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  1. #1
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    Avalanche 3.0 questions & frame design changes

    I have an Avalanche 3.0...I'm thinking early '00s vintage...that I got 2nd hand. I was planning on using some of the parts on another bike & ultimately planned on selling the frame. So, I wanted to compare it with my older ('old school' maybe) '95 Zaskar LE and realized that my "M" or 18" Zaskar actually has a taller seat tube than the Avalanche which is also an "M". I had figured the two frames would be fairly similar, but it looks like they were built very differently. So....a few questions:

    1. as time & MTB trends progressed, did an "M" become a smaller frame size? Seems downtubes on modern MTBs all slope....guess I show my age to say they look like girls bikes......(just kidding)

    2. I was reading a current thread about people recently buying Avalanche 2.0 bikes....what is the 3.0? (This bike has entry level components...alivio shifters, tektro v-brakes, shimano riveted crankset, RST fork).

    3. I guess 'vintage' doesn't mean much in the MTB world.....but I should ask is this a good frame to keep & build up with discs and a nice fork? (my Zaskar isn't built for discs, the Avalanche is).

    4. If there have been changes in frame geometry over the years, is it reasonable to think the out of the two frames the Avalanche can be built into a better performing bike (I guess, that would be NOT considering the disc brake option that's sort of a no-brainer)....I guess that's all to do with fork travel, right?

    5. If I were to sell the Avalanche frame, is there a good reference, other than Ebay, on how much it's worth (no, I don't mean that as a sideways 'for sale' ad...I have it for sale on the local craigslist).


    thanks in advance for any help you can offer in enlightening this caveman MTBer (ie, hasn't been on the trail for real in probably 15+ years & is itching to again now).

    Here are photos of the two bikes, for reference.



    Last edited by fiataccompli; 01-13-2009 at 06:13 PM.

  2. #2
    Nice day for a ride.....
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    It looks to be an early 2000's bike. I had a 2003 Avalanche 1.0 and rode it for 5 years, awesome frame that is worth upgrading. The 3.0 is the same frame as the others with a cheaper parts spec. I really like the Avalanche frames because of their short chainstays which are a treat on technical trails. I'm currently riding a 2008 Avalanche 2.0 which is totally upgraded with no stock parts. My trusty 2003 Avalanche went for 5 years before the frame cracked (I'm waiting on a possible warranty replacement).

    My 2003-



    My 2003 after stripping the paint and polishing the frame

    2012 Norco CCX3
    2014 Nashbar Fatbike

  3. #3
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    that's great looking with the paint stripped! Is there a difference in the frame geometry (or construction) between the early 2000s & the 2008? Do the different models have different frame geometry? In the past, I had thought the differences were in the construction & materials, but all the models had the same geometry....maybe i'm wrong on that.

  4. #4
    Nice day for a ride.....
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    The early 2000's and the 2008 are all made from 6061 butted aluminum, the 2008 frames have hydroformed tubes as well as internal headsets whereas the early 2000's ones do not. Most years all the frames were the same but for '08 and beyond the 2.0 and 1.0 have the same frame and the 3.0 is slightly different (does not have the same hydroformed top tube). All of the models have the same geometry, although my 2003 was built around an 80mm travel fork and my 2008 is built around a 100mm travel fork, so there have been a few tweaks over the years.

    This photo shows the difference in the headtubes and you can also see some differences in the frame tubes - 2003 & 2008 side by side
    2012 Norco CCX3
    2014 Nashbar Fatbike

  5. #5
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    Both bikes you have there are great. I'm assuming you are not even thinking of selling the Zaskar (hope not). The Z, eventhough it's older and has no disc tabs, is still in my opinion a better lighter frame. That's not saying the Avalanche is a bad bike so don't bash me for that. I would suggest ride the heck out of the Avalanche with what it has and upgrade the Z. The Avalanche is a great bike and yes, you can upgrade the heck out of it and make it into a killer ride just like Ratchattack did. Is it worth it? Well, that's all up to you. I just spent $160 powdercoating a GT Karakoram frame that I paid $5 for and yes, I thought it was worth it. I'm sure by the time I'm done building it into my singlespeed I would have racked up closer to a grand. The Karakoram doesn't cost a grand, but to me it is worth alot more than that. It's alot about the GT love dude. I'll have 4 GTs by then. a 2001 GT ZR1.0 and GT I-Drive Team, a 2008 GT Force 2.0, and that GT 1993 Karakoram. I'd say keep both and upgrade both.

  6. #6
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    Thanks & no offense taken. I have an '88 Karakoram (bought new....big bucks for me at the time!), a '95(or so) Karakoram ($65 CL find complete, good LX/XT Deore, but a rattle can repaint), the '95 Zaskar & this 200? Avalanche...oh, and a late '90s (?) steel framed Aggressor ($50, near virgin score as a family spare bike from a thrift store). I guess you could say I like GT bikes.

    I can't imagine grabbing the Avalanche for a ride when I've got the Zaskar or even the '9? Karakoram (which weighs in only a pound or two more than the Zaskar...go figure). But I could imagine keeping the frame & starting to collect parts for it.

    Not to hijack my thread too badly here, but should I expect to be able to find a modern fork for the Zaskar that will not throw off the bikes' geometry? I suppose I don't mind less travel (and may be fine w/ the still-functional stock fork) + throwing the front of the bike much higher would make the bike too tall for me I think.

    Y'all have almost talked me into keeping the Avalanche as a backburner build project.

  7. #7
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    You can put an older (2001-07) Rock Shock SID with 80mm which can be dropped to 65mm with internal spacers. That shouldn't throw out the geometry. It may even be lighter than the one you have on right now. I'm putting a SID race on the Kara with 80mm. The parts on the Avalanche can be better for sure. You can probably lose alot of weight with lighter parts or you can make it burlier and make it an aggressive xc jumper or something.

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