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1984 Norco Sasquatch Rebuild

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1984 Norco Sasquatch Rebuild

Old 10-05-20, 07:59 PM
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Happy Feet
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1984 Norco Sasquatch Rebuild

As the title says, this is where I will document my latest winter project.

I've just recently read Fat Tire Flyer by Charlie Kelly and I'm all re energized about early era mtbs, especially the more slack ATB designs. There's just something about them as blank canvases for artistic expression during a rebuild that appeals to me - you can pretty well make anything you want out of them. In the haze of a "I don't have enough things to do" moment I saw this large frame Norco Sasquatch on FB Marketplace for $80 bucks and grabbed it.



Apparently the recent work of a flipper, it sports a craptastic brush applied paintjob and a slightly mismatched spraybombed Tourney derailer along with an oh so comfy saddle ...



Otherwise, it has almost stock components in pretty good shape. The 7 speed wheelset is newer but I have a more appropriate early era set to swap with.







As per my usual MO, I plan to strip it to bare metal, refinish the frame and then decide whether to go stock or something "other".

I really like the bent flat bar but the bmx style stem is going to another build. I will replace it with a period correct chromed bull horn stem/bar combo that I have or.. make this a drop bar conversion. I dunno yet. Depends how "original" I wind up wanting to go.



1984 was the first year Norco, a Canadian based company, introduced a design specific mtb - the Sasquatch. The SN suggests 1984 though a decal indicates 1985.



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Old 10-05-20, 08:01 PM
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A couple of other decals.

1980's era Norco badge


Mountain series (in case you didn't know already)


Two Chromo decals. The lower one says Special designed Mountain Bike - it was a new thing!
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Old 10-06-20, 06:44 AM
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Yes, It would definitely be a 1985 model, having being manufactured by Yamaguchi of Japan during November 1984. The 1985 Sasquatch was the top model in Norco's five model ATB line-up. The OEM derailleurs were the ill-fated SunTour Mountech. It looks like this one may have got tangled with some brush, as the mouth of the axle slot appears to be pried open a bit. The OEM saddle was a Vetta Maxi, while the OEM wheelset was Suzue LF hubs laced to Araya 7X rims. Factory colours were Pearl Silver, Candy Apple Red and Metaillic Black.
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Old 10-06-20, 09:23 AM
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Very cool Project Happy Feet I recently picked up something similar; also 85/86, slack touring style geo, thumbies, bullmoose, biplane fork, made in Japan etc. I am going to ride mine in the clunker challenge before it becomes the winter tear down, Shogun Prairie breaker I



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Old 10-06-20, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
Yes, It would definitely be a 1985 model, having being manufactured by Yamaguchi of Japan during November 1984. The 1985 Sasquatch was the top model in Norco's five model ATB line-up. The OEM derailleurs were the ill-fated SunTour Mountech. It looks like this one may have got tangled with some brush, as the mouth of the axle slot appears to be pried open a bit. The OEM saddle was a Vetta Maxi, while the OEM wheelset was Suzue LF hubs laced to Araya 7X rims. Factory colours were Pearl Silver, Candy Apple Red and Metaillic Black.
Thanks T-Mar, I was going to tag you at some point to ask about the rims and derailer. I thought they were as you describe and have sets very similar, if not the same. Intentionally going back to NOS vinyl saddles instead of nicer leather ones is always a quibble for me - depends on the rebuild focus. Do you think this stem was stock as listed or did they show a one piece welded chrome bullhorn design?


Originally Posted by ryansu View Post
Very cool Project Happy Feet I recently picked up something similar; also 85/86, slack touring style geo, thumbies, bullmoose, biplane fork, made in Japan etc. I am going to ride mine in the clunker challenge before it becomes the winter tear down, Shogun Prairie breaker I
Nice! I was thinking of the clunker challenge too as $80 CAD is only $60 USD, so I'd have another $80CAD to upgrade. If I can (or rather am allowed to) swap straight across from two similar bikes for stem, saddle and rims, I think I can pull it off easily as most of this rebuild will require the labour to strip, repaint and work on the chrome work - plus a bearing/cable overhaul. Main cost as is will be new tires, grips and replacing that awesome derailer. But I wouldn't sacrifice aesthetics for the challenge if I can't swap so I'll consult the oracle.

Last edited by Happy Feet; 10-06-20 at 01:53 PM.
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Old 10-06-20, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
Thanks T-Mar, I was going to tag you at some point to ask about the rims and derailer. I thought they were as you describe and have sets very similar, if not the same. Intentionally going back to NOS vinyl saddles instead of nicer leather ones is always a quibble for me - depends on the rebuild focus. Do you think this stem was stock as listed or did they show a one piece welded chrome bullhorn design?....
It's hard to tell the style in the brochure picture but it's black with a chrome quill. The specs don't mention a brand or model but it does state "slingshot style stem". Between the picture and that generic description, I'd say there is a very high probability of it being OEM.
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Old 10-06-20, 02:05 PM
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Thanks!

