Chasing the end of the retro mtb rainbow

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  • This fork crowns are quite nice :)

  • Very nice and tidy, bet it rides sweet too. I had an Escaper of the same year as well, they are awesome, robust machines.

  • Got a new toy, 1976 Bob Jackson. Will go fixed initially to keep the cost down, may put gears on it later. Was it common to barely have any thread in the bottle bosses on these old frames? The bolts go in a few turns initially then become very stiff as if they didn't tap it all the way through.


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  • Finished the muddy fox and only managed one well dodgy photo of it before handing it over to my cousin. Tyres kinda ruin it but they came on the original and have life in them yet.

    Not sold on the feel of those bars either. Been wanting to try some for ages but think I prefer a set with decent rise on bikes like these.

    Update: cousin has fitted new tyres, still needs Allen keys set so he can correct the saddle angle and needs a lesson on bike propping for photos, but it’s looking a bit better now so I’ve swapped the photo out


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  • Finished Iteration01 of Bobby Jackson. Rode it around brakeless for a bit then went to fit the front brake and annoyingly it rubs the 28mm tyres. Gonna need to swap them out for 25s which I guess might improve aesthetics too.

    Also got a shorter stem to replace this one from the parts bin, although with these bars that length feels nice (not a fan of the look though). Oh and I tightened the chain too.

    Thanks to @po for the free SR chainset, and @gralegav for the Campagnolo aero post. @packet was kind enough to give me a bb but it didn’t fit cos I’m a wool


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  • The Bob looks brilliant! Really classic lines, what brake and lever are you going for?

  • Thanks yeah it’s very fun, but the toeverlap is a bit sketchy at times! Still need a slightly shorter stem than this one. I overcompensated by buying a 90mm version and it’s too twitchy. Maybe ought to slam the stem too.


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  • Brake is nothing special, 105 with an odyssey lever I had from pre brakeless bmx days. Trails we’ve been digging are making me think I need it back on there now though

  • Bit of a makeover coming for my Trek 950. New 11-42 1x drivetrain too, with a clutch mech and narrow wide retainer ring.

    I’ll be really sad to lose the XT thumbies though as they feel so satisfying. By far my favourite shifter.

  • I’ll be really sad to lose the XT thumbies though as they feel so satisfying. By far my favourite shifter.

    Feel you, feel you a lot. :) Lovely bike!

  • If I’d known you might remove those shifters I’d have offered you swaps for pedals!

  • I was wondering if I could still use them in friction mode... looked at the dynasys shifter pull and it’s something like 3.4mm per gear whereas the old 8sp shimano mtb shifters pull 2.8mm per gear... so not gonna happen unfortunately. Sorry @Skülly but not ready to part with them yet. There are a couple of reasonably priced sets on eBay atm though!

  • I'm still trying to use friction on everything. Put a right XT one one my lad's 970 school runner and wish I'd kept it for myself.

    Ah worth a try, I could tell you want to keep those.

  • Shimano road 11s pulls 2.7mm, so I guess I could put a GRX mech on there and that would work in friction mode?! It’s the clutch I’m after more than anything. For some reason it just sounds like a bad idea.

    No it wouldn’t would it, you need 27mm total pull from the shifter to do that and 8x2.8 is less than that

  • Really nice looking build that!
    I'm thinking of doing something similar with an old road frame that I have kicking about.

  • Stripped the Trek this evening and removed the offending pewter parts. I like the concept, just not with the white frame. Maybe use them on the giant at some point but it’s on loan atm.

    The paint is white with black splatter. It’s not so bad for a 30yo mtb but it’s not great either. First step will be to linseed oil the inside of it as there were some worryingly large chunks of rust hanging out around the bb. Not sure whether to polish and t-cut the paint??


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  • Thanks! It is very fun to ride. Not like anything I’m used to. I find it hard to bunny hop though, and have had some close calls with kerbs.

  • For the 950 I’ll start with the modern parts. New Deore clutch mech which tbh is a bit cheap looking but I got it half price so can’t complain, new deore 11-42 cassette, chain and used slx shifter. Hope narrow wide chainring, new, 38T.

    Interested to see whether all this is any better than early 90s XT. I kinda doubt it. I’ll lose a lot of gear range too I guess. Updates on other parts as they come in (almost there).

    Will try and restore the paint a bit, using @Ndeipi step by step guide in his tandem thread (thanks mate!). I did the linseed oil thing yesterday and have covered the steps of my shared building with the stuff. Sorry neighbours 😬


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  • It's great you're gonna polish the paint up! Take some nice before/after shots in the sunlight for us paint melts plz.

  • Will do! Awaiting t-cut to arrive so won’t get to do it til next week now.

    Some other parts have arrived in the meantime. Wanted to stay in the 90s as far as possible. DX post and nos headset. Deore MT60 cranks, nos zoom stem and MKS beartraps. More modern Renthal risers.

    Splashed out on the HS which may have been going overboard. It arrived and the logo is totally on the piss. The guys over at Pedal Pedlar are letting me swap it for another they have, which is nice of them.


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  • Wheels are D521s on LX.

    I've finished the frame: linseed oil the inside, and done the "paint restoration". I really don't know if it was worth the effort. The paint is very chipped anyway, and if anything it just looks worse as I think I was a bit heavy handed with the waxing step as it's left lots of blotches of red wax all over the place. No before/after photos really show any difference. Perhaps because the frame is white, it doesn't make as much difference as if it were a bright colour that fades with time?


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  • Those tyres are gonna feel so good to ride

  • Are those new D521s? I've got a pair very nearly worn out, and they hold a special place in my bike nerd heart as being The Rims to have when we were doing dirt jumps 20 years ago.

  • They feel so good! I do far too many skids on them - they've got the perfect amount of grip when you need it, and they roll real quick.

    They're not quite new rims, but almost. Likewise my rim of choice for the same reason! I had a set on this, my dad’s bike from around 2000 which I started upgrading once he’d got bored of it.


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  • Totally! It was those for DH, then the atomlab industries ones which I had for a while in 24" :D

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Chasing the end of the retro mtb rainbow

Posted by Avatar for Alban @Alban

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