My Custom Manitou FS Build- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Ilsa
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    My Custom Manitou FS Build

    I guess I'll start a build thread. I'm just getting started on a long journey, but I'll start it now because I'm really excited about it. I'm a newbie since this is my first serious venture into bikes. I didn't really have a plan. I was trying to figure out what older bike I wanted to buy and refurbish/upgrade. I ended up finding a 1996 Manitou FS frame is good condition and with your typical head tube crack.

    This will be a custom rebuild. I'm not trying to bring this bike back to its original superbike failure look. This bike will be well taken care of. I'm shooting for a fast bike. Monochrome color scheme. Maybe single-speed just for the lightweight factor. Lots of stuff I need help figuring out though. If I get bitten by the MTBR bug any harder, then I'll get a second work-horse bike.

    Here's a few photos taken after I bought it:























    Crack



    So far here's my plan for the frame, which is just now having the small crack welded up.

    1. Weld crack in head tube

    2. Shot peen the frame tubes. See example here

    3. Light blue/gray powdercoat

    4. Media blast and brush finish rear triangle

    5. Custom early Brandbury "MANITOU" frame logos using stencils acquired by Gil_M. I know the Bradbury logos are from a much earlier (pre-Answer) Bradbury frame, but this is a rebuild and thatís how I want it.

    6. Face head tube (if necessary)

    7. Face and chase BB (if necessary)

    8. Ream seat tube (if necessary)

    I do realize this has a possibility of either being a great bike and great learning experience, or a horrible mistake and good learning experience. Please don't bash me for my naiveity. I do need some recommendations on components though. I'm looking forward to any constructive input you may have. Thanks for taking a look.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
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    Couple things come to mind...

    A. the frame will need to be re-heat treated after that crack is welded. This is the reason almost all aluminum frames are replaced rather then repaired when cracked. I would also imagine if it cracked there once it probably will again.

    B. My memory is a bit foggy on this but I seem to remember some, if not all Manitou frames having huge seat tubes. So huge that they required a custom seat post. I think Ringle made them back in the day. I think they also came with a custom xtr front derailleur that would fit around the seat tube. Not sure where you'd find either of these items.

    I could see rebuilding the bike if you were a collector of vintage bikes and had access to parts from the same time period. As a daily rider though. No way.

    You may want to post up in the retro vintage forum. No doubt you'll get a lot of feedback from those guys.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveX
    Couple things come to mind...

    A. the frame will need to be re-heat treated after that crack is welded. This is the reason almost all aluminum frames are replaced rather then repaired when cracked. I would also imagine if it cracked there once it probably will again.

    B. My memory is a bit foggy on this but I seem to remember some, if not all Manitou frames having huge seat tubes. So huge that they required a custom seat post. I think Ringle made them back in the day. I think they also came with a custom xtr front derailleur that would fit around the seat tube. Not sure where you'd find either of these items.

    I could see rebuilding the bike if you were a collector of vintage bikes and had access to parts from the same time period. As a daily rider though. No way.

    You may want to post up in the retro vintage forum. No doubt you'll get a lot of feedback from those guys.
    A) If the frame is 7005, you can use 5356 filler and the powder coating heat cycle is pretty close to Easton's 7005 age cycle. (post a pic of the Easton badge on the st to confirm). Plan on re-reaming and facing the headtube after weld & "aging".

    B) Cane Creek makes tons of seat tube shims. You can probably find one that gets you into a common post.

  4. #4
    Framebuilder
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    Build a new front triangle! Steel, of course

  5. #5
    Ilsa
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    Haha, funny stuff.

    Ok, towed to the correct forum. I'm so focused on the frame right now that I posted this original in the Frame forum. Ok, back on track.

