GT Karakoram 1998 - I started a build by mistake

damiena

Dirt Disciple
I wasn't intending to build a bike. The chain on my Orange broke and I ended up replacing the chain and cassette. This caused me to want to go out more on it. It was lockdown and my teenage kids weren't leaving the house, they are now too big for their old bikes so I decided I needed to get them new bikes. I couldn't find decent bikes at a cheap price as everyone seems to be after one, so I thought I'd buy a retro frame (that I can claim back at a later date) and fit it with cheap parts for now...

A 16" GT Karakoram frame and forks caught my eye


And my trip down the rabbit hole begins.

The forks have 1997 stamped on them so I assume it's a 1997 Karakoram. Headset is a Tioga Alchemy and it looked in decent nick so I wanted to keep it as it is original. However the frame and forks did not come with all the headset parts. It took a few weeks of messaging the they guy who sold me the frame, and him digging around in his parts collection to find them and post to me (and thanks to him for covering the postage).

While waiting for the rest of the headset parts a GT fanboy mate of mine sent me the original spec for the bike (he has a lot to answer for). So I got a number of, not quite original but, brand matching retro parts.

WTB Saddle



WTB VelociRaptor tyres

(many thanks to prezza for these)

And a Kore stem


Then it gets a bit messy. I remember it's the boy needs a bike and it's not just for me...
 

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damiena

Dirt Disciple
Re: GT Karakoram 1997 - I started a build by mistake

At this point I'm still on furlough and running out of funds. To get this finished I got hold of suitable components I liked and I could afford.

Front wheel - Shimano XT RC hub / mavic rims (Kudos Giggsywiggsy)
XTR FD (ta Phil56)
XT RD (ta d8mok)
Orange hot rod bars (I love these but not sure if I'm allowed to put on a GT!, ta d8mok)
Some vanguard lizard brake levers (no idea why, I just liked them and they were cheap and NOS)
Suntour SE rear brakes (very cheap and sounded cool and geeky, also the black matched the colour scheme)
Tektro cantis for the front (Spent ages looking for shimano cantis but couldn't afford even the grottiest looking used sets)
(oh yes - of course the bike should have had v-brakes. I hate v-brakes so not happening).
Thumb gear shifters - as above, I wanted the same shimano ones that I have on my orange, but too pricy for me right now - got some new Sunrace thumbies.
Crankset - couldn't source LX or similar that I trusted has good teeth for a reasonable price so go a new sunrace triple chainset (it's black too, so my son thinks it looks great on the bike).
Seat post - got a cheap kalloy from the bowels of the LBS workshop. Sizing was an issue - *everything* online re 1997 karakoram says seatpost is 26.8mm, but I measured ID at 29mm. I thought maybe it's a repeated typo and it should be 28.6mm - bought one on a punt - nope falls in. LBS sorted me and exchange with a 29.3mm which fits snuggly. I now question whether my frame is actually 1997....
Pedals - some muddy Deore XTs I took off another bike years ago and where sitting on the rafters in the loft.

This is where we are so far




I've still got to get some grips (though I may change the bars) and cable up the back cantis - there is no hanger on the frame for the usual thingy, so I may go for the same tektro power hangy thing bolted to the rear. It rides.
 

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d8mok

Gold Trader
GT Fan
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Re:

I think you have a 98 Karakoram there. 97 stamped would mean forks maybe made 97 but maybe for 98 MY. The 98 MY had a 29.6 seatpost if that helps opposed to I think 97 being 26.8 or something along those lines
 

Janners Mugs

Old School Hero
Re: GT Karakoram 1997 - I started a build by mistake

That slippery slope is a wonderful drug, even Boris wants people to get hooked.
Looking good.
Janners
 

ibbz

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Re: GT Karakoram 1997 - I started a build by mistake

Very nice build - and the boy will I hope be very happy !
I’ve managed to start a furlough Build of my own And funds have stopped dead - if wife finds out she’ll slay me
 

damiena

Dirt Disciple
Re: Re:

d8mok":ur6z0ium said:
I think you have a 98 Karakoram there. 97 stamped would mean forks maybe made 97 but maybe for 98 MY. The 98 MY had a 29.6 seatpost if that helps opposed to I think 97 being 26.8 or something along those lines

Ahh, thanks for clearing that up, explains a lot.
 
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