Retro Ratpacker A.K.A. “The Pickle” is complete!

May 22, 2020
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I set out with high expectations to recreate a retro steel Gary Fisher I had back in the day. My hope was a 26” trail worthy bike that I could ride New England dirt roads, light trails and do some overnight distance riding. I wanted to ditch the suspension and add a rigid fork with the barnacles to carry gear (this is where “The Pickle” comes from). I also had hopes to put a 27.5” plus sized tire up front, but it’s really hard to find a non Boost 27.5 plus front wheel without spending some coin.

Overall, I was able to build what I intended in terms of finding good quality updated components at a cheap price and making it reliable yet keeping the 90’s steel ride quality. It rides great on dirt roads and even when loaded with a nights camping gear (plus beer) it can handle some easier singletrack.

The paint was my single most difficult part. I learned that heat, humidity and wind are not your friend. In the end, the design and final look matched my inspiration of a Yeungling beer can but had some application flaws. Not a deal breaker as this bike is meant to get scratched and dirty. As long as it hauls my butt, some camping gear and beer, then it’s a big success. Hope you like it!


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Completed and test ridden!
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original eBay add $25 plus shipping!
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Here is the original build thread:

 
Last edited:
Jul 10, 2018
358
815
NY
Solid purpose built camping bike. Paint looks great, even pros have problems. Takes skill to put a bike together like yours.

What are you using for bike lights?
 
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May 22, 2020
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Solid purpose built camping bike. Paint looks great, even pros have problems. Takes skill to put a bike together like yours.

What are you using for bike lights?
I learned so much in the paint process. Was frustrated by the flaws, but like someone pointed out, miles better than the original : )

For lights, I have a few Niterider Lumina lights. One helmet mount and one that I could rig up under the basket. Wasn’t intending to ride past dark as it gets dicey with the added cargo. Also would want my ride to be done, tent set up and beer in hand by that time
 
Mar 26, 2012
7,923
15,542
Maplewood, MN
Great to see the bike loaded up for bike packing! Well done!

JR, your very first photo at the top of this Finished Thread is the one the admin will grab for the Voting Booth. They won't search through this thread for your best shot. Put this one at the very top, above your text. Or choose your best 'loaded' photo if that's how you want to present it.

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Great job on this vintage mtb creation!
 
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May 22, 2020
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Great to see the bike loaded up for bike packing! Well done!

JR, your very first photo at the top of this Finished Thread is the one the admin will grab for the Voting Booth. They won't search through this thread for your best shot. Put this one at the very top, above your text. Or choose your best 'loaded' photo if that's how you want to present it.

View attachment 136419

Great job on this vintage mtb creation!
Thank you! Just updated.
 
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May 22, 2020
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Awesome, that bike has another couple of decades of life left in it. Great build, you really accomplished your goal
Thanks man! Excited how it turned out and agreed, this 20+ year old easily has another 20+ ahead of it. Would love to think this one could get ratted a few more times.
 

kingfish254

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Pro Member
Aug 31, 2009
27,684
25,146
Historic Savannah
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That is one cool RatPacker!
Love it man!
CONGRATS!
 
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Nov 22, 2011
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KS
Nicely done. I have a bamboo frame bike at first glance yours has the same look. I like it!
 
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