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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey there peoples I'm new to this site, I came across while searching for info. on my old Off Road Toad. I found a few threads on this site about the Toad and I'm pleasantly surprised about the high regard this design is given by bike freaks like yourselves (I mean that in the best possible way). My Toad was bought back in '91 I believe and saw a fair amount of use in the early nineties and then due to travels, changing interests, jobs etc. I kinda fell out of mountain biking. I set up the Toad for city riding and now that I have a nice road bike and a new chopper almost built up for cruising the old girl doesn't get out much. I was even thinking of selling her, but after coming to my senses I'm hoping to get the Toad back out on the trails now and then where it belongs. Aside from the major overhaul that she's desparately in need of, I've got a few questions about components / upgrades that I'm hoping some of you all can help me with:

- The rear hub sounds pretty crunchy, I haven't taken it apart yet but its a six speed (freewheel, right?) so I'm wondering about possibly upgrading to a freehub. Problem is I've got 6 speed shifters, XT thumbies that I will not be changing for rapidfire crapola. Someone once told me that the 6 speed SIS thumbies can actually handle 7 speed cassettes, can anyone confirm this? If true I would consider trying to locate an XT 7 speed freehub and rebuild the rear wheel.

- Suspension. My brother, a mountain biking fool up in Whistler, tells me I've got to try to get a shock "on that thing". Of course the Toad does not have suspension geometry and some would say "Heresy" to add a suspension fork. I suspose there might be some old school shocks to found with not a lot of travel that wouldn't screw things up too much, but finding one and getting it on an obsolete 1" threaded headset sounds like a big hassle. The current fork is the old Bontrager with the shock type crown with removeable straight tapered blades. While cool looking, it seems to me that this is a particularly stiff type of rigid fork. I heard that you could get blades of different stiffnesses, but I don't know what mine are and good luck finding them now. It seems to me that a "traditional" fork with curved blades would offer a bit more flex, does that make sense to anyone, does anyone know of a study or whatever on this?
I have actually thought that the softride suspension stem could be an option. It seems from my browsing that people either love 'em or hate 'em, but I'd be willing to test one out. They can still be found used for a pretty cheap. What do you all think?

-Paint. There's a lot a scratches and gouges on the old girl that I've never bothered with. No serious damage, but some fair sized ones especially on the right chainstay (chain suck issue) and one of the seat stays (careless leaning against objects). How can you deal with these? Repainting sounds expensive and also I don't want to lose the distinctive Off Road Toad green. Can you find matching paints? I'd consider just cleaning them up and covering with clear nail polish if that's recommended.

Whew! Long post with a lot of questions, I hope somebody made it this far. Thanks in advance - Toad Hollow
 

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Need pictures of your Toad.

Toad Hollow said:
goot shtuff
Hey, you know, it'd really help to be able to see pics of this little bit of heaven you posess.

If you can learn to ride the softride stem well (and it does change the way you ride), one thing it will do is keep your geometry low, fast, and responsive. That bontrager fork you have on there is one of the most if not the most sought after fork in the world. That frame was designed around it, in more ways than one. Length wise, your geometry was made to handle well, around it, but also, the frame tubing diameters and thicknesses were all made with that fork length in mind. Jacking up the front end also amplifies the torque moment on the head tube, and the resultant slackening in angle also doesn't help either. Your buddy who says "you need a shock on that thing" should explain himself. Does he want you to have "a shock on that thing" simply because most people who buy new bikes have "shocks"? Not good. Don't fall for it. You've got the spruce goose hanging in your garage. Don't rip the engines off and put some big new cummins in there just cause all the new planes have em. Note that most singlespeeders and even 29ers are going back to rigid, even on new bikes. Aside from personal preference on the matter of feeling the trail, rigid forks are transparent on the bike. No seals or bushings to maintain & keep track of, no preload, damping, neg spring, neg spring damp, neutrino resonance settings to keep an eye on... just get out and go. Hang it back up, and three years later, you take it down again, pump up the tires, and go. Like putting on old tennis shoes. No hassles, just riding. If you must get a suspension fork, Marzocchi makes most of their xc forks in an 80mm travel length, and also will build any of those models around a 1" steerer upon request. And boy are they smooth.

