Old school mtbs

Trips, adventures, bikes, equipment, etc.
garygkn
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Joined: 16 Aug 2008, 8:59pm

Old school mtbs

Postby garygkn » 6 May 2009, 8:58am

A friend just bought a used Gary Fisher Wahoo it seems to me to be a very decent bike. I am looking for something a bit lighter but I am unsure of the range of old school mtbs. I have seen a Kona Explosif but it was not for sale. Can anyone please recommend something light with no suspension?

Much appreciated.

glueman
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Re: Old school mtbs

Postby glueman » 6 May 2009, 9:10am

Old Rockhoppers and Stumpjumpers, steel Marins, Konas and similar. Some were quite expensive bikes in their day, made out of quality Columbus tubing. The ones that weren't thrashed to oblivion have entered the collectors market with prices to match. They are rare to very rare on the road, probably because MTB'ers are bigger faddists than road cyclists - who are fast catching up - and the guys who could afford and want such bikes have had another ten in between.

If you find one in good nick that doesn't cost the earth, look after it. The were practical bikes, sturdy, plenty of brazons and make splendid tourers.

garygkn
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Re: Old school mtbs

Postby garygkn » 6 May 2009, 9:51am

Thanks glueman. The braze ons, tubing and sturdiness are what attracted me from a commuting and touring point of view. Hopefully some are not that rare and still available?

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Si
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Re: Old school mtbs

Postby Si » 6 May 2009, 10:02am

GT Zaskar LE - the old american built ones rather than the newer far eastern ones - one of the best strength to weight ratios that you could get bck in the day.

garygkn
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Re: Old school mtbs

Postby garygkn » 6 May 2009, 11:19am

Thanks Si that helps narrow the field.

glueman
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Re: Old school mtbs

Postby glueman » 6 May 2009, 2:02pm

You see a few rigid steel Specialized Hardrock's knocking around, I notice because I use one, but even they are at least ten years old now. As the more upmarket range went alloy and sprung the HR kept it's steel frame and rack and guard brazings. Not quite as thin tubing as the early spaghetti versions but positively svelte compared to later offerings.

If you can't pick up an 80s classic - which might be quite thievable anyway - a Hardrock is your best shout for a light, strong, useable hack. Another option would be a Kona with Project 2 forks.
Edit: if you care about aesthetics find something with a horizontal top tube and a proper fork crown. Sloping TT and unicrown came after the classic period, if we can talk about classics for something 25 years old! Otherwise the mid-90s are your happy hunting ground.

Image

Older MTBs had fork crowns like this:

Image

garygkn
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Joined: 16 Aug 2008, 8:59pm

Re: Old school mtbs

Postby garygkn » 6 May 2009, 4:23pm

That fork crown would look good on an mtb. I guess they also had lugs until they brought in sloping top tubes. Sloping top tubes do seem a good idea for stand over height clearance issues.

hamster
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Joined: 2 Feb 2007, 12:42pm

Re: Old school mtbs

Postby hamster » 6 May 2009, 4:49pm

There are plenty about. Try www.retrobike.co.uk as there are always a fair few in the 'for sale' section. It's also a good place to buy spares.

I'd say that a roadworthy (i.e. not worn out) machine will be £150-250.

If you want to go cheaper, the first alu Konas(around 1999-2000) go for a lot less money. I built up a 1999 Kona Cindercone as a rigid singlespeed and am very pleased with the ride of the result.

garygkn
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Re: Old school mtbs

Postby garygkn » 6 May 2009, 5:04pm

Thanks I will try there. Old Konas seem to have nice tubin I am sure something in steel will come up?

glueman
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Re: Old school mtbs

Postby glueman » 6 May 2009, 5:42pm

If you don't mind spending more - you could blow a fair amount on renewing worn components - Marin Muirwoods is a contemporary take on a steel mountain bike, with 29er wheels and disks.

half cog
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Re: Old school mtbs

Postby half cog » 6 May 2009, 5:52pm

Keep a look out for a Kona explosive with the mixed tange tubeset. They did one with tange ultra strong/ultralight and profile as a kind of designer select build. They have the ultrastrong down tube with corrugated ribs running its length. Mine must be fifteen years old now and there is no way I will ever part with it. Its a sub 4Lb frame and its hard to describe just how good it really is. I have never been able to out ride it. The harder you go the more it responds. Have one of those( rare ) really good days and you would think it was alive. Superb. If you find one with the mountain shock sticker on the top tube it should have a suspension geometry compensated head tube and be fitted with a longer than usuall project two fork. Allows you to fit a medium travel fork later if you so wish without compromising the steering angle.I still think though that the most important thing when looking at any of them is to sort out the fit. Whilst you are not buying custom built you can still get a lot of the way there by looking at your own body build and trying to buy something that is as near to the ideal as possible.Different makers with the older bikes all had their own idea of geometry and sizing so it should be possible to get something very close to the ideal. Lots of room in the cockpit to allow you to move around the bike and as much standover height as you can get.After all its not a full susser. You are going to have to get out of the saddle and ride the thing.Well worth getting involved in. Enjoy.

garygkn
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Joined: 16 Aug 2008, 8:59pm

Re: Old school mtbs

Postby garygkn » 6 May 2009, 9:20pm

I like the look of the Explosif and I would like a 26" wheel the 29ers are a bit large looking for me.

travelling
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Joined: 22 Apr 2009, 8:04am

Re: Old school mtbs

Postby travelling » 6 May 2009, 11:55pm

saw this one on london gumtree today

http://www.gumtree.com/london/84/38548884.html
I have the lightest bike in the world....then I put my fattest body in the world on it...the only pounds that have been lost are from my bank account

garygkn
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Joined: 16 Aug 2008, 8:59pm

Re: Old school mtbs

Postby garygkn » 7 May 2009, 1:47pm

Thanks for that.

There is a 531 Saracen on ebay but I think it's over £400 I looked them up and I think they go for about £120.

I didn't realise that these bikes are sought after.

diapason
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Joined: 6 Jan 2007, 7:13pm
Location: West Somerset, UK

Re: Old school mtbs

Postby diapason » 7 May 2009, 4:25pm

Glad to see that James is happy with the Gary Fisher!

N
Advena ego sum in Terra