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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2018 7:47 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2009 9:27 pm
Posts: 478
Location: Abingdon
1991 Offroad Pro-Flex 550

Following the theft of my MuddyFox in ‘91 :( (see here viewtopic.php?f=6&t=376526), I was in need of a replacement. Being a time before the internet, the way to source bikes was to either physically go to a bike shop or to read the ads in the magazines. In this case I spotted an ad (probably in Mountain Biker or similar) for a shop window display bike that happened to be in my size, and was offered with a small discount.
The loss of one bike of course meant increasing the budget for the next, so for (I think) £599 I purchased a 1991 Offroad Pro-Flex 550, and duly anticipated it’s delivery.

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When it arrived it was revolutionary! ‘Full’ suspension! Well a rubber bung and a couple of pivots at each end, but it was certainly different!

The bike was put to good use as I continued to race more and more, as well as plenty of training rides with my mates. My overriding memory of the bike however was the constant squeaking from the rear elastomer, and the considerable weight of the whole bike - but nonetheless it was great fun.

Sadly my time with the 550 was short lived as a targeted burglary of our garage saw 3 of our bikes stolen - including my brothers recently acquired Ribble 653 road bike, and my dads 15speed town bike.

So I’ve bought another 550 for the collection - this one bought a while back through Retrobike from a French member, and its largely as it was received - just minus some of the blue/purple anodised parts that it came with.

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It rides surprisingly well, and so far no annoying squeaks from the rear elastomer. I may change the Flex-Stem elastomer after a ride or two as the current fitment is basically solid.

Oh and it still weighs a ton!

Here’s the spec and some pics of it as it currently stands, enjoy.

Frame: 18” Tange Infinity

Fork: Cr-Mo 4130

Headset: ?
Stem: Girvin Flex Stem
Stem Cap: N/A
Handlebar: Titec Enduro HF
Grips: Ritchey WCS
Barends: N/A

Brakes: Shimano Deore XT M734
Brake Pads: Kool-Stop
Brake Cables: Shimano
Cantilever cable hangers: Onza Chill Pills
Brake Levers: Dia-Compe XCE Short Stop

Shifters: Shimano Deore Thumb Shifters
Front Derailleur: Shimano Deore LX M550
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Deore DX M650
Derailleur Cables: Shimano
Cassette: Shimano CS-50?
Chain: Shimano HG-50
Cranks: Shimano Deore LX M550
Crank Bolts: Shimano Deore LX M550
Chainrings: Shimano Deore LX M550
Chainring bolts: Shimano Deore LX M550
Bottom Bracket: Shimano ?
Pedals: N/A

Hub Skewers: Shimano Deore XT
Rims: Sunn Levanter 32H
Hubs: Shimano Deore LX M550
Nipples: ?
Spokes: ?
Tyres: Kenda 26 x 1.95
Tubes: ?

Saddle: Offroad
Seatpost: USE
Seatpost Binder: ?

Weight: 13.02kg / 28.70lbs

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Last edited by Once A Hero on Mon May 28, 2018 11:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2018 8:35 pm 
B.o.T.Y. Winner / Gold Trader
B.o.T.Y. Winner / Gold Trader
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Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2005 11:00 am
Posts: 5553
Location: York
Very nice, had one of these back in the day.......memories eh


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2018 9:19 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2008 11:51 am
Posts: 528
Excellent, I had one of these in the same size in 1991, great bike at the time.


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PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2018 12:59 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2011 2:23 pm
Posts: 1448
Would that have been one of the first type of full suspension bikes?


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PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2018 12:49 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2009 9:27 pm
Posts: 478
Location: Abingdon
Kona-Ian wrote:
Would that have been one of the first type of full suspension bikes?


I would have thought so, certainly as a full range.
From a little research I’ve done, the first model Offroad made as full suspension was called the ‘Pro-Flex’ in 1990, and then in ‘91 they made a range (550/750/950/RF-1?), and then from ‘92 they refined the design and extended the range further each year.


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 Post subject: Re: Re:
PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2018 12:51 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2009 9:27 pm
Posts: 478
Location: Abingdon
TSC. wrote:
Excellent, I had one of these in the same size in 1991, great bike at the time.


I’ve only got 4 or 5 pics of the original bike in use, but most have been taken from such a distance that it’s hard to tell it’s someone on a bike let alone what model of bike! :roll:


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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 12:12 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 2384
Location: Lincolnshire
Always loved the very first 550, so much prettier than the alu 700/900 models.


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