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  1. #1
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    1998 GT Timberline

    Picked up a 1998 GT Timberline yesterday for $75 through Craigslist. I'm basing the year on the info provided by Bikepedia. The frame is 4130 cro-mo and seat tube is Reynolds 525. What does that mean?

    Looks like the bike was in storage for sometimes. Both tires were flat and the chain was derailed from the crankset, so I couldn't test ride it. The frame looked clean overall and the size fit. I figured I'd buy it since it was quite a drive (though going there gave me an excuse to visit a friend who lies a city away (it was in the OC area in California).

    Today I cleaned it, pumped the tires (surprise, no holes--held air!), adjusted brakes, put chain back on crank ring, and then did a test ride (even though I should've done that before I bought it). Rear shifted fine but the front does not shift to the largest ring, but that's not a big deal since I rarely use that gear anyway. Overall, the shifting can still use a fine tweaking.

    Later that day I took out the rear tire wheel and replaced the tube and knobbies with a Slime tube and Michelin Country Rock. Then I mounted an OLd Man Mountain Red Rocks rack. This will be my new grocery-getter. Also have two Wald folding baskets that I plan to hook to the rack.

    Since I learned that the Timberline is a low-end bike and considering that this is a used bike, I want to keep upgrade cost to a minimum. I do plan to install a Dimension rigid disc fork and put in a Mavic 117 disc w/ Slime tube and Michelin Country Rock. Then replace the stem with a shorter Tioga stem and a Dimension riser bar. The only thing I need to spend money on is for the fork and bar. I already have the wheel and stem. Is this disc upgrade wirth it?

    Here's the bike as I bought it:




    Btw, just how low-end is the Timberline?

  2. #2
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    Its on the low end, but towards the middle. I dunno, if it is just for city riding, or getting groceries, whatever.... I think discs are overkill.

    But, this is just MY opinion, and this opinion comes from someone who refuses to convert to discs. My V's have always treated me well.

    Take Care,
    Jonathan

  3. #3
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    i dont think disc upgrading would be good either, unless your going to put some serious beating on the bike. if u were going to put suspension fork on it i would say maybe, like if u were doing trail riding or like xc riding. but if its just a grocery getter this is a sick bike as is. no work needed

    nice find too. i got my gt xcr 3000 on craigslist for 180 bucks. i put quite some money and time into upgrading and i got guys with $1800 bikes wantin to swap! but ya deffinitly a great buy!

  4. #4
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    That's true about the disc upgrade. I have most of the parts already, just not the disc fork. It'll give me a reason to use a better wheel. I have a Mavic 117 disc, though a lowly model, it's still way better than the cheapie wheels the GT came with.

    My next upgrade is getting rid of the flat bar and getting a Dimension cruiser-style bar (600mm length, 70mm rise, 50-degree sweep) for a more comfortable ride. Funny, I'm reading that the Timberline was and continues to be margeted as a hybrid/commuter bike, but it does not look like one. My Timberline looks like a trail-worthy mt. bike than a hybrid.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by djork
    I'm reading that the Timberline was and continues to be margeted as a hybrid/commuter bike, but it does not look like one. My Timberline looks like a trail-worthy mt. bike than a hybrid.
    Bjork back in the middle 2000's... I think maybe ~2005 they switched the Timberline model name to a hybrid frame with 700C wheels.
    Needed: 26.8mm XTR seatpost, blue GT/Grundig Jersey.

  6. #6
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    If you're going to use it as a commuter, I'd say put some slicks on it and lose the slime in the tubes - it just adds weight where you don't want it.
    Otherwise it looks like it's in really nice shape. My daughters both ride Timberlines - nice solid bikes that will last a long time (i.e. typical GT's).

  7. #7
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    I would definately keep the upgrades to a min. By the time you're done, you will probably spend more on new parts than what the bikes worth brand new (not what you paid). I would honestly only buy parts to help you fit into the bike. gl.

  8. #8
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    Can't beat that price! I also bought a steel '93 Tequesta (thanks GM for id'ing it) that I thought it was a good idea to convert to SS, until I got so disturbed by how flexy the frame was. Every downstroke resulted in BB shell flex. My conclusion was that my Tequesta wasn't really meant to be ridden hard. Riding hard, I needed a sturdier frame like Zaskar or Avalanche. You could say GT frames are purposely built. I now use my Tequesta at the in-laws where I get bored 99.9% of the time() so it is yet another purposefully built bike! Enjoy what you got for your daily ride, it certainly looks like a bike in a good condition.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the info, guys!

