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Thread: Just sayin'-

  1. #1
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    Just sayin'-

    As many of you know, I started off in this forum because it's where I thought I belonged with my BOC. After many arguments, discussions, pleasant conversations, research, and downright helpful hints, I discovered some interesting things about the 90's suspension bikes.
    In my quest for parts, I ended up picking up 4) CT FS bikes, 1) CT hardtail, 1) 1996 Amp Research, 1) 1994 Proflex 756, a 96 Adroit, a 99 Attitude V, and a 2000 Turner XC.
    As I rode the CT FS bike, I began to see room for improvement in suspension travel front and rear. I started off with a 2.3" travel rock shock in the front and a 1" stroke Fox Alps5 rear. It handled fairly well but didn't have enough travel for the plethora of rocks and roots found here in Va.
    I upgraded the fork to an Answer Minute with 140mm travel and a 1.75" Alps rear. This changed the geometry significantly and ended up making my butt positioned almost directly over the rear axle with the help of a layback Thompson post. This gave me the power to climb hills easier and to clear obstacles much easier because the front end was much lighter. This is and has been a SS setup for clarification.
    Changing the gear ratio from 32/17 to 32/21 has made it much easier to climb hills although I still walk a fair amount of them.
    I've been able to find the right stem length and since I didn't cut the steer tube, I was able to correctly find the right stem height for a near perfect custom fit for my height and reach.
    After riding this bike for some time, I realized the need for full disc- rear rim brakes really suck when it comes time to stop a big gorilla like me. I need disc!
    I find the Brake Therapy kit and price one out- with new rear wheel, hub, brakes, and kit, it's nearly $800.
    I find 2 welders who worked on these bikes originally and get a quote from FTW to change the dropouts to sliders and add an adjustable rear disc bracket for a total of $900.
    Castellano's new modern URT bike is $2300.
    All of these options are too high for me, so I go in search of an XL frame. I settle on the Turner XC and am waiting to build it up. If I like the geometry and handling of this bike, I will seek an older Burner from 95-96 so I can still post comments here.
    FTW did the welding on these bikes in the mid 90's and so much innovation and product R&D went into the 90's FS bikes that they revolutionized the way bikes are built today. The Horst link is still in use, the URT is still being made, the 4 bar is also widely used.

  2. #2
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    Why?
    Why do all of that when the average modern bike will be superior in every way to anything you can do to a vintage bike.

    Perhaps I'm off base as to what this forum is about, but I thought it was the enjoyment of vintage stuff - along with the limitations imposed - those that we along with our heroes of yesteryear faced.

    They are your bikes and your enjoyment is all that should matter but why not enjoy them for what they are and represent rather than modify them to be modern but never quite getting there and at greater expense?
    Wanted: more of the same ... but different

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    Quote Originally Posted by CCMDoc View Post
    Why?
    Why do all of that when the average modern bike will be superior in every way to anything you can do to a vintage bike.

    Perhaps I'm off base as to what this forum is about, but I thought it was the enjoyment of vintage stuff - along with the limitations imposed - those that we along with our heroes of yesteryear faced.

    They are your bikes and your enjoyment is all that should matter but why not enjoy them for what they are and represent rather than modify them to be modern but never quite getting there and at greater expense?
    I hear what you're saying but my personal experience with modern bikes so far has been poor. I rode a 2011 GF Hi-Fi Pro and the left chainstay broke. After a free frame replacement to a newer Trek version, I was disappointed in the overall handling of the bike. I also heard that cracked chainstays were a common issue with these bikes.
    The lower bottom bracket tends to cause pedal strike on obstacles that I normally clear. The press-fit BB made tons of noise too. That bike went away and I picked up the CT. I only changed the suspension to fit my style better. I really wasn't looking forward to making an actual modification of the original bike as I felt that I was experiencing the limitations of the bike just like you are saying and that it would kind of be sacrilege to make it more modern. I only thought this because of my experience with the new bike turned out for the worse and that the old bike hadn't had any issues yet.
    I'm stepping up a few years to the Turner because it has disc tabs and a better rear suspension system. and it was only $300.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by zygote2k View Post
    I hear what you're saying but my personal experience with modern bikes so far has been poor. I rode a 2011 GF Hi-Fi Pro and the left chainstay broke.
    There's your problem right there.