That describes it pretty well. Ugh. I need that stem for another bike project (one of the reasons I bought this one). Oh well we'll have to think about this...
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Old 10-10-20, 10:26 AM
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Another day, another piece of the puzzle.
Saw this for $40 and decided to add it to the parts department. 1986 Kuwahara Mesa. It will serve as a donor here for the wheelset and stem, allowing the Norco stem to go to my Nishiki. The crankset will go to another SS conversion build.
Yikes, I now have 5 projects on the go.

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Old 10-10-20, 01:11 PM
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^^^^ Is that an elevated-stay Haro in the background behind the Kuwahara?

Now we know why there's a worldwide shortage of black duct tape.
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Old 10-10-20, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
^^^^ Is that an elevated-stay Haro in the background behind the Kuwahara?

Now we know why there's a worldwide shortage of black duct tape.
It's an 89 Nishiki Barbarian, their e-stay variation. Considered a mid to lower grade model, I was very impressed by the quality of frame construction when I stripped it down.
Gun Blued the frame and top coated with epoxy. Now a 2x2, single speed, dingle speed something or other. Very much like a 26" bmx mtb.




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Old 10-11-20, 11:17 AM
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^^^^^ Cool, I was unaware that Nishiki made so many variations on the Alien-style frame.
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Old 10-11-20, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
^^^^^ Cool, I was unaware that Nishiki made so many variations on the Alien-style frame.
That design wasn't used on the USA models, as it was designed for the Canadian market by Norco. BTW, it's a 1990 model. There were no elevated chainstay designs in the 1989, Canadian market, Nishiki line. I remember the OP posting about this bicycle, 3-4 months ago.
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Old 10-11-20, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
That design wasn't used on the USA models, as it was designed for the Canadian market by Norco. BTW, it's a 1990 model. There were no elevated chainstay designs in the 1989, Canadian market, Nishiki line. I remember the OP posting about this bicycle, 3-4 months ago.
You are correct, just double checked. 1990. As a weak excuse I will say I have too many projects on the go

I am still tweaking that build BTW. Just ordered some linear compressionless brake housing, adding a V brake to the front and the slingshot stem from this Norco. All in one shot when the housing comes in.
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Old 10-17-20, 07:24 PM
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Did some work today on the Norco, basically swapping parts back and forth to get an idea of what I want before tearing it down for the rebuild. ATM I'm leaning more towards period correct (ish) rather than original parts. The main donor bike is the Kuwahara Mesa so I'm into this thing for $120 so far.

First I took off the fenders and comfy seat, adding an old Selle Atomica until I can find something better.
Then I pulled the slingshot stem I wanted for another build for this single point stem.



Then I swapped out the wheels for the more period correct Araya rims. Bonus is a matching set of 26x1.75 tires in decent shape. I do not like the Shimano mega range freewheel and plan to swap that out.
It turns out I do not have a Suntour Mountech derailer laying around and stuck this Shimano SIS model on instead - just to get rid of that spray bombed Tourney.



So now it looks pretty good for the tear down.

Before:

After:


Decisions to make are choice of derailer. I have a brushed aluminum coloured Deore XT or a black Deore LX.

Saddle. If I can't get a Vetta Maxi what might come close in period correct style. Research I guess.
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Old 10-17-20, 07:28 PM
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An interesting note is that the bike looks tall for the 26" wheels. It is a larger frame. If I could find brakes to bridge the difference I could easily stick 650b or probably 700c wheels in the frame and fork.



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Old 10-18-20, 05:43 AM
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Does that tubing sticker indicate that the tubing is butted? Just curious if it is straight gauge or not.
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Old 10-18-20, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by beicster View Post
Does that tubing sticker indicate that the tubing is butted? Just curious if it is straight gauge or not.
IDK? The tag is torn right where it might have said so. On top it says Cro-Mo seamless tubing.

I bet T-Mar knows. I can't find a catalog page describing it online.

Last edited by Happy Feet; 10-18-20 at 09:25 AM.
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Old 10-18-20, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by beicster View Post
Does that tubing sticker indicate that the tubing is butted? Just curious if it is straight gauge or not.
Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
...
T-Mar, any idea if the tubes are double butted?
I tagged you in the post above but don't think it worked so I quoted you for the notification.
I can't find much of anything about it on the webs.
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Old 10-18-20, 04:03 PM
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Very nice!
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Old 10-19-20, 01:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
T-Mar, any idea if the tubes are double butted?

