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Ride to the ride.
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A Tale of Two Titanium Bikes.

Way somewhen back in the second half of the 1990s, both my brother-in-law and I bought Ti bikes. It was my second mountain bike, and I bought a Moots YBBeat. He bought a Merlin hardtail

I was temporarily "rich" (and had an employee discount) and set my Moots up with XTR parts and anno-blue highlights. It had the traditional long stem and flat bar of "the day" -- at the time it was the widest bar of any of my riding buddies. 80mm Bomber fork. And I rode the heck out of it. It's been my main "Hey, let's go mountain biking" machine for most of the years I've had it.

It's taken some time off while I was separated from it by circumstances, travel, or experimenting with other bikes. But it's been the bike I keep coming back to. Which means, it's kept evolving over the years.

My buddies kept up with the times by buying new bikes. The bikes in my crowd changed, and I, slowly, often begrudgingly, upgraded and changed mine to keep up -- or, at least to not be completely left behind.

I burned through a SPOX wheelset, but then put the original XTR wheels back on. The Oh-so-wide flat bar was soon the narrowest bar among my buddies. I swapped to a shorter stem and wide riser bar and lost the bar ends. XTR was replaced with X.0. 80mm fork upgraded to 100mm, and the stack left high. Tires got fatter.

The only important upgrade that I've (so far) decided NOT to make, has been not having a disc tab added to the frame. Sort of made a spiritual decision to leave it as a V-brake bike, which for my local desert dryness, is entirely justifiable and suits me fine. And which led me to my most recent upgrade and its current form.

MikeSee had some sweet non-disc classic DT Hugi hubs laying around which he was willing to part with for an exorbitant and entirely appropriate price, since they were bright brilliant GREEN! I built them up with DT 4.1 rims, set them up tubeless. Also had to trade out the Chris King headset (those things only have a 10 year warranty, ya know...) for a sweet-but-less-blingy cane creek.

So now my classic ti ride is once again all blinged out -- if you ignore the scratched and worn parts that will be replaced as soon as they stop working or fall off. The parts -- most importantly the "fit" -- have evolved with me to match my riding style.

The original XC racer-boy set-up is gone for a more comfortable, maneuverable feel. There is probably a bit of a franken-bike look to the bar set-up for some folks, but the function is there. I no longer endo on every ride, with the higher, wider bar position and taller fork. Handling is stable and smooth. Way less flats from either punctures or pinches, and the tires roll more smoothly and grip better than the stiff old knobbies I used to ride.

My bike's evolution was driven home on a recent visit to my brother-in-law's place. I was traveling light, so no bike. Did bring shoes and gear. I had some time to ride, so pulled his Merlin down off the hooks in the garage and adjusted the seat post.

My bro-in-law has led a different life in the last dozen years than I have. Instead of a slacker bike shop hack who lives to ride, he's been a husband, father, and has been running his own business. He's a sucker for new parts, so he's changed out some over the years. But since his purchases weren't based on actually riding the bike, they were more or less equal replacements for the original parts. His bike is something of a time machine, taking me back to all those years ago...

I climbed on and went for a ride. I pedaled out of Longmont, Colorado on the paved roads and all was good. Felt like a nice, ti ride, zoomy and swift, almost like a road bike. I headed to Lyons and to the trail at Hall Ranch.

I've ridden that trail numerous times and have enjoyed it, never really having more than moderate trouble on the tough, rocky climb. But that day, on his bike, I was hopeless. I couldn't control the narrow twitchy bars. Stiff tires and un-plush fork threw the force back at me when I rode into rocks. My weight was awkwardly forward, and on one move I flew forward and plowed my kneecap into the handlebar -- just like in the olden days!

When I'd finished crying, I clumsily rode the rest of the climb and decided that, hey, mountain biking doesn't have to be fun! So I turned around and twitched down, everything even worse than when riding up. I almost endoed twice -- something I rarely do these days. Managed to escape further doom and to have only the slightest hint of fun. Rode back to his house vowing to mail him a high stem and riser bars. (In case I ever have to borrow his bike again...)

I'm obviously retro-grouch enough to be riding the same bike for the last dozen or so years. And I'm a big fan of ride-what-ya-brung. But I have to say: Here's to evolution! Bring it on! And let's go ride!

