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  1. #1
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    Best Mass Production Vintage Mountain Bikes

    I know "best" is a relative term, but I'm looking for opinions on decent quality mass production mountain bikes. Everyone can't afford a Potts, Cunningham, Ritchey, Bontrager, etc. No Diamondback will compare with the mistique, attention to detail and overall quality that went into a Yo Eddy. However, there must be a few decent mass produced bikes out there? What brands made good quality for the price in the 80's and 90's? I'm thinking Specialized, GT, Trek, Cannondale, etc. I don't want to get into a bash session that a Trek 970 is a POS, just honest opinions for those that want to restore or get into vintage without having to automatically jump on one of the "cool brands." There are no "right" answers, just opinions. Let the fun begin!

  2. #2
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    Get out.
    -eric-

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

  3. #3
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    I'm kidding.

    I really liked my 91 Stumpy Epic Carbon and my GT Psyclone.
    -eric-

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  4. #4
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    Actually, there is a right answer. Rocky Mountain.

    ("Right" being a subjective term.)
    Show me your Toads. Old Brodies, too.

  5. #5
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    I'm sorry

    I'm still having a hard time hearing 90's and vintage. maybe early 90s, maybe.
    from the 80s, Specialized and Fisher.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by haaki
    I'm still having a hard time hearing 90's and vintage. maybe early 90s, maybe.
    from the 80s, Specialized and Fisher.
    I was thinking 80's and around 1993. Nothing after the last generation or XT, XC Pro thumb shifters, mostly rigid, but early front suspension designs, etc. Bikes that retailed for $900-$1,400ish. Mostly full XT or XC Pro.

  7. #7
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    for me it is all about the Bullmoose era

    Quote Originally Posted by pint
    I was thinking 80's and around 1993. Nothing after the last generation or XT, XC Pro thumb shifters, mostly rigid, but early front suspension designs, etc. Bikes that retailed for $900-$1,400ish. Mostly full XT or XC Pro.
    to maybe just after. the WTB era I guess. Fishers in the mid 80s were mass produced (like the Mt. Tam) and were great bikes. My brother had one (as well as a Marin Built fisher comp) he sold the production bike and kept the custom

  8. #8
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    For me, it's got to be late 80's early 90's Specialized Stumpjumpers. The Direct Drive forks were nice. The frames were nice. Good riding bikes - especially the matte gray Stumpjumper (Pro, Team, Comp?).

  9. #9
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    Bridgestones!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfgirlonbike
    Bridgestones!
    Ha! Only if they fit. Even their largest frame was/is too small for me.

  11. #11
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    Kona, always put alot of thought into spec of their bikes. Had some lovely steel frames and the Hei Hei when it was a ti hardtail was always nice.

  12. #12
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    Depends on how you define best. Bridgestones were lugged and butted frames from chromoly. That would check a couple boxes for me, but maybe not everyone. The geometry wasn't as aggresive as the Specialized or GT.

    x2 for Bridgestone.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by fltplan
    Depends on how you define best. Bridgestones were lugged and butted frames from chromoly. That would check a couple boxes for me, but maybe not everyone. The geometry wasn't as aggresive as the Specialized or GT.

    x2 for Bridgestone.
    I always forget about Bridgestone for some reason? Nice bikes.

    Like I said in the beginning, best is a relative and subjective term. I'm just looking for companies that made a nice solid bike at a reasonable price. I worked at a shop in college, but I was also paying for much of my college tuition. So even with my employee discount I settled for things like a Trek 990, Trek 8700, Cannondale Beast of the East, etc. They rode nice and I beat the crap out of them! I finally graduated to a Bontrager in 1992 and never looked back. I was also living in Iowa, so most people had never heard of Ritchey, Yeti, Potts, Fat, etc.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfgirlonbike
    Bridgestones!
    Exactly what I was thinking. Beyond that, there are a lot of very cool (IMHO) bikes that were mass-produced. It sounds like we're talking late 80s into early 90s. Personal favorites:

    - Bridgestone, Specialized and Kona, as mentioned
    - Higher-end GTs
    - Higher-end earlier Diamondbacks, such as the Arrival and, later, the Axis (each full XT) and on to the Overdrive
    - Are Paramount frames considered mass-produced? I tend to think they were close to it by 1990 or so (?)

    Frankly, it seems lots of the big guys had nice top-of-the-line bikes with high-end tubing and full XT. I think I like the ones that did something a little different, like Bridgestone or the DB Arrival being early mass-market aluminum. The Axis (TT OX tubing) is just one I have personal experience with, and I like the way it rides.

