Malverns Retro Components Memory Lane Gallery

by and 40

Remember when you used to search for bike parts by flicking through a catalogue, or the back of a magazine? Perhaps you phoned a landline to check stock, or maybe…

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Hannah Dobson

Managing Editor

I came to Singletrack having decided there must be more to life than meetings. I like all bikes, but especially unusual ones. More than bikes, I like what bikes do. I think that they link people and places; that cycling creates a connection between us and our environment; bikes create communities; deliver freedom; bring joy; and improve fitness. They're environmentally friendly and create friendly environments. I try to write about all these things in the hope that others might discover the joy of bikes too.

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Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 40 total)
  • Malverns Retro Components Memory Lane Gallery
  • johnnystorm
    Full Member

    ST XC Comp better than XC Pro detailleur?

    nickc
    Full Member

    God, components were shit back in the day, I’m amazed we’re not all paraplegic.

    hightensionline
    Full Member

    Yeah, there was some absolute madness back then. Parts made of colourful cheese and anyone buying them doing the R&D for the manufacturers.
    Think the brake levers are Tech Lite, and the headset on the brown Bonty is a Deore XT, from the days when a Shimano groupset included a headset & seatpin.
    Those XT cranks are fugly, but they were a game changer for reliability at a sensible price. I’d argue that the ’97 XT groupo was the biggest leap forward until disc brakes took over. It just worked really well.

    kiwijohn
    Full Member

    The Avid Rollermajig is plastic, not alloy. I’ve still got one.
    XT parallel push V brakes came out in late 1995, before XTR.

    benpinnick
    Full Member

    Wavey spokes? If it’s not snowflake I’m out.

    benpinnick
    Full Member

    The Avid Rollermajig is plastic, not alloy. I’ve still got one.

    The V1 was alloy like the one in the pic.

    robertajobb
    Full Member

    Pace forks… got to hope you’d kept the original steel rigid forks for all the times the Pace’s had to be sent back for repair, so you could still ride.

     

    At least the shops usually had the stuff they advertised in MBR etc in stock. Not like these days…

    fasthaggis
    Full Member

    I still want a Kooka Crankset 🙂

    P20
    Full Member

    I loved my Hope XC4 brakes with their tiny 150/130 rotor combo, never suffered the brake fade issues like others did either. XTR95x was just great stuff, looked great and worked. (Apart from wearing the crank anodising off in the first ride)

    I never understood the whole anodised thing, especially XLite, it was worse than the product they replaced and expensive.

    I always wanted a Ritchey Soft-tail to go with my P20, it never happened though.

     

    14390661652_92bfdbfc68_o

    Bez
    Full Member

    I can’t believe you even published the picture of that shocking cable entry into the Rollamajig. (Or that you spelt it “Rollermajig”—surely you must know that the overlap between retro bike nerds and irritating pedants is huge 🙂)

    lunge
    Full Member

    I’d argue that the ’97 XT groupo was the biggest leap forward until disc brakes took over. It just worked really well.

    was that the first year with v-brakes? If so, you’re right, it was a brilliant groupset.
    People forgot how good v-brakes were compared to canti’s, the parallelogram design was a huge step too.

    hightensionline
    Full Member

    It was; Shimano classify the M739 as being ’95, but it was mid ’96 before we saw it, on the new ’97 release bikes.
    Like M950 XTR, it worked so much better than groupsets before. 8 speed, with really crisp shifting. The brake levers are lovely in feel. Still got a full groupo kicking around on at least one bike.

    Gunz
    Free Member

    DX seatpost? Hold my beer.

    16942956388611121188760586720791

    hightensionline
    Full Member

    That’s a lovely thing. M900 XTR will always be the most beautiful groupset ever made.

    ransos
    Free Member

    was that the first year with v-brakes? If so, you’re right, it was a brilliant groupset.
    People forgot how good v-brakes were compared to canti’s, the parallelogram design was a huge step too.

    Until the bushings wore and they squealed permanently.

    jonnyrobertson
    Full Member

    That article has made me go all Ron Manager.  Don’t care how crap the stuff was, it was fun to “just get out and ride”, where even a mostly on road ride round a parochial Midlands town could feel like an epic. DCD’s? Mmmm? USE seatposts? ROX tees for goalposts? Marvellous.

    benpinnick
    Full Member

    can’t believe you even published the picture of that shocking cable entry into the Rollamajig. (Or that you spelt it “Rollermajig”—surely you must know that the overlap between retro bike nerds and irritating pedants is huge 🙂)

    It had bigger issues…. it’s neither a rollermajig, rollamajig or any other majig, I think it was maybe made by DCD and it’s for your brakes to replace the Moodle on a v brake. Never going to work well on a mech.

    mick_r
    Full Member

    XT parallel push vee brakes were 1996 not 1997 (available at the start of the year and raced by almost everyone that wasn’t using discs or Maguras).

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    Controversial XTR M951

    Nothing controversial at all. Rapid rise is a brilliant thing – it was flappy paddle that was rubbish. My 9sp XTR RR and shifters were the peak of shifting and durability. In fact, I would love it on a gravel bike build…hmmmm

    😜

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    There’s two really crap things about retro bikes.
    Geometry
    Tyres

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    I’ve still got an M950 rear mech on my old MTB. Still works perfectly.

    I had a matte finish titanium XC race bike with a full M950 groupset, the whole matt grey frame/battleship grey groupset worked really well. 😍

    I remember working in bike shops during those years and folk coming in every payday to get the next purple bit – it was usually 3x the price and about 1/4 the function of the part being replaced. 😂

    And half the pages in MBUK were taken up with multi page adverts listing components and prices.

