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Having issues putting an old MTB back together.

Old 09-22-12, 09:27 PM
  #1  
AK404
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Having issues putting an old MTB back together.

Heya 26, I could use a little help here: I'm usually a road cyclist, so certain aspects of MTBs are a bit beyond me.

I've been working on an abandoned 1997 Klein Pulse Pro II as a winter riding bike; the bike has no derailleurs, no shifters, and the handlebars seem a bit narrower than what I'm used to seeing. The paint was peeling off in thick clumps, so I stripped it down to bare aluminum; not sure if I like the rugged look or will polish the hell out of it, but that part isn't important.

I'm not sure what kind of suspension fork I'm looking at here, but according to Bikepedia, it's an "Answer Manitou Pro." I don't even know how these suspension forks work, but when I popped it open, I just saw bunch of plastic tubes. Isn't there something else that's supposed to go in here? Something tells me that this is not something I can service, but can I at least clean the insides somehow?

Another, more urgent, problem I'm having is parts availability: Deore LX (not sure which version, but might be 565?) doesn't seem to exist anymore, and I'm having trouble finding a suitable replacement. I'd like to find a match for the parts that came with it, but something tells me that it might not be worth my time...and Alivio (or Microshift) parts are readily available, but IIRC, those are fairly low-end.

In addition, I can't find grip shifts for the bike, so I might just go for thumb shifters or a pod setup (which is what I believe MTBers call brifters).

Lastly, the wheels seem to be as listed on the BikePedia entry, but they're filthy as hell and Simple Green isn't getting the dirt out. I've never allowed my rims to get this dirty, so what's the recommended method of getting them shiny again - isopropyl alcohol?
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Old 09-23-12, 01:48 AM
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Those "plastic tubes" are elastomers that have hardened with age. You may be able to find replacement cartridges with a little google search, otherwise a new fork will be much better than refurbing the old one at a decent price.

Attempting to locate the "exact" LX model from over 15 years ago is gonna be difficult, if not impossible. Throw on a modern LX drivetrain is your best bet.

Gripshifters are still available. You'll have to go 9spd as you'll be hard pressed to find a 7/8 spd gripshifters.

Since you've already stripped the frame I doubt you're going for a faithful restoration and being a lower end Klein I wouldn't put too much effort into it.

I have a same bike but in "Comp" flavor, set up SS. Pics for inspiration,
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Old 09-23-12, 03:19 AM
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You should be able to get those old parts readily on eBay - even the Gripshift. Original parts are best for a 'minty' type bike IMO. I would suggest upgrading to XT parts but stick with the '97 era as they aren't that much more than LX on eBay. XTR is a little pricey on eBay because everyone fights over it. Also, don't be afraid to hunt for a little old school 'bling' for the bike. To me mid 90's MTB's is all about anodized CNC'd aluminum parts. Grafton parts go for crazy money but other items slip thru at reasonable prices. I've gotten decent wheelsets for about $200 shipped (Ringle, Nuke Proof Titanium).

As for a fork - Marzocchi Bombers and Rock Shox Judy or SID might be your best bet (if you decide on Judy look for ones with the Englund Total Air upgrade). You might be able to find replacement elastomers or an upgrade kit for your fork but the forks from back then were never great and the best of the lot was Bombers or Judy/SID (excluding Lawwill, Girvin, AMP and other unique designs or hard to find forks).

I've never needed more than a green scrubee pad and parts degreaser to clean a rim followed by alcohol.

1997 Deore LX parts:

https://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/v/M...geViewsIndex=1

1997 Deore XT parts:

https://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/v/M...geViewsIndex=1

Suspension options:

https://mombat.org/Suspension.htm

BikePro has a good library of mid 90's MTB parts:

https://www.bikepro.com/over_index.shtml
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Old 09-24-12, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by commo_soulja View Post
Those "plastic tubes" are elastomers that have hardened with age. You may be able to find replacement cartridges with a little google search, otherwise a new fork will be much better than refurbing the old one at a decent price.

