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  1. #1
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    GT Frame Identification Help Requested ('94 GT Karakoram)

    Picked this up today and will be building it up with spare parts as a new toy. I know it's nothing special but I wondered if anyone could help identify what it was in a past life.

    It has the grooved top tube and someone has cut off the guides. It has some original looking decals such as a "Made in the USA - GT Bicycles - Santa Ana, Ca" and "GT CroMo" decal. But, it looks like it's been powder coated white. And, someone has welded on disc brake tabs and reinforced the seat stay with a piece of brake rotor.

    Serial Number: H3G2 1539 94062
    Headtube: 4"
    Seat Tube: 18" (C-C), 20.5" (C-T)
    Chain Stay: 16.5"
    Down Tube: 25"
    Weight: 5.2 lbs.

    GT Frame Identification Help Requested ('94 GT Karakoram)-img_1664.jpg

    GT Frame Identification Help Requested ('94 GT Karakoram)-img_1666.jpg GT Frame Identification Help Requested ('94 GT Karakoram)-img_1668.jpg

    GT Frame Identification Help Requested ('94 GT Karakoram)-img_1672.jpg
    Last edited by marpilli; 04-06-2012 at 08:14 PM.
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  2. #2
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    I'm no expert, but other than the color, that looks identical to a 1994 Karakoram that my friend has. I believe that was their highest end steel frame at the time. Could also be a tequesta though. They're almost identical except for material from what I know.

    That rotor reinforcement is pretty sick.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the response. I'm familiar with some of the modern GT Zaskar signature traits (flat logo on the rear of the top tube, SN stamped on dropout, etc.) and this frame doesn't have them.

    I wonder if the 94 stands for the model year (wild ass guess). I'll google for 1994 GT catalogs later and see if anything jumps out at me.

    EDIT: Buggy, I just re-read what you posted and for some reason I thought you wrote Zaskar. Ha, just my wishful thinking. You were right all along with the Karakoram suggestion. I also think the rotor reinforcement does look nice. Too bad I won't be using it at first. The spare wheelset is v-brake and I don't have spare disc calipers. Thanks!
    Last edited by marpilli; 04-03-2012 at 06:01 PM.
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  4. #4
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    Found the 1994 catalog here: http://www.mtb-kataloge.de/Bikekataloge/PDF/GT/1994.pdf

    Assuming it's a '94... The frame doesn't look like a match for the Zaskar, Avalanche, Ricochet, Backwoods, Terramoto, Tequesta, Timberline, or Aggressor.

    Possiblities include Karakoram, Timberline FS, Talera, and Outpost. The Karakoram is the only one I found mentioned with the Groove Tube for that year, but they may have just omitted it from the description on the others.
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  5. #5
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    Well, I think I solved the mystery. I purchased this frame from a DORBA member. I searched through DORBA and found this thread:

    Fork for old GT frame | DORBA

    In that thread he identifies the frame as a 1994 GT Karakoram. Unless someone can prove otherwise, that's what I'm gonna call it.
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  6. #6
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    Ha! that was an old frame of mine I sold over a year ago. It was a purple Karakoram when I got it. the paint was faded so I had it powder coated pearl white. The groove tube was damaged and since I rode it as a singlespeed, I had no use for it. I gave the good groove tube pieces to someone in here. I had the disc tab welded on it as well. The support came from an old disc. It was a great ride as a singlespeed. I also had it as a 1x9. I'm pretty sure it was a 94.
    2009 GT Marathon Team,GT Force 2.0, GT Jelly Belly TT (nude carbon), and a very special Todd Wells Zaskar.

  7. #7
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    That's funny! Small world, eh?

    Did you sell it on eBay? I plan on building it up as a single speed and should start the build in a month or so.
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  8. #8
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    It didn't have all the other stickers on it though. Just the purple GT ones. It's great to see someone giving it new life. It takes a 1 1/8 fork in the front. Here she is in all her purple glory. First time I powder coated it purple (as close to original as possible) but it wasn't a great job. It was expensive too so I decided to go with the less expensive white a buddy of mine had in the shelf.
    2009 GT Marathon Team,GT Force 2.0, GT Jelly Belly TT (nude carbon), and a very special Todd Wells Zaskar.

  9. #9
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    I picked it up specifically because the ID of the headtube would accept a 1-1/8" headset.

