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 Post subject: Re: 1987 Dawes Cougar
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 9:39 am 
King of the Skip Monkeys
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Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:34 pm
Posts: 26146
Location: Moomin Valley
So now some of your know what it is, a Dawes Cougar.

Full 531 tubing, all the tubes give off that Orange Clockwork twang that I was always so jealous of.

Full first generation Deore MT60 including the not often seen pedals with the hub style decals. The hubs are my second favourite as some wide flange XT has just taken over and will eventually replace these, maybe... Possibly...

Weinmann eyeletted rims, convex and ready to hold all the water and muck to rot the spokes out!

Now, these bikes looked old fashioned before they were even out as other manufacturers had ploughed ahead and gone from touring 'ATB' style to the shorter wheelbase designs that hung around for a good 12 years plus before full suss/ sus. corrected became the norm.

With distinct unease, I cleaned and oiled everything not expecting much from the frame as it was going to be a strip & flip - the groupset destined for something more interesting. Oh how wrong I was!

First ride up the street gave the instant impression that I wasnt riding generica 531 lashed together commonista - it had that twang to it. You know the that twang, the twang that comes from a sorted frame regardless of materials. Frames that you build up expecting the worst and off you go with an unexpected smile on your face.

So, on to the groupset. Its been a very long time since a complete bike has turned up as it left the factory/ shop. Lots of subtle differences aside from the some of the obvious between MT60 and later DX branded bits. Comparing DX and MT60 chainsets shows the earlier to be more machined with tidy casting, perhaps a little neater on the eye.

Back to that ride - It was a last minute choice for the Peaks ride, usurping the pedal and saddleless Greeny. Nothing was changed, even the original cables were allowed to stay. A quick test ride showed up the old chain though. It was one of those big fat 5 spd style jobbies that just didnt fit right with the Uniglide cassette. That was swapped out with a spare KMC instantly transforming shifting.

First climb of the ride showed that long wheelbase was not going to make it fun. In fact it was no fun at all. The ride to the mast is a killer exposing any fitness issues straight away. If the bike isnt helping it doubles the pain. The front end was way too light, bouncing over the rocks (including Colin, we'll come back to 'Colin the rock' at a later date) making grip difficult and making a meal out of a simple task such as pedaling - woe betide me if I had asked it to make a cup of tea...

With this in mind, the rest of the ride was a chore - that light front end making the bike into a bucking bronco, bars rising up with almost understeer on every bit of singletrack. Oh how I should have brought the Green one.

The Cougar came into its own when it was back on the drier singletrack, it climbed a lot better and was more settled. The odd road work helped too.

Image

So, in conclusion, it is a good bike but it has its limits. Will it stay? I dont know. Its a dry summer rambler for the moors or long distance, not 20 miles of rocks around Hope Valley...


Last edited by legrandefromage on Sun Oct 13, 2013 8:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 1987 Dawes Cougar
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 9:51 am 
King of the Skip Monkeys
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Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:34 pm
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Location: Moomin Valley
or is it concave?


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 Post subject: Re: 1987 Dawes Cougar
PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:32 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Wed Apr 03, 2013 5:11 pm
Posts: 35
Location: central cal usa
Concave is correct. My 1987 DB Ascent ex has a set. Another short lived design as I cannot recall any others. Mine are fairly true but I don't really work em that hard. Very nice bike you have.


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 Post subject: Re: 1987 Dawes Cougar
PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 10:19 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2006 8:42 pm
Posts: 783
Location: Brighton
If the front of the bike is riding light it's more likely a fit problem that the bike itself. It looks small for you - how is your weight distribution on it?


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 Post subject: Re: 1987 Dawes Cougar
PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 12:45 pm 
King of the Skip Monkeys
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Location: Moomin Valley
terryhfs wrote:
If the front of the bike is riding light it's more likely a fit problem that the bike itself. It looks small for you - how is your weight distribution on it?


Fairly evenly distributed over the rear reflector! :lol: Looking at the pics, the risers and high stem dont help and the seat is quite far back. Fit is pretty good, it gives me plenty of standover height for the undercarriage.

Heres an update and proper post Peaks pics


Attachments:
dawes couger 1.jpg
dawes couger 1.jpg [ 237.47 KiB | Viewed 1052 times ]
dawes couger 3.jpg
dawes couger 3.jpg [ 252.83 KiB | Viewed 1054 times ]
dawes couger 2.jpg
dawes couger 2.jpg [ 263.39 KiB | Viewed 1054 times ]
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 8:32 am 
King of the Skip Monkeys
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Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:34 pm
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Location: Moomin Valley
So, after a fantastic day at the Forest of Dean I am forced to return to this thread to revisit this bike.

Its not often I give a technical review of the bikes I ride because most of the time they worked without fuss.

Remember I said it was 'old fashioned' when it was released? It took another rider to point out its faults. Its too long. The stays are too long making it a complete handful on anything technical. Any power down and you have understeer. Nice fast singletrack becomes a twitchy series of turns on a shopping trolley. The rear wheel steers whilst the front carries straight on no matter what way you turn the bars. The bike goes where it wants to go, nuts to you, you silly rider. What do you want to go down that nice smooth bit for? Especially as theres a rut, a hedge and a nice drop into a smelly pond over there. Lets go that way instead.

Understeer on a bicycle...

So after 36km and some 5 hours wrestling with an argumentative bicycle, I think its time...

Its a Someterrainbutnotallterrain bicycle

- damn comfy ride overall though. Hardly any aches or pains this morning.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 11:18 am 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:12 pm
Posts: 156
Location: ossett west yorks
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/251498133889? ... 1439.l2649


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 11:25 am 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:12 pm
Posts: 156
Location: ossett west yorks
iv just bought the cougar comes with original bill of sale and in
time warp condition


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 4:17 pm 
King of the Skip Monkeys
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Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:34 pm
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Location: Moomin Valley
nice but expensive!


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 6:34 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:01 pm
Posts: 839
Location: Saarfend on sea
It might have occasional shopping trolley qualities but I want one. A lot.


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