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Thread: 1996 DBR Axis R

  1. #1
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    1996 DBR Axis R

    I've been busy the past couple of days putting my Axis R back together, having stripped it after buying it back in October. It was collected and posted it to me by a retrobike member, for which I am extremely grateful to him.

    When it arrived the elastomers had gone, the BB was ropey, large chainring was bent, the saddle had a couple of rips in it, it had plastic pedals and it had Gripshift on it. I didn't like the rear wheel much either. All were changed.

    Money was tight, and I spent my time sourcing quality parts at best prices.
    I couldn't get a 44 or 46 tooth Ritchey chainring, so got a 48 tooth one from ebay. Well, I like going fast down hill

    I bought a red hoped rear wheel on Mavic X517 as a spare back in October, from a retrobike member. UN72 BB, and got the M739 shifter combo from retrobike members. Thanks to all of you.
    190lb+ stiff springs from ebay, and some Porcipaws and M780 SPDs from ebay too. I managed to get the Flite Ti from ebay as well, by buying a bike! Thanks to another retrobike member for collecting and posting to me. This was the source of the rear tyre too, a Smoke Front I got as a reissue from bike-discount.de

    To help fund this I sold the Gripshift and the original M739 levers.

    I stripped her down to her bare bones


    Thanks to a couple of retrobike members for their invaluable advise and help with the forks. I learned a lot. Here she is with the forks rebuilt and the BB in. It was a testing afternoon yesterday in the cold, with having to sell and fettle my wife's BSO at the same time.


    It was then a case of work quickly this afternoon before the light ran out



    For some reason it was a real b*tch to index the front mech, but sorted now


    I had tried M737 pedals




    but they were far too heavy, so this is the finished article, but it was pretty dark by now, so will probably get some better pics in the morning, on my test ride



    Spec
    Frame: DBR Axis R 19"
    Fork: Rock Shox Judy SL
    Mechs: M739 XT
    Brakes: M739 XT
    Chainset: M737 XT
    Pedals: M780 XT
    BB: UN72
    Bars: Avenir
    Stem: Tioga
    Headset: Tioga
    Seatpost: Zoom 26.8
    Saddle: Selle Italia Flite Ti
    Tyres: Panaracer Smoke, reissue Dart. May change for Smoke and Dart backwall
    Wheels: Hope red on Mavic X517
    Cassette: M737 XT
    Skewers: M739 XT
    Grips: Onza Porcipaws

    Comments and critiques welcome
    Last edited by Pyro Tim; 02-10-2013 at 03:21 PM.

  2. #2
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    Great bike!

    Aren't these the best? I've had mine since new, still a great bike. Haven't kept mine retro though, fox f80rlc, mavic ust wheelset.

  3. #3
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    1996 DBR Axis R

    1996 DBR Axis R-imageuploadedbytapatalk1360474903.040049.jpg
    Here's mine

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    I've changed the front wheel to a red Hope suspension hub on X517 SUP, and have just purchased a M737 chainset to go on it (black outer ring, rest silver, blue bolts. It will then be completed, until I can get a Middleburn RS2 for her.

    To be honest, I think your forks look too fat for the beautiful thin tubes on the frame, and would look better with something more inkeeping with its design. I also think you need to cut down your steerer as the bit sticking out above your stem looks awful. TBH my WCF 4.0 rides better, but this looks better.

  5. #5
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    1996 DBR Axis R

    My bike is a16", and may be returned to its old school self at some point. It would be a shame to turn that fork into something that fits only one old bike, no? Anyhow both bikes are nice. 1996 DBR Axis R-imageuploadedbytapatalk1360518042.091629.jpg

  6. #6
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    true, it is a nice fork, and with such a small frame, would be a crime to cut it down. Maybe put it on a more modern frame, and put something more inkeeping on the Axis. It is a nice bike, don't get me wrong. I'm an arse, and just like being period correct.