    I plan on running an older 80mm SID on it. How much travel did you use? I can spacer the SID down to 63mm if necessary.
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  10. #10
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    I used an 80mm SID on it. and it felt pretty good. I think the original travel was 63 mm.
    2009 GT Marathon Team,GT Force 2.0, GT Jelly Belly TT (nude carbon), and a very special Todd Wells Zaskar.

  11. #11
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    Yeah I sold it on ebay. I saw the post on the DORBA forum. He kinda bashed me a little and noticed he didn't mention that I gave him half his money back and the sale included a spare Mavic Crossmax rim worth $100 bucks but hey that's the way it goes. I enjoyed riding that bike for a couple of years and that's what I remember from it.
    2009 GT Marathon Team,GT Force 2.0, GT Jelly Belly TT (nude carbon), and a very special Todd Wells Zaskar.

  12. #12
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    Well, I'm glad you set it free. It landed in my garage in Texas and I'll give it a loving home.
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  13. #13
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    I'm glad to hear that. Can't wait to see what you are gonna do with it. You know, I tried the same set up on an alluminum frame and it just didn't feel as smooth as that CroMo Kara. I hope you like it and ride it forever.
    2009 GT Marathon Team,GT Force 2.0, GT Jelly Belly TT (nude carbon), and a very special Todd Wells Zaskar.

  14. #14
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    jorgito, thank you very much for your help. I knew posting it up in here would be a good idea. I just didn't know I'd find the original owner.
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  15. #15
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    Hi marpilli

    I saw your completed bike in the other post, and it really came out looking nice. Very clean with the combo of white and single-speed build.

    On the question of serial numbers ... coincidentally, Im cleaning up a 90s Kara for someone right now, and recorded the numbers only a few hours before finding your post. Weird huh?

    H3H2 9562
    94062
    At first I thought mine might be a 1995 because of the top line, but if yours also has 94062 in the bottom line, Im guessing that both of ours are 1994s. Probably the top line is the consecutive frame number.

    Very cool that you found the link for the original brochure too. This one was the black finish, and it had the "bullhorn" bars originally. Odd though that the brochure shows black chainrings, cause this bike has silver/natural finish LX pieces. Maybe its just the variation that occurs with brochures, or because its a Euro market copy.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2wheels2 View Post
    Hi marpilli

    I saw your completed bike in the other post, and it really came out looking nice. Very clean with the combo of white and single-speed build.

    On the question of serial numbers ... coincidentally, Im cleaning up a 90s Kara for someone right now, and recorded the numbers only a few hours before finding your post. Weird huh?

    H3H2 9562
    94062
    At first I thought mine might be a 1995 because of the top line, but if yours also has 94062 in the bottom line, Im guessing that both of ours are 1994s. Probably the top line is the consecutive frame number.

    Very cool that you found the link for the original brochure too. This one was the black finish, and it had the "bullhorn" bars originally. Odd though that the brochure shows black chainrings, cause this bike has silver/natural finish LX pieces. Maybe its just the variation that occurs with brochures, or because its a Euro market copy.
    Thank you for the compliment. I'll take it out on the trails sometime this week to see what kind of a monster I've created. Hope it doesn't kill me off...

    Very neat, indeed. Since both bikes have a 94062 and I'm confident my frame is a '94, maybe the 062 is a model number? The second batch of four digits certainly does seem like a consecutive frame number. The H3H2 might indicate the factory?

    Do you know the frame size? I'd be curious if your frame was something other than a large but had the same H3H2 and 94062.
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  17. #17
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    At first, when looking at the numbers, I was thinking factory code as well. Some of the history that Ive heard of GT is that they were in Huntington Beach before moving to Santa Ana [probably because SNA is less expensive than HB]. I assumed that either of the two Hs was a reference to Huntington Bch ... but yours had a sticker saying Santa Ana right, so maybe not ? Did that sticker look original? All mine has is the sticker for Cro-Mo tubing, and butted construction, and nothing about the town. Either way, I like the thought of something that was welded up in the USA.

    The seat tube on this one measures 20 from the cranks to the top tube center, and about 22.25 to the top of the seat tube. Maybe the size isnt indicated in the S/N?

    Im guessing the test ride will go well, but still let us know your impressions, like how does the SID work with it. These Karas came with rigid forks, and around the mid 90s [IIRC], manufacturers started adjusting frame geometry so that a suspension fork could work.

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