Attempting to locate the "exact" LX model from over 15 years ago is gonna be difficult, if not impossible. Throw on a modern LX drivetrain is your best bet.
Yeah, that's the thing: Shimano discontinued LX a while back. I have no idea what to use for an 8spd MTB: the cheap and easy way to do things would be to buy Alivio. The hard way would be to find XTR or XT parts, except I don't know which was the last of the 8spd series.

On the other hand, as you said, "lower-end Klein": it's not like the frame in question came from a high-end MTB, just a very good one.
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Old 09-25-12, 11:19 PM
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Oh yeah, read in another thread that the internals of grip shifts were almost all plastic. This might be another justification for me to use thumb shifters with little metal parts...or is that a bad idea for a winter bike?
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Old 09-26-12, 12:24 AM
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Any reason you're hung up on 8spd? - nostalgia? simplicity? luddite? If you can find one, Sram Attack grip shifters work with Shimano derailleurs.

Don't discount all gripshifters. Yes, the lower end stuff may have been crap, never used them myself but I have used X7, X9 and X0 shifters. My oldest pair being from 1998, 8spd X0s that I still use for my commuter. Still shifts smoothly as it did when I first bought them, only maintenance being cable/housing changes when needed.
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Old 09-26-12, 02:16 AM
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Simplicity, and I've got an 8spd freewheel on the rear. I'm not exactly crazy about the idea of switching to a 9spd unless it'd be a lot cheaper to do that.

After all, winter bike, right?
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Old 09-26-12, 03:18 AM
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Hi,

My "newest" bike is from this same era (8 speed) and I ride it in winter too, about 4 months a year I use it to commute on snow.

Here are my two cents:
1) Regarding 8 speed or 9 speed, if you have to renew the rear wheel, go 9 speed. If not, you should be able to find quite cheep 8 speed alivio trigger shifters, they were available at nashbar.com last year, so they should be easy to find. 8 speed cassettes are still available and of course you can use any 9/10 speed derailleur.
2) IMHO grip shifters were crappy during winter. Trigger shifters worked better for me while the grease didin't gunk up because of the cold. Now I use old school thumb friction shifters, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend that to you.
3) You didn't say what kind of winter riding you are planing. If it is off-road style, you should definately consider wider bars, that is very helpful for winter off-roading. For city commuting in winter conditions the narrow bars could be fine.
4) If you plan to off-road, spend your money on tires (buy the most aggressive studded tires you can find) and save on shifting and drivetrain. If you are commuting, spend on lights and drivetrain, buy less aggressive tires.
5) Winter commuting eats up brakepads, rims, cogs and chains quite fast. 8 speed chains and cogs should last longer than 9 speed.

happy winter riding!
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Old 09-27-12, 10:57 AM
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Thanks, j3ns. Yeah, mostly city commuting, but still planning on a 400-500 lumen light with a couple of reflectors, as well as a set of Continental full-stud winter tires.

Also, the 8spd freewheel I have is still good. Hard to believe after 15 years, but no sharking or tooth wear whatsoever. Triple cranks up front are another matter entirely...
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Old 09-28-12, 02:44 AM
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Originally Posted by AK404 View Post
Thanks, j3ns. Yeah, mostly city commuting, but still planning on a 400-500 lumen light with a couple of reflectors, as well as a set of Continental full-stud winter tires.

