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Ilsa
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55 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I guess I'll start a build thread. I'm just getting started on a long journey, but I'll start it now because I'm really excited about it. I'm a newbie since this is my first serious venture into bikes. I didn't really have a plan. I was trying to figure out what older bike I wanted to buy and refurbish/upgrade. I ended up finding a 1996 Manitou FS frame is good condition and with your typical head tube crack.

This will be a custom rebuild. I'm not trying to bring this bike back to its original superbike failure look. This bike will be well taken care of. I'm shooting for a fast bike. Monochrome color scheme. Maybe single-speed just for the lightweight factor. Lots of stuff I need help figuring out though. If I get bitten by the MTBR bug any harder, then I'll get a second work-horse bike.

Here's a few photos taken after I bought it:























Crack



So far here's my plan for the frame, which is just now having the small crack welded up.

1. Weld crack in head tube

2. Shot peen the frame tubes. See example here

3. Light blue/gray powdercoat

4. Media blast and brush finish rear triangle

5. Custom early Brandbury "MANITOU" frame logos using stencils acquired by Gil_M. I know the Bradbury logos are from a much earlier (pre-Answer) Bradbury frame, but this is a rebuild and that's how I want it.

6. Face head tube (if necessary)

7. Face and chase BB (if necessary)

8. Ream seat tube (if necessary)​

I do realize this has a possibility of either being a great bike and great learning experience, or a horrible mistake and good learning experience. Please don't bash me for my naiveity. I do need some recommendations on components though. I'm looking forward to any constructive input you may have. Thanks for taking a look.
 

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Couple things come to mind...

A. the frame will need to be re-heat treated after that crack is welded. This is the reason almost all aluminum frames are replaced rather then repaired when cracked. I would also imagine if it cracked there once it probably will again.

B. My memory is a bit foggy on this but I seem to remember some, if not all Manitou frames having huge seat tubes. So huge that they required a custom seat post. I think Ringle made them back in the day. I think they also came with a custom xtr front derailleur that would fit around the seat tube. Not sure where you'd find either of these items.

I could see rebuilding the bike if you were a collector of vintage bikes and had access to parts from the same time period. As a daily rider though. No way.

You may want to post up in the retro vintage forum. No doubt you'll get a lot of feedback from those guys.
 

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DaveX said:
Couple things come to mind...

A. the frame will need to be re-heat treated after that crack is welded. This is the reason almost all aluminum frames are replaced rather then repaired when cracked. I would also imagine if it cracked there once it probably will again.

B. My memory is a bit foggy on this but I seem to remember some, if not all Manitou frames having huge seat tubes. So huge that they required a custom seat post. I think Ringle made them back in the day. I think they also came with a custom xtr front derailleur that would fit around the seat tube. Not sure where you'd find either of these items.

I could see rebuilding the bike if you were a collector of vintage bikes and had access to parts from the same time period. As a daily rider though. No way.

You may want to post up in the retro vintage forum. No doubt you'll get a lot of feedback from those guys.
A) If the frame is 7005, you can use 5356 filler and the powder coating heat cycle is pretty close to Easton's 7005 age cycle. (post a pic of the Easton badge on the st to confirm). Plan on re-reaming and facing the headtube after weld & "aging".

B) Cane Creek makes tons of seat tube shims. You can probably find one that gets you into a common post.
 

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Doesntplaywellwithmorons!
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10,938 Posts
Kavik is correct, its 7005 alloy so the 5356 filler is the one you want to use when you tig-weld the crack. Hell you might want to ask to have a gusset welded around the top and bottom of the headtube, they tend to crack out on top also. Manitou spec'ed much too thin a headtube for a frame using a 1 1/4 headset size. The seattube size it called for was 31.8, five brands made posts in that size, and yes there is a weird machined out shim that's supposed to go inside the seattube. Syncros, Thomson, Zoom, and Kalloy all offered that diameter (I own examples from the first three) as well as Manitou themselves shipped the frame with a custom post using an Easton supplied shaft bonded/pressed to a Ringle manufactured head.

I should have pics of a couple of them still from my collection of posts....


Top post is the Easton/Ringle that came stock with my 1995 Manitou FS-DH frameset


Second post from right is one of the Zoom 4130 Posts in the 350mm x 31.8 size, I still have it sitting in my post bucket... be happy to trade it for something.
 

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Ilsa
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55 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well unfortunately this build has been trumped by other priorities/car hobby, so I'm going to be letting go of this classic. I sunk a good amount into having the head tube crack welded, but things slowed down when trying to source a unique finishing technique when nobody local could do it.

Anyway, I'll post something in the classifieds soon.
 

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I have one of these babies that I bought from Supergo in 2000 with money I made from the millenium bug.

The frame has the manitou coil shock rather than the elastomer found on the earliest models.

I built it up with XT, XTR, mavic ceramic wheels, manitou mars forks and other random stuff and rode it as my main bike through to 2004/5. It never cracked and mostly sits in my garage because I only ride it on an occasional basis.

It does not weigh noticably more than my Titus Racer X and its only problem is the lack of stifness of the Mars forks.

If I replaced the Mars forks with fox forx it would still be a great bike to ride.

I keep wondering if I should sell the bike to someone who would ride it more than me.
 

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Master of the Face Plant
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2,901 Posts
robinfisk said:
I have one of these babies that I bought from Supergo in 2000 with money I made from the millenium bug.

The frame has the manitou coil shock rather than the elastomer found on the earliest models.

I built it up with XT, XTR, mavic ceramic wheels, manitou mars forks and other random stuff and rode it as my main bike through to 2004/5. It never cracked and mostly sits in my garage because I only ride it on an occasional basis.

It does not weigh noticably more than my Titus Racer X and its only problem is the lack of stifness of the Mars forks.

If I replaced the Mars forks with fox forx it would still be a great bike to ride.

I keep wondering if I should sell the bike to someone who would ride it more than me.
You should hang it on the wall and leave it, with any luck in 20 years you will have the last un-cracked Manitou on the planet.
 
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