Sunday, December 26, 2010

Trimble 140 Unlimited w/ Campy Record OR

The original Trimble Carbon Cross frames were not very durable since the bottom bracket wasn't reinforced. Brent added an additional brace which made the frame stronger and was called the Inverse 4 frame since the new frame shape looked like a "4". In the early 1990's, suspension was becoming more common and required a revised geometry to maintain the handling while coping with the additional length of the fork legs. Trimble used the same main frame but revised the dropouts to accommodate the new suspension forks. Weights were also becoming more important so lightened frames were offered. The model names reflected the maximum recommended rider weight: 140, 160 and 180. There was Unlimited versions of each model which lightened up the aluminum frame bits and added $400 to the cost. This frame is a 140 Unlimited which should have been the lightest version. the serial number is 0001 so this may be the first production 140 Unlimited model. We received this bike with a more modern parts kit so we replaced it with a period Campagnolo Record OR parts kit. More pictures and details on the MOMBAT web page.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

1990 Pinarello resto-mod

The resto-mod has taken root in vintage car circles. They take an older car, gut it and install modern running gear and interior. You end up with the best of both worlds. Vintage style with all of the modern conveniences. We recently acquired a 1992 era Trimble mountain bike that was done this way. It had a Shimano Deore XT 9 speed drivetrain with Rapid Fire shifters, Hollowtech cranks and V brakes. Pretty current technology on a vintage platform. We really wanted to put the Trimble back to being era-correct since it is an early 140 Unlimited model (serial in actually 0001)and fairly rare. This left us with an entire drivetrain.

Looking around the shop, we didn't have any frame of the appropriate era for the parts. What we did find, was a couple of NOS Pinarello frames from around 1990. These are cool frames that we picked up several years ago. This seemed like a good match and the parts fit nicely on the frame. We capped off the build with our own Goat Horn handlebars, Grab-On MTN-1 grips and Ritchey Z Max tires. Ended up as a pretty nice riding bike. Since it doesn't really "fit" in the museum, we are offering it for $999 (frame alone sells for $650).





More here

Purchase info here

Friday, December 3, 2010


I always thought the Trimble frames were pretty interesting looking and a neat idea. When Brent Trimble was working on his "new" frames, he decided to clean out some of the older frames that he had laying about. He sent us pictures of 5 or 6 of the frames but we never ended up with any of them. I am pretty sure this frame was one of those. The original owner purchased it from Brent and they build it up with the (then) current Shimano Deore XT stuff. Not sure whether to leave it as it is or try to put more period correct parts on it. Anyway, neat looking bike with a "giraffe" motif paint. The dark spots are just the natural frame fiber with a red metallic clear coat over it.





Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ritchey Z Max Evolution Pro skin wall tires

We finally just received our Ritchey skinwall tires! These are the Evolution Pro with a Kevlar bead. Weight is in the 475 +/- gram range which is about 80 g lighter than our Timbuk II tires. If you want some nice high performance tires for your vintage ride, these are a great choice. They also would set apart your more current bike if you want to stand out from the crowd. To purchase them hit the MOMBAT web site.




Monday, November 8, 2010

1983 Mantis Sherpa

Mantis was the original bike company what was owned by Richard Cunningham from the early 1980's through the mid 1990's. RC went on to become the long-time editor of Mountain Bike Action and just recently stepped down from the position. The first Mantis bikes were fairly conventional frames but Mantis quickly became know more for their wilder designs including the multi-tubed Valkyries, monocoque framed Screaming Vs and full suspension Pro Floaters. It seems like we see quite a few of the later bikes but don't run across the early bikes too frequently.

This bike was obviously used quite a bit but was used for its intended purpose. Components are fairly straight forward Shimano Deore XT (deer head) parts with Phil Wood hubs and Specialized crank. The Mantis stem is interesting with the 3 bolt removable face plate that also has the front brake cable running through it.

More details @ the 1983 Mantis Page

Friday, October 22, 2010

1983 Mountain Goat Escape Goat

The early Mountain Goats used oval tubing and beautifully finished fillet brazed joints. All of the tubing manipulation and finish work drove the cost of the frames up. The Escape Goat was an effort to bring theses costs down. The frames featured standard round tubing and unfiled fillets. Parts were often less expensive as well with items such as the fork being an off-the-shelf part as opposed to the custom Mountain Goat forks found on the top models. For more pictures, see 1983 Escape Goat page.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dirt Rag vintage forum now up

Dirt Rag has now started a vintage forum. Stop in and check it out, or better yet post something up!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

1988 Ritchey, mostly NOS parts

This was originally a Commando but the previous owner didn't like the camo paint and stripped it down. It was pretty ratty rattle can red when we got it so we decided to sent it out for a make-over. We were taking a new Mountain Goat frame to the local powder coater to get a shiny coat of dark green metallic so we just got this one done in the same color. Parts are mostly New Old Stock Shimano Deore XT M 730 parts including 6 speed index shifting, rear U brake, Bio Pace rings and first generation cassette hub. Bars are a set of Ritchey MountainBikes bullmoose bars.

