Trailwright's 1991 GT Xizang LE

Magpiegifts

Gold Trader
Kona Fan
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Thank you again. It does ride nicely especially with some nice Rockshox up front! I've a few pictures of the Xizang in race mode that I'll need to scan, so will do that this coming week. In the meantime here is a cheesy video of me on the Zaskar LE...
I watched the video just now, put a smile on my face,reminded me of a xc race I entered in my late teens that was so boggy by the end. Good times!😉
Your xizang is a beauty
 

Antwack

Old School Hero
A couple of the 'offs' at the end of the vid are funny :LOL:

On the bottom of the forks near the spindle there are adjustment screws, won't the wheel fit true without these?
 

trailwright

GT Fan
A couple of the 'offs' at the end of the vid are funny :LOL:

On the bottom of the forks near the spindle there are adjustment screws, won't the wheel fit true without these?
The wheel is perfectly true without them. I reinstalled as part of the refurb. The original idea was that the forks could be put into a few positions to increase the rake and thus alter the handling.
 

domo

Old School Hero
I watched the video just now, put a smile on my face,reminded me of a xc race I entered in my late teens that was so boggy by the end. Good times!😉
Your xizang is a beauty
Use to love this program, video recorder set on the sat. Proper racing.
 

ridgers

Retro Newbie
Not a build thread, but a backstory on how I've come to own this old girl since new, plus a little bit of chat on her 30th birthday light fettle.

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So, what have we got then. Let's present the parts list first of all:

Frame: 20" GT Triple Triangle 3AL/2.5V TIG pulse welded titanium - made in USA serial # G20001 (which means the 1st made 20" frame for 1991)
Forks: GT 2x4 triple butted chromoly, threaded steerer
Chainset: Shimano XTR M900, 46-36-26, 175mm, XTR titanium crank bolts
Chain: Shimano Dura Ace 8 speed
Bottom bracket: Syncros titanium, 73mm shell, 113mm axle
Rear mech: Shimano XTR M900
Front mech: Shimano XTR M900, top pull
Cassette: Shimano XTR M950 8 speed, 12-32
Pedals: Shimano Deore XT M737, with GT clips and straps
Hubs: Shimano XTR M950, 32 hole
Spokes: DT double butted 14/15G with brass nipples (radially laced front and non-drive rear)
Rims: Mavic X517, 32 hole
Tyres: Tioga Factory XC 1.95, front and rear specific
Wheel quick releases: GT titanium with alloy lever
Rear brake: Shimano Deore XT M733 U-Brake
Front brake: Shimano XTR M900
Brake blocks: Scott Matthauser superbrake
Headset: Shimano Deore XT M737, 1 1/8" threaded
Stem: Answer Atac, 150mm, 10 degrees rise
Handlebars: GT super light aluminium, 540mm, 5 degrees bend
Shifters: Shimano XTR M910 STI
Grips: ODI attack
Seatpost: Shimano XTR M900
Seatpost quick release and clamp: GT alloy
Saddle: Selle Italia flight titanium
Cables: Shimano Dura Ace
Bottle cage: Blackburn, titanium cage bolts
Weight: 23.5lbs

Nothing particularly trick, but all good dependable stuff that's held up well.

Onto the backstory then. For the 1992 racing season, I was fortunate enough to get a ride with the GT Caratti team. First model supplied was a 1992 Zaskar, with Deore XT groupset. A great machine, superbly engineered and still with thumb shifters, although the bendy GT flip-flop stem was quickly ditched. Mid-season, bike replaced with a Zaskar LE, full XTR. Not any lighter than the boggo Zaskar, especially with Rock Shox Mag 20s, but a quicker machine thanks to the slickness of the XTR gearing. And then, right at the end of the season, just before heading off to Bromont , Canada for that year's World Champs, I received my beautiful Xizang frame and forks for the occasion. All the XTR and other bits were transferred across from the Zaskar LE. Most of that componentry is what remains on the bike to this day. This 1991 model must have been the first constructed in a 20" size due to the G20001 serial number, and having never been built up had sat with either GT in the US or with distributor Caratti until I received it mid '92.

The bike was then raced hard for both the 1993 and 1994 seasons across many races, sometimes using the rigid forks and sometimes on a set of Pace RC35s before being officially retired. The last 26 years has seen pretty much light use, and with the transfers having come off, the mild steel rivet bottle mounts corroded and fallen into frame, and the polished finish losing its lustre, it had become a bit tatty and fairly anonymous to anyone except those with the Retrobike eye for a gem.

So as a 30th birthday reward a light renovation was gifted. Every single part was stripped down and cleaned, with the STI shifters particularly gunked up and had at that point stopped working. The frame took a lot of buffing to get it back to a shine, and period correct transfers were reapplied, the only one having survived being the head tube badge. New stainless bottle bosses were pressed in, while the forks had become dull and scuffed up so these got a spray and lacquer as well. The result, well the bike is almost back to how it looked 29 years ago when I first raced it, but with a general patina that gives it a certain honesty. Enjoy the pictures....


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