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  1. #1
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    Vintage mountain bike collection

    Looking for ideas and advice.

    I have a property near the Cuyuna trails in Minnesota that will eventually be set up as a short term rental. I want to have a small collection of vintage mountain bikes, maybe 6.

    Road bikes have looked similar for years, but mountain bikes are continuing to evolve and I would like to show some of that evolution and show the start of our obsession with mountain biking and bikes.

    What are some suggestions? These will not be ridden. I want bikes that story behind them, unique design, one of first of something new material or component, prefer the more major manufactures - bikes that the ordinary public could have bought. for example 1983 trek 850, first mountain bike they made or trek 9500.

    What are your opinions. Bikes that you'd like to see again, but fortunately you do not need to ride them anymore

  2. #2
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    Well there's a can of worms.

    I'd say a Trek for sure since you're in the upper Midwest.

    And a Klein of some sorts from the 90s because they had the best paint ever.

  3. #3
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    I agree with the Trek idea since you're in the Midwest, gotta support the home team.
    If it were me I'd need a pre-war frame Schwinn klunker to represent the start of the hobby at Repack and I'd want an early hardtail; Ritchey, Breezer, Fisher, etc. There's a pretty good shortlist for early bikes here at mombatbicycles.com/MOMBAT/bike_list.html

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the Klein suggestion, some extra bright colors do help interest.

    Thanks for the link, I have been looking for comprehensive list.

    Do you off hand know what model/year Schwinn was typically used? Also what might have initially been modified on them.

  5. #5
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    Alan Bond's website clunkers.net/history gives some good ideas. (I don't think I can post actual links yet since I'm a newbie), search google images for "schwinn clunker" or "schwinn klunker" or see the Marin Museum of Bicycling and Mountain Bike Hall of Fame site at mmbhof.org

  6. #6
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    really good info on the Klunker history site - thanks

  7. #7
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    Whats your budget?

    Some iconic bikes, not terribly expensive:

    Ibis Mojo w/ handjob
    Klein Fervor (cheaper and more readily available then the identical Rascal)
    Cannondale Super V
    Trek Y bike
    Ritchey anything
    Fat Chance if you can find one
    Original StumpJumper
    Kona Kilauea (or Hot or Explosif) early 90's (sloping top tube)

    If you want to go over the top museum bikes:

    Ritchey Everest or Competition w/ brazed frame & biplane fork
    Kona Hei Hei ti or Ibis Mojo Ti
    Mountain Goat Deluxe
    Fat Chance Team Chance
    Specialized Epic Ultimate
    Trek OCLV
    Cunningham
    Steel Moots
    1983 Ritchey Everest
    1996 Bianchi Mega Tube ti
    1996 Ibis Mojo Ti
    2012 Ibis Mojo HD
    2015 Kona Process 153

  8. #8
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    Great list, the less expensive idea works well. Really just want them hanging on wall to look at while having a beer. With a little write up on what and why it was.

  9. #9
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    Like the above list a lot. If you're trying to keep into a reasonable budget I'd say something like:

    - Trek lugged steel mtb. (Hometown)
    - Some Klein with sexy paint. (Paint)
    - Stumpjumper (Maybe the most popular iconic)
    - Ritchey something. (Such an important figure to mtbing)
    - Cannondale Super V (Unique, iconic design)
    - then something niche and rad: Moots, Cunningham, Fat Chance, some local builder from back in the day.

  10. #10
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    A Bridgestone?
    If cant find klein can usr canondale as exmple of largw diameter alumnum tube.
    Trek or Fisher OCLV would be example of early successful carbon. First examples might be hard to find, like Kestrels.
    Ti would be cool, just saw an Alpinestars elevated stay Ti that was ridden by old school year rider i used to occasionally ride with up for sale.
    Examples of friction to index shifting would be cool. My friend still has an original rockshox RS1 somewhere. First clipless pedals, my 1st gen SPDs are still in use! Canti, u, v, hydro rim brakes.

  11. #11
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    Amp B3/4/5 - early Horst-link that were super light and ahead of their time
    Schwinn Homegrown - iconic Yeti/USA made bikes from iconic company
    Pro flex w/Girvin fork - one of first suspension bikes and unique linkage fork
    GT Zaskar - Hans Rey
    Rocky Mountain Pipeline w/Marzocchi Z1 orange fork - original freeride bike
    Trek Y-bike - early carbon and worst suspension design ever
    Yeti Arc - Julie Furtado
    Mountain Cycle San Andreas - waaaaaay ahead of its time

  12. #12
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    Thanks for all of the great ideas. Looks like I have my work cut out for me.

    I'm assuming a slow patient craigslist search is my best alternative for locating some of these.

  13. #13
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    Voodoo for the win!

  14. #14
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    Oh yeah voodoo is another great one. Yes Craigslist would be best but it's a hit and miss here. Plenty of retro nerds in my neck of the woods so if you're not quick you're left out. eBay is another great place to pickup bikes especially if they're running 5-15% back in eBay bucks.

