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  1. #1
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    identity of GT model, frame, etc

    identity of gt model, frame, etc-2011_0724tobefiled0318.jpgidentity of gt model, frame, etc-2011_0724tobefiled0298.jpgidentity of gt model, frame, etc-2011_0724tobefiled0321.jpgidentity of gt model, frame, etc-2011_0724tobefiled0296.jpgI'm new to this forum, just joined today and this is my first post. I spent several hours yesterday going through threads looking for answers to my questions with no success. I did learn alot about GT bikes and the company's history so my search was far from fruitless. I aquired a GT mountain bike, my first, a short while back and have been unable to determine the model number or any other pertinent information.
    It's an American Eagle Outfitters GT AE (for American Eagle?) Extreme Performance bike. The serial number, located under the bottom bracket, is SOEAOO520. The zeros and letter O's are identical in the stamping so I may have keyed in some letters or numbers incorrectly. Please forgive my ignorance on this issue. I checked both inner and outer flanges (already forgot the proper term)where the rear wheel mounts to the frame and found no identification marks excepting a raised GT badge on the left outer flange between the wheel mounting nut and the down tube weld. The derailleur bracket is a single bolt type. At the rear of the horizontal tube (from handlebar to seat post) the welded end cap is slightly rounded and includes the GT stamping. This tube protrudes rearward past the seat post about a half inch. There is a sticker above the sprocket that reads 7000 heat treated aluminum, I'm guessing Alcoa. The bike is a dark, say royal, blue in color except for about 14 inches of white on each of the 4 tubes where they intersect. The transition from blue to white includes some orange striping. The GT and American Eagle Outfitters badges are white applied to blue paint and the AE Extreme Performance badges are blue and are located over the white painted areas.
    GT and AEO joined up and released this bike around July of 1999 and that's about all I have found so far. I've scoured the web for literature, brochures, photographs, specifications, manuals, and the like but have found only a single press release pertaining to this particular bike. I searched bikepedia with no success and a German site that was referred to here in the forum but their info only goes up to 1998. I'm assuming the AE Extreme Performance is simply a re-badged GT model of another name but I'm new to GT's so I'm not familiar with the characteristics of their frames, models, or specifications. I would certainly appreciate any guidance, input, or information you might have to point me in the right direction. On a brighter note, if you've never seen or heard of an American Eagle Outfitters/GT AE Extreme Performance bike, I included some pictures today for your viewing pleasure as well as for the benefit of my research and seeking your knowledge. Thanks again for any input you may have to offer.
    Last edited by Americaneaglerider; 09-11-2013 at 06:28 PM. Reason: I want to add photos/ grammatical error

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    I suspect it is a 2000 model given the serial #. You might go through Bikepedia's GT offerings for that year and see if you can find a match. Component spec may match up to another GT offering for that year. I'm more familiar with earlier GT's, but your post in the "let's see your GT's" thread may find someone with more info. In particular there is a guy whose handle I can't quite remember (starts with gm and then a series of numbers?) who is very knowledgeable with the GT's, you might try PMing him as he hasn't chimed in at the GT sub-forum in a while.

    I like it. It's a good looking bike. I'd be tempted to wrap the downtube in something to cover up that big company advertising though.

    Oh, I don't know if it is possible, but if you edit the title of this thread to include "GT" you might get more people taking a look at.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the information. I've looked at bikepedia but I'll look again, more carefully and thoroughly this time. I went through all 27 pages of threads in the "GT" section of this forum and 14 pages, still have alot more to read, in "bikes and frames" researching bike models before I posted my thread and found 2 members that have 1999 GT catalogs (bme107 and djmuff). I may pm them if I can't find anything on bikepedia. I'll try to fing the gm... guy you spoke of too. Again, I really appreciate your input and advice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Americaneaglerider View Post
    Thanks for the information. I've looked at bikepedia but I'll look again, more carefully and thoroughly this time. I went through all 27 pages of threads in the "GT" section of this forum and 14 pages, still have alot more to read, in "bikes and frames" researching bike models before I posted my thread and found 2 members that have 1999 GT catalogs (bme107 and djmuff). I may pm them if I can't find anything on bikepedia. I'll try to fing the gm... guy you spoke of too. Again, I really appreciate your input and advice.
    I'll track down his handle and post it here in a minute. I mentioned him to someone else seeking serial number info a few pages back on the "post your GT's here!" thread.

