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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:35 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2011 11:57 pm
Posts: 4074
Location: Antwerp, Belgium
I bought this bike last summer from Stumpjumper1990, who was reluctant to sell.
I ended up making him an offer he couldn't refuse and was already on my way to get a horse's head when he finally agreed to sell it.
I didn't really know what to do with it so I never made a proper topic for it. It was one of those "that's wicked, I gotta have that" buys.

I put everything together and went for a few rides, but there wasn't much good news. The brakes were completely worn and finding new brake shoes seems impossible. I didn't like the cheap and nasty feel of the Suntour XCM groupset either, nevermind its looks.
As a result, I gave up on the bike and put it for sale ... and then noticed that the rear of the frame was slightly warped as well. Of course I mentioned this in the sales topic, and as a result nobody bought the bike.
After a while, I stopped bumping the thread and completely forgot about the bike.

Fast forward 6 months and I suddenly remembered that the bike is still in my closet (not enough space in the bike room). So I put it back together.

After a few rides, I decided to strip the bike down again and rebuild it with new cables and some replacement parts.
The DiaCompe levers and shifter pods were swapped for a nice set of Shimano STI's, but I kept the Suntour mechs. The Suntour Crankset received some Shimano XT M735 rings because the original oval ones were killing my knees.
A couple of bottle holders, a new (second-hand) saddle, new pedals and new foam grips, and I was ready to hit the road.

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While I was cleaning the fork, the outer decal started to dissolve and fall apart. So I had to remove that completely.
No worries, I have excellent pics of the inside decal, so I can always commission Gil to make a new set.

A few niggles still.
- Despite my best setup efforts, the shifting is quite sloppy in some of the gears, so it looks like Shimano STI and Suntour Mechs aren't entirely compatible. The indexing seems slightly different
A set of XT thumbies in friction mode should solve that, so I'll be looking into that option.
- The chain won't engage the middle chainring properly and will try to wedge itself between the middle and big one.
- The brakes still don't do much and feel weird. I have set them to the point where they're almost dragging constantly, yet I can still pull both levers all the way to the grips wit just one finger. If I pull both brakes all the way, it'll stop nearly as quickly as any other bike does on the rear brake alone.
- The warping isn't that bad, but it means I always have to keep one hand on the handlebar because it will pull to the left. I'm not equipped to deal with this, so I'm looking for options here. It must be possible.

But just look at it !

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For now I'll do some minor modifications and tweaks and then ride it during the summer.
Next winter I'll probably have the frame straightened, the rust inside the tubes treated, the chrome redone and the drum shoes refinished. Then a nice selection of Shimano parts and it'll be good to go for another decade or two.


Last edited by Raging_Bulls on Tue Jul 05, 2016 12:05 am, edited 5 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:53 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:18 pm
Posts: 1285
Location: in the harbor
"Dead End" ...one of those unusual developments of bike.
I can't imagine that it rides well and comfortably, but it's a rare bike and with a few decals it will look nice.
It would be nice if you report more about the handling.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:53 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2011 11:57 pm
Posts: 4074
Location: Antwerp, Belgium
Nader,

You'd be surprised how normal it feels. The wheelbase is 106cm, or 41 3/4" in Queen's English. the headtube angle is around 72° as well, it just looks like it's really slack because of the massive fork leg that sticks out at an angle. It's a fairly normal geometry really.
The wheels themselves are mounted as solid as they would be on a regular bike. In the chainstay and fork, they press-fitted a massive bearing that holds a seriously beefy axle. There's no play there whatsoever, even after 23 years.
The chainstay and the fork leg are oversized and have rather thick walls, so not a lot of movement there either.

As a result, it rides like a normal rigid MTB. It's stiffer than my Scott actually, probably because the single chainstay doesn't flex as much as the Scott's (dual) rear triangle. Not really the stiffness of an aluminium bike, but close.

As for weight, it's a tad on the heavy side. It clocked the scales at 33lbs (14.9kg), although I may have shaved off a few ounces with the recent changes. Mind you, you only really notice that under hard acceleration or when going uphill.

No idea how it behaves on the limit. I'll take it there once the brakes are sorted.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:47 pm 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:08 am
Posts: 6840
Location: Nth Somerset, UK
I love it!

We must have a similar taste in weird, cos as far as I'm concerned, that is just as cool as you like.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 10:34 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:29 pm
Posts: 1770
Location: yorkshireland
That looks very nice, I love daft solutions to problems that dont exist.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 10:41 pm 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:08 am
Posts: 6840
Location: Nth Somerset, UK
Silly question, but couldn't you get the drum brake shoes relined?

I'm going back a few years here, but when I used to tinker with motorbikes as a teenager, it was still possible to find brake specialists who could install new friction material onto the aluminium brake shoes.

Is that a possibility? Or have all those businesses now gone?


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:30 am 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2011 11:57 pm
Posts: 4074
Location: Antwerp, Belgium
Technically that's possible. However there aren't too many of those left. Most shops that specialize in classic cars and bikes tend to get reproduction shoes or NOS originals. They simply don't want to work with old ones because of the health risks associated with asbestos.
I'm on the hunt in that sector though, but it's probably going to take some time before I find the right person.

The brake shoes are the biggest hurdle though. Any serious framebuilder should be able to sort out the problem with the rear end, and then it should be good for another decade or so.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 1:30 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 9:55 am
Posts: 7058
Location: The land of Lea & Perrins
That's as mad as a box of frogs :shock:


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:22 pm 
Gold Trader / PoTM Winner
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Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2011 2:35 pm
Posts: 2784
I was under the impression that these guys had gone out of business, but their website at least seems to be still active, so would be worth contacting them for info.

I came across them in a job I did a few years ago, and spent a few weeks onsite... proper old fashioned british engineering firm
They both sell brand new, and remanufacture brake linings for trucks, lorry's and busses, but I recall them saying that they occaionsally did relinings for some classic cars, so at least they have the capability to do much smaller stuff than a brake for a 30tonne lorry!

P&P Sargeant
http://nutexafrictions.co.uk/index.htm


G


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:58 am 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2011 11:57 pm
Posts: 4074
Location: Antwerp, Belgium
Thanks, unkleGsif. I'll drop them an email tonight. Fingers crossed.


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