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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:09 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 1:14 am
Posts: 1871
Location: Kuranda DH circa 1991
yeah the stem i linked is 150mm centre to centre, so might be a bit longer that what you have already.

centre to centre being as in this drawing:


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:26 am 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2012 11:30 pm
Posts: 12
Thank you for your fantastic drawing - it looks great!

This center to center thing changes everything: Now my stem is 130mm and the top tube is 55cm (21,65").

I used to measure center to center too, but unfortunately it was a different center to center. :oops:


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 7:18 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2012 11:30 pm
Posts: 12
I have taken some pictures that show what the bike looks like now. Which was not so easy somehow - taking pictures of a bike is also an art form! :D

I removed a couple of unnescessary parts, like the bell and the front reflex :)

I added a beavertail splashguard on the back wheel, since I want to drive when it is raining too. The yellow front light looks disturbing somehow, but it is easy to remove. :wink:


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 7:36 pm 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 11:22 pm
Posts: 7306
Location: Hove
Bike fit is a personal thing, but I would say the bike is the right size for your height, or if anything a little big.

You should measure all lengths on a centre to centre basis. For someone of your height, the c-c top tube would normally be about 55cm (i.e., centre of seat tube to centre of head tube). You should also measure the stem length on a c-c basis, and that one looks about 12cm. If you have 55cm plus 12cm, that is plenty big enough for your height.

If you find yourself wanting to reach further forward, I would advise you to keep riding the bike as it is, resist any temptation to set the saddle any further back, and just ride more and more actively as you get used to it. I think you should then develop the right posture for the bike. Although it's a paradox, sometimes the feeling of wanting to reach forward is caused by the bike being too long - i.e., you're already reaching forward and your weight isn't upright enough for the best and most active posture.

I would certainly resist any thought of a longer stem than that - a longer stem will affect the steering geometry, essentially slowing down the steering, and making the bike less eager to turn sharp corners. That is the opposite of what you want in a mountain bike.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:10 pm 
Special Retro Guru
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Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 11:34 am
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Location: Don't mess with monkeys, man
Axis wrote:
I have taken some pictures that show what the bike looks like now. Which was not so easy somehow - taking pictures of a bike is also an art form! :D

I removed a couple of unnescessary parts, like the bell and the front reflex :)

I added a beavertail splashguard on the back wheel, since I want to drive when it is raining too. The yellow front light looks disturbing somehow, but it is easy to remove. :wink:

Looks in nice condition. I have a 91 Axis, too. If you're ever tempted by the dark side, and front suspension, and want rid of them front forks, let me know!


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:54 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2012 11:30 pm
Posts: 12
OK, I will ride it for a while and see how it all develops. Maybe in a month, I am 110% happy (now it is 95%). Probably I just have to get used to driving a new bike.

Maybe the size issue is also just a psychological thing - now that my new bike is 1000 times better than my old bike, and better than any bike I ever had, I start to wonder if there is something that could be improved even further...

I don´t think I will get tempted by the dark side! :D I use the bike to drive as fast as possible through the city, mostly on the road, but often the roads here in Berlin are in a very poor condition (bad brick road). This is the reason why most people here drive on the pavement! :shock:

If in future I would like to bike in the woods/"mountains", I might consider buying a new bike with front suspension. It would be great to build a bike based on a frame. I have been watching a lot of these projects here - a lot of great looking bikes!!! I am just not sure I have the technical skills to build my own bike...

Ohh, by the way. I am not convinced by the freaky paint job on the Axis. The advantage is though, that the bike does not look like something expensive worth steeling - a HUGE advantage in Berlin... :lol:


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:19 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2012 11:30 pm
Posts: 12
Ohh, a couple of remarks.

@Anthony: The stem is definitely 130mm. Just measured it again to be absolutely sure.
@Neil: How many bikes do you have? :D I have the strong feeling that many bike freaks here in this forum have 3, 4 or even more bikes! :shock:


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:51 pm 
Special Retro Guru
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Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 11:34 am
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Location: Don't mess with monkeys, man
Axis wrote:
Ohh, a couple of remarks.

@Anthony: The stem is definitely 130mm. Just measured it again to be absolutely sure.
@Neil: How many bikes do you have? :D I have the strong feeling that many bike freaks here in this forum have 3, 4 or even more bikes! :shock:

I'm a freak all week, but only have a modest number of bikes compared to many on here.

I have:-

1991 Diamond Back Axis
1991 Diamond Back Apex
1995 Diamond Back Apex x 2

and a 92 Axis frame and forks on the way.