  15. #15
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    There are lots of nice production bikes. A Rocky Blizzard would be my bike of choice but I dig the Stumpjumpers and the Miyatas too. I also love the Ibis Avion.

  16. #16
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    I had a 1991 Stumpjumper Comp, Tange Prestige, full XT group right down to the headset and pedals, and that thing was bulletproof. My only gripe was the lame paint which chipped if you looked at it wrong. I wish I had it back now.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by chefmiguel
    Kona, always put alot of thought into spec of their bikes. Had some lovely steel frames and the Hei Hei when it was a ti hardtail was always nice.
    I'm going to go with Kona as well. Nice frames with fairly forward-thinking geometry.

    Also, I'd like a MB-1 so i'll add another to the Bridgestone camp.
    Keep the Rubber Side Down!

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  18. #18
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    Over in the UK - Orange (think Clockwork, P7 etc)
    Fuquay, Saracen Kili Flyer, DBR Axis, Dave Yates Diabolo, RSP 450, Mystery Ti, Proflex 855, Orange X1

  19. #19
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    I like Specialized. I've got a 86 and 87 Rockhopper. They're both full XT except for the crank. I've also got an 86 Stumpjumper Sport. It's identically equipped to the Rockhoppers except for the U-brake and lugged frame. They're not exotic but very capable.

  20. #20
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    Mass produced "orphan brand" bikes

    Let's not forget some brands that may not have been around long, but which put out some interesting product! I'm thinking ParkPre, Balance and Nishiki, but there are plenty more.

    Then there are the brands with racing and better product history, but which have been watered down since: Schwinn (High Sierra, Homegrown, etc), Raleigh (Technium and the Tomac specials) and Mongoose (IBOC, Amplifier, etc), as well as GT and DB, which I mentioned in my other post.

    Finally, no one's mentioned early Jamis or Scott bikes...

  21. #21
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    Not exactly mass production bike, but by a mass producer: I nominate the 1992 Panasonic MC Team.

    Why?

    full Tange Prestige frame silver brazed with lugs
    Japanese typical very high precission built
    full XTR m900
    neatly understated well made Nitto parts top it off
    team paint

    Too bad the people in the USA never got it (by 1989 Panasonic had with drawn from the US market)

    Overall Miyata made the best of the shelf bikes in the eighties, early 90s imo.

  22. #22
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    Specialized Rockhopper from 91-93

  23. #23
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    I'd have to say late '80s Bridgestone for their cool spec, quick geo (72 head angle, short stays) and cutting edginess.

    And SSMike's pick for the 1990+ Stumpjumpers. They finally got some nice thin, lively tubing it seemed. The 85 Team Stumpjumper was really cool too.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slimpee
    I'm going to go with Kona as well. Nice frames with fairly forward-thinking geometry.
    Make me a third, heck even the low-end Fire Mountain rode better than most of the other non-custom bikes of the time. I also think the Giant ATX series were quite nice.

  25. #25
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    A lot of the higher-end bikes form most the manufactures were pretty nice.

    Bridgestone is the obvious choice for me. I have an upper end KHS from the early 90's and it's super light - a bit quick in the handing department - but a nice bike.
    Each bicycle owned exponentially increases the probability that none is working correctly.

  26. #26
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    I have four Bridgestones, so count me as another Bridgestone MB fan! I'll also second the vote for the early 90's Rockhoppers. I picked up this Rockhopper Comp for a song last year, and would still have it if it was a bit larger:


    ...and of course, I have a soft spot for Trek 900 series bikes, especially the lugged ones like this '89 950. Again, too small or it would have been a keeper...

  27. #27
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    Best bang for the buck, in my book, was the Specialized Stumpys. They had the angles down by '90 and handled great. Bridgestones were well made and seem to be more valueable these days than any other production bike. And they have lugs
    "I think it is heavy and often stupid and doesn't work as well as Shimano, but I keep using it. -- NG

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by cegrover
    Finally, no one's mentioned early Jamis or Scott bikes...
    Anyone have a link to old Jamis catalogs? I've got my eye on a full rigid Dakar frame to replace my Bianchi trash bike frame, but have no idea on the measurements beyond what the seller has measured with a tape rule.
    Chasing bears through the woods drunk with a dull hatchet is strongly not advised

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt H.
    I have four Bridgestones, so count me as another Bridgestone MB fan! I'll also second the vote for the early 90's Rockhoppers. I picked up this Rockhopper Comp for a song last year, and would still have it if it was a bit larger:
    I still miss my Rockhopper Comp - exactly like that one, it was......

