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Thread: Ancient Mountain Bikes

  1. #1
    Journeyman
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    Ancient Mountain Bikes

    Ok maybe it's not really that ancient, although I think it's a fair age for a mountain bike. So after seeing all the super modern bikes on here, I decided to get mine down from it's resting place, hanging onto rafters in the garage and dust it off. I think the bike is circa 1996, it has in the past been thoroughly used/abused in muddy forests, mainly those in the far north of Scotland. I can clearly see where I had to heat to the rear hanger to straighten it after a stick got caught in the chain.

    I think in around 2006 I had new brakes and a rear derailleur fitted, also seem to remember that originally the bikes complete drivetrain was LX, but that derailleur and the brakes are not that now. The brakes originally being the centre pull type. I cannot for the life of me remember when I fitted the clip-on pedals, however I did find my shoes today, so after not riding it for at least 5 years, I took it out for an hour or so. Sore backside now LOL.

    Should I just enjoy this bike again, everything seems to work fine, or buy the latest fandango machine! I've absolutely no idea what drivetrains are good or bad anymore? I also notice that many bikes on here seem to have just a single cog at the front as opposed to the three on this bike, why is that guy's?











  2. #2
    Master thorpey69's Avatar
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    Had my old dinosaur forever and just resurrected it during lockdown,apparently quite collectable nowadays


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  3. #3
    My dad is still riding around on my Raleigh Activator from 1993!

  4. #4
    Craftsman
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    Remember all those bikes, classics in their own right

  5. #5
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    Single chainrings originated on downhill bikes. Gravity takes care of the down and a smaller chainring gets you up. With the advent of 1 x systems to roadbikes they use a wide range cassette and dispense with the front shifting so you can have say a 42 front with 11-36 at the back.
    That Cannondale looks great with the headshok.US made, quite collectable but not valuable.These bikes may be old but if the frames are good you can you can get them rebuilt. 26 inch wheels are getting harder to find. Mine were made for me.
    That Scott looks like a steel frame, square taper bb 8 speed. Get it to a bike shop, serviced and see how it goes. Prob find a new 8 speed cassette, plenty brand new on ebay and a new 9 speed chain or see about a 10 speed system. BB will be JIS standard. Not expensive.Dont spend mad money. Comfortable bike, not really worth a lot but still perfectly serviceable. Hubs will take 9 speed. Could even get rid of the front shift and make it 1 x. Those are v brakes, work well with good pads. Headset an old 1 inch but v.serviceable. Mudguards eyes as well.
    Last edited by mrushton; 10th June 2020 at 21:56.

  6. #6









    My '98 StumpJumper M2. Been in regular use and so much tinkered with but frame, seat post, stem bars and V-brakes still original!

    David

  7. #7
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    Got an old Schwinn MTB which I only use for tarmac use now (it does the job brilliantly to be fair).

  8. #8
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    If it's still running ok and fits your need then stick with it. The reason for a one chain ring setup on the crank is so that you can do away with the front mech.and extra chain rings. Less weight (marginally), less chain drops and easier to go through the gears when on the trails. The wider range on the cassette of a 1x11 or 1x12 covers the range that you would have on a 3x8 or similar.

    Bike looks excellent by the way👍

  9. #9
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    V brakes pull more cable than cantilevers so you usually need to swap levers at the same time, but your levers happen to work with both so move the cable adjuster to the position closest to the bar to get them working as designed. They probably feel like the pads are made of wood with the current setup.

    It looks like you're still running the original LX 7sp cassette with an 8sp shifter so a new cassette will get you 8sp. You'll need a new chain if going to a bigger sprocket as the old one will be too short but it's always good practice to fit a new chain when replacing the cassette anyway.

    If the tyres are old then check for cracking and do the thumbnail test to make sure the rubber is still soft

    Other than that it's a perfectly good and capable bicycle, so my advice is to adjust the levers, a bit of lube on the chain and get out there. If you start feeling the love again you'll soon be looking at a new bike anyway, and with a few recent miles under your belt you should have a better idea about what type of bike you want next.

