Viewing 28 posts - 41 through 68 (of 68 total)
  • It’s just a ‘90s mountain bike
  • Premier Icon roverpig
    Full Member

    Get you with your suspension and fancy aheadset:)

    Premier Icon kerley
    Free Member

    There’s being physically able to get a bike down or up a trail, and there’s being able to ride it well. I don’t find bouncing slowly down some rough trail fun, nor do I like cornering with my front wheel on the verge of dumping me on my face.

    Agree. I spent the last 10 years riding a narrow tyred fixed gear bike on all sorts of inappropriate off road. Having much more fun since switching back to rigid SS MTB and wonder what I have been thinking all these years!

    Premier Icon roverpig
    Full Member

    I’ve had a look at the Spindatt videos and I think I’d agree with his basic conclusions. Comparing this particular 90s MTB against a modern gravel bike (and assuming the brakes can be be fixed) there are two things that really stand out. It feels pretty sluggish. Where the gravel bike feels responsive and sporty this is (as he says) much more party pace. It also feels a lot more comfortable off road.

    I guess I’m comparing a noodly old (pre-CEN) steel frame against a modern carbon one, so none of that is too surprising really. They are both good fun to ride (like all bikes really) but feel very different.

    Premier Icon cookeaa
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    I think the main thing is reach, even the most basic 90s MTB had a huge amount more reach than a modern day gravel or CX bike. once you shove drops on it you need an incredibly stumpy stem to even pull it back in right ballpark. Better yet go a size down if you can…

    All of which kinda makes it seem mode sensible to just fit a nice pair of risers to an old MTB…

    But I still think gravel bikes manage to have a similar quality to those old MTBs I remember.
    Obviously the geometry is different, the brakes work and the tyres are tubeless and harder to pinch flat, but I do remember a similar feeling from efficiently rattling my way through my local woods and trails on a rigid Kona with canti’s, a relatively basic. An un-fussy bike that covered terrain and didn’t need too much looking after, I can’t say the same about most modern MTBs.
    Perhaps that’s why Gravel bikes came to be?

    Premier Icon kerley
    Free Member

    An un-fussy bike that covered terrain and didn’t need too much looking after, I can’t say the same about most modern MTBs.
    Perhaps that’s why Gravel bikes came to be?

    There are modern MTBs that fit that role but guessing people don’t buy them as much (or marketing/media would suggest that anyway)

    For example the rigid On-One Whippet would be an updated version of a 90’s MTB and just as simple to look after as the 90’s MTB. It will ride better than the 90’s MTB due to wheels and brakes but it is not really a million miles away. I still ride a very basic MTB and love it but it still feels quite different to a gravel bike (slower on easy stuff, more capable on harder stuff)

    Premier Icon p7eaven
    Free Member

    There are modern MTBs that fit that role

    My Genesis Longitude is just a bigger and better version of a 90’s rigid steel MTB IME. I’ve had an array of 90’s Konas, Dawes, Rockhoppers, Saracen, Raleigh/M-Trax and never going back. Curiously, the one I enjoyed most was a Raleigh Apex which I customised circa 2007 for gravel-type day-touring in hilly country. It was a workhorse. Brookes B17, some high sweep bars, and one of those riser stems ie

    Handling was interesting. But I could ride it in comfort all day long with considerable cargo.

    Nowadays geometry/fit is much improved, MTB-wise. I never really got into the arse-up, head-down cricked-neck scene so would at the very least fit high riser bars on any early MTB.

    Premier Icon roverpig
    Full Member

    even the most basic 90s MTB had a huge amount more reach than a modern day gravel or CX bike

    That would explain why this 90s MTB, which was supposed to fit my wife (who is 5″ shorter than me) seems to have the same reach as my gravel bike. A bit of a surprise though as I though MTBs had got a lot longer recently. Did they get shorter after the 90s before getting longer again?

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    90s MTBs had long distance to the bars, because 130mm stems were normal, and you got a stretched-ish roadie style position – a lot of MTBers had previously been roadies so that’s what they were used to; but the actual reach measured by modern standards wasn’t that long I don’t think. That coupled with the steep head angle meant that the front wheel was pretty close to you. They never used to discuss reach as a measurement in geo charts in those days.

    These bikes do climb well because they are more or less based on road bikes, because early MTBing was based around either XC racing or simply covering ground, which has similar requirements to road biking.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Full Member

    My Genesis Longitude is just a bigger and better version of a 90’s rigid steel MTB IME.