Also, the 8spd freewheel I have is still good. Hard to believe after 15 years, but no sharking or tooth wear whatsoever. Triple cranks up front are another matter entirely...
I suggest you consult with local winter commuters for advice on tire choice, if you haven't already. Studded tires come in very wide spectrum of "aggressiveness" (and rolling resistance). It depends on the length of your commute, local conditions, your other commuting options etc. which tire is the correct one.
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Old 09-28-12, 04:01 AM
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Wider bars are nice, IMO you do not need an old pogoing fork for winter riding, save the headset if possible and buy a rigid fork. I,m quite pleased with the Surly 1x1 fork I put on a frame from 99. Get the fork for 80mm suspension and studs for v-brake.
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Old 09-29-12, 06:04 PM
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Well, now for a cosmetic question. I'd like to affix a Klein decal onto the down tube, just because. Is it recommended to put a decal on bare aluminum (or aluminum with a matte overcoat), or am I going to need to prep the area some?


Thought I might as well show what the bike in question looked like. As you can see, the cassette is in pretty good shape; I just had it removed and cleaned, and almost no signs of extreme wear at all.
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Old 10-07-12, 12:33 AM
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I don't suppose someone can help me remember what cables go into the three slots on the top tube in what order? For some reason, I'm thinking it's Rear Brake, Rear Derailleur, Front Derailleur...but I could be wrong.
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Old 10-07-12, 12:51 AM
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Originally Posted by AK404 View Post
I don't suppose someone can help me remember what cables go into the three slots on the top tube in what order? For some reason, I'm thinking it's Rear Brake, Rear Derailleur, Front Derailleur...but I could be wrong.
Yup, sounds about right.
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Old 10-10-12, 01:53 PM
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Well, just down to a new seat post, seat and handlebar grips; I've been trying to go for a bare aluminum with black and red highlights kind of look, so I've been a bit picky about the parts I'm getting. Still ugly as sin, though, but I've been looking online for some Klein decals to take care of that little problem.

Kind of worried that I didn't get the length of the cable housings right, so taking it to the LBS for verification.
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Old 10-13-12, 02:26 PM
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And almost finished! Just needs a new seatpost, seat, thicker pedals, some lights, and...well, need to learn how to polish raw aluminum, then get that done in the spring.



Old Cook Bros. Racing crankset.


My disappointment at not being able to find a set of Cane Creek grips to match the bar ends was...not insignificant.
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Old 10-14-12, 02:28 AM
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Originally Posted by AK404 View Post

Old Cook Bros. Racing crankset.
You have a set of Cook cranks..... and an Alivio rear derailleur.

J/K - Props on breathing life into an old bike. I think I saw those cranks on eBay (gold chainring bolts seem familiar).
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Old 10-14-12, 03:10 AM
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https://www.ebay.com/itm/Shimano-Deor...item2c68c98f5e

An item here that may interest you that is going cheap ATM.

If you do not reply expressing interest in the part I may bid on it myself. If you are interested I will not bid. I have no immediate need for this part but I do bargain hunt parts of this era for spares/future builds. Hopefully BF members will observe similar 'auction etiquette'.

IMO when rebuilding an older bike you either rebuild the bike stock (best resale/collector value) or more often you build a bike to ride (either era specific or modernized). If you go 'era correct' given the relative affordability of XT level parts I highly recommend XT. LX is acceptable (your shifters/levers) but if you have less than LX you should consider an upgrade to XT. XTR is a premium price that IMO is simply not worth the extra cost - although if you are building an 'ultimate bike' then cost isn't really a primary consideration.

Not trying to be a 'parts snob' just relaying the general opinion of the day that if you are riding in the woods you need equipment that isn't going to fail. For serious riders, that meant XT. You could get by with LX but lower than that you are asking for breakdowns. In the woods. Away from help.

If you are looking for stickers and do not mind reproductions you may want to visit 'retrobike' and seek out poster 'gil_m" who does graphics work for reasonable prices. He may have 1997 Klein Pulse stickers already in his database but he doesn't usually list on eBay. They are a UK lot and I don't exactly 'fit in' there (or here on BF) so you are on your own.

Did I see those Cook cranks on eBay? The gold chain ring bolts seem familiar although I suspect it was a popular theme back then. Pairing a set of Cook's with an Alivio rear derailleur? SO wrong!
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Old 10-14-12, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Groundoggy View Post
You have a set of Cook cranks..... and an Alivio rear derailleur.