Your wild green paint can be matched perfectly by Russ Pickett of Air Art in Chico, Ca, (the original Mt Goat Painter) or D+D cycles (the orignal "everyone else" painter). Russ is really pretty inexpensive (thanks to a lack of advertising costs) especially on single color jobs, and does the toppest of top quality work you'll ever find. Many here can vouch. You may even find yourself some decals if you ask around nicely. Otherwise, they can be done in paint under the clearcoat as a stencil & inlay.

I'll bet when you bought that bike, you thought it was expensive. Well, you chose wisely. There are very few bikes that have the mistique & value (perceived or real) today as yours.

Oh, and there's your photo! OH my. That is the right stuff. The welds. the seat junction. The thin decals. That's primo.

Is that a Grove stem/bar on there? Wow.
 

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Great bike, do NOT put a suspension fork on it. It is a classic as is and that will just screw it up. Get a second bike if you want to boing ;)

There were 6-speed XT cassettes/freehubs which may be what you have. New sets can be had on ebay cheaply. If you want to upgrade to 7-speed then that's possible, although you might want to check the rear dropout spacing to see if it's 130mm (6 speed) or 135mm (7 speed on up). Might be easiest just to stick with 6 and call it a day.

Paint can ba matched by any competent frame painter or auto paint supply store. You can probably get it matched at a powder coater who specializes in bikes if you want to go that route.

Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
OK Ok no shock for this baby. I kinda figured so anyways.

Master Shake: You're embarrassing me with your attention! Thanks for the advice. Yes the stem/bar is the grove one-piece crmo unit its says "Hammerhead" across the front. I always thought it was a little weird and that I could save some weight going with a two piece aluminum setup, but you'll probably tell me its the most sought after stem in the world! Speaking of the fork, yes its cool (I didn't know how cool) but do you think its exceptionally stiff? I figured a curved blade fork would have more give but maybe that's just appearances. I'll look into the softride stem a little harder. If I can get one for a reasonable price I could always just take it off if I don't like it.

MWR - thanks for the info. I'll have to examine the hub a little more closely. The main thing is to keep the XT thumbies but I heard the six speeds have an extra click that allow them to index seven speed cassettes - any truth to this?

Toad Hollow
 

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Toad Hollow said:
OK Ok no shock for this baby. I kinda figured so anyways.

Master Shake: You're embarrassing me with your attention! Thanks for the advice. Yes the stem/bar is the grove one-piece crmo unit its says "Hammerhead" across the front. I always thought it was a little weird and that I could save some weight going with a two piece aluminum setup, but you'll probably tell me its the most sought after stem in the world! Speaking of the fork, yes its cool (I didn't know how cool) but do you think its exceptionally stiff? I figured a curved blade fork would have more give but maybe that's just appearances. I'll look into the softride stem a little harder. If I can get one for a reasonable price I could always just take it off if I don't like it.

MWR - thanks for the info. I'll have to examine the hub a little more closely. The main thing is to keep the XT thumbies but I heard the six speeds have an extra click that allow them to index seven speed cassettes - any truth to this?

Toad Hollow
Hey Toad, yep, the sixers had seven, and the sevens had eight. If you give the cable some extra slack, you'll find it right after the last marker. That was back when shimano hadn't yet discovered the joys of planned obsolesence. Actually, it was probably a good way of distributing the cost of change, by sneaking some of it in early...

As for the grove stem, well, I know a guy...

That's one foxy lookin toad my friend. Very nice.
 

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cool bike! i have never seen one in person. toad's do get a lot of hype and i'd like see for myself see what all the talk is about. looks sweet :)
 

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Toad Hollow said:
Speaking of the fork, yes its cool (I didn't know how cool) but do you think its exceptionally stiff? I figured a curved blade fork would have more give but maybe that's just appearances.
I ride with a similar fork on my singlespeed bike, and I don't think that it's "exceptionally stiff" (assuming you mean a harsh ride). On the contrary, I think it's a very smooth riding fork. The blades did come in various stiffness though - how you know what you have is beyond me though.

If you ride in Whistler and do drops off the man-made ramps, yeah, suspension is nice. If you ride single track, a sus. fork is completely optional.

