Which was your first bike which actually worked?......

2manyoranges

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I was mowing the lawn as the usual random thought processes kicked in with the tedium of going up and down, up and down, up....

And I was thinking through dates...and which bike when....

And....Yes yes, I know that the RS Fellowship was doing some amazing stuff all over UK and Europe for decades after ww2, and that GF says you can do most trails on a shopping bike, but which bike actually worked, and got me up and down things which I still ride in anger?

For me it was a 15.5 inch Marin Palisades in steel, Tange, blue paint, chainstay mounted U brake (mighty powerful but zero mud clearance). In 1987 it replaced a, 18 inch Cannondale SM600 which had been stolen, and I was not sad at all. The Cannondale was so short in the top tube, and such a low stack height. And the headtube joints had a habit of cracking on that series frame, allegedly. I'd had quite a few 'mountain bikes' prior to that, but the Marin was the one which really unlocked serious riding. Manitou 1 copies by ProCircuit on the front, Mavic 231 replacement rims...and...Biopace….

It was the geometry and tubeset which seemed to be the key. It had low standover and longish top tube, reasonable seattube angle (not the slack things which abounded) and the tubeset rode with good steel zing and forgiveness. It did thousands and thousands of miles - replacement was with the top end Marins with longer top tubes and higher end tubes.

That was the one for me.
 

dyna-ti

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MacRetro Rider
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My 2003 or something cove stiffee. Apart from being the right size of frame, the geometry seemed to suit me well.
That was until i got the 2021 e-suss 29er. Now the cove feels like im riding a childs bike, not comfty at all 🤨
 

Once A Hero

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My KHS Montana Team, I felt totally connected to it. The Indian Fire Trail before that had been pretty good, but was a bit under-specced and by the time I’d upgraded it, it got nicked.
After the KHS would have been my ‘94 Stumpjumper - that you could just point at the trails and it would gobble them up no problem.
 

Gtpulse

Retro Guru
I was mowing the lawn as the usual random thought processes kicked in with the tedium of going up and down, up and down, up....

And I was thinking through dates...and which bike when....

And....Yes yes, I know that the RS Fellowship was doing some amazing stuff all over UK and Europe for decades after ww2, and that GF says you can do most trails on a shopping bike, but which bike actually worked, and got me up and down things which I still ride in anger?

For me it was a 15.5 inch Marin Palisades in steel, Tange, blue paint, chainstay mounted U brake (mighty powerful but zero mud clearance). In 1987 it replaced a, 18 inch Cannondale SM600 which had been stolen, and I was not sad at all. The Cannondale was so short in the top tube, and such a low stack height. And the headtube joints had a habit of cracking on that series frame, allegedly. I'd had quite a few 'mountain bikes' prior to that, but the Marin was the one which really unlocked serious riding. Manitou 1 copies by ProCircuit on the front, Mavic 231 replacement rims...and...Biopace….

It was the geometry and tubeset which seemed to be the key. It had low standover and longish top tube, reasonable seattube angle (not the slack things which abounded) and the tubeset rode with good steel zing and forgiveness. It did thousands and thousands of miles - replacement was with the top end Marins with longer top tubes and higher end tubes.

That was the one for me.
Just delaying mowing the lawn myself so having a quick 5 minutes with Retrobike, recovering from an op and can just about manage to push the mower round!

First bike that worked was in about 1997 and was an early to mid 90s Raleigh M-Trax 1000 with Reynolds K2 tubing, the one with turquoise main tubes. Not that exotic but to me was out of this world at the time. I would never have been able to afford this if it were not at an auction, missing both wheels and for some reason in a bin bag! £30 later and my Exage/Rigida wheels I had taken off my upgraded Marauder, a pair of black Pyschos and I was well away. Suddenly I had a bike that felt nimble and agile. Most of my riding was in the local woods and the trails between the main paths. Suspect the tyres helped (going from the skidded slick Cheng Shin on the Maruader to something with knobbles on). Felt like I could go anywhere.
 

FluffyChicken

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Well my 200GS Townsend actually worked, I could ride the local area, roads, quarries, steep hills, rocks, staircases, dropoffs etc. If bits broke (200gs tended not to other than shifters) it got upgraded with second hand or new xt or similar parts.
It still worked and I still have the nds crank arm as a useful tool in my toolbox.

I don't remember too much about how it road etc or it history of changes, but it certainly worked.

My 91 RM Altitude two bikes after that worked easier and I still have it for that reason.
No idea if the orange prestige I had before that worked well or not, didn't have it long enough to test :-( but the Altitude felt better straight away.
 

MattiThundrrr

Kona Fan
93 or 94 Hardrock, lovely chromo, a revelation after department store '"steel". Oil damped shock from a Stumpy couldn't be beat by anything. Still have it after all these years, still my favorite. Sadly, still in pieces in the garage due to that shock and its seals.
 

brocklanders023

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I was going to say my 89 Saracen Tufftrax but thinking back I always secretly preferred the ride of my mate's 90 Marin Palisades that he got on the same day. I loved the Saracen but it was blown out of the water by the 89 Orange Clockwork I got in 1992.
 
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