1994 GT Tequesta Blacklight - XC700 + Kooka


Retro Newbie
Hi everyone, I’ve recently decided to try and recommission my old GT Tequesta so thought I’d post a thread to keep track of things.

A bit of background-

I bought this bike new when I was 13/14 from Horswills Cycles in Bournemouth (for anyone who might remember that place). It was a real-world dream bike for me and until I discovered cars and parties, I lived on the thing. When said discoveries were made, the GT languished in my parents shed until 2006 when I moved to Italy and met a bunch of ex-mountain bikers like me. With renewed enthusiasm, I promptly dragged it out of the shed, over to Italy and flung it up and down the alps. Until it broke (I broke it)

Once again, the poor old GT was resigned to a life in the shadows with only one or two casual attempts to get it going. That is, until now....

So, to the bike (finally)

The good bits-

-It’s a 90’s GT with the ‘black light’ paint job.

-It’s still got all the cool little details and particular parts.

-It’s got a controltech seat post and Vetta SL saddle which I remember being very excited about as a kid!

-It has toe clips! I know people hate these things but I’m quite partial to a good strap and clip.

-It still has the original one piece brahma bars and grips, though one of the grips seems to be melting.

The less than good bits-

-Neither shifter works

-Brakes are fecking lethal-27 year old pads won’t be helping

-Dents all around both wheels and the rear is well out of true.

-Chain skips every other second -freewheel/cassette/chain/grime

-Graunchy headset

-Pedal bearings that sound like a spitfire taking off

-Crappy Alivio rear mech fitted in a rush when nothing else was available

-Faded decals, chips aplenty and the stem is looking like there’s a bit or light rust under the paint.

Heres how it was during a quick wipe down


The wheels really didn’t take kindly to some of the downhill sections in the alps!


There were multiple dents like this all over both wheels but incredibly, no cracks.


Pedals stripped down and regreased. One isn‘t quite perfect but it’s hugely improved.


And some of the details




The original bike shop sticker from 1994. A bit faded but a nice little reminder. Sadly they closed some years ago but I loved going there to see all the Klein’s, proflex and top end parts.


And here it is all reassembled and partially refreshed. The plan is to fix it up as I come across the right parts and where possible, improve on it.


The rims have been straightened reasonably well but the front axle cone is scrap so that’ll need sorting.

Shifters have been stripped and cleaned and are now functioning well but the gears still skip so a new chain and cassette are on the list as well as a thorough strip and clean of the freehub to see if it helps.

It desperately needs some skinwall tyres but I refuse to pay stupid money for perished old things that can’t be used. I also need to sort the bar height out as I’m not as flexible as I used to be!

Anyway, if you got this far well done!

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Retro Guru
Great stuff - I really like seeing these 'real world' bikes in among the exotica.
Not sure it needs skinwall tyres either......


Orange 🍊 Fan
Looks great. I had a similar vintage Talera from new - same paint job, which is one of my favourites to this day. Not sure if it was the same frame with a lower grade of component - but I dragged it all round the south downs and absolutely loved it.


Retro Newbie
Thanks guys, it might not be the Ferrari of bikes but it’s served me well over the years.

Jon - Perhaps desperately was over-stating things! It looked fine on those old specialized tyres but where they’d been sat deflated for so long the sidewalls didn’t look great. I’ve put a set on that are more suited to how I expect to use the bike so I’ll update this thread a bit later. I’ve become softened by the luxury of a full susser so I doubt the GT will see anything more than a fire road in the future. The stiffness and ‘aggression‘ that I loved so much as a kid, is a little wearing theses days!

Markoc- I think there were slight differences across the steel range in terms of the tubing but I expect the bikes would feel pretty similar to ride.


Kona Fan
GT Fan
That is looking great! Love the paint. I remember Horswills well - used to holiday in Bournemouth regularly and always had to fit in a visit to drool over the cool stuff :cool: I remember one year, seeing several pairs of Answer Accutrax in the bargain bucket (when everyone was jumping on the suspension bandwagon) - I called them a few month later hoping to pick up a pair but too late 😔


Retro Newbie
It really was a great place. My brother and I were always pestering my dad to take us, even it our pocket money would barely buy us some bar ends!

After giving the bike a decent check and a basic service I started to tackle the problems.

First up was the rear wheel. With the dents mostly removed I took it to my lbs for truing up. Upon collection the guy explained how it had been a nightmare and getting it perfect would be virtually impossible. However, he’d done a great job and it was more than good enough. €7 very well spent.

Feeling a bit happier I gave the wheels a deeper clean. The Hope QR was left here by a friend but sadly he didn’t forget the matching rear.


Next up, freehub. After reading up on the skipping gears it seemed likely that a sticky freehub could be the culprit. A trip to the bike shop saw me return with a chain whip and cassette tool. I wasn’t able to remove the internals from the FH but I flushed it through and through until it was clean. Some lube was liberally applied until the action softened and I was happy that it wasn’t dry! 😮


A useless picture but it breaks up the essay.

A day or so later, whilst idly checking Facebook marketplace, I stumbled on some newly listed wheels with XT hubs and Mavic rims. A frantic message or two later they were sat in the house.


