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Old 03-21-06, 11:38 AM
  #55  
Bokchoi Cowboy
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Sacramento, California
Posts: 29

Bikes: 1997 GT LTS-1, 1980 Peugeot PX-10, No-name kludge drop-bar monstercross/commuter/adventure bike

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I had a Ross Mt. Hood from 1985 that went through a long process of improvement. It is now long gone, and I am kicking myself for giving up that ride. It was a tank, to be sure, and the weight really was tiresome (literally!), but I would love to have it back, for at least the sentimental value.

It was a chrome beast, with the black square with a stylized "R" on the head-tube, triangulated bars, Sugino cranks, a heavy Tange (I think) fork, Dia Compe cantis, and a middle of the road shimano drivetrain and shifter set. I rode the stock wheels into the ground just so I could start my upgrades with their replacements: a spiffy set of wide Specialized/Wheelsmith Saturae bolt-on 5 speed wheels. I still have those wheels, as I later got a set of Specialized/Wheelsmith X-32 (or 35, I don't remember) quick-release 6 speed wheels.

I upgraded the drivetrain to the first gen Deore XT, with the nifty black labeled thumbshifters. Got the Deore XT brake levers (with the little rubber boots) and cantis. Road seat for a narrower profile and ease of movement when off-road. Changed out the fork for a unicrown one so I could use a different headset and quill stem (Ross used some weird size and standard compnents wouldn't work). Got a silk finished black Specialized stem and bar, attached through a Shimano 600 headset with an extra lockring (those scalloped nutted ones). Pedals were these interesting Shimano platform types that had this strange internal rigging that allowed toeclips to be attached, which were leather wrapped Christophes.

Went a heck of a lot of places with this bike, off-road through commuting. The frame was subject to some intense crap, including some ski-area downhills, including Mammoth. I was amazed at what it lived through. It was a definite testament to the Ross company. Many people look at them as a bargain basement type of manufacturer, but after getting much more than my money worth out of that bike I can say they knew what they were doing, even if they did build tanks. I am sorry the name does not have a current association with quality, but at least us retro-grouches can bask in the memories.

I do have a chrome Mt Whitney, sans wheels, in my attic that I should probably pull down and restore. It has the original Shimano "Deer Head" group on it, and appears functional. Perhaps that will be the project after the PXN10-E restoration....

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