An unplanned first project. As far as I can tell this is the first 20" 89 model to appear on the site, only the 3rd in original Spearmint. But unlike other owners I wasn't looking for one and didn't have one BITD.
Retiring my Claud Butler in the spring rekindled my interest in old bikes and first I stumbled upon a mint Klein I'd lusted after in 1997/98. That was a non-project unless you count touching up paint chips.
I still wanted an older rigid steel bike so I kept searching for project/parts bikes. eBay is a non-starter in my area because nothing goes cheap or under the radar. One Sunday morning I was browsing Gumtree for anything badly-advertised and something made me click a generic "Mountain Bike" advert, probably the decent side-on picture.
To my surprise I immediately spotted a Deore rear mech, crank, thumbshifters and twin U-brakes. I'd seen some of the Trekker projects on here so I knew exactly what it was. It was sprayed black with Scott stickers but it was dirt cheap and had to be good for a few parts at least.
It looked worse in the flesh and was barely rideable so I quickly stripped it down. Surprisingly under the grime and overspray was an original and low-mileage bike with only the saddle/grips/tyres/chain changed. So change of plan, I decided to build it back up re-using all the factory parts. Also the frame looked a touch small for me so I didn't want to throw money at it only to split it or pass it on.
Paint stripper shifted the black paint leaving mostly intact powder-coat. The pics are very flattering though, the paint is peeling, scratched, and flat.
The cranks were rubbed/faded so I decided to polish them. Mr Muscle took hours to shift the black anodising but after that it was 100, 400, 600, 800 wet & dry, then T-Cut/Polish. They're far from perfect but I wasn't going for mirror finish. The tatty brake levers got a similar treatment. The seatpost got a quick sanding but it's now pretty loose... The big/ugly quick release has been swapped for a bolt to help hold it in place.
The 135mm rear axle seems a squeeze for the frame, the nominal distance between the drop outs is 130mm. Also why did they fit short cage rear mechs? Finding a chain length that lets you use all 21 gears seems impossible. I wasted a lot of time refurbing the Exage Mountain pedals to find there's no way to get the left cone/locknut tight enough without special tools. They weigh a ton as well (520g a pair) so they've been ditched.
So here's the end result with only new tyres/pedals. Saddle/grips/chain/SharkFin came off my Claud Butler and I stuck a lighter Ritchey handlebar on to avoid scratching the original... Hard to believe it's mostly the same bike above!
Only taken it for a few shakedown runs so far but first impression was it's a bit of a tank! Those high-mounted U's make it feel a bit top heavy. It fits me better than I expected but the ride is quite stiff compared to my lugged 501 'Butler, even with the same comfy saddle.