Mystery solved! 1988 yes, but not a green Muddy Fox

RetroDavy

Dirt Disciple
Hi all. Hope someone can help with this puzzle. Among my collection of old bike frames and bits I have this mystery object: steel frame, 1" steerer, unicrown forks with double eyelets at the drop out, 130mm oln rear triangle with double eyelets, u braked rear, cantilever front. It has a dia compe AD990 u brake and came with suntour xcd 4050 front and rear mechs, sugino crankset, araya rims and sansin hubs. All probably original though I'm not 100% sure.

I've been told it's a Muddy Fox and it does look similar in dimensions to my Roadrunner from 1989, but is TIG welded and has fastback stays. I hear some of the 1988 MF frames were like that for one year only. But then there's the colour: I didn't think they used that green and, as it goes up the steerer tube it looks like original paint. But no sign of frame tube sticker or decals showing the make or model. The clincher should be the frame number: CR879200 stamped on the bottom bracket. (NB the u brake has stamping showing 6 B, 5 88, 4 3, so I wonder if this corroborates the 1988 theory??)

So... any help with this one would be much appreciated and help me decide what to do with it, especially after spending some hours removing a very well seized stem, which was eventually fixed by cutting it through to release the forks, then internal lengthways cuts through the alloy but not the steel stem on opposite sides of the seized stem tube , then crushing in a vice to start to break the corrosion, using penetrating fluid and bashing backwards and forwards from the top and from underneath using a long punch, hitting back and forth loosened it up - a balance of finesse and brute force that worked, eventually.

Cheers, Dave

PS, only posted once here before so hoping that the pictures come out okay!
 

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Augustus

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Re: Is this a strange green late 80's Muddy Fox... or not??

There weren't any green 1988 MF's.

If that helps.
 

Retro Spud

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Re: Is this a strange green late 80's Muddy Fox... or not??

Looks more cyan than green

When did the frames appear with the paw prints in the top of the rear stays ?
 

RetroDavy

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Re:

Thanks for the ideas.

It is a greeny-blue, but more green than blue in real life and the photos are making it look slightly less green, more blue. It's a plain colour, ie not pearlescent or metallic

I didn't think there were any green MF's either. My Roadrunner (another project-to-be, owned by me since new in 1989 and in need of complete and total rebuild) has the paw prints at the top of the seat stays as well as some nice engraved paw print on the handlebars. I've just had a look at the Roadrunner frame and there is no serial number stamped on the bottom bracket shell in the way that the mystery frame has it stamped.

So the mystery frame remains a mystery. It could well be a non-Muddy Fox if that green-blue is original paint. Please keep the thoughts coming!
 

Augustus

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Re: Is this a strange green late 80's Muddy Fox... or not??

Retro Spud":28ir2ozr said:
Looks more cyan than green

When did the frames appear with the paw prints in the top of the rear stays ?


My '87 had the pawprints. I'm probably wrong but i think possibly i remember the 86 was an identical frame but with different bars and bits and the '88 was still head tube lugged but had different seat stay/ seat tube joints and possibly no prints. Probably I'm wrong though.

Either the '86 had no print stamps or the 88. Oh i can't remember, prob find all three had them. Sorry.
 

RetroDavy

Dirt Disciple
Re: A late 80's green Muddy Fox... (frame no. CR879200) or not??

The plot thickens...
Araya made Muddy Fox bikes and in 1988 did make frames with a very similar (maybe the same) paint colour, though the examples in the links below are not the same frames, being lugged and having Shimano Deore rather than Suntour gears etc.
(The 1988 date is backed up by the stamps on the derailleurs as well as the U brake.)
So, one hypothesis is that these were 1988 British-type Muddy Fox frames but with an Araya paint colour and the components (XCD4050 derailleurs, AD-990 U brake etc) of the British bikes.
I understand that Araya bikes had a frame number starting ARY, but this starts CR. Any ideas?

http://araya-rinkai.jp/wp/wp-content/up ... e_1988.pdf

https://www.kaitori-eirin.com/result/65320.html
 

drcarlos

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Re: 1988 green Muddy Fox... (frame no. CR879200) is it an Araya?

XCD4050 is Courier Spec, dia compe U is Courier spec.

Those stays are known as 'shot in' stays not fastback. The 88 Explorer had fastback stays.

The '88 Courier (white/purple frame), which was tigged (there are some out there that are lugged and have
seatstays brazed to outside of the seat tube) has shot in stays but it also has a reinforcing collar at the top of the seat tube that yours doesn't have.

I also think the above collar has the paw print in it too but I can't be 100%, it did in the '89 range.

Not sure about this, it does look a bit like an '88 Tigged Courier but the lack of collar is the only fly in there.

Carl.
 

RetroDavy

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Re:

Thanks Carl, that's some good information. I hadn't twigged just how different fastbacks and shot in stays were, but now looking at a few examples it's very obvious. So these are definitely not fastbacks and I've seen no Muddy Fox with anything like them.

As you say, the components are very Muddy Fox (Courier) but the frame is something quite different in colour and seat stay design (and no lug with reinforcing collar on the seat tube). Wonder if they used any different frames experimentally around 1988, or bought some odd ones in to complete an order. (The CR879200 frame number hints that it might be a 1987 frame, if the 3rd and 4th digits relate to a year.) Or whether the groupset etc of a Muddy Fox was transferred onto the mystery frame at some point.

The frame number should tell the story if I can find one similar. Does anyone have a Courier of about the same age with a similar prefix CR xxxxxx frame number?

Cheers
Dave
 

drcarlos

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Re:

Have a look at eBay there are 2 '88 couriers on there now with 2 different frame types, one is an earlier lugged and the other a later tigged frame.

Carl
 
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