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  1. #1
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    WTB vintage GT Zaskar but need help from a Zaskar guru

    Hello all.
    For some random reason I suddenly feel the need to buy a vintage 90's GT Zaskar, put a rigid fork and cruiser tires on it, and turn it into a retro-urban pavement bruiser. (Why!??!) I found an original 1 1/8 inch rigid GT fork so now all I need is the bike. Anyway, I could use a bit of help from a knowledgeable GT Zaskar expert on this.
    I think I am only interested in the polished aluminum version. Can someone direct me to best model, year and size for me? (Not sure how the sizing works on these but I've heard they are measured differently, ie: middle of the bb to middle of top-tube or something?)

    I am 5'7' with a 30 inch inseam and like at least an inch or more of stand-over on my bikes.

    I have seen some examples for sale but there is a range of prices, and models including ones with a funky u-brake under the rear-stay.

    (Here is a link to our family's other '90's rigid bikes to get an idea of the style we usually go for around here.)
    I welcome any direction and ideas from my fellow forum readers, including telling me the whole idea is lame, it's another rig to fall over onto my car & don't do it.

    Our family stable of '90s rigid mtb's - Mtbr Forums

    Thanks for your help, keep polishing rust, and have a great day
    Last edited by sklein; 10-11-2012 at 10:52 AM.

  2. #2
    more beers, less gears
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    with 30inches of inseam a 16inch frame should be best. i have a 32inch inseam and i'm riding a 16" karakoram elite.

    there never was a zaskar with u-brake under the chainstays. in 1991 and 92 the zaskar had u-brakes on the seatstays. all later models got normal canti bosses.
    up to '96 zaskars had an aluminum plate between the seatstays for stiffness. in 96 a cnc'd bridge came along and nicer dropouts.
    + all real zaskars at least up to 1998 i guess had a flat top tube end and were made of 6061-t6 aluminium.

    yearwise they should be pretty much the same, except for the u-brakes on the early models. no idea though when the geometry got changed for suspension forks. maybe in 94.

    cheers

  3. #3
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    ohhhh man....I happen to ahve one of those 16" GT zaskar LE with the ball burnished finish....I might even part with it. (its just sittin in my garage). It's prob around 98, it's the USA made frame (LE)...and FYI...the silver ones are ball burnished. This process actually strengthens the surface of the tubing. I and friends of mine have riddien it alot and I'll tell you, it's damn fun to ride...I love that little frame. Prob is that a buddy of mine decided to collect GT's and I told heim he can have it. When we go riding this weekend, I'll ask if he really wants it (as I could us the money adn it would be much better if someone was riding it). Pm me if your interested....I'll even pay for an ad that you can purchase it through so we're supporting the forum....

    Oh...its canti brakes...and I'd prob throw in the seat clamp...but I'll prob keep the front XTR der and the Ti syncros post...nice vintage parts for something.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by syklystt View Post
    ohhhh man....I happen to ahve one of those 16" GT zaskar LE with the ball burnished finish....I might even part with it. (its just sittin in my garage). It's prob around 98, it's the USA made frame (LE)...and FYI...the silver ones are ball burnished. This process actually strengthens the surface of the tubing. I and friends of mine have riddien it alot and I'll tell you, it's damn fun to ride...I love that little frame. Prob is that a buddy of mine decided to collect GT's and I told heim he can have it. When we go riding this weekend, I'll ask if he really wants it (as I could us the money adn it would be much better if someone was riding it). Pm me if your interested....I'll even pay for an ad that you can purchase it through so we're supporting the forum....

    Oh...its canti brakes...and I'd prob throw in the seat clamp...but I'll prob keep the front XTR der and the Ti syncros post...nice vintage parts for something.
    A earlier Zaskar might be a better choice for a rigid if the fork is 395ish. To the OP regarding sizing, a 94 16". has a 21.5 toptube which might be cramped if you like being stretched out. It is hanging around in the garage also LOL aparrantly the MO for 16" Zaskars....at least until Christmas.

  5. #5
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    Does anyone have a general history of the Zaskar & a sizing chart for some of the model years?
    Thanks.

  6. #6
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    PM sent.

