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What are your favorite vintage mountain bikes?

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What are your favorite vintage mountain bikes?

Old 07-14-19, 01:06 PM
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What are your favorite vintage mountain bikes?

My impression is that mountain bikes are one area where most folks agree that the modern options are better than the classic ones. But maybe I'm wrong! What were your favorite old-school mountain bikes? Were there any old frames that could accommodate anything like the big chunky tires modern bikes are specced for?
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Old 07-14-19, 04:14 PM
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Only one I have now, have had others, over the years, but this one is the best. I do not have any interest in any kind of suspension systems. Hard tail or nothing, for me...
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Old 07-14-19, 04:16 PM
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Old 07-14-19, 04:22 PM
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Mountain bikes are defined by innovation... and fads. So you’re going to get a range of answers. Personally I like Cannondales.
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Old 07-14-19, 04:22 PM
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There are a bunch of awesome boutique vintage mountain bikes (Salsa, Fat Chance, Steelman, etc..). However, I don't have a bunch of money to spend, so my taste leans toward the bigger brands. A 1991 Diamondback Axis Team is my favourite, but I may be bias due to the color.



I'd like to find one in my size one day, but the chances are slim.

When it comes to vintage mountain bikes, they work best as all around, commuters, fire road and gravel bikes. Riding technical singletrack is what the new bikes are best for. I know a few that can fit 26x2.5 tires, such as the Trek 9xx series, but max tire size depends on the bike.

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Old 07-14-19, 04:26 PM
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I usually like the mountain bikes which have a high degree of utility designed in mind, usually indicated by a mid-fork blade braze-on mount. Minimum of two water bottle braze-ons too and comfy looking to ride with ample chainstay length. Any bike that fits that bill might get some of mine!
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Old 07-14-19, 04:31 PM
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1993 Bridgestone MB 1, 1993 Trek 950, and 1991 Team Stumpjumper:




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Old 07-14-19, 04:43 PM
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A small list of mountain bike "wants" that would flip my "desirable switch", if and when I go hunting for bicycles. 1) biplaner forks, 2) bullmoose handlebars, 3) splatter paint jobs from the late 80's early 90's, 4) suntour thumbie non-indexed shifters, 5) early lugged frames, 6) stumpjumpers (because reasons), 7) smoke chrome Schwinn High Sierras (because reasons), 8) obscure, higher range mtb's from the late 80's/earlier 90's (I've seen a few, for fairly reasonable prices, but never ended up with any of them). I know rigid mtb's are good as commuters and graveler converts, but I don't really have those needs... so that's sorta held me back from purchasing them.
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Old 07-14-19, 05:53 PM
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For a neighborhood 4th of July parade, some bikes don't need no decoration. Foreground: my younger grandson gets a push from his mommy.
I really like my mountain bike. It is practical, comfortable, fun to ride. Bonus points: it is one of the last made-in-America Schwinn frames, in Team USA red-white-and-blue, and I bought it from a San Diego firefighter.
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Old 07-14-19, 05:58 PM
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Amongst my herd, these are my favorites,ridewise:

IMG_3078 by 2cam16, on Flickr

1991 GT KARAKORAM by 2cam16, on Flickr

IMG_9045 by 2cam16, on Flickr

IMG_5673 by 2cam16, on Flickr

IMG_3859 by 2cam16, on Flickr
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Old 07-14-19, 06:52 PM
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Brings back memories. I remember trolling the local Schwinn Double wheel store. I bought a Giant mountain bike. I don't remember the model. Maybe a Sedona? I was proud of that bike. probably 1988 or 1989? It had water bottle mounts! One day I tore it down to really clean it up good, and dropped the frame. Dented the head tube really bad. Went back to the SDWS and bought a Schwinn KOM S-7, which I still have. That was 1990 I think.
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Old 07-14-19, 07:12 PM
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There’s a lot of early rigid manufactures that I keep an eye out for. They rarely come up for sale. To me, not interested in anything “vintage” with suspension regardless of its pedigree.

My 86 Cimarron is a very fun knock around bike and would build another if given the chance.

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Old 07-14-19, 08:25 PM
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I'd like another Paramountain. Mine got converted into a fixie by my kid. (good for him.)
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Old 07-15-19, 11:28 AM
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What do you mean by big chunky tires.? 2.3 Continental Trail Kong’s fit on my Univega Alpina Team.

My favorite MTBs would be anything with Deer ahead, XT or Suntour XC with original rigid forks.
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Old 07-15-19, 11:39 AM
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I also prefer MTBs with long chainstays and no suspension. For the vast majority of "consumer-grade" MTBs the suspension just adds weight, and the fork dampers quit working after 5-10 years.
Some of my favorites:

Klein Rascal
(Not pictured) '85 Trek 870
'92-96 Trek 930



'83 Bianchi Grizzly. Apologies for the frame-only pic. Currently powdercoated in a slightly jazzed version of the same color, waiting patiently in the build queue.
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Old 07-15-19, 01:06 PM
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Great bikes in this thread!

I'm constantly watching craigslist for nice vintage steel rigid 22.5" and 23" frames. The larger frames are few and far between, it seems...especially with their original matching rigid forks. I have what I need now, but I'd like to "upgrade" my current frame just for the enjoyment of the hobby and because they're so relatively inexpensive.
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Old 07-15-19, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by toavii
There’s a lot of early rigid manufactures that I keep an eye out for. They rarely come up for sale. To me, not interested in anything “vintage” with suspension regardless of its pedigree.

My 86 Cimarron is a very fun knock around bike and would build another if given the chance.

This is magnificent.
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Old 07-15-19, 01:17 PM
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I'm pretty fond of this one:

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Old 07-15-19, 01:35 PM
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There were only about 10 of these made according to Jim, then maybe 5 Stumpy prototypes after he got to Specialized.



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Old 07-15-19, 01:42 PM
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Better shots

That pic was poor. Here are some better ones. The second one shows room to spare with the 26 x 2.0 tires on there.



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Old 07-15-19, 02:02 PM
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I don't have any vintage mountain bikes but if I did, an early Specialized Stumpjumper would have to be where I started. The Stumpjumper was the first mass production mountain bike in 81.
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Old 07-15-19, 02:07 PM
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Oh come on you guys, those are all just the 1985-1995 version of a Schwinn Suburban.

Anyone have one of these? Now that would be cool. (photo by user mattkock on MTBR)

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Old 07-15-19, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac
There were only about 10 of these made according to Jim, then maybe 5 Stumpy prototypes after he got to Specialized.
Now that's cool!
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Old 07-15-19, 02:49 PM
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my Favorite ones that ive actually ridden are

1992 Mongoose IBOC Pro (With the Tolberone top tube!)


1986 Trek 850



I have some that are in progress of being built . (these are the before pictures)

1985 Ritchey Ascent



1994 GT Zaskar LE


1988 GT Karakoram
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Old 07-15-19, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty
Now that's cool!
Tx, I had never seen one in person, let alone for sale, it's too small, a little rough and tweaked.

I couldn't get the deal done fast enough.
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