  6. #6
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    I saw someone put a 135mm stem for sale, which fits the same look:

    http://link.marktplaats.nl/311495791

  7. #7
    Doesntplaywellwithmorons!
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    Kavik is correct, its 7005 alloy so the 5356 filler is the one you want to use when you tig-weld the crack. Hell you might want to ask to have a gusset welded around the top and bottom of the headtube, they tend to crack out on top also. Manitou spec'ed much too thin a headtube for a frame using a 1 1/4 headset size. The seattube size it called for was 31.8, five brands made posts in that size, and yes there is a weird machined out shim that's supposed to go inside the seattube. Syncros, Thomson, Zoom, and Kalloy all offered that diameter (I own examples from the first three) as well as Manitou themselves shipped the frame with a custom post using an Easton supplied shaft bonded/pressed to a Ringle manufactured head.

    I should have pics of a couple of them still from my collection of posts....

    <img src="https://yoda.densan.ca/kmr/bikes/posts.jpg">
    Top post is the Easton/Ringle that came stock with my 1995 Manitou FS-DH frameset

    <img src="https://yoda.densan.ca/kmr/bikes/posts1.jpg">
    Second post from right is one of the Zoom 4130 Posts in the 350mm x 31.8 size, I still have it sitting in my post bucket... be happy to trade it for something.
    I don't post to generate business for myself or make like I'm better than sliced bread

  8. #8
    Dookier
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    I don't know if it will help, but I have a 1 1/4 threadless headset hanging around, and the bolt on crown for a first generation Judy to go with it. Sick frame. Sick 02 pic as well.

  9. #9
    Ilsa
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    Well unfortunately this build has been trumped by other priorities/car hobby, so I'm going to be letting go of this classic. I sunk a good amount into having the head tube crack welded, but things slowed down when trying to source a unique finishing technique when nobody local could do it.

    Anyway, I'll post something in the classifieds soon.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveX
    I think they also came with a custom xtr front derailleur that would fit around the seat tube.
    At least some of them used a custom direct-mount clamp to mount the front derailleur.

  11. #11
    Master of the Face Plant
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    I hate to say it but it is probably for the best that you have given up on this build. Those frames cracked and failed in so many places.
    http://www.nbbikes.com/
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  12. #12
    Relax. I'm a pro.
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    No surprise there.
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  13. #13
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    I have one of these babies that I bought from Supergo in 2000 with money I made from the millenium bug.

    The frame has the manitou coil shock rather than the elastomer found on the earliest models.

    I built it up with XT, XTR, mavic ceramic wheels, manitou mars forks and other random stuff and rode it as my main bike through to 2004/5. It never cracked and mostly sits in my garage because I only ride it on an occasional basis.

    It does not weigh noticably more than my Titus Racer X and its only problem is the lack of stifness of the Mars forks.

    If I replaced the Mars forks with fox forx it would still be a great bike to ride.

    I keep wondering if I should sell the bike to someone who would ride it more than me.

  14. #14
    Master of the Face Plant
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    Quote Originally Posted by robinfisk
    I have one of these babies that I bought from Supergo in 2000 with money I made from the millenium bug.

    The frame has the manitou coil shock rather than the elastomer found on the earliest models.

    I built it up with XT, XTR, mavic ceramic wheels, manitou mars forks and other random stuff and rode it as my main bike through to 2004/5. It never cracked and mostly sits in my garage because I only ride it on an occasional basis.

    It does not weigh noticably more than my Titus Racer X and its only problem is the lack of stifness of the Mars forks.

    If I replaced the Mars forks with fox forx it would still be a great bike to ride.

    I keep wondering if I should sell the bike to someone who would ride it more than me.
    You should hang it on the wall and leave it, with any luck in 20 years you will have the last un-cracked Manitou on the planet.
    http://www.nbbikes.com/
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  15. #15
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    Uncracked...and unridden


  16. #16
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    It would be a terribly punk rock experiment to see how many miles it would take to make it like all the rest.
    Somec is like the digital Zunow
    And this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JD5h3y0a9AU

  17. #17
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    LOL, I might just do that!

  18. #18
    Relax. I'm a pro.
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    So, who is responsible for these crack-tastic bikes, Bradbury or Answer?
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  19. #19
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vlad
    So, who is responsible for these crack-tastic bikes, Bradbury or Answer?
    Answer.
    Each bicycle owned exponentially increases the probability that none is working correctly.

