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 Post subject: 1997 GT Bravado
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 2:17 am 
National & North West AEC
National & North West AEC
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Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2008 12:43 am
Posts: 8146
Location: Macclesfield Forest
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First proper ride out on my GT Bravado since I got hold of some Marzochhi Z2's which needed a bit of work.
I'm nearly there with the spec on this bike now...

I originally bought this bike as a frame and rigid fork brand new back in 1997. The deal included the Kore stem, headset and an unbranded seatpin.

The matching rigid forks were moth-balled and I built the bike up using parts from an existing bike plus a few newer bits, and then went through many incarnations as it grew older.
In 2004 I rode a 1000 mile route from John O'Groats to Land's End on this bike, and did the C2C in Mid-Winter a few months later.
My Bravado continued as my main off-roader up until 2005 when I eventually yeilded and purchased a new bike because I wanted front and rear disc brakes.

After going into semi retirement, my Bravado was re-united with it's original forks and spent about a year with slick tyres doing road duties. Then it spent a couple of years as a single-speed, and was generally treated as a winter hack bike.

It was when I discovered Retrobike that I re-evaluated how nice this bike was and still is. I've spent a few months gathering the missing parts to the original M737/739 XT groupset and restoring the Marzochhi Z2's to get to this stage.

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I'm just waiting on some M221 rims, and a Conti front tyre, so that I can rebuild the wheels around the proper XT hubs.
For now I've got some modern wheels on, and I'm really happy with how it rides.
Next step will probably be making some replacement Kore decals for the stem and Control Tech decals for the seatpost. And then perhaps another 12 years of riding...

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NWA Retrobike Ride - Farleton Fell and Kirby Lonsdale - 21/11/09

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NWA Retrobike Ride Recce - Gisburn Forest - 19/02/10

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NWA Retrobike Ride - Clwydian Ranges Ride - 05/06/10

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Last edited by drystonepaul on Mon Aug 30, 2010 1:32 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:31 pm 
Devout Dirtbag

Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 10:03 pm
Posts: 108
I had one of those. Chainsuck killed the frame though.

LX / XT groupset, decent frame and fork and KORE parts cost me £550 at the end of the season.

Most of the kit is still going on my current frame.

Great little bikes and very responsive, shame it's hard to find decent steel frames now. Original hubs were LX.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 10:29 pm 
Gold Trader
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Joined: Wed May 20, 2009 1:29 pm
Posts: 10798
Location: Manchester, UK
hey dude, what's with the cable ties on the XT v-brakes - I've never owned a set but have some coming this week from eBay - ?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 10:40 pm 
National & North West AEC
National & North West AEC
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Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2008 12:43 am
Posts: 8146
Location: Macclesfield Forest
Stops the silver parallogram gubbins from rattling. I've heard you can get shim kits to 'tune up' your brakes once the pivots have started to wear, but they are like rocking horse sh*t, to the extent that I don't think they ever existed.
Someone told me about the cable-tie trick BITD and they've been like that for the past 12 years, so who am I to argue.

The original and best V-brake. Enjoy 'em.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 6:15 am 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2007 2:33 am
Posts: 5487
Location: WI, USA
cagiva gezzer wrote:
I had one of those. Chainsuck killed the frame though.


Correction...bike owner killed the frame. There are things one can do to preserve a chainstay from getting sawed off by ones own chain.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 12:18 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 11:23 am
Posts: 807
Location: West Sussex
drystonepaul wrote:
Stops the silver parallogram gubbins from rattling. I've heard you can get shim kits to 'tune up' your brakes once the pivots have started to wear, but they are like rocking horse sh*t, to the extent that I don't think they ever existed.
Someone told me about the cable-tie trick BITD and they've been like that for the past 12 years, so who am I to argue.

The original and best V-brake. Enjoy 'em.


I fitted the tune-up kit to my XT V's BITD. Consisted of shims a bit like disc caliper spacers. The brakes are still going on a mates commuter.
I've actually used disc caliper spacers on a friends Cane Creek brake-set which also featured the parallelogram mechanism. Bike was a '96ish Specialized Rockhopper with orange Manitou Spyders, XT and Ritchey, black frame.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:44 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:09 am
Posts: 9399
Location: Devon
Dredging this up from the past but have you still got this? Looks really smart with the bombers.

I have the 1997 English GT Catalogue so will be putting that in the archive soon as we currently only have it in German.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:40 pm 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 2:06 pm
Posts: 347
Location: Torquay
That pic of the bike standing up at Gisburn Forest, with the hills in the background is awesome!
Looks an amazing place to ride...!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:46 pm 
National & North West AEC
National & North West AEC
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Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2008 12:43 am
Posts: 8146
Location: Macclesfield Forest
Yep still got my Bravado. I've had it since new and I'm far too nostalgic to ever let it go. Plus it rides nicely too.

And Gisburn is always well worth a visit by the way.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:58 am 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:21 pm
Posts: 1389
Location: Bristol, UK
drystonepaul wrote:
Yep still got my Bravado. I've had it since new and I'm far too nostalgic to ever let it go. Plus it rides nicely too.

And Gisburn is always well worth a visit by the way.


Reading the write-up and seeing the pics made me come to that conclusion about your Bravado; some bikes are keepers aren't they. I've got a Bonty like that - it's not top-end but it's comfy, smooth and perfect for all-day-in-the-saddle rides.

Gisburn is on the list for this year - will be up that way in November, so it'd be rude not to get a ride in somewhere I hear mentioned a lot.


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