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Old 04-27-15, 08:52 AM   #1
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ca 1981 Jamis Explorer

This was standing at the dump, ready to be plucked. The dump supervisor said, "Go ahead take it. If you don't like it, bring it back for your money back." So I figured what could I lose? The brakes worked, and the wheels were true.

I took it home, and the seatpost and stem moved fine. There was lots of grime and lack of lubrication, so I provided it everywhere around both places.

Replaced rear tube and chain. It's an 18-speed drivetrain with indexed rear and friction front. The shifters work very crappily, so I think it's best to replace them entirely with ratchet or friction shifters.

It's a nice old design, but it's heavy as heck, 35 lbs. I rode it up the road and back and on a little dirt. It's fun. It has Biopace rings which look funny but don't feel bad at all to pedal.

Gotta overhaul the BB, as it's very wobbly and surely dry inside.

As found:











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Old 04-27-15, 08:54 AM   #2
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And here it is, after a quick tune-up and new chain and tube:



Not sure if I'll keep it or sell it for cheap. I'll keep it in the barn in the meantime.
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Old 04-27-15, 09:00 AM   #3
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Is this one of those fancy dumps in Westchester?

Nice catch even if it is a boat anchor. Old school mtbs tend to be on the heavy side as they are overbuilt. My 1988 stumpjumper comp with a rack and fenders weighs in at around 30 lbs on a good day.

I know in Boston, they've closed down some of the fancier dumps to non-city residents.
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Old 04-27-15, 09:13 AM   #4
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No, it was the town dump for Marbletown, which is in Ulster County. Not a very fancy area at all. I lived in a tony town called Maplewood, NJ, until 2013, and they made a rule of no picking through the trash. This is a nice contrast, where the workers keep the nice looking stuff from going in the bins, knowing people will take it home.
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Old 04-27-15, 09:26 AM   #5
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If the shifters are set for index, change them to friction. I would lube the shifters, RD &FD pivots and squirt some lube in the cable housings (brakes & shifter) before I changed anything. That alone will probably improve things. Then you can see if you want to do the whole tear down/rebuild thing.

FWIW, I just did this to to 2 trash picked mtn bikes, that I gave away. Most of these bikes seem to suffer from neglect rather than being worn out from use. In my case, everythng was safe and in working order, withought having to re-do the entire bike. I doubt the people who got the bikes would notice any difference if I had commpletely overhauled them anyway.
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Old 04-27-15, 09:29 AM   #6
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I'm thinking along those lines, @fender1. This is an example of rotting from disuse, not overuse. I did lubricate the cables and derailleurs, and that made things work mostly. They weren't really working at all before lubrication. At this point, the front derailleur works fine, and the rear one offers most gears without much complaint.

I know the bike isn't worth a lot of work, and I will do my best not to provide it. I probably won't overhaul the hubs or headset, but the BB is worth a look to see what's going on. I like BB overhauls better than others, anyway.

In other news, I picked up some components and brought them back to NYC so I can start assembling my International.
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Old 04-27-15, 11:40 AM   #7
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If I were going to sell it cheap, I would take some of the nicer parts like the brakes and pedals and put some bin parts in their place. Having the original parts on there isn't going to make the bike worth any more than if it had functional replacements. I see this bike being sold to someone looking for cheap transportation, no collector value here.
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Old 04-27-15, 11:48 AM   #8
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Good thoughts, @likebike23. I was already composing the craigslist ad in my head, including language about it being good basic transportation.
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Old 04-27-15, 12:16 PM   #9
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I've never seen a Jamis from such an early timeframe. At least I've never seen one with horizontal dropouts.