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    Here he is: gm1230126

    If you haven't already, I'd recommend starting a thread similar to this one in the GT sub-forum, you are more likely to get the help you need there.

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    Following up on your recommendations in your original message to me, I just finished browsing members under G, found him and was reading some of his previous posts/threads, checked back to this thread, and found your most recent 2 messages. Thanks for tracking him down for me. I have a post in the GT forum in the Post Your GT's here but I didn't specifically ask for advice in it, wanted to share my bike, and enthusiasm with it, with other GT owners, riders, and enthusiasts. I'll post a thread in the "GT" forum asking for information if the other possible sources don't pan out. I edited my grammatical goof, it appears as GT now in the thread, but still appears as gt elsewhere. Please forgive my oversight here, folks. I meant no disrespect to the GT name or reputation. Thanks again for the helpful advice.

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    identity of gt model, frame, etc

    Looks like a GT Tempest to me. I have a '96 Tempest and this one is very similar in design, although it might be another similar model, like an Outpost, since the Tempest were only made for a few years in the mid 90's.

    Keep on looking and you'll find it. Nice bike too
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Americaneaglerider View Post
    Following up on your recommendations in your original message to me, I just finished browsing members under G, found him and was reading some of his previous posts/threads, checked back to this thread, and found your most recent 2 messages. Thanks for tracking him down for me. I have a post in the GT forum in the Post Your GT's here but I didn't specifically ask for advice in it, wanted to share my bike, and enthusiasm with it, with other GT owners, riders, and enthusiasts. I'll post a thread in the "GT" forum asking for information if the other possible sources don't pan out. I edited my grammatical goof, it appears as GT now in the thread, but still appears as gt elsewhere. Please forgive my oversight here, folks. I meant no disrespect to the GT name or reputation. Thanks again for the helpful advice.
    Oh sorry! I didn't see it at all! I didn't see any manufacturer name mentioned, I wasn't griping about it not being capitalized! My bad. I don't think anyone's worried about GT's reputation, especially after 2001 or so!

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    Quote Originally Posted by David C View Post
    Looks like a GT Tempest to me. I have a '96 Tempest and this one is very similar in design, although it might be another similar model, like an Outpost, since the Tempest were only made for a few years in the mid 90's.

    Keep on looking and you'll find it. Nice bike too
    I briefly had a 2000 Timberline, I can say it's not one of those, as the downtube shape was different. Unfortunately, it got stolen.

    At least we are narrowing it down a little for him!

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    Looks to me like AEO said "Put shocks on this bike":
    1999 GT Outpost - BikePedia

    As it has the correct parts to make it look visually exactly like this bike:



    edit: so basically I don't think you will find an exact model from that bike but given the part spec you can bet it was 1999 (or maybe GT getting rid of some leftover parts in 2000). I worked at a GT dealer at that time so I was pretty sure it was a Backwoods but the cheaper part spec. precluded that possibility. It does however appear to have a nicer SDG saddle that was stock on the Backwoods.

    TL;DR 1999 GT Backwoods w/cheaper drivetrain parts
    Last edited by veteran_youth; 09-11-2013 at 09:48 PM. Reason: lazy 1st post

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    Quote Originally Posted by veteran_youth View Post
    Looks to me like AEO said "Put shocks on this bike":
    1999 GT Outpost - BikePedia

    As it has the correct parts to make it look visually exactly like this bike:

    Makes sense. It would most likely be one of their low-end offerings. Which the Outpost was. $329 is cheap for 2000, and my 1993 Outpost is definitely low-end, it's a tank! At this point in time (2000), I feel like it is mostly the component spec that makes these low end, as that frame is most likely a close cousin of a mid-range aluminum GT from the mid-90's.

