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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello from Berlin!
Im from Detroit but have been living in Berlin for the past 3 years.

My Motobecane is finally kaputt, the real derailleur wrapped itself up in my back wheel and bent the dropout... its about time for a real tough and versatile commuter.

I just bought a 97' GT Zaskar LE frame online yesterday and I cant wait to get building! It currently has a Chris King headset, Ritchey stem and bars.

I am a total beginner when it comes to building bikes, I literally have to refer to google images to identify components as Im writing this lol I hope I dont get chewed out too hard :)

I would appreciate any and all input, I am going to need a lot of help from an experienced community!

Thanks!

 

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artistic...
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I see the rear brake studs are missing. Do you have tools to build this thing? If i were in your shoes i would search for a good bike shop in Berlin and see what they come up w/. You already need those studs and either find a crankset that matches your BB spindle or get a new BB along w/ cranks but then comes up the tool issue.
That´s a nice frame. They love Zaskars in Europe and keep their love for 26in.
 

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Rear studs will be the first research project. Measure the bottom bracket spindle and we can let you know what will or won't work. Parts wise it's up to you. You should be able to run anywhere from 1-3 rings on your crank & 7-11 speed out back. It's all up to you.

A decent 2-8mm Allen key set, & some good cable cutters should have you set for tools, nothing major. Tools would be cheaper than a bike shop.

You're obviously smart enough to post pictures here, building a bike shouldn't pose much of a problem. The second best part of bike ownership outside of riding is learning from your mistakes building and fixing. If you're like me you'll only make the same mistake once (every six months to a year)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I see the rear brake studs are missing. Do you have tools to build this thing? If i were in your shoes i would search for a good bike shop in Berlin and see what they come up w/. You already need those studs and either find a crankset that matches your BB spindle or get a new BB along w/ cranks but then comes up the tool issue.
That´s a nice frame. They love Zaskars in Europe and keep their love for 26in.
I dont have many tools at this point but Ill get out and pick up a few supplies today. I should probably get a micrometer while Im at it eh?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The second best part of bike ownership outside of riding is learning from your mistakes building and fixing. If you're like me you'll only make the same mistake once (every six months to a year)
hahaha a whole new world of hair pulling and parts running. I have experience with working on cars, Im sure this is going to be the same madness on a smaller scale.

Ill run to some shops today for tools and the brake posts!

I found a complete Shimano XT m737 groupset on eBay for 220... Does that sound like a decent deal or a worthwhile set for this bike?

(google translation from german:)
- XT brakes new pads
- XT
cranks -XT wheels Parralax hubs Ritchey Z MAX tires (NEW !!!)
-Wheels run great without 8 or punch
-Mavic rims loosened in a great condition
-XT quick release
- XT cassette 8-speed
-XT seat post 27.2mm
-XT brake and shift combination, switches through cleanly (right and left !!!)
-XT rear derailleur
-XT front derailleur
and all screws.
All parts without rust and in very good condition.
To build a retro mountain bike.


Not sure what direction to take with the shifting set up... I would just like it to be as clean and classy as possible but also offering a couple of gears so as not to be too limited...

thoughts?

Thanks for your input so far!!
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I have always loved the Zaskar, I am excited to see yours come back to life.


Thanks man ;)
Ill keep the photos and process coming!

Any recommendations to build a slick and versitile city bike? There are literally thousands of parks in Berlin as well so ill be hitting trails occasionally but getting to work is the main objective. here are a couple ideas of builds that im into:



 

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Your Zaskar and my Balance have a similar feel, the decision to go with one over the other was a toss up back when I bought my frame. I just completed a fresh rebuild on mine, including a 1x11 setup and going to a rigid fork. While I built mine specifically for trail riding, I would think my current setup with a tighter gear range (34T front and 11-32 rear?) with slicker/harder tires would be pretty awesome at getting around in an urban environment while maintaining ability for occasional off road ventures.
 

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artistic...
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hahaha a whole new world of hair pulling and parts running. I have experience with working on cars, Im sure this is going to be the same madness on a smaller scale.

Ill run to some shops today for tools and the brake posts!

I found a complete Shimano XT m737 groupset on eBay for 220... Does that sound like a decent deal or a worthwhile set for this bike?

(google translation from german:)
- XT brakes new pads
- XT
cranks -XT wheels Parralax hubs Ritchey Z MAX tires (NEW !!!)
-Wheels run great without 8 or punch
-Mavic rims loosened in a great condition
-XT quick release
- XT cassette 8-speed
-XT seat post 27.2mm
-XT brake and shift combination, switches through cleanly (right and left !!!)
-XT rear derailleur
-XT front derailleur
and all screws.
All parts without rust and in very good condition.
To build a retro mountain bike.


Not sure what direction to take with the shifting set up... I would just like it to be as clean and classy as possible but also offering a couple of gears so as not to be too limited...

thoughts?

