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  1. #1
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    1989 Santana Moda, NOSish

    This arrived in the mail back in early February-I'd never seen a bike packed so well, they even labeled the padding After looking at this picture, I can't decide if it's sarcasm or a methodology-I certainly deserved a bit of from the shop due to paranoia about damage during shipping, and cost. Thanks to Rincon Cycles of Carpenteria, California for the effort and attention to detail.



    Santana made the Moda from 1988 to 1992 or so, fillet brazing a frameset with Columbus Nivacrom MAX tubing that is drawn ovalized, and is very thin walled. The owner forwarded several PDF files along (thanks again) that get into some detail about the tubing and manufacturing process, I'll post them eventually. Here's a sample:




    The bike arrived pretty much NOS, it had been in the shop for years and suffered a few minor nicks but overall was essentially unused, with a full M950 XTR group and a Specialized/Rock Shox fork. The bike was initially full Campagnolo (Euclid I believe?) and was hot pink (!). The owner sent it back to Santana for a repaint in the mid 90's, added the M950 parts, and never rode it again.





    The paint is called 'Firemist Blue'. It's a blue base with purple/lavender in the clearcoat, and really changes significantly with the light/time of day and your viewing angle.








    A shot of it lightly built after arrival:





    As much as I like the 950 stuff, I wanted something slightly more correct for the year, and since all the parts were new I sold them along to fund my build. I went with M900 (mostly) although technically it's a year too new. Whatever-I thought the bike deserved it, and hunting down Campy MTB parts isn't my thing. I don't have a particular affinity for them anyway.

    Initially I had mounted gold NOS XC Pro cantis and silver Dia-Compe AD290 levers and XT732 thumbies, along with a Cook's 181 crankset, but issues finding the right BB in the right length forced me away from the Cooks. I stumbled upon a lightly-used/NOS canti's part M900 group, and the whole build just fell in that direction. I'm still looking for a couple parts to complete it, and I stuck with the XT thumbies, but it's pretty much what I needed and in very nice (but not so new I won't dare to use it) condition. I also found a Specialized S-Works Ti BB that was lightly used and a perfect match. The bike came with MRC Ti bars and stem as well.




    I dragged my feet all winter getting it assembled, but it finally came together over the last month or so and I went out for a test flight late last week. This bike kicks ass.











    I'm really happy with it, but have a couple things left before it's 'done'. First thing is the wheelset, I picked up some White Industries hubs so that's a start. At least I can ride it as it is now. The seatpost is lacking as well-there was a Dean titanium on ebay recently ( to the seller) but I let it go...I'm not exactly light, and judging by the amount of flex in the MRC bar and stem I thought better of it.

    Some detail shots-I got it dirty!







    I love the combination of brazing and the shapes of the tubing, I'll get some better shots at some point so you can see how the profile changes from end to end. The quality of the work is outstanding-the paint shows EVERY single imperfection and blemish in the metal, and as you can see from the photos how smooth the joints are. I have a fillet Ritchey Timber Comp and a Teesdale-brazed Quintana Roo Superform, for pure aesthetics this takes the cake.

    As I get more time on it I'll update the thread, and sooner or later will post up the rest of the PDF files about Santana and the Nivacrom tubing. If there are any other Moda owners out there, feel free to post pics of your ride or just comment on the bikes in general, they are fairly uncommon and I'd love to hear from others who have them.
    Last edited by Shogun700; 05-24-2011 at 10:57 PM.
    WANTED: FISHER PARAGON, 1991. 21" or so...

  2. #2
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    That is sweet I like the highlites in the paint
    "I think it is heavy and often stupid and doesn't work as well as Shimano, but I keep using it. -- NG

  3. #3
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    Thats a beauty. Love the color. I've seen two or three of those in person, and I have to agree with you, the finish work was up there with the best of them.

    Someone had one at Keyesville 2010. But I can't remember who it was off the top of my head.
    Need: McMahon brake for roller cam mounts, Mountain Goat fork.

  4. #4
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    Cool bike. The color looks great too. I am glad it is built for a giant so I don't need to suffer jealousy!

  5. #5
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    I've seen a few of these through the years. Very cool bikes. Love the color of yours, that's very nice. Most I've seen were flat black or white.
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    Good to see a little mud on there! Really nice bike.

  7. #7
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    Thanks folks-I'm still a bit shocked that I own it. One popped up on local craigslist last summer, when I went to look at it I was mesmerized, but it was far too small. When this came up on ebay the timing was perfect, my tax return had just arrived. This whole build has been a lesson in building a bike waaaay beyond my typical budget-the M950 group I sold off was very profitable and allowed me to get the parts you see now.
    WANTED: FISHER PARAGON, 1991. 21" or so...

