97' GT Zaskar LE Build Thread: City Commuter- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    97' GT Zaskar LE Build Thread: City Commuter

    This thread is a continuation of a previous thread I started here:
    https://forums.mtbr.com/vintage-retr...e-1136989.html
    With many more pictures, updates and depth.

    I hope it becomes a useful guide for other new builders, like myself, who are working out the complexities of adapting a retro MTB frame for a city lifestyle. I am still learning as I am going so forgive me for the many mistakes, edits and updates I will be contributing as the days pass. I look forward to the project and learning from the community!

    SO! I bought a 97 GT Zaskar LE frame in Berlin. Its a little beat up but the battle scars add to the character. It has a unknown, and slightly strange rigid alu fork, Chris King nothread headset, ritchey stem and concept bars that came with it to seal the deal.

    Condition when I bought it:




    After some research I ended up sourcing a Shimano XT M737 groupset. Great condition, including seat post, Mavic 230 SBP rims with M737 hubs, and Ritchey Zmax tires, like new.



    I brought the set over to my buddies shop to get started building and this is of course when things started getting interesting....

    The M737 Front Derailleur had the wrong clamp size. It came with 28.6 and this bike requires 31.8. Also, the M737 front derr I have is a top-pull, and I soon realised the difference between top and down pull hahaha! Perhaps there are different variations of M737 that are in a down pulling configuration but I have been a little too impatient/excited to get building so I found a Shimano LX front derr (ill find the model number later) that accepts both top and down pulling systems and have installed it. It hurts my eyes a little but it will get me rolling until I refine the systems and get a little more stylish



    I gave up on trying to find the correct cable guide (which is Shimano sm-sp17-t for future reference) for under the bottom bracket and modified a random cable guide with a box cutter to fit under the frame.



    ------bottom bracket-------

    The BB that came with the frame was like new and functioning properly. Spindle length was 111.5 at that point which seemed fine, but it ended up being too long for the M737 crankset to line up properly with the rear derailleur. I had been researching BBs for this frame/year and after cross referencing multiple forum threads I understood that 73mm is the proper size for the case, and there are numbers ranging from 110 to 120 spindle length depending on the crankset. BUT upon removing the BB I have I found out it is interestingly, a 68mm Shimano UN73.

    It was replaced with a BSA 68mm "Neco" BB with a spindle length of 110.5 to get (what seems to be) the correct fit for the XT M737 crankset. Sorting through all of the conflicting information across forums is a headache lol

    ----------

    Ill get into the brake system journey tomorrow...

    Thanks for looking and whatever input you might have!

    -AK
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  2. #2
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    Inspiration...

    Here are a couple of reference photos for what direction im taking and what I hope to achieve:


    This is the bike I saw in Berlin that originally got me thinking of building a tough GT for city use...


    and this is definitely an inspiration for the build... I am aware that its a EDGE frame or something but I like the style.


    Maxxis DTH seem like a must....


    Sourcing an Origin8 Front rack... thoughts?


    more random inspiration...
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    Last edited by aae.kae; 1 Week Ago at 02:45 PM.

  3. #3
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    I love it, do you know where that fork came from?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by flitzr951 View Post
    I love it, do you know where that fork came from?
    Sorry man, I have no idea what the fork is haha

  5. #5
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    Brakes

    Movin on up...


    A shop owner/friend of mine gave me a set of XT M760 V Brakes to install when we realised I had no mounting hardware to instal the M737 Cantilevers that came with my groupset.




    I spent nearly the entire day trying to get the brakes to work right before I read that the brake levers need to be especially for Vbrakes in order to get the correcting amount of tension/force
    So sad, I thought they looked great on the bike, ill have to wait until I can afford a new set of brake levers/shifters to match. What are your thoughts on Vbrakes vs. cantilevers?

    Here are the rear cantilevers installed with a little cable trick to do it without the seat post mount:



    I hope to find this cable guide one day if I continue to use the cantis:

    Anyone know where I can find one?
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  6. #6
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    Drivetrain


    Photo of the at-home stand and youtube workshop

    Spent a few hours watching videos and experimenting with installing/sizing the chain and tuning the drivetrain. It went surprisingly well, not so quick to sort out the numerous youtube tutorials but it was worth it. I took it outside and found out I nearly nailed it on my first try!






    I rode it wayyyyy out into the country side outside of Berlin and had a f*cking blast. The shifting is spot on, although I get a little rattling against the cage wehn Im shifted at the highest in the front and lowest in the back (or vice versa) because of the chain angle Im guessing. Itll be a few days before I get it really refined. I also noticed that after breaking in the chain and allowing the system to settle a bit i had to tune up the slack...



    By the end of a long ride I began to hear and feel a metallic click/pinging coming from the crankset/BB
    I changed my pedals when I got home after noticing my new ones arrived in the mail but that unfortunately didnt solve the problem, looks like I have to look into the BB...

    More to come!
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    Last edited by aae.kae; 1 Week Ago at 01:17 AM.

  7. #7
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    Click could be from crankset not being tightenned enough on the BB spindle.. actually pings and clicks may come from so many places.
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

  8. #8
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    Not necessarily wrong, but having the rear derailleur cable in a tight 90 degree turn around the bolt might make setting up the indexing difficult.

    There is a groove for the cable in there, it should pass through the cable clamp in a straight line.

  9. #9
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    a set of deore v brake levers should be 10 euros or something. You will have much better braking in the rear than what you get w/ that cabe arrangement. Then you look for a pair of old 7s thumbshifters which are far superior mechanically speaking than rapid fire and actuate 8sp cassettes just fine.
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by colker1 View Post
    Click could be from crankset not being tightenned enough on the BB spindle.. actually pings and clicks may come from so many places.
    The crank arms and BB was not tightened down enough, problem solved.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by wesMAmyke View Post
    Not necessarily wrong, but having the rear derailleur cable in a tight 90 degree turn around the bolt might make setting up the indexing difficult.

    There is a groove for the cable in there, it should pass through the cable clamp in a straight line.
    The cable is going through the guide but I pulled it quite hard around the front to get leverage, ill just nestle it back around so it doesnt stick out so far. Thanks!

  12. #12
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    ON canti brakes you want the cable hanger as low as it can be.. almost touching your tire. Thankfully v brake levers are cheap but you have to sort out the shifter deal. There are solutions: detach the shifters from brake levers and fabricate couple handles, buy a set of thumbshifters, find the GT cable guide.
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

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