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Old 05-03-14, 03:52 PM   #1
GravelMN
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How many here are riding vintage steel and/or rigid MTBs?

Hi everyone,

Just to introduce myself, I'm a 50-year-old guy who got back into cycling a few years ago for healthy recreation. I started with an early 1990s Trek 820 with 1.5" hybrid tires but now have a fairly new road bike and an older 700c hybrid as well, so the 820 hasn't seen much use lately. I put the mountain bike tires that came with it back on and started riding some single-track trails and I'm hooked.

I was just wondering if there is anyone else here who rides old suspensionless steel mountain bikes or if this forum is for more advanced riders of more modern bikes. Would I be better off in the vintage forum even though there didn't seem to be a lot of off-road talk over there? I see there is a recreational cyclocross and gravelbiking forum. I guess what I do on my hybrid could be called gravelbiking because I bought it so I could have fatter tires for the numerous gravel roads in the area. I'm fixing up the old 820 so I can get even further off the beaten path.
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Old 05-03-14, 07:41 PM   #2
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Welcome!
I have a '93 GT Timberline in steel. It is geared to go anywhere and I am running 1.6" knobbies. Great ride and the salsa drop bars I installed are very comfy . Works well for gravel grinding and single track but I know better than to try to go fast on rough downhills on it. I love how stable it is otherwise and I know it can take a beating. No worries about the strength of that frame

I have yet to ride it along side full suspension but as long as the terrain is not too bad, it can hold it's own until things get really rough.
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Old 05-03-14, 07:47 PM   #3
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Yep, just started riding a '90 Giant Butte last fall (is '90 actually vintage? Seems pretty late-model to me ) for winter trails, and maybe some singletrack this summer if it every dries out around here.
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Old 05-04-14, 01:44 AM   #4
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Since my newer mountain bike (front suspension) got stolen and I can't afford to replace it this year, I'm going to build up the '95 GT Talera frame I've got in storage as a spare, with parts from my parts box. It'll be a slight upgrade from the '91 Sekai Mountaineer I rode last year right after the theft! The front suspension bike got stolen before I had a chance to ride it, all I've ever ridden is full rigid!
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Old 05-04-14, 08:12 AM   #5
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I'm trying to figure out just what year my 820 frame is from. The serial number doesn't match anything on the Vintage Trek website and the dark green color was used several years. My wife has a similar 820 in the same color that appears newer. The only significant difference, except for the graphics, is that mine has a weird little noodle of a cable guide near the top of the seat tube where hers has a traditional cable guide on the top tube.

I'm tempted to upgrade to a newer hardtail, but frankly, I think the old Trek will take anything that I can (or should).
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Old 05-04-14, 10:18 AM   #6
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Welcome!

I've got a '93 Trek 970, and a '95 Trek 830. I've never ridden a full suspension bike, but have used a front suspension. I like the "feel" of the rigid frame better than the front suspension. We don't have gravel roads around here, and the local single-trak is just a few miles in a couple of local metro parks.
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Old 05-04-14, 10:26 AM   #7
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IMO...unless you are going to be riding very technical obstacles, a rigid MTB should do you just fine. I just purchased an 83 Stumpjumper, it needs to be cleaned up and new tires. I can't hardly wait to get that thing out on the trail. I believe that the 820 is on the "lower" end of the Trek line up so at some point you might feel like some slight upgrades but I'm a big believer in riding what you have and if for some reason it isn't quite working for you, then re-evaluate and figure out what you might want to do differently.

Now, one thing that I would recommend is the next time a local shop or manufacturer is having a demo at the local single track that you go down and give one of the newer bikes a try. That way you can experience the difference for yourself and make an educated decision about what is best for you.

But back to your original question...I love riding vintage steel on the trail.
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Old 05-04-14, 03:06 PM   #8
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I have two '91 Parkpre Hammers that I still ride from time to time.

I've had this one since new and the other I bought for $20 last year...
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Old 05-05-14, 03:02 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fettsvenska View Post
IMO...unless you are going to be riding very technical obstacles, a rigid MTB should do you just fine. I just purchased an 83 Stumpjumper, it needs to be cleaned up and new tires. I can't hardly wait to get that thing out on the trail. I believe that the 820 is on the "lower" end of the Trek line up so at some point you might feel like some slight upgrades but I'm a big believer in riding what you have and if for some reason it isn't quite working for you, then re-evaluate and figure out what you might want to do differently.

Now, one thing that I would recommend is the next time a local shop or manufacturer is having a demo at the local single track that you go down and give one of the newer bikes a try. That way you can experience the difference for yourself and make an educated decision about what is best for you.

But back to your original question...I love riding vintage steel on the trail.
820 was second from the bottom and has a chrome moly main triangle and fork but hi-ten stays. I already took your suggestion and the entire bike has been upgraded to a 9-speed mix of Deore shifters and derailleurs and Alivio crank and brakes. Also went with a Profile Design stem and a 6061 bar with a slight rise and sweep fitted with Ergon barend grips (GR2 if I remember right). Still not high-end but very reliable and a step or three up from the original Acera/Altus/who knows components that were on the bike when I got it. The seat is a bargain bin, entry level Bontrager seat that was a shop take off. The wheels are pretty much stock with the exception that the rear wheel is a newer entry level wheel that came with a 9-speed freehub.
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Old 05-05-14, 04:29 AM   #10
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I have many bikes and I'm riding only my 1990 Peugeot Hurricane for a while. Just getting back into it 17 months after spinal fusion. It's actually one of my best riding bikes, no issues off road and fairly quick on road with Richey Speedmax tires.
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Old 05-05-14, 06:59 AM   #11
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Any rigid-forked mountain bikers out here?