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    I searched back and forth for a few hours on bikepedia to try to match up components, seemed the likeliest way to identify this thing. The closest I came up with is a 99 Rebound. There were enough dis-similar components between the two to lead me to believe I need to keep looking. I thought I'd add the bicycle and component information that I have to try to simplify matters.
    Frame construction: I assume TIG welding but don't know for sure.
    Frame tubing material: Heat treated 7000 aluminum with replaceable derailleur bracket.
    Fork brand and model: Rock Shox Jett. I don't know how much travel it has. There is a barcode with 090D905136 on it.
    Fork material: aluminum/magnesium triple clamp crown, 090D905136 is stamped into the inner Right fork.
    Rear shock: not applicable
    Component group:
    Brakeset: Acera Shimano V brakes/ Promax front and rear brake assemblies
    Shift levers: Acera Shimano STEF33. This number is on the underside of the shifter assembly bracket where it attaches to the handlebars. I checked out Shimano's website and came up empty handed.
    Front derailleur: Acera Shimano. I was unable to locate any identification numbers the derailleur.
    Rear derailleur: Shimano 8515. This number is prominently displayed on the front of the derailleur. Stamped onto the metal piece that covers the spring is RD-MC18.
    Crankset: On the front of the crank arms is Suntour SR, stamped into the backsides is 175. On the largest and outermost chainring is Powerflo Front XR32. I'll count the teeth on the 3 chainrings tomorrow during daylight hours.
    Pedals: stamped VP-9225 (L and R respectively. Many bikes were listed as having composite pedals. These look like steel to me.
    Bottom bracket:
    BB shell width:
    Rear cogs: 7 speed. It's late and too dark to decipher the numbers on each gear so I'll get that information and count the number of teeth on all 7 tomorrow during daylight hours.
    Chain: Shimano 1/2 x 3/32
    Seatpost: anodized aluminum? magnesium? micro adjustable. Stamped near the bottom of the seatpost is a symbol similar to a capital N followed by L. Below that is min. insertion 27.2 and below that is 99.B..
    Saddle: BelAir SDG on both sides, SDG on rear, and AE Outfitters on the top.
    Handlebar: XCR 6061 custom butted.
    Handlebar extension: none
    Handlebar stem: Alloy ahead type? It's installed with an allen head bolt and I believe the stem is original to the bike as there's a GT emblem that goes around the fastening bolt on the top of the stem.
    Headset: AHEADSET
    Hubs: Front is GT. Rear is Acera Shimano Parallax FH-M330 VIAM.
    Rims: Alex AL-A118 6061-16 559 x 18.
    Tires: Front is WTB Velociraptor 26 x 47/52. Rear is WTB Velociraptor 26 x 47/52. Tires are reversible depending on terrain chosen to ride on and front and rear tires have different tread patterns.
    I know I included alot of unnecessary specifications but I chose to include more rather than less information and therefore keyed in all that I know about the bike. What I wasn't sure about as well as what I'm clueless about I left blank. I'll fill in the empty spaces as I figure them out. It appears to me that, after researching many GT models on bikepedia, my bike falls into a middle of the road category. Its components are better than the lower end but wasn't equipped with the high end goodies either. This makes sense to me, guessing at who the target market for this particular model was as well as being new territory for both companies. I appreciate all the advice and information you guys have given to me. It is much appreciated.

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    A series (Acera) and 7 speed for that era confirm it was specced low end. It's also quite possible that the component spec for this promo bike doesn't match up perfectly with any of GT's standard offerings for that year*, which might make the Bikepedia search a wild goose chase. At least as far as components go anyway, if they actually have pictures for each model for that year, it might be helpful.

    * Serial number tells me that it was made in 2000, should be a 2000 or even a 2001 year model bike, not a 99. 99 may be when they came out with the promo material for it, but it may not have debuted until months later. It also may have been in production across parts of two calendar years.

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    If you can find a catalog for that year online it'd probably be most helpful for trying to ID the frame. Which could be complicated as well, GT often used the same frame specced with different components as different models of bike.

    I'll see if I can't find a listing of the models available for that year, I've already ruled out Timberline, so Outpost seems likely. There are probably a couple of other bikes down in that range each of which probably actually share their frame with the Outpost and Timberline respectively, and just have slightly nicer or cheaper components on them.

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    Actually, I take that back about ruling out the Timberline. Something about the difference in graphics on mine and on this bike made the downtube look different, but taking another look it, I think it could be the same frame as the Timberline. The bracing across the seat stays certainly looks the same, as do the welds.

    Taking a quick peak at the Bikepedia entry for 2000 for GT, the only models I see it possibly being are either the Outpost or a Timberline. The other low-end bikes are steel. Chances are the Outpost and Timberline are actually the same frame, just specced slightly differently.

