1990 Marin Eldridge Grade

fennec

Old School Hero
Hi, I’m new here. I recently got into a world of unpleasantness with UPS, I wanted to learn about older bike components, threaded headsets, square taper bottom brackets, etc, after building up a newer ish bike. So I went to buy something weird, something we don’t have in the US, and ordered a late 80’s muddy fox from the UK. It’s been a month, UPS has lost it twice, I still don’t have it but it’s updating again in the US so it’s presumably still coming.

But in the meantime, I got impatient and ordered this Marin Eldridge Grade off of eBay in kinda rough shape.
It’s presumably a 1988, 1989 has different colorways, but I can’t find anything indicating a date and it’s not in any catalogs I can find.
Retroactive edit: I learned this is a 1990

It came to me in just overall poor shape, stuck seatpost, gouged up canti calipers, sticky shifters and such, this is how I dug it out of the box minus the wheels.
IMG_2363.jpeg

And this is what it looks like now, after replacing the cantis with V brakes, new shifters, saddle, grips, tires and tubes, new cartridge style bottom bracket, some new old stock trek system 3 pedals, new housings and cables, and a complete tear down, rebuild, grease and clean.
GOPR0076.jpeg
GOPR0078.jpeg

Overall I’m very pleased with it. It was very inexpensive, the added parts didn’t cost much either. Though I will say I sold park tool my soul buying their expensive cone wrenches to do the hub hearings.
It’s not perfect and never will be, it’s got damaged paint behind the fork where I think it was hung up on a rack or something like that often, the paint in general has a lot of damage in small spots but it’s easy to hide with black touch up paint.
This is a mid tier Marin from its time, so it’s got a decent drivetrain but very cheap rims, they have a little weld spot and I feel it every time I rip the brakes.

This was my first endeavor into something this old, and attempting to keep it very appropriate for the time minus the brakes. Let me know what you think.
My other mountain bikes are a 2001 castellano fango running 1x10 with a cheap air fork, and a more modern Cannondale trail 6, so they don’t really fit in here like this Marin does.
If that muddy Fox ever does show up I’ll post that here.
 
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Nice job.
Condition is pretty good really given its 35 yo!
Surprised though you didn't keep the original cantis, they work OK if set up right, unless you're expecting high performance in which case you might as well change the rest of it🤣.
 
Love the matching grips!
And if you like v brakes better - keep them on. Only us nerds will notice the difference :)
 
Safest place to keep the original parts is on the bike. You won't lose them that way.😉

That rim weld was probably acceptable with cantis.
 
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I recently got into a world of unpleasantness with UPS, I ordered a late 80’s muddy fox from the UK. It’s been a month, UPS has lost it twice, I still don’t have it but it’s updating again in the US so it’s presumably still coming.
International shipping is often a disappointing experience that can drag on and on.
And when they finally admit its lost, claiming compensation is generally miserable too😪
 
Looks to be a 1990 model. Easy way to tell is if it's a 1-1/8 headset then its a 90 onwards. Prior to that 89 and earlier models were 1" headset. An 88 would have also had a U brake mounted under the chainstays. In the UK I dont believe we got the Eldridge model until 1990 but in the Zolatone finish. I had a Muirwood in a similar finish to yours, but white and purple, and I think it was a colour way offered elsewhere in Europe and the US.
 
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Looks to be a 1990 model. Easy way to tell is if it's a 1-1/8 headset then its a 90 onwards. Prior to that 89 and earlier models were 1" headset. An 88 would have also had a U brake mounted under the chainstays. In the UK I dont believe we got the Eldridge model until 1990 but in the Zolatone finish. I had a Muirwood in a similar finish to yours, but white and purple, and I think it was a colour way offered elsewhere in Europe and the US.
That’s what I’m thinking now, it being the other way on the scale. I can’t find that color in any US catalogues, the European catalogues for 1990 are incomplete but have different colors anyway.
I didn’t actually think to measure it , but it is a 1 1/8” headset so it’s presumably newer.
The serial under the bb shell doesn’t indicate a date of manufacture so I was mostly guessing based on an 88 stamped on a hub seal.

As far as the cantis go, they just weren’t salvageable in a condition that i could get usable again, and I have a pile of new tektro v brakes lying around. The levers were combined with the shifters which had some cracking in the plastics inside and out, the levers were really wobbly, and the canti calipers themselves have a lot of deep gouges. I could probably bring the calipers back but I’d need new levers, just really isn’t worth the effort for me.
If that muddy fox shows up that will stick with cantis because they are in much better shape on that bike. Unless UPS destroyed it that is.
 
Oh man it is a 1990, after more digging the only other photos I can find on that color are actually a post here from 2013, page 2 a user shows the same black and green as a 1990, comparing to the European color scheme the thread was about

Kinda wish I could change the title now so people don’t google their old Marins and find the wrong year.
 
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