They weren’t perfect and had plenty of what I assumed to be ground in brake pad around the rims. However, the bearings and freehub were like new compared to my STX originals and over all they were pretty tidy.

Chuffed that my childhood dream of 231 rims had been accomplished, I went and spent ages cleaning them up. Brake cleaner, Autosol and some layers of skin later and they were looking presentable.

Under the grime were what appeared to be some double butted spokes and the M738 ‘gold label’ front hub. Some subtle bling for an entry level bike!



Obligatory through the valve hole shot.

At this point I’d also bought a new SRAM PC850 chain, ordered a fresh HG41 7-speed cassette and was waiting on some tyres and a rear mech to arrive. eBay was fast becoming my salvation/addiction and my watchlist was filling up with lots of things I didn’t ‘need’!
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Retro Newbie
The next part was a bit of a mixed bag. The parts all arrived without issue so I set about putting them on. The new cassette was noticeably lighter than the original which was a nice surprise but as the freehub was for an 8 speed cassette I will need to use a spacer. I’ve taken the one off the old wheels but it’s not the 4-5mm size that is recommended so I’m not sure that the lockring isn’t bottoming out on the hub before properly clamping the last cog. No biggie and an easy fix for the future.


Despite being a modern day, cheap part the drilling is a nice touch and reminiscent of better groupsets from the 90’s.

The rear mech was an XT M739 from eBay and looked to be in good shape. It was described as working and after a clean things looked good. However, what I hadn’t noticed in the listing was some damage to the protrusion that allows the main spring it’s tension.


There is a bit of a lip left but it’s minimal. I am also completely unable to wind the spring round enough as I need three hands to do it. I think a vice might be on the shopping list as I see no other way.

This really annoyed me but with nothing to lose I figured that if I could fold over the part that locates and holds the spring perhaps it would be good enough.


No idea what it’s called or if it will work but what the hell. I haven’t finished this tweak/bodge yet so if anyone has any ideas then I’m all ears. I will buy another mech if needs be but I’d rather not give in without a fight!

After the frustrations with the mech, I put on the new tyres. I decided to go for some Schwalbe Billy Bonkers as they were light, cheap and fitted well with the plan.


It was a drastic transformation and I couldn’t be happier with them-photos (and the poorly lit, old kitchen background) don’t do them or the look, justice. I’m sure the purity police will take issue with them for the big writing and lack of ‘knobblyness’ but I can live with that!

I’ve bought a slightly shorter stem to try and reduce the stretch on my old back and I’ve started to polish the crank arms for a bit more sparkle. Still got loads to do but it’s on the right path I think.

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Retro Newbie
The GT still needed a few parts, so I did what anyone else would do and bought a new bike!

It was listed as a Marin, but not being too clued up on them, I scoured the web looking for tell tale clues. Everything seemed to check out and it had a few nice parts on too.


I gave it a good check over and despite it being a basket case, I took a gamble and bought it. I’ll let the pics do the talking.


A split rim-shame as its a Ritchey OCR


Words fail me


Apparently this is just a paint defect! 🤔

On the plus side there’s an M900 XTR front mech, what I think is the original Marin lite seat post and the front rim is a mavic 238 with a sram 9.0sl hub-no idea about these, are they any good?



The Hyperlite bars aren’t mint, but usable. I’m half tempted to polish them up but I’m not sure about removing the logos. Perhaps it would be better to sell them as they seem fairly sought after.


The forks are Knackered-In keeping with the general state of the bike. Unfortunately the previous owner had decided to drill and bolt through the legs and stanchions as a ghetto lockout solution 😅😢 The brace and steerer are in decent condition so at least that.

Finally, the reason I took the plunge. I’m sure the eagle eyed will have already spotted them!


I don’t know a great deal about these if I’m honest and I’m not sure what I’ll do with them. I’ve cleaned them up so I will try them on the GT and see what I think. The middle chainring is very worn and the outer isn’t perfect.

Beyond that, I’ve started stripping and polishing the frame. My brief research has told me this is probably a ’92 Indian Fire Trail and as it’s 7000 series, welding might be an option for the seat tube. If not then I’ll fiddle about with it and maybe turn it in to some garage ’art’ but as you can probably imagine, it needs some work!
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Retro Newbie
The Marin saga continues but I’ll get back to that another day.

Getting back to the GT, I decided to test fit the cranks and forks to see if they looked any good.

If I do stick with the Kookas then they’ll need a couple of chainrings-the inner is fine but the middle is toast and the outer has seen better days.


The UN51 BB is ‘ok’ but not perfect. Won’t fit the GT so I’ll pass it on.




STX cranks and rings^
Kookas below


Surprisingly, I wasn’t blown away by the look. I’d expected to be so impressed that I’d be immediately on the hunt for some fresher Marzocchis. The forks seemed to detract from what made it ‘my old bike’ so I doubt the GT will see suspension in the future-never say never though!

With the cranks I’m undecided. I much prefer the original chromed chainrings and whilst the crank arms are nice enough, I feel the polished originals are a slightly better fit with the bike. If the kookas were mint then it might be a different story-perhaps I’ll strip and polish them?


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