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Vintage Mountain Bikes

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MISC:   Specialized? Cannondale? Trek? posted by: Cal on 7/17/2001 at 6:52:03 AM
I see these brands at yard sales for around $20 - $25 often. Are these good reliable mountain bikes to pick up at those prices?


           RE:MISC:   Specialized? Cannondale? Trek? posted by Joel on 7/23/2001 at 1:11:55 PM
Problem with used mountain bikes is that the components are usually worn out and irreplacable. Any early examples of these brands in great shape, especially Cannondale and high end Specialized would be worth a $25 investment.

           RE:RE:MISC:   Specialized? Cannondale? Trek? posted by Cal on 7/25/2001 at 6:51:58 AM
Thanks Joel.

           component replacement posted by John E on 7/30/2001 at 12:04:23 PM
Since most mountain bikes were built to ISO/British thread standards, I have had no trouble finding suitable, albeit non-authentic/original, replacement parts, particularly since I use friction-mode shifting.

           RE:component replacement posted by Yes on 8/14/2001 at 11:49:21 PM
Yes, as I repair the old mountain bikes the SIS shifters just do not seem to last -- even after new cables and housing they are a pain! Now this is on old very used bikes! I have come to appreciate the friction shifters and I have also noticed that sometimes the SIS thumb shifters seem to continue to work a long time after many early rapid fire shifters died. Also many of the Accushift thumb shifters are still doing fine! Simplicity has its rewards.

           friction shift posted by John E on 8/31/2001 at 8:24:06 AM
I have never seen any real benefit to indexed shifting. My mountain bike has SunTour Accushift thumb levers, which I happily keep in friction mode, and my three road bikes have 20- to 40-year-old Campy downtube levers, which are arguably the smoothest, lightest, most positive, best-looking, and most durable bicycle shift levers ever made. Indexing of the front derailleur, as in the RapidFailure and STI systems, is particularly obnoxious.

           RE:RE:RE:MISC:   Specialized? Cannondale? Trek? posted by JimW. on 10/20/2001 at 11:03:30 PM
I found an ancient Specialized last night, while I was taking the trash out. It had a Dia-compe rear brake mounted under the chainstays, a sure sign of age. It was pretty nasty, with chain rash and rust all over the frame. After I came back upstairs, I thought about it some more. After a half hour of mental torture, I went back down and grabbed it. This afternoon, I started stripping the wheels and components off it, and discovered that the top and down tubes were both dented. I guess after I've finished stripping it, I'll toss the frame. It has 26X1.75 rims, with
street tread tires.

           RE:RE:RE:RE:MISC:   Specialized? Cannondale? Trek? posted by JimW. on 10/27/2001 at 11:04:08 PM
I've continued clearing off the components from the ancient Specialized. After spraying with WD40 and wiping off crusted grease and dirt, I was able to make out the serial# stamping on the BB shell. It's G P 8 1 6 3 5 3, which I presume indicates that this one was made in '81. Checking the Specialized website history section, I see that '81 was
the year they introduced their "Stump Jumper", "The first MTB available at neighborhood bike shops". They show a fuzzy photo of one, and it looks pretty similar to this one. There's a difference, though. This one has the Dia-Compe rear brake mounted under the chainstays. The one in their photo has it in the traditional location, mounted to the seat stays. Does anyone know anything that would explain this discrepency?

           RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:MISC:   Specialized? Cannondale? Trek? posted by Josef on 10/28/2001 at 11:03:15 AM
The frame being an '81 is unusual since mass-production mtbs with understay U-brakes arrived around 1987/1988.Rear Cantilevers returned toward 1989 due to complaints of u-brakes packing up with mud,and running tires larger than 26x1.95s barely cleared.Imagine slightly warping the back wheel.You may have a smaller frame in which rear cantilevers may get in the way of a riders ankle.Just a guess.

           RE:friction shift posted by Josef on 10/28/2001 at 11:23:24 AM
If I had a way,I'd bring back top-mount shifters.My XT and Deore shifters work fine after all the racing I've done.They're light,versatile and I can choose between index and friction.I can run 6/7/8 speed cassettes.I installed 1989 Suntour XC Expert 7/8 speed shifters on my 1999 Schwinn M3 Moab and they work fine with the Sedi chain and Shimano Hyperglide.I can swap the rear rims on all three bikes now.I had problems with rapid fires,STXs and grip shifts as they're indexed only and except for the grip-shift style,you couldn't use after-market brake levers.If you maintain them,they do last.

           RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:MISC:   Specialized? Cannondale? Trek? posted by JimW. on 10/29/2001 at 6:52:05 PM
I just gave the serial# another look, thinking I might have
mistaken a 7 for a 1. It's still a 1. I agree, I never heard of a U-brake that early. Maybe the 8 1 in the serial #
isn't the year of manufacture. The G P in the serial# is also strange. ( Gran Prix- not a Specialized model I ever heard of I'd think if the bike was a Stump Jumper the letters would be S J. Maybe none of it means anything? I did
E-mail Specialized, asking about it, but have had no answer back. The bike is in its original paint (red) and the traces of ancient decals are still in place. The only part of the decals remaining are the lower tail of the S, but that part seems to match the Specialized logos I'm familiar with. It looks like it was yellow letters on a cyan blue background. The component group looks fairly typical: Sugino, Dia-Compe/Araya 26 X 1.5 rims. Handlebars are steel, swept-back MTB pattern, with a 2" rise. Looks like original equipment to me.

           RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:MISC:   Specialized? Cannondale? Trek? posted by JimW. on 11/1/2001 at 11:58:41 PM
I heard back from Specialized. Based on the serial# it's an
'88-or-9 Rockhopper or HardRock. I sent them more details as to the componentry, so I may be able to narrow it down further. Sure doesn't look that recent, but that would explain the U-brake.

           Trash-Picked Specialized posted by JimW. on 11/9/2001 at 7:20:05 PM
I got the full info on the old Specialized. It's an '89 Hard Rock. In that year, the only variants with rear U-Brake
were 15" frame, and women's frames. It looks like I'll be able to get it back in operation, after all. If anybody has a picture from an '89 MTB magazine, I'd appreciate seeing it.

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FOR SALE:   CLASSIC 1987 FAT CHANCE posted by: Michael on 7/9/2001 at 6:25:46 PM
1987 FAT CHANCE (19”)-Own a classic! Made in Somerville MA, mint condition, Red w/clear-coated decals, many unique components including: Original “box crown” Fat City Fork + Rock Shox-Judy DH fork (1995), brazed on pump peg and chain hanger, matching Cook Bros Cranks and Stem (black), Deore XT drive train, Suntour XC Roller-Cam Brakes, Phil Wood hubs, Mavic rims…Serious inquiries only! Contact: mfarkasnyc@aol.com for photos.


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MISC:   mantis pro floater posted by: garyb on 7/3/2001 at 8:11:49 PM
does anyone know anything about the mantis profloater?what it looked like? all i know is that richard cunningham designed it, i think.

           RE:MISC:   mantis pro floater posted by Martin on 8/14/2001 at 1:59:49 PM
I can provide some specific info if you need, email me.

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MISC:   Rigidity posted by: Oscar on 6/19/2001 at 7:51:41 AM
I saw a small article in Bicycling Magazine about what to look for in a used mountainbike. The mag said to stay away from a bike that's more than 5 years old because the suspension fork would probably be shot. Parts for older forks are not available.

Well, that's why I ride rigid. There's no reason to invest serious money into a fork if you're not going to get 5 years out of it. Top of the line forks are $500. Middle-market forks are $300. I can't throw around that kind of money to go boing.

           RE:MISC:   Rigidity posted by JOEL on 6/21/2001 at 12:33:26 PM
Yep, mountain biking is expensive. I go through a drivetrain and set of rims about every 1.5 year and they get pricier every time. Shocks have gotten a lot better but they still don't last. Lightweight materials and dirt just don't mix.

But I have to say that my riding improved immediately after I got my first shock. (It was more related to being able to see and grip the handlebar than to the performance of the bike). As my friends move up to full suspension I see that they are able to ride faster than before.

           planned obsolescence posted by John E on 6/21/2001 at 3:01:00 PM
> Parts for older forks are not available.

Neither are parts for most older Shimano drivetrains. My resentment of planned obsolescence will keep me riding the old classics as long as possible. Are rear suspension parts available for 5-year-old dualie frames, or do they need to be scrapped, as well?

I still think those of us who ride tame, nontechnical multitrack trails nonaggressively do not really need suspension, particularly for the rear wheel.

           RE:planned obsolescence posted by Oscar on 6/21/2001 at 6:30:36 PM
I concede that suspension is helpful for speed and alleviating body stress. I just don't need that monkey on my back. I do ok racing cross country without it, but of course I never place first. (Still never came in last, either. I usually finish in the top third, thankyouverymuch.)

The first time I rode a bike with a suspension fork was also the first time I used v brakes. I heard that v brakes had unbelievable stopping power, but I was astonished. I hit the front brake and I pitched forward. The fork also compressed, and my injured knee didn't hold the rest of myself up. I hit the ground before I was to the end of my brother-in-law's driveway. I should be embarassed.

           RE:RE:planned obsolescence posted by JOEL on 6/22/2001 at 9:45:31 AM
I agree that parts should be made avalable for at least longer than 5 years. I would still be using 6 speed thumb shifters if they were still around. And another gripe I have is that there are WAAY too many sizes of seatposts, bottom brackets,... These things should be standardized.

