Captain Cowell's '94 Marin Indian Fire Trail

captaincowelly

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Around 5 years ago I was working away on a particularly long shift and spotted this on eBay.Already had most of the components I needed to recreate the '94 IFT of my youth but lacked a nice set of Rockstar forks.Paid around £150,planned to pick it up on the drive home,Ramsgate to Grimsby.
Then we got the call to take the boat up to Barrow in Furness,left my car in Ramsgate,chucked my Stumpy on the boat,hit bad weather and ported in Newhaven where I somehow managed to leave my car keys at the hotel:eek:.
A few weeks later,finished my last night shift,taxi to Manchester airport,wandered around with 2 large holdalls,a daysack ,laptop bag and my bike,waited 1.5 hours for a hire car,next stop Birmingham.
Fellow called Kim,lived on a narrow boat in an idyllic little haven,was like stepping into middle earth.Quick test ride,was only really interested in the forks of course,packed it in the car then drove to Newhaven.Receptionist hadn't been willing to post my keys to me🤷‍♂️🤬 so added a lot more time/mileage to the trip.
On to Ramsgate,took an hour or so to get security to let me collect my car🙄loaded my car up,dropped off hire car,and drove home.Couple of naps along the way,got back 22 hours after finishing my shift.😴😴😴
So,although the journey would have happened without the bike,it was still a bit of an effort for a pair of forks.But I'm sure there are more extreme testimonials out there!;)
After 7 years of harvesting I finally built my bike.Build thread for that still to come.Decided to give this bike a pair of forks,quick spruce up and sell on to get a bit of money back,was thinking around the £150 I paid.Had chucked a pair of champagne Rockstars on temporarily.
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Customised '93/'94 style decal mix,Rolls saddle,Club Roost bar ends.Otherwise original spec.Had a previous restoration,possibly in the 00's.Lacquer removed,a good shine to the ally but a lot of fine abrasive marks up close.A couple of the welds had been smoothed out slightly from agressive polishing but mainly good.
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My meticulous nature took over and couldn't stop myself from minting it,knowing full well the extra time/effort would never equate to £££'s.But there's a lot of enjoyment in restoration,as I'm sure many will agree.And it gives me a lot of pleasure to know that someone is gonna be over the moon with this.
So I went to town!
Stripped to every component part (barring removing spokes/stripping the shifter mechanisms themselves.
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Controls - Fully stripped,soaked for two days,cleaned to the nth degree,regreased.Function like new.Slight ano rub on levers,can be touched up or polished up.Housings virtually unmarked.8 speed indicator window was broken,rubber cable grommets were missing.Replaced with NOS items.
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These are actually a set of combis I sold on here but same condition/level of refurb.

Frame - Degreased/soaked the frame and rinsed out any dirt thoroughly.Dried for a few days.Treated internally with Quiksilver Corrosion Guard.Great product,similar to Waxoyl.Have used it in a marine environment with great success.
Manually rubbed down with 600/800/1000/1500/2000 grit wet n dry with some slightly soapy water.Back yard,sunshine and music with a good polishing BPM.The 600 was probably the most labour intensive,was very thorough with that,each stage after was a little easier.Worked all the way into the corners,avoided the welds,wanting to keep them intact.Fibreglass pen to work into the welds.Multiple (8-10+) applications of White Diamond Metal Polish/High Shine,all hand polished.Applied using cotton wool pads,buffed with a yellow cotton dusters.
Can't remember who recommended White Diamond on here but it totally knocked socks off Autosol (been a life-long fan).Fantastic product,best shine I've ever seen on ally.Really comes up like chrome. I'm sure @Matttymm can vouch for that;).From certain angles it's possible to see the remains of tiny pit marks up close,but invisible from a foot or two away.One very slight indentation under downtube and a faint scrape mark.All threads/rivnuts fine.
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Forks - NOS.They are made by Spinner but are not Rockstars.They're slightly fatter at the bottom than the originals,suit the frame very well I think.Added a spacer to headset to leave as much steerer length as possible,190mm-ish.
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Wheels - Excellent shape,virtually unmarked.Braking tracks very good,minimal wear on front,even less on rear.

Rear wheel - One or two nipples are a couple of mm longer,rear wheel has one spoke with thread showing,I assume someone has replaced it previously.Runs straight n true,new hub bearings,internally was like new,also freehub.Super smooth.Slight tear to rubber boot,superglued.

Front wheel - RH hub race had slight dulling to polished surface,also to cone.Fitted new identical axle/cones/seals from an unused M750 hub and new bearings.It's not quite as smooth as it should be but perfectly rideable.A mm or so of wobble on front wheel.

Tyres - I have the tyres this bike came with (Kevlar bead Marin Lite) but they're not mint so fitted these wire bead versions.No noticeable wear,fantastic condition,logos have slight discolouration but still bright and clear.

Drivetrain - One LX crank arm has been replaced previously.One has stamped markings,the other embossed.Logos polished away previously,cranks are now unmarked.NOS LX 44t chainring,it's the type with 4 extra holes for a chainguard so technically lighter!😂 .Took decal from old chainring and applied.Original vgc middle ring,barely used granny.NOS crankbolts.
When LX looks this good,who needs XT?
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NOS HG71 chain,VGC M737 11-32t cassette.

Original LX UN51 BB was smooth but had slight play.Fitted a very smooth,play-free XT UN71 BB,using Shimano anti-seize.

Mechs - FD has had the XT logo polished away previously but is in great condition,minimal wear to shift plate,no play.Rear is VGC,have resprayed the inner cage,jockeys good.

Brakes - Excellent condition.Fitted NOS LX pads/polished pad carriers.Touched up a couple of small scrape marks.NOS hangers/straddle cables.

