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 Post subject: 1990 Ridgeback 701LX
PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:50 pm 
National & North West AEC
National & North West AEC
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Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2008 12:43 am
Posts: 8164
Location: Macclesfield Forest
It's been some time until I actually managed to sort out this build thread. The bike in question has been built up for well over a month.
But the Retrobike National Series rides don't sort themselves and with January 2014 being the wettest on record, today was the first time I got out on a ride with dry weather and some decent light.

So anyway, here is the back story.

After missing out on a 1989 Ridgeback a few months ago, I leapt at Dossa's (aka Matty) offer of a karma frame and forks.
He'd had an old 1990 701LX frame powder-coated in a very nice muted shade of green, but due to a somewhat poor job by the coaters he was giving it away.
So a trip over to Birkenhead allowed me a chance to have a nice cup of tea and a good look at Matty's immaculate restoration of a 1990 Ridgeback 704XT and his lovely 1997 Orange P7. He also has a great collection of matching jerseys.
So along with the frameset and an armful of other cast-off parts, I left a happy and grateful man.

Here are Matty's pictures of before and after the powder-coat.

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As you may be able to see, the powder-coaters neglected to mask off the BB threads and brake bosses. The old headset crown race was also powder coated onto the forks.
Fortunately, running a bike repair business means that I was able to chase the BB and other frame threads pretty easily. The brake bosses took a little more time to clean up with a Dremel, a file and emery paper.
The crown-race came off eventually leaving a good clean bare metal behind.

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1990 Ridgeback 701LX catalogue page

So, having already lost it's original paint, I wasn't going to stick to original catalogue spec. Besides which I was looking to build this one up as a winter road run around.
Of course, as usual, I wanted to keep things pretty much period correct and groupset based. I also wanted to upgrade from the 400LX and 500LX that would have been originally on this bike. It's worth noting that the 701LX shared the same Tange Prestige frame with the higher specced 702LX, 703DX and 704XT.

So I looked through my spares and assembled most of a Shimano Deore DX groupset from 1990 and found a nice set of Exage hubbed Ritchey rimmed wheels.
I didn't really spend any money on this bike apart from the NOS Odyssey stem with it's rather nice power boosting roller cam. I did have to buy a new one inch headset as well which turned out to require a JIS rather than ISO crown race. (27.0mm for JIS - 26.4mm for ISO)
Everything else was from my extensive collection of existing parts.
The components I've chosen turned out to be fairly close to those originally on the 703DX

Time for some pictures from a lovely afternoon in the hills just up the road from me...

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A you can see it's built up for winter road duties, so I'm utilising an old 50 tooth outer chainring which I purchased back in 1993 for an upgrade to match the fashion for a huge outer ring at the time. This is paired with a steel 34 tooth inner and a 11-28 seven speed cassette.
The tyres are a pair of amberwall Schwalbe City Jet 1.9s which I picked up for a fiver at a bike jumble.
I've gone with Aztec brake pads for proven stopping power which, when combined with the wide profile cantis and the stem roller cam, give some nice powerful braking.
Practical additions include Zefal mudguards, lights and a fully waterproof and rather capacious Ortlieb saddlebag for a few spares. The water bottle also means I can also forgo my usual Camelbak.
The Brooks B17 saddle is rather extravagant for what is essentially a winter hack bike. But it's been borrowed from my touring bike which sadly for the last couple of years hasn't done much in the way of touring.
And of course bar-ends which I like despite them being voted amongst the top 15 all time worst MTB products in a recent poll. They are great for climbing and for an extra couple of hand positions.

Having already ridden this bike a few times I am becoming quite familiar with it. Overall it's fine and has a nice stable ride with the compliance that decent quality steel gives.
One problem is the very short head-tube and resulting low front end.

Running the stem near to it's limit mark helps remedy this and provides a usable and reasonably comfortable riding position.
I guess it still needs a few tweaks until I'm completely happy with it...

But considering the whole bike cost me so little then I'm happy enough for now.


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 Post subject: Re: 1990 Ridgeback 701LX
PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 1:16 pm 
retrobike rider
retrobike rider
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Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 10:03 pm
Posts: 1491
Location: Birkenhead
Nice build, Paul - glad it went to a good home :D


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 Post subject: Re: 1990 Ridgeback 701LX
PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:35 am 
Gold Trader
Gold Trader
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Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:33 pm
Posts: 3243
Location: Bournemouth in 2008
Really nice, honest bike.

Not enough love for Ridgebacks on here, but I've been looking for an 93 ish model for a while and you don't see many.


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 Post subject: Re: 1990 Ridgeback 701LX
PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:46 am 
Special Retro Guru
Special Retro Guru
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Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 11:34 am
Posts: 5663
Location: Don't mess with monkeys, man
Really enjoyed seeing a couple of Ridgebacks on here, recently.

Takes me back to the late 80s and the freewheel catalogues I'd always spend ages looking at.

Although my oldest bikes are from 91, there's something about that era 88 - 90 that I find really appealling, whether it's the geometry or just the memories, I'm not entirely sure.


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 Post subject: Re: 1990 Ridgeback 701LX
PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:26 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:24 pm
Posts: 419
looks really well that.


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 Post subject: Re: 1990 Ridgeback 701LX
PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 1:47 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2007 1:26 pm
Posts: 3745
Looks great Paul , I do like the colours,

Thanks for the detailed pic on the Odyssey stem cam as I was wondering how this worked and now realise that I have done it completely wrong on the 2me2u , I will fit a new cable and rectify 8)


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 Post subject: Re: 1990 Ridgeback 701LX
PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 4:02 pm 
National & North West AEC
National & North West AEC
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Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2008 12:43 am
Posts: 8164
Location: Macclesfield Forest
The stem was new old stock and came in the original box with a sticker and some instructions.
Even with those there was a bit of trial and error to get it right.
Very powerful once perfected though.


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 Post subject: Re: 1990 Ridgeback 701LX
PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 3:47 pm 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 8:42 pm
Posts: 4278
yeah, won't mind see her in her summer clothes, bet she'd look quite tasty then


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