Dirtworks Monster (RST XXL/SPIN/SRAM/HOPE)

Irf

Retro Newbie
Hey everyone,

Long time lurker and second thread in almost a decade! Thought I would give you an update from my initial thread here:

CLICKY

History:
I've had a few custom built bikes as a teenager; one was stolen and the others were gradually upgraded. Anyone from the Liverpool area would most likely remember Graham at Rose Lane Cycles circa 1996-2000 era and this frame and fork combination was bought from him brand new at a heavily discounted price around 1997-1998. Few years after I started to drive and the bike was sat in the garage, lucky to be taken out once every few years!

As I was only a teenager back then, my mother funded my hobbies and mountain biking was one of my biggest (in terms of time and monetary value).

Fast forward to 2021 and I find myself in Thailand for the last couple of years. Already have an up to date Scott hardtail that's under 8.5kg but I always missed having my retro bike as I couldn't bring it with me over here (we always want what we can't have!).

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My late mother passed away from COVID in the first quarter of the year and an opportunity arose whereby a friend was returning to Thailand earlier this month. As this bike holds a huge amount of sentimental value and memories from my teenage years, I begged my friend to bring it with them in their check-in luggage. They agreed and I reached out to the guys at Quinns Cycles on Edge Lane, Liverpool, and they were more than happy to help dismantle the bike and package it up in a standard bicycle cardboard box. Huge thanks to them (Stu, Ste and Andy) for helping me out with short notice and doing such a good job of protecting the bike and components in the box! Coincidentally when I spoke to them on the phone they mentioned Graham had called into the shop the previous week. Glad to hear he's still in good health and in the area.

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Fast forward a couple of weeks and a few hundred pounds lighter (excess baggage fees purchased online and replacement tyres etc) the bike is now with me over here!

Current spec:
1995 Dirtworks Monster frame (18"/M)
1997 Spin DBO wheels (disc brake only and 20mm thru axle for front wheel)
1997 SRAM ESP9.0SL Woody 'Betsy" Stars & Stripes shifter and mech
Shimano XT cassette
1998 RST Mozo XXL forks
Raceface forged cranks
Titec aluminium seatpost
Titec Beserkr seat (kevlar/titanium)
Generic BMX stem
Motocross handlebars (800mm wide!)
Acor chain device
Hope Enduro 4 disc brakes (205mm/180mm)
AZ rear disc brake adaptor
Panaracer Fire XC Pro tyres (tubeless)

Photos below:

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I can tell you now, the memories of the bike back then as a teenager and riding it now for the first time in five years is completely alien to me. Its so heavy at 20kg and it feels really old skool and somehow delicate yet durable at the same time. Its huge to sit on and to try and maneouvre compared to my hardtail. Really surprising how much technology and my attitude has changed over time; give me a lighter bike any day and more function over form.

Already started on making it more useable by spraying silicone on the bushings and cables. Then I degreased and cleaned up the drivetrain and applied some Muc-Off Dry Ceramic Lube. Can't believe how clean it looks after a decade of dirt and grease baked on:

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Next step will be to service the front forks as they've never been opened up since new and the brakes need bleeding and adjusting. Depending on the brakes I do have a spare set of up to date Shimano XT's with 180mm rotors but I want the parts to stay as period correct as possible. The shifter and mech will need replacing as they are worn but the bike is useable on the street for now as it is. Am also tempted to fit some Crankbrothers Eggbeaters as I can wear the same cycling shoes for both bikes.

I want to polish up the surfaces, remove as many defects from the paint as possible and then apply PPF all over it for protection. Then I'm going to hang it up in my gym as wall art and take it out on the odd occasion!

Would love to try and fit the wheels to my hardtail but its not going to be an easy task as adaptors would be needed, especially for the front wheel.

Thanks for reading and I'll try and keep this thread updated with any work that gets done on the bike.
 
Last edited:

robfinger

Dirt Disciple
That's one hell of a bike there man, absolutely gorgeous looking, its backstory is super wholesome as well. As someone who recently went thru something similar to what you experienced, I'm glad you were able to finally be reunited with the bike, and I'm sure your mom would be as well. So sorry to hear about you losing her tho 😞
 
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Irf

Retro Newbie
Update 6.2.22:

The paintwork has been bothering me for a while and you can see here the marring from wiping the bike down over the years along with cables rubbing against the frame:

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So I decided to go all out and order what I could find from Lazada to get the bike up and running the best I could. Shimano XT 11 speed groupset (bb and cranks not pictured) along with my old XT brakes and some Crankbrothers platform pedals are going to be fitted to the bike.

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Before this can all start the paintwork needs a deep polish and refining. Then replacement decals will be fitted and finally PPF will be put on the paintwork, cranks and possibly the wheels too.

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Magpiegifts

Gold Trader
Kona Fan
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What an awesome ride,I'm well impressed by that.
Not seen those version of Spins before with the beefy front axle. Loving the rst usd forks.
 
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Magpiegifts

Gold Trader
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The gym is impressive as well 😉
Was wondering where in Thailand you are based as I have family over there?
 
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