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XL Mountain bike frames-plan for the future

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XL Mountain bike frames-plan for the future

Old 12-15-20, 08:29 AM
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XL Mountain bike frames-plan for the future

There are a ton of great bikes out there right now that could be considered all-rounders. My heart is aligned with the vintage world of quality steel bikes so when I think of building an all-rounder, I think about starting from there rather than the bike shop. So, I want to start collecting ideas about XL vintage mountain bike frames. I currently have an 87 Specialized Hardrock which meets the low end of my desires but I want something a bit bigger and something with higher end steel. The Hardrock has about a 21.5" CTC seat tube (22.5" CTT) and is made from "Custom gauge" (also known as straight gauge) steel. Ideally, it would be about an inch or so taller and be butted steel. I also prefer the more aggressive NORBA era geometry but that is not a requirement.

So, what bikes came in that larger size with quality steel?
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Old 12-15-20, 10:16 AM
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Specialized had a full line of sizes in their 1996 and 1997 catalog.
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Old 12-15-20, 11:59 AM
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Some of the Miyata or Koga-Miyata models.

For Koga-Miyata:Koga had a partnership with Miyata for building frames, often having some small additions or slightly higher-end components.
Either came in Double butted, triple butted or splined triple butted tubing depending on model. Lots of experimentation with lugged carbon and titanium too.
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Old 12-15-20, 12:12 PM
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I have an early 90's Univega Alpina Comp MTB that is a large size (will measure later and update this post) and is made with Tange MTB double butted. Pretty nice.

EDIT: Looks like the seat tube is 56cm C-T, while the top tube is 58.5 C-C. The previous owner/rider who used the stock flat bars and exposed more seat post was 6'3". I am 5'9".



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Old 12-15-20, 12:16 PM
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Two good threads listed below.

Personally I would really like a Stumpjumper from the early nineties when they were still full rigid, had good steel tubing but had the more aggressive geometry that was starting to become popular. Regarding sizing, I think most manufacturers made an XL

Get to scrollin!

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Old 12-15-20, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by beicster View Post
There are a ton of great bikes out there right now that could be considered all-rounders. My heart is aligned with the vintage world of quality steel bikes so when I think of building an all-rounder, I think about starting from there rather than the bike shop. So, I want to start collecting ideas about XL vintage mountain bike frames. I currently have an 87 Specialized Hardrock which meets the low end of my desires but I want something a bit bigger and something with higher end steel. The Hardrock has about a 21.5" CTC seat tube (22.5" CTT) and is made from "Custom gauge" (also known as straight gauge) steel. Ideally, it would be about an inch or so taller and be butted steel. I also prefer the more aggressive NORBA era geometry but that is not a requirement.

So, what bikes came in that larger size with quality steel?
If you are looking for a quality XL late 80s or early/mid 90s MTB frame, I would be brand and model neutral and instead evaluate whatever is available in 22/XL/22.5" size. That size frame in that time period is currently slim pickins for sure on ebay and regional craigslists(by me). You will get more hits by searching with a larger net...and its not like there will be so many options that its difficult to sort thru.
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Old 12-15-20, 12:56 PM
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I've got a 80's Diamondback Ascent, that I think is 23" square. Yellow. Just say'n.
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Old 12-15-20, 02:32 PM
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And a Schwinn Paramount PDG-30 that's something like 22x24"........
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Old 12-15-20, 03:20 PM
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Thanks everyone for the great responses. Keep em coming if you got em.
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Old 12-15-20, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by bark_eater View Post
I've got a 80's Diamondback Ascent, that I think is 23" square. Yellow. Just say'n.
Originally Posted by bark_eater View Post
And a Schwinn Paramount PDG-30 that's something like 22x24"........
I am not ready to buy right now but I will keep these in mind. Thanks.
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Old 12-15-20, 03:27 PM
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What about a 1998 GT Zaskar LE? Its aluminum though
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Old 12-15-20, 03:30 PM
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beicster I did a resto-mod on this '93 Mongoose IBOC Comp that measures 22.5" which fits me (I'm 6'-3").
The head tube is 8" tall! The main triangle is bonded aluminum while the rear is welded aluminum...which doesn't meet your steel desire.