  8. #8
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    This is what i am looking for when i surf this website...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by muddybuddy
    Someone had one at Keyesville 2010. But I can't remember who it was off the top of my head.

    Wow! Pretty bike, great pictures, and a nice story. I especially love the color! Thanks for sharing. That first shot looks like a catalog shot.

    MB- it was Salsa Luma with the Moda.

  10. #10
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    Love it. Santanas are great---and the feminist blue looks great.
    Somec is like the digital Zunow
    And this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JD5h3y0a9AU

  11. #11
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    Um....I know I tend to skim over the words and go straight to the pretty pictures but I don't see the rigid forks in your original package and didn't see anywhere where you mention finding another in same condition and color? How did that come about?

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    OMG when I saw the first Moda in MBA back in the day that was the bike I wanted. I got a catalog from them and dreamed about that bike forever. Heck each bike I have purchased since has been in essence that bike. It was an evolution from the asian made Ritchey ultra I had (that was stolen while in a friends care, sadly). Fillet, handmade, steel, gorgeous paint and a certain cache that just wasn't achievable in the then environment of handmade bikes IMO.

    Thanks for posting that, I still lust after that bike even after all these years!
    Try this: HTFU

  13. #13
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    'Feminist Blue'-awesome. I've been calling it sky blue to preserve my manhood.

    girlonbike, the fork came with the bike, they are both stamped 'JSM 50'.
    WANTED: FISHER PARAGON, 1991. 21" or so...

  14. #14
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    Those are one of the prettiest bikes out there. This one looks so much better with the rigid fork too.
    Just a regular guy.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher
    OMG when I saw the first Moda in MBA back in the day that was the bike I wanted. I got a catalog from them and dreamed about that bike forever. Heck each bike I have purchased since has been in essence that bike. It was an evolution from the asian made Ritchey ultra I had (that was stolen while in a friends care, sadly). Fillet, handmade, steel, gorgeous paint and a certain cache that just wasn't achievable in the then environment of handmade bikes IMO.

    Thanks for posting that, I still lust after that bike even after all these years!
    No problem! Sorry about your Ultra... Strangely enough, the bike that put me on the path to this one aesthetically is the Schwinn Cimarron, it has a very similar top-tube shape and fillet brazing that I really liked. Of course this takes that concept to another level entirely, but the humble Schwinn pointed me in this direction.
    WANTED: FISHER PARAGON, 1991. 21" or so...

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shogun700
    No problem! Sorry about your Ultra... Strangely enough, the bike that put me on the path to this one aesthetically is the Schwinn Cimarron, it has a very similar top-tube shape and fillet brazing that I really liked. Of course this takes that concept to another level entirely, but the humble Schwinn pointed me in this direction.
    Ah yes the Cimmaron, I had completely forgotten about those, I can see how that could lead to this.
    Try this: HTFU

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher
    (that was stolen while in a friends care, sadly)
    I try to keep a mid level production bike because of that. I have friends come over and see all my bikes lounging around everywhere and don't hesitate to ask to borrow one for whatever reason, not knowing anything about them. I can't seem to say no.

    Anyhow, I've sold off all my production bikes so now I'm in trouble.

  18. #18
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    Oh my!! what a treat!! Needle in a haystack!!

    Such a beautiful bike.

    I love the brazing on those and the color is phenomenal

    Great work and congratulations on an awesome score.....

  19. #19
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    Gorgeous bike and awesome paint! I'm such a sucker for fillet brazing. Wonderful parts choices as well sir.
    I sell bikes here. Check out the Blog here. Facebook.

  20. #20
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    Stunning.
    Zip ties? Not on my bike!

    Want:
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  21. #21
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    Thanks for all the kind words folks.

    I hope I'm not doing the bike an injustice, but I really plan on riding it as it was intended as opposed to just cruising about and 'preserving' it, so to speak. Anyone have suggestions about how to keep the paint from getting rock chips and such? I know it's inevitable but listening to the stones whack the bottom of the downtube makes me cringe, I'd like to feel like I at least tried to prevent it. I have a couple coats of wax on there now, anything else I can do?
    WANTED: FISHER PARAGON, 1991. 21" or so...

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    Somec is like the digital Zunow
    And this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JD5h3y0a9AU

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shogun700 View Post
    Thanks for all the kind words folks.

