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  1. #1
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    Mysterious 90s era steel frame and rigid fork, no derailleur hanger

    I have a mystery bike, and wondering if the collective wisdom out there might help me identify it.

    I recently bought a steel, single-speed mountain bike on eBay. It was not advertised by make or model, but as "custom." The seller claimed it was a Diamondback after I asked, but I have been unable to confirm it with the Raleigh/Diamondback people, and I can't find any record of it in online bike registries.

    It looks and rides like a USA-made double-butted Reynolds/Tange steel bike, and I love it. But the peculiar thing is that the rear dropouts are were not meant to accommodate a derailleur of any sort; nor are they rear-facing like most single-speeds; nor is there any evidence of a derailleur hanger being sawed off. They are pointed slightly forward (5 o'clock position), but they do not have the room to move the wheel forward/back, like the old cheapie steel dropouts. Instead, they are no longer than the vertical dropouts of multispeed bikes.

    This unusual feature--combined with the fact it rides like a great steel frame should--has made me really curious about what exactly I have.

    Here's the serial number, frame measurements (all center-to-center), and some pictures. Thanks in advance for any clues anyone might have.

    Serial: I4H15252
    Seat: 17.5"
    Top tube: 22.25"
    Downtube: 24.75"
    Chainstay: 16.5"
    Seatstay: 19.75"
    Wheelbase: 42.5"
    Mysterious 90s era steel frame and rigid fork, no derailleur hanger-img_1038.jpgMysterious 90s era steel frame and rigid fork, no derailleur hanger-img_1029.jpgMysterious 90s era steel frame and rigid fork, no derailleur hanger-img_1030.jpgMysterious 90s era steel frame and rigid fork, no derailleur hanger-img_1033.jpgMysterious 90s era steel frame and rigid fork, no derailleur hanger-img_1035.jpg

  2. #2
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    Reputation: stremf's Avatar
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    Just guessing here. I'm going to say that somebody ground off the cable stops and rear hanger, then repainted.

  3. #3
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    There are a lot of older bikes with the rear derailleur attached at the dropout, and no actual derailleur hanger. Kind of like this one:

    Mysterious 90s era steel frame and rigid fork, no derailleur hanger-carltonkensbrownderailleurrear.jpg

  4. #4
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    Could be an old Apex or Ascent with the "custom" part being the removal of cable stops and the rear derailluer hanger then repainted. Both were True Temper double butted tubed bikes.

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  5. #5
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    stremf and bike whisperer, while my first guess would also be that the derailleur hanger and cable stops were removed, there is certainly no visual evidence of it--either in my eyes or in the eyes of a couple of a couple of bike shop owners. So that person would have to have been a truly talented metal-worker. The two rear dropouts are identical.

    trilancing, while the angle of my dropouts are like the ones that you posted, they are not long enough to accommodate both the wheel and that variety of bolt-on derailleur hanger. So that possibility can be ruled out.

  6. #6
    rebmem rbtm
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    Quote Originally Posted by phartbrinson View Post
    stremf and bike whisperer, while my first guess would also be that the derailleur hanger and cable stops were removed, there is certainly no visual evidence of it--either in my eyes or in the eyes of a couple of a couple of bike shop owners. So that person would have to have been a truly talented metal-worker. The two rear dropouts are identical.

    trilancing, while the angle of my dropouts are like the ones that you posted, they are not long enough to accommodate both the wheel and that variety of bolt-on derailleur hanger. So that possibility can be ruled out.
    'no visual evidence' doesn't mean that it wasn't done.

    'a truly talented metal-worker' if you have the right tools and take your time it wouldn't be that hard to do.

    Scratch the paint off where the derailleur cable stops would of been brazed onto the frame and you might find some evidence, if they did a really good job there mightn't be any evidence.

    I agree with you about the 'claw' type derailleur hanger, I don't think that one of those would of been used on this frame.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by phartbrinson View Post
    stremf and bike whisperer, while my first guess would also be that the derailleur hanger and cable stops were removed, there is certainly no visual evidence of it--either in my eyes or in the eyes of a couple of a couple of bike shop owners. So that person would have to have been a truly talented metal-worker. The two rear dropouts are identical.
    Removing cable stops is easy, you cut them off then simply sand and file the area. Under a new coat of paint you would never see them. The drop outs would be identical except the extra metal from the hanger. Again cutting, filing, and sanding wouldn't be that hard.

    This guy ham fisted one, but the other cable stops were all removed with no evidence they were ever there. Not a pro builder at all, just a DIY guy in his garage!
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  8. #8
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by phartbrinson View Post
    stremf and bike whisperer, while my first guess would also be that the derailleur hanger and cable stops were removed, there is certainly no visual evidence of it--either in my eyes or in the eyes of a couple of a couple of bike shop owners. So that person would have to have been a truly talented metal-worker. The two rear dropouts are identical.
    The dropouts are not totally identical. I can see a difference in the clamp face shapes. The driveside remains thicker at the bottom back like it should continue onto a hanger.

    And no company mass produced a frame with this setup. Just not practical.
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  9. #9
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    The frame style and cable guides are identical to my trek 700. I have no hanger either it fits into the wheel cutout.

  10. #10
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    Also the frame has lots of breathing holes and is drilled for fenders/rack at the dropouts, and has rackmounts near the brakes. So its most likely some mass produced frame, non top of the line. A hanger can easily be sawed off and filed/ground so it looks nice again.
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