"Blue Collar" bikes are production level bikes from some of the bigger companies. These bikes used many of the exact same components that were found on the high dollar custom bikes. Some are also designed by "famous makers" and produced overseas as opposed to the USA.
We've been moving some bikes around and taking some pictures of bikes that we have had for a LONG time. Most of these have been around at least 8 or 10 years and go back to our earlier days of collecting. These are bikes that are much more common but also are bikes that many of us rode or even wished we could afford while we rode the lesser-priced cousins of these bike.
Going back through old magazines, I wonder how much Diamond Back spend on ads for this bike:
More pics and details @ http://www.mombat.org/1987_Diamond_Back_Arrival.htm
The Alien was the working mans version of the Mantis bikes. Neat looking bike with the chrome rear and chrome fork:
More pics and details @ http://www.mombat.org/1990_Nishiki_Alien.htm
Another bolt-on rear end on the Fisher CR-7. I think MBA called this the best handling bike ever?
More pics and details @ http://www.mombat.org/1989_Fisher_CR7.htm
And for the Bridgestone fans, the MB-1 that has unfortunately lost its original fork:
More pics and details @ http://www.mombat.org/1993_Bridgestone_MB1.htm
And I guess this one is questionably "blue-collar" but it is Taiwanese. Some day I wouldn't mind finding a little better example.
More pics and details @ http://www.mombat.org/1991_Bridgestone_MB0.htm
We get a lot of phones calls from folks looking to upgrade their old mountain bikes. Once you explain that they only make 1" forks without cantilever brake mounts.....which requires V brakes....which means your brake levers won't work.....which means new shifters if they are tied together.....plus new cables and labor.... and then the new fork is too tall so it will ruin the handling that you like which all adds up to an abandoned project. This is the reason we brought back Mountain Goat Cycles, to offer customers what they loved about their old bikes but with the ability to run current parts. The down side was the cost of the custom frames which typically ran about $1500. This makes it tough to build a complete bike for much under $3K. To help with this, we took a look overseas and found that we can build a comparable quality frame for about 1/2 of the US made frames. We lose the ability to do custom geometry and cool paint but that is still available on the USA frames. The details have mostly been nailed down and we are just waiting on our sample frames so we can put some miles on them and make any needed changes. Here are a couple shots of the frames:
We picked this bike up awhile ago and rally don't know much about it. The decals say Denti but it appears as if there were some decals that had on the frame previously. The frame has some large "fins" at the tube intersection and really tall chain stays. The component groups is the way-overbuilt Campagnolo Euclid stuff. This was Campy's first attempt at a mountain bike group and it almost looks more suitable to a motorcycle.
Specs can be found at http://www.firstflightbikes.com/1989_Denti.htm
We've spent a decent amount of time over the past couple of weeks scanning material into the MOMBAT.org web site. As of right now, it is just over 200 new pages scanned in and posted. Much of it is from the earlier Bicycle Guide magazines which was always one of the better mags. Lots of common stuff from the big guys like Ritchey, Ibis,Fisher and Mountain Goat but also a good number of scans from some of the more obscure companies as well. If you have a bit of time to kill, check 'em out!
The early Breezer bikes have always been among our favorite bikes. They really were the "origin of the species". The 10 Series I bikes were the first purpose built from the ground up mountain bikes. The Series I bikes are all pretty much accounted for and will likely not come to market very often (if ever). After finishing the Series I bikes, Joe made 25 Series II bikes. We were fortunate enough to acquire #9 several years ago with Joe's assistance. It has been one of our most prized bikes in the entire MOMBAT collection.
A couple of months ago, the original owner of Series II #10 contacted us about locating an original style rear derailleur for his bike. We tried to help him out and mentioned that we would love to acquire the bike if he ever decided to part with it. He mentioned that he had tried to sell the bike to a couple of Portland area shop without and luck. He had contacted Joe Breeze about the bike after not being able to sell it and heard about the last Series II bike selling in the 5 figures. At that point, I figured we were out of the running since we can't afford to put anywhere near that into a bike to hang on the wall.
A couple weeks ago, the original owner offered us the bike for the price he had originally mentioned which was definitely affordable. We quickly agreed and then anxiously watched the box make its way across the country. Upon receiving the box, we tore into it to make sure there wasn't any damage. The packing job was great and the bike survived the trip intact. It is in fantastic condition for a 30 year old.
The bike is currently disassembled and is getting a good bath. All the parts are original to the bike except the rear derailleur, brake pads and tires. The pads were easy since we had those in stock and the Cyclone derailleur was quickly sourced and is being shipped to us now. The early tires are always difficult since there were very few options and Snakebelly tires are extremely rare. We did have some old American made "Nobby" balloon tires so we stuck those on there. Once we get 'er all cleaned up, we'll get some better pictures.
For now, here are a couple from the original owner.
Wasn't sure if we would ever find one of these. Not sure how many were made but I can't imagine there were too many of them out there.
Most people think of rear suspension bikes as being a mid 1990's invention but here is one from a full decade earlier......even 5 years before the first commercially available front suspension forks! There was an early school of thought that believed rear suspension was more important than front suspension. The front of the bike could be steered around or lifted over trail obstacles while the rear hit everything. Mountain Cross Racing was one of the earlier companies to produce these rear suspension bikes starting in 1984. It appears as if the bikes were produced into 1987 with minimal differences.