Most of these always seem like extremely solid, if overbuilt, city bikes.
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Old 04-27-15, 03:17 PM   #10
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I suspect that is from the mid 80s based on the thumb shifters and ovaltech chainrings
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Old 04-27-15, 03:37 PM   #11
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I suspect that is from the mid 80s based on the thumb shifters and ovaltech chainrings
I trust you would know better than I would. Thank you.
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Old 04-27-15, 03:50 PM   #12
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On second thought, that bike is pretty rad. It's not high end, but it's definitely got all of the elements of an early MTB. Check out the stem, wide araya rims with bulged spoke holes, motocross levers, etc. I'm a sucker for early MTB's and would probably fix it up and ride it or try a drop bar conversion.
@frantik: too bad it doesn't have chain stay brakes .
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Old 04-28-15, 02:35 AM   #13
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@frantik: too bad it doesn't have chain stay brakes .
yeah i suspect it's a year or two early for that

btw @noglider, you should be able to put that shifter into friction mode by turning the little lever/knob protruding from the side
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Old 04-28-15, 11:33 AM   #14
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@likebike23, you want it?

@frantik, I tried that but then switched back. I don't remember why. I'll try again.
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Old 04-28-15, 11:39 AM   #15
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This bike could be very good for a drop bar conversion. The top tube doesn't look too long compared to the seat tube length and lots of room for comfy tires and fenders.
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Old 04-28-15, 04:08 PM   #16
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@noglider, thanks for the offer it was really cool of you. I don't have room for anymore bikes so I'm going to pass. As it stands now, I have 3 vintage MTBs one of which (the Maruishi) will be converted to a drop bar next year when my daughter will be too big for the rear seat.
Cheers, Mike.
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Old 04-29-15, 06:28 AM   #17
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This bike could be very good for a drop bar conversion. The top tube doesn't look too long compared to the seat tube length and lots of room for comfy tires and fenders.
And what would I do with a bike like that? I haven't craved any such thing.
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Old 04-29-15, 06:35 AM   #18
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And what would I do with a bike like that? I haven't craved any such thing.
You don't know what you're missing until you've tried it, Honestly I go back and forth a bit on my drop bar mtb conversion since I really liked the flat bars as well. The drop bars help with long distance over rough surfaces and the bike is an excellent commuter. I tend to use my flat bar commuter in the winter and as a lock up bike and the drop bar mtb as my "fair" weather commuter slash gravel bike wannabe. The point I was making is that the geometry tends to be a bit better for a drop bar conversion on the really old (think 1980s) vintage mtbs than the 90s vintage mtbs because the top tubes tended to get longer.

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Old 04-29-15, 06:49 AM   #19
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Cool find for a bit of tooting around, it has a Made in Taiwan sticker on the front which to me could make the bike, looking at comp an 89-92
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Old 04-30-15, 06:41 AM   #20
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Looks like fun
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Old 04-30-15, 07:15 AM   #21
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You don't know what you're missing until you've tried it, Honestly I go back and forth a bit on my drop bar mtb conversion since I really liked the flat bars as well. The drop bars help with long distance over rough surfaces and the bike is an excellent commuter. I tend to use my flat bar commuter in the winter and as a lock up bike and the drop bar mtb as my "fair" weather commuter slash gravel bike wannabe. The point I was making is that the geometry tends to be a bit better for a drop bar conversion on the really old (think 1980s) vintage mtbs than the 90s vintage mtbs because the top tubes tended to get longer.

I put cyclocross levers on my drop bar MTB conversions. It complicates the cabling but certainly makes the bike more versatile for use on singletrack. I like being able to brake from the flats as well as the hoods.

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Old 04-30-15, 08:33 AM   #22
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I saw this Jamis Durango at the flea market for $40. I passed. Steel bars and a steel crankset. I didn't know Jamis made such low end stuff. I think itis a pipe dream that some guy bought it and is trying to get $120.

Jamis Durango 12 Speed Vintage Mountain Bike

When I lived in Kansas people used to drive around on Thursday night before the trash was picked up Friday morning. They would look for valuable stuff. I picked a couple bikes that way...as well as a really nice vintage chest of drawers. They called it midnight yard sales.

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