I've been visiting this site regularly for the last few months but didn't have a retrobike of my own, now I think from today I'm also a retrobike rider.
For the last few weeks I have been looking on Ebay for a steel single speed or a geared bike I could convert.
For most of last week I was watching an old Raleigh and by Sunday afternoon the auction had an hour to run and no bids.
While I was waiting I decided to have a browse through the others bikes, but where to start? there are thousands! I ended up filtering on Buy It Now auctions and near the top was an advert for a GT Zaskar LE.
From visiting this site regularly I know that Zaskars have a good following, and I also know that lots of bikes advertised as Zaskars aren't.
This was advertised as a Zaskar LE but after looking at the auction pictures and comparing them with Bikepedia (http://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/Bike ... &Type=bike
) I came to the conclusion it was a 1998 Zaskar (the bike was even the same colour) rather than a Zaskar LE.
I'll probably be corrected but it looks like the Zaskar LE was mainly an XTR groupset while the Zaskar was mainly XT.
From the pictures it looked in great condition and the seller was the orginal owner, the auction included a picture of his original receipt showing the RRP as 1495 pounds, that's out of my price range today let alone 1998, I remember buying my first good quality mountain bike in 1997, a Rockhopper for 399.
I had a rush of blood and pressed 'Buy It Now', unfortunately it was pick up only and a very long drive from where I live.
Anyway I went to pick it up today, all the time during the drive down I was worrying if he would be in and if the bike was as good as the pictures.
To cut a long story a bit shorter, the drive was well worth while, I picked up the bike and for an 11 year old bike it's in great condition, it's clearly been used but also well looked after.
I cycle to work and my commuting bike, which is 6 months old, is in a far worse condition.
This evening I have had a quick spin and I have to say I am really impressed, it feels lighter than my modern hardtail, all the gears index properly, the wheels are true and the brakes excellent.
It also seemed much quicker off the mark than my two modern bikes, it must be the lighter wheelset, (my commuter has Marathon Plus tyres which are really heavy and my hardtail has disc brake wheels which are also heavy).
Although it's a 1998 model year I think it can go in the pre 1998 section (just) because the date stamped on the dropout is November 1997.
Here are the pictures I took this evening after the first spin,
I think I am going to remove the mudguards, living in Manchester it does rain occasionally, but I have mudguards on my other bikes for the 364 days when it does rain.
This could well become my 'best' bike, I'm sure it will polish up well, and then I won't want to risk getting it dirty.
I think I've just joined the Zaskar fan club.