Monday, May 27, 2013

Dirty old bikes

 A very professional jersey with extra ventilation
 A portal
 A couple of pics from China Camp, really fun trails.

 After an old stick-in-the-wheel-graceful-bail-out-just-before-total-wipe-out-instant-pinch-flatting, we spent the flat fixing time getting these pics of new/updated rigs. Here's Mark's modernized Ridgerunner with a new 7 speed 130 rear wheel, new Microshift rear der, new cockpit and Nitto Mark's front rack. The seat bag is a Heavy bag designed and made by Mark himself.
Heavy. We are trying to convince him to call this bag the "Dirt Owl."

 Next up is Steven's big ol' Panasonic ATB. He thought it was an '85 but I'm gonna make an educated guess that it's an '84. See here. I'm not sure if this is a 23" or a 24" model, but one of the benefits of the early production mtbs is that they made very large frame sizes, rarely seen in later years.

 Like may early mtbs this has the "wishbone" chainstays.
 Cast long dropouts
 wide lugged fork crown seems to be the same as used on the '84 Trek 830

 Cast dropout with double eyelet
 Lastly there's this little thing. I'm trying to learn how to braze and decided to make this little rack just to practice sticking things together, and cutting and filing. It's not a thing of beauty nor was it intended to be, just goofing around. The idea was a simple seat bag support, or really I suppose a place to stack other camping gear that would then serve as a seat bag support.


  1. Great looking bikes all around. I also have a Ridge Runner, but of the Miyata variety. It's an '84, and almost totally stock. I had a tall '88 Panasonic, too. The tall frames with slack angles are magic.

    Your bag support looks sleek, and mates up nicely with the inside the seatstay rack mounts. I may need something like that for my Miyata.

    1. Tall frames and slack angles certainly have an interesting ride quality, I wish I hadn't broken the fork on my Ridgerunner because the replacement fork doesn't match the rake of the original and the steering has gone a bit wiggly, dampening the magic a bit!

  2. Love the bag support. Gotta have one too.

  3. Nice posting, once again. My favourite blog at the moment. One question has been bugging me. How much do these bikes weight on the average? I have a Raleigh Montage ATB from the late 80's/early 90's. Lugged frame, reynolds 501 main tubes and a whole bunch of nice details. It weights about 13 kg (29 lbs), which I consider to be pretty heavy.

    1. It's a good question but one that I'm afraid I can't answer because of all the tools I have floating around, a scale isn't one of them! I don't worry too much about weight, I suppose I prefer strength to weight and I find that many of the higher end old MTBs are as light as they should be to stay strong. I want to load these bikes and camp, and to ride them hard on trails that are increasingly made for suspension and I don't want to be scared of them breaking. I find also that these old "boat anchors" just make me faster (at least in my head!) when I ride a superlight road bike. The Montage is a cool bike, and I'm sure all of the old mtbs I've ridden weigh as much.

  4. Love the bag support, but could you build a brace (u-shaped so that it doesn't interfere with the brake cable) that comes up from the brake bridge to stop it from rotating down? It would be nicer looking and would probably offer you more room for gear since there would be no arm blocking things.

  5. I'm sure there are many different and better designs and I hope to fool around and make some more racks for sure. This version took about 3 hours from conception to "done" and future iterations will certainly be more intentional. Thanks for the feedback!

  6. Chiming in here - nice work on the seat bag support! Very elegant, even if you say it was hurried!
    I've been experimenting with using a Nitto rack to support my Super C saddlebag up front.
    Maybe a front rack with a double set of legs on either side, like on the Diamond Back, would be better. Can I ask what mode it is?

  7. Ah - just saw, It's a Nitto Mark.