    There's definitely a disposable aspect to today's modern bikes...but a well built (quality) modern fully will be far and away better than anything you can do to that CT. And in the long run, probably cheaper. Not cheap, but cheaper.
    -eric-

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    I agree that the disposable factor is the key issue. I'm hoping that by going to the Turner that it will lead me to make a better decision when purchasing a late model FS frame.
    The URT does have some limitations when descending at speed and after listening to some people about the Turners, I believe the 4 bar might suit my purposes a little better.
    Even with all this said, there's still some part of me that loves the early to mid 90's suspension bikes and all the CNC stuff that was available during that era.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by zygote2k View Post
    there's still some part of me that loves the early to mid 90's bikes and all the CNC stuff that was available during that era.
    And you have LOTS of company in that regard. You'll spend $$$ for naught trying to pseudo-modernize bikes from that era and never achieve what a good, modern bike can give you.
    Wanted: more of the same ... but different

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    I'm doing the opposite. I have a 2005ish On-One Inbred 29er F&F with Canti posts that I'm planning to fit Canti brakes on. Got some M950 Hubs on MA-40 wheels, Grafton Re-Entry Levers, now just need some brakes . . .
    WTB: Bontrager Comp Fork & Syncros metal top cap

  9. #9
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    Friends don't let friends ride Treks, or any "company" associated with them.

    Try a real, modern bike from one of the smaller builders, sure, Turner fits, but Lenz Sport is worth a look too. High BB, built with love, by one person, to last. Been beating the snbot out of a few for years, they keep coming back for more.

    Modern big company bikes, almost by definition, will break rather quickly, it allows "better profitability for shareholders"....
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    Modern big company bikes, almost by definition, will break rather quickly, it allows "better profitability for shareholders"....
    I don't think you actually believe that... IME the big bike companies make bikes that rarely break - they are often fatigue tested in manner small guys could only dream of - but they are spec'd with crap and sold to folks as price points.

    It's the price point that kills. It's folks being over-sold and under-buying. It's putting a clyde - or a regular commuter - on unserviceable suspension (yet still designed with bushings - i.e.: to break reliably) without that explained.

    Frames break (mostly) exceptionally. Parts break (mostly) by design.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mainlyfats View Post
    I don't think you actually believe that...
    I think we more or less are coming at it from the same approach, just different points of view.

    In the end, it's the customer who loses, and the share holders that profit, as costs are driven down, while price points increase.

    I've seen more Treks, Fishers, Jamis, Specialized et al, break in the last 10 years than I did in the previous 20.

    The blind rush to weight savings and complete design change every year or so, in hopes of better sales, is leading this, if you ask me.

    Time was, the product development cycle was every 3 or 4 years at least, and that was often alternately split between road and MTB so the time was actually even a bit longer. This allowed for more time testing under folks who use it the hardest, team riders. Now it's every year or two, and if you don't, you're perceived as slow moving, and thus, off the back of innovation as a company. So who's doing the testing now? You and I.

    Sure, there's warranty, but Trek/Fisher (again) comes to mind. Buy an alloy frame, break it in a year, that's okay though, it's got a lifetime warranty. But gee, they have none, so they upgrade you into a carbon (wow, how nice of them) buuuuut? Sorry, no lifetime warranty anymore. Sucker.......

    Thanks, I'll pass on the constant shell game of crap from companies that care about their public persona and two page glossy ads, more than the bikes they build. Add to that nobody holds onto parts for things they made two years ago, but will happily sell you a new, ever so slightly modified so the old parts don't work any more, version, and my angst meter goes into the red.

    Yeah, kinda burned out on the industry at the commercial end too many years, seen too much, don't listen to me. Now the little guys that still have some fire in the belly? That's where I'm headed....
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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    i had a trek once, and the design was such that the rear main pivot's bushing (plastic) would slide on the bare aluminum frame. the frame was wearing in this location so I asked the LBS...He told me that was normal, a year later the frame was worn out and that danged plastic bushing was not.....after much adoo...they replaced it.....which I sold before ever building it up. I have several Foes bikes that I've been riding for a decade now, full suspensions....and sooo much fun. They are very well built and the MFG stands behind them when I have issues or questions...small builders can do many types of testing too, these tests are really not that difficult to rig up (i used to do very similar tests on wheelchairs and scooters). Ive broke several namebrand frames in my time, but these "more custom/low production" built bikes are just better made...at least mine have been....I personally hate the trends that MTB design is going through...the designers are stale and just trying too hard anymore(suspensins and geometries are dialed in)...I believe thats one of the reasons that all these custom builders can suvive. A round tube actually works just fine...even for downhillers....everything else is fluff....weight only matters to a certain point, then the rider better be damn good or it all goes to waste.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    I've seen more Treks, Fishers, Jamis, Specialized et al, break in the last 10 years than I did in the previous 20.
    I wonder if the increase in broken frames has to do with the increased number of full-suspension bikes being sold. A hardtail is more or less a truss, and how forces impact it is pretty well understood. A full suspension frame is constantly changing shapes and has different forces acting on it in different ways.

    Like you I've noticed many more frame breaking over the past few years. In the days of hardtails, it used to be odd when someone's frame broke - I've seen a few crack, but can only remember one friend who snapped a chain stay. For the past 4-5 years I've had at least one friend break their frames (all full suspension) and many of them not ridden hard. The one that broke this year was on a guy that takes it very easy through anything rocky and does not push it hard down hills at all.

