1996(ish) Marin Stinson - Adventure Rig

HourGlass

Dirt Disciple
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
Thanks!
I do wonder why I don't see more hybrid conversions. Perhaps they just fall a little 'off-trend', or a drop bar on an MTB represents something a little more radical? (despite the popularity of this formula) But you're quite right in their suitability as a base.

Ha! It's funny you refer to these tyres as a "skinny 29er version of a traditional MTB tyre" as I've run this model of tyre in the past on my commuter (a single speed steel CX bike) in 35c format so to me, they're fat cyclocross tyre! But in all honestly, at the time I still wasn't 100% about hanging onto this bike longer term and was somewhat reluctant to sinking a heap of money into it. The general condition of the frame was enough of a motivator to avoid over-capitalising in what is little more than scrap 😅

Between my wife and I, this is actually the only bike in our fleet that doesn't have tan walls! If I had my pick through I'd be fitting a set of Soma Cazadero in 700x50 (however they're not offered with a darker brown sidewall sadly).

I gave embracing patina a go, but in the end I couldn't help myself so I've since inspected, prepped and applied kill rust to all the suspect scratches, chaff marks and paint chips, and given the rest of the frame a good cut and polish. It still wears its battle wounds but they're less prominent now that the orange rust is gone (bare metal is now black / blue from the iron phosphate).
When I found the bike, someone had rammed a 28-ish mm 'candlestick' seat post into the 27mm hole, flaring the clamp and causing a slight tear in the base of the slot (visible in one of my earlier images). I'm pretty confident that I've sorted this by drilling a stress-reliving hole at the base of the crack, and filing the slot just that little lower which has completely removed any trace of it.
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?!
That's awesome! I've only lived in Cambridge for about 5 years and that shop's presence has always been such a curious wonder to me.
The two wide-angle images are from the path that follows Hobson's Brook between Long Road and the Botanic Gardens. It's now gated (so bikes no longer welcome) but it was fun to blast along as an alternative to the busway or High Street if you were riding from the south into the city centre. The other "trails" are the Roman Road from Wandlebury out towards Haverhill which is about as off-road as it gets in these parts 😏

My regular off-road loop follows the Stapleford - Babraham Path where you can pick up the Roman Road near Worsted Lodge.
 

CassidyAce

Senior Retro Guru
I do wonder why I don't see more hybrid conversions. Perhaps they just fall a little 'off-trend'
Actually, I wonder if the perception of these bikes is changing: they were off-trend, and the utilitarian specs and 'hybrid' label didn't help, but with the increasing popularity of gravel bikes I have a feeling that the potential of these old hybrids is starting to be re-evaluated. If there's a GCN/GMBN video on them before long, I would not be surprised.
 

joglo

Retro Guru
Actually, I wonder if the perception of these bikes is changing: they were off-trend, and the utilitarian specs and 'hybrid' label didn't help, but with the increasing popularity of gravel bikes I have a feeling that the potential of these old hybrids is starting to be re-evaluated. If there's a GCN/GMBN video on them before long, I would not be surprised.
i do fully agree,
maybe it's a bit our generation,
at least i had those "hybrids" not on the radar BiT but only a 26" MTB have been considered as cool.
Driving a Diamond Back Overdrive just a few years ago was an real eye opener for me. This is now also with a drop bar conversion my most used bike in terms of mileage.

And don't forget, there is also this thin line between the sporty and good 700C hybrids vs. the low end equipped, heavy steel and fully loaded with rack and fenders "trekking bikes", sold a lot to elderly people... which are adding in my impression allmost as a must have an ergo bar in combination with a stem rise up adapter, a sofa saddle from Aldi and somthing like a bar radio, mobile phone holder and rear mirrow (or even all of them) :rolleyes:
 

HourGlass

Dirt Disciple
If there's a GCN/GMBN video on them before long, I would not be surprised.
There certainly a number 'alternative' cycling Youtube channels that have covered the merits of hybrid conversions.
Spindatt, and OldShovel to name a few (the former coining the term 'Dad Bike' and the latter recently featuring a Marin Stinson).

