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 Post subject: 1998 Marin DH FRS
PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 12:34 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:32 pm
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Location: Southport, UK Member No:411
Based on the fantastic feedback I got with the single pivot Mount Vision Pro from 1998'ish era (seen here... viewtopic.php?f=21&t=112170 ), I pondered on what the other models in the range would ride like. After a few false starts and several bikes later, I considered myself educated enough to know exactly which model I wanted to use as my base. It was actually a B-17 with 130mm travel upfront that defined my desires. It was fairly cheap, grubby, but very capable, and in fact it recorded some incredibly quick times around local trails once I'd swapped the shock and tyres for something more suitable. They've got just short of 6 inches of rear travel, and a slightly longer rear swing arm which of course gives a longer wheelbase. There were three models made using this size shock, and they're B-17, DH FRS, and the Wildcat Trail. Said test bike (which has since moved on to a family member)...

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Why did I do this? The Mount Vision is great for xc stuff, but there was always a feeling in the back of my mind that there was much more you could get out of these frames with a little geometry and travel tweaking. I would regularly find myself wanting more travel when the trails got really fierce. Without going too far away from the original concept, these frames can deliver a lot more. By carefully considering some lightweight parts, I imagine the overall weight will only just be above that of the Mount Vision Pro I've just completed.

So, what we have for this build is a 1998 DH FRS, with a '99 B-17 rear end with the more amicable disc mount. I cleaned up the rear end by removing the canti mounts, and then drilled out the cable stops on the front triangle so that I could use cable ties if desired. The frame was dropped off at my local powdercoat and blasting workshop last week. Pure Brilliant White was the chosen colour, and I collected it from them this morning...

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Nice and fresh!

Next, I dug out the spacers I'd had made last year, which Rampage did an incredible job of cleaning up and anodising for me. A new set of replacement bearings, and Titanium bolts to replace the old steel ones...

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So, I put it all together with the shock that I'd used on the test bike. It's a Rock Shox Monarch 200 X 57mm, with brand new Fox bushes. For front forks I opted for some matching Rock Shox SID RLT's. These have just had a recent service by my very capable cousin. I couldn't wait to see what it would look like on some wheels, so I borrowed a set from another bike to get an impression of how it will look when built up. The wheels are very similar to what I'll be using anyway...

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These seat clamps are from eBay, and they're great value for money, and really light. I swapped out the steel bolt for Titanium too...

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That's it for now, but hopefully I'll get some more done next week.


Last edited by Benandemu on Thu May 05, 2016 11:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 10:24 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:09 am
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Location: Devon
What's the front travel? Wont sids be a bit short?

Looks amazing. But... Wont cable ties look worse than cable stops that have been removed.


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 Post subject: Re: 1998 Marin DH FRS
PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 11:54 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:32 pm
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Location: Southport, UK Member No:411
Good questions.

The RLT SIDs are 120mm, which is enough. The old Rock Shox TORA forks were adjustable, and I ran them at 120mm mostly, just to see what difference it made, and I barely noticed if at all when I opened them up to 130mm.

No cable stops have removed. Only the canti mounts were deleted entirely. The front cable stops were drilled so that it allows the fitment of cable ties. I might choose to clip the brake cables using the screw in cable clip kits, I'm just leaving some options open.

Glad you like it so far.


Last edited by Benandemu on Fri May 13, 2016 8:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 1998 Marin DH FRS
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 1:35 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 2:34 pm
Posts: 335
Location: Edinburgh
Already it is looking good! Judging by your last build this will be a special one. I like the way your developing something retro that is still capable as a modern trail bike. The colour coded rear shock is spot on too.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 6:15 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2008 12:21 am
Posts: 506
Location: Bristol UK
I did this with mine

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 Post subject: Re: 1998 Marin DH FRS
PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2016 9:53 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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I had a little bit of time free for some more work on the bike tonight. I don't actually have all the parts for this build quite yet as there were some components/choices I was unsure of until very recently. The 'test' bike was changing for the better each time I rode it, which would be information for me to gather and record ready for this build. Things like gear ratios, and whether to go 1, 2, or 3 X 10 are really important decisions to get right. Get it wrong, and you'll hate the bike!