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    Identifying the frame is, ultimately, my primary goal and I seriously doubted I'd find this exact model bicycle when I started out. I'm very reluctant to attempt any upgrades to this bike until I have some pertinent information about the frame itself. Everything centers around and is contingent upon what the frame specs are. It dictates what my options and limitations are. I had zero luck on media, specs, catalogs, etc when I searched a few days ago but I was looking for an American Eagle Outfitters GT AE Extreme Performance in various combinations, even called GT directly and spoke to a very nice lady but never got a response to my inquiry. Once the frame is identified and I obtain its specifications I'd like to upgrade the derailleurs and shifter/brake assemblies. They function reasonably but I think I'd prefer something smoother and more responsive. Disc brakes would be super nice but I don't yet know if that's even a possibility, maybe/probably overkill for the riding I do. I'm putting the horse in front of the cart here. I'd better get back to my research. I really appreciate all of your input on my behalf. Thanks a bunch.

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    Decent V-brakes work just fine, although it probably didn't come with decent V-brakes or levers! If you end up replacing the fork then it would be easy to upgrade to discs in the front. Upgrading to discs in the rear isn't easy or pretty with a bike that isn't set up for it.

    The folks at GT all got laid off in 2001, there's no one left there that knows anything about anything prior to about 2003 and they didn't seem to keep any of the records available or have anyone who knows where they are. It's basically a different company since then.

    Lots of folks will tell you that it isn't worth upgrading, personally, I find a lot of satisfaction in rehabbing or converting bikes. I've dumped a lot of money into some low end frames before and been quite happy with the results, and in one case eventually transferred all the components over to a nicer frame when I found one. The 2000 Timberline I had picked up from a Craigslist seller ($125 sans front wheel and not shifting well) I was planning on upgrading fully into a decent off road bike, but was unfortunately stolen. I'm actually looking for another of this vintage, because the nice aluminum GT's of the earlier years didn't come in 22" frames (my size) and I'm very particular about the geometry of my bikes. There is basically a tiny window of years and models I'm interested in for my off road bike, so I'll end up spending a small fortune building up pretty much the frame you have into exactly what I want.

    Besides, as far as I can tell, GT carried forward their frames for years, gradually lowering the model name on them as newer innovations in frame design came along. I suspect a 2000 Timberline isn't much different from a $800+ dollar 1996 Pantera or similar. It's just specced with lower end components, and I like to customize everything anyway!

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    identity of gt model, frame, etc

    I also have a '96 Timberline FS, and it's a steel hardtail. For some reason, that frame rides so good and smooth, and I feel bad for Medic who had his stolen.

    Are the newer Timberline aluminum now ?
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

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    Quote Originally Posted by David C View Post
    I also have a '96 Timberline FS, and it's a steel hardtail. For some reason, that frame rides so good and smooth, and I feel bad for Medic who had his stolen.

    Are the newer Timberline aluminum now ?
    Thanks!

    I dunno about the more recent ones, but by 2000 Timberlines were aluminum. I've got an '88 or '89 that I just love. It's got nice long chainstays and so I've set it up as my tourer. Luckily I had yet to do anything at all to the 2000 Timberline so I only lost the initial investment, no work or parts except a wheel I wasn't fond of for the front to ride it the 18 miles home. If my '88 were stolen I'd be completely devastated. I've put a lot of time, money, and work into her, including hand painting it an intricate pattern that I've spent many hours on.

    Glad to hear someone else has love for their Timberline!
    Last edited by Medic Zero; 09-12-2013 at 03:37 AM. Reason: typo

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    identity of gt model, frame, etc

    Well that '96 Timberline of mine is a gift I made to my lil' brother two years ago so he could have a solid and reliable commuter bike for college (even if we both only have to do a 3 miles round trip commute haha), so I got it as almost complete bike, and rebuild it with my parts bin. Strip it down to the frame, clean it and then 2 coat of automobile clearcoat, then car wax. Build it back using the original crank and BB, and then found an old XTR M950 rear hub, good LX cassette, original STX rd, found a matching STX Race trigger shifter, then a 2001 Marzocchi Bomber Z5 fork in mint condition to go in front, some normal wheels to go with it and new v-brakes and stem. Next was a full length brakes and shift housing and new KMC X8 chain. Gave him a brand new saddle and he's been happy like a puppy since. That steel frame is very smooth over the potholes and other bumps. Way more than my 7005 alu Tempest. A bit heavy, but a nice winter commuter.


