Raven...John Olsen..Vintage...UPDATED with new pics and info- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1

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    Raven...John Olsen..Vintage...UPDATED with new pics and info

    The HOOVER strikes again....

    "Designed by John Olsen and built and sold by Mercer Island Cyclery this bike was designed for single-track trail riding and observed trials. It served as a prototype for the next bike Olsen designed - the Raleigh Edge. The Raven handles well especially at low speeds. The high bottom bracket and small chain rings provide a lot of ground clearance for riding over obstacles. (It is currently outfitted with just two chain rings but it will accept three rings of any size). It is nominally a 19-inch frame and has a very long seat post. It's kind of an one-size fits all bike."

    Like I said, more to follow...I'm picking it up tomorrow
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    Last edited by stan4bikes; 05-29-2008 at 04:29 PM.

  2. #2
    artistic...
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    awesome!
    i see some rust... clean and repaint if necessary. that's a bike to keep.
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by colker1
    awesome!
    i see some rust... clean and repaint if necessary. that's a bike to keep.
    You're being sarcastic again right.

  4. #4
    artistic...
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldschoolcolo
    You're being sarcastic again right.
    no. that's a bike aimed at a very specific terrain and handling. something that has quite disappeared.
    it's an awesome bike to ride.
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

  5. #5

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    From my quick look today, the rust on the fork was the only "baddie" on it. Should be pretty easy to touch up. It also has internal routing for the cables and the seatpost binder is below the top tube! Suntour drivetrain, DiaCompe brakes/levers, Bottle mounts on the top of the stem and on both legs of the fork (none on the frame), Anodized rims with Ritchey Dura? tires..

    Those pics are the CL ones, I'll post better tomorrow when it comes home. Good storyline too....
    Last edited by stan4bikes; 05-28-2008 at 04:50 PM.

  6. #6

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    the Raven has landed...

    OK , heres some more shots and the scoop...The seller (Ed) was the original owner, bought the bike in 1984 brand new. He took it back east and rode it...alot. He worked for Rodale(SP?) press and at the time John Olsen was sending in articles. They got to know each other and the seller moved back to Seattle around 1987. He and John started riding together and formed a Trials Club. This is when he found out John designed the bike and it was a precurser to the Raleigh Edge. It was manufactured locally.

    The bike has been ridden. The brazed fork broke and Ed had it welded. The non drive side crankarm suffered the same fate and was likewise repaired. It has full internal cable routing, (I'm going to redo the rear brake line, Ed didn't like the bend in the cable when it was internal), a brazed seatpost with a well used Avocet seat (to be replaced), Specialized bars, Suntour drivetrain (need to replace the Shimano front shifter), Araya rims on unmarked hubs with stainless spokes and Ritchey tires, a BMX style crank with a spider . The water bottle mounts on the stem and fork legs are interesting, never seen them on a fork before. The seat clamp below the top bar is also cool. The seat-tube is split at that point like a standard post. Has anyone ever seen that before?

    All the info given was from the seller, I'm trying to get ahold of John Olsen to verify and shed more light if he can......
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    Last edited by stan4bikes; 05-29-2008 at 09:47 PM.

  7. #7
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    Those forks are super cool. Great pick up.

  8. #8
    artistic...
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    are those the infamous ashtabula cranks?
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

  9. #9
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    The stem is from a Haro I think. Not handmade, anyway. By the way, for your google searches, use "Jon" not John. Interesting find.

  10. #10
    IVMTB & VMBEFG Illuminati
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    that seat binder and cranks are kinda interesting.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fillet-brazed
    The stem is from a Haro I think.
    Looks like it. Is there a shim between the bar and stem?

    Quoth the raven, "nevermore."

  12. #12
    Neo-Retro Forever
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    Awesome pickup, Stan! I wish I checked craigslist a couple of hours earlier!

    It seems as though John Olsen had a pretty prolific design career in the 80's. The Raven, Cannondale's 24/26 bikes, the Raleigh Edge, The R&E Montana...

    Like I said to you earlier this week, that sweetie will always have a good home at my place, if you feel like it's too awesome for you, or something!

    rb

  13. #13
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    Aren't the braze-ons on the stem for mounting a handlebar bag. I remember someone had one like that in the mid 80's. I don't think a bottle would stay in a cage very long if mounted on the stem
    Needed: 26.8mm XTR seatpost, blue GT/Grundig Jersey.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by gm1230126
    Aren't the braze-ons on the stem for mounting a handlebar bag. I remember someone had one like that in the mid 80's. I don't think a bottle would stay in a cage very long if mounted on the stem
    could be but wouldn't it be the same for a bottle as a downtube mount? same angle...?

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by gm1230126
    Aren't the braze-ons on the stem for mounting a handlebar bag. I remember someone had one like that in the mid 80's. I don't think a bottle would stay in a cage very long if mounted on the stem
    If it's an old Haro stem, it's for a water bottle cage. The bottle stays in fine on nice paths and sitting in ones garage...

  16. #16
    Hit The Road Cyclery
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    Quote Originally Posted by stan4bikes
    The water bottle mounts on the stem and fork legs are interesting, never seen them on a fork before.
    There was a thread on this board a while ago about a mid-'80's Moots that had bottle mounts on the fork legs, so it must have been considered a good idea at that time. It would be fine for "trekking" at a reasonable pace across long distances, but it probably didn't take long to figure out that it wasn't so great on more technical trails.

  17. #17

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    update time..

    Well, I put on a fresh saddle, rerouted the rear brake cable thru the frame, and did a general cleanup. Not thorough, just enough to make it more presentable. Then I took it out for a couple hours. I could only get to some light trail action but it is a blast to ride. Really quick and precise at low speed just like the seller told me.

    Just as exciting is that Ed (the seller) has been getting emails from old buddies he used to ride with who saw the CL ad and he has included me in the loop. Very Cool John Olsen is in the address line so I'm hoping for a response from him about the Raven. One guy responded and says he has a custom built Fat City Mountain/Trails bike. I asked for a picture and permission to share it here. Hopefully more to follow. I emailed them all about this forum and invited them to come and visit.
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    Last edited by stan4bikes; 06-02-2008 at 10:58 PM.

  18. #18
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    Just had one of these pretty much fall into my lap, looking forward to a full restoration and then riding.

    https://imgur.com/APcXHUD

    https://imgur.com/7MxJLu7

    https://imgur.com/jhKcCeQ

    Jim,
    Erie Colorado

  19. #19
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    sweet bike! Looks super clean....

    Hopefully#1 item on the list is a proper saddle, adjusted to a not ridiculous angle either.
    Cannondale Lefty and HeadShock servicing, wheel building, etc...


    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    sweet bike! Looks super clean....

    Hopefully#1 item on the list is a proper saddle, adjusted to a not ridiculous angle either.
    Ha! The photos are of the ďas found at thrift store conditionĒ. Already straightened the saddle. Iíve been riding over some piles of railroad ties with it. Everything in earlier comments about it being agile and precise at low speeds is bearing out, even with the 20 year old cruiser tires that are on it. Iím on vacation now, first things to be changed out when I get it back home are saddle and tires.

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