1988 Bradbury Manitou (finished pics page 12!)


BoTM Winner
No bike will ever have as much value to me as this one, it couldn't. You could give me the option of a $30,000 build of mint unobtanium draped over the rarest frame, and I'd take what I have now. Have now finally. Have now finally again in my possesion, after one of the greatest gaffing-est blunders I have ever asundered...

I started mountain biking in 1985 (age 16) on a Maruishi Discovery
and was hooked right away.

Went through a couple broken frames and minor component upgrades, but could never afford to buy anything decent. Back then the purchase of a new derailleur took months of scrimping to come up with. Then, the summer I finished high school I had money! And I knew exactly what to spend it on, after reading this:

There it was, the holy grail of coolness. I memorized that review, and after a month of treeplanting in the wilds of British Columbia, I wrote a letter to Doug Bradbury and placed an order for a Manitou frame, fork and stem. I even sent him some rough drawings of the frame design and geometry I was looking for. By reply he sent me his brochure (not a pic of my original):

A couple of phone calls to Doug and we had it sorted out. By October the frame was finished, and I built it up with the parts I had hanging from my current ride. A bit of a hodge-podge, but mostly good serviceable gear.

I rode that bike hard, mostly on rocky tight trails, more trials riding than cross country. We were all about who could ride the craziest descent, hop up rock faces without falling over backwards caught in our toeclips, a real one-up show of friendly spirited competition.

Helmets hadn't been invented yet... You can see my friends yellow Yeti in the background of this pic.

But after a while with the bike, and a bent pair of forks, I began to question the tall head tube that Doug had talked me in to. I had wanted something shorter than 5", but ended up with a 7" head tube, that seemed to put me up too high for the style of riding we were doing. So, I sold the bike to the tallest friend I had (he was 6'4") and moved on...


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Re: 1988 Bradbury Manitou restoration (reunited 25 years later)

My next bike was a beautiful 1992 Fat Chance Team Comp, which was stolen...
Followed by a 1995 Rocky Mountain Altitude, which was too small... and my love of mountain biking fizzled.

Two years ago I bought a 1988 Klein Mantra Comp. A bit of a pogo stick, but it got me back into riding, and loving it. I saw an ad online for a FS Manitou and it got me thinking about my old steed, and wondering what had happened to it. How many owners did it have, when did it break in half, etc...

Through the magic of facebook, I managed to track it down through its various travels and owners, and was blown away when I found out, after being in several different cities, it had made its way back to my home town, and had been sitting in an attic for the last 15 years. Even more amazing was the current 'curator' was moved enough by my search to let me have the frame and forks back (stem long lost)! That day I drove out and helped him pull it down from the rafters. When I held it in my hands I was literally shaking. It felt like my 45 year old self had just been transported back to 1988. Surreal to say the least. I had her back!

It was heavily oxidized and a bit dinged up, but it was unmistakeably my old frame, it even had the red decals on it that I had made when I was a teenager.

A restoration project had begun...

I could see that at some point the bike must have been sent back to Doug Bradbury for a repair. The 'Manitou' decal had moved from the rear to the front of the top tube, and a rubber chain stay protector had been glued to the top of the stay. A large chain-suck gouge appeared to have been filled:

Multiple stickers would have to be rubbed off, and sanding of heavier scratches, polishing, polishing, polishing... Love the Nevr Dull!


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Wow! :shock: this thread beats my own Orange Prestige re-discovery! :D


Looking forward to the refurbishment of this frame, and to seeing it hitting the trails again :)
Re: 1988 Bradbury Manitou restoration (reunited 25 years later)

Luvin the back story and the reunion.
Looking forward to seeing it back in action
Re: 1988 Bradbury Manitou restoration (reunited 25 years later)

A few more 'before' pictures:


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