    Btw, I think I was right with the Outpost
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

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    I'm sorry to hear somebody stole your bike. Whether you had $125 in it or $3k, theft is theft. I've never really had a bike worth taking but I do know how you must have felt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Americaneaglerider View Post
    I'm sorry to hear somebody stole your bike. Whether you had $125 in it or $3k, theft is theft. I've never really had a bike worth taking but I do know how you must have felt.
    Thanks! Yeah, I know what you mean, I definitely felt violated, especially since it was from out of the parking space directly under our apartment, where I have a bike rack set up and it was locked, albeit with just a cable and a padlock. Luckily, I've got my commuter and tourer, so its not like they left me dismounted.

    What really sucked other than the fact that I'm only really looking for a couple of frames made for a couple of years for off-road duties for me, was the fact that they swiped it just before summer! I had to slap together a janky build on a bike that was a little small for me to have something to ride the couple of times we made it out to the woods this year! If they had made off with it this time of year, I at least would have had a chance to track down another before off-road season!

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    After scouring the web, hour after hour, searching for bicycle information I finally realized how common bicycle theft is. Boy, was I shocked. I had no idea. Many of my searches included the words: serial, identity, etc. which generated alot of hits about stolen bikes, fake or misrepresented models for sale, and prospective buyers concerned about the true legality of the bike they're interested in. I thought kids were the most likely to steal bikes (generally a crime of opportunity), with occasional "professional" thief if you will. Scary issue any way you look at it IMHO but I suppose it's a good thing I found out this way now instead of later when it's too late.
    On a brighter note, after many frustrating, fruitless hours of scouring the internet, with bleary, bloodshot eyes, an empty stomach, a sore back, and a numb posterior, I found myself gazing upon the 1995 American Eagle collection of GT bicycles, being raced too, that was a bonus. And what, to my delight, did I find next? a specification sheet inside a 17 page catalog that includes 10 different bicycle models. Ooooh, was I impressed and thrilled! Mine most closely matches the Taos, the low end model, don't know what frame that equates to in the States. I just wish I could read German or French, I don't remember which it was now, but we can't have everything. If you want to check it out look in the archives at retrobike.co.uk and look under catalogs. It's the 1995 line but, hey, it's a start. It's something. I'm only off by 4 or 5 years.
    I had pretty well given up hope of finding anything on the American Eagle/GT bicycle line and wanted simply to identify my bike frame's style and year of production. Simple, right? I read alot of post and threads about serial numbers but I think I'll leave that issue for another thread. I came away from the experience having learned something but it also left me with way more questions than when I started. Who knew something as simple as looking up a serial number would be such a PITA! GT bicycles responded to my overly-detailed phone and web inquiries to simply check bikepedia.com. while completely ignoring my questions and anything involving my serial number. I feel, and please correct me if I'm wrong, that their attitude toward customers/owners is one of indifference. It's not their fault since the company changed hands (insert cleansing of hands here for effect). If I'm willing to spend 20 hours looking at a monitor to find simple information about a bicycle, not a necessity but a luxury, you can bet I'd spend whatever amount of time it takes doing the same for any customer of mine. I know my craft, I'm very good at what I do, I take great pride in it, and I will always do my absolute level best to satisfy any and every customer/client that I have. I expect a certain level of professionalism, integrity, and responsibility from the companies I do business with. Unfortunately, I walked away from my first experience with GT with an empty feeling in my gut. I don't think my inquiries to, or expectations of GT, by phone or web, are unreasonable but I think they are heavily lacking in the arena of customer service/support. Another resource responded in a similar fashion, their answer to me was already known to me and directly referenced in my question so that went in a circle, one of the pitfalls of e-mail.
    I'm better off today than yesterday, found some information I wanted, and will continue looking. Sorry for such a long post.

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    Sorry your search is such a difficult one! Something you said above about serial numbers makes me think that you are wondering if the serial number on your bike somehow doesn't follow the usual GT pattern for serial numbers. I very much doubt that this would be the case, but occurs to me there may be another way to narrow down your search. If you end up (or wish to) disassemble the bike, sometimes there are date codes on some of the parts. Often the brake assemblies will have date codes on them, which isn't sure-fire, but usually will get you within a year of when the bike was made.

