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  1. #1
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    1994 GT Karakoram - SS Build-Up

    Because of my propensity to upgrade bits and pieces on my 2005 GT Aggressor, I almost had enough spare parts to build another bike.

    I decided I wanted to try and build a single speed mountain bike to play around with. After putting out a want-to-buy ad on a local MTB forum, I ended up buying this:



    I posted up a thread here on MTBR to try and find out the year and model. Not only did I get an answer to both, it turns out I found the original owner (gt jorgito). How cool is that?

    I removed all of the stickers and cleaned up the frame a bit. Not much to do as the paint is still in very good shape.

    1994 GT Karakoram - SS Build-Up-img_8540.jpg

    I own a few 2000'ish RockShox SID forks and really like them. They're a good match for my terrain, weight, and riding ability. I tore down a 2002 SID SL, repainted the lowers, and replaced the bushings. The CSU is from a 2004 SID Team with the 'slippery silver' stanchions. I thought that would be a better match for how I plan to build it up.

    1994 GT Karakoram - SS Build-Up-img_8630-001.jpg

    I have a few stems and I'm not sure which length to put on there. Also, I'll need to cut down the steerer or add some more spacers above the stem.

    I already have a wheelset, cranks, tires, pedals and brake set. I filled in the gaps by buying a SS chainring, cog, and an 8 speed chain.

    More to come...

  2. #2
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    Full build pics please...


    DJ, "Because I'm sure the world need's more dudes stalking the woods stoned out of their mind carrying a deadly weapon."

  3. #3
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    That thing is looking good. If you are interested I still have a set of the all GT Terra decals. and possibly the small triple GT triangle decals too. No Karakoram decals though.
    2009 GT Marathon Team,GT Force 2.0, GT Jelly Belly TT (nude carbon), and a very special Todd Wells Zaskar.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffgothro View Post
    Full build pics please...


    Oh, don't worry. The teasing won't last too long. I'll try to devote some more blocks of time to it over the next week and try to get it done. I have a creative idea on how to make a custom head badge for it, also. That may add a few days...

    Quote Originally Posted by gt jorgito View Post
    That thing is looking good. If you are interested I still have a set of the all GT Terra decals. and possibly the small triple GT triangle decals too. No
    Karakoram decals though.
    Thank you for the offer. For now I think I'll leave it without decals. I do have a GT top cap I'll put on it. It's kind of obvious it's a GT, anyway. I went back and forth on the SID decals, also. But, I really wanted a splash of white on the fork so the fork decals were applied.

  5. #5
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    I mounted some 2Bliss tires on my wheelset and I'm trying to get them to set using Slime. One seems to be holding up, the other not so much. If I can't get it to work, I have my old UST tires (the UST are wider and heavier) I'll mount on there.

    I also put on my LX crankset and the Surley 32t chainring. The bottom bracket is 73mm and I'm using a hollowtech bottom bracket. I put the spacer on the non-drive side so I could move the chainline in a little bit since I put the 32t on the outside of the crank arm spider.

    1994 GT Karakoram - SS Build-Up-img_8644.jpg

    1994 GT Karakoram - SS Build-Up-img_8645.jpg

    1994 GT Karakoram - SS Build-Up-img_8646.jpg

    Tomorrow, time permitting, I'll tinker with the tires some more and go buy some headset spacers.

  6. #6
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    Wish you woulda told me that you needed headset spacers marpilli, coulda thrown a handful in with the tensioner!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by sasquatch rides a SS View Post
    Wish you woulda told me that you needed headset spacers marpilli, coulda thrown a handful in with the tensioner!
    Thanks. I wish I would have known I was going to need them.

  8. #8
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    Looking sweet, can't wait to see the finished product.
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  9. #9
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    I think I might get bored and put my carbon RS judy on my Richter (was going to do it anyway...procrastinating)

    Hey Mar - the GT is sick, stared at for like two minuts (or as long as my little A.D.D short attentioned spanned ass could handle lol) , loving the Sids, cant wait to see it completed.
    DJ, "Because I'm sure the world need's more dudes stalking the woods stoned out of their mind carrying a deadly weapon."