Thanks for your input so far!!
I like the m737 group a lot and that´s a great price. Ask the seller about the tapers on the cranks, just in case. I don´t know if it´s the right front derr since there are top pull, down pull, diff. diameter brackets but a front derr is easy to get on line if this one does not work. I would go for it.

Check the spindle length of the BB on the frame, end to end should be 113mm or 107mm. If i remember correctly zaskars were 73mm... if it is then all you need to do is tighten down the crankset there w/ a 6mm allen. No grease on the tapers.
 

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hahaha a whole new world of hair pulling and parts running. I have experience with working on cars, Im sure this is going to be the same madness on a smaller scale.

Ill run to some shops today for tools and the brake posts!

I found a complete Shimano XT m737 groupset on eBay for 220... Does that sound like a decent deal or a worthwhile set for this bike?

(google translation from german:)
- XT brakes new pads
- XT
cranks -XT wheels Parralax hubs Ritchey Z MAX tires (NEW !!!)
-Wheels run great without 8 or punch
-Mavic rims loosened in a great condition
-XT quick release
- XT cassette 8-speed
-XT seat post 27.2mm
-XT brake and shift combination, switches through cleanly (right and left !!!)
-XT rear derailleur
-XT front derailleur
and all screws.
All parts without rust and in very good condition.
To build a retro mountain bike.


Not sure what direction to take with the shifting set up... I would just like it to be as clean and classy as possible but also offering a couple of gears so as not to be too limited...

thoughts?

Thanks for your input so far!!
Sounds pretty solid for the price especially since wheels come with it. I don't know the GT enough to know if the front derailleur and seatpost are correct but I believe everything else should be good. I still ride with 737 stuff on some of my older bikes, was a really good groupset back in the day and still completely usable now.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I like the m737 group a lot and that´s a great price. Ask the seller about the tapers on the cranks, just in case. I don´t know if it´s the right front derr since there are top pull, down pull, diff. diameter brackets but a front derr is easy to get on line if this one does not work. I would go for it.

Check the spindle length of the BB on the frame, end to end should be 113mm or 107mm. If i remember correctly zaskars were 73mm... if it is then all you need to do is tighten down the crankset there w/ a 6mm allen. No grease on the tapers.
Thanks for your reply dude.
Im not exactly following you with the lingo, what is a "front derr"? top pull, down pull... are we talking about the front derailleur? I am not certain that I will keep the 3 chainring crank and derailleur or if I will simplify it to a single chainring set up, could I ask you for your advice in the matter? I am by no means a hardcore trail rider or something, I will mostly be city riding but I do enjoy having a couple of gears the move between in the transmission. I hardly ever used my front derailleur on my road bike, but thats mostly because it hardly worked hahaha... but really though, I usually stay within a pretty tight bandwidth and only use a handful of gears to overtake city traffic, Berlin is a pretty flat place!!

It shouldnt be too difficult to eliminate the front derailleur and use a single chainring eh? The goal is simplicity, versatility and lastly aesthetics of course... I sometimes hate the look of a clunky 3 ring cage on the crankset... but if its overly complicated to use a single ring then I would keep the XT set stock!

Ill check into the tapers on the cranks. The BB is 73mm, spindle appears to be 113mm, hard to get an exact measurement with it installed but that must be it.

Thanks again :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Sounds pretty solid for the price especially since wheels come with it. I don't know the GT enough to know if the front derailleur and seatpost are correct but I believe everything else should be good. I still ride with 737 stuff on some of my older bikes, was a really good groupset back in the day and still completely usable now.
The seatpost and front derailleur are easily replaceable thankfully, I may not use the front derailleur at all anyway, as I may use a single chainring in the front. Any thoughts on that? The bike is mostly for flat city riding in Berlin. Id like to be relatively fast but still have a few gears in the back to climb and play around in the parks around here.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ask the seller about the tapers on the cranks, just in case
Sorry man, could you also elaborate on that point? :D
I need to make sure the spindle arms fit the crank arms? I hope I can figure out how to be specific with the German seller, my Deutsch is still garbage hahah
 

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The seatpost and front derailleur are easily replaceable thankfully, I may not use the front derailleur at all anyway, as I may use a single chainring in the front. Any thoughts on that? The bike is mostly for flat city riding in Berlin. Id like to be relatively fast but still have a few gears in the back to climb and play around in the parks around here.
Totally just get a narrow wide ring of the correct number of arms and BCD and run it single upfront.

Basically this: https://www.wolftoothcomponents.com/products/94-bcd-for-5-arm-cranks

I'd personally run a 32 for a city/cruising bike.

I run the same crankset fully single speed on an older bike that I built up for cruising around.