  7. #7
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    ...
    Last edited by Root Beer; 11-16-2012 at 10:11 AM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Root Beer View Post
    I have an early 1991 (18") and an early 1997 (16"). I'm 5'8" with a 30" inseam and I fit on both bikes. They are a little more stretched out than a modern bike, especially with the period-correct stems that were 120mm-150mm. Both of my Zaskars were rigid.

    They are a blast to ride but I'm taking them apart to sell like many here. As I got older, my body likes the full suspension better. I've never ridden a bike that climbed better than those old Zaskars.

    Below is how I had my 97 set up for city riding...
    Im the same height and I found the 16" small but very ridable. I too have gone to full suspension, actually I converted a long time ago and never changed back (as far as MTB goes). On thing i noticed about the little zaskar (and my friend did the same thing with the bike at the same place)..once when my bike was broke, i took the zaskar to a nice rocky ride in P.A. that we do allot. That zaskar was able to clean sections alot easier, especially real technical climbs where allot of bike englis was required and hopping around...so nible...I cleaned sections that I had attempted on my FS bike several times and couldnt....lighter, smaller, nimble....but I wouldnt want it for a 100 mile ride.

  9. #9
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    zaskar...found one

    My wife and I have been looking for a little while and there have been many for sale. We've seen a range of prices (from low 200's to over $800!). The ones that are good deals go super fast to local buyers with cash. I have sold several vintage bikes outfitted with period-correct parts (because of this poster getting really 'f' ing old and accumulating too much stuff) and originality seems to really contribute to the value. The same for these, the more original and un-trashed the more $.

    I direct you to the 16 inch one we bought on craigs for $350 which has not arrived as of yet.
    ...search "denver bicycles, camera backpacks" and scroll down. The seller has three bikes on the ad and some photo gear, etc. The Zaskar has xtr cranks but only a middle ring, the outer position fitted with a bash guard, and he has chain tensioners on it. He fashioned an interesting adaptation of a Manitou brake booster on the rear brake and it has a handlebar I might keep on it. According to the seller this is a later (2000) frame and while I was hoping for a more romantic earlier one I think this deal works.

    As I mentioned, we want to add the Zaskar to our stable of beasts, and after a couple fun trail-rides (where my old bones are sure to be reminded why I love my plush x/c rig, Arizona-built Racer-X with fox and push shocks) I will re-set it up with some Halo Twin-rails (super gorgeous bmx/cruiser tire), and the GT rigid fork. It would be kind of a shame to take apart an awesome original and mint one of these. I think this will work to fool me into thinking Iím a little cooler and younger.
    I will snap some pics of it when it comes in. Have a great day.

  10. #10
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    zaskar

    By the way, cool cruiser, rootbeer.

  11. #11
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    recieved zaskar from Denver craigslist

    Hello all.
    Here are pics of the bike I just bought from a guy on Denver craigslist.
    Good thing I went with the 16....still not tons of standover on this frame but the thing rides and handles really great. Here is the serial number and frame size stamping...along with a clearly marked BLEM stamped into the L side dropout next to the '16' . What would constitute a BLEM stamping? Thanks for all your help and have a great day.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails WTB vintage GT Zaskar but need help from a Zaskar guru-zaskar_1.jpg  

    WTB vintage GT Zaskar but need help from a Zaskar guru-zaskar_2.jpg  

    WTB vintage GT Zaskar but need help from a Zaskar guru-zaskar_6.jpg  

    WTB vintage GT Zaskar but need help from a Zaskar guru-zaskar_8.jpg  

    WTB vintage GT Zaskar but need help from a Zaskar guru-zaskar_9.jpg  

    WTB vintage GT Zaskar but need help from a Zaskar guru-zaskar_3.jpg  

    WTB vintage GT Zaskar but need help from a Zaskar guru-zaskar_4.jpg  

    WTB vintage GT Zaskar but need help from a Zaskar guru-zaskar_5.jpg  

    WTB vintage GT Zaskar but need help from a Zaskar guru-zaskar_7.jpg  

    WTB vintage GT Zaskar but need help from a Zaskar guru-zaskar_10.jpg  


  12. #12
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    Is that your seat height?

