Bicycle Upgrade Funtime – Ye Olde GT Talera

For a while now I have been wanting to put some purple handlebars and purple cable hangers on ye Olde 1993 GT Talera. I finally got around to ordering the parts, so my big project for the weekend was to make the swap. FULL DISCLOSURE: I’d much rather be riding my bikes than working on them. After 7 years of working at a shop a zillion years ago, I learned that what I really like is to get the thing set up right once and then ride the crap out of it, as opposed to switching parts all the time, which was more my thing during the BMX days.

Right away I ran into a major unforeseen problem. I had stupidly ASSumed that the shfters were a separate component from the brake levers, similar to how they are on my mountain bike.



Lucy Does Not Approve Of One Piece Brake Shifter Combos

I sat there looking at the thing forever, trying to figure out a way I could saw it in half, but that was’t going to happen. It was pretty evident that to complete the mods, I was going to have to buy some new shifters, which I wasn’t looking forward to/ We are talking about a 20 year old bike, so I was really anticipating compatibility issues.

Since I already had the thing apart though, I figured I would move on with what I could do, which was to revers the positioon of the stem so it was angled downward, and put on the new bars. This whole operation went pretty smooth, including the part where I removed the logo from the side of the stem so I wouldn’t have to ride around with a bunch of upside sown lettering.


The next day, and a few internet searches later, I found that they had a 7 Speed SRAM Grip Shift at my local REI, so I headed over there and grabbed it. I would love to have put some under bar shifters on, but the idea was to do these mods without ending up in the poor house, so I opted for the Grip Shift which was ridiculously inexpensive, and hoped that if I set it up correctly, that it would work better than the sloppy feeling versions I remember from BITD.

I was pretty stoked to be able to work outside since for the first time this year the sun actually came out here in Georgia. No seriously, all it has done all year is rain, and if you don’t believe me, check the records. BUT ANYWAY, working outside is fun, much better light and all, so I loaded up the surgery cart with my gear and got ready to dig in.


First was the front shifter and brakes. Everything went smooth as glass. The new anodized precision cable hangers are SO RAD! Total Overkill. It is the kind of piece that most people will not even notice but heads will know.


Rear shifter and brakes also went silky. Taking my time and paying attention to the details really helped this Grip Shift perform much better than I thought it would.


Overall the whole thing turned out pretty much exactly the way I envisioned. A few people have told me that adding all the purple anodized parts is very 90’s, which is fine sith me since the bike is 20 years old. Period Correct. To me it is like a modern version of a Rat Rod type thing…the beat up old frame hung with a bunch of upgraded parts, wheels, etc. I love this bike, so much SOUL!


Oh Yeah, I Got Some Tricked Out BMX Brake Levers Also, And Added Purple Anodized Barrel Adjusters. Another Touch For The Pays Attention Crowd.


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3 thoughts on “Bicycle Upgrade Funtime – Ye Olde GT Talera

  1. Gordon Tinsman says:

    Looks absolutely great. Can you tell me what you changed in the front forks to get suspension? I have a ’93 GT Talera with original forks, no suspension. I am thinking of gaining some comfort by changing the front forks to some sort of suspension forks; but have no clue as to how to go about it.

    I picked up the bike at a secondhand store a few years ago for $65.00 and put in another $50.00 or so replacing the Shimano shifting levers/cables and a fuller, softer seat. I’ve read about Monark II forks for about $200.00, but can’t afford to spend twice what I already have in the bike total unless absolutely necessary.

    Thanks for your interesting and informative post.

    • robertashton says:

      Hi Gordon,
      When I first got the Talera I was actually using it as an off road bike, so I started keeping an eye out for some suspension forks, and ended up finding the Rock Shox at a local bicycle co-op called SOPO BIKES in Atlanta Georgia. What they do at the co-op is teach people how to work on their own bikes and also let people use their tools for a voluntary donation. They also take parts that people don’t want or need anymore which you can pick up for a voluntary donation. I think I gave them about $10 the day I found the forks there. I also used their tools and did the install myself. They had a few tools that I don’t have for a fork installation, such as the tool to seat the bearing race on the fork (basically just a pipe that fits over the steerer tube), and a fork thread miter for sawing off the steerer tube to the correct height.

      To find a suspension fork for your bike you can scour the local bike co-ops if there are any near you, you can let your local bike shop know that you’re looking and leave them your info so they can let you know if someone passes through that has what you are looking for, and of course you can always look at and maybe even place an ad saying you are looking for a used fork. Here in Georgia, there are lots of ads where people are selling complete bikes for less than $100 that have forks which would work on the Talera. I know buying another complete bike just to harvest the forks may sound a little weird, but look at it this way, you’ll get your foks and you’ll come away with a bunch of other parts that could be useful at some point. You could always put the rigid Talera forks on the bike you harvest suspension forks from and resell it to recoup some of your costs.

      I got really lucky to find mine. Hope you are able to find a good deal and get your Talera rocking!

  2. Alnardo Perez says:

    I also have a GT Talera is very special

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