the mk1 build...
With the build I wanted to go against the grain, a classic frame, modern ish components that didn't look out of place & a finished product that was functional as an all rounder but most importantly, 100% shimano free. The reason behind this was simple, everything i had ever owned was on shimano components & I wanted something different for a change.
Originally, I built the bike up on a pair of hope big-uns, a 4 arm race face ride crankset (with some rather ugly pedals!) 100mm travel indy xc forks, cheap cro-mo seatpost, x-lite flat bar & control tec risers & an X-7 front mech. I was fairly happy with the handling & performance of the bike but there were some niggles. Firstly, I don't like mismatched groups so the x-7 had to go & be replaced by an X-9, as it happens I managed to snag a barely used x-9 for a fraction of the cost of the '7.
The next big issue was the weight, when I put it on the scales they tipped the 33lb mark so something needed to be done. The wheels weighed a lot, the forks did too & I could easily snip a few ounces here there & everywhere. I wasn't happy with the frame angle either & wanted to go rigid for weight saving & the unmistakeable retro feel, my options were either save up & wait for something pace or go original, LGF answered a wanted ad with the forks it now wears, orange F9's. The wheels were switched out for some hope mono's laced to a pair of mavic rims, the tatty sd1.9 brake levers swapped for some new sd7's, the saddle was swapped for a different spoon, this one with red stitching & red body to match the build better than the white of the old one.
I still needed to switch out the crank & pedals for something a bit more suitable, a couple of weeks watching the sales section for some reasonably priced quality cranks left me with very few options that came into budget. I spotted a tatty syncros crankset & rings on ebay, chucked on a bid & won them. The decals were rubbed, they were quite badly marked & speckled with bumps, middle ring was toast & the bolts were knackered. Ebay again turned up a stronglight 'zircal' middle ring, I grabbed some ano bolts off the sales section, Gil sorted out the replacement decals & I got the dremmel out & started to lessen the extent of the wear & tear to the crank arms.
Pedal choice was a bit of an issue. The V8 replicas began to grow on me but the style didn't really suit the build so I started hunting around. I had a bit of a syncros theme going so I was looking at meathooks & similar but they were all a bit rich for my budget so I settled on some beartraps. I opted for the Mg bodied version for a decent weight saving for not a lot of extra cash & almost everything was sorted.
Bottom bracket choice on a sensible budget is tricky now with square tapers when you start taking shimano kit out of the running. I wanted something light-ish, XT level quality & not shimano but nothing really stood out. I would have loved to be able to drop £80+ on a used royce BB but sensibility took over & I opted for an FSA BB (which may be swapped out if something lighter & cheap enough pops up for sale!)
The last change to the spec came with the bars. I was looking for a genuine orange ram rod brahma style bar. I had a brahma on an old giant when I was at school & really liked it so started looking. The ram rods appear to be rarer than rocking horse nuggets so I started looking at alternatives. My anal retentiveness with matching groupsets also applies to cross-branding, I couldn't use a GT or Scott branded bar on the bike, It just wouldn't look right so I was in the market for something else. At the same time, another member was looking to swap out the Ti brahma he had on his dyna-tec so a deal was struck to do a straight swap for the x-lite & control tec parts I had against his bar.
The final result is as you see it now, the only changes I can see myself making in the near future are potentially a longer reach stem & a change of rubber when the panaracers are toast.
The last bit of the puzzle was courtesy of Gil_M. I had read a lot about his decals so after a couple of emails to sort out what I wanted he turned up a blinder with some chrome '93 decals. My last choice is whether to leave the oranges chrome or switch them out for the orange oranges Gil also supplied me with.