Great looking bike!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Good news about the shifter - I thought there was a secret click in there. If my hub can be overhauled I'll probably just keep it, but if not its nice to know that seven speed is an option.

Laffeaux my days of doing drops are probably behind me now, I did do the DH course at Whistler once (on a borrowed dual suspension bike) scared myself shitless and came away bleeding. No the Toad is begging me to put the knobbies back on for some nice single track cross-country stuff and that's fine with me. It would fun to figure out what type of blades we have but I don't recall seeing any markings on them - maybe there's a Bontrager genius out there that can figure it out.

Toad Hollow
 

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Toad Hollow, lets talk about that handlebar you have. PM or E-mail me and we talk about a trade. i have lots of stems and bars and i have a few softride stems too. -Sky
 

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Shifters

For what its worth...

I have a set of 6 speed deore shifters working friction shifting on a 7 speed cassette. right now. I have a set of seven speed XT thumb shifters that will soon be running my 7 speed cassette, and, one day, likely an 8 speed cassette. It works just find in unindexed mode and frankly I am just too lazy to screw around with making it index smoothly.

As to adding a suspension fork, I agree - insanity! The fork you have actually has a fair bit of give to it - they were designed that way. I do recall a few articles in the past about curved forks having more give than straight ones. I for one cannot claim one or the other. I have used both, and frankly I cannot tell the difference. I do know that the straight ones look a LOT nicer, and that the Bontrager one you have is a dream to the guys on this site. I am actually surprised no one has offered you a swap! Must be because they respect the "Toad" too much.

Paint chips can easily and inexpensively be fixed with clear nail polish, and if you are cheap (like me) it works fine. I have also had good luck with "Tremclad", but its not really attractive. I'm saving up for a good paint job one day, but until that time comes nail polish is the way to go. Last I checked you can buy a bottle at your local dollar store for about...a dollar. A cheap paintjob is at least $150, plus the cost to strip the old paint. Add on the time for you to disassemble, reassemble, find new decals etc it all adds up. Last I checked into it I was looking at about $250 for the paint strip and a single colour paint job from a reputable source, plus my time to strip and ship the frame. Plus tax. I'm way to cheap I suppose.

A couple examples:
Joe's bicycle painting: single colour, clear coat, with decals : $285 plus tax and shipping
rideyourbike.com - single colour, Imron paint - $230
spectrum powder works - single colour $140, plus stripping $35, plus decals and clear coat $130 = $305 OR single colour with clear $190, plus strippng $35 = $225.

So, average there of $261.25. Or a bottle of clear nail polish = $2. Maybe $2.61.

Just my 2 cents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks Duncan. I like the indexing so I'll probably stick with either what I've got or upgrade to seven. Its nice to have the friction option incase the indexing goes off or you crash etc.

I can't afford/justify a new paint job at least at the moment, but I would like to clean up some of the neglect/abuse I've put on this bike. So just scrub or sand off the rust and apply nail polish huh? Sounds easy enough.

All this talk about the Toad has me kinda itching to get after some trails after all these years. Unfortunately I need to put a lot of work into the bike: rear hub, bottom bracket, new cables / housings, seat post (current one is bent), get some clipless pedals on there, etc. Now that I have better city bike options, it be nice to get the toad shined up and back on the trail.

Thanks for the assistance and inspiration everyone. Veedub I'll think about the stem, but for now I kinda want to keep her vintage.

If anyone wants some close ups I'll post more pics later (don't drool there MS!).

Toad Hollow. :cool:
 

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I had never had the joy of seeing a Toad until this post. Thank you for that. What a nice looking, vintage ride! But, for the love of Pete, get some knobby tires on that beeotch!!! Makes it look all grotesque and puny. BAD karma from the Gods of Dirt there.

Like everyone else says, keep it rigid, keep the Bontrager fork (even though I really want to have one), keep the paint...it is original, and even though it may look bad to you, I don't see anything disturbing in the pics you posted. A reputable auto paint shop will be able to match the color and you could buy an ounce or so of touch up paint in that color until you can afford/justify a new paint job.