    I hope I'm not doing the bike an injustice, but I really plan on riding it as it was intended as opposed to just cruising about and 'preserving' it, so to speak. Anyone have suggestions about how to keep the paint from getting rock chips and such? I know it's inevitable but listening to the stones whack the bottom of the downtube makes me cringe, I'd like to feel like I at least tried to prevent it. I have a couple coats of wax on there now, anything else I can do?
    It will look even better when all scratched up. imho.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yo-Nate-y View Post

    Very cool! Thanks, I was thinking about a couple layers of packing tape, but this stuff looks like the real deal. I wonder how it will hold up against chainslap? The stays on this thing are massive.

    Colker, getting some wear marks on it will sure make it look a little less like a queen, agreed!
    WANTED: FISHER PARAGON, 1991. 21" or so...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shogun700 View Post
    ...The stays on this thing are massive.
    that is what always appealed to me on these bikes: the chainstays. They were big and meaty and looked stiff and impressive.

    pegoretti bikes have this same thing and I am totally all about those (not that I can afford one but perhaps some day I will).
    Try this: HTFU

  26. #26
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    This is exactly the kind of bikes and posters this forum is greatly in need of.

    So much awesome! Great bike, great story, great progression, great pics!
    -eric-

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  27. #27
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    packing tape? no. just suck it up and let it be a mountain bike, not uberdorky. I remember somebody here posted a picture of a bike that had pipe insulation on all its tubes. It was so funny and awful at the same time.

    Get a chainstay protector. It's going to get scratched. You'll live and so will it!

    Of course, this is just my opinion. I had NOS CCR and MB-0. The latter sold for more than I paid for it and I suspect so will the former if I ever sell it.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by girlonbike View Post
    packing tape? no. just suck it up and let it be a mountain bike, not uberdorky. I remember somebody here posted a picture of a bike that had pipe insulation on all its tubes. It was so funny and awful at the same time.

    Get a chainstay protector. It's going to get scratched. You'll live and so will it!

    Of course, this is just my opinion. I had NOS CCR and MB-0. The latter sold for more than I paid for it and I suspect so will the former if I ever sell it.

    Haha! That Panasonic with the pipe insulation. So funny.


    We're doin' an all CCR ride right?
    -eric-

    http://www.rumpfy.com
    Wanted: NDS Suntour XC Pro Microdrive 175mm Crank Arm.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by girlonbike View Post
    packing tape? no. just suck it up and let it be a mountain bike, not uberdorky.
    I understand completely, and have already accepted that the bike will never be as pristine as the photos I've posted because I'm going to use it as intended. However, I'm notoriously heavy-handed and rough on things, and seem prone to taking unnecessary risks-just look at the photo on the gravel pile, where my pedal and top of the crank arm are stuffed into sharp, freshly-crushed stone. I'd like to say I placed it there gingerly, but I'd be lying, and behind it is a 40 foot drop-a stiff breeze and down it goes. The paint is super-brittle, my one ride resulted in a few decent chips on the down tube. For once I'm making an effort to prevent some of the things that make me hate myself-I may have gone a little too far with the tape idea..... point taken.

    Would it help if I told you I fearlessly lay my Ritchey down untethered in the back of my pickup and then drive down dirt roads like a maniac?


    Quote Originally Posted by Rumpfy View Post
    This is exactly the kind of bikes and posters this forum is greatly in need of.

    So much awesome! Great bike, great story, great progression, great pics!
    Thanks! Beware, though-I'm just as likely to post a thread about the '94 Barracuda A2C (in all original condition) that I just passed along to a friend for his birthday. I'd make up for it with my Marinoni Moose though... gotta get that built. Double roller cams!
    WANTED: FISHER PARAGON, 1991. 21" or so...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shogun700 View Post
    Double roller cams!
    What kind of roller cams?
    -eric-

    http://www.rumpfy.com
    Wanted: NDS Suntour XC Pro Microdrive 175mm Crank Arm.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rumpfy View Post
    What kind of roller cams?
    double!
    Somec is like the digital Zunow
    And this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JD5h3y0a9AU

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rumpfy View Post
    What kind of roller cams?

    1st generation Suntour with the captured rollers. It's a little strange, the bosses on the fork are really wide, I'm trying to figure out what plate (I have a couple wide ones) and springs to use, I have lots of parts to pick from and am puzzled by the different springs and their intended application. Maybe it will be self-explanatory when I really try to put it together.


    WANTED: FISHER PARAGON, 1991. 21" or so...

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rumpfy View Post
    We're doin' an all CCR ride right?
    Credence Clearwater Revival?

    Hey, where'd the post counts go?
    Need: McMahon brake for roller cam mounts, Mountain Goat fork.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by muddybuddy View Post
    Credence Clearwater Revival?

