Got my '90 Brave Racer back!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    ... and if we just ... Got my '90 Brave Racer back!

    Just traded a nice, modern KHS to my brother for this old school Brave I had given him ten years ago. Dear bro had only ridden the Brave maybe five times in all these years, so it's still in very good shape. I gave him a smaller bike that fit him better, and with riser bars and a short stem for a better fit. He's quite happy with his new rig...even likes the color better.

    I'd had this Brave Racer frame made custom for me back in '90. The frame was made by Tom Teasdale using French Excel steel tubing. This straight gauge tubing is very thin-walled (plink the top-tube with a finger-nail and it sounds kinda like tapping a Christmas tree ornament), but strong. The alloy was reportedly developed for use in firearm barrels. It didn't catch on cuz it was also a bit tricky to work with...get too anxious with the torch and end up cooking an expensive tube. Brent Steelman worked with the stuff for awhile. So did Arrow.

    Anyway, I always loved the way this bike rode. Great handling and a very lively feel without being whippy.

    So now I'm torn. Should I build it back up in full mid-90?s anodized glory, or should I use my used but still good 1999 vintage XTR group and 2003 Zoke Bam 80? For the old school build I would use the blue ano Anti-Gravity fork in the picture, and then I'd have to rob some other bikes in the fleet for this blue ano Kooka crank, this blue ano Qranc stem & bars, these blue ano Altec levers, a pair of Ringle hubbed wheels laced to Sun CR16s with blue nipples, and some N.O.S. X-Ray shifters. I'd use N.O.S. '93 vintage XTR derailleurs, brakes would be the XTR group's V-Brakes.

    Either build would probably result in a 24 pound bike. While it would be a real pretty bike with all the old bits, bear in mind that I plan on actually riding this thing quite a bit. It's gonna be my only geared hard-tail.

    What would you guys do?
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    Last edited by Bigfoot; 01-02-2005 at 04:53 PM. Reason: cuz

  2. #2
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    Your brother got hosed on that deal!
    I've done both of what you're suggesting...I've got a vintage frame build with moder parts. Rides great. I've also done the period correct build save modern XTR V-brakes. That works equally as well plus the added bonus off the cool anodized colors. Besides, 1st gen XTR stuff is fantastic.
    I'd say go with the vintage build and the safety of newer brakes. You'll manage just fine on the trails plus get more thumbs up for it. Maybe put on the newer fork if the Gravity fork is in need of work.

    Just my $.02.

    Great bike BTW!
    -eric-

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  3. #3
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    Forks is actually kinda nice

    "Maybe put on the newer fork if the Gravity fork is in need of work."

    The Anti-Gravity fork actually works pretty good and is at least a pound lighter than the Zoke.

    So for the minute (at least) I'm leaning toward the full retro Blue-Ano build, but dreading having to rob three bikes to do it, and then come up with replacement parts to keep those three in riding order---I hate having "hangar queens."

  4. #4
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    Sounds Like A Pretty Good Plan

    although I'd ditch the XTR V's and go with the M900 cantis or a blue set of Graftons or the like.
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  5. #5
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    Got the Graftons....but

    Quote Originally Posted by Shayne
    although I'd ditch the XTR V's and go with the M900 cantis or a blue set of Graftons or the like.
    I have a full set of blue ano Graftons, but even the cheapest modern V-Brakes work better than any Speed Controllers ever did. Plus the G-SCs are such a pain to set up...little tiny shim washers, that silly cable end held on with a 2mm screw...very primitive.

    Yeah, more blue would look good, but remember that I'm gonna actually ride and race this bike.

    Then there's the lever issue. My blue ano Altek levers are V-Brake type.

    BTW: I don't know why I wrote that it's a "Racer." It says "Chief" right on the top-tube.

    p.s. Anybody wanna buy or trade the Graftons?
    Last edited by Bigfoot; 01-06-2005 at 09:21 AM. Reason: cuz

  6. #6
    JmZ
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    A thought...

    Inspired by the wife's bike.

    There appear on E-Bay every now and then Hershey V's in blue. I bought a set about a year ago. Hershey's still have some retro feel to 'em (not '93, but still the 90's), should be available in Blue, and (at least the ones my wife's got) are easy to set up and dial in.

    Just a thought.

    JmZ


    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfoot
    I have a full set of blue ano Graftons, but even the cheapest modern V-Brakes work better than any Speed Controllers ever did. Plus the G-SCs are such a pain to set up...little tiny shim washers, that silly cable end held on with a 2mm screw...very primitive.

