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Recommend a Vintage MTB to Me!

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Recommend a Vintage MTB to Me!

Old 09-23-14, 09:49 AM
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Recommend a Vintage MTB to Me!

I want to buy a vintage mountain bike to throw on the back of my Vanagon for riding when I go camping. I know that modern MTB's are much nicer, but I don't ride to compete - I ride for the feeling. I mean, I camp in a 1983 VW! I am 6'1" with a 33" inseam, and ride a 57-58cm road bike. Budget - under $200.

Because the bike will sit on the back rack of the van, I don't want a collector piece, just something that will ride well, but not attract too much attention. Oh, I will mostly be camping in Arizona, where I live.

Here is a picture of the van - just imagine a nice vintage MTB on there. :-)

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Old 09-23-14, 09:57 AM
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Mountain Goat.

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Old 09-23-14, 10:01 AM
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There are so many great vintage mtbs out there. I'd check out my local CL. Vintage MTBs aren't typically too expensive either; you should be able to pick up a good machine for under $200. You're probably better off picking out a few likely looking machines and then asking on the C&V appraisal forum which one to get. I'm partial to vintage specialized MTBs as I own 2 of them but obviously there are other good brands out there.
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Old 09-23-14, 10:01 AM
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Whatever you can find that fits. Look for u brakes and bullmoose bars.
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Old 09-23-14, 10:08 AM
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I don't don't know if the size is right, but I like this.

vintage mountain bike
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Old 09-23-14, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by rhm
Mountain Goat.
WOW! That looks AWESOME!

Originally Posted by bikemig
<SNIP> I'm partial to vintage specialized MTBs as I own 2 of them but obviously there are other good brands out there.
Are you partial to US made ones, or the Made in Taiwan ones as well?

Here is a US one. Here is a Taiwan one.

Originally Posted by IthaDan
Whatever you can find that fits. Look for u brakes and bullmoose bars.
Most definitely on the bullmoose! :-)

Originally Posted by brian3069
I don't don't know if the size is right, but I like this.

vintage mountain bike
Already have a message in to her? :-) I probably need a 19-20" bike, according to online calculators. Of course, will try out in person.
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Old 09-23-14, 10:26 AM
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So you don't have a Jetta, but maybe this?: Trek VW Jetta Limited Edition Excellent Original Condition | eBay
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Old 09-23-14, 10:32 AM
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Cool VW!
Here's mine, with foldies on the rear rack.
As for a mountain bike for under $200, I'd suggest getting the simplest one (hardtail, rim brakes) that fits you. Brand is less important than fit, condition and quality of components. Older sprung forks can leak or, if they use urethane elastomers, collapse completely. That said, a sprung fork is loads more comfortable off-road than a conventional one. Condition matters because MTBs take considerably more of a pounding than road bikes, so you should look for a lightly used one, preferably in the company of a bike-savvy friend.
I have a Cannondale KV hardtail from the 1980s which I adore and would recommend. Unfortunately, they may cost a bit more than you want to spend.
That's all I got!
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Old 09-23-14, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by brian3069
I don't don't know if the size is right, but I like this.

vintage mountain bike
That looks awesome badass. Get that.
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Old 09-23-14, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by gregaz
WOW! That looks AWESOME!



Are you partial to US made ones, or the Made in Taiwan ones as well?

Here is a US one. Here is a Taiwan one.



Most definitely on the bullmoose! :-)



Already have a message in to her? :-) I probably need a 19-20" bike, according to online calculators. Of course, will try out in person.
I could be wrong but I don't think they were made in the US but in Japan. I have two made in Japan vintage specialized mtbs and they're great bikes.
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Old 09-23-14, 11:12 AM
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I'd recommend a Trek 9XX (930, 950, or 970). Nice US made, steel frame geometry, great ride. Earlier frames are lugged, later ones are TIG and lugless. Later ones are also available with a front shock, or without. The best part is you can find anything from a beater to real nice between $40 and $150. I bought my 2nd one earlier this year (another 94 930 SHX identical to my 1st one) in really nice cosmetic shape for $30 with a front shock (that I will be removing). The first 930s that came with front shocks had RockShox Quadra 10s, and they weren't very good when they were newer, and after 20 years the elastomers are going to be shot. I replaced the dead Quadra 10 with a Rockshox Judy SL, and have been very happy with the bike.

Early 900 series bike came with cantis, and the later ones come with V- brakes. I think most 900 series bikes are 21 speeds, except the latest ones which are 24 speeds.

You are probably looking for a 18" or 19" frame. Mountain bikes aren't sized like road bikes. Look for a frame that leaves you at least 4-5" standover in case you have to stand up over rough ground off-road. I ride 54cm and 56cm road bikes, and a 16.5" mountain bikes.

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Old 09-23-14, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig
I could be wrong but I don't think they were made in the US but in Japan. I have two made in Japan vintage specialized mtbs and they're great bikes.
Would you avoid the Taiwanese ones?
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Old 09-23-14, 01:50 PM
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Nothing wrong with Taiwan built. I had a 1988 Univega Alpina Pro, dark chrome, made in Taiwan, beautiful bike (just too small for me).

Mountain Goat for under $200? Good luck on that search.

+10 That chrome Diamondback is a WINNER. Go get it.

Forget anything with a suspension (front or rear). Suspension parts on most MTBs tended to be low end, and do not age well.
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Old 09-23-14, 02:04 PM
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I have a decent USA built Gary Fisher Tassajara that I upgraded w/ newer 9spd components
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Old 09-23-14, 05:25 PM
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Well ... it's dangerous posting here. So, this happened: https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...l#post17156666
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