  10. #10
    Grand Master
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    I'm still using an Orange P7 for the simple reason that everything else I've ever considered replacing it with didn't feel as good. It still looks new (admittedly, sales corner new rather than new new, but...)

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrushton View Post
    Single chainrings originated on downhill bikes. Gravity takes care of the down and a smaller chainring gets you up. With the advent of 1 x systems to roadbikes they use a wide range cassette and dispense with the front shifting so you can have say a 42 front with 11-36 at the back.
    That Cannondale looks great with the headshok.US made, quite collectable but not valuable.These bikes may be old but if the frames are good you can you can get them rebuilt. 26 inch wheels are getting harder to find. Mine were made for me.
    That Scott looks like a steel frame, square taper bb 8 speed. Get it to a bike shop, serviced and see how it goes. Prob find a new 8 speed cassette, plenty brand new on ebay and a new 9 speed chain or see about a 10 speed system. BB will be JIS standard. Not expensive.Dont spend mad money. Comfortable bike, not really worth a lot but still perfectly serviceable. Hubs will take 9 speed. Could even get rid of the front shift and make it 1 x. Those are v brakes, work well with good pads. Headset an old 1 inch but v.serviceable. Mudguards eyes as well.
    Thank you for your knowledge and advice. Currently, I think I will just enjoy being a little retro, especially as everything appears to be working absolutely perfectly. As for cycling up the hills, I had many, years racing enduros (motorbikes) all over the UK and abroad. It's far easier twisting a throttle to get up the hill, in fact both going up and down can be equal fun. Always struck me that on a cycle the fun was halved. I also always feel a little awkward, not being able to lighten the front by using the clutch/throttle.

  12. #12
    Master murkeywaters's Avatar
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    Anybody still got a Raleigh Bomber, first bike I remember that resembled a mountain bike?

    Pic robbed off the net, not my bike unfortunately..


  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dynam0humm View Post
    V brakes pull more cable than cantilevers so you usually need to swap levers at the same time, but your levers happen to work with both so move the cable adjuster to the position closest to the bar to get them working as designed. They probably feel like the pads are made of wood with the current setup.

    .
    Thanks, will give that a go.

  14. #14
    Master
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    love that Stumpjumper - that was a great bike. So many of these are perfectly fine. Now you 'need'a gravel bike or disc brakes (that Cannondale looks like it has disc mounts) but for a lot of things V-brakes work fine. that Scott could prob just do with the headset looking at (if it turns ok then leave it) and seatpost checking it's not bonded into the frame but maybe £100 gets it running great. A good local shop might help if they are not too busy. Time Atac pedals are still available. Cleats are the compatible with Shimano pedals. If the pedals work a bit of GT85 will make them smoother

  15. #15
    Master
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    Trek 4700 from about 2000.
    Only the frame, crank arms and rings are original though

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  16. #16
    Master Rod's Avatar
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    I've still got my '93 Rockhopper that's took me all over the country, CtoC, Wye Valley, Brecon Beacons, South Downs, North Yorks, Bath to Bristol, and still going strong!
    I had it upgraded to V brakes! Shows how old it is (and me) .
    I've just bought a Brompton and this will now be passed on to the Son in Law.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    I've still got my '93 Rockhopper that's took me all over the country, CtoC, Wye Valley, Brecon Beacons, South Downs, North Yorks, Bath to Bristol, and still going strong!
    I had it upgraded to V brakes! Shows how old it is (and me) .
    I've just bought a Brompton and this will now be passed on to the Son in Law.
    Rockhoppers must have excellent frames because they seem to have been round forever.
    I bought my missus a Rockhopper disc in 2006 and she did the Manchester-Blackpool ride on it the year after.
    What forks did it have on it originally?

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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by RD200 View Post
    Rockhoppers must have excellent frames because they seem to have been round forever.
    I bought my missus a Rockhopper disc in 2006 and she did the Manchester-Blackpool ride on it the year after.
    What forks did it have on it originally?

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    Just the original alu ones. I put some Rockshoks on the front, cheap s/h ones.
    I bought the bike in Evans, Wandsworth and tried different makes and found the Rockhopper best. Great bike.

