First Race Bike: a Fisher Paragon

Found this brochure during a recent move – still had it in a box of things to remember. It was my first race bike and I rode it all over. The Fisher Paragon:

A direct descendant of the original Fisher Paragon with the benefit of 17 years of refinement. Solid, sure-footed and built for the long haul.

Fisher Paragon

I didn’t know at the time it was named after Lars Zebroski as @gary_fisher tweeted this morning. It reminded me of [Dungeon and Dragons]( The Tange prestige set the standard for how I think frames should feel and ride, including urban, cargo, and folding.

The top-mounted Deore XT shifted in all conditions with solid, responsive feedback. Have an issue with the indexing during an epic ride across the Eastern Washington desert? Then toggle it to friction mode and continue shifting.

When I added a Manitou elastomer fork to the Paragon, I rode more single track and bounced through bigger hits. I also learned the limit of fork travel when it would bottom out and throw the rider in a crash known as an endo.

A later endo ended racing mountain for me and I turned my attention to learning everything I could about the road. I got schooled in the legends of Paris-Roubaix, pacelines, embrocations, and riding in the wind.


What was your first race bike? The first “real bike.” The one that made you go fast.

The Paragon name is now on a hardtail 29er, a style of bike I have not yet ridden.


1985 Specialized Stumpjumper, bay-bee! Still have it.

The bike I wish I didn’t sell was the Colnago in the Wordperfect paint scheme. Had a S-Works MTB too and loved it. Also Tange Steel.

First 10 speed was Schwinn Varsity 1965.  First sub 38 pound 10 speed was Raleigh Record 1968.  Still have it.  Cotter pin type crank, dark green with cream trim.  Rode it for 10 miles the other day and since I am arthritic, it did not make me any slower.  See it at my shop Freewheelers in Rochester NY.  All bikes are beautiful, but I won’t work on some of them.

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