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by wv_bob
    Anyone have a link to old Jamis catalogs? I've got my eye on a full rigid Dakar frame to replace my Bianchi trash bike frame, but have no idea on the measurements beyond what the seller has measured with a tape rule.

    oooh yeah, the Jamis Dakar was pretty darn cool! Definitely not a cookie cutter oriental-made bike.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fillet-brazed
    oooh yeah, the Jamis Dakar was pretty darn cool! Definitely not a cookie cutter oriental-made bike.
    Yeah seems like Teesdale built some of them too. This one is built of Prestige steel with lugs and I just revisited the photos and see it has roller cam studs under the chainstay. That kinda discourages me because I'm looking for a lighter and livelier frame to put parts I've got on it, not a frame to buy ever more parts for.
    Chasing bears through the woods drunk with a dull hatchet is strongly not advised

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by wv_bob
    Yeah seems like Teesdale built some of them too. This one is built of Prestige steel with lugs and I just revisited the photos and see it has roller cam studs under the chainstay. That kinda discourages me because I'm looking for a lighter and livelier frame to put parts I've got on it, not a frame to buy ever more parts for.

    Suntour roller cams are cheap. I remember them being fillet-brazed but that was in the 80s. Don't think I've seen a lugged one.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssmike
    For me, it's got to be late 80's early 90's Specialized Stumpjumpers. The Direct Drive forks were nice. The frames were nice. Good riding bikes - especially the matte gray Stumpjumper (Pro, Team, Comp?).
    matt grey with red decals? that was the 91 stumpjumper comp in the UK at least. colours seem to differ country to country in some cases.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt H.

    ...and of course, I have a soft spot for Trek 900 series bikes, especially the lugged ones like this '89 950. Again, too small or it would have been a keeper...
    WOW...this was my 1st mountain bike! What memories! Same color and all. I ordered it in the fall of 1988. If I only had the same freedom today that I had then...

    Nice discussion all...this is what I hoped for.

  35. #35
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    mb-1 was my first real mtb. wish i still had it. their catalog was the coolest of the day. it sold me. anybody have one from about 92'
    it takes lighting speed to make thunder.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by scant
    matt grey with red decals? that was the 91 stumpjumper comp in the UK at least. colours seem to differ country to country in some cases.
    That was definitely available on both Stumpys and Rockhoppers in the US - both Comp, I think. I've never seen a Hardrock with that paint, however...

  37. #37
    I picked two too many
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    Pint -

    I have to hand it to you. Some great threads you have been starting lately.

    In my mind you are epitomizing the kind of member we appreciate around here.

    Just a note of thanks.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by pint
    ...So even with my employee discount I settled for things like a Trek 990, Trek 8700, Cannondale Beast of the East, etc. They rode nice and I beat the crap out of them!
    I do have a strange affection for my M800 Beast of the East. I started with black with lime green splatter 1990 SM800 that I bought in college with some internship money and got a new frame in about '95 when the original's chainstays got tweaked. I can't bring myself to get rid of this thing.

    I didn't ride it much from about 1999 to 2005 after I had a BK amputation after a car accident. But my kids inspired me to get back on and get in shape so I can keep up with them.


  39. #39
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    Another vote for the early 90s stumpjumpers. Konas were nice too, agressive looking and a ride more to my liking.
    Quote Originally Posted by banks
    That is one big f'n dude!
    Yes I am!

  40. #40
    25-yr old Retrogrouch
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    Quote Originally Posted by IF52
    Another vote for the early 90s stumpjumpers. Konas were nice too, agressive looking and a ride more to my liking.
    Too new for the crowd here but this is the girl that got me started:


    Before I SS'ed her this fall she did have a threaded stem and a straight handlebar...
    Keep the Rubber Side Down!

    Wanted: Judy FSX decals

  41. #41
    I picked two too many
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    I should go try and ride a Specialized to see what I think. I just have a knee-jerk reaction to them and Trek. I just throw up a little. I had a Trek 820 SHX and it was a tank, but it handled fine. I also had a Raleigh Technium that was just OK.

    Bridgestone, I always liked, rode a MB-3 for a bit.

    So for me it's Bridgestone.

  42. #42
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    I dig the Breezers!
    Looking for 58cm Road Logic or Road Classic

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrOrange
    Pint -

    I have to hand it to you. Some great threads you have been starting lately.

    In my mind you are epitomizing the kind of member we appreciate around here.

    Just a note of thanks.
    MrOrange - I really appreciate that! I thought a thread on more readily available bikes might spark a few lurkers to jump in. I lurked around this sight for a year or so before I began to contribute. It can be a bit intimidating when all the talk is about bikes that are out of reach for many. My opinion is, the more the merrier. As long as us newbs contribute, rather than just suck out info to go and sell something!