  19. #19
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    I had a Sunn Vertik 2 steel frame (no suspension) MTB that I left in my ex-wife's coal shed... I put slick road tyres on it (26") and cut the bars down to a size that would be laughed at these days so that I could weave through traffic more easily.

    Wish I still had it (the bike, not the wife ), it would make an excellent single speed bike.

    pic from t'internet

  20. #20
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    Just the original alu ones. I put some Rockshoks on the front, cheap s/h ones.
    I bought the bike in Evans, Wandsworth and tried different makes and found the Rockhopper best. Great bike.
    I saw or noticed the first mtbs (for me) around 93/94 in Kinlochleven when we were out walking.
    I wondered wtf was going on.

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    Last edited by RD200; 11th June 2020 at 10:56.

  21. #21
    Bought this Saracen second hand in 1987. Recently excavated from the shed for 'er indoors to use and has come up quite nicely.
    1st post using Tapatalk so wondering how it will come out.

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  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by amnesia View Post
    I had a Sunn Vertik 2 steel frame (no suspension) MTB that I left in my ex-wife's coal shed... I put slick road tyres on it (26") and cut the bars down to a size that would be laughed at these days so that I could weave through traffic more easily.

    Wish I still had it (the bike, not the wife ), it would make an excellent single speed bike.
    I feel the same way about a steel framed Univega 5.7 I had before the Stumpjumper I posted earlier. Sold it for next to nothing but it was such a lovely, lively steel frame I'd love to have it now. Probably not as a single speed though - I don't have the legs for that!

    I really like the simplicity of old mountain bikes so to answer the OPs I'd say its definitely worth enjoying your one.

    David

  23. #23
    Grand Master hogthrob's Avatar
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    More of a "mountain bike"; my Raleigh Aztec from the early 90's.



    Yes, I know my garage is a mess. Don't judge me.

  24. #24
    Master BEZELBOY's Avatar
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    Vintage Bike

    I had one of these Baines special racing bikes in my young days in the 70's.
    Apparently it was used in what was then the Blackpool TT.
    It was distinguished by an unusual frame for lightness and strength.
    That bike took me all over the Yorkshire Dales, on long day trips around W.Yorkshire over a few years in my teens, (Happy days).
    I must have been as fit as a fiddle then!
    The last I saw it was when I went off and joined the forces.
    My brother told me that our mum 'gave it away' to the neighbours son, just to get it out of the shed.
    Apparently quite collectable now.



    Andy

  25. #25
    Master Tenko's Avatar
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    I unearthed these two in a recent garage sort out. Both from 98. The Stumpy was mine and the Kona my wife’s. They are now both being used daily by my 13 year old boys having grown out of their current bikes.





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  26. #26
    I used to collect Retro MTBs...even importing a couple of Breezers, and early Kleins from the States at one point.
    It got a bit of an obsession, with over 30 late 80s and early 90s bikes in the garage at the high point..

    I will try and find some pics....

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tenko View Post
    I unearthed these two in a recent garage sort out. Both from 98. The Stumpy was mine and the Kona my wife’s. They are now both being used daily by my 13 year old boys having grown out of their current bikes.





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    The Kona still has the Cassette shield and reflectors on
    The Spesh still looks good too, only the fork gators give the age away.

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  28. #28
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    Like the OP, a few months ago I dragged my Raleigh MTB from the garage. 30 years old! A bit of oil, a tweek of the cables (brake/gear) and pump the tyres up and I was out doing a circuit of the block :-) Rode it every day for a few weeks, an hour a day, and then the ancient tyres/inner-tubes went bang :-( So then the chore of scouring the internet for new tyres and inner-tubes. Heck this was an easy exercise 30 years ago... :-( Now it's different rim fittings, different applications... Anyway got the tyres/inner-tubes ordered from an online seller that said they had stock. Turned out they didn't so a three week wait. Anyway the goods arrived a couple of weeks ago. Then I discover the new tyres are HUGE!!! So the mud-guards don't fit. Anyway rear guard is widgered but I'm riding without a front one until I can get to a shop to get it sorted - tried online but it's all too confusing. I'm not one of those that likes to ride their bike sans mudguards so they get covered in mud/rain when the road's wet.

