Here's a look at my favourite bike, my '95 Stumpy, and how it came to be.
I started mountain biking in about 1990, during Jr. High. First with an 18 speed thumb shifting Raleigh, I broke EVERYthing on that bike, except the front axl. Warranteed the frame, fork (repeatedly), and generally wore the old girl out.
In high school, saved my money and got a Specialized Hardrock (year unknown). Gripshift, SR DuoTrack 7005. Rode it for a few years, ultimately, upgrading it along the way. A Tange Struts fork replaced the SR, the grouppo went from Aliveo (sp) thru STX, STXRC, Deore DX..... By this time, I was my LBS owner's good friend, and eventually I began to work at the shop as part time mechanic. Learned ALOT.
Then, one day, the LBS owner placed his frame and fork up for sale. A '95 Stumpjumper M2, in my size, with Specialized FSX air oil fork. $300!!! I jumped, neigh, pounced on it, and built it with all the kit off my Hardrock, except the headset, stem, BB and front derailleur, which were included with the frame.
And so we rode. More components got upgraded and replaced thru the next few years, and we rode together alot until I left that city in 1999. By then, the Stumpjumper had about 10,000km on the clock. I'd gotten a car, and bike riding took a back seat for a LONG time. Just the occasional ride, lamenting the seeming hardness of the Velo Crossbow saddle, which years back had seemed so comfortable.
Now, this year, after a couple kids, my wife gets on a health kick, and finally takes up mountain biking (I'd guided her into the purchase of a '97 Hardrock AX during our first year together, but it only ever saw pavement until this summer). With her riding, my interest was re-sparked. My daughter has now taken up the sport with us, at 6 years old, and her 4 year old brother loves riding off-road on a trail-a-bike. Good times are here again.
Today, the bike's groupo consists of:
Frame: 1995 Specialized Stumpjumper M2 FS 20.5"
Fork: 1993 Specialized FSX carbon/ti air/oil
Stem: 130mm Specialized
Handlebar: Profile Carbon Fibre
Grips: Onza Porcs
Brakes: Shimano XT Vbrakes
Brake Pads: Shimano rear, Cool Stop Eagle Claw II front, Cartridges
Brake Cables: Shimano
Brake Levers: Shimano LX
Lizard Skins Carbon break booster (front)
Front Derailleur: Shimano XTR
Rear Derailleur: Shimano XT 8spd
Derailleur Cables: Shimano front, Avid Flack Jacket rear
Cassette: XT 8 spd
Cranks: Shimano XT Standard Drive
Crank Bolts: Stock
Chainrings: 24, 36, 46 (IIRC?)
Chainring bolts: Stock
Bottom Bracket: Shimano LX
Pedals: SPD 535
Hub Skewers: Shimano
Hubs: Shimano LX
Spokes: 15ga DT stainless
Tyres: Specialized Team Master/Team Control Kevlar
Saddle: Velo Crossbow Ti
Seatpost Binder: Ti bolt
The FSX fork is, IMHO, one of the most beautiful suspension forks ever made. Mine's been reliable, with nothing but a few O-ring replacements. They routinely hold pressure over winter. One leg now has a less-than-tight needle inflator valve now, but that can still be lived with due to the plug screws that plug'em up tight. The fork's reasonably stiff, very light and pretty supple for an old air/oil unit. Its' taken all manner of hits over the years, from 4' drop-ins to moderate ski-resort downhilling. Most of my riding years, I was about 170 #, but now it's more like 210. So, strong enough.
Hope you enjoy!