doug1e's bikes + a marin

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  • Very good! What XT cranks are they out of interest?

  • @Dexter Thanks! They are Deore XT FC-M737

  • A new 21.1mm quill

    Great selection of bikes, do you have a link for the stem?

  • @jono84 Ah thanks, there is a few on ebay if you do a worldwide search for '21.1mm' under sporting goods, but as I said mine turned up black although the picture and description was for silver.

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/271997835957

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/174883620592

  • Perfect, thanks for that

  • Came across a picture of the Coppi from a few summers ago


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  • My friend and I made a spontaneous ride from South London to Liphook off-road last weekend. The weather was too nice to be missed. It was the first time I've followed an automated mtb route on komoot. It described as 'expert' but it ended up being almost as direct as the road route I've done a few times before with probably 10% on the road. It was very wet and muddy but the route had a nice mix of terrain, a surprisingly dry north downs way, some sandy heathland and mossy pine forests. I took the mudguards off my Kona and put on my 35mm CX tyres with tubes, got 2 pinch flats on Boxhill hitting some massive bits of flint but the tiny tyres were fine for the rest of the way. Everyone hates cable discs but I'm currently running old TRP spyres with compressionless housing, semi metallic pads and a less than ideal interally routed rear, and even in the wet mud on very steep hills I never felt underbraked...My only gripe is that they're loud when it's raining and one of the adjustable pads winds itself out slowly over time. My friend very admirably rode on a 26" Trek singletrack with cantis, a front basket and gravelking tyres. We were probably underbiking and I'd like to try the same route on my MTB and see the time difference.


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  • A lovely spring ride with beer and pizza. Last jaunt before swapping the wheels and derailleur over to something else for the next project


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  • I have a new project simmering away. I rescued what looks to be a '94 Marin Bear Valley SE. All original and looking very sorry for itself as it had been living outside. Full part strip down and polished the paint which worked wonders. New decals applied and currently sitting on the deore XT wheels from my Ammaco, may put my hand to building something more interesting further down the line. I have been slowing buying 'great condition' XTR parts on the cheap with the caveat that they they always come with some undisclosed fault such as snapped b screw mount, chewed spline, bent springs, cracked plastic, missing lockring etc which I've been rectifying.

    The plan is to do drop bar conversion and run 3x9 speed xtr as 2x10 with 105 5700 shifters. My Kona is good for almost everything, being used as my winter commuter, road bike and gravel /bikepacking. It's limiting factor is the max 35mm knobbly tyre clearance, so thought I'd see if I can build something on the cheap that would be as capable offroad but with some more squish in the tyres. I currently can't really justify a couple of grand to get what would ultimately some more millimeters worth of clearance over the Kona.

    First problems encountered, bought a nice new M-part elite 1 1/8th threaded headset and fitted it only to find the steerer is a couple of mm too short, listed stack height of the m-part is pretty small compaired to others available but the original ritchey logic is somehow lower, swapped them back out, cleaned and repacked the rusty ritchey as best as I could but ball bearings are rough.
    Being a 1 1/8th threaded, quill stem choice is limited and dont really like risers with drop bars, so currently entertaining a steerer shim with 1" stem, feels pretty solid so far. Next problem is finding 26mm bars that are wide enough for my bar bag. Back burner project might be getting a custom quill stem made in 1 1/8th with long steerer, 31.8mm bar clamp -15 deg. rise. Alternative is 0 degree Velo orange stem...


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  • Hell yes. I have a soft spot for these Bear Valley SE frames, wish I still had mine, but it's in retro MTB heaven since an Audi 80 violently tickled the left chainstay. Looking forward to see yours built up.

  • Ah shame! They are a pretty lovely era of bikes. I was looking for a Marin or muddy fox for ages and settled for a beaten up one and afterwards a load came up for sale. There’s been a few bargains to be had , worth keeping an eye out.

  • Initial build of the Marin, will take some better pics when I've tuned it up a bit. 80mm Dia-compe stem with 48cm Nitto 177 bars. 1 1/8th shim was satisfyingly snug into the steerer but stem not that snug into shim, pretty much exact amount of space for a beer can shim. Went with the Nitto as they seemed to be the only 26mm bars that came wide enough for my bar bag but with quite long reach and drop. So will definitely need an inline seatpost which is fine as the seat tube is pretty slack.

    Turns out I got hoodwinked with the cranks. The internal spline on the non-drive side crank is fooked and unsalvageable. I tried to used retaining compound but the got worse after the first ride, drive side has a little play. Bought some really worn out ones for half the price but they would look better stripped and polished, might mess up the XTR aesthetic but may look nice and bling. Gearing is 48/36 x 36/11 will probs chuck on a 34t on the front.

    I couldn't get the indexing right on the derailleur, so I swapped out the 9sp jockey wheels with some old 11spd ones I had, and it now shifts so smoothly with the 105 shifter running 10 speed. Currently using the original stx 3x7 front derailleur as its the right clamp size and seems to work pretty well having indexed out the smallest ring!

    XTR v-brakes are amazing, set up nice and close to the rim.
    Due some nice bottle cages and potentially another Fabric saddle, love the look of the SLR but so narrowSOhard. MKS pedals will be going back on the Ammaco and will be riding eggbeaters on this. Tyres-don't know.

    Bought some rims and a wheel to dismantle and steal the hub from, then go down the wheel building rabbit hole.


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  • Are you running a travel agent or similar with those brakes? I'm surprised they feel alright with road levers but who cares if it works! Nice looking build.

  • Nah I just have them set up probably about 2mm from the rim and compressionless housing for the back brake (because I ran out). To be honest I’ve never ran v-brakes with road levers so don’t know how they’re supposed to feel when they’re good or bad. I thought you needed a travel agent too but a few forum posts suggested that with the parallel pull versions like these you didn’t need to. They have less travel in the levers than my cable disc brakes and feel very sharp, way less flex than the cantis on my other rigid mtb. I haven’t tried in the wet yet though !

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doug1e's bikes + a marin

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