And don't forget, there is also this thin line between the sporty and good 700C hybrids vs. the low end equipped, heavy steel and fully loaded with rack and fenders "trekking bikes", sold a lot to elderly people... which are adding in my impression allmost as a must have an ergo bar in combination with a stem rise up adapter, a sofa saddle from Aldi and somthing like a bar radio, mobile phone holder and rear mirrow (or even all of them) :rolleyes:
I guess that kind of touches on another factor in that 700c is still 'current'; you can get a similar looking bike to the Stinson from down at Decathlon / Cycle King / Halfords etc where as an older MTB with an awesome paint job and defunct wheel size makes for a more compelling 'retro ride'.
 

HourGlass

Dirt Disciple
Part III

The first ‘real’ shakedown was cycling the Marriott's Way, north of Norwich (UK), an easy 80km round trip of traffic-free, unpaved pedalling. This took place just after those atrocious winds we had here earlier in the year so sections of the trail were quite muddy from all the vehicles driving up and down it to remove fallen trees. Despite some seriously sticky mud, the bike proved to be incredibly comfortable over the chopped up ground, allowing me to maintain a pretty decent pace.

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BB spindle length actually permitted a better chain line with the ring in the outer position.

The set up was largely the same as previous however I later scored and fitted a set of Wellgo XC-II ‘bear trap’ pedals. I also begrudgingly part ways with £5 for the silly little rubber cap for my water bottle. (You don’t really want to know what flicked up and ended up in the bottle mouthpiece to motivate me to action on that one…)

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Funnily enough, moments after I captured this, I pinch-flatted the rear tyre. This resulted in a 7km+ walk back home as I’d only brought with me the glueless patches which refused to hold.

I’ve also since popped good old QR skewers back on as I’m paranoid about forgetting the silly penta-key for the security skewers!

Thanks for reading!
 
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HourGlass

Dirt Disciple
Another Norfolk trip in the bag. This trip was from King’s Lynn north to Holme-next-the-Sea, then following the Peddars Way south to Thetford. Total trip was about 130km.
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You’ll spy that the Marin now has pockets! Clearance items from Alpkit.
For those that are curious, this is a 19” frame - the frame bag is the ‘Glider’ (50cm ~2.6L volume) and the saddle bag is the ‘Koala’ (~7L volume). Handlebar bag I’ve had for some time and is made by Wizard Works (and is perhaps my favourite bit of kit, period!) I’m Australian so I appreciate bike pouches being named after marsupials :p
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The Peddars Way itself is mostly off-road with a few stretches of tarmac. Expect to encounter quite a wide range of surfaces, from gravel country lanes, rutted farm tracks, sand, and sharp flinty stuff. I'd argue that this is ridable on just about anything, however you’ll enjoy it more on bigger tyres - perfect for that retro ride!.
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The trip revealed a need to carry more water so I’m exploring ways of fastening a cargo cage to the underside of the downtube to carry a 1L Nalgene water bottle.

The Koala seat pack was excellent but there was a definite ‘tail wagging’ motion going on when out of the saddle. I do have something in mind to rectify this however.

Thanks for reading!
 

grantoury

Retro Guru
With those bags it looks utterly contemporary (apart from the brakes..)

I like it a lot, that 5th picture of your last post should be in the cockpit eye view thread!
 

Prodigal Son

Senior 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
I am with you on this one.
 

HourGlass

Dirt Disciple
With those bags it looks utterly contemporary (apart from the brakes..)

I like it a lot, that 5th picture of your last post should be in the cockpit eye view thread!
I think the bags have cost more than the sum total of the bike at this point! 😅

Thanks for the heads up about the cockpit eye view thread - made a slightly different contribution featuring this bike :)
Love the bike and the pictures.

For a third bottle, I wonder whether these would be strong enough?? Maybe with Loctite. https://www.wiggle.co.uk/dmr-hinged-clamps-1
Many thanks! I suspect they'd be an improvement over my original idea of just bodging something using hose clamps!

I've only had a quick 'mental measure' of how much space I have to play with as I want to keep a cage as close to the down tube as possible without interfering with the gear cable, but it looks like something like the Blackburn Outpost cage will fit.

The other "less-hacky" clamp solutions that crossed my radar are the King Cage 'USB' and the Drj0n Bagwords Barnacle.
 
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