Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What's In The Repair Stand

Late 90's/Early 00's Mountain Cycle San Andreas
The shop is located in the Mid-West. Not known as a hot bed of vintage, high end mtb esoterica by any means. So when I get not one, but two oddball SoCal mtb bikes in for repair, I definitely take notice.

The first rig I worked on is this fine example of a Mountain Cycle San Andreas full suspension bike. The San Andreas model was the bike that Mountain Cycle made their name on in the early 90's. In fact, the bike originally came with disc brakes and Mountain Cycles own "Suspenders" upside down style suspension fork. Back then the San Andreas featured a bellows for a rear damper not unlike what you might see underneath a semi-tractor trailer rig.

This was a later iteration, (possibly the last generation?) of the San Andreas. It had modern disc tabs on the rear swingarm, and it was stamped as being the "5th Version" under the bottom bracket next to the serial number and the Kinesis USA stamp.

Full XTR drivetrain and shifters.
The bike was kitted out in the best of its day: Full 9spd XTR drivetrain and shifters. Paul Motolite brakes and Love levers, with Chris King hubs and head set.

The frame is a tour de force of welding. I was amazed by the yards of weld beads on this thing. The monocoque aluminum construction looked huge and heavy, but the bike was actually quite reasonable for weight. I figured it in the upper 20's, but I did not actually weigh it.

It also had a Thomson stem and seat post with a Selle Italia SLR saddle. Top notch stuff everywhere I looked. And I had to look at everything, since it was in for cleaning, and the bike was covered head to toe with grime.

Mountain Cycle Moho hard tail
The same customer also brought in this nice Mountain Cycle Moho hard tail. This is similar in construction to the San Andreas, but was a model brought out in Mountain Cycle's later years.

This one was no less stunning. Again- a full XTR drive train was on board with a SID fork and ultra-rare ProShift brand CNC brake levers and linear pull brakes.

Ultra-rare, Made In The USA brakes
This rig also featured Thomson parts. The stem and seat post again, which sported another Selle Italia SLR perch. The head set was a black Chris King unit, but the wheels were rare Hadley hubbed ones. Made in the USA, of course.

This rig was maybe even dirtier than the San Andreas, so it probably got a lot of ride time. Even so, the parts were in remarkable condition.

I love seeing old, exotic mtb stuff come through the shop. It is fun to work on, and I get to touch and experience things I only got to see in magazines of the day.

These bikes needed little, but we do work on all types of bicycles at the shop, so if you have something you need looked at- be it a hybrid rig or something vintage like these two bikes, we can do it.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the kind words about the bikes! The bikes were originally assembled from bare frames at the now defunct Atomic Bikes in Whittier California (SoCal). I raced for the shop for a number of years (cross country) and the bikes were fully spec’d by me and the mechanics assembled every piece creating the unique rides. Light weight and reliability were the two things most sought after due to the heavy abuse from racing and training.
    The San Andreas never had disk brakes because at the time they added too much weight and for cross country racing were not that necessary. As far as the rear shock on the dual suspension goes... it was custom made by Crane Creek (a sponsor of mine at the time) to offer a lighter weight air shock, better tuning then a spring but at the same reliability. I was the first to product test the design. It has held up well and never had issues... a little lube on the shock before each ride to keep the seals lubed and the dirt out is all it ever needed along with minor air adjustments based upon the terrain or how I was feeling that day.
    The Moho was the workhorse of my racing and training. Light weight and speed was the objective of the build of that bike with bullet proof components. The bike has seen many miles of various terrain and races... it has saved me from a hairy decent a time or two and has excelled in steep, slippery vertical climbs where other hard tails have given up. Thanks in part to the aggressive geometry and unique soft tail frame construction. One thing to note on both bikes is the seat and pedals. The pedals are Frog Ti and the saddles are SLRs. The handle bars, pedals and seat geometry on both are measure up to have the same exact triangle... so no matter which one I ride the fit is the same but the ride and feel are completely different.
    The only thing better than seeing them in the bike stand being worked on is to put a leg over one of them and hit the trail as hard and fast as you can. I can guarantee you the bikes and the components spec’d won’t hold you back, slow you down and all they will ask from you is to go faster.