Its a rusty old frame repainted with brand new parts, it's neither a mountain bike, nor clad with pre 97 mtb parts...
great job making a bike I might ride on a Malibou beach....but would be terrified riding on the local singletrack.
By my interpretation and definition, an old bike stripped to the frame and put back together is a restoration in my eyes.
It then comes down to - how well is the repair/rebuild done, and how desirable is the original make/model to others, and would it be something I would like to ride/own?
So far, I have not seen the winner of this contest yet...
I will wait....
So, you don't like the Elgin. It is certainly not for everyone. Thats fine but it is a bit more than a rusty old repainted frame. It is a classic and rare rusty old repainted frame. I don't expect anyone else to care or appreciate it the way I do but these old frames bring back alot of memories for me. Most people (my wife included) fail to understand the passion I have for these old beaters. None of the parts on this bike are new with the exception of the crank. Everything else is used. You say it is not a Mountain Bike, technically you are correct but neither was Joe Breezes 1941 Schwinn, or Otis Guys 41 DX, or Gary Fishers 41 DX that made the Repack race in 4 minutes 22 seconds, a record that still stands and has not been beaten by modern bikes. Not to mention that Joe Breeze basically used the 41 Schwinn geometry to build the first purpose built mountain bike.
You see, these guys took old bikes and made them as modern as they could with what was available. My goal with this build was the same, to make an old bike as modern as possible within my budget.
You said you would be terrified to ride this off road, well, I can tell you from experience that it is a hell of a lot easier to handle than any of the rigid vintage MTB's I have owned. But Klunking isn't for everyone, you gotta have balls to ride one of these off road.
1936 Wards Hawthorne Silver King
1941 Schwinn Excelsior
1993 Brave Cycles Chief
2008 Ellsworth Epiphany