I've detailed the original mech hanger by polishing it, and then painting the inside square in Black - just something different!

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A Hope headset holds the front end together, and I've used a 70mm Hope stem too. The carbon spacer is just there to give me a little bit of play in the stem height in case I find it too low. The plan was to run the stem as low as possible, but I can cut that after its first ride if I need to. The bars are Easton carbon Monkey lite, and there's a carbon top cap on order. All the bolts were swapped out for some Titanium ones that have been anodised Black.

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The seat post is the tried and trusted Thomson with Titanium bolts. I've used a Flite TT saddle, as they're essentially the same as the original Flite saddles, but with the benefit of weighing only 165g.

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The brakes are XT which are slightly chunky, but very powerful. I've deliberately gone for separate shifters and brakes in case I wish to simply change the brakes for Hope ones at a later point. I'll be using 160mm at the rear, and 180mm at the front. The front forks are equipped with the 15mm Maxle, and I've used a 23g Titanium QR skewer at the rear.


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So, a little bit of progress. I need to get the BB shell cutting tool on the threads as they're not going to allow my BB on them at the moment. I'm going to swap my XT rear mech for a clutch version too, as that'll eliminate the chain slap.

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 Post subject: Re: 1998 Marin DH FRS
PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 7:52 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2015 8:51 am
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Location: Macclesfield, Cheshire
thats looking very tidy. I did something similar with my B17 but mines all black, and nowhere near the same attention to detail.
Whats your plan for decals?


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 Post subject: Re: 1998 Marin DH FRS
PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 8:42 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:32 pm
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Location: Southport, UK Member No:411
RickTheUncivil wrote:
thats looking very tidy. I did something similar with my B17 but mines all black, and nowhere near the same attention to detail.
Whats your plan for decals?


I'm uncertain on them exactly at this point, but I do know that they'll be the same font and style as the original, thus embracing its history and being honest about what it is. They'll likely be in Red or Black, it just depends on the balance of colour when the rest of the parts go on.


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 Post subject: Re: 1998 Marin DH FRS
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 9:55 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:32 pm
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Location: Southport, UK Member No:411
Somewhere in between working and sleeping over the last week, I've found snippets of time to push things to this point. It's semi-finished, as decals need making up, plus the final adjustments like trimming the fork steerer, and then setting the shock pressures up correctly. The wheels I'm running are still on loan, as I'm still working on what hubs to use. I'll likely use Crest rims, and Ive bought some folding Continental Mountain Kings in 2.4 to increase its grip. I tested some out recently, and I was simply amazed by the difference a wide tyre can make.
I've ridden the bike as it is around the block a few times, and I'm really impressed with its character and behaviour, although it needs to go off road to prove itself.

The only decal I do have for now is this one...

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All the transmission is Xt 10 speed, although I've upgraded the cassette and BB to XTR. The chain is a very light KMC X10SL...

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Pedals are Ritchey WCS Titanium. These are also very light at 248g a pair...

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I managed to replace all the brake bolts with Black anodised titanium versions, and use a blue alloy washer with each of those. I partly changed these because they are lighter, but also because I hate rusty bolts, and they'll be rusty after a few rides...

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I had to abandon the use of the first seat clamp as that design is flawed. When you apply the required pressure to clamp the post firmly, it starts to separate the two parts of the band so that the upper part rises off the seat tube. When I looked into ur, I found the same problem with another bike using the same clamp design. I've ordered a version that doesn't used a fully separated clamp at the front, and we'll see if that's any better. As for now, the clumpy looking one I've found seems to do the job just fine.
So, that's it for now, and I'll return when the decals are fitted...

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 Post subject: Re: 1998 Marin DH FRS
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2016 10:11 am 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:32 pm
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Location: Southport, UK Member No:411
I've finally completed the build. Decal choice was the only hold-up as Gil was on holiday when I needed them. After a couple of emails back and forth with Gil, detailing minor changes to how the decals should look, here is the final choice...

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That's it, ready to ride!


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