More details @ 1988 Ritchey

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Pinarello Antelao in Dirt Rag

The Pinarello Antelao from the MOMBAT collection is featured in Dirt Rag #152. This bike was built using a New Old Stock frame and all NOS or lightly used Campagnolo components. Very pretty bike but it is obvious the Italians didn't have a firm grasp on the American Mountain Bike market! Check out the scan below, or better yet, go to your local shop or book seller and pick up a copy. This issue also features the literature contest winner which always makes for a good read.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Ibis Cycles #46: Circa 1983

We recently acquired this from the original owner and finally got it cleaned up. This is another one of those bikes that shows a lot of use which gives it a nice looking patina. Highlights include modified Hi-E hubs, stub mounted stem and Cunningham/Ibis Speedmaster brakes. Interesting "by master" decal on the top tube. I asked Scot about the decal and he told me what it meant. The answer is @ the 1983 Ibis page along with extra pictures and specs.

Monday, September 13, 2010

1992 Mountain Goat Deluxe

This was one we picked up recently on the Asheville Craigslist. Relatively lightly used with a nice parts package. Ringle hubs, XC Pro drive train, Syncros cockpit components, Cook Bros. Racing cranks.....Not sure about the paint. It has Nouveau Flames on it over some type of brushed green base.

More pictures and details @ 1992 Deluxe page (Twitter and Facebook "share" links)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

MOMBAT in Bicycle Times # 7

Coming up with a vintage mountain bike to write about for Dirt Rag is pretty easy since we have several hundred to choose from but bikes for Bicycle Times can be a little trickier. I try to come up with something interesting but not necessarily a mountain bike. They concentrate on more commuter style bikes. This month I decided to do our Alien bike which uses a front mounted crank to power the front wheel. Kinda interesting bike but it sure is scary to ride!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

1985 Ritchey Timbercomp

For some reason, we acquired most of our Ritchey bikes quite awhile ago and the pictures for the web site were pretty crummy back then. As time and weather permits, we are trying to update the website with more and better pictures of the bikes. All the Ritcheys were in a row so we have been updating them one at a time. This is a pretty small fillet brazed Timbercomp in great condition.

More pictures and details @ 1985 Timbercomp

Monday, August 16, 2010

1990 Pinarello Antelao w/ Campagnolo components

Built this out of a NOS frame with all NOS or very lightly used parts. Italian on Italian just seems right. Still have a couple more NOS frames but all the parts are gone.

More pictures and details (with "share" links) @ 1990 Pinarello page.

1998 Ritchey Soft Tail

We've had some of these Ritchey bikes for quite awhile and the pictures were old and embarrassing. I have been trying to grab a couple of minutes to update a few of these older bikes with better pictures but time can be tough to come by. Jonathan, AKA Gilligan, has been sneaking out and taking a few pictures for us. Sometimes the bike ends up in a goofy gear or with the seat too low but at least the pictures are bigger and better! Occasionally, he will see something on a bike that I would have missed. Anyway, here is a 1998 Ritchey Soft Tail bike. These frame relied on chain stay flex for the suspension and were usually listed at having less than an inch of travel. The titanium versions made some sense to me since ti is such a flexible material but steel would concern me a little more if I planned on riding the bike for a long time.

More pictures and details (with "share" links) @ 1998 Ritchey Soft Tail page.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Fillet Brazed 1984 Bontrager

Many recent riders will know the Bontrager name from his work designing parts for Trek and Fisher bikes. Many don't realize that Keith started out building bikes under his own name.

This one has been through a few different collections before it landed on our doorstep. EL was guessing 1984 from the seatpost that came with the bike (date coded 1984) and it seems pretty close based on the frame details. Anyway, we tried to improve a bit on the build with stuff we had here at the shop. "Upgraded" a few parts and replaced a few with better examples.

Trying out a new format for the bike pages so check it out at 1984 Bontrager and let me know whatcha think. I even added a Facebook "Share" link.

Monday, July 12, 2010

1985 Mountain Machine 20" x 24"

Very unusual design from 1985.  Made in Colorado from 4130 cro-moly.  The frame is New Old Stock with all original parts on it including the optional rear rack.  The front wheel is a 24" and the rear is a 20" but the bottom bracket is at normal height.  Notice the chain roller to keep tension on the chain and the large "bash guard" under the bottom bracket.  Bicycling magazine did a large article on the Mountain Machine when they came out.  We have a copy of the article as well as a couple of pieces of original sales literature.  We also have two NOS frames and another bike built with modern parts.

More details @ 1985 Mountain Machine