  10. #10
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    Very nice work ! is the frame with 1" headset ?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by nick6sic6 View Post
    Very nice work ! is the frame with 1" headset ?
    Thank you for the compliment. The frame actually takes a 1-1/8" headset. Once I found out it would, that pretty much sealed the deal as all of my spare forks are 1-1/8" steerers.

  12. #12
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    keep the pics comming!


    L.R.

  13. #13
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    OK, I have a semi-related question for you all. I'm going to create a custom head badge for this bike and I'd like to create a "how-to" thread for the process. Where would be the best forum to post it up?

    The only two I can really think of is the frame building forum and the general forum. It's not really frame-building, but I'm sure some frame builder might be interested in the information.

    I'm really hesitant to post it in the general forum and I'm not sure why...

    Can you suggest a more applicable forum for the topic?

    EDIT: Maybe I'll just put it in this thread...

  14. #14
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    I'd want that to be in the frame building forum. I made one too (haven't put it on a bik yet) and if you post up a thread like "Show Us Your Homemade Headtube Badges", I'd definitely contribute some pictures and advice.

  15. #15
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    Frame builders (by definition) are DIY people. I did search the forums and there were a couple of older DIY head badge threads (using a different method than I plan to use) and they were posted in the General forum. Decisions, decisions...

  16. #16
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    Closer...

    1994 GT Karakoram - SS Build-Up-img_1821.jpg

  17. #17
    Nice day for a ride..... Moderator
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    The bike is gonna look sick with the white colour scheme. When you make a thread about the headtube badge be sure to post a link in this thread, I'd love to check it out.
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  18. #18
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    very cool!

  19. #19
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    I thought you'd be going with disc brakes, love those bars

  20. #20
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    Thanks all. I don't have a spare set of disc brakes and wheels right now. I'm really trying not to pour any money into the build if I can help it. So far, the only things I really needed to buy were drivetrain related. Trust me, though. I'll be keeping my eyes open for a good deal on both disc brakes and a disc wheelset.

    EDIT: sasquatch, thanks for the suggestion of white bars/black stem. I like that much better than the black bars/white stem I originally planned. I dropped the stupid bars in the garage and they fell behind my toolchest. Already have a few scratches in the paint. But, you know what that means? Won't bother me a bit the first time I crash it and scratch them more.
    Last edited by marpilli; 04-17-2012 at 06:26 PM.

  21. #21
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    Darn it! Ur making me wish I had kept that Kara. Hahaha! I have too many projects going on. I still gotta put together my Ruckus 7 and my Todd Wells hardtail and I just sent some Force pieces to my powder coating buddy. Im glad ur making that frame look great.
    2009 GT Marathon Team,GT Force 2.0, GT Jelly Belly TT (nude carbon), and a very special Todd Wells Zaskar.

  22. #22
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    ^^^ Ha, I told you that frame ended up in a loving home.

  23. #23
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    Adding Cable Guides

    I'd like to run full cable housing to the rear brake. The rear cable stop in this groove tube is there, but the front cable stop has broken off at some point. I took a piece of cable housing with me to work and I intended to go by the hardware store and find some steel tubing I could cut into small guide pieces.

    I laid the cable housing on my desk and went about my daily routine. I then lay an ink pen down by the cable housing and I had an "ah ha!" moment...

    1994 GT Karakoram - SS Build-Up-img_8650.jpg

    It turns out that the pen is slightly larger than the cable housing.

    1994 GT Karakoram - SS Build-Up-img_8651.jpg

    Cut it into pieces...

    1994 GT Karakoram - SS Build-Up-img_8653.jpg

    I roughed up the outside of the pieces and I used a fairly liberal amount of glue. All clamped in place...

    1994 GT Karakoram - SS Build-Up-img_8658.jpg

    1994 GT Karakoram - SS Build-Up-img_8664-001.jpg

    The E-6000 is some pretty cool stuff. It will bond a lot of different types of material together and it dries to a hard rubber-cement like consistency. This should be fairly easy to reverse if I ever need to dismantle it and strong enough to keep the cable in place. Worst case scenario is I throw a zip tie around it until I can get some steel tubing and use the JB-Weld instead.
    Last edited by marpilli; 04-18-2012 at 07:32 PM.

