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99 Zaskar ID Help. Possible custom?

1117 Views 17 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  chanorama
Hi, I need help from you Zaskar gurus out there. I bought a 99 14.5 Zaskar frame (not LE) and am wondering if it's a factory custom frame. I did identify it as a 99 Zaskar by the flat cap, serial number (0499), easton stamp on the top tube, and CNC head tube.

It was advertised as NOS (never built) which I was skeptical of because of the color which is Gloss Black with silver/white/grey decals. According to the 99 GT catalog, it was only available in Hot mango, and ball burnished. I've heard/read that GT did some custom order stuff from time to time, so I'm wondering if it's possible this could be a factory custom one-off.

The frame has all the correct year original decals in the correct spots, I believe there is clearcoat over them, but I'm not sure. The chainstay has no indication of chainslap and has the protector, and there are no marks in the aluminum at the dropouts. The inner BB shell and head tube look pristine. The H2O bosses have no indication of masking, etc. I understand that marks can be sanded and filled out, but if it is a repaint, someone did an exceptionally nice job. Did GT prime the frames before paint? There is a hint of what looks like red oxide primer around the BB shell faces

The finish is smooth & glossy, with little to no orange peel. The seller didn't have any history on the frame, but said it kicked around his shop for most of the decade, and it does show some age & minor rash. The decals have some minor cracking/chipping, there are 1or 2 tiny chips/scuffs/very light scratches. So the finish looks age appropriate. Other than that it's pretty immaculate. Like I said, I'm skeptical. I'm just wondering if anyone out there can confirm either way. The serial # is 04990615
I appreciate any input, Thanks!:)
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Pictures please! I've had a couple 99 strays that were in colors not in the catalog. Had two frames in a sold Red and one in a blue. Both were original colors that appeared to be powder coated.
Hey Thanks for the response. OK Pics, I have to take more, because I lost them when my drive died.( I hadn't backed up in a month or so) Do you want to see anything specific, or everything in general?
Pics Posted!

Ok, Here are pics I took today. The frame isn't as pristine as when I bought it. I couldn't help mocking up some parts on it. Close up, the flash makes the finish look worse than it is. Its really very nice, aside from the small scuffs/chips/scratches. I posted these large so you can see the Easton stamp on the top tube in the 4th pic. You can see the horizontal lines of the "E" and one of the lines of the tapered diamond logo. I found the pics of the frame when I got it and added them in. Below the pics are links to more high res pics. Any info would be great. Thanks, Chano
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Looks original.
Great! Can you tell me what clues you to that conclusion? that a hint of red I see on Pic 18 on the BB shell? Head tube pic spray also makes me think it may have been repainted. Usually a frame like this would have been better faced on the bottom bracket and headtube. Decal placement looks correct, bottle boss rivet's look like they were well masked or inserted after painting. Paint thickness over the serial number and dropouts looks factory. From what I can see there doesn't appear to be any hints of other paint colors in the headtube, BB shell or seat tube. Do you see anything?
I mentioned that hint of red in my first post, but close up, to me it looks like a red oxide primer (or red primer of some type). That's why I was wondering if anyone knew how GT prepped their frames for finishing at that time.

Are you saying that it was standard practice for GT to face the BB shell/headtubes after finishing? Usually you can detect machine marks. I just looked again, and on my frame, I don't think any facing was done. It just looks like the tubes were machined (CNC cut) before assembly. Interestingly, I can see that the BB threads were cut last, So my opinion is that no facing was done re-paint or not.

I looked again at the bottle bosses closely, and the rivets were definitely put in after the finish. So your guess is as good as mine.

On your 99 Blue & Red frames, Did you see any hints of primer like mine? When I look closely at the finish, I don't know if it's powdercoat. I don't know how powdercoat frames are prepped, but it's definitely not enamel or lacquer. It could be an automotive urethane for all I know...

I looked again at the decals, and I now I don't think they are cleared over, but I don't want to pick at them to be sure.

Do you know anyone to contact, who might be able to answer my questions or possibly verify that the frame is legit? That would be a lot to ask, but I'm hopeful. Thanks again for the responses.
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Its beautiful in Black. Sorry, but that's the extent of my input.

Hey that's OK, works for me! I agree! Thanks, Chano
No question that the frame IS legit....just not sure on the finish.
The frame looks legit to me but I can't tell you for sure if it is a custom. If I was to take a shot at guessing I would say it is a private party repaint. Almost all of the custom color frames were Zaskar LE models but I have come across a few custom Zaskars as well.

That is a14.5? It looks so big in the pics.

I owned a ton of 14.5 Zaskars back in day when I had a partial GT sponsor for trials riding.

Riteway distribution(GT bikes) was in my backyard back then, man did I see some pretty freaking cool custom bikes back then. All the warehouse employess managed to get their hands on some sweet custom jobs. Best I ever saw was a matal flake candy apple green Zaskar LE
Yeah, I had no question it was a 99 Zaskar. I'm just trying to confirm whether or not the finish is factory. If you don't know, that's ok, I appreciate the input. Since you had 99 frames in factory reds and blue, that makes me hopeful that it is a factory finish. To me, the signs point to yes, but maybe someone knows who to ask, or could point me in the right direction on where to go to find out. Should I post about GT finishes in Vintage maybe? or maybe a specific post on GT finishes in this forum? If I don't get any more responses on this post, I'll probably do that.
track down some big shots at Felt bikes and I am sure they could tell you.
Boogenman, I didn't see your post before my last one. Yep it's stamped 14.5, and I re- measured it. it's 14.5 center BB to center top tube, and roughly 17 to top of seat tube.

I like the sound of that Green LE, I'm a sucker for green! Sounds like your glory days were pretty cool!

I'll try to get some info from Felt Thanks!
whats so good about it if its original??? i think it looks great. what are you going to use for your build?
boogenman said:
Best I ever saw was a matal flake candy apple green Zaskar LE
Was it similar to this green anodized one or a later painted frame?


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Thanks illwill88. It is really nice, but it makes it a bit more interesting, if it is a factory finish, because supposedly it came in only two colors in 99. Neither were black. I'll post pics when the build is done, but I'm pretty sure it'll be a front susp fork, disc brake, Singlespeed.

*UPDATE* 1-17-10 I finished the build and posted it here:
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