    Anyway, to the OP, if the old bike works why bin it? If the reason for biking is exercise then you want a bike that needs a bit of effort to get those calories burnt! Never understood the lycra crowd with their multi-thousand quid bikes.. I mean if the aim is a calorie burning work out then you want a bike that needs a bit of exertion. I mean it's like using a rowing machine on minimum setting... why bother?

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by solwisesteve View Post
    Like the OP, a few months ago I dragged my Raleigh MTB from the garage. 30 years old! A bit of oil, a tweek of the cables (brake/gear) and pump the tyres up and I was out doing a circuit of the block :-) Rode it every day for a few weeks, an hour a day, and then the ancient tyres/inner-tubes went bang :-( So then the chore of scouring the internet for new tyres and inner-tubes. Heck this was an easy exercise 30 years ago... :-( Now it's different rim fittings, different applications... Anyway got the tyres/inner-tubes ordered from an online seller that said they had stock. Turned out they didn't so a three week wait. Anyway the goods arrived a couple of weeks ago. Then I discover the new tyres are HUGE!!! So the mud-guards don't fit. Anyway rear guard is widgered but I'm riding without a front one until I can get to a shop to get it sorted - tried online but it's all too confusing. I'm not one of those that likes to ride their bike sans mudguards so they get covered in mud/rain when the road's wet.

    Anyway, to the OP, if the old bike works why bin it? If the reason for biking is exercise then you want a bike that needs a bit of effort to get those calories burnt! Never understood the lycra crowd with their multi-thousand quid bikes.. I mean if the aim is a calorie burning work out then you want a bike that needs a bit of exertion. I mean it's like using a rowing machine on minimum setting... why bother?
    Had a very similar problem looking for new tyres for my Stumpjumper. 26" wheels just not very fashionable these days. I hit on a 'bargain' though. Got a pair of folding Maxxis Highrollers at about half price. Despite the clue in the name I hadn't appreciated quite how big the tyres are. Look absolutely awesome on the bike ...but the wheels wont turn. So back on with the old green Wild Grippers for now.

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Tenko View Post
    I unearthed these two in a recent garage sort out. Both from 98. The Stumpy was mine and the Kona my wife’s. They are now both being used daily by my 13 year old boys having grown out of their current bikes.





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    They both look great! The Stumpy is the same vintage and model as mine but looks completely original. Id forgotten about that nice radial spoked front wheel. Worth having a look under those fork gaiters to check there is no corrosion hidden. I'd negelcted the maintenance on mine and by the time I'd spotted any problems it was too late.

    The Kona looks brand new!

  31. #31
    Craftsman RS404's Avatar
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    I love an old mountain bike myself, I have a 98 Specialized Stumpjumper Comp and a Rockhopper Comp of the same year. Both eBay finds.


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  32. #32
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    3 things I don't miss off those old MTB's,
    Vee brakes, square taper bottom brackets and the front forks.

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  33. #33
    Master
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    look at that Raleigh, lugged steel!! 26" tyres are out there, do a google on 26" tyres. panaracer do 26 x 1.5 for road, and there are others who have 26 x 2.0. Rims can be trued. Have a look at TheCycle Clinic. Malcolm the owner can build 26" rims. Your lbs may have parts lying about but basically all these bikes can be kept going. Don't bin them unless the frame has broken

  34. #34
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by RD200 View Post
    3 things I don't miss off those old MTB's,
    Vee brakes, square taper bottom brackets and the front forks.

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    Are disc brakes better? Yes in mtb/downhill world, but the row they can make and pad rub mean they still need care. Press fit bearings aren't great. Square taper does work and isn't expensive.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrushton View Post
    Are disc brakes better? Yes in mtb/downhill world, but the row they can make and pad rub mean they still need care. Press fit bearings aren't great. Square taper does work and isn't expensive.
    My disc brakes don't make a noise.
    I agree on press fit BB's but externals are better.
    I don't like square taper at all.
    I'm not keen on cup and cone hubs either.