    Hey, where'd the post counts go?
    post counts? what is this rep power and why does Rumpfy have 22?

  35. #35
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    flat out beautiful. Nice work on bringing it back to period correctness.

  36. #36
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    I've added some parts-finally found a wheelset:



    I swapped out the M900 levers and calipers for Avids:



    I also found a nice M910 seat post, and put the UmmaGummas on, the gray looks better to my eye:



    I've not put as many miles on this as I'd hoped (so far), the rear wheel I had on there is way out of dish and I didn't like riding it that way. It's much better now, I hope to have more pics of the freshened build up soon.
    WANTED: FISHER PARAGON, 1991. 21" or so...

  37. #37
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    That really is a beautiful bike. Too bad Santana didn't stay in the single game.
    Zip ties? Not on my bike!

    Want:
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  38. #38
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    WOW- that is a cool bike and a great story! The parts you have on it now look better than the XTR it showed up with.

  39. #39
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    I really dig the M900 too. The saddle/grips, meh. Black'd look better I think. But jeez, beautiful bike!
    Somec is like the digital Zunow
    And this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JD5h3y0a9AU

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    hi new to the forums...actually new to riding too. A few years ago a good friend of mine gave me a MTB. I didnt think much of it at that time...its actually been sitting out on the patio with 3 other "mass produced" bikes we have. Im glad we had them all stored under a cover.
    I've started researching this bike online (which led me to your post) and have found very limited info on these bikes other than the fillet brazed frames, shimano/campy components and the limited production. I was amazed to see the price tag of $1900 back in the day.

    The bike I have is in pretty good shape its "neon" light blue in color, shimano XT components, cf seat post and matrix wheels. Im unsure what size frame it is or what year it was produced. I've sent Santana cycles an email this morning with hopes of getting some more info on this bike.

    Im looking to replace the seat, grips and add a front suspension fork. Any recommendations?

    Also do you know what the steerer size is on these bikes?

    Im 6ft about 211lbs and i'm looking to do some trail riding and possibly some downhill riding as i get more comfortable on the bike.

  41. #41
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    I just picked up a Moda frameset (frame/fork/stem) that needs to be painted so if anybody know where I can track down decals please let me know. I contacted Santana and they offered their current ones but didn't have any of the originals.

    Thanks!

    Santanablue- should be a 1" steerer and I don't think the frames were intended for a suspension fork so be carful what you put on there, it could really screw up the ride depending on the fork you put on.

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    stan lee...thanks for that steer tube info. I've heard so many mixed reviews on front suspension forks, even started looking at cross link suspension forks. But after seeing the prices of some of the better forks i may hold off on that and put that money towards other stuff.

    shogun...i noticed your bike came with a suspension fork, what model suspension fork was on it? Did you have a chance to ride the bike with both forks on it if so could you tell us your thoughts on the differences?

    i think it will be tuff finding a suspension fork with a 1" steer tube.

  43. #43
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    Nate, thanks-and good call on the saddle, I like the black better. I don't mind the way the grips look so much as the feel-way too squishy. I'll try something else when I swap out the bar and stem.



    Quote Originally Posted by santanablue View Post


    shogun...i noticed your bike came with a suspension fork, what model suspension fork was on it? Did you have a chance to ride the bike with both forks on it if so could you tell us your thoughts on the differences?

    i think it will be tuff finding a suspension fork with a 1" steer tube.

    sb, I didn't ride it with the suspension fork. I'm not sure the geometry is suspension-corrected, although I can't say it looks too much different (compared to the original rigid fork) in the picture you refer to. Early front suspension forks with 1" steerers are out there, prices vary greatly. I think I've even seen a SID with a 1"....not cheap though. I sold the Specialized forks you see on there for a couple hundred bucks, they were pretty much mint, with the original box and instructions.

    stan, if you need a nice crisp shot of the decals for reproduction purposes, I'd be more than happy to send something along.

    Feel free to post pics of your bikes in the thread, I'd love to see them.

  44. #44
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    I was trying to post up the scans I mentioned earlier, but I want to get them all up in the right order and I'm still struggling to convert a couple, so that will have to wait. In reading the scans, I stand corrected in an earlier post I made-the frameset (at least the later ones, it seems) are 'compatible with virtually every suspension fork on the market'-this is circa '92.

