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 Post subject: 1988 Reflex ALX89
PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:59 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 3:34 pm
Posts: 250
Location: Stockport, UK
Last night, I picked up my most recent ebay purchase; a 1988 Relfex ALX89!

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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! :)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The seatpost is an 26.8mm Odyssey Aerator - it has a pump built into it!

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Not sure how useful that'll be in practise, though. :P

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! :roll:

Flickr set

edit: 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! :shock:


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 Post subject: Re: 1988 Reflex ALX89
PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:13 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:46 pm
Posts: 962
Location: Montpellier, France
Nice! I remember a bloke at work had a Reflex like that back in 1990, seemed really exotic.

Pump built into the seat tube. Why not? Great ideas that never took off, eh?


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 Post subject: Re: 1988 Reflex ALX89
PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:01 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:34 am
Posts: 1042
Location: Hook, Hants
Steel bars nothing unusual for the period and matches others: http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewto ... p;t=234571

But loads of weight to be lost with a modern alu stem/bar if you don't care about originality :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: 1988 Reflex ALX89
PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:47 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 3:34 pm
Posts: 250
Location: Stockport, UK
I have no desire to keep it factory spec. MTBs are meant to be upgraded! :)

This morning I started on some of the alterations..

I fitted a spare 26.4mm seatpost from my Saracen Tufftrax, with the help of a Guinness can shim. I had to use two strips, but it works great, and the longer seatpost makes the bike actually ridable, which is nice. :)

On the train to work, I took off the toe strap thingies (the previous owner must've had tiny feet - I was pedalling on tip toes!), the front reflector, the gaffa-taped shark fin, and the pump bracket. Apart from the shark fin, it all went in the bin!

Once off the train, I found a quiet spot and swapped the handlebar for a Kalloy Uno bar that's 2 inches narrower (the old one was enormous!), and about a third of the weight. I neglected to refit the bar ends, as they're a bit crummy, and it looks like the LH brake lever might be a bit broken. I need to have a closer look at it, as it may just be the adjustment screw that's knackered.

I had hoped to swap the stem for something longer with less rise, but it's a 1" stem, and I've only got 1 1/8" stems knocking about. From the feel of things, a longer stem will sort the bike out nicely!

This afternoon, I'll be fitting the Charge Splashbacks (the Twin Rails are going on the Saracen, if they ever arrive) and attempting to cycle home on it. :D


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 Post subject: Re: 1988 Reflex ALX89
PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:54 am 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:09 am
Posts: 9399
Location: Devon
Love these bikes. That pump seatpost is amazing!


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 10:20 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 3:34 pm
Posts: 250
Location: Stockport, UK
Time for a minor update, methinks!

I've been ill for several months, so my bikes have been languishing in the shed over winter. I'm having an operation next week, which requires 2 weeks of rest, but after that I'll be able to cycle again! Yay!! :D

So, lately I've been trying to sort out my bikes, and get them into a ridable state. The ALX has a couple of issues that make it un-ridable; the headset's cracked in two places, and an attempt to swap brake cables went a bit wrong when I lost the adjustment screw from the U brake. Nothing too serious, really.

Here's a pic of the bike in it's current state:
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I was tempted to sell it for a bit.. I only have space for 3 bikes in the shed, and I want to build up the Kili Racer (if I ever manage to get the BB off - I'm gonna copy Coomber's method), which would overload the shed. Also, I'd become very, very wary of scratching the anodized tubes, which was stopping me from riding it (when it was ridable).

However, taking photos of it for the how much is my xyz worth forum made me realise how ace the bike is, and I'm not sure I can part with it now. I'd rather get rid of the Tufftrax or the Cobra! (I might be getting rid of the Tufftrax anyway, but that's a different story...)

My plan for the bike is now:
    Sort out the rust
    Touch up the paint
    Coat the bike with ArmorAll (possibly also frame saver)
    Replace the headset
    Fix the brakes
    Get period grips
    Replace the seat QR (old one was too wide, and it snagged)
    Replace the saddle
    Replace the seat post
    Lose the wheel QRs (I hate QRs on horizontal dropouts)
    Get some smoke/dart tyres (Splashbacks are a bit cruddy)

And then I'm gonna ride it, and probably scratch it. :D


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 Post subject: Re: 1988 Reflex ALX89
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 11:02 am 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:09 am
Posts: 9399
Location: Devon
Ride and scratch it. What it's for after all.

All sensible plans for the refurb too.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 11:58 am 
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Joined: Wed May 05, 2010 2:32 pm
Posts: 1185
Location: 024, The Netherlands
That is nice, love Reflex frames 8) ..!

Got some more pics?

And how is that stem working out for you? I have a silver Ritchey one -with less rise than that T-bone- available, if you're interested?

Looking forward to future updates, but first things first: good luck with your operation :D !


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 Post subject: Re: 1988 Reflex ALX89
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 12:43 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 3:34 pm
Posts: 250
Location: Stockport, UK
Thanks! :D

All the pics I've ever taken of it are in my flickr set: http://www.flickr.com/photos/spatuluk/s ... 354958333/, but here's a couple more for the thread:

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My thanks to my son's sticky fingers for the soft filtering going on. :P

I should point out that the seating isn't how I ride it - it had been in the shed without a seatpost, so I put it on a bit randomly. I think the stem worked well for the 2 days that I used it, before I messed up the rear brake. :roll:

Stuff I've now bought:
    Ritchey Logic headset (black)
    Race Face seatpost (black)
    Charge Spoon saddle (black)
    Onza Porcipaw grips (bought red and black, so I can try both)
    Halo hex key wheel skewers (black, altho I might pinch the red ones from my Tufftrax)

I've found a German shop that sells new smoke and darts for about £30 each, but that's a bit beyond my finances for now. Just the seat QR left! :)


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 Post subject: Re: 1988 Reflex ALX89
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 11:02 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 3:34 pm
Posts: 250
Location: Stockport, UK
I'm still alive! :D

The operation was not a success (still got a gall bladder - bah!), and it's taken longer to recover than expected, but I can just about ride a bike again. :)

The bike now has a new headset, and all the other things I said I'd replace. The red Onza grips looked rubbish, and the black ones never turned up, so it's now got ODI Yeti Speed grips. I still need to sort out and protect the paintwork, and a problem has arisen with the crank (it wobbles). Here, have a bad phone piccy (I swear it was dead center in the view finder!):

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Replacing the headset was tricky - the fork tube is very short, and my race removal tool didn't work in it. I spend lots of moolahs on a new removal tool, and also a fitting tool, and sorted those out. Then I found out that it has a JIS fork crown, which didn't fit my new ISO Ritchey headset. :facepalm:

Some amount of filing later, and voila - it now has an ISO fork crown and a new headset. :)

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I've only ridden the bike a few times, and this morning I noticed that the crank is wobbling from side to side in the cups. The cups look like they're as tight as they'll go, so maybe I managed to use the wrong sized bearings at some point? I need to investigate that later.

oh, and the stem now has too much reach and not enough rise, but that'll have to wait until payday..


Last edited by spatuluk on Fri Jul 18, 2014 11:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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