I tagged you in the post above but don't think it worked so I quoted you for the notification.

I can't find much of anything about it on the webs.

Yes, Tange MTB of this era was a butted tubeset. The top and down tubes were double butted and 3mm oversize in diameter for improved stiffness, while the seat tube was standard diameter and single butted. There were two versions of Tange MTB. The heavier set used 1.2mm and 0.9mm for main tube wall thickness, while the lighter gauge version used 1.0mm and 0.7mm. The catalogue specs don't state which version was used. In fact they don't even mention Tange MTB, just stating, "chro-moly double butted tubing". So, to determine which set Norco spec'd, you need to determine the seat post diameter. If you've got a 26.6mm seat post, it should be the heavier gauge version, while a 27.0mm post would be indicative of the lighter gauge version.


BTW, my son was home for Thanksgiving with his camera phone and I got a picture of the brochure page. I was going to post it but thought it a moot point, since you decided to go with a non-OEM build.
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Old 10-19-20, 06:21 AM
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I think this is an 84 Bigfoot, smaller frame with similar clearance at the fork.



As found originally. Lots of mudguard clearance.


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Old 10-19-20, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by clubman View Post
I think this is an 84 Bigfoot, smaller frame with similar clearance at the fork....
While I don't have 1984 literature, I believe this could be a 1985 model. From what I can see, the major components appear to be correct, with the exception of obvious replacements, like the front brake, front derailleur and pedals. However, the biggest factor that has me leaning to 1985, is the use of a head decal. The photos 1985 literature, which would typically have been taken using very early new model production from late 1984, shows a mixture of badges and decals, while the 1986 literature shows strictly decals. The mix in 1985 isn't stratified by bicycle style or level, so I believe it represents a transition that took place between the 1984 and 1985 models. This would appear to be supported by the use of a decal on the OP's 1985 model that was produced in very late 1984. What is the serial number?
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Old 10-19-20, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
Yes, Tange MTB of this era was a butted tubeset. The top and down tubes were double butted and 3mm oversize in diameter for improved stiffness, while the seat tube was standard diameter and single butted. There were two versions of Tange MTB. The heavier set used 1.2mm and 0.9mm for main tube wall thickness, while the lighter gauge version used 1.0mm and 0.7mm. The catalogue specs don't state which version was used. In fact they don't even mention Tange MTB, just stating, "chro-moly double butted tubing". So, to determine which set Norco spec'd, you need to determine the seat post diameter. If you've got a 26.6mm seat post, it should be the heavier gauge version, while a 27.0mm post would be indicative of the lighter gauge version.


BTW, my son was home for Thanksgiving with his camera phone and I got a picture of the brochure page. I was going to post it but thought it a moot point, since you decided to go with a non-OEM build.
Thanks for the info T-Mar, I'm going to check the seat post diameter today.

I will probably not go crazy OEM but haven't ruled it out completely and am interested in the brochure page if you can post it. One of the fun things I enjoy about rebuilding a bike is the process of learning about it as I go. Norco being a Canada based company, and being a Canadian, this is a good fit.

A problem with a stock rebuild I am considering is the frame recoat and decals. I am pretty sure I want to strip and begin anew but a search online shows no decal sets for Norco like that (very few for Norco at all other than bmx). I can get the Tange badge, and can probably reproduce the Norco letter set, but that leaves the second "mountain series" "special design" and "1985 Japan", Headbadge and "Sasquatch" labels.

Last edited by Happy Feet; 10-19-20 at 07:20 AM.
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Old 10-19-20, 07:34 AM
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Unfortunately, I don't know of a good source for Norco decals but then, I haven't been looking. Here's the brochure page for the 1985 Sasquatch. As previously warned, it's not a very big image.
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Old 10-19-20, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
While I don't have 1984 literature, I believe this could be a 1985 model. From what I can see, the major components appear to be correct, with the exception of obvious replacements, like the front brake, front derailleur and pedals. However, the biggest factor that has me leaning to 1985, is the use of a head decal. The photos 1985 literature, which would typically have been taken using very early new model production from late 1984, shows a mixture of badges and decals, while the 1986 literature shows strictly decals. The mix in 1985 isn't stratified by bicycle style or level, so I believe it represents a transition that took place between the 1984 and 1985 models. This would appear to be supported by the use of a decal on the OP's 1985 model that was produced in very late 1984. What is the serial number?
It's actually a head badge, not a decal. Serial # really hard to make out. My best guess is 49890469 if that makes any sense. I can see no letters apart from the DSBM above.


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