  44. #44
    I picked two too many
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    Quote Originally Posted by pint
    MrOrange - I really appreciate that! I thought a thread on more readily available bikes might spark a few lurkers to jump in. I lurked around this sight for a year or so before I began to contribute. It can be a bit intimidating when all the talk is about bikes that are out of reach for many. My opinion is, the more the merrier. As long as us newbs contribute, rather than just suck out info to go and sell something!
    Amen.

  45. #45
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    specialized stumpjumper and m2 fs, bridgestone, 1991 nishiki ariel (the improved design in steel)

  46. #46
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    I will have to agree with others, but I am partial to the late 80's early 90's stumpjumpers.
    I have a 93 stumpjumper M2 (just the base model) and its still going strong.

    I always did want to try out a bridgestone though...

  47. #47
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    Hey everyone, I couldn't resist any longer. I've been lurking for
    awhile and I'm starting to feel ashamed. he,he.

    Gotta let you know about my 1984 Mt Fuji I bought, built and
    modded slightly in 1986.

    Lugged, quad-butted Ishiwata, powercoated with candy red, white pearl,
    and candy blue. I accented the lug work with the red and blue. It's
    a full XT bike with a set of Campy Contax wheels I built in 1986.

    Running a 39in wheelbase and a good set of Conti's, it's as stable
    and solid as you will find. With the relaxed seatube and steep
    headtube along with generous rake, the bike handles quick but
    is not a squirrel

    When I decided to re-paint in 1985 with the red, white and blue
    powdercoat, little did I know that Fuji would use the same colors
    for their team bikes some 22 years later. So, it's Vintage and
    contemporary at the same time.

    I have over 25,000 on her and she's still a classy Lady !

    I'm looking forward in getting to know everyone, and enjoy reading
    the Forums.



    Skinnedshins. ( in 63 years, you get lots of em )
    Last edited by skinnedshins; 01-21-2009 at 05:58 PM.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by skinnedshins
    Hey everyone, I couldn't resist any longer. I've been lurking for
    awhile and I'm starting to feel ashamed. he,he.
    Well welcome aboard, Skinnedshins! Your Fuji sounds interesting, make sure you post up some pics sometime...

  49. #49
    Re-friggin'-Lax!!!
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    92 Zaskar
    92? Fisher Supercaliber (Neon Green one with the Shark on the top tube and XC Comp)
    91 Stumpjumper (white with blue lettering)
    93 Stumpjumper FS (grey with orange/yellow lettering and Future Shock)
    92 GT Karakoram (the orange/yellow with black splatters)
    all bikes I lusted for as a goofy 14 year old.
    If necessity is the mother of invention, laziness is the deadbeat dad that knocked her up.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by skinnedshins
    I have over 25,000 on her and she's still a classy Lady !

    I'm looking forward in getting to know everyone, and enjoy reading
    the Forums.



    Skinnedshins. ( in 63 years, you get lots of em )
    I'm more of a Skinnedelbow type of person, but I love your story. Amazing that your bike has 25k miles on it. That's over 8 times across the U.S. Freaking awesome.

    Welcome to the snakepit. :P

  51. #51
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    All this talk about Stumpjumpers has me thinking about a bike company who went directly against Specialized in their advertising - Yokota. My Yokota Half Dome (non Teesdale built) rides almost as well as my other non mass produced bikes (Fat, Bontrager, Ritchey,& Grove)
    "Everyone has a plan 'till they get punched in the mouth"
    Mike Tyson

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by skinnedshins
    Running a 39in wheelbase and a good set of Conti's,
    nice, but just make sure your fork isn't on backward.

  53. #53
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    Thanks for the welcome everyone.

    I'm a bit of a bike junkie, so I should fit in pretty good here right ?

    As soon as I get the camera fired up, I'll post pictures of my
    menagerie.



    Skinnedshins.

  54. #54
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    I got to throw in another vote for the Trek 950. The first mountain bike I ever owned.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfgirlonbike
    Bridgestones!
    Yeah...duh!! MB-1 forever.
    Wanted:

    Potts, Potts, Potts

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by myroo
    I got to throw in another vote for the Trek 950. The first mountain bike I ever owned.
    I'm glad that you and Pint are feeling some love for the old 950. That blue one I posted was once complimented by Rumphy himself. He said, "Looks very clean and mostly original. If I had no other bike to ride, that would do nicely." (italics added)

    I blushed like a schoolgirl.

    In fact, I was so flattered, I think I'm gonna make it my new signature!
    Last edited by Matt H.; 01-21-2009 at 08:34 PM.
    Beware the forty-year-old man on a twenty-year-old bike...He likely knows how to ride it.

