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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 11:26 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2006 12:33 pm
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Location: The Home Of Mountain Biking, And All Great Things.
Orange Clockwork and Jamis Dragon. I don't equate the right kind of flex with flimsiness.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 7:06 am 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:08 am
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Location: Nth Somerset, UK
91 Caygill, 92 Roberts DOGS BOLX, 94 Dekerf Mountain, 95 Yates Diabolo, all good dependable feeling frames that are by no means heavyweights.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 9:58 am 
Old School Hero

Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 5:01 pm
Posts: 226
Location: Not far from my hat
Riding style and terrain aside:

Bontrager OR
Dekerf team SL

A little earlier?
A Roberts, built for Rob at On Your Bike at London Bridge in about 84/85 is like a Sherman tank. It has Reynolds 'ATB' tubing and has the BB set above the plane of the front and rear axles. This very high BB with these tubes eliminates flex.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 11:36 pm 
National & North West AEC
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Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2008 12:43 am
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Location: Macclesfield Forest
Tough?
Pretty much any steel Saracen from the late eighties to the mid nineties fits this description. Tough frames combined with a tough powdercoat means that they are very durable. There are still plenty around which still have their original coat and subsequent lack of rust.

They can be a little heavier than their contemporaries but they ride well give or take a few over long original stems.

The only exceptions are perhaps some of the earlier 853 Kili frames from 1997 which did suffer some failures on the wishbone stays.

Steel GT frames are also built to last.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 11:44 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 10:55 am
Posts: 2922
Location: Dorset
drystonepaul wrote:
Tough?
Pretty much any steel Saracen from the late eighties to the mid nineties fits this description. Tough frames combined with a tough powdercoat means that they are very durable. There are still plenty around which still have their original coat and subsequent lack of rust.

They can be a little heavier than their contemporaries but they ride well give or take a few over long original stems.

The only exceptions are perhaps some of the earlier 853 Kili frames from 1997 which did suffer some failures on the wishbone stays.

Steel GT frames are also built to last.


I did have a 90s Saracen Tange frame lined up but a Marin Bolinas Ridge fell into my lap today, so I will see how that's goes. It seems well build and feels quite tough :)


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 11:58 pm 
Old School Hero

Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2012 1:03 am
Posts: 173
Nope you are all wrong, it is of course a Kona Explosif mid 90's. Colombus max tubes, flex and strength, lightweight. Mine is 16 years old and never once let me down. :)


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 12:02 am 
Special Retro Guru
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Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 11:34 am
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Location: Don't mess with monkeys, man
There's probably nothing truly in it, or maybe it's pure inference, but I've always thought frames like the early 90s Karakorum look truly bombproof. BITD I rode one the odd time, but not for any real amount of miles or duration.

Out of the bikes I've got it's the ones from 91 that seem more bulletproof than the ones from 95, but then they are heavier. My 91 Axis does feel like it could withstand a direct hit, and although my 91 Apex feels reassuringly robust, too, the Axis just has a certain solidity - perhaps it's the oversize diameter steel tubes, compared with other steel frames, that gives me that impression.

I think the true test or question would be the one you'd choose to use for an expedition, especially on foreign shores. And the lighter steel frames from the mid 90s may not be any less robust in reality but I'd still pick a slightly heavier one from the early 90s (and would be my 91 Apex, as it's tubing is more normal size / diameter, plus it's got at least some mounts for racks).


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 12:11 am 
Concours Judge
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Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 3:59 pm
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Location: a proper EU country
Grove Innovations Hard Core

Also tough and very good for travelling: 1991 Koga-Miyata TerraRunner


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 12:11 am 
Old School Grand Master
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Location: The Home Of Mountain Biking, And All Great Things.
There is no one answer to this, we all had frames we thrashed year in year out.

The 90s was also the decade of experimenting with downhill on bikes without that application in the design.

Ouch!!!


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 3:25 am 
Devout Dirtbag
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Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2010 6:53 pm
Posts: 122
Location: Dallas, TX
I'd agree with the 94 explosif comment, until I broke mine a couple of years back on the rear dropout, now did kona did warranty it after 14 yeas or so! That was a gorgeous frame with its ribbed and ovalised tubing.


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