  7. #7
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    1996 DBR Axis R

    I've kept my original equipment from the first build, maybe someday. The original fork was a manitou 5 and the wheels are mavic 217 sup laced to Nukeproof bombshells. With that build its a 23 lb bike. Out of curiosity, what # is yours? Mine is #332

  8. #8
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    I don't have scales, but it feels about 23-4. If yours was mani 5s on the original wheels, mine should come in slightly under that, but I have the M780 pedals, and I guess the 23 was without pedals. The Axis R came with rigid forks over here in Blighty, but they were long gone when I got it. I thought originally they came with M737 on 217s. I've got the original front wheel, but the rear had been replaced by the time I got it. I've got the original tyres too, WTB VelociRaptors, but I put them on my wifes bike. The Sugino chainset was gone, and the more modern Ritchey (pictured) was on it, but without the outer ring. I've just pulled the trigger on a M737 chainset

  9. #9
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    1996 DBR Axis R

    It will be very close. I had a very similar build originally, but with Raceface cranks and xt rings. Here in the US, it came with a manitou sx with a steel steerer. I replaced it with the 5 with aluminum steerer right away. Here in the US it was called the Axis team. Supposedly there were only 500.

  10. #10
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    This is US spec in link below. It varies from UK (Axis R), as mine has TT lite tubing, and a 26.8 seatpost. Mine came with XT brakes, mechs, levers and SRT800 shifters. I don't know if they had been changed before I got it, or came as standard, but are the same, or slightly better than the US Axis. Mine is also blue, red and white, not silver, with the yellow details. I know the Ritchey chainset isn't original, as they didn't do 4 arm in 96.

    BikePedia - 1996 Diamondback Axis Complete Bicycle

  11. #11
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    forgive my ignorance, but did Hope make it to your side of the pond? My hope hubs are titanium, and British made

  12. #12
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    1996 DBR Axis R

    Yes, hope hubs are available here, a very nice product.

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    I'll get some better pics up, but mine are the original ones from the 90s. Well, not the 1st generation, but you get the idea. I will do a new set of photos when the chainset arrives, which will hopefully be this week.

    I will also be rebuilding my WCF this week. Had my Pace RC35 MXCDs fully serviced and rebuilt, and replaced the ali steerer. Will be a similar spec to this. M739 mostly with M737 chainset and rear hub. Hope front, in silver, on X517s. Ti bars, X-lite ZE360 seatpost, Flite Ti saddle, Onza HO Ti pedals. Smoke and Dart amberwall. On lookout for a ti stem, and seatpost. I've found a seatpost, but will cost me 95, and a stem, 110 which I don't have right now

  14. #14
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    1996 DBR Axis R

    I guess it is a different bike then. Mine is Ritchey logic 3x butted.
    That will be one sweet bike when it's finished.

    Mine is currently disassembled, gathering parts to make it SS. I'm using a White industries ENO rear hub.

  15. #15
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    I have some Hope hubs, rear is a screw on that I'm toying with building up as a SS wheelset, on Campag Stheno rims I've got. Alternatively I'll just wait until I find a cassette rear hub, and just build them up as a weight weenie wheelset.

    Really need to find some Middleburn RS2s at a good price for the Axis R though. I will be entering it into Retrobike of the month next month hopefully, unless of course the WCF looks stunning when rebuilt

  16. #16
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    I used to have that very frame in size 20'' (so dummy I sold it), one of the best frames I have ever ridden and I'm use to Yo-eddy's, ibis's and other fancy legendary bikes.

    Thanks for bringing back the memories..

  17. #17
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    no worries, I think DB are the most underrated manufacturer of the 80s and 90s. Just a shame how poor they became when they got bought out in 2000

  18. #18
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    some teaser shots until I've got the chainset on it. These are the new bits, and bits I didn't photograph very well in the original snaps

    new seatpost, will do until I find a nicer one


    Rear hub


    New front

  19. #19
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    Love it....these bikes were (are) awesome. I remember drooling over them at the local bike store.

  20. #20
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    weight is 24.9 pounds

    1996 DBR Axis R-8531820070_4eaa1595e9_c.jpg
    1996 DBR Axis R-8531816100_058bc44813_c.jpg

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pyro Tim View Post
    weight is 24.9 pounds

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    That was the first bike I ever rode with a front shock lol.....I remember being so amazed.

    Now look at some of those downhill bikes that are made for literally jumping off cliffs.

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