--Greg
 

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haha i have the same experience switching when I go from my SC Superlight to my old hardtail Stumpy with a bunch of retro parts. Its still a fun ride, but not quite as fun and feels alot more dangerous!

and dayum, those hubs are UGLY! hahaha
 

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great story,,,i am also for the past week been reminicing of my old gt mountain bike..it is somewhere in california with some relatives, the cousin i entrusted the bike too lent it to a cousin who lent it to another cousin then somewhere along the line i guess either they sold it at a garage sale, gave it away or its still in someones garage.....i've now since move back to motherland philippines..and its been a good 12years since i left it.
anyway, ive already sent messages that i want it back and they are now lookin for it..they probably think im crazy coz its old haha
I bought the whole bike for 400$ wow that was alot for college student back then..hoping ill get it back..i would dream it up with xtr's parts like i use to dream
 

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Strangly enough, I still enjoy riding my Trek 7000 Circa 2000. Very similar setup, flat bar, 80mm fork, narrow tires. But I suspect that has something to do with the trails that I find myself riding it on too. Nothing too technical for it. I couldn't imagine riding that bike on some of the stuff I was riding in Pisgah on vacation last summer. I was fully enjoying the Blur with the wider riser bars, 100mm fork, and wider tires.

Different tools for different jobs. I guess that is why I own so many bikes.
 

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Nice ride. Those updates make a big difference. My YBB SL is the same year as yours, and it is still my daily rider, even though a Trance hangs in the garage. I still have narrower flat bars with bar ends, but have gone to a 100mm fork and a disk brake up front. Had respectable finishes on it in the New Belgium Brewery short track series and the Laramie Enduro last summer.
 

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This place needs an enema
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Amazing that those hubs could get *uglier* when laced into wheels!

Uhm, ahem, cough, cough...

...they look good on *your* bike though...

:D

MC
 

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No good in rock gardens..
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I still have my '93 Klein Pinnacle. 150mm 0 degree Syncros Cattleprod and flat bars. 2.5" Judy SL was a later addition as was the 24 spd XT and XTR V Brakes. I still communte on it from time to time, having swapped the 150mm stem for the 120mm Mission Control bar / stem combo. It still gets ridden off road from time to time too, and I still enjoy the old girl - you don't see too many Gator Linear Fade bikes in the bush, never have I suppose... :D





 

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Sideknob said:
I still have my '93 Klein Pinnacle. 150mm 0 degree Syncros Cattleprod and flat bars. 2.5" Judy SL was a later addition as was the 24 spd XT and XTR V Brakes. I still communte on it from time to time, having swapped the 150mm stem for the 120mm Mission Control bar / stem combo. It still gets ridden off road from time to time too, and I still enjoy the old girl - you don't see too many Gator Linear Fade bikes in the bush, never have I suppose... :D





nice bike! the old Klein's do look good.
 

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so YOU got those hubs!!
I lusted after them for a good while but couldn't justify the cost, would be spending that much $ just to have the lime green colour because my old xtr's are still running perfectly *shrug*

great read! :thumbsup:
 

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Ride to the ride.
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
byknuts said:
so YOU got those hubs!!
I lusted after them for a good while but couldn't justify the cost, would be spending that much $ just to have the lime green colour because my old xtr's are still running perfectly
Lucky for me my XTR rear hub got ridden in too much muck and was getting pitted races in the freehub. Shimano would sell me replacement, but for near the cost of new stuff. Since the rims had worn completely through, it was time to rebuild. That's all the excuse I needed for new hubs.

Green was a definite bonus. I can't explain exactly why, but it gives me deep inner satisfaction to have green hubs. Probably because they make me think I'm so utterly cool. Despite a legacy of evidence to the contrary.

--Greg
 

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Cool thread...............I too have "evolved" with the development of technology. I started back in the mid 80's................My second bike was a Klein Pinnacle Elite. People scoffed at me spending $750 for just a frame and fork (back then). Since then I've gone through a few bikes but have always held on to the Klein. I tried putting new forks on it. It once had a Mag 21 SL - eventually went up to a RS Judy SL with Englund Air cartridges. During this time I always had my "main" bike. I realized no matter what I did to to the Klein, it felt crappy off-road and just too brutal...........so it's now evolved to my commuter. Back is the stock fork and old cranks etc............I love it now.......shorter stem, my narrow Ti bars and bar ends. Rain or shine........35 mph winds.........I commute and love it. Gives me something to look forward to each day of work.
 

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