I could start this thread by waxing lyrical about halcyon days on blue-collar bikes, but it's all been done to death already. Suffice to say I had a 19" 1991 Marin Eldridge Grade (MEG) way back in 1992, I loved riding it, but I sold it on to buy a Stumpjumper, and have regretted it since. My original bike was the pale grey Zolatone 2000 model with the pinky-orange forks, a couple of years ago I thought I'd found a worthy replacement, a green/black splatter MEG frame/fork/stem/bar set being sold by a guy in Utah. I bought it, but when it arrived I found he had measured C-C not C-T and it was in fact a too-large 20" frame. I sold that on and forgot about early '90s Marin bikes for a while as many other machines came and went. Last week, I was standing at the service counter in the bike shop where I work in the small southern-Ontario, Canada town of Peterborough when a customer wheels in a bike to sell at our twice-yearly gear swap. The bike, which is filthy and sitting on frayed flat tires, is a 19" 1991 MEG in the neon yellow/pink splatter colourway. $75 later the bike is mine!
The bike is completely original aside from seat, tires and grips. It was in such a sorry state I didn't bother to photo' it until after I'd stripped it apart:
The neon yellow is faded in places, and there are plenty of paint chips, some rusty (kickstands are the devil's own creation). A couple of the decals are damaged, but all of them are present. I've considered touhing up or repainting, but I like the "patina" of the frame so I'll probably just give it a good clean and treat the rust.
Components were better:
One early quandary; do I de-gunk and re-lube the original push/push DX shifters, or do I cut the perches off the STI levers and use some brand new, horribly period incorrect, but perfectly functioning 3x7 rapidfire plus units? The bike is definitely going to be a regular rider, so I want it to work well - any input?
I'm going to use modern Bontrager Team Issue tires (simply for weight and grip reasons) , Ritchey foam grips (closest available to original hex foam grips) and a brand new Flite Classic 1990.
I'll post updates as the project progresses.
1986 RM Ritchey "Canapurna", 1991 Marin Eldridge Grade, 1990? Vitus Futural CX, 1995 TREK Singletrack 950, 1996 Muddy Fox Monarch Team, 1997 DMR Trailstar, 1993 Pro-Flex 853, 2001 Santa Cruz Chameleon