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Old 09-26-17, 02:13 AM   #1
AustinFitz 
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New project! 1983 Diamond Back Ridge Runner

I've been negotiating a trade deal with a guy about an hour and a half away from me for a few weeks now. He wanted a modern 29" department store MTB I had, and in exchange he offered me this '83 Ridge Runner, plus a 1984 Diamond Back Formula One bmx bike. Of course I gladly accepted!!! I finally made the drive earlier this evening and brought them both home.

It's rusty and crusty, but I think it has good bones and plenty of potential! I recently acquired a 1985 Mongoose ATB to make into sort of an off-road tourer with fat tires and fenders, but I think I like the lugged DB better, and may build it instead of the goose... Then I could easily trade the goose for a 1984 Centurion Pro Tour I've been offered... So many awesome choices!

Anyways, here are some pics of the Ridge Runner from the seller. It was too dark when I got home to get pics of my own.















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Old 09-26-17, 09:06 AM   #2
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Should be interesting to see how this cleans up. Lots of nice components on this.
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Old 09-26-17, 10:41 AM   #3
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Looks pretty much original, maybe the dirt too!

I am eager to get my 84 back on duty. the 80's MTB were a nice breed.
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Old 09-26-17, 11:07 AM   #4
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It should clean and polish up nicely. Some rubbing compound and wax, Blue Magic aluminum polish and a couple of wire wheels for the dremel and I would have it looking almost new.
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Old 09-26-17, 11:39 AM   #5
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Yeah I'm really excited about bringing it back to life! From the research I've done so far I do think it's almost entirely original. Looking it over I don't see anything broken or badly damaged either. I think it will all polish up nicely except for the badly rusted spokes. I guess I'll start looking into replacements soon. It's probably about time I learned to build a wheel anyway. I've been avoiding it for a while now
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Old 09-26-17, 12:03 PM   #6
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Yeah I'm really excited about bringing it back to life!
Really cool bike, and SO GREAT to see that no one made off with that long cage Superbe Tech rear mech! I always thought it was awesome that the cable guide on the driveside chainstay routes the cable to THAT derailleur, and THAT derailleur ALONE. Reminds me of the faucet commercial where the lady plunks a bathroom faucet on the architect's desk and says, "Design me a house around THAT." A local bike shop owner here has the Miyata version of this frame, and I traded some parts to a member here to get that derailleur for him, to replace the ARX-GT that someone stuck on as a (poor) substitute.

Looks like yours is all there...I bet you'll love it when you're finished! Best of luck with it!
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Old 09-26-17, 12:39 PM   #7
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I always thought it was awesome that the cable guide on the driveside chainstay routes the cable to THAT derailleur, and THAT derailleur ALONE. Reminds me of the faucet commercial where the lady plunks a bathroom faucet on the architect's desk and says, "Design me a house around THAT."
Haha!!! This is my first ever experience with one of them. In fact I had no knowledge of their existence at all before researching this bike lol. From what I've read though they were top of the line, and very innovative, but suffered from guide pulley problems similar to that of the long cage Mountech rear derailleurs... Because the frame was specifically designed for this ONE derailleur I'm really hoping I'll be able to get it working nice and smoothly again without too much headache.

Interestingly I do have some experience with the Mountechs though. I run one on my main rider (it's original to the bike) which was in roughly the same condition as this DB when I got the it. When it came time to clean up the rear Mountech I was too scared to open up the internal spring/guide pulley assembly, so I just cleaned it up the best I could and flushed the internal spring out with TONS of thin lube while working the spring back and forth.

After reinstalling it I have yet to have any issues with it, and that was late last year sometime!

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Old 09-26-17, 12:44 PM   #8
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Yeah that Superb Tech kinda jumps out at you, doesn't it? Well traded, I'd say. Ozzie scores again.
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Old 09-26-17, 03:14 PM   #9
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... but suffered from guide pulley problems similar to that of the long cage Mountech rear derailleurs...
Problems, schmoblems...you win with that baby on style points alone!!
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Old 09-26-17, 03:44 PM   #10
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Yeah I'm really excited about bringing it back to life! From the research I've done so far I do think it's almost entirely original. Looking it over I don't see anything broken or badly damaged either. I think it will all polish up nicely except for the badly rusted spokes. I guess I'll start looking into replacements soon. It's probably about time I learned to build a wheel anyway. I've been avoiding it for a while now
Spoke replacement is easy, especially if you have a truing stand. I replace two at a time, one from each side, true it and then do two more and so on. If the rim eyelets are corroded and you have a dremel tool (a must have tool anyway IMO), a wire wheel attachment will clean them right up.
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Old 09-27-17, 10:02 AM   #11
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Subscribed to this thread!

I love the look of everything on this bike and look forward to seeing it cleaned up, shined up and ready to ride.
I wonder if many of these models were made?
It's the first I have seen.

As to wheels, 2 weeks ago I received a wheelset in silver with RhynoLite rims and Deore hubs that look well made
from Bike Wagon that sell for about $142 I think.