And I didn't mean to imply that everyone should have shocks on their bikes. Only that they improved my riding. I enjoy riding steep, rocky, fast technical trails with jumps and dropoffs. The shocks keep me from beating myself to death.

           RE:RE:MISC:   Rigidity posted by Josef on 10/28/2001 at 11:43:25 AM
I can still outgun hardtails and duelies on both of my steel rigids on the trails.Maybe it's just me.Anyway,this was the way I started mountain biking,and I'm not complaining now.I own a hardtail too and it's cool and shocks are a great innovation.It's a shame I can't pick up a new Psylo with a 1" threadless steerer.
I laugh when I read that mountain bikes of today are a great value compared to the old MBTs back then.$4000.00 for a bike?!.I can't wait to see a $3999.00 Alivio equipped duelie.

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WANTED:   Seeking a more modern beater MTB posted by: Carlos on 6/8/2001 at 3:43:45 PM
I need something with suspension front and rear. To spare my
old-school rides, and my derierre. In the NYC area is best.
Anybody got a reasonable deal?


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MISC:   mountain bike info site posted by: John E on 5/28/2001 at 11:02:34 AM
Has anyone else seen this website? It has some pretty good data on older mountain bikes and components --


           RE:MISC:   mountain bike info site posted by Wings on 6/3/2001 at 11:41:24 PM
John, Thanks for posting that site! About an hour later I left it -- very interesting. Excellent pictures. It covers a broad variety of bikes. I especially enjoyed the fat tire bikes.

           RE:MISC:   mountain bike info site posted by Steve on 11/13/2001 at 2:04:34 AM
I have an 1985 Mt. Fuji 18" In great shape. Does anybody know what it's worth today
Email me if you have info.Steve..

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MISC:   Info on old Tom Ritchey MTB posted by: Craig on 5/11/2001 at 11:13:38 AM
I have what I believe to be an early Ritchey MTB, and I would like to get some more info on it. It has a 20" lugged/fillet-brazed frame, with a flat-crown fork, and it is coppertone in color. Downtube decal says "Ritchey Mountainbikes," and it has bullmoose bars that clamp to the steerer tube with a single allen-bolt. Headset is an Edco "Competition." It has UKAI wheels with Phil Wood hubs (steel hub with aluminum flanges),Huret Duopar rear derailleur, Suntour front, 7 speed Suntour Winner? cogset, and Suntour "Power" thumbshifters, non-indexed. Brakes are Shimano cantis, with Magura levers. Crankset is a TA triple,180MM, with Hutch BMX-type pedals, and Ritchey integral bottom bracket that is machined into the frame. I believe the bike originally had a 5 or 6-speed cogset, but was converted at some point in its history. Any info on this bike, as to its age and/or value would be appreciated. I can provide more info and pictures if necessary.

Thanks in advance,


           old Tom Ritchey MTB posted by John E on 5/27/2001 at 6:06:52 PM
You just might have something there, Craig. The TA cranks, old-style Phil hubs, and old-style transmission shout "early 1980s" to me. Do you have access to Frank Berto's "The Birth of Dirt?"

           RE:old Tom Ritchey MTB posted by Craig on 6/10/2001 at 5:52:19 AM
John, I've never read that particular book, but it sounds interesting. I contacted Jeff @First Flight Bikes, and he pinned the date down to late 1983, early 1984. The bike is in excellent condition, except for worn paint on the right chainstay from chain slap. I can send you a photo via email if you would like to see the bike.

Thanks for the reply. - Craig

           old Tom Ritchey MTB posted by John E on 6/19/2001 at 7:46:34 AM
Yes, Craig, I would like to see a photo of your rig. You can email it to j.eldon@abac.com, my DSL line at home. If you want to compare geometries, etc., I posted an eBay photo of a clone of my 1988 Schwinn mountain bike in bicycleforum.com's PhotoAlbum section. To bad it fetched only about $200; I think your bike is worth significantly more than mine.

           RE:MISC:   Info on old Tom Ritchey MTB posted by john reed on 7/28/2001 at 2:04:25 AM
Sounds like my bike except for the color!
I have a 24" Ritchey Mckinley I bought in 1984 from Gary Fisher when he had his first shop in Faifax, California.
The only two standard colors were blue and grey. I have one of the grey ones. The serial number is 352. This bike is like wearing the most comfortable pair of shoes. I've contemplated buying other bikes, but I know the ride wouldn't be the same. I think that most of the original parts were Shimano. The brakes, levers and shifters are still Shimano original. It is getting harder to find parts for it to keep it looking "vintage". I remember something Gary told me about the bike when I bought it that the frame would probably outlive me. I feel sometimes like I'm riding a piece of art. It's kind of cool!

