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I rescued a bundle of bicycles that someone had tossed into a dumpster. None of the bikes were complete though. They were all missing parts. I'm trying to put them back into their original state. How do I find out what parts and components originally came with that bike? I tried Google searching "specs for 2007 GT Timberline" and I tried to contact GT bicycles with my serial number to ask for details. I didn't get anywhere with either. Is there a better way to go about this? Is there a site where I can put in the year make and model of my bike and it tells me all I need to know?

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    Just an opinion, but restoring bikes at their original specs is only worth it for "collectible bikes", bikes like the 2007 GT Timberline are common hybrids that can probably be put back into service with current entry level parts (for example Shimano Tourney), that will work as well as the original component, but that will be much easier to find, and at very reasonable prices (a 7-speed thumb shifter can be found online new around 6€/$ for example). The original components are anyway probably impossible to find nowadays, except maybe in lots.
    – Rеnаud
    Commented May 23 at 12:51
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    I also do not think it is worth restoring to original components that will be hard to find. That is only worth for some expensive top-of the-line collectible models. For normal bikes just use something cheap and available. Commented May 23 at 13:43
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    For any future readers, note that during (and for a short while, after) the COVID pandemic, the supply chain for bicycle components broke down and bikes were being sold with a mishmash of basically whatever components manufacturers could get their hands on. Due to this variability, it may not be possible to 100% accurately replicate the "original" build on bikes of this era.
    – MaplePanda
    Commented May 27 at 17:50

3 Answers 3

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The question is:

How do I find out what components originally came with a specific bike

If you know the make, model and year searching for the catalog is a good start. For some popular brands or types of bikes you can find a lot of information. For less popular brands things get hard.

If you can't find the exact year catalog for the bike you have if you can find something that is plus or minus a few years you may get close enough to have good clues on the parts that were original. Bike makers sometimes continue a model unchanged for more than one year. I was not able to find a 2007 GT catalog but I did find a 2009 that lists two models, a Timberline and a Timberline Sport.

If you can't find the catalog anywhere there are sites like bicyclebluebook.com and bikes.fan but they are hit and miss.

If you have a BMX bike then bmxmuseum.com is a great resource. They do have some Timberlines - but not a 2007. They only go to 1987.

If you can't find a catalog or a database match you wind up in the tough spot of searching images for a bike that matches what you have. Both Google images and Bing images offer search options. I found that "2007 timberline bicycle" offered a good selection.

Restoring a bicycle to all original condition is expensive and only worth doing if you have a collectable bicycle - something collectors are looking for. ebay is a good reference to find out what bikes are valuable to collectors.

Most bikes are not collectable.

Restoring a bicycle to rideable condition using new parts can also be expensive depending on what parts are needed. You can reduce costs by hunting down used parts. Sometimes you can find another non-working bike that is similar you can use for parts. You don't have to use original parts to get a bike into rideable condition.

The cost of building a complete bike from parts is almost always much greater than buying the bicycle complete (if you can find what you want). The break even point between what parts you have vs the cost of what parts you need is different for each bike and should be evaluated before getting too deep into a project. For some bikes the cost of tires and tubes is greater than the value of the ridable bike.

Be clear in your mind what level of restoration you are doing and do some research on what the costs will be so that you know what you are getting into.

If your motive for restoring a bike is to learn about working on bicycles then you can justify the cost as education.

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Usually you search for the GT 2007 catalogue, for instance. There are websites such as Retrobike that have fairly large catalogue archives. For 2007 you should also be able to use web.archive.org to visit GT's site for that year. Finally, an image search for the bike should yeild a good resolution image of someone else's bike which can help confirm what the original components may have been

Some parts will have been made specifically for GT by OEMs and won't be easy to find 2nd hand,but name brand alternatives are usually better quality (eg. hubs, cranks, bars etc)

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A 2007 GT is a China Bike design. Nothing special. Not USA made, not steel, and not high end. If your goal is to make something out of nothing, that's achievable. If you're looking to make something nice, start with something nice.

Frame & Fork

Frame Construction TIG-welded

Frame Material Aluminum

Fork SR NEX -4000

Fork Materal Steel/aluminum, single crown

Rear Shock Not applicable

Components

Component Group Comfort Mix

Brakeset Tektro Direct pull brakes, Alloy levers

Shift Levers Shimano C-50 twist shifter

Front Derailleur Shimano C-050

Rear Derailleur Shimano TX-70

Crankset Suntour NEX 200

Pedals Nylon Comfort

Bottom Bracket Sealed mech w/ boron axle

BB Shell Width Unspecified

Rear Cogs 7-speed, 14 - 34 teeth

Chain Uniglide

Seatpost Aluminum Suspension

Saddle GT Comfort

Handlebar Extensions Not included

Handlebars Anatomic

Handlebar Stem Adjustable quill-style

Headset 1 1/8" threadless sealed mech

Wheels

Wheel Size 26" wheels

Hubs Alloy QR

Rims Alloy ATB

Front Tire 26 x 1.90" Tioga City Slicker

Rear Tire Not Available

Spoke Brand Stainless steel, 14ga. (2.0mm) straight gauge

Spoke Nipples Brass CP

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