  24. #24
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    Clever. I like it .

  25. #25
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    Nicely done!
    2009 GT Marathon Team,GT Force 2.0, GT Jelly Belly TT (nude carbon), and a very special Todd Wells Zaskar.

  26. #26
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    Effin' Smart!!!!
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  27. #27
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    good job!


    L.R.

  28. #28
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    Great looking build so far! I'm in the process of doing the same thing with a rigid and purple '94 Karakoram frame.

    What bar is that? I'm still trying to chose one...

  29. #29
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    Thank you. The white bar is an Easton EA30 low rise I picked up for $10 and spray painted white.

    Easton EA30 Riser Bar & Stem for $24 (shipped) @ CBO

    The bike is pretty much done right now. I may look for a bar with a medium rise as it seems a bit low.

    I'll post a couple of cell phone photos later. Hopefully I'll get around to the head tube badge this week. I have all the materials. Just need to find the time...

  30. #30
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    1994 GT Karakoram - SS Build-Up-img_8665.jpg

    1994 GT Karakoram - SS Build-Up-img_8668.jpg

    1994 GT Karakoram - SS Build-Up-img_8670.jpg

    1994 GT Karakoram - SS Build-Up-img_8672.jpg 1994 GT Karakoram - SS Build-Up-img_8673.jpg

    1994 GT Karakoram - SS Build-Up-img_8674.jpg

    1994 GT Karakoram - SS Build-Up-img_8675.jpg
    Last edited by marpilli; 04-21-2012 at 03:09 PM.

  31. #31
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    pretty good. I like it, it is simple, basic.i like it with V brakes, its simpler...

  32. #32
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    How's it ride marpilli??

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by rudymexico View Post
    pretty good. I like it, it is simple, basic.i like it with V brakes, its simpler...
    Thank you. I must admit that this bike will most likely get disc brakes within a couple of months (as soon as I can find a decent inexpensive set of disc wheels). These v-brakes are really good. But, I've become spoiled by the modulation of nice disc brakes.

    Quote Originally Posted by sasquatch rides a SS View Post
    How's it ride marpilli??
    The only thing other than the brakes I will change up is the stem. My geared bike has a 50mm stem on it right now and I really like how it handles. The bars on this bike are the same width but the stem is 90mm. It definitely feels less responsive when trying to quickly navigate rocky areas. I have a 70mm stem I'll put on in the next week or so.

    One thing I kind of hate to admit is overall I'm faster on this SS than I am on the geared bike. I've heard others say that but I honestly didn't believe it. I've been out on this one 5-6 times now and I've met or beat my best geared time, every time. It's kind of crazy because there are two climbs I where dismount the SS near the top, push it to the top, remount and continue. Still meet the best time.

    It has to be purely mental. The wheels are no lighter (the entire bike is only a couple of pounds lighter) than on my geared bike. The brakes are no better. What changes? Me...

    I purposefully don't brake in the corners because it's a bear to regain my momentum. I purposefully push harder at the base of the climbs to get going faster. I stand and mash on the climbs when the going gets tough (not downshifting and spinning away).

    It's like saying "I run faster when a pack of dogs are chasing me." Yeah, no joke.

  34. #34
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    Oh, I'm also working on the head badge. The first few didn't turn out to my liking. Some more are prepped and they should turn out better...

  35. #35
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    Looks sweet marpilli
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  36. #36
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    Sick, I like it. Definitely dig the simplicity behind it.

  37. #37
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    Her previous owner is very happy. You have done a fantastic job on that Kara.
    2009 GT Marathon Team,GT Force 2.0, GT Jelly Belly TT (nude carbon), and a very special Todd Wells Zaskar.

  38. #38
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    Oh man. I can't believe I missed this thread since it has two of my MTBR favorites- Marpilli putting together a bike and Single Speeds. The new build is really great looking.


