Heya 26, I could use a little help here: I'm usually a road cyclist, so certain aspects of MTBs are a bit beyond me.
I've been working on an abandoned 1997 Klein Pulse Pro II as a winter riding bike; the bike has no derailleurs, no shifters, and the handlebars seem a bit narrower than what I'm used to seeing. The paint was peeling off in thick clumps, so I stripped it down to bare aluminum; not sure if I like the rugged look or will polish the hell out of it, but that part isn't important.
I'm not sure what kind of suspension fork I'm looking at here, but according to Bikepedia, it's an "Answer Manitou Pro." I don't even know how these suspension forks work, but when I popped it open, I just saw bunch of plastic tubes. Isn't there something else that's supposed to go in here? Something tells me that this is not something I can service, but can I at least clean the insides somehow?
Another, more urgent, problem I'm having is parts availability: Deore LX (not sure which version, but might be 565?) doesn't seem to exist anymore, and I'm having trouble finding a suitable replacement. I'd like to find a match for the parts that came with it, but something tells me that it might not be worth my time...and Alivio (or Microshift) parts are readily available, but IIRC, those are fairly low-end.
In addition, I can't find grip shifts for the bike, so I might just go for thumb shifters or a pod setup (which is what I believe MTBers call brifters).
Lastly, the wheels seem to be as listed on the BikePedia entry, but they're filthy as hell and Simple Green isn't getting the dirt out. I've never allowed my rims to get this dirty, so what's the recommended method of getting them shiny again - isopropyl alcohol?