First, I think I need to apologize to coomber and Rampage, whose noses I may have swiped the bike from under.
This bike was a fairly bonkers £35 BIN on ebay, and I managed to get my bid in before them. I think the BIN listing had only been up for about an hour, although my saved searches had failed to pick up the original auction, for some reason.
Without further ado, here is what I found myself owning:(apologies for rubbish mobile phone photos)
That's it's best side - the decals on the other side are almost completely scuffed off, presumably due to how it was stored. The whole bike is covered with greasy filth, so I reckon it's been living at the back of a garage for quite a while.
The bike's a mixed bag..
Can't see any rust or dents!
Frame paintwork should clean up nicely (altho I confess I don't like the shade of red much.. it might get coated later on).
Shifters look better than the ones I paid £25 for.
Brakes and levers look okay, if a bit ugly.
Stem looks fine.
Front mech looks alright (kind've hard to tell).
Crankset missing some chainring bolts, but otherwise fine.
The decals are shot.
Fork paintwork is knackered.
The seatpost's seized (so the stem probably is, too)
The front wheel has a cheap Mach 1 rim.
Modern Alivio rear mech?
Patchy looking weld on the circular plate that's on the seat tube.
The weld is the thing that worries me most.. Could the frame have been broken and repaired? I couldn't see signs of a respray, but it was getting dark and the frame is pretty filthy:
Compare that to the other side:
Maybe it just slipped through Saracen's quality control.
So, the plan is to take it apart, clean it, put it back together, and then decide on upgrades. Upgrades are going to be partially defined by another bike that I'm collecting on Saturday, which was one of my unicorns; a 1995 Saracen Tufftrax!
Here's some more photos:
flickr set: http://www.flickr.com/photos/spatuluk/s ... 783996285/
oh yeah, and I also need to find a new home for a rusty 1998 Rockhopper. That's gonna be a bit tricky, I suspect!