I used to own a highly customized Sbike 503, but that was stolen in 2003. I wanted another one ever since, but always searched locally because I was too suspicious of eBay. Didn't find a single Sbike for sale in Belgium for 8 years.
Last week I was doing a Google search on all different Sbike models and ended up looking at this picture ... on eBay.
It's not a 503 and the auction was only for a frame and forks, but nevertheless it was love at first sight. I just had to have it, so I made my first eBay purchase ever and had it flown from Spain to Belgium.
The frame arrived yesterday with 2 forks. One fixed (an Alpinestars, with an ODSystem sticker on it), and one suspension fork (a Rockshox Quadra in a rather ... ermm ... used state). They're 1 1/4" with threaded stem.
click the pic to see full-size
At first I was worried about what looked like a crack in the frame's rear section, but it turned out to be a false alarm.
However there are too many scratches and marks on the frame to just polish it, so I'll have to paint it.
Painting the frame means the originality will be lost, so I see no reason to go for a retro build. Might as well bring it into the current decade then. I don't have the original Sbike fork anyway, and those are hard to get a hold of.
I'll ditch both forks in favor of a fixed non-threaded aluminium fork and a modern headset. I doubt I'll be able to sell the old forks, as they're made for a really short (100mm, or roughly 4") headset.
I took the wheels out of my 2004 Bulls for a test fit. The width of my 2.2" Bontrager Hank slicks was no issue, but the height was. There is only 20mm between the rear tyre and the seat tube.
My 2004 Bulls' front mech needs 29mm of space behind the seat tube and the 2011 XT affair on my other Bulls still needs 23mm. So I'll need smaller tyres.
At least the mold lines in the middle of the slicks showed that the frame is straight as an arrow.
pic of the bike on big wheels. Click to see full-size.
I don't plan on cutting corners and then upgrading, so this is going to be a slow build. The estimated total cost will be around £1500-2000 depending on where I get which parts.
So, the initial idea :
- modernized stickers, with respect to the traditional ones' looks. I'll probably need to have a word with Gil_M about that when he gets back.
- modern aluminium fork and steering stem, but old-style handlebars with Club Roost brace (to show that it's a 90's bike after all).
- lightweight wheels, but strong enough to ride without worrying.
- new BB and full 2011 or 2012 XTR drivetrain.
- Magura HS33 brakes, fully kitted out.
- 1.50 or 1.75" full-slicks.
As I said, I plan to have it finished near the end of the winter. So don't expect frequent updates.