A bike of firsts - '92 Marin Team Issue

br0qn

Devout Dirtbag
This bike marks firsts for me - It's the first I've owned since middle school (some GT BMX), the first I've purchased myself, the first I (will) have built, the first mountain bike I've owned etc...

This was initially spurred on by the need for transport while I'm away for work. Over the course of several trips/months I was renting & riding the city's shared ebikes until I realized I was spending close to a $100/ week commuting on those awful things. I then borrowed an old single speed raleigh road bike/townie which I was riding around on for some time but trying to tackle the same hills I was on the bike was awful. I started to think I'd be better off if I just spent a couple hundred bucks on something of my own that had gears. I asked a friend what he rides - a Rivendell, in set the sticker shock - and then I asked what I should look for instead - a 90's mountain bike can be had for what I was looking to spend.

So back in March I started casually looking at local CL listings and finding all sorts of stuff I knew nothing about and running them by my friend. At this point I didn't even know bicycles came in sizes! Combing a thousand plus ads that came up for vintage mountain bike / 90s mountain bike / 26" bike I landed on one that I liked that my friend said was unique and had cool parts - an '89 Muddy Fox Courier located just north of the city.

muddyFoxCourier_1987.JPG

With a message to the seller I had a time set up for the next week to go have a look. Meanwhile over the weekend I was out riding around on the raleigh, headed to north beach to catch some sun in the park and ... I woke up dragging the bike off of the street. Still I don't know what happened. The car that was behind me pulled over (a couple, the guy was in spandex kit and a bike on the roof of the mini and the lady was a nurse) and was telling me to take it easy, they were calling an ambulance. I objected and decided I'd try and walk it off but realized I couldn't lift my right arm though it didn't hurt. Started to feel around and ...ya something poking up in the shoulder area. Another kind passerby was walking her dog immediately offered to store the bike in her garage and give me a lift to the hospital - sometimes people don't suck.

A trip to the ER and a few more firsts - first time I drank a bag of water through my arm, maybe the first time I had a tetanus shot, who knows, first cat scan. Head was good fortunately but I had a fair amount of road rash and tore three ligaments that hold the collarbone in place, that's called a separated collarbone. I got back from the ER and was pretty bummed about the whole thing. I text the Muddy Fox owner and said I wouldn't be riding a bike anytime soon, sorry.

A couple weeks passed though and I couldn't stop thinking about that Muddy Fox. Slinged up with surgery on the horizon I started to look at ads again. At some point I found this board. This quickly morphed into an obsession marked with countless late nights staring at photos, looking at listings on CL/ebay/FB marketplace and then researching every make & detail in those listening's, reading this board, pouring over original bike and component manufacture catalogs (pdfs of course) trying to get a sense of what was what. The rabbit hole opened beneath me.

Another couple of weeks steeped in research and I was chomping at the bit for something, a project. I came across an ebay listing for what looked like a pretty classy bike in good shape and made an offer.
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Augustus

Retrobike Rider
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Lovely memories of that Courier. That one i.i.r.c, is an '87 (lugged) with the '88 decals. I saw a couple of those at the time before the '88 purple/ white fade one came out.
Very nice.
 

marc two tone

Retrobike Rider
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Very nice. Keep the layout simple and silver, clean with s.t.i shifters and these marins look racey and, unmistakably bad-ass.
 

br0qn

Devout Dirtbag
Lovely memories of that Courier. That one i.i.r.c, is an '87 (lugged) with the '88 decals. I saw a couple of those at the time before the '88 purple/ white fade one came out.
Very nice.
I think it's still available but I passed ultimately. It's pretty rough and probably too big. I'll wait perhaps for the proper muddy fox to present itself. Meanwhile my hands are full. . . 2 other bikes have since fallen into my lap :rolleyes: 1 in transit should arrive next week and 1 I picked up today!

Very nice. Keep the layout simple and silver, clean with s.t.i shifters and these marins look racey and, unmistakably bad-ass.
Thanks, I can't wait to get started with it. I bought this team issue in April and started collecting/shipping parts to my friend who is going to help me build it (~500 miles away so I haven't laid eyes on it yet!) and I was initially shopping for something to make a commuter so the parts are a mix bag. I started trying to find things with a budget in mind that would be compatible but that quickly got out of hand.

Since becoming obsessed with old mtb's, and not just an idea of old mtb's repurposed, I've got a dilemma. I need the marin to get around town but I sort of chose it to get on the trails in Marin...I wanted to bring it home. Most of the parts spec should work well for handling both, just the stem/bars are the big question mark but what an impact that choice has.

The frameset came with the original rockstar forks, marin lite seatpost binder, a black seatpost, and the original xtr headset. This stem was found shortly after and was the first component purchase. It's 1 1/8" quill with 130mm reach.

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br0qn

Devout Dirtbag
Just a small update.