  13. #13
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    My seat height is a bit higher. I was seeing how far down I could get it with this post in case my Son might want to ride it. He's 9

  14. #14
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    I've seen two BLEM frames. One had a spot of sloppy welding. It did not look like it was weak, it just wasn't as nice looking as the rest. The second one looked just fine. Even the shop didn't see the blemish.

    Nice purchase.

  15. #15
    more beers, less gears
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    looks nice.

  16. #16
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    Thanks to the posters.
    Do the decals look correct on this? Are they easily removed and replaced or are they clear-coated over?
    Hey rootbeer, I notice your rear brake-booster on the zaskar you posted. Mine came with a homemade version of onel. Should I leave it on? Just wondering with all that bracing in the back if it is really doing anything.
    Thanks

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Root Beer View Post
    Below is how I had my 97 set up for city riding...
    My eyes!!!!

  18. #18
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    @sykystt: Very true. Those old Zaskars are great on technical stuff and so agile. I rode for 31 miles once and hurt for a week!

    @sklein: Thanks! The decals are removable, just pick at them and be patient. They should not be clear coated over.

    I used the brake booster because I could see the frame flex a bit on hard brake pressure. I think they look ugly and if you get some good pads, the braces is unnecessary.

    This year originally came with cantilever brakes. That's what that cable guide welded on the seat tube is for. The V-Brakes put more pressure on the smaller tubes and flex the rear more. See the bike in the photo below how the cable goes through it?

    If your cables rub on the headtube, apply a piece of aluminum duct tape to the frame. It's metal tape and you can polish it to match the frame. It does a great job at protecting the frame and is barely noticeable once applied.

    1994 Decals look like this: (looks like yours are missing the "All Terra" on the downtube.
    Last edited by Root Beer; 11-16-2012 at 10:13 AM.

  19. #19
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    urban assault tire on my zaskar?

    What say you folks about fitment of a 2.5 tire in the rear of this frame?

    Say, something like this?

    Maxxis Hookworm 26x2.5 Tire at BikeTiresDirect

    or this?

    Innova Urban Assault MTB Bicycle Tire 26 X 2.5 (Model 2096)

    Switching to a GT rigid fork & could maybe use some extra volume.


    Thnks!

  20. #20
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    zaskar

    Good morning folks.
    Fitted my GT fork onto this bike...Kenda Kiniptions are on the way.
    Hope all are well from the storm in the US East Coast.
    Have a great day!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails WTB vintage GT Zaskar but need help from a Zaskar guru-gt_1.jpg  

    WTB vintage GT Zaskar but need help from a Zaskar guru-gt_2.jpg  

    WTB vintage GT Zaskar but need help from a Zaskar guru-gt_3.jpg  


  21. #21
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    What kind of '56 Chevy do you have? My first car was a '56 BelAir 2dr hardtop. Orange and white, 396/400 tranny.... I miss that old car.

  22. #22
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    zaskar

    Hi...It's a pretty rare 56 belair 9-passenger wagon. We've done a lot of work on it, and living in it with the family.
    Here are some links to posts about the car. If you like cars this is a cool site. Have a great day!

    Hell-o from Los Angeles - THE H.A.M.B.

    our 56 Belair wagon - THE H.A.M.B.

  23. #23
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    Silver/Silver is the best. I sure don't like all the black rims these days.

    Cool looking bike!

    I never went past 2.2 tires. With V-Brakes, it all gets a little tighter and if you take the front wheel off for racks or to store in the car, make sure the front tire clears the brake tabs with a fat tire or you may have to deflate it to remove the tire. Maybe take it to a shop and see if they'll mount a 2.5 and check for clearance before you buy. It never hurts to ask.

  24. #24
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    There is an eBay seller that has stickers for that bike. The set they sell is all white/black but an exact match as far as the logo styling.

    DC7 GT All Terra Zaskar Le Factory SEALED Decal Sticker Set | eBay

    This is the last set I bought but they have plenty. Hit them w/a message and I'm sure they'll set you up.

  25. #25
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    zaskar

    Thanks Grounddoggy.

    Here's the bike basically set up for street/park riding.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails WTB vintage GT Zaskar but need help from a Zaskar guru-zaskar_1.jpg  


  26. #26
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    edit post
    Last edited by Vader; 03-11-2015 at 12:15 PM.
    Ripping trails and tipping ales

  27. #27
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    That '56 wagon is sick! Oh, and, nice Zaskar too.