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  36. #36
    Grand Master magirus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RD200 View Post
    3 things I don't miss off those old MTB's,
    Vee brakes, square taper bottom brackets and the front forks.

    Sent from my SM-A105FN using Tapatalk
    Quote Originally Posted by mrushton View Post
    Are disc brakes better? Yes in mtb/downhill world, but the row they can make and pad rub mean they still need care. Press fit bearings aren't great. Square taper does work and isn't expensive.

    I've had the good fortune to be able to test ride many bikes over the years via a pal with a bike shop. Yes, discs are a little better than good well set up V brakes, but like most things in the resurgence of cycling, you don't need them. Now the old cantilever really were dreadful to set up and keep working well. My next expense, probably after the coming winter, will be a new chainset and BB on my Felt winter bike . . . goodbye to my last square tapered axle! However, since the dawn of cycling the only thing that truly matter is miles in the legs.

  37. #37
    Master
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    The 2005 Rock Lobster is probably the best mtb I've had.
    It came with Hope Minis, XT transmission, Easton bars and Marzocchi bombers.
    By the time I sold it 4 years ago for £300 it had Hope hubs and BB, Fox Alpine forks, Middleburn chainrings and SLX gears.
    I had a look on Ebay recently with a view to buying a frame and the only one on had a reserve of £300 and including forks with a non working lock-out.

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  38. #38
    Master helidoc's Avatar
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    This is my 94 (I think) Marin Palisades Trail. It’s my “pub” bike these days, but it’s still pretty and I wouldn’t part with it.


    Dave


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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrushton View Post
    love that Stumpjumper - that was a great bike. So many of these are perfectly fine. Now you 'need'a gravel bike or disc brakes (that Cannondale looks like it has disc mounts) but for a lot of things V-brakes work fine. that Scott could prob just do with the headset looking at (if it turns ok then leave it) and seatpost checking it's not bonded into the frame but maybe £100 gets it running great. A good local shop might help if they are not too busy. Time Atac pedals are still available. Cleats are the compatible with Shimano pedals. If the pedals work a bit of GT85 will make them smoother
    Thank you, yes headset seems fine, pedals are working perfectly too. I don't think it was that long before it went into retirement that 'Rutland Cycles' did a service and replaced the brakes, cassette and chain

  40. #40
    Master Tenko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RD200 View Post
    The Kona still has the Cassette shield and reflectors on
    The Spesh still looks good too, only the fork gators give the age away.

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    Yep, both original and not messed with. The Stumpy had far more use as it was mine. The Kona was not used much at all. They were both good quality bikes and they still knock spots off the Rockhopper that I purchased recently to enable me to join my sons on their daily rides!

  41. #41
    Master Tenko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davidww View Post
    They both look great! The Stumpy is the same vintage and model as mine but looks completely original. Id forgotten about that nice radial spoked front wheel. Worth having a look under those fork gaiters to check there is no corrosion hidden. I'd negelcted the maintenance on mine and by the time I'd spotted any problems it was too late.

    The Kona looks brand new!
    Both original and booked in for a check over next week as they both occasionally drop the chain whilst we are out riding. I'll get them to look at the forks on the Stumpy whilst they are at it.

  42. #42
    Here are my retro lovelies. Karpiel gone but Titanium Red still with me.











    The Titanium Red was built around 1995, I was the envy of my school friends!

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by amnesia View Post
    I had a Sunn Vertik 2 steel frame (no suspension) MTB that I left in my ex-wife's coal shed... I put slick road tyres on it (26") and cut the bars down to a size that would be laughed at these days so that I could weave through traffic more easily.

