1989 Muddy Fox Pathfinder

fennec

Devout Dirtbag
This is the one I was waiting to show up, UPS lost this multiple times, it’s been a month. Literally never again with UPS.
The eBay seller from Scotland went way out of their way to raise hell with eBay and UPS and I cannot state how much I apprentices that. This was a fairly expensive thing to get to the United States, and I had to have it. We just don’t have these here.
I know muddy Fox is sadly one of those brands that’s been eaten by some huge corporation so now they’re a shadow of their former selves. Kinda like Schwinn for us in the states. RIP Schwinn.
But having this in the US is just all kinds of fun, I like weird bikes, and this is pretty weird for us.

So it did make it, but not in one piece.
Here’s the quick assembly to see what I was working with.
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Not pictured are the matching accessories, a top tube cover and saddle bag to match the bike. Also the original grips, tires and the included pedals. Cool stuff for when it’s all together again. Though probably not the original tires..

UPS had their way with the box, it came with a very bent derailleur
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Which is pretty bad, but I think I got it good enough using a big wrench, and just prying it slowly with some heat from a propane torch
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I don’t know if I lucked out here or not, but it shifted all 7 smooth as butter. I know this won’t last forever, but this isn’t going to be a daily rider.

I stripped the whole thing down, every component off, the entire frame is going to get a rust treatment to prevent internal rust, and then a whole clean, paint touch up (just black rust converter on spots really) and polish.
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Got all the parts set aside, I think I can do some work to rehydrate the saddle leather. The seatpost is just going to be three and a half business days of sanding, the bars I might refinish but they’re not special, they’re just heavy black steel bars. I might replace them with carbon bars for the memes.
Everything else just needs a good clean really.
This has a 125mm bottom bracket so I think I’m just gonna use the original one. The races are in great shape and I don’t see any need to replace it with a cartridge one.

Fun fact, removing fork crown races is easy with a masonry hammer, tapping at opposite sides lightly, takes only a few taps.
Going to replace the headset with a sealed bearing one I have lying around, nos tange stuff, ordered the wrong size for that 1-1/8” marin, so I have the 1” one sitting on a shelf.
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I’ll post updates in this thread as more stuff is done.
First thing is just the rust treatment and clean up of the frame and fork, then I’ll do the headset and rebuild the BB.
I’m gonna put V brakes and new shifters on this like I did the Marin. I know it’s sacrilege, I just don’t like cantis and modern shifters are just better in my eyes, rather than trying to revive the old ones.
I don’t throw away the era parts, if I ever feel like trying, all the original stuff will be in a box.
 

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Got a bit carried away, it’s 1am
Got the bb cleaned up and reinstalled, seatpost cleaned up super nice, and the new headset installed
Sans spacer? Not sure how vital that is. The headset is slightly taller than the factory one, so I can either go no spacer and solid thread contact with the top cap, or with the spacer and not comfortable levels of thread contact
Carbon bars for the memes
 

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I had one exactly like this - is the rear wheel disc purple on one side and green on the other? Honestly these are heavy and not that exciting to ride but they look epic - the paint job on its own is stunning.
Looks like a good project for you, I’m interested to see how it turns out, nice work so far. 👌
 
I had one exactly like this - is the rear wheel disc purple on one side and green on the other? Honestly these are heavy and not that exciting to ride but they look epic - the paint job on its own is stunning.
Looks like a good project for you, I’m interested to see how it turns out, nice work so far. 👌
It’s the same pattern and color on both sides.
The drivetrain on this I don’t think is anything special, it’s got riveted chainrings which is annoying for the sake of longevity.
I’m tempted to do weird stuff with the drivetrain like a wider range 7 speed cassette and single in the front. Geared towards riding around town. But that will involve a lot of math with BB widths and chainring sizes because it’s pretty tight clearance wise with 3x right now.
That will be for a later date, for now I just want to get it riding nice
 
We got shiny clean derailleurs, and brakes. Shifters haven’t arrived yet so I’m not gonna wire everything just yet
Though at that point it’ll just be setup, new chain and throwing the wheels on so it’ll be rideable, then I’ll work on the wheels and maybe switch to 1x7
 

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Got the wheels cleaned up, front wheel mostly straightened back out, braking surfaces are spotless now.
The headset is being a pain, the crown race has a narrower ID than the factory one, so I’ve spent like 2 hours with a file making the fork crown surface narrower in order to fit the race better.
So now I can use the spacer ring on the headset, the top nut still only grabs like 3 threads though. I think it’s fine, but I don’t like it.

USPS managed to lose the grips I got for this so I’ll have to order more.
 

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Gadies and lentelmen we have cables, brakes and shifting
The derailleur is still bent and will need some adjustment by a local bike shop, as getting it precise with that special tool is well outside of my capabilities.
It does 1-5 ok enough but 6 it jumps around and 7 it rides above it and the derailleur gets scary close to the wheel.
Front derailleur I gotta play around with it’s positioning more, it works, I just haven’t touched it beyond initial setup.

Grips got lost in the mail so I’ll have to get different grips
 

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All put together
Still need to bring it to my local bike shop to have them fix the bent derailleur
Put the cool accessories on it, just decided to stick with the original grips.

It’s good enough that I got it out for a brief ride, it’s very low and forward which is just weird for me. After the derailleur is fully unbent I’ll bring it out a bit further.
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I’ve been having a bad time, this will be done up properly in time
Current state:
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I’ve taken the accessories off in the short term as I’ve been doing more work on it than riding it, which is immensely annoying
Derailleur was unbent, I got it the first time with just a big wrench. The reason it shifted all 7 was because the shifters were able to function exactly one time before the damage caused by UPS really showed, and I realized the levers in the shifters were both bent and the 7x one was cracked.
So my idea was just get the same 3x7 shifters I have on the Marin, modern Shimano Altus stuff. And I learned the hard way about how spacing and pull ratios works. Suntour freewheel, suntour derailleur, Shimano shifters…

What I want to do now is convert this to 1990 era Shimano deore lx, 3x7, just the black deore lx stuff from the time.
But right now it’s in this gray area with a modern Altus derailleur and Shimano freewheel
So I’ve got the rear derailleur ordered which should bring this back to at least somewhat era at a glance. I’ll get the rest of the set over time.
The wheel covers have some cracks in them that I’m taping up currently, I wanna see how fiberglass tape holds up on them. And then I want to use new hardware rather than plastic nuts and bolts.
I’m gonna paint the bars glossy black like the original. The original bars are slightly bent, and I like the wider new bars, but I don’t like that they’re carbon fibre, it just doesn’t match.

The last thing I’ll do is try and find canti levers and go back to cantis on this, because the original brake calipers are in good shape, JP’s just the levers got bent pretty bad.
Then put the accessories back on, and actually get to ride it more than just around town.

It’ll get there, it’s just gonna be a while longer than I expected due to the small damage that I didn’t see at first.
 
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