Still waiting to really get this one together, I got a little side tracked 😬

This frame looks like it was never ridden, just stripped of components and decals and put away.

IMG_20220710_194209.jpg

Really, it's immaculate

IMG_20220710_194303.jpg

I think standover is going to be comfortable but it's feeling really long, this NOS 130mm stem might not work out unless I have some serious sweep on the bars

IMG_20220710_194250.jpg

The wheelset I got from Gringineer several months ago, some nice stuff to be had there. Rear mech was local and in great shape. Didn't mount it but found a NOS matching front.

White Industries hubs front and back with bluey grey mavic 220
IMG_20220710_194230.jpg


Maybe able to finish it up this week, stay tuned.
 

marc two tone

Retrobike Rider
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Keep going! I remember this in the shops back in '92 and knowing there wouldn't be much else out there to top it. £1000+ but thats my memory maxed on that issue.


'NOS 130mm stem might not work out unless I have some serious sweep on the bars.'

The trouble is, 130mm was considered average or short back then and, bars with a big sweep will look wrong. Build as it is and see how you get on with it.
 

Dr Dremel

Fat Chance Fan
Yeah those Marins have a seriously long TT. I´ve had a 150mm stem on mine (1994 Team) and while it was fine handling wise the seating position was really sporty as I was going to use it as my daily driver.
 

Tootyred

Senior Retro Guru
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130mm is the short option! They are sporty frames.....good for getting the power down......not really a commuter friendly geometry.....

But saying that its never stopped me in the last 30 years on one! You just need narrow bars...kinda 585mm tops or it will handle very strangely indeed.

You will get the hang of fast steering, steep headtubed frames, probably with a bit of a wobbly and un nerving start! :LOL:
 

pw_pw_la

Senior Retro Guru
Adding my voice to the chorus of long top tubers!

I actually found that was the one thing with mine that made it a really nice ride. It's on the smaller side for me in general, so the long top tube helped me not feel too cramped on it. It's still got the longest top tube (I think) or any of my bikes, despite being considerably smaller than some.

I don't ride it much these days but I found it felt super powerful with quick acceleration and, fully rigid, was begging to be ridden hard and fast. I preferred it out on road rides over trails for that reason. I reckon you'll be fine with the stem as you have it, but, that said, seeing as you're not going period correct with the build at all, nothing wrong with finding something newer/steeper/shorter that will feel more comfortable to you.

Would agree flat bars with minimal (5-degree max) sweep would be the way to go with this, regardless.
 

br0qn

Devout Dirtbag
Keep going! I remember this in the shops back in '92 and knowing there wouldn't be much else out there to top it. £1000+ but thats my memory maxed on that issue.


'NOS 130mm stem might not work out unless I have some serious sweep on the bars.'

The trouble is, 130mm was considered average or short back then and, bars with a big sweep will look wrong. Build as it is and see how you get on with it.

That is what I've gathered - as far as production bikes in '92, seems hard to beat the tube and group set combo on the Marin Team Issue. Of course that is only a spec sheet, I've no practical knowledge.

Riding a recent pickup with about an inch less on the top tube and I'm already streeeetched. At least for commuting. Brings me to...

Yeah those Marins have a seriously long TT. I´ve had a 150mm stem on mine (1994 Team) and while it was fine handling wise the seating position was really sporty as I was going to use it as my daily driver.

This was my plan, I knew (know) nothing about geometry or sizing and just went for the next to smallest size which I guessed might be good for me. Back to my dilemma about wanting to make this a commuter but feeling weird about castrating the thing.

130mm is the short option! They are sporty frames.....good for getting the power down......not really a commuter friendly geometry.....

But saying that its never stopped me in the last 30 years on one! You just need narrow bars...kinda 585mm tops or it will handle very strangely indeed.

You will get the hang of fast steering, steep headtubed frames, probably with a bit of a wobbly and un nerving start! :LOL:

I know! I'd have to find something taller ...sporty I can handle but being upright is better for visibility on the road. I picked up some narrow bars for pretty cheap as an option

Adding my voice to the chorus of long top tubers!

I actually found that was the one thing with mine that made it a really nice ride. It's on the smaller side for me in general, so the long top tube helped me not feel too cramped on it. It's still got the longest top tube (I think) or any of my bikes, despite being considerably smaller than some.

I don't ride it much these days but I found it felt super powerful with quick acceleration and, fully rigid, was begging to be ridden hard and fast. I preferred it out on road rides over trails for that reason. I reckon you'll be fine with the stem as you have it, but, that said, seeing as you're not going period correct with the build at all, nothing wrong with finding something newer/steeper/shorter that will feel more comfortable to you.

Would agree flat bars with minimal (5-degree max) sweep would be the way to go with this, regardless.

Beginning to wonder if I should take something less precious and use it as a commuter and keep the Marin build true to form or if something like a riser bar/box stem would just totally ruin things.

Thanks all for weighing in, this is fun!
 
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