Hello all, after lurking here once in a while, I've finally registered to this amazing site. Like many other forumers here (I assume), I got into mountain biking in my mid teens while still at secondary school, when free time was plentiful, and money was not abundant but could be spend on anything I wanted. So I saved up all xmas money and paper round tips plus a few months of pocket money to buy an entry level mtb from the previous year (1993).
That was a Raleigh M-Trax 400 Duo Tech (the same M-Trax as this http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewto ... 3#p1949873
). Commerially pure titanium bonded with cro-mo, all painted in a glittery black colour (which sadly I never liked). The parts were an odd blend of diacomp, entry level shimano, and DX thumbshifters. At some point I replaced the thumbies with gripshifters, but I have no idea what happened to the former. I should try to find them in my mum's garage next time I am down there. I used this bike for essentially all my mountain biking on Dartmoor from 1994 to 1997, and put it through some serious 'resiliency testing'. In 1997 I reasoned it would be just as cheap to buy a new bike (which turned out to be a Diamond back Apex, 1996 model) than to replace the badly worn out drivetrain of the M-Trax. To this day I have the Apex with me, having ridden it on 4 continents (Africa, Europe, America, and East Asia).
The M-trax frame and forks, as well as Rockshocks Q21R (the magnesium looks corroded lates time I checked them
) are still down in Plymouth in my Mum's garage, having survived several attempts / offers to take it to the tip. I'm now pondering whether (and how) to restore it to former glory, as there is a very strong emotional bond with this bike, having been with me through the transition from boyhood to manhood, and having been an escape from the tumults of teenage home and school life, taking me to a place to clear my mind and think, chill, relieve stresses, etc.
Now, in my mid 30s, I have stopped hopping from country to country and I find myself in Portugal, a reasonable place to do some MTBing (better than Mexico with its bandits lying in wait just outside the city limits, and better than Korea which seemed to be all vertical mountains or wide, super flat flood plains. The Canaries was good, though.). I'm starting to get back into cycling again, have fixed the minor problems with the Apex workhorse, and have started reminiscing about my first real MTB, the M-Trax. Perhaps this is the beginning of a mid life crisis!
Getting to the point, I'd like to ask forumers here for advice on how to go about restoring my trusty old steed. I'd rather not spend too much money, and I'm not dead set on an authentic rebuild either, although it wouldn't be unwelcome. Any ideas welcome!
To be fair, most of the components on my M-Trax are completely wrecked or else are junk, like the overly heavy stem!, the non-matching cranks (one is 5mm longer than the other, due to an error by the bike shop who replaced a broken crank!), so it would be no big loss to replace them.