Author Topic: In praise of early 90s MTBs  (Read 8121 times)

LEE

  • "Shut Up Jens" - Legs.
Re: In praise of early 90s MTBs
« Reply #25 on: February 28, 2018, 05:43:44 pm »
]

1996 Saracen Forcetrax.  Bought new by me. Converted* by me to a "Camping bike".

Ridden this morning (with tyres deflated slightly) to get me to Wattbike class on icy roads.  Reassuringly solid on those 2.0" Marathons.

More often seen riding through sunflowers, on holiday in France.  Hopefully it will transport me through some more fields of sunflowers this summer.

* Cantis replaced with V-Brakes.  Bars replaced with Thorn "Comfort" bars and a Quill to AHEAD stem converter.  Other than that it's pretty original.  It may even be the original chain and Cassette (freehub).

I love pootling around medieval French towns on it.
Some people say I'm self-obsessed but that's enough about them.

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: In praise of early 90s MTBs
« Reply #26 on: February 28, 2018, 07:55:05 pm »
Nice, I like the front rack.

Here's mine

“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

LEE

  • "Shut Up Jens" - Legs.
Re: In praise of early 90s MTBs
« Reply #27 on: March 01, 2018, 10:06:10 am »
Nice, I like the front rack.

Thanks, I bodged a rear rack to fit.  Not had chance to see how it handles with front panniers yet.  Not as nicely as my Thorn with low-rider racks I'll wager.
Some people say I'm self-obsessed but that's enough about them.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: In praise of early 90s MTBs
« Reply #28 on: March 01, 2018, 03:49:31 pm »
Nice, I like the front rack.

Thanks, I bodged a rear rack to fit.

There's a cyclist I see around occasionally who has a similar but much less elegantly executed bodge, where the rack leans forwards at about a 30° angle.  This doesn't seem to matter, because its primary function seems to be to keep the baskety-bar-bag-thing from rubbing on the wheel, but it did leave me wondering if and how well panniers would work on such an arrangement.  Better than you might expect, I'll wager, at least once the bike's in motion.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: In praise of early 90s MTBs
« Reply #29 on: March 02, 2018, 12:12:04 am »
I've  had a rush of blood to the head and picked up a mid-90s 'fully rigid' Saracen Powertrax in good nick - still with what looks like the original tyres (amber wall Ritchey Z-Max as per '95 catalogue).  Frame is a 'Made in England', Tange Chromoly double butted, and whole bike weighs about 12kg.  atm it will be for around town/Ridgeway etc.

I'm still riding my 1997/8 Saracen Backtrax in Kermit Green.  It's had 2 new BBs a new crankset, chain and cassette, brakes and cables. Still on the original front and rear derailleurs and shifters. I span the wheels today whilst putting the Marathon Racers back on it - they are still smooth as silk.  I now use this as my run-about with a rack on the back, and have been up to 50km on it at a decent enough pace.

Since that I bought and then resold a Be-One 29'er with front suspension. Sold it again because it didn't ride anywhere as nicely as the Saracen, even with the boingy front end - or perhaps because of.

I am toying with the idea of converting it to drop bars, but that would also need new quill stem adapter, stem, brifters etc, so I'm not thinking about it too hard. A 9 or ten speed conversion might be more useful overall.

I tested the bike out on it's first 15kmx2 commute on Monday.  Feels nice and secure on the woeful Oxfordshire road surfaces - especially down local hills in the dark.  M'thon Racers look good.  I went for silentos, with the knobbly edging...


Will up the pressure of the tyres up to ~60psi to see how this feels, and probably stick with the 7spd for the mo (and consider the Deore M591 9spd triple I have on the shelf).
Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.  EOW.

fruitcake

  • some kind of fruitcake
    • Bailey
Re: In praise of early 90s MTBs
« Reply #30 on: May 13, 2018, 09:48:16 pm »


This is the foul weather bike which also does duty as a load hauler.  It's set up to have the drops as the main riding position, i.e. with a short reach and tall stack. Based on a Dawes One Track frame.

Re: In praise of early 90s MTBs
« Reply #31 on: March 04, 2019, 06:34:45 pm »
The Saracen now in knobblies mode...  I bought Schwalbe Black Jacks 2.1" (53mm), about £12 each.