    Or you can always reach out to collectors on Craigslist to see if they wouldn't mind you hanging their bikes on the wall. Might give them some more room to store more bikes, a win win for you and them
    1983 Ritchey Everest
    1996 Bianchi Mega Tube ti
    1996 Ibis Mojo Ti
    2012 Ibis Mojo HD
    2015 Kona Process 153

  15. #15
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    There's been a lot innovation and "points in time" to go well over 6 but I think 6 is a good place to nail some big ideas and also show a timeline.

    Also, while it would be nice to showcase complete bikes, each as a period correct "package", don't rule out doing something with bare frames - especially for duallies. Frame only, you can get away with buying frames that are cracked or have stuffed pivots or shocks and no available replacements, so should be cheaper.

    Also, you could have a showcase of parts. It would be cool to see how we went from 48t chainrings with 28t cassettes in a 3x6 configuration to 48t cassettes and 28t chainrings in a 1x12 configuration.

    As for bikes...

    Replica klunker - where the modern MTB began
    Early hardtail such as an early to mid 80s Stumpy - where mass production of the MTB kicked off
    Early dual suspension like a San An or Foes LTS.
    Early to mid 90s hardtail, Kona, Bridgestone.
    Later 90s Ti hardtail - the boom days when even the big name brands like Mongoose, Diamond Back, Kona, GT etc had a ti bike in the lineup, or maybe even early carbon like the Diamond Back WCF or Giant Cadex.
    Mid 2000s - Santa Cruz Blur for example with good old 26" wheels and those crazy old 3x9 drivetrains.
    Current day carbon 1x11 dual suspension with anti-bob mega plush marketing in overdrive and big wheels.

    Good luck. Check back in when you find something interesting and we can all argue about why that particular bike was innovative, cool, representative, or just a derivative piece of crap that had no place in history.

    Grumps

  16. #16
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    Slingshot

  17. #17
    Phobia of petting zoos.
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    Once you've tracked down all the above...

    Trek Ejector Seat
    High pivot URT like a Catamount, Schwinn etc
    GT RTS
    GT LTS
    Surly 1x1 for bringin' single speed to the masses
    Mountain Cycle Moho because they look awesome
    Intense M1

    Grumps

  18. #18
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    Cannondale SuperV for sure, likely the most copied design (by the sh*tbike market at least) ever.

    I like the Trek Ejector too, great call.

    ProFlex, with a Girvin, yep.

    Slingshot too, perhaps a busted (therefore not too much $) Moots YBB.

    Just thinking of unique suspension offerings since they tended to really showcase what folks were tinkering with BITD...
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



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  19. #19
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    If you've got a few minutes this is some great post appropriate reading...

    The History is Mountain Biking

    The History is Mountain Biking
    1983 Ritchey Everest
    1996 Bianchi Mega Tube ti
    1996 Ibis Mojo Ti
    2012 Ibis Mojo HD
    2015 Kona Process 153

  20. #20
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    thanks!

  21. #21
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    good thought, on the collector idea. I'm sure someone has a a few bikes that no one sees.

  22. #22
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    Thanks for some of the thoughts on timeline that is a story that would be fun to see. In trying to keep a realistic budget for this, bikes that are a couple steps less cool than the absolute first or the best race bike... it helps if we just to have examples of bikes that were close to first in a technology. Really a bike that an average obsessed rider would have wanted and could have afforded if he gave up a few beers a week... I'll need a little time to digest and hopefully retain some of the knowledge.

  23. #23
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    Original Cannondale Lefty

  24. #24
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    ^Super V with^

    Kill two birds with one stone.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

  25. #25
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    Not quite old enough for VRC but I'm sure it rides as poorly as some old designs...

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Cannondale-...53.m1438.l2649
    1983 Ritchey Everest
    1996 Bianchi Mega Tube ti
    1996 Ibis Mojo Ti
    2012 Ibis Mojo HD
    2015 Kona Process 153

  26. #26
    Phobia of petting zoos.
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    Quote Originally Posted by eshew View Post
    Not quite old enough for VRC but I'm sure it rides as poorly as some old designs...

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Cannondale-...53.m1438.l2649
    A couple of friends had Ravens when they first came out. They loved them and they didn't ride bad at all. This was at a time when Cannondale was earning the nickname "Crack'n'fail" due to increasingly thin walled aluminium tubing. It was a relief to see them branch out into carbon.

    The thing I always found funny was that that at first glance, the seatpost looked to be held on with hose clamps.

    Grumps

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    ... perhaps a busted (therefore not too much $) Moots YBB.
    I've been trying, unsuccessfully, to bust one of these for 14+ years, and after the original owner tried for 7 years.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgltrak View Post
    I've been trying, unsuccessfully, to bust one of these for 14+ years, and after the original owner tried for 7 years.
    I think Mendon was talking about a Steel ybb, ti lasts longer but cracks do happen. I had to retire my Gristle ybb after 7 seasons. but the Mooto X YBb is a great ride.