    Yeah, more blue would look good, but remember that I'm gonna actually ride and race this bike.

    Then there's the lever issue. My blue ano Altek levers are V-Brake type.

    BTW: I don't know why I wrote that it's a "Racer." It says "Chief" right on the top-tube.

    p.s. Anybody wanna buy or trade the Graftons?
    JmZ

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  7. #7
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    ... and if we just ... Got it built...

    Well, I'd pulled together all the parts to do the full retro build, but then didn't have the right size bottom bracket for the Kookas. Actually I'm sure I do...there's a box somewhere in the garage with a few UN91s and an Action-Tec Ti. But an hour of searching wasn't successful.

    So here it is with the '99 XTR brakes, shifters, rear derailleur, crank and a vintage XT front derailleru, plus the Ringle/SunCR16 wheels, the Qranc stem, a vintage Flite ti saddle and the Anti Gravity fork. Weighs 24 pounds and rides wonderfully.

    A couple of extra nods to the whole retro thing is a pair of NOS Specialized Ground Control Tires, and some excellent condition Shimano 737 pedals.

    I'll ride it like this for awhile until I come across that box o' bottom brackets.

    It's good to have this bike back in the fleet after all these years.
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  8. #8
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    My Racer

    I built mine as a single speed then traded for a Jamis Nova. My brother wants to trade again and I can't wait to get it back. By the way my Racer was built by and is painted as a Grove Innovations. Will post pics later. Thanks to Jeff Archer for noticing frame.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by spinsir View Post
    I built mine as a single speed then traded for a Jamis Nova. My brother wants to trade again and I can't wait to get it back. By the way my Racer was built by and is painted as a Grove Innovations. Will post pics later. Thanks to Jeff Archer for noticing frame.

    You traded a Brave Racer for a Jamis Nova?! What the $hit? Glad you're getting it back!
    -eric-

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  10. #10
    Master of the Face Plant
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    Cool bike. I remember using it as a reference when I got mine painted.
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  11. #11
    Relax. I'm a pro.
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    Very cool. I think I need an Excel-tubed frame in my life.
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  12. #12
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    Just found an old photo

    Here's a photo of the Brave on one of its very first rides; the Turnbull Canyon Thankgiving morning ride. Damn, so that's what a 158 pound Bigfoot looks like!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Got my '90 Brave Racer back!-vicbravecheif1.jpg  

    "Yeah, Humboldt County is way the %#@* up there, but worth it!"

  13. #13
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    cool fork
    i have the same one in green
    can i interest you in a swap?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfoot View Post
    Here's a photo of the Brave on one of its very first rides; the Turnbull Canyon Thankgiving morning ride. Damn, so that's what a 158 pound Bigfoot looks like!

    OnZa Porc/GCE tire combo, excellent!
    -eric-

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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rumpfy View Post
    OnZa Porc/GCE tire combo, excellent!
    Wow, sharp eye on a blurry photo!

    That was my preferred tire combo for a lonng time. Worked great on the hardpack of Big Bear. I still have a NOS Porc and a low hours one. The Brave is currently shod with a pair of NOS Ground Controls...more for display than riding. I mount up modern rubber for the occasional outing with the Brave.
    "Yeah, Humboldt County is way the %#@* up there, but worth it!"

  16. #16
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    My other Brave, the e-stay Warrior. Somewhere there are color photos too.
    "Yeah, Humboldt County is way the %#@* up there, but worth it!"

  17. #17
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    Full color!



    This frame later cracked, but Doug Gloyd sent me a new one.
    "Yeah, Humboldt County is way the %#@* up there, but worth it!"

  18. #18
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    Did you have a Racer and a Warrior? The two race pics have e-stays.
    Each bicycle owned exponentially increases the probability that none is working correctly.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by laffeaux View Post
    Did you have a Racer and a Warrior? The two race pics have e-stays.
    Right, see the caption on the first photo.
    I actually had the Warrior first and later had the Chief built.

    I'm taking the Chief out on tomorrow morning's border collie anti-boredom ride.
    "Yeah, Humboldt County is way the %#@* up there, but worth it!"

  20. #20
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    Love the BRAVE bikes

    This is my Brave Warrior. Just found a period correct front derailleur, to complete the build.

    Ben
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Got my '90 Brave Racer back!-bravewarrior2.jpg  


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