IMG_20190304 by a oxon, on Flickr

edit. with new stem 120mm 35 deg, to replace the 135mm 10 deg original.  Saved 75g too...  ;)

Saracen Powertrax (1995) by a oxon, on Flickr

Some testing now required.  Possibly TINAT off-road ready...  ;)

I removed the large bluemels as the clearance was minimal with knobblies. 

With 'slicks' and full guards...
(click to show/hide)
Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.  EOW.

slope

  • Ride Fettle Ride
    • Current pedalable joys
Re: In praise of early 90s MTBs
« Reply #32 on: March 05, 2019, 02:20:48 pm »
I loves mine - it's now a shopping and haulage bike = ideal. 1987 Raleigh 'Avanti' 531 All Terrain

I'm a 72º seat tube (+ Brooks) sit back and enjoy kinda guy though  :D

https://www.flickr.com/photos/obswerve/albums/72157648266482689/with/17036820687/


Re: In praise of early 90s MTBs
« Reply #33 on: March 05, 2019, 06:32:02 pm »
Nice conversion to utility bike.    :)
Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.  EOW.

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: In praise of early 90s MTBs
« Reply #34 on: April 06, 2019, 07:10:18 pm »
very retro comfy looking.

Contemplating putting the knobblies back on mine for a bit of summer fun, and the rack back on the Giant for audaxy-load bearing purposes
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

tiermat

  • According to Jane, I'm a Unisex SpaceAdmin
Re: In praise of early 90s MTBs
« Reply #35 on: April 06, 2019, 09:57:47 pm »
My perfect mtb was a 1998 Marin Pine Mountain, closely followed by a Mount Vision Pro of the same vintage. If I ever found a Pine Mountain in 19.5",i think I might be tempted to see my first born.
I feel like Captain Kirk, on a brand new planet every day, a little like King Kong on top of the Empire State

JennyB

  • Old enough to know better
Re: In praise of early 90s MTBs
« Reply #36 on: April 07, 2019, 04:17:49 am »
My perfect mtb was a 1998 Marin Pine Mountain, closely followed by a Mount Vision Pro of the same vintage. If I ever found a Pine Mountain in 19.5",i think I might be tempted to see my first born.

Surely any bike would get you there just as well?
Jennifer - walker of hills



tiermat

  • According to Jane, I'm a Unisex SpaceAdmin
Re: In praise of early 90s MTBs
« Reply #37 on: April 07, 2019, 07:06:59 am »
Good point! Damned autocarrot!
I feel like Captain Kirk, on a brand new planet every day, a little like King Kong on top of the Empire State

T42

  • Tea tank
Re: In praise of early 90s MTBs
« Reply #38 on: April 07, 2019, 08:43:54 am »
My 1994 MBK frame reborn in 2011 as a tourer, mostly as a proof of principle on the way to building an LHT.



In the end I didn't much like either: they knocked about 3 kph off my average speed.  I still have the frame, cold set for a 9-speed cassette, and the 1999-vintage Shim 105 STIs (along with the rest of the 105 transmission), but the rubber on the levers is perished. Anyone passing through the Bas-Rhin with a 3-ton truck is welcome to haul away the lot.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

Re: In praise of early 90s MTBs
« Reply #39 on: April 07, 2019, 08:57:51 am »
Apart from the unicrown fork, it doesn't look all that different to a 26" LHT.
Never tell me the odds.

Re: In praise of early 90s MTBs
« Reply #40 on: April 07, 2019, 09:40:47 am »
I only found it recently, but I wonder if anyone can spot (may need the larger image) the slight 'frame building' mistake on my Saracen...

Nothing serious, but a bit irritating.

Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.  EOW.

Re: In praise of early 90s MTBs
« Reply #41 on: April 07, 2019, 10:01:37 am »
My 1991 Clockwork used for touring and commuting (here at top of Tenerife):



LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: In praise of early 90s MTBs
« Reply #42 on: April 07, 2019, 10:28:52 am »
I only found it recently, but I wonder if anyone can spot (may need the larger image) the slight 'frame building' mistake on my Saracen...

