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  1. #1
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    2 Qs: best c/v hardtails? and '93 karakoram vs. '98 Tequesta + shocks

    I have a couple vintage/classic/old MTB questions: The first has to do with what models to keep my eyes out for. When I bought my touring bike, I narrowed down the field to mid-80s sport tourers like the Schwinn Voyageur, Miyata 1000, Trek 520, etc., and am very pleased with my '88 Voyageur rebuild. So, now that I am thinking about getting an old mtb to play with (I have a FS bike already), I'm not sure where the best values/quality lie. I have a thing for triple-triangle GTs, since that was my first MTB back in 1991, though I can't recall the model (it was lower end, like the outpost maybe?). I figure the Trek 900 series is good, along with the old stumpjumpers, the mid-and upper GTs, and some Cannondales, I believe. What else makes a good choice? I'm fine with buying one with a regular fork and adding shocks and a different headset if needed.

    Second question is what you think is better--a mint '93 Karakoram with no mods in Ferrari red, or a '98 Tequesta in greyish geeen with Manitous up front (not sure of the model or if original)? I know the Kara' had better spec'd components, but having shocks changes the balance. I'm not sure how much, though.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    kpp80202, Generally in the purist sense, originality trumps 'better'. Rigid mountain bikes are cheap and sought out for those who want a rugged communter, a loaded tourer and even by some who prefer them off road. Hardtails are cheap because the forks are usually outdated and repair parts are hard to aquire. Ditto for a full suspension bike.

    I like Trek mountain bikes, but if I were looking for really neat classic bikes I'd look at Headshock Cannondales, Ibis and Moots Ti.

    Brad

  3. #3
    Senior Member embankmentlb's Avatar
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    I also have a thing for those old all-terra GT's. I have a Karakoram that i bought new in the late 1980s with the mountain lx group, rigid fork and added a soft-ride suspension stem. I also have a 700d wheeled Gt I want to convert to a 650b tourer. Heavy but rugged bikes!!

  4. #4
    Since 1938... JunkYardBike's Avatar
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    Klein.

  5. #5
    Ellensburg, WA scozim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JunkYardBike View Post
    Klein.
    +1 - they often sell for more money on the used market. But, I've ridden two different models of the Pulse line and can't get enough of them. Climbs like a goat and handles quite well. I've heard horror stories about the Cannondale Headshok system from a maintenance perspective. I wouldn't pass on a Scott either - I've got a Comp Racing from 1993 that's a lot of fun to ride (15 miles of single track last night).

    The nice thing is the older hardtails are usually fairly reasonable from a price perspective.
    1984 Gitane Sprint; 1984 Gitane Tour de France;1982 Trek 610; 1980's Univega Supra Sport; 1975 Teledyne Titan;1984 Peugeot PSV10N; 1968 Peugeot PL8; ;1982 Nishiki Marina 12; 1977 Peugeot PX-10; 1987 Trek 800 Antelope (touring/commuting set up); 1981 Trek 510; 1993 or 1994 Scott Comp Racing mtb; 1996 Klein Pulse II mtb; 1980's Peugeot Limestone hybrid;

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  6. #6
    Since 1938... JunkYardBike's Avatar
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    Fat Chance. Ritchey. Others: http://www.firstflightbikes.com/atb.htm

    Not sure I would swap in a suspension fork on some of these, however.

  7. #7
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    Personally I always thought FS was usless unless you were doing really hardcore downhill. alot of the people (esp some of the guys) I rode MTBs with in Boston had been doing it for years and they never really got into suspension much. they had technique and experience and their side and did not need the extra weight.

    that being said I think it is hard to go wrong with most any of the late '80s full chromoly lugged MTBs. the longer wheel base ones while not handling as quick give a great ride. with a hardtail you won't be chasing around looking for some obscure polymer bushing, spring or shock.

    was your GT and Outpost? I like the Triple Triple triangle frames too and would like to find a nice road frame with it.
    Bianchis '87 Sport SX, '90 Proto (2), '91 Boarala 'cross, '93 Project 3, '88 Trofeo, '86 Volpe, '89 Axis, '79 Mixte, '99 Mega Pro XL Ti, '97 Ti Megatube, , '90 something Vento 603,

    Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '86 Bertoni (sold), '09 Motobecane SS, '98 Hetchins M.O., '09 K2 Mainframe, '89 Trek 2000, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape

  8. #8
    Senior Member RavingManiac's Avatar
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    Manitou made a nice hardtail aluminum frame. Yeti, Diamondback, Marin, and Jamis.

    Edit: Mountain Goat, Rock Lobster
    Last edited by RavingManiac; 06-23-11 at 12:40 PM. Reason: addition

  9. #9
    Getting back into it
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    It may have been an Outpost or possibly a Timberline. I liked it, and it got be back into biking in the early 90's after being a roadie for years and not having great roads to ride.

  10. #10
    Getting back into it
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    Are there particular models of these brands that are better than others? It's such a pain to find a bike, then research the components and build every time. It was so easy with the touring bikes when there were about 10 common, reasonably/low priced, well-spec'd models to search for.

  11. #11
    WNG
    WNG is offline
    Spin Forest! Spin! WNG's Avatar
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    Mountain bike market was fierce during that era. Early 90s models had the best rigid geometry for handling. Other brands to consider: Diamond Back (Ascent, DBR), Barracuda, Schwinn PDG. Stay with mid to upper level offerings...Treks of 9xx designation. Early GTs that were made in the USA IMHO are better than later Taiwan only product. There's a high end Canada-made brand that escapes me....hmmm.
    Mid 90s suspension frames were no match for today's properly sorted front and rear dampers.
    “You meet the nicest people on two wheels!"
    I'd rather add more life to my years, than years to my life.

  12. #12
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Let the deal dictate the choice. There were so many good ones made, the supply is almost endless. I recently swapped vintage MTB rides and went with a 1989 Univega Alpina Pro. Smoked chrome finish, a real tasty bike, that cost me $40....

  13. #13
    Getting back into it
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    I forgot about Barracuda--I used to love the XX model. There's a Cuda Comp on CL for $250 with XT and XTR that looks nice. I never see the $40 deals!

  14. #14
    Senior Member Roger M's Avatar
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    If you can find one, these are real nice bikes.


  15. #15
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by WNG View Post
    Mountain bike market was fierce during that era. Early 90s models had the best rigid geometry for handling. Other brands to consider: Diamond Back (Ascent, DBR), Barracuda, Schwinn PDG. Stay with mid to upper level offerings...Treks of 9xx designation. Early GTs that were made in the USA IMHO are better than later Taiwan only product. There's a high end Canada-made brand that escapes me....hmmm.
    Mid 90s suspension frames were no match for today's properly sorted front and rear dampers.
    Rocky Mountain? I should have added that to my short list above.

    Brad

  16. #16
    Getting back into it
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    I've got a Rocky Mountain ETSX now and love it. The MBs are great bikes, too. I can't believe how many of these I've forgotten over the years.

  17. #17
    Senior Member
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    There's some good mountain bike porn here:
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...mountain+bikes

    Brad

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