    This could well be another wild goose chase, at best it'll only narrow down the year, and I'm pretty positive we've already done that, at worst you may not learn anything. I'm not sure that Shimano continued stamping date codes onto brake arms into this era or did so with lower level brakes, so there may be nothing there. Personally, I have no idea how to interpret that data (I suspect it isn't in the form of an obvious date), so you'd have to do some more research on Shimano brake arm date codes to interpret it, if there actually is anything there.

    I'm quite confidant it is a 2000 model Outpost or Timberline frame. That frame in 1995 would have come with nicer components.

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    identity of gt model, frame, etc

    I believe this bike could be older than 2000 for a few reasons. First being the color scheme, second the Jetts fork, third the drivetrain style (looks like 90's stuff) and also for the weird stem length which was most common back then.

    Btw, I speak French as my first language, so if you post the link to the page, I'll be glad to help you out on this.
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

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    Quote Originally Posted by veteran_youth View Post
    Looks to me like AEO said "Put shocks on this bike":
    1999 GT Outpost - BikePedia

    As it has the correct parts to make it look visually exactly like this bike:



    edit: so basically I don't think you will find an exact model from that bike but given the part spec you can bet it was 1999 (or maybe GT getting rid of some leftover parts in 2000). I worked at a GT dealer at that time so I was pretty sure it was a Backwoods but the cheaper part spec. precluded that possibility. It does however appear to have a nicer SDG saddle that was stock on the Backwoods.

    TL;DR 1999 GT Backwoods w/cheaper drivetrain parts
    Definitely not a 2000 Backwoods, my girlfriend has one (it's sitting here in our livingroom as I write this). Definitely a different frame from that. I do need to double check her serial number, she bought it from a shop in 2001 at a discount as last years model. Her Backwoods doesn't have that gusset under the downtube that your pictured Outpost or my 2000 Timberline has.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Medic Zero View Post
    Sorry your search is such a difficult one! Something you said above about serial numbers makes me think that you are wondering if the serial number on your bike somehow doesn't follow the usual GT pattern for serial numbers. I very much doubt that this would be the case, but occurs to me there may be another way to narrow down your search. If you end up (or wish to) disassemble the bike, sometimes there are date codes on some of the parts. Often the brake assemblies will have date codes on them, which isn't sure-fire, but usually will get you within a year of when the bike was made.

    This could well be another wild goose chase, at best it'll only narrow down the year, and I'm pretty positive we've already done that, at worst you may not learn anything. I'm not sure that Shimano continued stamping date codes onto brake arms into this era or did so with lower level brakes, so there may be nothing there. Personally, I have no idea how to interpret that data (I suspect it isn't in the form of an obvious date), so you'd have to do some more research on Shimano brake arm date codes to interpret it, if there actually is anything there.

    I'm quite confidant it is a 2000 model Outpost or Timberline frame. That frame in 1995 would have come with nicer components.
    Interesting comment you made about the serial number. I haven't investigated this yet but I read on a site where a poster was trying to identify his bike as a Powerlite P41 or P61. His serial number was very similar to mine, his being SOAK00612 and mine being SOEA00520. Coincidence? Perhaps, and perhaps not. GT bought Powerline back in 1989 and around 1998 both entities were working under the same roof. GT may have used Powerlite's serial numbering system during the American Eagle Outfitters manufacturing process so as to seperate GT and AEO bikes to simplify distribution, etc. I have no idea whether this is true or not, simply a theory at this point, and I'd been sitting at the pc for a long time so maybe it's a nutty idea, but something interesting to pursue as soon as I have some free time. As nearly as I can figure out, the first digit in the serial represents the factory in which it was made, S being Sanfa, in Taiwan in my case. Second digit may, I found varying opinions on this, represent the bike's assembly or distribution point. After this it gets fuzzy. Third and fourth digits possibly represent month and year which would make mine a E(fifth letter, fifth month) May, A (first letter, first year) 2001. I, personally, don't think mine is that new. It seems far fetched to me that AEO and GT could produce a line of bikes from 1995 through at least 2001 with such scant information available online but I've been wrong before. For the time being I'm going with your recommendation that it's a late1999 or early 2000 model. Earlier American built GT's had a much clearer system of ID. So far as I can figure, there are 2, possibly 3 different systems of serialization so I still have work to do in this area.