    GT Guy, the bike is not going to be a commuter in the true sense of the word. It's more a shopping, errand, run-about city bike. I don't intend to commute to work on it in which case speed may be an important factor. It's more going to be a leisure bike, in a sense. I just like the peace of mind that a Slime tire gives, though I've heard they can be crappy and not work as intended :P

    Loggerhead and gang, I perfectly understand about not spending money on upgrades, and there is no way I'd spend nearly $400 on this bike! The thing is--to rephrase the upgrade question--I have some parts already in my parts bin and was wondering if it's worth the time, effort, and some money to put them on this bike. It's not like I'm gonna spend money buying new or used and better parts. For example, I have a rear LX derailleur and shifters pods, Mavic 117 disc rim (front), Avid BB5. Are these parts better used on a better bike or is the lowly Timberline worthy of having them? To use the Mavic wheel and disc brake, I will ned to buy a disc fork (rigid). The cheapest I've found is a Dimension rigid disc ffor $51 with shipping included.

    I'm sure I can sell the front wheel and even the rear with like-new WTB Veliciraptor tires and the original GT cro-mo fork to offset the addition spending. I do plan to keep the rear twheel for now, though if I can find another and better rear rim-brake wheel, then I'll upgrade it.

    The bike is really clean, and it looks like it was only used for city riding. I got it in Hunting Beach, CA, and the owner's a girl (possibly cheerleader based on her e-mail user name--not that this is relevant information )

    This is my second GT bike, and getting it brings back fond memories of my first real mountain bike--GT RTS-3 in candy apple purple. I paid a pretty penny for that (used)!

  10. #10
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    if all u need is the fork and u already have the wheels and brakes, then sure go for it. its not necessary but if u can get it cheep then go for it. i was under the assuption that u needed all new parts in which case i advised against it. but ya rigid disc forks arent too expensive

  11. #11
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    Utility bike!

    I don't want to call it a commuter because it's not really one in the sense that it'll be use for long-distance riding to work or some other purpose. It's more for running errands and grocery getting and other small tasks.

    What I replaced were fork, wheels, tires, handlebar, stem, and front brake. I did redo the cables too. New stuff: Surly 1x1 fork, Bontrager Superstock disc/rim wheels, Michelin Country Rock tires, Avid BB5, Dimension cruiser-style handlebar, Tioga stem. Some parts I bought new, some used, and some stuff I had already. The rear rack is an Old Man Mountain and the front is a Nashbar. I should point out that the stablizer bar that came with the front rack is not a universal fit. I had to rig something up to give the rack some support so that the horizontal pressure load will be balanced.




  12. #12
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    I ride a low end GT Outpost , steel frame, and I put Redline platform pedals on, two double wall rims, and a 26" riser bar that cost a whole 25$. I plan on riding this bike for a long time. Love your bike.
    Larry

  13. #13
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    How do you like those cruiser bars? I have a wrist problem and I think they would help save my wrist and be less painful. Did you say the brand name of those bars is Dimension? Were they expensive?
    Larry

  14. #14
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    This is about the last year for the Timberline as a mtn bike. I bought one new in 98 in the gold flake color(atomic burst) for about 400good bang of the buck. Then upgraded to LX crank, mavic 221 rims, and a manitou sx-r fork that bike took everything i could throw at it.

  15. #15
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    like what you did with this GT Timberline, gives me ideas for my own. thanks.

  16. #16
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    I just bought a GT Timberline for $10 at Good Will today. Paint is alittle rough, but componets are in great shape . I'm going to get it repainted and upgrade next spring.

  17. #17
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    Late to this thread, BUT, the GT Timberline is a war horse. I have the exact same one from 98 and have beaten the hell out of it. I've had two serious crashes on it (through no fault of the bike) that put me in the hospital for extended stays. No damage to the bike. Once, in a fit of anger, I hurled it against an oak tree. It bounced off and smiled at me. I love my timberline. Have made modest upgrades over the years the biggest being a Manitou fork. Other than that cannot beat the bang for the buck with this bike. I tune it up once a year and then enjoy the hell out of it for a full riding season.

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