    I can't prove it for sure, but it sure seems like "modern" bikes break more often than they used to. And like you said, almost all of them came with a "lifetime warranty."
    Each bicycle owned exponentially increases the probability that none is working correctly.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by laffeaux View Post
    I wonder if the increase in broken frames has to do with the increased number of full-suspension bikes being sold.
    I sell Jamis as a big brand, but am surrounded by "the others" so I see plenty of riders in with them too, hear stories etc.

    And, as syklysst pointed out, a well made frame from a smaller builder seems to offer far better lifespan, as it's their name on it, and their passion, as opposed to "here's a new frame, don't blame us, we didn't build it, blame the folks we contracted to build it for us"......

    With Jamis, I've seen a decent number of broken aluminum HT's too. Simply pushing too hard, for lightness, cost, etc, if you ask me.

    Yep, FS too, and many times under riders who don't weigh that much, or ride that hard/often.

    I'm going with pointless tube shaping, ever upward envelope pushing, materials quality, manufacturing cost savings pressure, etc, as opposed to HT vs FS.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by laffeaux View Post
    Like you I've noticed many more frame breaking over the past few years.

    I can't prove it for sure, but it sure seems like "modern" bikes break more often than they used to.
    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    I've seen more Treks, Fishers, Jamis, Specialized et al, break in the last 10 years than I did in the previous 20.
    Been out of a shop for more than a decade now, so I'm clearly out of touch... Despite my slightly wine-soaked rant last night, my stock response to friends asking "Is X a good bike?" for years has been "Anything you buy at a bike store is fine." What a drag...
    Last edited by mainlyfats; 06-13-2013 at 10:11 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    Simply pushing too hard, for lightness, cost, etc, if you ask me.
    Isn't that driven by the consumer? Cyclists are obsessed with weight. That's the most common question people seem to ask when they see a fancy, shiny new bike. What does it weigh??? People want the lightest bike, with the best components, for the cheapest price. Also, wouldn't the increase in broken frames correspond to the EVERYTHING MUST BE XTREME!!! times we live in now? Were riders hucking 15 foot drops 20 years ago?

  17. #17
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    If someone on a 90's era full suspension rig can keep pace with someone using current technology, is that a case of the bike, or the skill of the rider?

    When those first designs came out, riding styles were still based on the time tested method of following the line of the trail like riding a hardtail, with the suspension soaking up the larger bumps. It isn't like today, where six inches of travel front and rear coupled with disc brakes allow riders to just plow through the trail, without any handling skills necessary other than to hold on tight to the handlebars.

    Maybe that's why frames fail more nowadays; no one knows how to read the lines anymore, and all that extreme stress on the bike equals frame/ component failure.

    Like the title of the thread says... jus' sayin'.

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    I hear what you guys are saying, but I'm just not thinking that's the case, at least in my region.

    There were varied skill level riders out there then, as now, and in the recent breakage cases that come to mind for me, all were moderate riders, doing in control riding, no big hucks. A lot of the trails here are pretty smooth. Sure, there's a log roll over, or a small, say 12 to 15 inch drop off, but ain't none of us riding like say, Josh Bender....

    It's funny, marketing has really infiltrated our brains. I get folks in the shop who don't ride off road, and it's always the same thing. "Wow, you ride off road? How do you do that? I've seen it on TV, you guys are nuts, jumping off cliffs and whatnot". Um, no, actually, we rarely leave the ground, and don't slam another Redbull before every turn in the trail, really.

    No one I ride with, or myself, or, really, the terrain we have around here, offers "EXTREME!!!!!!!!!" as a descriptor. We ride trails, sure, fast, but the same trails, in more or less the same ways, as we did 20 years ago.

    I'll go out on a limb and guess other parts of the world have similar situations, but man, does the media make us look like adrenalin fueled, dim witted buffoons.

    As for consumer driven weight reduction? I can't say, really kind of a chicken and egg thing, mixed with a healthy dose of rampant consumerism, which was created by, us, the buying public? Or industry, mixed with the media, creating our "need", so we spend more freely?

    I can't say, that's a topic all on it's own. But I don't think we as a society just woke up one day and said to ourselves, gee, let's go and buy way more expensive crap than we need, can afford, or will ever use to it's full potential. Someone else out there helped push us to that doorway....
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    But I don't think we as a society just woke up one day and said to ourselves, gee, let's go and buy way more expensive crap than we need, can afford, or will ever use to it's full potential. Someone else out there helped push us to that doorway....
    No...but there are soo many folks that get into this sport, first time even getting back on a bike...and buy the best, just cause they have to have the best of everything....i wonder what these folks think.
    And I'd like to add, I'd like to thank these kind folks for selling me their barely used expesive steeds for pennys on the dollar years later when they get sick of tripping over it in the garage.

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