1991 Rocky Mountain Expert


Old School Hero
Look what I picked up yesterday for $35! Definitely worse for wear but these are the bargains I look for on FB, some really sweet rattle-can silver everywhere! For parts the Rocky handlebar is decent at 180g, Deore DX short cage RD has barely a scratch, FD in good shape, Etc..

I’m no RM expert but living in the Vancouver area the last 30 years these bikes are near and dear. I’ve become more educated on the vintage early 90s in the last couple years. This one is the “Expert” model. What? After looking through 1990-1993 catalogs there are no Experts to be found!

A bit more digging revealed a Pinkbike ad selling a 1991 Expert frame/fork for $280 (very mint condition), sellers states “very rare, not in any catalog”. One of the pictures below is this nicer condition frame/fork, Hmmmm

Some pretty sweet frame features including Tange Prestige decal, wishbone seatstays, FD cable wheel for bottom pull, even a seatstay chain mount usually only found on road bikes. I really dig the top tube cable routing choices.

Now for the bad: what’s up with the non-squashed drive side chainstay?? Pictures of the matching frame for sale on PinkBike have the drive side chanistay squashed. I threw a 2.1 tire/wheel in and it barely clears. More worrying is the rust created hole on the bottom edge of the chainstay. See photos, I sanded it down to see the extent. Not sure if I am keeping this frame or not. I suppose some epoxy/bondo and paint and out of sight out of mine right? Seriously, I’d like honest opinions on this, and would only take this approach of others felt it was not dangerous and only if I was keeping the bike for my collection. I’m sure the better option is getting a welder out of some sort. Any idea’s here? I have a buddy who started welding as a hobby that may be able to through down a line of TIG. As you can tell frame repair is not my expertise, knowledgeable suggestions are very welcome.

The seatpost clamp ears really had a number done on them. Luckily steel can be worked with and you will notice these were bent back to normal. A little filing and sanding and will be good as new.

That sweet Ritchey seatpost was stuck good. Previous attempts to remove it had already made and it most likely too dented to re-use anyway (love the Ritchey logo stamped in toward the top). I still may get out the sandpaper and see if it salvageable. It did have to go into the bench vice to get out of the frame after penetrating oil started the process. A 27.0 definitely seemed too small, 27.2 is good down to about 4” and then super tight, not sure what’s up with that yet. I guess 4” is plenty insertion anyway.

Most importantly I wanted to share this rare frame and get some feedback on it. Using Prestige and the attention to detail with the build quality point to a higher end build. Were these limited production? Why no inclusion in the catalog? Serial (if I’m reading it correctly, see photo) is 191010428

20220202_2008 01.jpg


Old School Hero
posts #12 and 15 in this thread might have info you seek...
Thanks Matt, definitely thin on interweb details, this thread is very helpful. The version I ended up with is all DX. Could be a fun rebuild, I can probably talk Velocals into making an expert decal and do a respray c/w new decals. My big concern now is whether that driveside chainstay hole is a deal breaker or not. The reduced tire clearance due to that non-squashed chainstay may not be a big deal as I could just go with 1.95s


Devout Dirtbag
I'm not big on repairing steel frames because there may be more work than you want to deal with and associated costs. Unless its a hard to get one. That being said, if it is a gem to you then go.


Senior Retro Guru
Have you used the "string" method to check how straight the frame is?

That seat stay area just looks all types of wrong to me. As said above, repairs could get very costly sadly.

As for the seatpost, my guess would be somebody pushed a 27.2 in and then it got stuck and rusted. The bit further down is probably the correct original size where its been unaffected.