  57. #57
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    Face + Palm

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Ro
    All this talk about Stumpjumpers has me thinking about a bike company who went directly against Specialized in their advertising - Yokota. My Yokota Half Dome (non Teesdale built) rides almost as well as my other non mass produced bikes (Fat, Bontrager, Ritchey,& Grove)
    I'll second a call on Yokota and would go so far as to say they are a really "undiscovered" brand. Built well, rode well, but sold really poorly. They also made a nice mountain tandem.

  59. #59
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    Having owned 4 MB-1's ('88,'89,'89,90), my obvious choice would be a big +1 on Bridgestone, and I would have to take exception to the previous post stating that their geometry was not aggressive as GT and Spec. Seems 16.7 chainstay and 72 head angle is fairly aggressive.

    While a little heavier, I liked the late 80's and early 90's GTs.

    My final vote for good mass produces bikes would go to the early 90's production Paramount PDG bikes. Series 70,90, Team, Project KOM, etc.

  60. #60
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    All this low end Trek talk keeps up, I'm going to start posting pics of mine.


    Why would you own 100 Yugos when you could own 1 Porsche? - Rumpfy



  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by ameybrook
    All this low end Trek talk keeps up, I'm going to start posting pics of mine.
    Is that a promise or a threat???

    Don't make me post pics of the Huffy or Magna.

  62. #62
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    The winner is Bridgestone. I had two '92s, a P-23, and a Santana Moda, and the B'stones were my favorites. The ritchey didn't fit as well, but was light, and the Santana CRACKED around practically the entire circumference of the downtube, right behind the cable stops. No problems with either B'stone. Unfortunately, I just HAD to have a Bianchi BOSS, and it wasn't going to pay for itself.......

  63. #63
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    Anyone have any thoughts on the Giant ATX series (760/770/780), circa 1992-3? I used to sell those alongside similarly-priced Treks and Specializeds, and I always thought that, at around the $400-450 price point (back then) they offered just a bit more bang for the buck. I also thought that they looked cool, too, though I admit I've never spent any serious time riding one. I recall that the 760 came with mostly full Shimano DX (my favorite 90s group), too. I thought back then that Giant made some of the frames for Schwinn and Specialized MTBs, is that right?

    I've also always liked the simple TIG'd Stumpys and R'Hoppers from around the same time frame.

    Here's a sweet 1992 Trek that someone recently refurb'd:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/83128549@N00/3191813950/

    And I'll always remain wistful over my now-sold 1994 C'dale 3.0 Series MTN frame, which I built up into an M700 clone. I wouldn't buy one again, but I'll always miss it.

    Cheers,
    -Jim G

  64. #64
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    Good call. I don't have riding time on early 90s Giants, but heard good things, like the look and liked the value proposition.

    Giant made (and, I believe, still makes) a lot of frames for other brands. They started selling their own brand in the mid 1980s. My first MTB was an AT830 from 1985 or 1986. It was entry level, but I was a young teenager and enjoyed that bike a lot.

  65. #65
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    I like the ones you rescue from pawnshop/trash/garage sale. Replace the tubes and ride. There are so many bikes from that era that were never ridden very hard, and still have many years of fun left in them.
    When someone says they want to get a bike, I say give me a few weeks... I can usually find something for under 200.
    I wish more people would seek out these old machines... I see them rusting away all over the place.

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrankM
    I like the ones you rescue from pawnshop/trash/garage sale. Replace the tubes and ride.
    Replace tubes? That's major welding or brazing work!

  67. #67
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    I was riding my 1992 Cannondale M1000 a couple of weekends back and on some good singletrack its hard to beat. Modern (!) DX style flatties and riser bars have really improved, especially for a guy whose back is starting to be middle aged. Always wanted to try a Beast of the East though (my M1000 was a discounted previous years model, otherwise I'd have gone BoE). The bike is stock apart from wheels and brakes and bars - original front cranks and rings, mechs and shifters. Awesome they way they keep running 1000s of miles down the line.

    At the time I rated the way my friends GT Pantera handled - very chuckable, but for forward looking you've got to give Kona a lot of respect for mass marketing the slopey top tube.

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rumpfy
    GT Psyclone.
    Boy it's time you opened Webster's. Psyclones were not "production" mountain bikes.
    You must have graduated from Huffy U!
    Needed: 26.8mm XTR seatpost, blue GT/Grundig Jersey.

