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Back from the Dead: an Interesting 1987 KHS Montana Team

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Back from the Dead: an Interesting 1987 KHS Montana Team

Old 07-10-12, 11:37 AM
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wernst
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Back from the Dead: an Interesting 1987 KHS Montana Team

Though I commute daily on a folder, for more than 10 years my beloved vintage mountain bike has sat in (indoor) storage, and this weekend I decided to take it out, clean it up, and determine its condition. And with that, I present to you what was a very rare bike when new, and now probably unique: a 1987 KHS Montana Team.


I bought this new in 1988 directly from the KHS distributor when I worked in a SoCal bike shop when I was 18. I got a deal because the original fork was bent and scratched before its sale, and replaced with a chromed unit. It seems interesting and rare because:
  • Itís made with Columbus OffRoad ChroMo tubing
  • It has the nearly complete Suntour XC9000 GroupÖ
  • Including the Suntour-branded XC9000 RollerCam rear brake on the underside of the chainstays (remember those?)

Recall that the XC9000 stuff was reinforced Superbe Pro hardware, complete with sealed cartridge bearings for everything, even the pedals. Also recall that there were no front brakes in the group, so high-end Dia Compeís were standard. The bike came with a Tange Levin headset.


This was SunTourís first year of indexed shifting, and itís significantly less slick than Shimano units of the day, and I was aware of this when I bought it. Shifting requires pushing through each click slightly, waiting for the chain to engage, and then letting go when it did. Check out the brake-lever mounted shifters!


Other than the fork, this bike is 100% stock, and after cleaning and lubing, still seems to work about as well as I remember. The tires need replacing before I go for a spin, and due to clearance issues with the rollercam, it needs a relatively narrow rear tire (26 X 1.7 ideally Ė anyone have any ideas?).

I put the whole Picasa Album on public if anyone wants to check out all the before and after photos.

I'm probably going to replace the tires and tubes, get things a bit more cleaned, replace the cables and brake pads, and then take it riding on the local trails and enjoy it all over again.

Thanks for reading. Comments (especially about that rear tire) welcomed.

-Warr
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Old 07-10-12, 04:11 PM
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That's quite a fancy MTB, Warr. You don't see many Columbus-framed mountain bikes, that's for sure.
Regarding the tires, I am not sure what your intent is for this bike - But if it is to be an alternate for your commuter, then I would suggest a pair of Michelin City tires:
-and for winter, a pair of Nokian Extreme 294's:

That, and a set of PB fenders and a rack and you'd be all set.
If you want to use it as a MTB though I don't have any ideas.
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Old 07-10-12, 04:50 PM
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Auchen,

Thanks for the feedback about the tires. Since I take a couple of trains on my way to work, I'll continue taking the folder for the commute.

My goal is to resume off-road riding on this thing; my home town has a great off-road loop that's popular with the MTB riders. One interesting tire is the Schwalbe CX Pro HS 269 CycloCross Bicycle Tire (26x1.35), with the CX guys think is pretty good, though it strikes me as being a tad too narrow. If I don't see anything else, that's probably what I'm leaning towards for the rear.

-Warr
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Old 07-10-12, 04:58 PM
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These tires would fit right in on that bike.
https://www.firstflightbikes.com/TimbukTire.htm
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Old 07-10-12, 05:02 PM
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The guys over here might like to see that bike too.
https://forums.mtbr.com/vintage-retro-classic/
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Old 07-10-12, 07:13 PM
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With that paint scheme it would be a crime to go with anything other than some red sidewall Panaracer Fire XC Pro's! It's nice to see a KHS here!
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Old 07-10-12, 07:30 PM
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Put some drop bars on that bad boy!
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Old 07-10-12, 08:04 PM
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Very cool. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 07-10-12, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by doorunrun View Post
With that paint scheme it would be a crime to go with anything other than some red sidewall Panaracer Fire XC Pro's! It's nice to see a KHS here!
D,

Oooooh! Actually, I really like this idea, and it seems that Parancer has all sorts of Red sidewalled tires. They even make a 1.8" wide Fire XC, which might be perfect.