    Wish I still had it (the bike, not the wife ), it would make an excellent single speed bike.

    pic from t'internet
    I like the look of that.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davidww View Post
    Had a very similar problem looking for new tyres for my Stumpjumper. 26" wheels just not very fashionable these days. I hit on a 'bargain' though. Got a pair of folding Maxxis Highrollers at about half price. Despite the clue in the name I hadn't appreciated quite how big the tyres are. Look absolutely awesome on the bike ...but the wheels wont turn. So back on with the old green Wild Grippers for now.
    Yep.... btdt. 26" wheels. The new tyres are fitted but gosh it was a squeeze. Had to take the reflectors and mudguards off. Some careful adjustment and the rear guard is now clear. The brakes needed some tweeking as well. Anyway an hour mucking about and we have a ride-able bike. I've kept the old mudguard so, in 30 years time when it comes to another set of tyres I'll remember to buy smaller and can then refit it. I'll be 90 then so that might be wishful thinking ;-)

  45. #45
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrushton View Post
    look at that Raleigh, lugged steel!! 26" tyres are out there, do a google on 26" tyres. panaracer do 26 x 1.5 for road, and there are others who have 26 x 2.0. Rims can be trued. Have a look at TheCycle Clinic. Malcolm the owner can build 26" rims. Your lbs may have parts lying about but basically all these bikes can be kept going. Don't bin them unless the frame has broken
    I needed 26x1.9 and went to tweeked.com. Delivery was longer than promised but I'm now sorted.... well mostly ;-)

  46. #46
    Master
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    All this talk of ancient bikes...

    Who else had a Chopper? :-)



    Coming from a 'not so well off' house mine was second hand with copious welding on the seat bracket and frame. After a few months the welding failed so the seat would lift at the front if you got too enthusiastic with your riding. Another 6 months it got jambed in top gear and wouldn't budge. Still it served as a work horse for my paper round for a couple of years.

  47. #47
    Some great retro bikes here and bringing back memories...back in 1995 I ordered a custom steel frame from maestro Dave Yates in the toon....Dave Yates DONKIS NOB...was a top end opponent to the renowned Chas Roberts DOGS BOLLOX...anyway, the frame and best parts available came to over £2500...! yeah I was young and daft and managed to get a loan for it !. Had that bike for years and it was fantastic, many happy miles...unfortunately I sold it a few years ago for a giveaway price as I had an opportunity to buy a fancy Seven titanium MTB...still miss the old NOB though...will try and find some pics

  48. #48
    Master
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Lancashire
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    1,064
    Quote Originally Posted by solwisesteve View Post
    All this talk of ancient bikes...

    Who else had a Chopper? :-)



    Coming from a 'not so well off' house mine was second hand with copious welding on the seat bracket and frame. After a few months the welding failed so the seat would lift at the front if you got too enthusiastic with your riding. Another 6 months it got jambed in top gear and wouldn't budge. Still it served as a work horse for my paper round for a couple of years.
    The thread wouldn't be complete without a chopper.
    Some of my mates who had Sunday or night rounds as well as during the week had those.
    I only had a morning round so couldn't afford one
    They were about £30+/- in the early 70's.
    At the time the near tyre was nearly as wide as motorbike tyres.

    Sent from my SM-A105FN using Tapatalk

  49. #49
    Journeyman
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    midlands uk
    Posts
    182
    Quote Originally Posted by solwisesteve View Post
    All this talk of ancient bikes...

    Who else had a Chopper? :-)



    Coming from a 'not so well off' house mine was second hand with copious welding on the seat bracket and frame. After a few months the welding failed so the seat would lift at the front if you got too enthusiastic with your riding. Another 6 months it got jambed in top gear and wouldn't budge. Still it served as a work horse for my paper round for a couple of years.
    Mine was constantly being welded, but who could possibly ride one without wheeling it all the time and carrying passengers. I too was a pauper with a three speed version

  50. #50
    Master
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Bury, UK
    Posts
    1,705
    Quote Originally Posted by Ellietwed View Post
    Some great retro bikes here and bringing back memories...back in 1995 I ordered a custom steel frame from maestro Dave Yates in the toon....Dave Yates DONKIS NOB...was a top end opponent to the renowned Chas Roberts DOGS BOLLOX...anyway, the frame and best parts available came to over £2500...! yeah I was young and daft and managed to get a loan for it !. Had that bike for years and it was fantastic, many happy miles...unfortunately I sold it a few years ago for a giveaway price as I had an opportunity to buy a fancy Seven titanium MTB...still miss the old NOB though...will try and find some pics
    That was a great bike from a top custom builder.....but now you've gone to a Seven which doesnt really get any better in terms of build.

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