J/K - Props on breathing life into an old bike. I think I saw those cranks on eBay (gold chainring bolts seem familiar).
Nope, they came on the bike originally. The bike came from a friend of mine, and I didn't know how good the cranks were until five years later. I'm kind of grinding my teeth over the Alivio myself, but in my desperation to get the bike running ASAP, I kind of broke down and...well, there you go. I'm probably going to toast it over the winter, but once I overhaul the bike in the spring (to sand and polish the frame), I'll be hunting down XT and LX parts to replace the derailleurs again.

And I think I might have to replace those chainring bolts. I think I might've snapped two of them somehow.

Originally Posted by Groundoggy View Post
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Shimano-Deor...item2c68c98f5e

An item here that may interest you that is going cheap ATM.

If you do not reply expressing interest in the part I may bid on it myself. If you are interested I will not bid. I have no immediate need for this part but I do bargain hunt parts of this era for spares/future builds. Hopefully BF members will observe similar 'auction etiquette'.

IMO when rebuilding an older bike you either rebuild the bike stock (best resale/collector value) or more often you build a bike to ride (either era specific or modernized). If you go 'era correct' given the relative affordability of XT level parts I highly recommend XT. LX is acceptable (your shifters/levers) but if you have less than LX you should consider an upgrade to XT. XTR is a premium price that IMO is simply not worth the extra cost - although if you are building an 'ultimate bike' then cost isn't really a primary consideration.
Thank you. This might be what I'm looking for. I'm definitely not going for a stock rebuild, but was thinking more of an era-specific build. I spent some time scouring for XT and LX-tier parts, but always hit the wall on the elusive RD.

If you are looking for stickers and do not mind reproductions you may want to visit 'retrobike' and seek out poster 'gil_m" who does graphics work for reasonable prices. He may have 1997 Klein Pulse stickers already in his database but he doesn't usually list on eBay. They are a UK lot and I don't exactly 'fit in' there (or here on BF) so you are on your own.
I definitely do not mind reproductions. Thank you for the reference.

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Old 10-24-12, 01:14 PM
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Gripshifters are not for me. Hurt my hands after a while. Personally, I'd go with thumbshifters, but if you prefer GS, I'm sure you could find them on Ebay.
As for rims. I once read about mixing Coke with oatbran or flour and pasting it on and leaving for 24 hours. Never tried it so don;t know if it works, but I've seen the penny in the coke thing, and know that it's powerful stuff. Which is why I don;t drink it any more.
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Old 10-24-12, 05:04 PM
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Having issues putting an old MTB back together.

Well, I went for thumb shifters like a shot. I think I have the cockpit laid out the way I want, just unsure about the bar width now.
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Old 10-28-12, 01:46 AM
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Originally Posted by AK404 View Post
Well, I went for thumb shifters like a shot. I think I have the cockpit laid out the way I want, just unsure about the bar width now.
I love thumbies....but time to re-think?


https://www.ebay.com/itm/Sram-9-0-Gri...item1c2c641258

9 speed gripshift type so I suppose that doesn't help but the GRIPS!

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Old 10-28-12, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by AK404 View Post
Well, I went for thumb shifters like a shot. I think I have the cockpit laid out the way I want, just unsure about the bar width now.
Those aren't thumbshifters. And the alivio derailer will probably last a few years. They aint fancy but they dont fall apart in the rain.

Nice ride.
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Old 11-08-12, 07:23 PM
  #24  
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Yeah, just torn now: keep it raw, polish it, or powder coat it white?
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Old 11-19-12, 12:22 AM
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Originally Posted by AK404 View Post
Yeah, just torn now: keep it raw, polish it, or powder coat it white?
Keep it raw. Find some Klein decals on eBay, apply them and clear coat the entire frame....RIDE. Great job!
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