The rear hub...it is rebuildable by a shop with vintage stuff around. It probably only needs some lube for the freewheel and new cones and cojones, and maybe a new cog/freewheel set, which shouldn't be all that hard to find. Try www.loosescrews.com for hard to find stuff.

Keep the stem, heck, keep everything you can on 'er, 'cept find yourself the fattest tires she will take and run with a pressure of about 45#...you'll forget about wanting suspension. I don't know the biggest tires that your frame/fork will accept, but with the internet (read ebay), some tires are pretty cheap so you can afford to experiment with different sizes and manufacturers.

Really nice bike!! REALLY. Thanks for the post.
 

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That Toad is the last on the list of mtb frames I really want.

That's one dialed in ORT...lucky!
Thanks for the pics...it seems everyone has the info you need. I just wanted to drool.

So...ah...I guess you don't want to sell it anymore huh? :p
 

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Old Toad

That's an older Toad. Fillet brazed and the old decal set. Mmm. I've only seen two or three fillet brazed models, ad one of those was in a magazine. I think they were all made by Derek Bailey (though I could be wrong about that). There were a bunch of the TIG welded ones around the Canada Cup races in the mid-90's. I believe Chris DeKerf made a lot of the TIG ones.

It's funny: there isn't anything special about Toads, other than the smart design and incredible rarity. I guess we can thank MBA for making legends out of tiny local builders.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Toad Porn

Loony, I hear ya. I've got a nice set of knobbies (2.2 wide smoke front and dart rear if I recall, I'm not at home) sitting in the garage just waiting to go back on her. I've already torn the rack off, improving the appearance immensely. I'm starting to feel guilty about citifying her up at all but she was my only ride at the time and like I said in my initial post I kinda fell out of serious mtn biking.

I've tinkered around quite a bit at home with bikes but I think the hub and the bottom bracket are probably a little beyond me, plus by the time I buy the tools I could have paid a shop. I know just the guy who can probably help me, but thanx for the lead to loosescrews.

Gona, sharp eyes. I believe this is probably an '89 or even '88 (I bought it used and can't remember if I ever knew the exact vintage). Yes beautiful fillet brazing. I was told that Mr. Brodie made these bikes before starting his own line.

Here's some shots of the frame details, can you believe the pump peg? I love all the braze-ons and details. Nice brazing around the head tube too huh. What do you guys know about that hammerhead stem/bar? When I get her all put back with the fatties I'll pick a nice background and post a better pic.

Toad Hollow
 

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Really cool bike like all have said. Regarding the year, the shifters and drivetrain are 87-88 and the brakes and brake levers are 91, so the previous owner probably wanted the new servo wave levers (I like those too) and the newer more low profile cantis.

Very cool frame. The seatstay bridge looks like some of the early Potts (like Rumpfy's) and also like Santanas. Thats a rare bird there. Or rare toad. ;)
 

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Toad Hollow said:
Gona, sharp eyes. I believe this is probably an '89 or even '88 .. I was told that Mr. Brodie made these bikes before starting his own line.Toad Hollow
Your Toad is essentially the same bike reviewed in Mountain Bike Action in 1989, except yours has cantis on the back instead of a U-brake, which suggests it's slightly newer.
See the article here: Toad in MBA

Paul Brodie started making his own bikes in 1986, after working for Rocky Mountain. He was the one who first built the radically sloped top tube bikes at Rocky (the Thunderbolt fillet brazed custom bike and the production Avalanche). He then took off on his own and built all of his bikes that way. Of note, the first run of high-end Konas (the ones raced by Joe Murray and team) were actually Brodies. Check out some of the old Kona marketing material and you can see the logo-less Brodie Gatorblade forks and unique macaroni cable routing.

Don't sell your Toad.

Geoff
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
FB - that sounds about right. Now that I think about it and dust off the old memory vault, I recall having the XTR brake levers (and the cantis) put on when I bought it in '91. The rest dates back to maybe '88 or even '87 then. So at the seat stay bridge in the close-up I posted above, thats some kind of lug right? The rest of the joints are fillet brazed. Again I was told that the bike was built by Brodie, but does that compute? Clearly there are a lot of similarities between the Toad and the old Brodies.

Thanks - Toad Hollow.
 
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