Nothing serious, but a bit irritating.

A couple of idiosyncrasies might qualify.

There was a fashion for putting the seatpost binder bolt in front of the seat tube. Apparently to minimise water/ dirt getting into the seat tube but there was a greater incidence of fatigue cracking as a result. My fat thighs tend to annoyingly rub against such QRs.

Extending the top tube past the seat tube is just a styling exercise but it worked for GT.

Putting the rear gear cable along the top of the seat stay guaranteed it would collect water and muck but was much more common than routing it underneath the seat stay.

The seat tube bidon bolts should be a shade lower to avoid clashing with the front mech clamp, particularly if the biggest chainring size alters.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: In praise of early 90s MTBs
« Reply #43 on: April 07, 2019, 10:37:42 am »
I only found it recently, but I wonder if anyone can spot (may need the larger image) the slight 'frame building' mistake on my Saracen...

Nothing serious, but a bit irritating.

A couple of idiosyncrasies might qualify.

There was a fashion for putting the seatpost binder bolt in front of the seat tube. Apparently to minimise water/ dirt getting into the seat tube but there was a greater incidence of fatigue cracking as a result. My fat thighs tend to annoyingly rub against such QRs.

Extending the top tube past the seat tube is just a styling exercise but it worked for GT.

Putting the rear gear cable along the top of the seat stay guaranteed it would collect water and muck but was much more common than routing it underneath the seat stay.

The seat tube bidon bolts should be a shade lower to avoid clashing with the front mech clamp, particularly if the biggest chainring size alters.

Yes.  The front mech band is inbetween the bidon bolt threads, as the threads are too low.  The band is currently sat right next to the bottom thread, so can't be lowered, and in fact the front mech is 3-4mm above the largest chain ring...  Mech seems to work OK.  Couldn't get a second bidon cage on though.  I guess I could always file the thread 'boss' down and touch up with some metal paint if needed.
Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.  EOW.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: In praise of early 90s MTBs
« Reply #44 on: April 07, 2019, 10:37:54 am »
My 1994 MBK frame reborn in 2011 as a tourer, mostly as a proof of principle on the way to building an LHT.



In the end I didn't much like either: they knocked about 3 kph off my average speed.

I'd have thought that modern wide, easy-rolling tyres would reclaim a lot of that lost speed but retain the comfort on rough roads. That top tube and stem combination looks somewhat longer than I recall your road bike having.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: In praise of early 90s MTBs
« Reply #45 on: April 07, 2019, 10:43:59 am »
Yes.  The front mech band is inbetween the bidon bolt threads, as the lower thread is too low.  The band is currently sat right next to the thread, so can't be lowered, and in fact the front mech is 3-4mm above the largest chain ring...

I prefer having the front mech clamp between the bidon bolts because it allows big bidons on the seat tube in a small frame and a lower CoG, which feels nicer out of the saddle. There needs to be some room for adjustment though. That tends to mean fairly large big rings compared to current MTB fashion. I suspect that frame was originally specced for a different crankset and the smaller Shimano crankset maxed out the front mech adjustment. I've filed a recess in the clamp to lower the front mech before now.

Some washers should give enough clearance between the bidon cage and front mech clamp, otherwise a different bidon cage design would work. T42's photo shows something suitable.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

T42

  • Tea tank
Re: In praise of early 90s MTBs
« Reply #46 on: April 07, 2019, 02:38:58 pm »
My 1994 MBK frame reborn in 2011 as a tourer, mostly as a proof of principle on the way to building an LHT.



In the end I didn't much like either: they knocked about 3 kph off my average speed.

I'd have thought that modern wide, easy-rolling tyres would reclaim a lot of that lost speed but retain the comfort on rough roads. That top tube and stem combination looks somewhat longer than I recall your road bike having.

Those are Schwalbe Silentos I had knocking around the workshop.  Back then the "big tyre = faster" meme hadn't yet percolated.  And you're right, the frame is too big for me: in 1994 I knew SFA about bike sizing and went with the LBS guy's opinion: he had me stand over it and since the top tube wasn't making crushing anything he said yeah, that's fine.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.