New-to-me '95 Diamond Back Racing Vertex WCF

kjarrett

Old School Hero
I just scored a completely stock, totally unmodified, original down to the reflectors 1995 DBR WCF Vertex, in 19” (my size) for $160 US. Did I overpay?

I haven’t had a chance to go over it in detail yet, but the chainstay protector doesn’t have a mark on it, and other than some rusty bolts and a chain that definitely needs to be replaced this bike looks ready to ride.

The Manitou fork compresses but will definitely need a rebuild. The wheels are true and the tires even hold air. I am gutted, as you all would say. :)

The seller got the bike from his uncle many years ago, put it in a storage unit and forgot about it. He was happy to see it go to a good home.

It’s running XT/LX, with Magic 230SBP rims and GripShift SRT-800 X-Ray with COMPLETELY CLEAR PLASTIC BITS. The Ritchey saddle is near perfect (it had a crappy gel pad cover thing).

I’m a little concerned that the Manitou front shock won’t have enough travel for me but we’ll just have to see after I get it rebuilt.

What do you think? I know there are a few posts here about these bikes.

Thanks!
 

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Magpiegifts

Gold Trader
Kona Fan
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That's a bargain mate. Really nice bikes. Always liked these and have been tempted a few times to buy a frame off eBay.
 

kjarrett

Old School Hero
Thanks, that was my impression too! Hoping that it fits me well enough (that stem is really lonnnnnnnng) but we'll know as soon as finish the restoration!
 

kjarrett

Old School Hero
No plans to do that at this point - right now I'm going to get it up and running as best I can as configured, try riding it and see how it fits. Need to make sure the stem isn't too long (I suspect it is and am already sourcing shorter alternatives). Assuming it's ridable, I'll probably leave it all together until I decide to strip it over the winter.

Happy to share the weight if and when I do strip it, however!
 

kjarrett

Old School Hero
Too much on my to-do list yesterday but I couldn’t wait to dive into Project Vertex…

I’ve gone over it and completed a partial disassembly. It’s mostly good news. My plan is to get it ridable without spending much or any money so I can see if it’s worth keeping & investing in (pretty sure the answer is yes.)

The Good:
- Frame is nearly immaculate, only slight decal damage. Chainstay protector doesn’t have a mark on it.
- Everything is all original as expected, right down to the “DIAMOND BACK” bar end plugs.
- Wheels are true.
- Freehub spins loudly, like brand new (I almost did a recording).
- Tires might be salvageable; they still have vent spews! Crazy. Sidewalls look sketch though.
- Only minor rusty bits, easy dealt with by Evaporust.
- BB spins like new.
- Headset is perfect (sealed cartridge I think?).
- Rear mech is great, just needs a cleaning.

The Bad:
- The Grip Shift X-Ray shifter bodies are cracked. It’s hard to tell but it appears to be structural. This could turn into something GOOD because it would give me an excuse to install XT or LX Rapidfire shifter/levers, which would ruin the originality, but would be more to my preference.
- Both hubs need to be repacked. I’ve never encountered what feels like an INDEXED axle or hub. Hoping there isn’t any damage to the races.
- The saddle is covered in some sticky goo but even with that removed I doubt I’d be able to ride it very long. Will need a replacement from my spare parts bin.
- Pedals are in good shape but I will have to move my SPD-M737s from my Trek 930. In fact if the Vertex stays, the 930 will probably have to go. :(

The Ugly:
- The Manitou Comp is going to be a challenge. I’m looking into replacing the elastomers ($55 online) with springs or possibly even upgrading to another period-correct Manitou (perhaps a 3). This is going to be a major undertaking and probably the thing I should do first but, nope. :) Doing lots of research, learning tons of things!

All in all, I’m pretty psyched, once I get the fork sorted, I’ll really be able to make a decision about this bike’s future.
 

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