Last night, I picked up my most recent ebay purchase; a 1988 Relfex ALX89!Before anyone points things out, it's how I bought it, and not set up!
I won it for £35, which is a bit of a bargain, I reckon! It may turn out to be an experiment in wishful thinking, as the frame is apparently 17" (I haven't measured it yet) and I'm 5'10", so it may be too small for me. I rode a 17.5" frame for several years with no probs, so I'm hoping it'll turn out okay! The anodized logos and patterns are particularly swanky
The frame has Easton E9 aluminium main tubes, bonded to steel, but it still feels quite heavy. I'm not sure what kind of steel they used, but you can really feel it when you lift it - all the weight is at the back, and the overall weight doesn't feel any lighter than a steel frame to me.I might add some lug lining, but not sure what colour to go for
Information on these bikes is a bit sparse, but I kinda like that. It adds a bit of enigma to an already very interesting bike.
There is a scan of pretty informative article on MOMBAT
, for the ALX99 (same as an ALX89, but with better components). Reflex were apparently Easton's ski/sports branch back in the 80's, and they chose the brand for their entrance into the world of MTBs. Their foray didn't last long, as it apparently offended some of Easton's customers, who were using Easton tubing for their own bikes. The bike range was subsequently transferred to Look, who also owned Grisley and Peugeot. I owned a Peugeot Grisley
for a little while, but had to sell it because it was too big for me.
The groupset on the bike appears to be original, and is mostly in pretty good condition. I haven't had a close look at the part numbers, but I think it's all MT60 or MT61. I suspect that the steel handlebar isn't original, as it seems like a really weird part choice compared to the other components. The stem is a Sakae in ropey condition, and the wheels have Maillard hubs (dated as 1988) and Araya RM-25 rims.
The seatpost is an 26.8mm Odyssey Aerator - it has a pump built into it!
Not sure how useful that'll be in practise, though.
My plan for the bike is pretty basic:
Replace tyres with either amberwall Halo Twin Rails, or Charge Splashbacks.
Replace the handlebar with a Kalloy Uno bar that came from the old Peugeot (seems fitting).
Replace the seat post with something longer (it's way too short)
Remove the rust from the headset, and anywhere else I find it.
Touch up the black paint with enamel.
Replace the plastic pedals.
Maaaaybe replace the stem with something longer.
Then, all I need to do is ride it for a few weeks, and see if it really is too small. I hope it isn't! Flickr setedit:
I measured the frame on my lunchbreak. It's 17" C-T, and 16.5" C-C. Reflex measured their frames C-C, so it would've been sold as a 16.5" frame!