    Aren’t you Cardiff based? That Genesis is probably the perfect Valleys bike. Fancy a classic Valleys ride after I’m done digging my garden?

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Full Member

    There are modern MTBs that fit that role but guessing people don’t buy them as much (or marketing/media would suggest that anyway)

    No, and there aren’t as many out there to buy. Mostly marketed as ‘bike-packing’ bikes.

    Mine is a Salsa El Mariachi, but there are others:

    Shand Bahookie
    Big Brother
    Genesis Longitude
    Surly Karate Monkey
    Trek 1120
    Salsa Cutthroat or Fargo (ok so those both have drop bars but they’re still MTBs really)

    Rigid 29ers not that different to flat-bar monstercross but usually MTB gearing and yet more tyre clearance.

    Premier Icon fossy
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    I still use my 90’s Diamond Back Ascent with XT and LX. I’ve fitted full guards and use it in the crappy weather on local trails

    Premier Icon IdleJon
    Full Member

    The only reason to ride the towpaths and bridleways is to get to somewhere to actually ride avoiding roads.

    That might be right in the south-east but doesn’t apply in huge chunks of the country. I could manage the bridleways of Dartmoor or the Quantocks, for example, on my gravel bike, but I have much more fun there on a MTB. And that’s what I ride whenever I’m there, normally thinking that I should have taken a bigger travel bike because this bridleway is most unbridleway-like.

    Premier Icon lustyd
    Free Member

    “These bikes do climb well because they are more or less based on road bikes”

    Also because a decent one was a lot lighter than a modern bike! Mine wasn’t far off my road bike in terms of weight. Would have been lighter too without the 130mm stem 😀

    Kona Kilauea

    Premier Icon kcal
    Full Member

    nice one @roverpig – I’ve recently retired my – later – Stumpjumper M2, and am left with a 1993 Kilaeua to connect me to the heady days of 26″ rigid MTBs. Rear disc would make all the difference.

    Prior to the M2, I had a black steel rigid Stumpjumper (must have been around 1988 vintage) and my first bike, a Rockhopper from about 1986/7 with the chain stay U brake.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Full Member

    Also because a decent one was a lot lighter than a modern bike!

    No, not really. A decent XC bike now still weighs under 10kg which was still ballpark for 90s bling. The only problem was that back then there weren’t other options. In some ways you can’t compare an early 90s bike to a modern trail bike because they are really pretty different things. When you choose your 27lb carbon Enduro sled now you’re buying something that simply didn’t exist in any form then.

    Premier Icon susepic
    Free Member

    Here’s what i was riding at the weekend – my 20s FS XC weapon being hors de combat due to a warrenty issue. Rejuventated the ’98 Rockhopper Comp. Resonably quick climbing, bumpy on the flat, and exciting on the descents. Get those cool dual control levers!
    98 Rockhopper

    Premier Icon susepic
    Free Member

    Here’s what i was riding at the weekend – my 20s FS XC weapon being hors de combat due to a warrenty issue. Rejuventated the ’98 Rockhopper Comp. Resonably quick climbing, bumpy on the flat, and exciting on the descents. Get those cool dual control levers! Don’t seem to be able to upload images tho….
    98 Hopper

    Premier Icon p7eaven
    Free Member

    @molgrips

    Aren’t you Cardiff based?

    Not I. Other end of the M50. Only 2 stops away by train tho . Parents in N Wales.

    Fancy a classic Valleys ride after I’m done digging my garden?

    That’s a great offer thnks, deffo after restrictions lift and when I can get up to scratch(ish)

    Have been enforced off MTB (and most road) last 6 months with re-injury. Exploratory MTBimble last week of 5 miles was disappointing. Plenty of walking up hills and swearing. Singlespeed is my future with emtb plan B.

    Just bought a set of frame bags so remaining optimistic after close to sacking it all off last autumn.

    #notalostcause
    #biffer

    first bike, a Rockhopper from about 1986/7 with the chain stay U brake.

    That was my 2nd MTB, bought as a used frame and swapped parts over from 1st. IIRC the flat bars I specced were about 450mm 🤣🤣

    I’ll never fully get why early MTB designers (and us serial fettlers) seemed to think that a slammed front end and narrow bar = the ideal offroad experience. Even remember toptubes sloping forwards (presumably offering extra fallover clearance)

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Full Member

    I’ll never fully get why early MTB designers (and us serial fettlers) seemed to think that a slammed front end and narrow bar = the ideal offroad experience.

