, but would like them to be smoother... I'm guessing this will just require more soaking, lubing, and working?

Greased the seat post. Sprayed the brake lever mech's and got them a little looser. Cleaned up the rear derailleur with a wire brush.

Would redoing all the cables make things work more smoothly? Are all the parts required relatively standard? I noticed that the end of the rear shifter cable within the rapid fire lever has a cap that sits within the mechanism... Are these readily available? If it's an easy task and could make a material difference in functionality I would like to give it a shot.

I would like to tear the bike down completely eventually, but right now I'm thinking that if I can just get the wheels sorted and the gears shifting with relative ease, I'll be very pleased. The reason I bought the bike, aside from nostalgia, is to tow my son's Thule trailer behind it. I have a new road bike but it doesn't really suit afternoon pathway rides with the wife and kid.

Thanks again for the high quality, informative responses.
 

DrGooGoo

Retro Guru
Good evening all,

I recently acquired a 1991 Rocky Mountain Fusion. All original. It's been sitting in the first owners garage for years. I actually got the bill of sale from 1992! Anyhow, I've never done a restoration before... And I'm not all that familiar with bike maintenance in general. I'm looking for some direction on where to start. Here's what I'm noticing so far:

Rear wheel is not true.
Rear tire sidewall is all chewed up... Should probably replace both tires, right?
Rear derailleur works surprisingly well, although the down shift lever is a little stiff.
Front derailleur moves the chain into position, but then swings back when pressure is taken off the lever, thus moving the chain back to the smallest ring.
Front brake lever work well, front brake works well.
Rear brake lever is stiff, and rear brakes are quite weak.

Thanks in advance for the tips!
Nice find!
Clean it up yourself and then take it to your local bike shop.
As for tires, you may want to check out the neo-retro terra one tires advertised on this site.
 

onyerbike531

Retro Guru
You've come to the right place.
From personal experience, I'd say buy yourself a copy of the Haynes bike book, digest as many videos as you can on YouTube, do your research and ask questions on here. Attempt the jobs you feel confident in doing and let your local bike shop sort out anything that you're unsure about.
 
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