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  1. #1
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    Those NOS Steel Dirt Research Frames on Ebay: Here's some more info

    I purchased one of those NOS (new old stock) 90s era Dirt Research rigid frame/forks a couple of weeks ago and liked it so much I just got another one. I thought I'd share some info on them in case anyone else is interested.

    First off, you can find them on Ebay by searching for Dirt Research. The official description he's been running is "New MTB Columbus Tube ATB Frame Fork 14 16 18 19 20 24". I know he has been selling them for quite a while (I've been looking at them for months, but I think he's been selling them for a couple of years or so) and I have no idea how many he has left. Mine was $115 plus shipping (very reasonable on shipping)

    From my understanding, these are new, never assembled steel frames form the 90s ( I think around 95 or 96). They were originally sold as complete bikes with either rigid forks or with short-travel front suspension (about 60mm). You could probably build one up with a current model 80mm travel fork as long as the axle-to-crown isn't too crazy, but I wouldn’t go any bigger than that. But the beauty of these frames is that they come with a matching rigid fork of the proper length (just slightly suspension correct), and that's why I bought 2 of them. They also come with a long stem (130 - 150mm) and a flat bar to finish off that classic early-to-mid-nineties XC race geometry.

    One of the catches here is that you don't know exactly what you are getting when you order (though I'm thinking you could maybe email before). My understanding is that he has several model frames and what you get depends on the size you need and the color you choose. I got the Pecos, but you may end up with something else. Also, the extras that come with the frame may vary.

    I built mine (my 1st frame) up as a budget rigid single speed using some 15 year old STX cranks and wheelset I had laying around along with some budget new parts (Avid SD5 v-brakes, and FR-5 levers, and one of those $20 single-speed kits from Performance). So for very little money, I ended up with a just under 23-pound single-speed rocket. This is the first time I had ridden a rigid mtn bike in over 15 years and my first time ever on a single speed mtn bike, so I was keeping the budget down just to be safe. But, after a couple of rides, I'm already thinking about some upgrades (not to mention that I very quickly ordered a 2nd frame to stash for future use).

    So here are some specs:

    Frame:
    weight (19" frame): one was 4lbs-4oz, the other was 4lb-6oz
    BB shell is 73mm
    Takes a standard threadless 1 1/8 headset
    Cable routing is setup for canti brakes, I ran a full length cable for my V's and for now just have it strapped to the top tube. There are 3 integrated noodles on the seatpost for cable routing (see pic).
    Seatpost size: This is where things get a little tricky. On my 1st frame a 27.2 seatpost fit fine for about the 1st 4" of seat tube,then things got pretty tight. On my 2nd frame, a 27.2 doesn't fit at all so I'm thinking it's a 27.0 .

    Fork: weight about 970g (about 2 lb-2oz), axle-to-crown 410mm, steerer about 93mm (little over 7.5 inches)

    Tire clearance: I put a 2.4 WTB MutanoRaptor up front and had plenty of clearance. On back I put a 2.1 WTB Velociraptor, but I wouldn't go any bigger than that on back.

    Stem: I got a 140mm and a 150mm (you can specify size). The 140mm came with a neat little cable noodle for using cantis up front, the 150mm didn't have this. Both stems weighed about 200g

    Bar: nice light (137g) flat bar.

    Also comes with some pedals (nothing special).

    And some Pics:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

  2. #2
    anyone else smell that?
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    i have no interest in this frame, but that is a very good write up!!

  3. #3
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    newark

    The guys selling these has a good rep. He's right down the street from me. My dad bought two of his frames as complete bikes some time in the early 90's. They received tons of abuse, as he puts in tons of mileage. One of them ended up shearing off the d. hanger, forget what happened to the other one. I was considering getting a 24", but the top tube is cramped. Definitely check it out guys.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jayssmtbde
    I was considering getting a 24", but the top tube is cramped. .
    Damn, you must be a giant. Although you do have to realize these bikes were designed with long stems in mind.