20190408_122606.jpg

You may need shorter chainring retention nuts to properly attach the chainring since the middle and upper rings normally use the same bolts and nuts, so the stock ones are often too thick to work with only one ring, but shouldn't be hard to find at all. I believe the ones you need if the stock ones are too long are 5mm nuts. Edit, if you get the wolftooth ring, you shouldn't need anything extra because they thread 4/5 of the attachment points and add material on the last one so oem nuts and bolts should work for it without modification.

Also as far as the taper question, you're probably ok, but there are different tapers on the square bottom bracket spindles, JIS is the normal one for shimano which there's a good chance you already have, but just in case the crank arms don't fit on the BB, that may be the problem. You can then get a brand new Un54 bottom bracket for about $15USD, which should basically last forever.

https://www.sheldonbrown.com/bbtaper.html
 

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Thanks for your reply dude.
Im not exactly following you with the lingo, what is a "front derr"? top pull, down pull... are we talking about the front derailleur? I am not certain that I will keep the 3 chainring crank and derailleur or if I will simplify it to a single chainring set up, could I ask you for your advice in the matter? I am by no means a hardcore trail rider or something, I will mostly be city riding but I do enjoy having a couple of gears the move between in the transmission. I hardly ever used my front derailleur on my road bike, but thats mostly because it hardly worked hahaha... but really though, I usually stay within a pretty tight bandwidth and only use a handful of gears to overtake city traffic, Berlin is a pretty flat place!!

It shouldnt be too difficult to eliminate the front derailleur and use a single chainring eh? The goal is simplicity, versatility and lastly aesthetics of course... I sometimes hate the look of a clunky 3 ring cage on the crankset... but if its overly complicated to use a single ring then I would keep the XT set stock!

Ill check into the tapers on the cranks. The BB is 73mm, spindle appears to be 113mm, hard to get an exact measurement with it installed but that must be it.

Thanks again :thumbsup:
xx xx xx
 

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I live in Berlin and if it is ust for the city rides one chainring for the front does the job ( 48 or 46). If you plan to hit the many trails in the forests go for two chainrings.
I live in xberg and have plenty of old school parts and bikes and know a few bike shops who are familiar with the old bikes and parts. I have a GT Psyclone and Xizang btw... both are amazing to ride in the city. Excited to see your build.
Cheers
Ali
 

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artistic...
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Thanks for your reply dude.
Im not exactly following you with the lingo, what is a "front derr"? top pull, down pull... are we talking about the front derailleur? I am not certain that I will keep the 3 chainring crank and derailleur or if I will simplify it to a single chainring set up, could I ask you for your advice in the matter? I am by no means a hardcore trail rider or something, I will mostly be city riding but I do enjoy having a couple of gears the move between in the transmission. I hardly ever used my front derailleur on my road bike, but thats mostly because it hardly worked hahaha... but really though, I usually stay within a pretty tight bandwidth and only use a handful of gears to overtake city traffic, Berlin is a pretty flat place!!

It shouldnt be too difficult to eliminate the front derailleur and use a single chainring eh? The goal is simplicity, versatility and lastly aesthetics of course... I sometimes hate the look of a clunky 3 ring cage on the crankset... but if its overly complicated to use a single ring then I would keep the XT set stock!

Ill check into the tapers on the cranks. The BB is 73mm, spindle appears to be 113mm, hard to get an exact measurement with it installed but that must be it.

Thanks again :thumbsup:
Should you keep it? It´s a much simpler, lighter part than the rear derr. The word here is "chainline"... a good one will have your gears and chains last longer. Chainline should be as parallel to your wheels as it can be.
I like shifting the front (w/a thumbshifter) rather than clicking the rear derr whenever it´s possible. I just feel it´s fun.
Berlin is flat otoh...
"Tapers": the cranks have this square hole where the BB goes. Sometimes after so many installs the square is rounded and you end up w/ a bad fit w/ spindle resulting in noise.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Totally just get a narrow wide ring of the correct number of arms and BCD and run it single upfront.
jestep! Great information and advice, I really appreciate it. I have a full XT groupset on the way just to get started. Perhaps I run the groupset stock, assuming the front derr works alright, just to see how it feels... then when I have some extra time and money ill try out your recommended single chainring set up. Perhaps a friend of mine has something I can use around here, Im trying to build on a bit of a quarantine budget here haha. Your bike looks dope! I really like the color scheme!

Ill swap the Ritchey tyres for something more well suited for street life, any recommendations for something beefy, durable and perhaps ever colorful? It could be cool to add a little color to this entirely black and ball brushed look ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I live in Berlin and if it is ust for the city rides one chainring for the front does the job ( 48 or 46). If you plan to hit the many trails in the forests go for two chainrings.
I live in xberg and have plenty of old school parts and bikes and know a few bike shops who are familiar with the old bikes and parts. I have a GT Psyclone and Xizang btw... both are amazing to ride in the city. Excited to see your build.
Cheers
Ali
:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
PM sent!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks for the input colker, I will def start with trying to set up the bike with the XT group stock to get a feel for it and see how well it all works.
 
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