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    And half the pages in MBUK were taken up with multi page adverts listing components and prices.

    IIRC Merlin were the biggest advert of all.

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    ROX tees for goalposts? Marvellous.

    ROX t-shirts were great, I had loads.

    There’s two really crap things about retro bikes.
    Geometry
    Tyres

    Yeah but we didn’t know that!

    hightensionline
    Full Member

    We still don’t. Most bikes from the past look like they were designed for clowns or orangutans; today’s bikes will look the same in a few years. It’s the nature of things.

    jonnyrobertson
    Full Member

    I have a 1989 Kona Fire Mountain (5 quid tip rescue jobbie) that I had restored. Some new bits, some vintage and some (drive train ex shifters and brake levers) stayed on.  Took it out for a ride a couple of years ago ( to date my last solo ride) on the ride I used to do around my aforementioned Parochial Midlands Town.

    The terrain isn’t exactly challenging but the bum up, head down position with narrow bars,  1.95 tyres on 26 inch rims made for a fun ride.  The thing is bloody heavy though but the memories it brought back are making me all wistful again.  25 years had done little to dull the memories although very little riding in the previous 10 or so years had seriously dulled this old duffer’s riding ability.


    @crazy-legs
    , just looked, you can still get Rox t shirts on ebay.  I always wanted a Psycho Biker one….hey, I was still a teen back then.

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    @crazy-legs, just looked, you can still get Rox t shirts on ebay. I always wanted a Psycho Biker one….hey, I was still a teen back then.

    There was a move a while ago to try and re-establish the brand, I think it turned out that the guy who started it was just a university student (or something) with just a couple of designs and they were kind of surprised by how quickly it all took off.

    Personally I think it should stay as one of those things best left in the past – much as I loved them then I think they’d just be a bit lame now.

    And yes, I was still a (young) teenager back then, I had to get my Mum to write a cheque whenever I wanted a new one and I’d go and post my order form. Simpler times… </sigh>

    Rapid rise is a brilliant thing – it was flappy paddle that was rubbish

    Wrong way round. Flappy paddle was brilliant* when combined with a normal way round mech, it was Rapid Rise that was shit!

    * I accept that I seem to be in a minority of 1 with this view.

    jonnyrobertson
    Full Member

    They do kids sizes.  I may treat the eldest to one as like you say a bit lame now, at least on a 47 year old dad.  I reckon he’d be able to pull it off.  Maybe the Fear Of A Flat Planet one.

    Cool story behind it though and props to the lad for having a go at reviving a wee bit of MTB history.

    dyna-ti
    Full Member

    Missing – Tioga disc drive.

    Missing because they sell for £1500. Or how about a set of Onza Porcupine tyres in white ? Originally retailed at £14.99, you can expect to pay upwards of £200 each, and it doesnt matter if they’re cracked, and extremely grubby, thats not going to hold back the buyers.

    I binned my pair cos they were rubbish and had a tendency to fall to bits. hey ho 🙁

    This is part of the personal collection of a chap on RetroBike.

    SK006

    Keando
    Full Member

    Remember the Look S2 pedals – had a pair of the Red Moab S2’s back in the day. Great pedals, solid platform but heavy and didn’t shift mud easily…

    pictonroad
    Full Member

    Our family car got nicked in Liverpool when I started uni. There were six sets of NOS white Onza porcs in the boot when it was torched.

    uggski
    Full Member

    Oh yeah! The days of Chainring tattoos. Forgot how dangerously jagged those old chainrings were.

    mlindarets
    Full Member

    Definitely Tech Lite brake levers. My first trade show purchase as a shop rat at Interbike (East) in Philadelphia PA. Maybe 1993?

    dyna-ti
    Full Member

    Forgot how dangerously jagged those old chainrings were.

     

    Pedals were designed for just the same thing. Maximum injury to the shins.

    ktache
    Free Member

    There are some french guys making repro retro stuff

    https://classic-repro.com/product-category/bike-categories/?lang=en

    I’m wondering and wanting a set of onza porcipaws.

    daverhp
    Full Member

    Does anyone remember Fred Salmon Chicken Sticks? Brakes, but I can’t recall if they were levers or the business end. Googled but only found stuff about poultry products…

    hightensionline
    Full Member

    Chicken Stix were brake levers made by X-Lite, so a bit of a step up in quality & price. X-Lite became Muc-Off.
    Fred Salmon products often had fishy names, like the pedals being called ‘Crabs’. It was decent kit to be fair at a budget price; the brakes (Fish Hooks, I think) were very similar to OEM Marin.

    slackboy
    Full Member

    I’ve just finished restoring a 91 zaskar. The repro smoke/darts are still rubbish, the conti cross kings on my bontrager are fabulous though.

    +1 for m950, but thumbies still rule.

    PXL_20230902_103449475

    PXL_20230914_174602030.PORTRAIT

    hightensionline
    Full Member

    Love both of those @slackboy – great work on keeping the Zaskar understated. Is that an Onza Chill Pill on the front brake?

    The repro smoke/darts are still rubbish

    What’s the problem(s) with them?

    slackboy
    Full Member

    Is that an Onza Chill Pill on the front brake?

    Yup.  I’ll get some matching cable nipple’s at some point too.

    The smoke/darts just don’t really have much grip and get too skinny these days. They look the it’s part though.

    hightensionline
    Full Member

    Yeah, they look great, but they’re sketchy as nowadays! I’ve got an original pair of ’93 Dart & Smoke to go on an RTS I’ll get around to putting back together one day. I switched to a 2.2″ minimum in ’94, and that was that.

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