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimgskoop
    Anyone have any thoughts on the Giant ATX series (760/770/780), circa 1992-3? I used to sell those alongside similarly-priced Treks and Specializeds, and I always thought that, at around the $400-450 price point (back then) they offered just a bit more bang for the buck. I also thought that they looked cool, too, though I admit I've never spent any serious time riding one. I recall that the 760 came with mostly full Shimano DX (my favorite 90s group), too. I thought back then that Giant made some of the frames for Schwinn and Specialized MTBs, is that right?

    I've also always liked the simple TIG'd Stumpys and R'Hoppers from around the same time frame.

    Here's a sweet 1992 Trek that someone recently refurb'd:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/83128549@N00/3191813950/

    And I'll always remain wistful over my now-sold 1994 C'dale 3.0 Series MTN frame, which I built up into an M700 clone. I wouldn't buy one again, but I'll always miss it.

    Cheers,
    -Jim G
    I used to ride an early 90s ATX 760. A bit heavy, but the frame was very solid, oversized seat and down tubes, good angles too. I believe the tubing was Giants house brand double butted, heat treated 4130. Full DX. I liked that bike a lot.
    Wanted: broken Titec 2 bolt seatpost, any size

  70. #70
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    I have to agree w/ the early-mid 90's Giant ATX 7XX series. I rode, built and sold them from two shops. Amazing value. I had kind of forgotten about them when I bought my Litespeed. Then I picked up a 760 for my fiance (now wife). It was her first real bike. I liked it so much that I felt a little foolish that I had paid three-times the amount for my Obed.

    I still keep my eyes open for a 780. I'd love to pick one up as a back-up rig.

  71. #71
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    This would be a great bike mag test. 'Blind Taste Test" of various frames, same groupo, all painted the same. I think the results would be surprising.

    Some of the brands mentioned here make my head hurt.
    I'll cast my vote...based on great stock geo (for decades), nice looking, smart frame spec, easily available as frame only (for dirty cheap), option of purchasing a damn decent rigid fork, boutiquey (might be a negative), killer warranty, didn't break easily, Steel, Ti, Al, thorough size runs,still in business.....

    KONA

    You could buy one of their 350$ frames, hang at XTR group on it, and be set for anything.

    -Schmitty-

  72. #72
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    Any Klein bike before Trek bought them.

    Any Litespeed
    Any Fat Chance
    Any Merlin
    Any Kona Titanium Frame
    Any Rocky Mountain

    that is all

  73. #73
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    Parkpre. Their Team 925 model was b!tchin'. Tange Prestige, Manitou 2 or Tange Struts fork, Shimano components (LX, I think), faux titanium chrome finish, all for $1049 retail. I should know--I lusted after one for years! I was a freshman in high-school at the time, and a $1000+ bike was out of reach.

  74. #74
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    Team 925

    Quote Originally Posted by Vlad
    Parkpre. Their Team 925 model was b!tchin'. Tange Prestige, Manitou 2 or Tange Struts fork, Shimano components (LX, I think), faux titanium chrome finish, all for $1049 retail. I should know--I lusted after one for years! I was a freshman in high-school at the time, and a $1000+ bike was out of reach.
    Vlad, I have a Team 925. It's been stripped down after sitting in the garage for 10 years. Just got new elastomers for the Manitou II. I started out by wanting to put it back to it's original condition, but I have a very stron urge to single speed it and modernize critical components...

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by pint
    I know "best" is a relative term, but I'm looking for opinions on decent quality mass production mountain bikes. Everyone can't afford a Potts, Cunningham, Ritchey, Bontrager, etc. No Diamondback will compare with the mistique, attention to detail and overall quality that went into a Yo Eddy. However, there must be a few decent mass produced bikes out there? What brands made good quality for the price in the 80's and 90's? I'm thinking Specialized, GT, Trek, Cannondale, etc. I don't want to get into a bash session that a Trek 970 is a POS, just honest opinions for those that want to restore or get into vintage without having to automatically jump on one of the "cool brands." There are no "right" answers, just opinions. Let the fun begin!
    I think that's why some of us started "Blue Collar" and "Pedestrian" bike threads. My vote goes to the Stumpjumper. Early 80's were getting expensive until the recession kicked in hard last year. Now the prices seem to have fallen some. Great thread and good luck on your search.

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by gm1230126
    Boy it's time you opened Webster's. Psyclones were not "production" mountain bikes
    No, but they were nice rides.