           RE:MISC:   Info on old Tom Ritchey MTB posted by Dr. Bob, Bicycle Therapist on 8/21/2001 at 7:53:06 PM
Hi all, enjoyed your e-mails about the old Ritchey. I have one of the first two Ritcheys in Durango. My friend Rick, who owns Durango Cyclery owned the other. I still have mine. His was gray, mine blue. TA triple crank, Mafac cants. Huret front Derailleur, Deore rear. Suzue sealed hubs w/ blue Araya A7 rims. Symmetrical dish rear wheel. Wheelsmith built. Batman handlebar grips. Snapring BB. Other goodies. Killer bikes!! Still ride mine all the time. It still is pretty original. Would like to swap digital pics, e-mails with anyone interested. S/N: 2R149. 1982 or 1983. '$900 new price, back then. Drop a line. Bob

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FOR SALE:   Ringle' head set posted by: Vinny on 5/10/2001 at 2:19:44 PM
hey guys this isnt old school but maybe someones interested , Ringle' slamma jamma threadless head set never been mounted its still brand new in box. original value is about 140.00 its very similiar to the king 45$ + 5 $ shipping


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FOR SALE:   Stems posted by: Mark on 5/9/2001 at 6:45:43 AM
I have many NOS ControlTech Ahead stems, Answer, Ringle, Cook Bros., Interlock and others. Prices at $10-$40

           RE:FOR SALE:   Stems posted by Dan on 5/19/2001 at 9:58:18 PM

I own an old school cruiser with a 5" headtube. To offset this height, I am looking fora really low profile stem. One that will set my bars almost below the top of the headtube. I would also love it to be out front more than most. Do you remember once upon a time, "Tuf-Neck" made an inverted version of it's neck for cruisers. If you have something like this, even from another company, please let me know.



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FOR SALE:   Cannondale 24/26 OS MTB posted by: randy on 5/8/2001 at 7:36:50 PM
I bought this new in the mid 80's, hot pink, 24" rear and 26" front wheels. Stock, good condition.

           RE:FOR SALE:   Cannondale 24/26 OS MTB posted by Jeff on 5/10/2001 at 7:31:57 AM
What size frame? Does it look like the one on this site?

           RE:FOR SALE:   Cannondale 24/26 OS MTB posted by Brett on 6/2/2002 at 10:28:15 PM
I hope this finds you in time. I have an '85 Cannondale SM600 24" rear and 26" front tire. Serial #0100, even the inner tube says original equipment. Didn't know what I had till a local bike shop offered me a new bike in trade, then told me I didn't really want to sell it. The bike is on display in his store, still mine. I don't know what you have, but neither did I.

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MISC:   Parkpre posted by: Chris on 5/6/2001 at 1:01:06 PM
I am looking for information on Parkpre, I know the company closed some time in 1998. I am colating information for a web site devoted to Parkpre mountain bikes. So far I have plenty of images but little history on the company. If anyone could help I would be most grateful.
Many thanks
Website URL: http://homepage.ntlworld.com/c_ambler/parkpre/


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MISC:   Info on old Mongoose???? posted by: Jonathan Smith on 4/22/2001 at 5:29:16 PM
I have an older Mongoose mountain bike... It has pro-class style wheels... It is all chrome.. suntour components...
Mongoose All Terrain that is the only markings on this... I know this bike is semi old I have owned it for a few years... And was just curious of the year of making and what it might be worth??? Can any one help please email me...


           old Mongoose posted by John E on 5/27/2001 at 6:10:09 PM
What is the brake system, Jonathan? If you have an under-the-chainstays U-brake, figure 1986-89 (it was a short-lived fad borrowed from the old rod-brake roadsters). Also, please post more details regarding the SunTour components, and I can check them against Berto's timeline in "The Dancing Chain." Low-to-midline Mongeese are rebranded Giants, but yours may be different.

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FOR SALE:   FULL SUSPENSION MTB posted by: Mark on 4/20/2001 at 9:43:49 AM
I have acquired an early full suspension MTB that I need information on. There is not a marking, decal or number anywhee on the frame, but I know it's probably from the early to mid 80s. It has a chrome steel frame, rear suspension swing arms that attach on the upper seat stays, front unmarked chrome suspension fork, low-end early to mid 80s Shimano components with 5sp thumb shifters and plain steel wheels. It is the oldest full suspension bike that I have ever seen, but I don't know what the heck it is. Please help.


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MISC:   Bike Comparisons posted by: Paul S on 4/19/2001 at 8:22:47 PM
I currently own 3 mountain bikes and would appreciate any opinions from the contributors to this group on their realative merits.

1983 Diamondback Ridgerunner
1985 Schwinn Cimmarron
1989 Bridgestone MB-1


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FOR SALE:   Old School Gary Fisher posted by: Gary Main on 3/26/2001 at 8:30:59 PM
Have a Gary Fisher MTB for sale, its a Ha Koo E Koo, has under stay brakes, etc. its nice quality bike, will list and pics, if any interest is shown.


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