I had signed up on their email list and received a $20 off coupon and there was free shipping when I placed my order.
I am please with them at $122 shipped and like how they look.

Enjoy your new project and ride.
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Old 09-27-17, 10:20 AM   #12
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Looks like a lot of fun for you and us, so post lotsa pics.
I dig those lugs and bars.
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Old 09-30-17, 04:24 AM   #13
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Thanks for the tips guys! I'm currently stuck on bed rest with an ankle injury, and it's killing me not being able to get up and start working on this thing!

At least I know it's mine, and it's already here waiting for me as soon as I'm better!

By the way this was the bike I traded for it. Someone had given it to me for free a couple of months ago with broken brake levers. I replaced them with some I had laying around, and gave the bike a full tune up (minus chain lube because I was out) before dropping it off to him. I think he was really just happy to see it go someone who appreciated the Ridge Runner, and wanted to restore it.

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Old 09-30-17, 08:11 AM   #14
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Wow, what a great deal! Those lugs have some serious class. It's like a gentleman's all-terrain cruiser. Subscribed!
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Old 09-30-17, 09:21 AM   #15
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Another cool thing about the early 80's MTB is the drop out adjuster screw is on these as well. It's like they took a touring bike and made it robust. The fork on mine is half the frames weight.

Bummer to read of the injury! I guess this makes it a winter project. The threads coming!
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Old 10-01-17, 10:13 AM   #16
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Here are a couple of pics I just took of it in “as found” condition.








Last edited by AustinFitz; 10-01-17 at 10:19 AM.
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Old 10-11-17, 09:10 AM   #17
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Thanks! I'm really excited about it. So far the plan is just to totally break it down, clean, de-rust, and polish everything, then reassemble and test ride it!!! Then I'll decide what to do from there, but I do have an itch to do a drop bar conversion with big fat slick tires, full fenders, and racks!
If you do the drop bar conversion be sure and post to the thread
" Show Your Vintage MTB Drop Bar Conversions "

https://www.bikeforums.net/showthrea...ferrerid=70993

I have done several of them and enjoy riding these vintage ' no suspension' rigid mtb's.

Currently I am attempting to polish up an aluminum 1990 Trek mtb frame after stripping two layers of paint.
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Old 10-11-17, 10:59 AM   #18
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You will love the hadle bar set up of those shifters, cushy grips and huge brake levers.
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Old 10-22-17, 01:18 PM   #19
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a couple of wire wheels for the dremel and I would have it looking almost new.
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If the rim eyelets are corroded and you have a dremel tool (a must have tool anyway IMO), a wire wheel attachment will clean them right up.
Well I still haven't started on disassembling the DB, but my ankle is just about healed up now, so I'll be starting soon! Since I can comfortably walk around now I went out to my shed today to dig around for some tools I've been missing, and I happened upon a whole bunch of dremel equipment! SCORE!!!

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Old 10-22-17, 01:27 PM   #20
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sweet bike and fun restore project. I love old MTBs and this is a good one.
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Old 10-22-17, 03:35 PM   #21
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I love my drop bar set ups but ride this bike before you convert it. You will love those bars.
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Old 10-22-17, 03:41 PM   #22
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I love my drop bar set ups but ride this bike before you convert it. You will love those bars.
I'm definitely planning to clean and rebuild it back to it's original form with the bullmoose bars first. I figure it would be best to start out riding the stock bike first, then decide what, if anything I'd like to change on it. It's definitely getting full fenders though either way! I currently don't have a single bike with fenders for wet weather.
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Old 10-22-17, 04:26 PM   #23
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+1 to the fenders. These MTBs work well with mudguards.
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Old 10-24-17, 11:31 PM   #24
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Well I was about to start stripping the Ridge Runner down when I suddenly decided I was going to try pumping up the tires to see if they held air, and to my surprise they actually did! So of course I had to then bring it out to the street and see if it would ride... Again to my surprise it seemed to be pretty much fully functioning!!!

I didn't want to ride it too much before servicing all the bearings, so I just went around the bock, but I have to say it really rides pretty nicely!!! The shifter cables and derailleurs were pretty crusty, and near frozen up, but it did shift through almost all gears with no problems other than being super stiff.

The cartridge bearing hubs are still buttery smooth though! It was a strange feeling riding such a dirty, rusty, and neglected bike with such a smooth ride to it! Anyway, I'm as excited as could be about it! I know this bike is gonna turn out to be another one of those bikes that just totally steals my heart like my 2 Centurions did!
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Old 10-25-17, 09:36 AM   #25
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It's a really cool bike- the old ATBs have a smooth ride on pavement, but aren't exactly nimble either on the road or in dirt. I've got an 84 Stumpjumper with the bull moose bars and an 87 Schwinn High Sierra- both of which have that LONG chain stay length- I think that wheelbase and the not-exactly-light tubing contribute to the smoothness of the ride.
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