Believe me that's practically insufficient compared with most peoples' bike collections on here.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:39 am 
Special Retro Guru
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Just some info on your bike (and if you have a look at the gallery link in my profile, there's a scan of the brochure page for your bike) - it looks in pretty good condition - handlebars, stem, seatpost (from the distance I can see it from in the pictures), brakes, mechs, chainset, and at least the front wheel all look stock / original.

Brake levers and shifters look to have been changed (and at some point, at least the front canti looks to have been setup like a v brake), originally it would have been combined brake and gear shifters (XT push-push STI units). Probably the XTI units started playing up at some point, and somebody looks to have put on XT thumbies (good choice), don't know what the brake levers are. I suppose this could have been done at purchase time on preference, though.

Headset looks like it's been replaced, too, original would have been a Tioga Avenger threaded headset.

So frame is True Temper OX double-butted, BB shell is 73mm - important if you need to replace the bottom bracket at any point. Brochure lists the forks True Temper OX, but I'm inclined to think all those from that year with semi-decent frames (AVR and above) probably had the same rigid fork - maybe I'm just cynical that way.

Wheels would be Sun / Avenir Duro 17 laced to Deore XT hubs (32 hole at the front, 36 hole at the rear). Spokes would have been stainless, plain gauge. These were pretty light rims in 91, double walled, but no eyelets, though. Stock tyres would have been Panaracer Smokes front and back.

Derailleurs would have been Deore XT, chainset would have also been XT (46, 36, 26 rings).

Pedals would have been Shimano Deore (XT?) flats, with clips and straps (Avenir branded).

Seatpost (30.4mm) and handlebars would have been Avenir branded chromoly (seatpost probably actually a Kalloy one, the one on my 91 Apex was, although it's in a smaller diameter (27.0) compared with the Axis). Stem would have been a Tioga T-Bone.

Compared to the more normal frames in the line-up (like AVR) the Axis looks to have tubes that are a lot more oversize - evident in the seatpost size of 30.4 compared to 27.0 on the AVR framesets. The downtube is noticeably larger diameter than the AVR framesets, too - and the top tube looks thicker, too.

These were of the time when they were a middling weight, really - I suspect the Axis in 17" or 18" would have been around the 26lbs mark. a couple of years later, when Diamond Back started using their own spec TT-Lite tubing as their top spec steel frames, the bike weights came down about a couple of pounds - that wouldn't have all been in the frame, them mid 90s saw weight savings seemingly key as their strategy.

Many report the Axis feels different to ride than the AVR Diamond Backs of the same era - I suspect that's as much down to the tube diameters as the different tubing. The TT-Lite frames of a couple of years later, feel different again - light and springy, but not as if they overly flex.

Looks like you got a nice bike, still in pretty good condition, at a good price.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 1:59 am 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2012 11:30 pm
Posts: 12
WOW, thank you so much, Neil, for your fantastic info! :shock: It is great to read about all the details!

I have looked at the brochure page in your profile. Above I have attached the complete 1991 brochure - unfortunately it is in German... :cry:

The brochure says that the bike has XT equipment, but the pedals are Deore DX!?

I have also taken a closer look at the rest:

Both wheels are Avenir Duro 17. On the back hub I can read Deore and 14G. The front hub looks the same, but I cannot read anything.

The brakes (at the handlebar) are Dia Compe. At the tires I can just read Shimano, on the "brake rubber" it says Deore XT. The brakes seem to work very well - saved my life yesterday!

On the crankset I can only read Shimano SG. And the standard 24, 36 and 46.

The seat post is Avenir 4130 - just like the brochure says it should be. :)

The saddle is Selle Royal (Royal Vacuum Light). Seems like a nice one.

Both derailleurs are Deore XT.

The gear shifters are Deore XT. There is also the option of SIS - F. What is this for?!

My only problem so far with the bike has been the gear shifting. The shifter on the left (3x) is hard to move - I need to use quite some force to do so. Sometimes the chain even falls of! I am still trying to figure out exactly why and when this happens. With some gears there is sometimes a strange noice - like if the bike has not hit the exact gear. Sometimes it goes away, if I adjust the shifters a little. Oh, and the lowest gear (x3) does not seem to work/ the chain makes loud noices.

I asked the bike dealer to do the gears for me and this is the result... :x Maybe the only thing to do, is to do it myself, but I do not have a clue what to do... I would be very happy for any advice!


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