I like to ride trails with my rigid forked mountain bike. It's like running barefooted, the feeling is magical, pure flow! I can't find any other people doing it in my area, so I'm looking for rigid-forked aficionados here to share why we like it oldschool!
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Old 05-05-14, 08:43 AM   #12
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I ride and race in the midwest and there are lots of rigid riders around here as the terrain allows for it, for the most part. I ride a rigid single speed and find it ideal for climbing and weight savings. Most single speed riders I know ride rigid forks. Pick good lines, run tubeless and less psi, wider front tire and use your body/arms as suspension and you can ride almost anything. Nice to not have to even think about shock maintenance etc also.
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Old 05-05-14, 09:39 AM   #13
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Threads merged since they were nearly identical.
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Old 05-05-14, 02:40 PM   #14
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Holmes,
I am close to 50 have both a rigid steel SS MTB & a HardTail. Love both...Steel is so great and the simple SS with no bells or whistles is also great.....All depends on what you want to do and $$$$$$
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Old 05-05-14, 03:41 PM   #15
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I'm riding a new bike now, but I miss my old GT Outpost All-Terra. I took a nasty spill on it and ended up not being able to ride for quite some time which led to it's eventual sale. Even on my new bikes I still have fond memories of many, many trail miles on that GT and I wish I still had it.
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Old 05-05-14, 06:34 PM   #16
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My modern MTB does 250-300 miles every year, my 20 year old steel rigid MTBs ... hmm ... no idea really, but it must be somewhere around 6-8.000 miles together. They're just a lot more rewarding to ride.

@FLJeepGuy : I know the feeling. I ended up tracking down an exact copy of my old bike. Sometimes you just have to follow your heart.

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Old 05-05-14, 08:03 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GravelMN View Post
820 was second from the bottom and has a chrome moly main triangle and fork but hi-ten stays. I already took your suggestion and the entire bike has been upgraded to a 9-speed mix of Deore shifters and derailleurs and Alivio crank and brakes. Also went with a Profile Design stem and a 6061 bar with a slight rise and sweep fitted with Ergon barend grips (GR2 if I remember right). Still not high-end but very reliable and a step or three up from the original Acera/Altus/who knows components that were on the bike when I got it. The seat is a bargain bin, entry level Bontrager seat that was a shop take off. The wheels are pretty much stock with the exception that the rear wheel is a newer entry level wheel that came with a 9-speed freehub.
I think that w/ your specified upgrades you have a pretty nice bike.
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Old 05-05-14, 08:44 PM   #18
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Just got a Specialized Stumpjumper FS - how do I tell it's age?

Just joined here & Just got a Specialized Stumpjumper FS! - can anyone tell me how do I tell it's age?
Thanks!



Quote:
Originally Posted by GravelMN View Post
Hi everyone,

Just to introduce myself, I'm a 50-year-old guy who got back into cycling a few years ago for healthy recreation. I started with an early 1990s Trek 820 with 1.5" hybrid tires but now have a fairly new road bike and an older 700c hybrid as well, so the 820 hasn't seen much use lately. I put the mountain bike tires that came with it back on and started riding some single-track trails and I'm hooked.

I was just wondering if there is anyone else here who rides old suspensionless steel mountain bikes or if this forum is for more advanced riders of more modern bikes. Would I be better off in the vintage forum even though there didn't seem to be a lot of off-road talk over there? I see there is a recreational cyclocross and gravelbiking forum. I guess what I do on my hybrid could be called gravelbiking because I bought it so I could have fatter tires for the numerous gravel roads in the area. I'm fixing up the old 820 so I can get even further off the beaten path.
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Old 05-05-14, 11:13 PM   #19
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Mine isn't vintage but it does have a cool custom dropper seat post. Just installed it this weekend . I also have a nice full suspension bike and like to alternate between them to keep the same old trails interesting. Looks like I'm stuck with the full suspension bike for awhile though till I can get that stuck seat post out of the frame.

Lots of people around here ride rigid single speeds so I wanted to join in a see what it was about. My legs aren't up to the SS part yet but I would like to at least get it to a 1x9 this summer.
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Old 05-06-14, 03:35 AM   #20
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I still have my 89/90 Prairie Breaker Expert, still rides quiet nice
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Old 05-06-14, 04:36 AM   #21
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Riding with single speeds..Hmm, I never understood that, how the climb hills? I'm probably a wuss who needs gears!
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Old 05-06-14, 06:50 AM   #22
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I don't post a lot in this subforum but I utterly love riding my 92 GT Tequesta, it's bumpier than the dual suspension sure... but it's a lot more fun.
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Old 05-06-14, 07:02 AM   #23
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I don't post a lot in this subforum but I utterly love riding my 92 GT Tequesta, it's bumpier than the dual suspension sure... but it's a lot more fun.
I love Tequesta, it's so badass!!
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Old 05-06-14, 09:17 AM   #24
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I have an older cromolly steel GT All Terra Timberline I got from a garage sale for 15 bucks a few years ago. I Absolutly love this bike. The older woman I got it from said it was her nephews & he had told her to just sell it & keep the money but it's clear that this guy was planning on doing something different with it. It has Specilized suspension forks on it , narrower than usual rims & extremely long crank arms. ( they actually hit the ground if I turn too sharply or go over bumps with one of them down) I bought a set of 26x1.4 Michelin city tires for it as I rarely use it offroad & this bike is super fast. I'm not in good shape but with little effort I blow right past some of the more serious riders I encounter like their standing still. I'm actually planning on tring to up the gear ratios since I never use the lower 14. It's a commuter all the way so I'd like to make it even faster if possible.
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Old 05-07-14, 05:39 AM   #25
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I don't do much off-pavement riding but when I do, I turn to this:

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