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Old 12-15-20, 03:47 PM
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I would add the Miyata Street Runner and Schwinn Cimarron to the list
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Old 12-15-20, 04:06 PM
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My early '90s Marin Eldridge Grade with upgrades (XT shifters, XT fd, XTR rd, Ritchey Logic crankset. Nice bike for a 6'3" rider. I purchased this bike for next to nothing. If I was going to shop for a vintage MTB I would look for a Bianchi Grizzly or Super Grizzly. My wife has an early '90s Grizzly and it is a very nice, light bike.


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Old 12-15-20, 04:30 PM
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Many/most of the 1990 Rocky Mountain MTBs used Tange Prestige steel, including the Tantalus, Blizzard (quad butted/double butted), Equipe, and Hammer.
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Old 12-16-20, 04:00 AM
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I have an old Stumpy, biplane fork, 24in I think, its huge and I have seen a few so....
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Old 12-16-20, 06:00 AM
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Five plus years ago I found this Miyata Valley Runner Carbon (100th Anniversary addition) at a Thrift Store. It is very hard to find information on this model.




Kind of wild in that the Valley Runner models were considered entry level for Miyata's 26" wheeled MTB/Hybrids. But here it is with carbon or carbon wrapped main tubes and cast aluminum lugs.

Above is as found and all these years later I finally have a plan for it. I'm going to build it into a IGH on-beach cruiser for my winter riding during low tide on the coast of GA.
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Old 12-16-20, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
I have an old Stumpy, biplane fork, 24in I think, its huge and I have seen a few so....
Those old Stumpies are nice but all the ones I have seen are $1000 or more for a complete and $400-$500 or more for a frame. I am definitely not ready for that kind of investment. Perhaps I will be down the road.
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Old 12-16-20, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by beicster View Post
Those old Stumpies are nice but all the ones I have seen are $1000 or more for a complete and $400-$500 or more for a frame. I am definitely not ready for that kind of investment. Perhaps I will be down the road.
Keep an eye out in the spring, when everyone seems to unload unwanted bikes. My Univega needed to be refurbished, but I got the complete bike for $50, and I probably invested another $50-60.
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Old 12-16-20, 01:18 PM
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Most brands topped out their ATB frames at 22", as that was considered the equivalent of a 25" road frame. The market for bigger frames falls off quickly above these sizes, so they are harder to find. When you can find them, they're generally around the crossover between upper entry level and lower mid-range , which constituted the most popular market segment.
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Old 12-16-20, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by beicster View Post
Those old Stumpies are nice but all the ones I have seen are $1000 or more for a complete and $400-$500 or more for a frame. I am definitely not ready for that kind of investment. Perhaps I will be down the road.
Yep, sellers lose their mind over these, even worse they think the ugly unicrown later ones are worth more.

I overpaid for my frame and its a bit rough, as many are but I was glad to find one at all that was big.
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Old 12-16-20, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
Five plus years ago I found this Miyata Valley Runner Carbon (100th Anniversary addition) at a Thrift Store. It is very hard to find information on this model.

Kind of wild in that the Valley Runner models were considered entry level for Miyata's 26" wheeled MTB/Hybrids. But here it is with carbon or carbon wrapped main tubes and cast aluminum lugs.

Above is as found and all these years later I finally have a plan for it. I'm going to build it into a IGH on-beach cruiser for my winter riding during low tide on the coast of GA.
Are sure that his is a 100th anniversary model? While it does have the early APA lugs, all the cables are running along the top tube and it employs a top pull front derailleur. To me, that suggests a 1991 model. Regardless, I don't recall this being catalogued in Canada or the USA.

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Old 12-16-20, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
Yep, sellers lose their mind over these, even worse they think the ugly unicrown later ones are worth more.

I overpaid for my frame and its a bit rough, as many are but I was glad to find one at all that was big.
I may get to the point where I am willing to pay a premium price but I am not there yet. I am still in the window shopping phase.
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Old 12-16-20, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by beicster View Post
I may get to the point where I am willing to pay a premium price but I am not there yet. I am still in the window shopping phase.
I get it but would encourage you to be prepared to make an exception if a good, right one comes along, bird in the hand and all.

I was in low threshold mode for quite awhile, that led to not needing to stay there.

Found and acquired plenty of bikes I wanted, still make exceptions but not running into the burning building anymore.
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Old 12-16-20, 04:26 PM
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You can't go wrong with a Stumpjumper.
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