    I should have noted that it looks like his specs list the actual top tube length, not the effective top tube (ETT) measurement as most modern frames do. The ETT on my 19" frame was about a half inch longer than his spec, but that may not hold true on a 24" frame since I suspect there is not any slope to the top tube at that size.
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    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

  5. #5
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    Is there a difference between the "singlespeed kit" frames and the Columbus SL frames?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by shawndoggy
    Is there a difference between the "singlespeed kit" frames and the Columbus SL frames?
    I assumed they were the same frames but you would have to contact the seller to be sure. Again, the specific frame you get depends on availability in the specific size/color you choose. He shows a Kobuk in both adds, but I ended up with a Pecos (actually 2 Pocos's).
    If you order it with the single speed kit, I would suggest you check with him to see if you get a bottom bracket with the crankset, and if not, what type/size of bb it requires (just to be sure you can find a bb for it).
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailville
    If you order it with the single speed kit, I would suggest you check with him to see if you get a bottom bracket with the crankset, and if not, what type/size of bb it requires (just to be sure you can find a bb for it).
    Good call. I did ask, no BB. But it's just a Deore crank, so I'm figuring any old 73x110ish shimano square taper cartridge BB out to work. We'll see... I happen to have one on hand so I can try.

    When you measured axle to crown, was that axle to bottom of headset race, basically? I've already ordered the frame but now I'm a little nervous cuz my marzocchi marathon sl 85mm fork is more like 45cm.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by shawndoggy
    When you measured axle to crown, was that axle to bottom of headset race, basically? I've already ordered the frame but now I'm a little nervous cuz my marzocchi marathon sl 85mm fork is more like 45cm.
    Yeah, that's it. 450mm isn't bad for an 85mm and probably won't be much of a problem once you take sag into account (probably 15 - 20mm). I think it would be similar to taking a bike designed for an 80mm fork and putting a 100mm on it. But I still say try it rigid (assuming it's not your only bike).
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

  9. #9
    Doesntplaywellwithmorons!
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    The "Deore" crank in question are the old Deore DX cranks, the spindle for a 47.5mm chainline on the middle ring position was 122.5mm. As to running a 450mm length suspension fork, even with 20mm of sag its still going to slacken the geometry more than 1.5 degrees.
    I don't post to generate business for myself or make like I'm better than sliced bread

  10. #10
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    Thanks D8, great info. Picked up the correct BB today.

    We'll have to see how the fork runs. TV might be right -- might just have to run it as a fully rigid SS.

  11. #11
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    My build with xtr group and marzocchi marathon sl 85mm. My one homage to the old school is the tires. Specialized Ground Control 1.95s that came stock on my wife's bike in 1993 and came off on the first day. Been through six moves before I've finally used them!

  12. #12
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    I got one for frame only about a yr or two ago, black and the mode name is Bandalier 16", i think the drop out is and the frame tubing are a bit more high end then your, and it doesn't not have noodles, just stoppers. it works fine with my judy XC 80mm, i remeber the seller has a wedsit, and some different models have different color, so you can get a higher end frame by choosing the color?

  13. #13
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    This reply must qualify among the most belated additions to a mtbr.com thread.

    Trailville, just wanted to chime in with a coda to your post, which originally came to my attention via a google search, while I was scanning eBay for a replacement to a cracked Ti MTB frame, circa 2011. I ended picking up a 18" Dirt Research Pecos frame–sans fork; pickings were slim by the time I showed up–partially on the strength of what you wrote here, and partially because its specs made for an easy migration of available components. Yeah, the price was right too.

    So it's been two years and the Pecos has been happily bouncing around the pothole strewn streets of Toronto in the guise of commuter/utility bike. My build is a real mishmash of parts but the overall effect is a delight to ride: solid and simple, and, at 24lbs, still nimble enough for some sh_ts and giggles among the gridlocked cagers.

    So trailville a tip of the hat to ya for your input. Strange how archived electrons resolve themselves sometimes. Here's the current incarnation of the Pecos.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Those NOS Steel Dirt Research Frames on Ebay: Here's some more info-pecos%5Bscaled%5D.jpg  

    Last edited by lucasiragusa@rogers.com; 06-01-2013 at 11:35 PM.

  14. #14
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    5 years isn't that long. I'd rather people post to an old thread instead of creating a bunch of scattered new threads on the same topic.

    After 5 years, I still really like my Pecos. Still running it rigid singlespeed, but with quite a few changes since the 1st incarnation. It's just a very nice riding lightweight steel frame.

    I still have my 2nd frame (the green one) packed away. I have enough parts laying around to build it up, but kind of like the idea of holding onto it for a while before building it.

    I purchased several seatposts and some other stuff from that same seller during the following couple of years. The last time I looked though, he didn't seem have much left.
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

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