> Does anyone else here have experience with old MTB's
> at least 10 years old? Let me know
I still have my first mountain bike, a 1985 Redline. It is still going
strong, with only the usual replacements -- chain, cables, blocks, BB, etc.
It is rather like the Stumpy you mentioned, but much lighter -- I'd say
26-27lbs. Similar geometry; great downhill, irritating on ascents -- not
enough traction on the rear wheel.
It has a full Suntour XC-Pro grouppo with the original roller-cams, Ukai
rims, Sugino chainset, and Avocet touring II saddle. I must confess I
replaced the old XC pro levers, similar to those you mentioned, with a set of
Ritchey logics last year.
The parts show no sign of wear. The bike will keep on going forever, I think.
I must disagree slightly about how much MTBs have improved. Index shifting
encourages bad shifting technique which is *** the drivetrain. I rather
like the geometry; especially if you are off-road touring, you stick a set of
panniers on the rear and you solve the rear-wheel traction problem. It's a
very pleasant bike to ride; you could change half your clothing and eat a
bowl of cereal riding with no hands on a normal fire-road.
But what worries me is this: I bought the bike at the end of 1985, for cash,
for $575 (as a fif*** year-old, you remember numbers like this!). Top end
bikes still cost now what they did then, but the dollar is of course worth
less. You get more features, hi-tech, etc. But if you want to spend less,
your only option is to go for less durable, inferior equipment on the bike.
I.e., you can go for Alivio or STX instead of XT. But there is no option to
go for a low-tech version of XT that would be cheaper, but have similar
durability. Sure, at the moment there is enough old Suntour XC Pro and
old Shimano XT stuff about to build such a bike. But you can't buy one. And
that, I think, is a pity.
My 2 cents.
Edward WJ Lipman, Research Fellow in History,
Peterhouse, Cambridge. CB2 1RD. England
Tel: (44) 1223 339 780 Fax: (44) 1223 337 578
Any opinions expressed herein are mine alone expressed
solely as a private individual.