Bars - Original bars had the logos removed,were slightly crimped.Fitted NOS 94 bars,560mm.Original grips.

Stem - Original stem,original paint/decals.Touched up in a couple of places but very tidy.Original top cap.Resprayed bolt.

Headset - Original had slight pitting to crown race and slight damage to top nut/seal.Fitted an identical NOS Ritchey Logic.

Bar ends - Bike came with aftermarket,I resprayed an original pair I had,original end caps in good condition.

Bottle cages - 1 original,1 identical I already had.Resprayed,stainless bolts,polished spacers for seat tube cage.

Original seatpost,resprayed clamp bolt.Seat from a '95 Nail Trail,slight tears stuck down at back,resprayed seat rails to match catalogue spec.

Cables all new,Shimano M System/SP41.Glued nipples for a neater look.

Pedals - Original VP..Lightly polished the bodies,packed with fresh grease,small ammount of play but plenty of life left.Minimal scrape marks.Have grease nipples.

New Nitrile o rings for QR's.Chrome is slightly pitted in places but still good.

NOS Sharkfin. New tubes.

Top/downtube/7005 decals courtesy of Ian at dnfive graphics.Very nice,helpful chap,thoroughly recommended.All other decals are genuine NOS,thanks again to @whayne 😁🙏.The blue 'Race Proven' seat tube decal still to be applied (NOS).

Painted items had 600 grit rub down,then 2 coats etch primer/3 of basecoat/3 of lacquer,flatting with 800 grit/wiping down with brake cleaner between each stage.Good quality auto paint.Always use the local auto trade supplier.Seemingly infinite range of colours/finishes to choose from,aerosols or pots filled to order (100ml-1L), the cans spray like a dream.Around £12-£14 for a 400ml can.Took an hour going through sample books but was very happy with the match,checking indoors and outdoors.Very difficult to match these paints.
I used (STD) (BSB 488/92) Renault Bleu Alpine Irise'
If anything I would say the original finish (stem on right) is a little more turquoise,just a shade.Hard to see the difference in this pic.
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Spent a long time making sure everything is set up to the highest standard both aesthetically and functionally.Brakes are sharp,gears smooth,bearings well adjusted,cables as neat as possible.

To protect the finish I used o rings on the top tube cable instead of the original plastic sheath.Fitted more than needed so excess can be removed.

Chain length is good,all works fine on the stand but it’s possible it may need a link taken out if it seems slightly slack on the ride.New owners choice.Can supply a new Shimano joining pin in case.


Bought originally for £150,drove a good distance to collect,spent 3 days+ on the frame,3 days+ building (conservatively).

Forks£60 Headset£25 BB£20 Chainring£25 Chain£15 Brake pads/carriers£15 Cables/hangers£30 Crank bolts£5 Tubes £10 Decals £20 Paint£20 I make that £395 and 6+ days labour,not including tyre upgrade,fuel,bearings,missing shifter items,consumables.
Oh,and £12 for the sharkfin.
But all worth it.....
 

captaincowelly

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I wasn't going to create a build thread for this as I never planned on keeping it and didn't want to look like I was trying to hijack the Readers MTB's section with a blatant sales pitch.Will link in the eBay section.
Just wanted to record the build as I am very proud of it and hopefully there may be some useful information/inspiration there for future use.Won't be entering it for BOTM!! 😂
 

Matttymm

Senior Retro Guru
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So good to see you back in the saddle captain and what an epic read.

Love what you’ve done with it, it’s truly unique and an awesome, amazing bike. Love it. Seeing the transformation and effort is incredible. Be proud.

That photo with the parts in tubs and one to behold. You should enter it to BOTM as it’s as good as anything out there. Effort should win alone.

I can vouch that when it comes to giving yourself a polish, you are the master. 😉😉

Superb mate.
 

captaincowelly

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Thanks Matt! 😁Means absolutely nothing coming from you!😂
Sadly it won't be mine long enough for me to enter it in BOTM but maybe someone else can have that opportunity.
So good to see you back in the saddle captain and what an epic read.

Love what you’ve done with it, it’s truly unique and an awesome, amazing bike. Love it. Seeing the transformation and effort is incredible. Be proud.

That photo with the parts in tubs and one to behold. You should enter it to BOTM as it’s as good as anything out there. Effort should win alone.

I can vouch that when it comes to giving yourself a polish, you are the master. 😉😉

Superb mate.
Thanks Matt! 😁Means absolutely nothing coming from you!😂
Sadly it won't be mine long enough for me to enter it in BOTM but maybe someone else can have that opportunity.
And as for polishing,you probably already realise I've been on a lifelong mission to finely tune my body just for this purpose.
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And please,no jokes about it being a Fiddler crab.🤨
 

cango_uk

Dirt Disciple
That is breathtakingly shiny! White Diamond you say? 🧐
That makes my Hardrock look like it's been through a ditch!!
 

Dan_Trials

Dirt Disciple
Brilliant, what a fantastic finish you got on all those parts! And to think this isn't even your proper build, can't wait to see that!

🥳👍🧦🥕🪗🚀🪜✏️♻️🔈🏁💦🍆🍰
(I know you like your emoojies so I threw some in just because 🤷‍♂️)
 

captaincowelly

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Thanks Dan! Cracked me up there,great selection!😂 👍
The proper build is complete,but the build thread still pending,just need to get myself into gear for that one.I do get there......in the end!😁
 

captaincowelly

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This one should be with the new owner any day now,for the record it went for £470 on eBay.Will be living the high life on the tropical isle of Guernsey🍍🌴✨🚴‍♂️✨🌴🦒🌞.
The buyer had seen one in the LBS window,but at 13 and on paper-round income,could never afford it.27 years later,dream realised.Love it!😁
 
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