1996(ish) Marin Stinson - Adventure Rig

HourGlass

Dirt Disciple
Hi all,
First up, not really a mountain bike. But it's definitely not a road bike. Given it's 90's, steel and has big tyres I made a call and shared it here :)

Introducing my ‘96 Marin Stinson, rescued from the scrap heap and reimagined into the gravel / adventure / monster cross / fun on two wheels you see below. From factory, these are a dorky hybrid with a mixture of the ever-utilitarian Shimano AceraX groupset, single-wall rims and grip-shifters, typical of the era.

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Marin Stinson c.1996
(Build as of June 2022)

Wheels:
Mavic Open Sport on Shimano Tiagra 4600 hubs
Schwalbe Smart Sam 28x1.75
Electrical tape for rim tape

Braking:
Avid SD3 V-Brakes with Disco Brakes CNC SuperLight Carriers + Pads
Tektro R520 ‘Long Pull’ brake levers

Drive:
Shimano Deore FC-M510 crank arms with eBay-spec 40T Narrow-Wide chainring
eBay-spec 11-40T cassette with Shimano HG53 (9-speed)
Shimano UN52 BB
SunRace SLR96 Bar end shifter (this is index-only so I will eventually replace this with something that offers both index and friction)
Shimano Deore RD-M510 + eBay-spec road link
Welgo XC-II ‘Bear Trap’ pedals / Wellgo 'Genuine Replica Logic Pro' WPD-801

Finishing:
Tange Falcon Headset with eBay-spec quill > threadless adaptor
RaceFace Ride XC 70mm Stem
Salsa Cowchipper Flared Drop Bars 440mm with no-name cork ribbon bar tape
Saddle: Cosine
Seatpost: Brand-X 27⌀
Seatpost Binder: Held together with a Decathlon security skewer set.
Rust converter (naturally)

Adventure Bits:
Topeak Alt-position cage brackets
Blackburn Outpost cargo cage (mounted using Velo Orange cage mounts)
Alpkit ExoRail Saddle bag support
Bluelug Triangle reflector

The bike was found abandoned out the front of my apartment in September last year. Missing parts, and with an oversized seat post jammed in the seat tube, it was in a right state and probably should have gone in the bin. After a fruitless effort to track down an owner, I decided to adopt it and make it the base for a parts-bin budget build for under £100. My initial plan was to build it, enjoy it a little and pass it to a friend but almost a year later, I still find myself making adventure plans with it so I think it’s a permanent addition to the stable!

Part I
The initial build went together with the usual assortment of neglected bike challenges (snapped bolts, stuck BB, rust etc). The biggest hurdle was extracting the over-sized seat post from the frame that had been shoe-horned in and flared the clamping area. Once sorted, the bike was built and enjoyed as a working rideable machine, proving particularly suitable for the sorts of 'trails' around where I live.
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Part II to follow.
 
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CassidyAce

Senior Retro Guru
I think that's a 1997 model but it might well have been sold in late 1996. The frame and forks look identical to the 1996 model; it's just the decals that look different. As you say, these are good, fun bikes: nice frame and forks, but with mediocre parts when new. I have a 1996 model, kept as flat bar, but everything else changed, and it's great.

As above, great photos. Watching with interest.
 

HourGlass

Dirt Disciple
I think that's a 1997 model but it might well have been sold in late 1996. The frame and forks look identical to the 1996 model; it's just the decals that look different. As you say, these are good, fun bikes: nice frame and forks, but with mediocre parts when new. I have a 1996 model, kept as flat bar, but everything else changed, and it's great.

As above, great photos. Watching with interest.

I think you might be right. My first thoughts were that it might be a warranty replacement frame as the components had more in common with the earlier model? (Missed out on the opportunity to throw those Shimano MC-16 cranks with the funky 67bcd in the bin!)

This raises more questions about this as one of the seat tube bottle cage mounts isn't mounted straight and in-line, and the rear cable hanger is also a bit skewed too; I thought this might have been on-purpose for a cleaner cable entry but it's twisted opposite to what you'd expect if this were the case, as if it's been hurriedly tacked on.

Maybe Stinsons were saved for Friday afternoons back in 96/97 over at Marin 😂
 

HourGlass

Dirt Disciple
Part II
Bike remained as above for about a month. Once I was done with patting myself on the back for building something cheap and actually enjoyable to ride, I set about correcting some details that the budget didn’t extend to. This included the replacing the notched headset, the worn bottom bracket and treating the frame with rust converter. I also fitted some tyres that actually made use of the room between the stays, which was perhaps the biggest improvement of them all.

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Tyres are Schwalbe Smart Sam in 28x1.75, bit of a step up from the worn Smart Sams in 700x35c from the old parts bin.
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The local Decathlon had this UN55 mis-labelled as a cheaper UN300 so this was an unexpected score.
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I didn't quite have enough cable outer for the bar end shifter to reach the derailleur, so an in-line barrel adjusters (tarted out with some Wheels MFG brass cable ends) proved to be the perfect (and readily accessible) extension. Dug into the bag of bolts and found six matching stainless bolts to replace the crusty Race Face plated jobs.
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Retro.
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Part III to follow.

Thanks for reading!
 

Mickeyspinn

rBotM Winner
Part II
Bike remained as above for about a month. Once I was done with patting myself on the back for building something cheap and actually enjoyable to ride, I set about correcting some details that the budget didn’t extend to. This included the replacing the notched headset, the worn bottom bracket and treating the frame with rust converter. I also fitted some tyres that actually made use of the room between the stays, which was perhaps the biggest improvement of them all.

View attachment 638490
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Tyres are Schwalbe Smart Sam in 28x1.75, bit of a step up from the worn Smart Sams in 700x35c from the old parts bin.
View attachment 638491
The local Decathlon had this UN55 mis-labelled as a cheaper UN300 so this was an unexpected score.
View attachment 638505
I didn't quite have enough cable outer for the bar end shifter to reach the derailleur, so an in-line barrel adjusters (tarted out with some Wheels MFG brass cable ends) proved to be the perfect (and readily accessible) extension. Dug into the bag of bolts and found six matching stainless bolts to replace the crusty Race Face plated jobs.
View attachment 638508
View attachment 638545
Retro.
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Part III to follow.

Thanks for reading!
That middle pic is pretty epic 👍
 

joglo

Retro Guru
Hi, nice ride 👍

I do think that those sporty 700c /28" bikes from the mid 90ties are anyhow underrated.
To me this is a much better basis for a drop bar conversion compared to a 26" MTB, as the bigger wheels are cleary beneficial for fast rolling and the frame is often a bit shorter.

I personally would have rather shopped for new tires in the Gravel Bike section at your bike dealer or online shop, rather than the skinny 29er version of a traditional MTB tire. There are such a lot nice choices nowadays. Also a dark brown Skinwall would have fit nicely style-wise.
But that's just my own taste...

Just the rust on yours raised a bit my eyebrows. What's your take, call it patina and get over it, or even start to like it? :p
 
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TreaderSteve

Retro Guru
I actually bought some tapes from that shop when I was a young teenager. Moved away, now I'm back in Great Shelford. Where are those totally 'rad' trails in the pictures?!
 
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