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Old 06-23-11, 07:04 AM   #1
kpp80202
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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.
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Old 06-23-11, 07:56 AM   #2
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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 Hardtails are cheap because the forks are usually outdated and repair parts are hard to aquire.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.

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Old 06-23-11, 08:20 AM   #3
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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!!
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Old 06-23-11, 08:57 AM   #4
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Klein.
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Old 06-23-11, 10:00 AM   #5
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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.
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Old 06-23-11, 12:05 PM   #6
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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.
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Old 06-23-11, 12:34 PM   #7
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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.
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Old 06-23-11, 12:38 PM   #8
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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
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Old 06-23-11, 12:41 PM   #9
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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.
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Old 06-23-11, 12:43 PM   #10
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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.
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Old 06-23-11, 01:52 PM   #11
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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.
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Old 06-23-11, 02:08 PM   #12
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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....
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Old 06-23-11, 02:14 PM   #13
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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!
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Old 06-23-11, 02:29 PM   #14
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If you can find one, these are real nice bikes.

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Old 06-23-11, 02:59 PM   #15
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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.

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Old 06-23-11, 03:26 PM   #16
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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.
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Old 06-23-11, 06:12 PM   #17
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There's some good mountain bike porn here:
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...mountain+bikes

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