  28. #28
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    Nice Zaskar! Used to love these back in the day, 17 year old me couldn't afford one in the early 90's.

  29. #29
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    re: the "blem", I looked over the bike and can only find some welds that look a bit bumpy...dont know if these are 'flaws' or if it's something else. Interesting though.

    Thanks emptybe_er...The car is fun & has a lot of history. Did you check it out on the jalopy journal link?

    Have a great day.

  30. #30
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    1990's GT_palomar_24_inch..my kids' baby zaskar

    Hi folks. I just got done cleaning up this 24 inch gt Palomar I grabbed from a a guy on Craigslist over here in SoCal.
    This bike came out gorgeous....(My wife made the tire choice.....and it's perfect) can't wait till my kids start thrashing on it.

    (Here's a pic of all their cool 24 inch 90's mtb's.)

    Have a great day.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails WTB vintage GT Zaskar but need help from a Zaskar guru-gt_palomar_2.jpg  

    WTB vintage GT Zaskar but need help from a Zaskar guru-gt_palomar_1.jpg  

    WTB vintage GT Zaskar but need help from a Zaskar guru-4bikes_1.jpg  


  31. #31
    gobsmacked Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by sklein View Post
    Thanks Grounddoggy.

    Here's the bike basically set up for street/park riding.
    I'm not a fan of your tire swap.

  32. #32
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    which bike?

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by sklein View Post
    which bike?
    The zaskar. The kids bikes I get. It's nice to see kids on bikes but big slick on adult mountain bikes makes me sad. Just my own issues though.

  34. #34
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    zaskar

    I hear you...These days I look at tires, tire pressure and pedals as elements that change on every ride. This bike will have knobbies again I trust.
    Have a great day.

  35. #35
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    Speaking of Zaskar blems, I had a one-off purple ano 16. It was stamped blem because it was a test frame for single butted tubing in the early 90s. I worked at Riteway products, which was owned by GT and a buddy of mind worked at GT, he got the frame for me on the down low and I eventually built it up with first gen Rockshox and full XTR. It was super light and fun! It got stolen in 1995 in Scottsdale. I'll try to find a pic and post.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by HitmenOnlyInc View Post
    Speaking of Zaskar blems, I had a one-off purple ano 16. It was stamped blem because it was a test frame for single butted tubing in the early 90s. I worked at Riteway products, which was owned by GT and a buddy of mind worked at GT, he got the frame for me on the down low and I eventually built it up with first gen Rockshox and full XTR. It was super light and fun! It got stolen in 1995 in Scottsdale. I'll try to find a pic and post.
    That SUX your purple ano Zaskar was stolen! I have 3 Zaskars and am a huge purple ano fan but have no purple ano Zaskar.

    However, that is great info on the Zaskar BLEM issue. I had read that the BLEM's were mostly due to bad welds - I suppose a dented tube might earn that designation as well. Hadn't read anything about single butted tubing.

    I have a '95 BLEM stamped frame in ink blue. Had heard the BLEM's were sold as frames only so if you are eyeing up a Zaskar and spot the BLEM stamp I'd look extra close at the parts. My BLEM was built with low end parts but some may be built with some nice hidden gems.

  37. #37
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    Mine also had an "S" for single butted. As far as I know mine was the only single butted Zaskar at that time. They didn't pass stress test so weren't sold. I wasn't supposed to have the one I did.

  38. #38
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    As hard as I could search the only pic I could find was this one and it's not the whole bike, but you get the idea.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  39. #39
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    man, I miss my zaskar more the more I read these threads... I need to stop... It's an addiction..

  40. #40
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    On the contrary, I loved LOOKING at mine (first run '90), but overall it RODE like ass. Harsh, not especially nimble, like a featherlight brick if that makes sense.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by linoleum View Post
    on the contrary, i loved looking at mine (first run '90), but overall it rode like ass. Harsh, not especially nimble, like a featherlight brick if that makes sense.
    eh................I am guessing 2.35 high volume tires or the stock 3D fork set forward at 51mm never came into the equation.............
    Last edited by Fred Smedley; 12-08-2012 at 05:16 AM.

  42. #42
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    mine was more nimble than I was, GREAT bike.

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