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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 11:05 am 
The Guv'nor
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Yokota are an intersting brand. Don't recall them ever being imported to the UK. Always under the impression they were linked to one of the big US mail order shops, possibly wrongly.

Mongosse did do some good stuff, seem to recall a rumour that Fat City built some of Tomes race bikes though.

Merlin. Disagree on this. They sold perfectly serviceable Far Eastern made frames at a reasonable price point back in the day. History will show they built perfectly servieable Far Eastern made frames...


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:52 pm 
98+ BoTM Winner / Gold Trader
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Grove Innovations, all their parts and bikes. Very well made equipment and original designs. Neater welds than on most Fat's from the same era.
Must admit they get more and more appreciated lately.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 2:52 pm 
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John wrote:
Yokota are an intersting brand. Don't recall them ever being imported to the UK. Always under the impression they were linked to one of the big US mail order shops, possibly wrongly.


Sort of. They were distributed thru a nationwide retail franchise outfit called World Cycle, (similar in concept to the current Bikes Direct and Cycle Spectrum shops...big truck pulls up and dumps the whole shop right into place...stop paying bills and a big truck shows up and takes everything including the light bulbs.) that expanded too fast and blew up in spactacular fashion. The New Jersey based importer for WC then launched Dirt Research frames as an attempted stop gap, hence DR frames also made from Columbus steel with cool little cable routing noodles.

All that is 20 years old nearly, and from memory, so take it with a grain of salt. :D


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 2:57 pm 
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yo-eddy wrote:
Grove Innovations, all their parts and bikes. Very well made equipment and original designs. Neater welds than on most Fat's from the same era.
Must admit they get more and more appreciated lately.


I don't think that Grove was ever 'under appreciated'...instead always considered just a handbuilt cottage brand. Grove, Wojcik, Rock Lobster, Steelman, Sycip, Nevil, Arrow, Rhygin. All just essentially one man bands making kick ass frames one at a time. 8)

You knew what you were getting if you called them up and you appreciated it a year later when the bike finally showed up at your door! :P :D


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:29 pm 
98+ BoTM Winner / Gold Trader
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utahdog2003 wrote:
yo-eddy wrote:
Grove Innovations, all their parts and bikes. Very well made equipment and original designs. Neater welds than on most Fat's from the same era.
Must admit they get more and more appreciated lately.


I don't think that Grove was ever 'under appreciated'...instead always considered just a handbuilt cottage brand. Grove, Wojcik, Rock Lobster, Steelman, Sycip, Nevil, Arrow, Rhygin. All just essentially one man bands making kick ass frames one at a time. 8)

You knew what you were getting if you called them up and you appreciated it a year later when the bike finally showed up at your door! :P :D


You've probably read this: http://www.purplelizard.com/GIintro.htm

their production numbers were a little higher than just a one man band.

I was more refering to the silly low prices these bikes sold for till about 3 years ago. Espescilay compared to Titron stuff :wink:
Agree they were allways appreciated, but not very well known by retro lovers till recently.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:28 pm 
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yo-eddy wrote:
You've probably read this: http://www.purplelizard.com/GIintro.htm

their production numbers were a little higher than just a one man band.


OK...8 people. "One man band" was a figure of speach. Rhygin was 4 I think, Sycip brothers worked with Rock Lobster for a while, Wojcik even had family members working with him.

Grove obviously didn't do it all himself. Remember that G.I. built for other brands also.... like my white EWR. Couldn't do all that if you were all alone in a room with a torch and some steel tubes. :D

Point was, Grove then; a hand built high quality frame, Grove today; a hand built high quality frame. Appreciation isn't any different, just being rediscovered by the masses.

The other end of the spectrum from Guvnor's Merlin example above.


yo-eddy wrote:
I was more refering to the silly low prices these bikes sold for till about 3 years ago. Espescilay compared to Titron stuff :wink:
Agree they were allways appreciated, but not very well known by retro lovers till recently.


Exactly...always appreciated but not well known. I think that keeps them off the list that John is looking to start. :D


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 5:36 pm 
retrobike rider
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At the risk of offending any bling addicts who might be on here, the most under-rated brands are the shop brands, Merlin, Handsome Dog, Ballistic etc.

Somebody on here had a 95 or so Tange Prestige Ballistic, very elegant-looking bike, plating in superb condition, far better than a P7 of the same age. At least as good a tubeset, better made, half the price.

My own favourite among the retro ones would be a Merlin WCS, made of Ritchey Logic WCS obviously, weighing a fraction over 4lbs, half the price of inferior big-brand frames and can anybody show me a test of one that didn't give it a top rating?

I have a 98 Orange E4 - full Easton Elite, but it cost £599 BITD. A Handsome Dog Elite cost £225. Same tubeset, probably made in the same factory or equivalent, always got top ratings in tests. Mind you, I paid £51 for my E4 and I'm not sure you could get hold of a Handsome Dog Elite for much less now.

And the best hardtail I have ever ridden is my son's Rock Lobster 853, £144 in a Merlin Cycles bank holiday sale. Far livelier and more fun than an 853 Explosif.

All tat according to most on here, but all made of top quality tubesets in good factories. Not to worry, if they weren't so under-rated, they wouldn't be so affordable.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 1:56 am 
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I have some bias but I would have tpo say the early Turner Burners from 94 and 95 are very undervalued and underated still.

I'll post a photo of my 1995 frame as a example later.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 4:16 am 
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As far as hardtails go, I think the early Litespeeds set the benchmark for others to follow and don’t seem fetch big dollars, in fact the titanium forks seem to go for more than the frames.

And for full suspension bikes I am always surprised at the low prices of Amp/ Mongoose Amplifier are (especially the B2). Aluminium and steel framed Boulders are also a bargain considering their original purchase price, build quality and performance.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 8:22 am 
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Might I add Dawes to the mix...

Always under rated but mine (Dawes Fat chance) waiting for snide comments on the FC name!, back in the day was a joy, at a very reasonable price for 17 yr old too.


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