  77. #77
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    I'd second Rocky Mountain... Looking at their old catalogues you'll see they have a hard time not putting XT on their bikes, kinda like Apple's statement about "we don't know how to manufacture a computer under $1000 that isn't crap"... ;^)

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt H.
    ...and of course, I have a soft spot for Trek 900 series bikes, especially the lugged ones like this '89 950. Again, too small or it would have been a keeper...
    If you like the old Trek MTBs, check this one out -- a real nice refurb/rebuild (not mine unfortunately)!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/8312854...7612486898484/

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmitty
    This would be a great bike mag test. 'Blind Taste Test" of various frames, same groupo, all painted the same. I think the results would be surprising.

    Some of the brands mentioned here make my head hurt.
    I'll cast my vote...based on great stock geo (for decades), nice looking, smart frame spec, easily available as frame only (for dirty cheap), option of purchasing a damn decent rigid fork, boutiquey (might be a negative), killer warranty, didn't break easily, Steel, Ti, Al, thorough size runs,still in business.....

    KONA

    You could buy one of their 350$ frames, hang at XTR group on it, and be set for anything.

    -Schmitty-
    I agree, even now their bikes are hard to beat at a given price point. Now if they would just stop making them so damn ugly.
    http://www.nbbikes.com/
    ^^^Best Bike Shop of MTBR 2008^^^

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssmike
    For me, it's got to be late 80's early 90's Specialized Stumpjumpers. The Direct Drive forks were nice. The frames were nice. Good riding bikes - especially the matte gray Stumpjumper (Pro, Team, Comp?).

    yes. other than their low bottom brackets i can't see anything wrong w/ steel made in japan stumpjumpers.

    i just threaded the steerer on my DB stumpie fork. may have ruined it.
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

  81. #81
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    My vote is any production Sandvik Ti frame
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Ripping trails and tipping ales

  82. #82
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    1992 S-Works (steel)
    1992 Explosif Pro

  83. #83
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    Year wise I know this is stretching the envelope but a 1995 Trek 930 Singletrack was made of OX True Temper Cromo... not too many of the big guys even offer "good" quality steel stuff anymore- it is only in 40lb W#&M@%t crap. The original spec was STX RC stuff but it was the entry model into the best Steel stuff Trek had to offer for a bargin price-
    I know it is not anything special but it is a great durable frame with a cool flat green and purle fade and the ride is way better than most of the Alum stuff offered by all the big guys today- don't hate me because I like this old thing- Vintage...maybe not but old.


    Here are a few pics of my 95' Trek 930 - I have all of the original STX-RC stuff but have converted it to 9spd XTR (~952ish) still need to add a front der....that matches. I know it is not a super vintage nor all from the exact period but It's what I've got and it really get ridden. And yes it is a Surly fork- I wanted to keep it rigid but wanted a threadless fork- this fit the bill...
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by knottshore; 07-19-2009 at 07:58 PM. Reason: Adding a picture
    I Just wish I could ride more!


  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by knottshore
    Year wise I know this is stretching the envelope but a 1995 Trek 930 Singletrack was made of OX True Temper Cromo... not too many of the big guys even offer "good" quality steel stuff anymore- it is only in 40lb W#&M@%t crap.
    except for Surly.
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

  85. #85
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    Surly qualifies as 40lb crap.

    The later model year Explosifs were much better as you could actually fit a knobby tire in the back.

    -Schmitty-

  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmitty
    Surly qualifies as 40lb crap.

    The later model year Explosifs were much better as you could actually fit a knobby tire in the back.

    -Schmitty-

    both made in taiwan. difference is .5 lb and paint.
    both have a great ride. surly does not pretend to be high end and this alone makes it cooler.
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

  87. #87
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    Lots of folks here are saying that the early '90s Stumpies are the bee's knees but what about the late '80's? Specifically, the 1989? I just can't seem to get rid of my 1989 Stumpjumper Comp due to sentimental reasons and I'm now considering either restoring it or doing a neo-retro project on it (mixing old frameset with new components).

    I'm still considering my options concerning an older Raleigh Technium bike that I built from the frame-up then sold to a friend many, many years ago. If I buy this one back it's probably going to become a UAB for me.

  88. #88
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    1989 good year

    I have a 89 team stumpy, still one of my favorite bikes to ride.

  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by WEBERTIME
    92 Zaskar
    93 Stumpjumper FS (grey with orange/yellow lettering and Future Shock)
    That's the exact bike I am looking to build up this weekend...

    I was considering brazing a rear cable stop on it and removing the canti-brake noodle so that I can run a V-brake on the back without a bolt-on brake stop.

    I know it's not a rare bike, but after searching here in VRC, I can see it's probably too nice of a bike to "cut up and braze stuff on to it."

  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by J_Westy
    I didn't ride it much from about 1999 to 2005 after I had a BK amputation after a car accident. But my kids inspired me to get back on and get in shape so I can keep up with them.