  20. #20
    Sneaker man
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    Easton...

  21. #21
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    To provide a little more detail:

    Doug Bradbury did the original bike design and sold the design on to Answer, presumably at the same time as the design for the Manitou forks was sold.

    The original Bradbury bikes were a work of art with a custom 145mm spaced rear wheel built with dish for strength and lots of extensively machined aluminum. As well as a very industrial look. I have only ever seen one.

    The answer bikes were also works of art with lots of machined aluminum and cost a small fortune but with standard dropout spacings. Not quite as rare as a bradbury original but still pretty rare.

    The frames used very thin butted easton aluminum tubes welded to extensively machined bridges at the seat tube / chainstay and seat tube seatstay junctions. The downtube was so thin that if you squeeze the tube hard you can feel it give a little.

    Answer made both Bradbury's hardtail design and his FS design for I few years. I was lucky enough to own both the HT and the FS, the HT frame broke when one of the machined pieces where the drop out joined to the chainstay failed, I wrote off one of the original first generation Answer FS frames in a big crash and bought the final generation FS model in 2000 when supergo where doing a clearance sale.

    All of the bradbury designs were (and are when the frame has not failed) fantastic handling bikes, way ahead of their time and were well capable of being built into featherweight bikes.

    Doug Bradbury now works with John Tomac for Tomac Bicycles and some of the Tomac bikes show the manitou heritage. Hopeful sans the tendency to crack and fail.

  22. #22
    He be a moose too.
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    I've heard that both Bradbury and Answer were prone to cracking. I still haven't heard why specifically. If the head tubes developed cracks left and right, why not reinforce them. I never really got what was so difficult about fixing this. Any insights?

  23. #23
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    I reckon that the tubes at the stress points were just a little too thin to have a long life and probably too thin to fix by welding.

  24. #24
    Sneaker man
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    do old yeti ARC's have this problem, they were made with the same stuff...

  25. #25
    defender of bad taste
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    Quote Originally Posted by mik_git
    do old yeti ARC's have this problem, they were made with the same stuff...
    They most definitely do! Cracked headtubes aplenty on early 1990s A.R.C. frames.
    5 is the old new black; 6 is the new new black...

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by mik_git
    do old yeti ARC's have this problem, they were made with the same stuff...
    Early Yetis tended to crack where the seat bolt passed through the seat tube. Once they went to a separate seat collar the problem went away. So no, they didn't have the same issues at the Manitous.
    Each bicycle owned exponentially increases the probability that none is working correctly.

  27. #27
    Sneaker man
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    hmmm 2 different answers... I have heard rumors that they cracked a lot (at the head tube) but have not seen it myself.

    what else was made from Easton ProGram tubing? And did they crack. The origianl tomac Buckshot 00 was Easton Scandium, so dunno if they crack/ed.

  28. #28
    defender of bad taste
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    |'ve personally seen cracked headtubes on two A.R.C. frames and pictures of several others. That was the basis for my answer. I was under the impression that most Program tubed bikes had a reputation for frailty.
    5 is the old new black; 6 is the new new black...

  29. #29
    Sneaker man
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    yeah me too. I always thought of those sort of bikes (light racing bikes) as you race them hard for a season maybe two and then toss in the bin, durability wasn't in the design scope.

  30. #30
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    On the Answer Manitou the headtubes were way too thin. The bike I posted above has a headtube reamed for 1-1/4 but there are sleeves that reduce it to 1-1/8. Being internal, the sleeves do nothing for strength. I think in some cases a tight headset press might almost be enough to split the headtube without riding the bike.

  31. #31
    shawnw
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    Dagger

    Quote Originally Posted by mik_git
    hmmm 2 different answers... I have heard rumors that they cracked a lot (at the head tube) but have not seen it myself.

    what else was made from Easton ProGram tubing? And did they crack. The origianl tomac Buckshot 00 was Easton Scandium, so dunno if they crack/ed.
    I have a Dagger Hardtail that is now wall art in my garage. It is made from Easton ProGram tubing, and it's cracked at the headtube.

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