Gary Fisher Aquila


Dirt Disciple
Here's my latest acquisition. Actually, it's not for me, it's for my other half. I don't know much about the bike. It was bought from a local bike recycling centre on a bit of a whim. I'm guessing it's a child bike because the frame size is approx 13" but my other half is small in stature so this bike is perfect for her. Also, she told me the last time she rode a bike was when she was about 11 years old and it turns out that was a 3 wheel tricycle. You can imagine the fun and games we had yesterday with me trying to teach her to ride :facepalm:

Anyway. I'd appreciate it if anyone can throw any more light on this bike. It looks very original to me and appears to be in reasonably good condition. It has the following spec:

- Mavic 517 rims. OH loves this because my Pace RC200 F6 has Mavic 517 ceramic rim on the rear (217 ceramic on the front).
- Shimano STX front and rear mechs.
- Sugino Impel Crankset (I've never heard of this brand but I think it's original to the bike).
- Aheadset (of unknown origin but feels in good working order).
- I think the stem is original but I don't know what make it is.
- Shimano V Brakes.
- I think the saddle is a Gary Fisher because it has their logo on it.

- And it's got a side stand and a bell which instantly makes it better than my Pace according to my OH :LOL:

Can anyone help with more details? I remember Gary Fisher's being quite rare and desirable back in the day. It certainly looks quite well made and it's surprisingly light. I haven't weighed it but I'll guess at around 9kg.

Plans are nothing too serious. It could do with a good strip down, clean and service. It needs to new cables, brake pads and some decent tyres (the Continental's fitted are holding air but are split). I've got some Velociraptor's that I've just taken off my Pace. They're in pretty good condition and will be an improvement for sure. I'm hoping the BB and Headset will just need a good clean and re-grease. They feel good. I'll probably put some new handlebar grips on for her because those fitted are past their best.

It will be a Winter project I think because I need to teach her to ride first :facepalm:


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marc two tone

Retrobike Rider

I'm personally glad to see some love for Gary fishers' . Not rare in a sense of custom made or cost a bomb. More that there wernt many dealers, chevin cycles in otley is the only one I can think of, he visited that shop too. Can't find image though.

Anyway, the chainset is original. Sugino are quality players in bike parts.

The aquila was very much mid range. Good value for money. In respect of competition, fisher bikes gave a certain hop up with groupset where they would chuck in an XT mech where, stx would suffice.

Was this to justify price? No idea, just discovering the brand myself. All seems ok.


Dirt Disciple
Thanks. I can't believe I've never heard of Sugino :facepalm:

Obviously I'd heard the name, Gary Fisher bikes. That's what drew me to this particular one. But as you say, they were always something of a rarity.

It looked original and I got the impression it had been looked after, used as intended but obviously maintained (although the copious amounts of oil all over the chainset will have to come off :!: at some point soon). There are signs of touch-up paint on the frame which also suggests sympathic ownership.

I was confident that the frame would be a quality product but knew it was a mid range bike because of the components (STX is not XTR) fitted.

From memory, wasn't Gary Fisher the man, credited with 'inventing' modern Mountain Biking?

marc two tone

Retrobike Rider

Gary is in a well regarded group of many that brought mtb'ing to where it is.

If you gander 'repack' you will see those older times in the USA, where
things certainly took an interesting turn. Hary is amongst them.
From an old book, he has a credit for a certain freewheel or cassette modification or even invention?....a down hill thing as he ran out of gearing. Need to find these pics!

Klunkers is the actual term for the movement. Daredevil hippies.


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Senior Retro Guru

i picked up one of these a few years ago as a parts bike. not as good condition as yours though it was same colour ... its a 1995 model year incase you are wondering. yours is the only other one ive seen

like you said, surprisingly light.


Retro Newbie
I have an Aquila from 1998, it had acquired front suspension by then. Similar spec with STX RC gears and Sugino Impel crankset. Quite quirky graphics on it