    I really want to make a Stumpjumper joke, but that would just be in poor taste

    GG on getting back into riding after that.

  91. #91
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    One of the few Mongooses I actually like...

    Yeah, they're Tiawanese mass produced and in recent years the quality has not been there to say the least, but I like some of the features of this '92 IBOC Team. Triangular top tube, looped rear trangle and fairly aggressive geometry. Welds are a bit ugly but other wise a very fun bike.






  92. #92
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    Indoor pics...91 Schwinn Paramount PDG Series 70

    This was the highest model with full Shimano XT (Series 90 had Suntour XC Pro). Tange Prestige cromo, flared short butted seat tube. Still on orig rims, hubs, tires.

    Great handling bike! I prefer the low stem, XC race setup Needs a bit of cleaning.







  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asmodeus2112
    Vlad, I have a Team 925. It's been stripped down after sitting in the garage for 10 years. Just got new elastomers for the Manitou II. I started out by wanting to put it back to it's original condition, but I have a very stron urge to single speed it and modernize critical components...
    Do it and post pics! If I could get my hands on a frame cheaply, I'd probably single-speed it.

  94. #94
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    I will have to jump in on the Giant ATX bandwagon. I picked up one a while back. I was skimming through a row of bikes and at first didn't even give it a second glance (Giant with grip shift). I then noticed the black shimano cantilevers. Checked out the rest of the bike and it was all DX, except for Dia Compe SS7 levers, with Araya RM-17s, & super turbo saddle. Parts bike I thought to myself & made away with it for $30. I normally strip parts bikes as soon as I get them home because I don't have the storage room. The bike is a white ATX 770 (1990 I think) and is my size so I decided to give it a try. I changed out the tires, replaced the stem & handlebars with a Tioga T-bone & Tioga 2000 DL, put on some old Deore DX thumbies & new shift cables and gave it a try. The bike fits & rides great. I have put it though some abuse & can find no complaints, its a keeper for now.
    Last edited by RX-1; 12-17-2009 at 12:00 PM.

  95. #95
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    early miyatas, konas and rocky mountains.
    never felt any love for spec'd and treks (not any specific reason that I can remember)
    If steel is real then aluminium is supercallafragiliniun!

  96. #96
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    I was a die hard GT guy from the time I started in the late 80's until they went bankrupt. Since then, I've had the great pleasure to own some great early 90's Diamondbacks, and they have all been sweet rides. If I had it to do over again, every steel bike I had would have been an Axis or an Apex.
    ALSO: Mt. Shasta is a brand that made some sweet rigs back then, but doesn't get much notice anymore.

  97. #97
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    Hmm..the best production mtb? My humble vote goes to either a Kona Hei Hei, GT Avalanche team or Merlin Mountain. I like the GT:s for their cool looks and nice geometry, the Konas for how they handle and the Merlin for the pure esthetics of the Ti frame, and, I guess, the feel of the material when riding.

    Nobody going to say a Bianchi?

    Major

  98. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by Major
    Hmm..the best production mtb? My humble vote goes to either a Kona Hei Hei, GT Avalanche team or Merlin Mountain. I like the GT:s for their cool looks and nice geometry, the Konas for how they handle and the Merlin for the pure esthetics of the Ti frame, and, I guess, the feel of the material when riding.

    Nobody going to say a Bianchi?

    Major
    Although I've seen a few broken at the chainstay the Grizzlies were great bikes for sure. Smooth and stable.
    Zip ties? Not on my bike!

    Want:
    650B rims or wheel set. 80's vintage 32 or 36 x 135mm

  99. #99
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    Lots of nice bikes mentioned here. Some of my favorites were an 87 Stumpjumper, 89 Fisher Mt Tam Classic, and a 93 Bridgestone MB-1. Still have the Mt Tam and the MB-1. Both still in great shape, but don't see much action these days....

  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elevation12,000
    Not exactly mass production bike, but by a mass producer: I nominate the 1992 Panasonic MC Team.

    Why?

    full Tange Prestige frame silver brazed with lugs
    Japanese typical very high precission built
    full XTR m900
    neatly understated well made Nitto parts top it off
    team paint

    Too bad the people in the USA never got it (by 1989 Panasonic had with drawn from the US market)

    Overall Miyata made the best of the shelf bikes in the eighties, early 90s imo.
    Sans the M900...Panasonic had the same frame/bike in the US market in from 1987-1989 as their MC7500 model
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Best Mass Production Vintage Mountain Bikes-pict0217.jpg  

    Needed: 26.8mm XTR seatpost, blue GT/Grundig Jersey.

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