    I'll check the brake assemblies as well as the cog ID numbers this evening. Maybe that will lead somewhere. Thanks for the suggestion. I tried this the other night with derailleur and brake lever numbers on Shimano's site but had no luck matching item numbers, and yes, their numbers are all coded. I read an interesting piece on, I think, vintage-trek.com on how to interpret them. Any guess on how to narrow down the differences between the Timberland and Outpost? Oh, interesting point here. I was looking at google images of GT bikes last night, saw one and thought Oh, that one looks familiar. It was my bike, google grabbed my images from this post. I had to laugh at myself. Check out the AE catalog if you have a minute. It includes specs from the Taos, my component group, up to the Team World Cup.
    Last edited by Americaneaglerider; 09-13-2013 at 08:02 PM. Reason: to edit serial number, skipped a digit

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by David C View Post
    I believe this bike could be older than 2000 for a few reasons. First being the color scheme, second the Jetts fork, third the drivetrain style (looks like 90's stuff) and also for the weird stem length which was most common back then.

    Btw, I speak French as my first language, so if you post the link to the page, I'll be glad to help you out on this.
    I started out under the assumption that American Eagle Outfitters and GT sold bikes in a joint venture for a year, maybe two and that was it, except maybe some sponsorship of GT racing by AEO. I was extremely surprised, and very, very pleased, to find an AEO sales catalog with GT bikes from 1995 last night. That's a very generous offer to interpret and I appreciate it alot. Merci beaucoup. I may take you up on that offer soon. The catalog's spec sheet is in English but the rest is not. I was able to read the important tech data, just didn't get to read the racing and advertising information. It would have been nice to do so but not a necessity. I'll post a link as soon as I figure out how. I'd better ask for permission from the owner beforehand as I'm not sure what proper protocol is. As I understand it, the color scheme on my bike is a signature for AE Outfitters, and was specifically mentioned in the press release from March of 1999. I assume blue and white is/was big with them. The bikes in the 1995 catalog were blue also but not as dark as mine. I have no knowledge on Rock Shox or their history and have done zero research to date. This is only my second bike that has had shocks and my last bike was a Royce Union, a big box store bicycle. I only ever rode it on the street. I seem to remember, on one of the 1995 catalog pages, a similar stem to mine but couldn't zoom in on it well enough. There was also an identical to mine looking seatpost but this being my first GT, I'm not sure how often those things changed. I located a GT dealer not far from here and may visit them tomorrow to see if they can identify my bike and model year. My 2 local LBS didn't have any info when I went in for parts. I feel I have a greater appreciation for and understanding of my GT by doing this research myself but if a GT'er can tell me what I've got I'll have that much more time to go riding. I'm, no pun intended, riding the fence on this for now.

  29. #29
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    hello!

    i happened to stumble across this thread, and might be able to shed a little light on the subject of the AEO/GT bike, even if it's 3 years after the original discussion, so if you're still out there...

    i worked as a graphic designer in the marketing dept at the AEO home office from 1996-1999 and actually worked on this bike with GT. i came up with the color scheme/design for this bike (note: it was NOT my idea to use AE EXTREME PERFORMANCE lol...). the blue was the closest match to the (at the time) AEO blue (pantone 295). the orange was used in place of the AEO tan (pantone 4515) because it popped a little more. i used my 1999 schwinn moab disc dart-style paint job as inspiration, adding the white at the tail of the frame rather than the front like it was on my schwinn. you'll notice the blue-to-white split occurs on the frame right where the rear wheel passes through the seatstays/chainstays...

    anyway, i can't remember which model in the GT lineup this was based on at the time, but it WAS in 1999, and it was simply an existing model with a custom AEO paint job. i believe there were only a few of these built – 4, maybe 5 at the most. they were displayed in a few of the main/hub stores (one of which was here in pgh) for promotion and i THINK may have been raffled off in contests of some sort, but i can't remember exactly.

    i got to see one of them at the home office and rode it around a bit through the cubicles before it went to the mall for display. i left AEO in the fall of 1999, but i was so stoked to see one of these still around, even if it was 3 years ago! i was talking to a colleague about the bike and on a whim googled it, never expecting to find any pics! i had to register (actually RE-register...) to MTBR to leave a reply. hopefully you see this and hopefully you've kept this semi-rare bike on the trails!

    cheers!
    chris k.

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