I had been watching this bike on Craigslist for a month. The seller initially was asking $350 but were listing the bike as a 1994 model. I knew it was never going to sell for that much, and I was right, as over time the price fell significantly. Yesterday the price dropped to $150 and a Blackburn rack had been added. At that price I knew it would actually sell, so I picked up the phone. The seller had another person interested already, but that potential buyer ended up flaking... so today I went and took a test ride, and brought her home!
The rack was looking kinda beat up so I removed it then took the bike for an initial spin and some pics "as found"
Drivetrain is Deore II, Frame is Tange MTB. All original except saddle, tires and bar ends. The components work great, though the frame is HEAVY.. (~34lbs) It's the largest size frame they sold (22") and you can feel the weight. The complete bike weighs 2 lbs more than my 1986 Apex which is 20.5. I'm not sure where else the weight is coming from, I expected it to be a little lighter. Normally, a I'd consider an MTB frame this large as being much too big for me, but I'm interested in trying out a drop bar conversion, and so I picked a frame closer to my roadbike size than MTB.
I'm pretty sure the seller was a "knock the dift off and flip it" kind reseller, but he did something really weird... he used a ton of sharpy to touch up the stem and various places on the frame.. ok, pretty cheap looking in the sunlight, but whatever... but the weird thing is he used sharpie on the "Made in TAIWAN / Designed in USA" decal to make it read "Made in USA". He also completely removed the Made in Taiwan badge from the headtube and used sharpie to cover up the scar. The reason I think the seller did this is because his CL pics showed the complete head tube decal. No idea why he would do it except to try to fool a buyer, or if he just really hates Taiwan
I already swapped out the saddle with something smaller and in better condition. Next it needs slick tires. I also need to tweak the cockpit quite a bit to get the set up I like. not sure how far down that road I want to go just yet if I'm going to do a drop bar conversion though. I definitely am going to swap in a shorter stem I have on hand because it's a giant stem with a giant TT. One thing interesting about this geometry is that it feels like most of my weight is resting on the back wheel in a "normal" mtb posture.. so much so that the front wheel "washes out".. but leaning forward into a more roadbike-like posture gives you good balance.
Not 100% sure about what I should do with this bike since it's a tiny bit too big and really heavy. If I don't end up liking it, considering stripping the parts and swapping in some off a cheapo mtb.. probably could resell for what I paid regardless of the components. But first i'm gonna put it through its paces and see what it's made of