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  1. #1
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    Need advice on building up a '93 GT Zaskar frame

    Hi, I'm new to the forum and to cycling in general - just picked it back up again after 8 years away from any kind of bike. One day I came across some photos of old GT mtb's, and since then I've been kind of obsessed. They really are beautifully designed, and I get why some of you have several (or several dozen!) of them.

    Anyway a while back I bought an 18 inch '93 Zaskar frame. Just the frame - no headset, fork, seat tube clamp, etc. It's tentatively confirmed as genuine (ball-burnished Al, flat top tube end, serial 02933185, stamped 6061 and frame size, removable RD hanger, and a "Handcrafted in America" 6061 T6 sticker on seat tube). I've been needing a new hobby, so I thought it might be fun to try and build the bike up myself. This is probably pretty foolish, especially because I don't have any tools, but I'm not the type to do something like this without any preparation so I've been searching the net trying to learn as much as I can about bikes, and GT's in particular. Seems like there's a lot of real GT enthusiasts here, and so I hope that some of you won't mind giving me some guidance.

    With apologies to all the GT originalists out there, I don't really want to make this a period-correct build, unless I need to for reasons of compatibility. If I run across another, more mint-condition frame, I will definitely consider it. On this frame the decals were in nasty shape so I removed them. One original part I am looking for is a Bologna Lite fork, but these seem to be pretty hard to come by. If I am unable to find one, is there a newer rigid fork that approximates the size and sweep of the Bologna Lite? I saw this at JensonUSA but I'm not sure if its the same size, or if I would need to have it cut down or something. Also, should I use cantilever brakes or retrofit for disk brakes? I understand the differences between a lot of the different techs and mechs and so on, but I'm ignorant about the compatibility of different kinds of parts. Any suggestions about possible parts are more than welcome (my budget for this project is fairly flexible because I don't know what some things cost or what I really need, but I'd like to stay south of $1000).

    There are no hills at all in my area, and few trails as well unfortunately, so I will be riding this bike on flat pavement 95% of the time. I had considered making it a SS, but it can get very windy/rainy where I live so I think I should keep some form of granny gear available. I won't really need 3 chain rings though, so I thought maybe 2x9, 29t 42t with 11-34 cassette? Any thoughts on that, utility and compatibility-wise? Would this crankset work ok? The Zaskar has - correct me if I'm wrong - a 73 mm bottom bracket housing (shell? I don't know some of the lingo yet). I guess a triple is fine, but my obsessive-compulsive side says, "why put it on if you aren't going to need/use it? The plan is for this to be a sort of "urban assault" bike that I can hop on quickly and zip around town.

    Well, sorry for a long post, I hope this makes at least a little bit of sense. I am just a newb, after all, but I learn quickly. Thanks for any advice you might have, I know it's a little presumptuous to barge in asking all these questions, but I couldn't resist.

  2. #2
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    kohntra...I PM'd you regarding Bologna Lite forks. If you do go with a Bologna Lite fork you are limited to canti's or V's as they never made them with disc tabs. It's not a big deal in the GT thread if you decide to modernize your build. You might get screamed at over in the VRC thread so avoid posting it there when built. I have a 91 Xizang that I run Hollowtech II cranks and modern shifters on. Set it up the way you want it. 34's no problem on the cassette just need to make sure you have a rear derailleur that can handle it. The Dimension fork will work as will the Stronglight crank but understand once you break group and start mixing drivetrain parts it will never shift as well as a complete group.
    Needed: 26.8mm XTR seatpost, blue GT/Grundig Jersey.

  3. #3
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    once you break group and start mixing drivetrain parts it will never shift as well as a complete group.

    Ok. Would it likely be a minor difference in shifting efficiency or would I be dealing with more serious problems? Perhaps it would be wiser to stick with a complete group, as you say. What about Truvativ cranksets, like this one for example - what type of cassette are these meant to work with? SRAM? Are they the same company? I'm hesitant to go and buy a load of Shimano parts for some reason... maybe it just seems too easy.

    Thanks for your response.