    Because when you’re used to road bikes, and you get on an MTB like that it feels natural, like the ‘right’ setup. My mate runs his 2005 MTB like that and likes it, cos he’s really a roadie and doesn’t care for anything technical. It climbs well but is frighteningly unstable when you try and do what you’re used to doing on a modern bike.

    When you get on a new bike you sort of want it to be like your old one – it takes a bit of effort to un-learn what felt right on that one and figure out what’s right on the new one. And most adults who were MTBing were outdoorsy people who wanted to get out in to the hills, or roadies who fancied a different sort of race format. It was us kids who were trying to do jumps or seeking out the bonkers steep stuff to try and get down with your arse over the back of the saddle.

    Premier Icon p7eaven
    Free Member

    ^ Most likely some truth to that, especially the race format of the time.

    It’s interesting to me as my first ‘grownup’ bike @ 15yo was a 54cm Carlton (road) racing bike. Before that I’d had a Tomahawk and a 26” ‘tracker’ (kids road bike that I put cross tyres and cow horn bars on) for ‘jumping’ and ‘downhill skidding’

    The bike I’d ridden (friend’s bike) that I most liked offroad was a Raleigh Grifter. I never got to own one but it just felt right.

    FFWD to 1989/90 my road bike was broken and I’d seen these MTBs/ATBs in my LBS so went for a look. I was sold. I chose a frame the same size as my road bike (first ‘mistake’ but the reach was correct even if the standover was nutcracking)

    I dug the higher front end (was a riser stem) and nearly everything else about it. It was more ATB to be fair. Wealthy-parented peers on Alpinestars and racey GTs seemed much more bent over into the wind.

    FFWD a bit and a few issues of MBUK marketing soak was taking effect on my sensibilities. Soon enough I too wanted to get into the head-down lightweight business, so slammed my stem and chopped the bars. Raised the seatpost. Bike looked cool like Mint Sauce’s, but I can’t say I enjoyed riding it like I enjoyed viewing it. Polar opposites. Then switched to a mid 90s Cinder Cone, fitted high riser Monkeybars and higher/shorter stem and MTB began to feel a lot better. Things had begun to change for the better by 1994 but it was going to be the work of decades to get where we are.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Full Member

    Most likely some truth to that, especially the race format of the time.

    I remember plenty of singletrack in the races I did at the time, none particularly technical but it would definitely have been better on a modern bike. But no-one really realised what was possible because no-one had ever conceived the bikes we now have. A load of roadies and road bike designers were asked to design bikes that could be ridden off-road, and that’s what they came up with. Cycling was all about fitness, speed or getting places, or any combination of those things. People had started doing ‘rad’ stuff but it took a while for people to realise that bikes could be significantly redesigned for it, and even longer to realise that people might want a combination of rideability and technical ability.

    Premier Icon IdleJon
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    I remember plenty of singletrack in the races I did at the time,

    No, there really wasn’t. I started racing (and helping organise) races in Wales in the mid 90s. If you raced anywhere is south Wales in that period, we were probably on the same start line, and I’d possibly laid out the course. There WAS singletrack, just not much of it at all, and just as likely to be around or down a tussocky, grassy hillside as anywhere else. At Afan we raced almost entirely on fire roads, even when we followed the course of what became Penhydd a couple of years later. The most technical course I remember was at Barry Sidings, and that was because of how steep it is, not how difficult it was – most of the descent was on fire road again.

    I recently read a report of the ’99 Mountain Mayhem, where the writer said that a team member got scared because the course was so technical. Sandwell Park, too technical!

    Premier Icon jamj1974
    Full Member

    I recently read a report of the ’99 Mountain Mayhem, where the writer said that a team member got scared because the course was so technical. Sandwell Park, too technical!

    That is hilarious!

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Full Member

    If you raced anywhere is south Wales in that period, we were probably on the same start line

    I did a handful of races in Shropshire/Herefordshire, and there was definitely singletrack, by which I mean not fire-roads or wide tracks but ‘paths’.

    Premier Icon NormalMan
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    @RP (and anyone else interested)

    Part 2

    https://advntr.cc/how-to-turn-an-old-mtb-into-a-gravel-bike/

    Premier Icon roverpig
    Full Member

    Thanks @NM Some good tips in there.

    Premier Icon p7eaven
    Free Member

    K think this belongs here then

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