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which old skool MTB fits the bill?

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which old skool MTB fits the bill?

Old 03-16-10, 11:55 PM
  #1  
michaelwc
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which old skool MTB fits the bill?

I'm considering a project and and doing some fact finding on what old skool MTB frame I should use as a base. I'm looking for a rigid frame of good quality. Steel is fine. A beefy BMX-like front fork would be plus. I want to do a urban MTB. Fat road tires, possibly SS or internal hub, able to take a beating.

I'm thinking an old specialized-type quality that wouldnt be total sacrilige if it was stripped and painted a simple white or black. Something around $150 or less.

So what fits the bill? Trek, Cannondale, something else? What model? What can I expect to pay for it? Fill me in.
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Old 03-17-10, 12:51 AM
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There is an impossible number of bikes that could would fit the bill.

You should be looking for something late 1980s to early 1990s with horizontal dropouts (this may be hard to find) that is tig welded (usually indicates oversized tubing and therefore stiffer frame). Other than that I wouldn't worry to much about it. A BMX style fork on an MTB... that will be near impossible if not totally.

You can use a chain tensioner on almost any frame, but if you have to have horizontal drop outs you'll have a harder time finding something with decent geometry as the early MTBs had head and seat tube angles like english roadsters.
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Old 03-17-10, 05:18 AM
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I have a smallish Royce Union frameset from the early '90s that I could let you have for cheap that fits this description. Chromoly steel, horizontal dropout, beefy frame and fork. I don't have any pictures but could send you some.
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Old 03-17-10, 06:43 AM
  #4  
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I'm doing a similar project, and am using a late '80s (or possibly early '90s) Specialized Rock Hopper frame for mine.

The deviation on mine, is that I'll be using a rear derailleur & cassette with a single 'ring up front.
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Old 03-17-10, 07:15 AM
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Most of the 1990s Kona models fit the bill. The rigid versions have a BMX style fork (Kona Project 2). Their first Humu and A'ha models were BMX cruisers with a Nexus 7 speed hub.
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Old 03-17-10, 05:28 PM
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My vote goes to a 90's Trek. I have a '96 Trek 830 that I commute to work on. It's a comfortable ride. I am rebuilding a '96 Trek 970 right now. The 970 is beefier all around. The fork has consistant diameter tubing right down to the dropouts, and the frame tube is larger. I can't say how comfortable it rides because it didn't have a rear wheel when I got it. It has thumb shifters if thats important. I paid $15 for mine, but it was pretty rough. Paint was really chewed up and has scrapes on the derailleurs and bar ends, but it's structurally sound. Quality components. DX hubs and derailleurs. Would at least warrant a look.

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Old 03-17-10, 06:23 PM
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Just picked up this:



1992 Diamond Back Ascent EX. 100% True Temper AVR Double Butted frame (very light and stiff) with mounts for 3 bottle cages. Beefy ChroMo AVR fork. Relaxed geometry. Outfitted in all Deore LX. Really rides nice. My son has had a Sorrento with a similar frame for a few years which prompted me to look for one like his. Best part on this one was the $190 price and the fact it was NIB.
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Old 03-17-10, 06:28 PM
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Any Trek 900 series from the late 80's to the mid 90' I have two. I have a 90 lugged 930 and a lugged 92 950. The 930 is just the frame and is currently being built as my knock around bike. SS may be difficult with the vertical drops, but they make awesome urban bikes.
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Old 03-17-10, 06:55 PM
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google monstercross.
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Old 03-17-10, 06:55 PM
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+1 I love my lugged steel 1992 Trek 950. Cost me $75 on C/L. Did require some clean up work, but it was in pretty decent shape.

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Old 03-17-10, 09:03 PM
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I guess I'm wondering what 80s or 90s MTB doesn't fit the bill...

I've got big commuting plans for my 84 Stumpjumper...
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Old 03-17-10, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
I guess I'm wondering what 80s or 90s MTB doesn't fit the bill...
Reflex.
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Old 03-18-10, 01:54 PM
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Last year I picked up a 1990 Trek 950 at the local Goodwill for $60. Filthy, the tires were shot and it needed a new bottom bracket. It now has a NuVinci hub rear wheel installed and Big Apple tires. A horizontal dropout frame would have been preferrable but at the price I could not pass it up.
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Old 03-18-10, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
+1 I love my lugged steel 1992 Trek 950. Cost me $75 on C/L. Did require some clean up work, but it was in pretty decent shape.

Nice! My 1990 Trek 950 20" frame has a horizontal top tube. Any idea when this was changed or is it a matter of frame size?
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Old 03-18-10, 07:11 PM
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It seems to be a matter of frame size. My 19.5" 830 frame has a horizontal bar while my wife's 16.5" has a sloped bar.

Walt
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Old 03-18-10, 08:43 PM
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Hers a commuter I just finished for a friend
A GT Talera that was pretty beat. He loves it now!
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Old 03-18-10, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by wilber.71 View Post
It seems to be a matter of frame size. My 19.5" 830 frame has a horizontal bar while my wife's 16.5" has a sloped bar.

Walt
+1 18 inch and smaller have a sloped top tube. I had a 19.5 inch frame with a horizontal top tube.
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Old 03-18-10, 10:25 PM
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Awesome bikes. Mine's an 80's KHS montana pro I picked up off craigslist, all shimano deore and some fat street tires. It's my commuter but I don't ride it in the rain. Pretty sick and fun to ride but I'm debating putting mustache handle bars on it, definitely gonna get a more cumfy seat. Also just got new pedals to put on today. May also do a rack + fenders soon.

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Old 03-18-10, 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted by ish View Post
Most of the 1990s Kona models fit the bill. The rigid versions have a BMX style fork (Kona Project 2). Their first Humu and A'ha models were BMX cruisers with a Nexus 7 speed hub.
Are you sure they have horizontal drop-outs? I think almost all mid 1990s and later would have vertical.

A BMX fork has legs that are in line with the stear tube and the drop-outs come off the front of the leg.



A project two fork builds the rake into the angle at which the legs meet the stear tube, not like a BMX fork at all. The only similarity is the straight fork blades/legs

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Old 03-19-10, 12:05 AM
  #20  
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I'll add another Trek 950 to the pile...
Mine is a 1989.
I was able to get chain tension with vertical dropouts and no tensioner, using 36/13 gearing.
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Old 03-19-10, 01:45 AM
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I have outfitted and flipped a lot of vintage MTBs as commuters, and many are worthy candidates...but one of my all-time favorites was an early Miyata Ridgerunner, maybe '83 or '84, before the chainstay-mount rear brake fad. Lugged steel frame, quality components, nicely finished...only thing weak were the Ukai rims.
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Old 03-19-10, 04:40 AM
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I have put about 4500 miles on an early 80's Raleigh M60 over the past few years as a commuter/everything rider and it has worked well. Cro-moly frame and fork.
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