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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 10:21 pm 
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Location: Staffordshire
Long time lurker, first time poster! Please be gentle?

First off, I have been into MTBs since about '93 when I got a Raliegh Activator (not that it was really an MTB), but then moved to a '94 KHS Montana Comp (with teardrop downtube), a brief experience with a Klein Pulse & RS Mag 21's which I regret selling to this day, and then an Amp Research B3 with F3 forks, and XT95. I still have that, and will do a separate thread.

Anyway, I've recently got back in the saddle with a 2011 Trek Fuel 8, and after 10 years out of the saddle I'm a bit wheezy. Given the winter weather, I want to get road miles to build fitness, and don't really want to put my new Trek through that, so had been looking for a cheap hard tail for about £200 or so to get the miles on.

So I happened to check ebay on Wednesday just as a 93' Clockwork was due to end - just enough time to read the listing and bid, and not enough time to convince myself otherwise. And I won... :)
From the pics on the listing I was thinking about getting some early Xt V brakes, moving it up to a 8 or 9spd groupset, lighter wheels etc, until today when I picked it up...


I was given the original Orange stalk stem to replace the high-riser that is on it in the pics, but after half an hour on the workstand with the spanners, this bike is running beautifully. The indexed thumbies work crisp, the brakes are solid, the Mavic 231 and DX hub wheels are tight and true and the paintwork is really good for an 18 year old bike. The forks are a little pitted, but not so noticeable, and the hubs are a bit noisy but nothing a rebuild won't fix.

So what do I do? It almost seems a shame to modify it much given that it is a bit of a time capsule. I thought about a frame repaint, and ordered new decals, but I'm not convinced it would be a good idea now.
I will need new grips when I change the stem back, and I'm removing the bar-ends that are wrapped in bar tape. I've also fitted some M520 SPDs but the original Shimano pedals and straps are tidy and again nothing a repack of grease won't fix. Semi-slicks will be on it tomorrow because it is just for road miles.

It even has the original chunky steel QR's - and even though I've ordered some anodised orange skewers, I'm still thinking that this should be kept original.

So what do you all think? Tastefully modify to a mid 90's spec (XT 737 era) or leave it as much as possible?

Cheers
Steve

(More pics can be posted if requested.)


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 11:26 pm 
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Location: Heathfield, East Sussex
I would just get a decent matching LX crankset off the 'MTB For Sale' section on here, replace those awful handlebars and then ride it for while... 8)


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 11:34 pm 
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Location: Norwich, UK
We_are_Stevo wrote:
I would just get a decent matching LX crankset off the 'MTB For Sale' section on here, replace those awful handlebars and then ride it for while... 8)
Agreed just change the handlebars and the bike will be good as is


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 12:46 am 
retrobike rider
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Location: Hove
I think the frame is either a 1990 or 91, certainly not a 93, but the serial number should tie it down.

It would be better if the original fork had survived, but the P2 won't be too bad at all - it may be 1cm longer than the Orange fork, but that shouldn't markedly affect the handling.

The handlebar isn't just visually awful, but turned forward like that it must make the bike handle like a barge. The further your hands are in front of the plane of the steerer, the slower the steering will be. So with a long stem, you need swept-back bars to achieve the steering action that Orange designed it for. If you need risers to get the height you need, then I would say do it, whatever comments a purist might make, but I think sweep-back is essential.

Very few early Oranges retain their original decals and my personal view is that it would be a shame to sacrifice those (which incidentally also date it to the early 90s and are in my experience quite rare). It's basically a very handsome frame.

The modifications that I would make would be to address weight, which is probably not its strongest point. Also some modern tyres in a bigger size would probably do more to improve the performance than anything else you could do.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 1:08 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:17 pm
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Location: Staffordshire
Thanks all for the advice.

I will check the frame number and post back as I have left it at my workshop for now.

I agree with the bars being swept like that, the guy I bought it from just used it to potter around the village on, but he says his son bought in new in 1993, though after so many years I suppose he could be mistaken. Once the bar-ends are off and stem changed, I'll consider a suitable bar choice, but personally I've always found the riser bars more comfortable that straights - when they are in the correct position anyway!

I have 2.1 semi-slicks going on it, and to be fair the weight is not so bad currently, and the stem and bar ends going will make a difference to the front end balance.

I'm looking through the sale section for suitable matching LX crankset and rings, but haven't seen anything as yet, but there is a lot of material to read through!
Would these be the original cranks on it at the moment, or would it just be a little more "purist" to keep a matching groupset?

Thanks again!

Steve


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 1:49 am 
Old School Grand Master
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Location: Heathfield, East Sussex
Yes, I suppose it is 'purist snobbery' to prefer a more aesthetically pleasing bar... :lol:

But if you are going to the trouble of finding a retro-bike you like (not the case in this impulse-buy instance apparently!) you may as well go the whole hog and do it 'properly' :wink:

Otherwise, you may as well invest in a cheap hybrid from Halfords and save all the money you're now going to fritter away because you've joined this Forum! :shock:


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 2:16 am 
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Location: Staffordshire
:) I'm a Virgo after all, (so all my DVD's are in strict alphabetical order!) so it does figure that I should have matching groupset!

To be honest I had been looking at something late 90's/early 2000's as a winter hack, but having experienced Orange back in the day, the impulse was guided somewhat. As for frittering money, I drive a TVR as well, so I know all about money-pits!! :lol:

The more I think about it now though, I'm starting to err towards keeping this ride as a bit more special than just a winter road hack, but like my car, I like to use it and not have it as a garage queen - wheeled on Sundays to polish and drive to the nearest club meet before being put away 'til the next time. Boys toys are there to be used.

Having spent the last few hours going through the For Sale and Readers Bikes sections, I can see a new expensive hobby developing before me. Again... I know what I was like when i was younger with bikes and trick bits, and old habits die hard.

So if anyone spots a suitable chainset and bars, give me a nudge!


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 2:20 am 
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Location: The Home Of Mountain Biking, And All Great Things.
I bet it handles nice as is.

Clockworks were very sharp in race trim.

Cracking bike!

:)


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:03 am 
retrobike rider
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Location: Lurking in the bushes at the bottom of your mums garden....
Keep the frame as it is. Looks in really good condition for its age.

Ditch the bars and stem, completly ruin the looks (and handling, no doubt)

Looking forward to seeing this finished.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 12:20 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 11:13 pm
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Location: Skipton
I agree with what others have said and would just replace the crankset, bars and stem. If the rest of it works why change :wink: At a push I might replace the forks with a set of Pace RC35's.

As Anthony says, if the frames in good nick I wouldn't touch it. You don't see many with those decals. Also think it's a 90/91.


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