    Quote Originally Posted by marpilli View Post
    One thing I kind of hate to admit is overall I'm faster on this SS than I am on the geared bike. I've heard others say that but I honestly didn't believe it. I've been out on this one 5-6 times now and I've met or beat my best geared time, every time. It's kind of crazy because there are two climbs I where dismount the SS near the top, push it to the top, remount and continue. Still meet the best time.

    It has to be purely mental. The wheels are no lighter (the entire bike is only a couple of pounds lighter) than on my geared bike. The brakes are no better. What changes? Me...

    I purposefully don't brake in the corners because it's a bear to regain my momentum. I purposefully push harder at the base of the climbs to get going faster. I stand and mash on the climbs when the going gets tough (not downshifting and spinning away).

    It's like saying "I run faster when a pack of dogs are chasing me." Yeah, no joke.
    Glad to see you've drank the kool-aid. SS riding will make you faster, stronger, smarter, better looking, and improve your income. I'm confident you'll sell your wimpy geared bikes in the next few months.

  39. #39
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    I can vouch for that! I am extremely good looking, all thanks to riding SS, even more-so now that I've upgraded my frameset.

  40. #40
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    awsome build, recently purchased a non used GT 1999 RICOCHET and Im planning to show it here
    again the bike is perfect simple and clean

  41. #41
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    Nice build. Not that it really makes any difference, but I am pretty sure that's not a '94, given that it has a disc brake boss. I am guessing post-2000?
    Mind your own religion.

  42. #42
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    it is a 94. I owned that frame two owners ago and I had that disc tab welded on there before I powder coated it purple first, then the pearly white that it is now. Marpilli is making it look way better than i did. I kinda wish I had kept it but I'm very glad it went to someone who will really love it.
    2009 GT Marathon Team,GT Force 2.0, GT Jelly Belly TT (nude carbon), and a very special Todd Wells Zaskar.

  43. #43
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    Thank you, everyone!

    Quote Originally Posted by michaelscott View Post
    Oh man. I can't believe I missed this thread since it has two of my MTBR favorites- Marpilli putting together a bike and Single Speeds. The new build is really great looking.
    Flattery will get you nowhere with me. Ok, it might get you some +rep.

    Quote Originally Posted by michaelscott View Post
    Glad to see you've drank the kool-aid. SS riding will make you faster, stronger, smarter, better looking, and improve your income. I'm confident you'll sell your wimpy geared bikes in the next few months.
    I did notice that all of the women now stare at me with "that look" these days.

    Sell the Aggressor? Gah! Never. If I get tired of her I can just throw a cog onto the rear wheel and have a second SS in the garage.

  44. #44
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    Sick!
    DJ, "Because I'm sure the world need's more dudes stalking the woods stoned out of their mind carrying a deadly weapon."

  45. #45
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    really good job- bike looks super clean! You mentioned you may swap out the stem- I'd be interested in the old stem if your up for selling it. let me know!

    L.R.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by LONRGR View Post
    really good job- bike looks super clean! You mentioned you may swap out the stem- I'd be interested in the old stem if your up for selling it. let me know!

    L.R.
    Thanks. You can pick up the same stem (brand new) for $8. And, the same bars I'm using (I painted mine white) for $12.95. The bar price went up as I got mine for $9.95.

    See this thread for more info:
    Easton EA30 Riser Bar & Stem for $24 (shipped) @ CBO

  47. #47
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    Woo hoo! She's all done!

    1994 GT Karakoram - SS Build-Up-img_8806.jpg

    1994 GT Karakoram - SS Build-Up-img_8807.jpg

    1994 GT Karakoram - SS Build-Up-img_8808.jpg

    1994 GT Karakoram - SS Build-Up-img_8809.jpg 1994 GT Karakoram - SS Build-Up-img_8810.jpg

    1994 GT Karakoram - SS Build-Up-img_8811.jpg

    1994 GT Karakoram - SS Build-Up-img_8812.jpg

  48. #48
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    Head badge info here: Acid Etching Custom Head Badges

  49. #49
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    Very nice!
    2009 GT Marathon Team,GT Force 2.0, GT Jelly Belly TT (nude carbon), and a very special Todd Wells Zaskar.

  50. #50
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    Love it!

    Now that you are riding SS you'll have to try a rigid fork next.

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