    In the meantime, a couple more recent photos, and a couple more component shots:






    I'm really enjoying it, but I haven't quite found the sweet spot yet, fit-wise. I can't lift the front as quickly as I'd like, and I'm honestly not used to being in the tight stuff on a bike this large. I'm a novice rider anyway, so I'm sure there is plenty I'm doing wrong. Most of my previous bikes have been a bit to small, this certainly is close, maybe a half-size too big, but it's taking some getting used to.

    It really shines on fast trails and packed dirt, I've never used the big ring as much as I do with this. At this point I'd say I prefer the M900 levers and calipers, but I need to put new (not 15 year old XT) pads on and make sure the Tri-Aligns are properly adjusted. Everything is too squishy now and the stopping power just isn't there.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shogun700 View Post
    stan, if you need a nice crisp shot of the decals for reproduction purposes, I'd be more than happy to send something along.

    Feel free to post pics of your bikes in the thread, I'd love to see them.

    Thanks Shogun- I'm in no hurry on the repaint but I did hear that some of the early frames had some bad paint the basically fell off with any bump.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 1989 Santana Moda, NOSish-img_1022.jpg  

    1989 Santana Moda, NOSish-img_1024-1.jpg  


  46. #46
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    Beautiful bikes. As timeless as time itself. I was in the market for a Moda a couple of weeks back and I see that Stan above bought that particular frame. It really is chipped to he!! and back, a re-spray is in order.
    WTB: Ritchey Plexus
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    Looks great Stan, I like to see them in more typical sizes, mine is huge. The paint does seem to chip easily, I wonder if it's hard to get it to adhere to the Nivacrom or there was some other issue.

    What's your serial number? Mine is JS50, I'd be interested to know how they numbered them, and if they still have tubing available for doing repairs... just in case.

    How are you planning on building it up?

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shogun700 View Post
    At this point I'd say I prefer the M900 levers and calipers, but I need to put new (not 15 year old XT) pads on and make sure the Tri-Aligns are properly adjusted. Everything is too squishy now and the stopping power just isn't there.
    The XTR levers and calipers will definitely be an improvement in stopping power. The Avid levers have the fancy little adjuster dial, but even at the max power setting, you will be well below the performance of the XTR lever. You'll also get more rim clearance.
    undefined Absolutely must have: Black Machine Tech Zeroflex brake levers (the ones with the rotating leverage adjuster)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shogun700 View Post
    Looks great Stan, I like to see them in more typical sizes, mine is huge. The paint does seem to chip easily, I wonder if it's hard to get it to adhere to the Nivacrom or there was some other issue.

    What's your serial number? Mine is JS50, I'd be interested to know how they numbered them, and if they still have tubing available for doing repairs... just in case.

    How are you planning on building it up?

    Yeah- I had the same issue on my Phoenix where the paint basically fell off of the primer. Any idea who painted the Moda's? I think Santana does most of their paint in house now but I don't know if they did these or not. D&D did my Phoenix and actually repainted it for free but it still had the same issue so I went a different route.

    I will get back to you on the serial #.

    I know this may be an insult to some on this forum but I have no plans to build it up. I ride a 21" or 22" frame and a couple of good friends own a shop in Nebraska where we have a bunch of stuff on display- some gets ridden and some doesn't. I've always appreciated the Moda's for what they are so even though this is an 18" I figured it would be cool one to try and restore and display, we'll see.

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    Quote Originally Posted by uphiller View Post
    The XTR levers and calipers will definitely be an improvement in stopping power. The Avid levers have the fancy little adjuster dial, but even at the max power setting, you will be well below the performance of the XTR lever. You'll also get more rim clearance.
    Excellent info, thanks. I suspected this was the case, the M900 levers were fantastic, and aesthetically somehow more integrated with the shifters, even without the pod mount cut off. Function wins out over form for me every time unless I'm just looking at pictures, and as pretty as the Avid stuff is (and light...and well made) I'll likely go back to XTR. At least I'm not pining for the Campagnolo kit that originally came on the bike (before I had it, I still have the seatpost clamp though)-I don't favor the look of it at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by stan lee View Post

    I know this may be an insult to some on this forum but I have no plans to build it up. I ride a 21" or 22" frame and a couple of good friends own a shop in Nebraska where we have a bunch of stuff on display- some gets ridden and some doesn't. I've always appreciated the Moda's for what they are so even though this is an 18" I figured it would be cool one to try and restore and display, we'll see.
    No offense here, not every bike needs to be ridden. I bought mine to ride but would love to see yours in showrooms shape, however you build it up. I have a mint Teesdale-built Quintana Roo Superform TT bike from the late 1980's that really is too small for me (at least with the 650c wheelset). I rarely ride road bikes but will not part with it, I love it....might even hang it on the wall in here.

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