    I have a 88í steel ybb that cracked on the drive side chainstay, welded back together back in the day and used for a couple more years, itís a 16in so smaller rider. For the real collector, find a good early 90ís steel ybb with custom paint.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbsbiker View Post
    I think Mendon was talking about a Steel ybb, ti lasts longer but cracks do happen. I had to retire my Gristle ybb after 7 seasons. but the Mooto X YBb is a great ride.

    I have a 88í steel ybb that cracked on the drive side chainstay, welded back together back in the day and used for a couple more years, itís a 16in so smaller rider. For the real collector, find a good early 90ís steel ybb with custom paint.
    I kind of figured he meant a steel one. Like you, if I had broken one (ti or steel) I'd be inclined to have it repaired and keep riding it.

    My '97 YBB SL has well over 15,000 miles on it during my ownership and it is going strong. I assume the Mooto-X YBB I got in November will provide the same amount of enjoyment and durability.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgltrak View Post
    I kind of figured he meant a steel one.
    Fair thought, indeed.

    I meant/was thinking, the ti. But not because of them failing frequently, but simply due to often being a doctors or dentists bike, just due to cost, and should it have cracked, they'd just buy some new, $12K carbon sh*tbox from Specialized like their shop told them to, rather than repair their 10 year old lovingly hand crafted, American made jewelry.

    Then sell said thing cheap just to make room for the new whip....
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    Fair thought, indeed.

    I meant/was thinking, the ti. But not because of them failing frequently, but simply due to often being a doctors or dentists bike, just due to cost, and should it have cracked, they'd just buy some new, $12K carbon sh*tbox from Specialized like their shop told them to, rather than repair their 10 year old lovingly hand crafted, American made jewelry.

    Then sell said thing cheap just to make room for the new whip....
    Good reasoning and a similar thought process I went through when I bought my YBBs, except I wasn't looking for cracked. Many of the Moots bikes I have found are in fantastic condition, but still replaced due to outdated components or due to the sellers giving in to marketing hype of a more shiny object. Based on the condition of mine, you likely have described the sellers from whom I bought both of my Moots bikes.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpikeGundy View Post
    Looking for ideas and advice.

    I have a property near the Cuyuna trails in Minnesota that will eventually be set up as a short term rental. I want to have a small collection of vintage mountain bikes, maybe 6.

    Road bikes have looked similar for years, but mountain bikes are continuing to evolve and I would like to show some of that evolution and show the start of our obsession with mountain biking and bikes.

    What are some suggestions? These will not be ridden. I want bikes that story behind them, unique design, one of first of something new material or component, prefer the more major manufactures - bikes that the ordinary public could have bought. for example 1983 trek 850, first mountain bike they made or trek 9500.

    What are your opinions. Bikes that you'd like to see again, but fortunately you do not need to ride them anymore
    I would suggest an American. They were made in St. Cloud, Minn. so would be a great conversation piece. I have a comp lite in my collection.
    If you can find one with the mil-spec black anodizing it'd be even cooler. My 86' looks brand new still with this finish.
    The Truth will set you free.

    ....but it might offend you first!

  33. #33
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  34. #34
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    No one suggested an old Answer Manitou or Yeti ARC??? The number of those that are beautiful but cracked....GREAT wall art.
    '03 Yeti Kokopelli
    '96 Answer Manitou FS
    '91 Yeti Ultimate
    '88 Yeti Patco FRO


    VRC

  35. #35
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    Consider also a Schwinn Project Underground Homegrown, also a SweetSpot. If money is no object, then you have to have an Ibis Bow Ti.
    Why Johnny Ringo, you look like someone just walked over your grave.

  36. #36
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    Hey Again, thanks for all the ideas.

    The ideas somewhat overwhelmed me... I'm now busy remodeling the property we should have the apartment ready by spring. I am slowly developing my own opinions on bikes

    I picked up a completely original 1983 Trek 850 in almost new condition. Really a great find.

    I probably have room for 5 bikes, I am trying to be patient on finding the right bike. I have a 50's Schwinn that is close to being a klunker and few other vintage bikes (1985 trek 620, 50's springers) they will work for the short term.

    I have a need for 3 or 4 more. Since it was a local manufacturer I'm thinking the American makes sense. The 850 fills in for the early years. From there I'm thinking of conversation pieces (odd balls, bright colors etc...) for a the less educated (like me).

    Treks are easier to find here, I'm thinking thinking the yellow/gold trek Y33 or the Y50. A brightly colored Klein makes sense for it's attention grabbing colors. Then when I see the Kleins the Mantra is unique and colorful, but it is a basically similar to to Trek Y's. I like the sligshot although again similar.

    I'd be ok averaging $500 a bike. I'll go back through this string of responses on the the forum and try to make a condensed list out of it. I have multiple searches going of Craigslist, but some of these are seldom available. At some point I'll revert to Ebay to get the last of the bikes for now I will try to make slow decisions.

    Always open to idea - thanks fro the help

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