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My first venture into vintage MTBs

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My first venture into vintage MTBs

Old 07-14-17, 05:07 PM
  #1  
AustinFitz
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My first venture into vintage MTBs

I've been admiring vintage MTBs for a little while now, and have been keeping my eyes out for a good deal on one. N+1 as always I guess Anyway I guess the stars aligned today or something because I managed to come home with a pretty nice 1985 Mongoose ATB for $100! It's filthy, but seems to be in working order, and with most all of it's original parts. I've heard a lot of good stuff about these, and I'm really looking forward to fixing this one up!





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Old 07-14-17, 05:24 PM
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Clang
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I'd say you did well on price (around here, chrome means a premium). That should shine up nicely! Might take a few sheets of aluminum foil and some blackened fingers though :]
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Old 07-14-17, 09:26 PM
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That's great, clean 'er up and hit the woods. MTBs are a blast.
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Old 07-14-17, 09:36 PM
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Ya needs an old Avocet Touring saddle.
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Old 07-15-17, 06:07 AM
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$300 plus worth of parts on that bike: Pro Class wheels, Suntour XC II pedals, Suntour thumb shifters, stem, crank, brake levers.
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Old 07-15-17, 09:02 AM
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You done good!

Which way are you going to go with this beaut? Original, touring, city?
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Old 07-15-17, 09:18 AM
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Sweet looking bike. What are the components? Am I seeing the wheels correctly in they look to be drilled between the spokes?
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Old 07-15-17, 11:21 AM
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I would say you got a good ideal. I really like my Schwinn from about the same era. I have never seen between-spoke holes in a rim before.
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Old 07-15-17, 12:30 PM
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Thanks guys! Yeah I'm totally happy with what I paid for it given the condition it's in. I'm not exactly sure what the plans are yet, but the first thing that comes to mind would maybe be big fat smooth tires, fenders, racks, bags, Brooks saddle, etc... Sort of a light off-road/dirt and gravel road tourer.

Yes the rims have holes drilled in between each spoke lol. They are a 26" version of Mongoose's very popular Pro Class 20" BMX race wheels of the early '80s. There were cool foil type rim strips that came in different colors. Here's an example, and a couple of pics of the 1985 ATB catalog ad, and specs





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Old 07-15-17, 01:22 PM
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Cool score!
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Old 07-15-17, 06:38 PM
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Top notch parts all around, up and down!
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Old 07-15-17, 07:29 PM
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I just picked up a very similar-looking Diamondback Ascent, nice!
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Old 07-15-17, 09:44 PM
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Nice bike! I'm guessing 32 LBS with a rigid fork is probably standard for early/mid 80's.

John
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Old 07-16-17, 09:49 AM
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I did a little tune up on it just to get it riding decently and took a quick spin on it last night... It's a pretty fun bike! Doesn't really feel as cumbersome as the weight would suggest. After riding my Centurion Ironman lately though the steering felt SUPER slow right at first. It really just wants to keep straight lol.

It is pretty comfy though, and feels vaguely familiar to me. I guess that's because it really just feels like a giant BMX bike! It does pretty sweet wheelies

I was just offered a 56cm 1984 Centurion Pro Tour in trade for it though... I've yet to see it, and I'd probably rather a 58cm, but an '84 Pro Tour is on my list of bikes to acquire for myself, so plans for this goose are even more up in the air now
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Old 07-16-17, 11:03 AM
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Love it! My favorite era for off-road touring/light MTB use/grocery getter. I agree that the most important thing, IMHO, is the biggest set of quality modern tires you can fit. Big Apples work good and the Rat Trap Pass are outstanding if you can stomach the price. I find that the Maxxis Holy Rollers are super fun if your going to be off road at all.

Have fun!
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Old 07-16-17, 05:30 PM
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Thanks! I LOVE the Rat Trap Pass tires, but don't think I can drop that kinda coin just on tires. I really need to do some research on 26" tires. It's been a looonngg time since I've shopped for any. That's pretty much the kind of tread pattern I'll be looking for though, and definitely tan walls.

I got the frame stripped down this afternoon, and I'll probably spend tonight removing all the rust and hazy oxidation from the chrome. Compared to some of the other chrome frames I've cleaned up this one really shouldn't be too much work. Most of the only real rust is around the BB area where the chrome is always thinner.



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Old 07-25-17, 02:49 PM
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Cleaned up the chrome on the frame set a little bit. It's nowhere near perfect, but it's definitely looking much better than it was! Presentable is just fine with me though.





Still trying to work out how I'd like to build it. I have too many other projects that are more of a priority for me right now, so I really don't want to spend any money on this bike at the moment. I do have lots of random parts hanging around though. I was thinking about possibly putting on a BMX stem and some taller bmx style handlebars, or maybe some upright cruiser type bars... The original tires are pretty much toast due to deteriorating sidewalls, so I'm probably going to throw some fat white wall beach cruiser tires on it for now just because I have a pair I'm not using on anything else. I have 1 really nice aluminum rear fender I'd like to try to use. Unfortunately I don't think I have any front fenders to match it though... I'd really like to do both front and rear fenders, and front and rear racks as well. It's hard to picture these things while simply looking at a big box of parts and a frame set, so I guess I'm just gonna start building and see where I end up!
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Old 07-25-17, 11:46 PM
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ryansu 
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Nice clean up, just picked up an 86 Miyata Trail Runner that I am going to keep stock for now except I am putting huge tires on it :-)

I was just at a cool vintage bike shop in Portland Or and they built up a mid - 80s stump jumper as a touring bike with dirt drops, touring drop bars and bar end shifters at first glance I thought it was a Rando, very nice. I have read many places that early MTBs have as more in common with road touring bikes of the time than later MTBs much the same geometry just smaller wheels/ tires.
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Old 08-01-17, 12:45 PM
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Little more progress on the goose. I cleaned up the wheel set as best I could and repacked the hubs. Then I made some rim strips to match the decal color, and installed some big fat white wall tires. Still not entirely sure where I'm going with it, but I'm thinking maybe upright cruiser with racks and fenders.









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Old 08-01-17, 02:01 PM
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Looking good! Love the detail you've done so far.
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Old 08-01-17, 03:52 PM
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Nice work! Those rim strip colors seem like a perfect match with the decals. What did you use for the rim strips? Also, what did you do to clean up the chrome so nicely?
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Old 08-01-17, 06:45 PM
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'You will ride eternal, shiny and chrome.'
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Really nice bike
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Old 08-02-17, 09:15 AM
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You are certainly coming across some outstanding bikes from the various genre. Love this latest acquisition, the early MTB do have some good touring geometry. The chrome looks fine as with the cleaning you did. Have you considered some of the chemical cleaners like naval jelly?

Are the original parts going to be used or half an half? Will look forward to your build. Will probably get me urged to tackle my 84 Schwinn High Sierra frame project.
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Old 08-02-17, 11:30 AM
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A few years ago I picked up a 1983 Takara Highlander on Craigslist. It was almost a clone of your Mongoose but without the chrome. It was one of my favorite bikes ever but it was damaged and donated for parts.
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Old 08-02-17, 12:38 PM
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That looks great, why not rebuild it with the original components for now then decide on the final build after some miles? Looks fun as originally built, but there's plenty types of fun out there. Just curious is all. Nice bike, the rim strips are a great touch.
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