  4. #4
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    Hi,
    I'm building up a '93 Zaskar from a bare frame too. My goal is a commuter/expedition touring mtb so I wanted a rigid fork. I bought a NOS GT Bologna Lite fork off ebay a few months ago but the steerer tube was cut too short for my purposes unless I used a really high-rise stem. Then I found this fork:
    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...tain+Fork.aspx

    The Tange Mountain Fork is EXACTLY the same as the GT fork minus, of course, the 'GT' emblem on the dropout - same shape, geometry, etc. GT may have sourced their forks from Tange back in the day for all I know. The steerer tube is much longer than the GT so it works for me. Worth taking a look. Good luck on your build!
    Last edited by pexio; 05-16-2009 at 07:00 AM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by pexio
    Hi,
    I'm building up a '93 Zaskar from a bare frame too. My goal is a commuter/expedition touring mtb so I wanted a rigid fork. I bought a NOS GT Bologna Lite fork off ebay a few months ago but the steerer tube was cut too short for my purposes unless I used a really high-rise stem. Then I found this fork:
    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...tain+Fork.aspx

    The Tange Mountain Fork is EXACTLY the same as the GT fork minus, of course, the 'GT' emblem on the dropout - same shape, geometry, etc. GT may have sourced their forks from Tange back in the day for all I know. The steerer tube is much longer than the GT so it works for me. Worth taking a look. Good luck on your build!
    Good information to post pexio, thank you. FYI, I have a purple-ish blue Bologna Lite fork cut to 171 mm on the shelf, if interested, PM me.

    Best,
    Rich

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Linoleum
    Good information to post pexio, thank you. FYI, I have a purple-ish blue Bologna Lite fork cut to 171 mm on the shelf, if interested, PM me.

    Best,
    Rich
    Thanks Rich, but my GT fork's steerer tube is 180mm which is already too short!
    Here's a couple pics comparing my GT Bologna Lite (in gray) with the Tange Mountain Fork (black). The Tange's fork tubes taper more down to the dropouts than the GT. Other than that they're pretty close...

    2009_05_16 003 (Small).jpg
    2009_05_16 010 (Large) (Small).jpg
    2009_05_16 012 (Large) (Small).jpg

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by pexio
    Hi,
    I'm building up a '93 Zaskar from a bare frame too. My goal is a commuter/expedition touring mtb so I wanted a rigid fork. I bought a NOS GT Bologna Lite fork off ebay a few months ago but the steerer tube was cut too short for my purposes unless I used a really high-rise stem. Then I found this fork:
    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...tain+Fork.aspx

    The Tange Mountain Fork is EXACTLY the same as the GT fork minus, of course, the 'GT' emblem on the dropout - same shape, geometry, etc. GT may have sourced their forks from Tange back in the day for all I know. The steerer tube is much longer than the GT so it works for me. Worth taking a look. Good luck on your build!
    Actually....Not even close to being exactly the same. The Bologna Lite fork has a long angled cut in the fork blade that is capped. The Tange fork doesn't. They may be similar in blade diameter and rake but that would be about it.
    Last edited by gm1230126; 05-17-2009 at 10:19 AM.
    Needed: 26.8mm XTR seatpost, blue GT/Grundig Jersey.

  8. #8
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    GM - your PMs are bouncing back. Inbox FULL!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by gm1230126
    Actually....Not even close to being exactly the same. The Bologna Lite for has a long angled cut in the fork blade that is capped. The Tange fork doesn't. They may be similar in blade diameter and rake but that would be about it.
    GM,
    The point of my posts was to show that the Tange fork would more closely duplicate the performance and handling of a Bologna Lite fork than the Dimension fork that the OP linked to. Obviously, from an originality perspective, the Tange fork is NOT a GT fork. But then the OP indicated he was not (nor am I) building period-correct...

  10. #10
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    Weren't the 93's still running "U-Brake" specific posts.....?

  11. #11
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    On the fork?

    either way i think by 93 they were past that...

    anyway, whats the story with the forks that had 2 or 3 positions for rake or somesuch...??

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by JFalcetti
    Weren't the 93's still running "U-Brake" specific posts.....?
    1993 was the year Shimano finally came out with the lower profile cantilever brakes which allowed heel clearance . GT changed to canti bosses for the 93 model year on all frames except the 14.5" which still had heel clearance issues.
    Needed: 26.8mm XTR seatpost, blue GT/Grundig Jersey.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mik_git
    anyway, whats the story with the forks that had 2 or 3 positions for rake or somesuch...??
    Yes, GT had the 2x4 forks in 1991-91 and 3D forks which had multiple dropout positions for changing the rake to your desired riding style.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Needed: 26.8mm XTR seatpost, blue GT/Grundig Jersey.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by gm1230126
    Yes, GT had the 2x4 forks in 1991-91 and 3D forks which had multiple dropout positions for changing the rake to your desired riding style.
    Which I sadly swapped for a pair of new fangled Quadra 5's when I bought my first Avalanche.
    What was I thinking?

    If *anyone* has a pair of 3D forks in the retro white Avalanche snow job paint scheme then I'd love to take them off your hands,
    ----------------------------------------------------
    'Geez, I wish I had a witty signature'

  15. #15
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    Mr. Crudley...how are things down under? Great to see you posting. I'd be happy to help if I only had a spare.
    Needed: 26.8mm XTR seatpost, blue GT/Grundig Jersey.

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