Thanks for the pointer.

Gotta love the 80's paint/color schemes!

-Warr
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Old 07-11-12, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by KvltBryce View Post
Put some drop bars on that bad boy!
Cyclocross has always interested me, and I prefer sitting in the drops too. Who knows? Thanks for the suggestion.

-Warr
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Old 07-15-12, 09:58 PM
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New tires went on yesterday, and today I got to take the old girl out for a ride on the trails.

Indexing is all out of sorts (derailleur needs a trip to the solvent tank, I think), but friction worked just fine.

Photo of all the red for those interested.




-Warr
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Old 07-16-12, 12:17 AM
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Nice bike.
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Old 12-08-21, 11:35 AM
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Back from the dead, again!

Hi.
Recently bought a KHS Montana Team, I believe it's an '87. Columbus OR frame and original wheels, Suntour XC9000 drivetrain , brakes (front Diacompe); tires have been replaced and I removed some cheap pedals. Handlebars are risers but look as old as the bike, and I think in this case are original too - not sure though. It's been ridden some and shows it but the frame is straight, not much rust.

Not a lot of info available online - found this post here, and saw another for sale on San Diego Craigslist that wasn't original. If anyone has the 1987 KHS catalog, I'd appreciate a scan. I need to post a few more times before I can add a photo but it should be in my gallery now. Thanks for any thoughts.

Last edited by ElGenerale; 12-08-21 at 11:44 AM.
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Old 12-08-21, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by ElGenerale View Post
Hi.
Recently bought a KHS Montana Team, I believe it's an '87. Columbus OR frame and original wheels, Suntour XC9000 drivetrain , brakes (front Diacompe); tires have been replaced and I removed some cheap pedals. Handlebars are risers but look as old as the bike, and I think in this case are original too - not sure though. It's been ridden some and shows it but the frame is straight, not much rust.

Not a lot of info available online - found this post here, and saw another for sale on San Diego Craigslist that wasn't original. If anyone has the 1987 KHS catalog, I'd appreciate a scan. I need to post a few more times before I can add a photo but it should be in my gallery now. Thanks for any thoughts.
Welcome aboard, glad you found us, you're in the right place.

You can upload to your album and they will likely get moved here.

In the meantime, reply to all posts to get there here too.
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Old 12-08-21, 12:53 PM
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And away we go...


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Old 12-13-21, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by ElGenerale View Post
Hi.
Recently bought a KHS Montana Team, I believe it's an '87. Columbus OR frame and original wheels, Suntour XC9000 drivetrain , brakes (front Diacompe); tires have been replaced and I removed some cheap pedals. Handlebars are risers but look as old as the bike, and I think in this case are original too - not sure though. It's been ridden some and shows it but the frame is straight, not much rust.

Not a lot of info available online - found this post here, and saw another for sale on San Diego Craigslist that wasn't original. If anyone has the 1987 KHS catalog, I'd appreciate a scan. I need to post a few more times before I can add a photo but it should be in my gallery now. Thanks for any thoughts.
I don't have any literature on this model. However, XC9000 was manufactured from 1987-1989 and KHS was still using that livery and chainstay mounted brakes in 1988, so it could be other than 1987. Unless it's in the gray region when companies traditonally transitoned between model years, we may be able to determine the model year from the serial number.
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Old 12-13-21, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
Unless it's in the gray region when companies traditonally transitoned between model years, we may be able to determine the model year from the serial number.
Of course, thanks T-Mar. Serial number: 70282407, "Taiwan ROC" product according to the sticker on the head tube.
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Old 12-13-21, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by ElGenerale View Post
Of course, thanks T-Mar. Serial number: 70282407, "Taiwan ROC" product according to the sticker on the head tube.
OK, it's definitely a 1987 model, as the frame was manufactured in February of that year.
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