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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm hoping you guys can point me to some candidate MTB with the following spec's:

Long chainstays: 17" or greater
Low bb: 11" ish
Rear spacing: 135mm
Braze-ons: rack eyelets, canti brake studs. if possible, mid-blade fork eyelet


MTB's from 80s and early 90's were longer and lower than today's singletrack machines. The trouble is, when I go back too far, I get into bikes with odd-ball spec's, like 130mm rear hubs and U-brake studs.

I'm looking into building up a 26" backcountry touring bike. Think long fire roads and loaded panniers. I'd like the parts for this bike to be readily available (ie canti's over ubrakes, 135mm hubs, 1 1/8" headsets etc.).

I also want this frame to be tough - not some quad-butted racelite. I'll be loading it up. Old Merlin, CoveHummer and Hei Hei's were/are really tough, but lack the brazeone's. I love older bikes like MB-2's, but there' a devil to find. Same for older stumpjumpers now that the retro scene has taken off.......

Any suggestions?

PS: Of course I know I can call up Curtlo, Potts or Seven and have them make me custom, but I'd rather explore existing options first.
 

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Any framebuilder can add brazeons and rack mounts rather cheaply to a steel frame and steel frames can have 130mm spacing cold set to fit a wider hub. Go by geometry and price and work from there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Boy named SSue said:
Any framebuilder can add brazeons and rack mounts rather cheaply to a steel frame and steel frames can have 130mm spacing cold set to fit a wider hub. Go by geometry and price and work from there.
Point taken - only trouble is that getting them added to the older ti frames is a more involved process (ie anoxic). The reason I cite titanium is that when asking for a 10 year old+ frame that is tough, I realize that ti is typically a safer bet than steel. Also, I'm not sure if you can 'cold set' ti to accomodate wider spacing......
 

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islander said:
Point taken - only trouble is that getting them added to the older ti frames is a more involved process (ie anoxic). The reason I cite titanium is that when asking for a 10 year old+ frame that is tough, I realize that ti is typically a safer bet than steel. Also, I'm not sure if you can 'cold set' ti to accomodate wider spacing......
I guess it depends on where you live, but a 10+ year old steel bike is really just getting started. My main hardtail MTB is 8 years old, my single-speed MTB is 14 years old, and my commuter is 25 years old - they're all steel. I'd have absolutey no problem buying an old steel bike and riding it (in fact I do that very regularly) - 10 years is nothing.
 

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Maybe I can help

or maybe not? Not sure what size you need, but if you can use a larger frame, I have an old(80's) takara (looks like early stumpy) that fits most of your requirements. I think it is about a 22" frame, I am 5'11", and it fits me fine as a commuter. Lugged steel, suntour mountech components, canti brakes, braze ons except mid fork mounts. Has narrower rear spacing(6 spd.), but that is no problem with steel. I don't really need this bike anymore (it served as my car for 2 months this summer, everything works fine). If interested, let me know, I'll let it go cheap to a good home, 6 bikes and 2 frames is just too many in a 1 bedroom apt.
Good luck with your search
Kevin
 

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I did a lot of touring on my old 85 Salsa. The only braze ons you really need are on the dropouts (fork and rear). You can use what's called Adele clamps (rubber coated steel clamps) to secure a rack to the seat stays. Front low rider racks are held in place by a u-bolt that fits around the fork leg. A good combination for the front is a low rider combined with a front rack that mounts off the crown.

I used a Blackburn like the EX-1 in the rear becuase the anchor points at the bottom are better than the MTN rack. I don't see where they even make front racks or low rider racks any more. http://www.blackburndesign.com/racks.html#ex_1 But the best racks are made by Bruce Gordon. http://www.bgcycles.com/racks.html

There's nothing wrong with a u-brake for a touring mountain bike. It's a good powerful brake - got me a roller cam on my "touring" Salsa. 130 spacing is easy to change to 135. 1" is no problem either if the frame and fork are in good shape. King still makes a 1" threaded headset.

There should be plenty of good options out there without having to resort to custom.
 

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Harmonius Wrench
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Old is gold

I, as it seems many others have, did a lot of fully loaded touring on an old mtb steel framed bike. Mine was an 84 Mongoose Mountain Pro. It also had a roller cam brake on the rear, but it was seatstay mounted. It had all the braze ons for touring. Many of the early off road bikes were set up for touring. I used the Blackburn racks front and rear. I also retrofitted mine with a drop bar set up.

Don't be afraid of the U-brake/rollercam. The only parts you'll ever likely need for them are pads, and they can be found anywhere.

You should be able to score a fine vintage "off-brand" mtb for a song much like my Mongoose. Look for a Ross, Univega, and the like. I still see them around from time to time.
 

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artistic...
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check the gunnar rock tour. gunarbikes.com (maybe there is a double n in gunar, i'm not sure).
the rock tour is everyhting you are asking made in 05. $700ish for the frame.
 

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Guitar Ted said:
...It also had a roller cam brake on the rear, but it was seatstay mounted.
If you want to run fenders, a seat stay mounted roller or u brake might prohibit fender mounting. No problem, though, if the brake is on the chain stay - and, of course, no problems at all with cantis. Could you run fenders on your's Guitar Ted?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the all the advice guys! Glad to hear of good success with older cromo frame reliability in this application.

I commute on a 1990 Rocky Mountain hardtail, and it's rock-steady and has really comforable angles. Bought if off a yuppie who had just mothballed it in his garage....now it's in active duty and getting some good use. Needless to say, I take much glee in seeing stuff like this getting put to use, and they can usually be found for a song (I got my Rocky for $120CDN)

I'll take a look at the Gunnar too. The Bruce Gondon and Thorn is the stuff of fantasy, but in the mean time I'll get a few close-to-home tours done on cheaper gear.

Keep pedalin'

Mike
 

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Harmonius Wrench
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Yes, I could

ssmike said:
If you want to run fenders, a seat stay mounted roller or u brake might prohibit fender mounting. No problem, though, if the brake is on the chain stay - and, of course, no problems at all with cantis. Could you run fenders on your's Guitar Ted?
At first, I used a cheesy clip on model that didn't have full coverage. I ended up running some Planet Bike Freddy's on it. It was not the ideal situation for the brake, that's true! I had to compromise a bit on leverage. That wasn't a big deal to me as I'm more of a front brake user myself. The bike is currently in restoration, going back as close to original spec as I can get it.
 

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Doesntplaywellwithmorons!
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islander said:
I'm hoping you guys can point me to some candidate MTB with the following spec's:

Long chainstays: 17" or greater
Low bb: 11" ish
Rear spacing: 135mm
Braze-ons: rack eyelets, canti brake studs. if possible, mid-blade fork eyelet
And size of frame?
 

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My primary bike up until a couple months ago was a 1994 Schwinn Moab, not sure what the bottom bracket height is, but the frame is steel and it fits most of your requirement. I still have the original canti's on it.

Might be something to watch for.
 
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