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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:07 pm 
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Well, the story begins.. I used to have a 1997 Hardtrax frame in 21" which unfortunately was skip-ed by family while I was at uni :evil:

I have now found another, in 17" for £15 :!:, which for me is the perfect size for off-roading! :D

So begins the project of re-creating what would have been my 'dream bike' from back in the day.. :wink:

Yes, I could be 'sympathetic' to the age of the frame (1997), I could be logical, and build it up with parts I have lying around, and cheap bits to make the perfect pub/hack bike - but I already have one of those, so what the hell! :wink:

First thing done is to have the frame stripped down to the bare bones, so far have just replaced the bottle cage and pannier/mudguard bolts, and fitted a new FSA threadless headset.
Bare frame weight was 2.915 kg.

Also have added a Raleigh Alu seatpost and Nukeproof kevlar-edged saddle.

The next question is whether to strip & replace the decals, or to leave them & helicopter tape over them to prevent any further damage.
At the moment, I'm swayed towards keeping the original 'battle-scarred' decals, to maintain the character that the bike has accumulated over its lifetime. Any suggestions..?

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Last edited by Osella on Sat Jul 21, 2012 11:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:38 am 
retrobike rider
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Location: Lurking in the bushes at the bottom of your mums garden....
I'd keep the decals as they are. Battlescars are cool 8)


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 3:28 pm 
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Location: Leicestershire
Looking good. Hope you keep us posted with your progress.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 11:02 pm 
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Indeed! No more progress on the frame tonight, but I do have a collection of parts ready to go! ;)

The Forks, some of my favourites!! (And just so happen to fit the colour scheme.. :wink: )
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Going to fit the BB tomorrow, heli tape the decals, and check the headset spacers required, if there's time & by some miracle I have all the bolts, I'll fit the brakes too.


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 Post subject: Progress...
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 11:02 pm 
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Well, so today I ended up doing a little more than intended, and now have a complete 'rolling chassis'...!

Started off fitting the BB and just kinda snowballed from there into almost the whole build.. :wink:

Great BB!
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Lovely pair of USE SpinStix bought from eBay to compliment the colour scheme
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As the project idea is to essentially re-create my 'dream' Hardtrax based on the original bike I had back in 1997 I had to install some 'original' features from my first bike, including some of the little touches..
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Fantastic pair of light TWP CNC levers on Magura Evo's with awesome braided pipes front & rear. Also bought a pair of the Magura pipe adapters to fit to the conventional cable routing brackets..
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Decided on an all-SRAM drivetrain, picked up a cheap-ish X-0 20th Anniversary edition rear mech from ebay for 50 quid! Carbon finish also matches nicely with the SID's.
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The SRAM drivetrain idea with modern parts made it difficult to find a decent, reasonably-priced triple front mech to fit 28.6 seattube.. Then found a SRAM Xgen mech compatible with the 1:1 shifters, and got the 28.6 seattube adapter shim from a great little place in Donington - perfect!
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The original 1997 Hardtrax features Shimano's slightly kooky combined E-Z fire shifters (one shifter paddle below and one above the brake lever), so it seemed very appropriate to fit some slightly kooky modern shifters too!! :wink:
SRAM have adapted their 1:1 Double Tap road shifters for flat bar bikes, including MTB's, and at £65 for a pair and only 250g per pair, they are perfect!
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Again, in the interest of re-creating my first bike, I had some VERY nice 26" wide Amoeba 'banana' bars back in the day, so bright yellow risers were an absolute must!! Nukeproof bars cut to 680mm, although not original Nukeproof's fit the bill perfectly and don't spoil the overall late 90's look of the bike. Planet-X CNC stem fits very nicely too!!
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I also decided that I prefer comfort over other people's ideas of taste and decency, so bar ends were going on it too! :P :wink:
KCNC BE1 are perfect, as they weigh just 49g for a pair, and combined with the TWP levers, allow me to grab the brakes from the bar ends in an emergency!
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I bought a Deore 'DX' crankset a while back to use the cranks from, bit of a clean and a polish-up, and replacing all of the rings with separately-sourced Middleburn rings (which was a bit of a ball-ache, but totally worth it!!) ended up with a lovely subtle, but lightweight at 760g, chainset:
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onto which I added some awesome new Onza double-cage blue ano pedals; replicas of their 90's pedals, they are perfect for a replica of my 90's bike!!
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Now.. the secret weapon...

I had always hankered after a set of these for YEARS... right back to the day I got into mountain biking, so when a set came up at a decent price with no cracks, good braking surfaces and no wobbles, I just had to have them!!
Cost a pretty penny to have shipped over (£360 all-in :eek: !!) but sometimes, you just have to have something! :wink:
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The decals and rims and centres were carefully masked off and I sprayed the body of the wheels with a flat black paint to cover all of the various scratches and marks that had accumulated over the years. I think I'm pretty lucky getting a good set of Spin's, and I don't care what anybody says, I think they look ACE and aren't actually that heavy! 2262 g for the pair, but the fulfilment of a lifelong MTBing dream to have Spins on my bike!! :twisted:

Topped off with a SRAM PG970 9-sp cassette to fit the drivetrain nicely.
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So today I helicopter taped over the decals after a thorough clean & polish of the frame yesterday, and set about building the damn thing! Got everything attached, tho need to cut down the steerer a bit, and obviously need a chain and still to hook up all the cabling.

At the moment I'm just waiting on some Magura parts for fitting the brakes, and it will be good to go!
Until then however, it is complete as a 'rolling chassis' and so.. you get the idea..! :wink:

The tyres were a great find! A tenner on ebay and just tops off the 90's look! :wink:
Let me know what you think!!! :lol:

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Overall weight is a shade under 14kg (or 30lb), the geometry is pretty much spot-on with a 100mm travel fork, and the BB height is an impressive 29cm - which was a weakness in the original bike in it's rigid state, and compares well with the 30cm on my Ghost full-sus!

I can't wait to ride the thing once it's finished!! :D


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 9:46 pm 
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Really like this, does look old skool.

Trying to decide if to put suspension on the front of mine or not, love the old skool looks and feel of it, but it could be quicker downhill, plus it'd let me lower the bars down, hmmmm :/


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 3:57 pm 
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Yeah, I used to ride rigid bikes all the time, and I'd say it depends what you're riding it for! If it's going to be gravel tracks and roads then might not be worth the hassle - and you can still raise the front it you need by getting some suspension-corrected forks - there are some available which even look like the rigid Saracen Kili forks :wink:

Personally I love suspension... As long as you can lock it out, and have a nice light fork, it's great! Nice to get to the end of a long ride without that grating noise coming from where your scaphoids used to be!!


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 10:19 pm 
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I'll be deciding forever hahaha

You've made me decide to get stickers back on it, lovely!!!


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:35 am 
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Yeah, display the old-school proudly!

The way I see it, if it says 'Saracen' emblazoned across it, people might think it's just a cheap hack & be less likely to try & nick it!! :wink:
It's amazing how nicely it scrubs up though for a cheapie steel frame from 15 years ago! 8)


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:16 pm 
retrobike rider
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Really cool frame. Like the build a lot and your enthusiasm :D

However, and this isn't personal, I am not a fan of the wheels (never liked the look or practicality of spins) and the tyres for me push it over the edge slightly. But the rest of the build is quality, and that's just me being picky.


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