Saturday, January 24, 2015

Tour Worthy?

If I'm going to undertake a long distance cross country tour I'm going to need a bike. A Surly Disc Trucker or Ogre would be ideal but I'd like to avoid spending $1500 if possible. I've got two possible candidates available, an 80's Diamondback Ascent mountain bike and a 1995 Trek 930. The Trek is currently loaned out to a friend so I'll talk about it later. I bought the Diamondback about a year ago for around $80. It wasn't very well cared for. The paint is really faded leading me to believe it was stored in the elements for some time. It's got rack and fender eyelets at the fork tips as well as mid-fork eyelets. For some reason there is only one set of eyelets on the rear dropouts.

 The bike looks terrible but the frame seems straight and sound. If I use this bike I'll need a new wheelset, The wheels in this photo are donors from a high end 80's mountain bike (that bike has a stuck seatpost that won't come loose no matter what I do). The hubs are nice looking Suntour's marked "sealed bearing hubs". I'm going to remove the hubs replace the bearings and build them into a nice strong wheelset.


  1. Whether or not you decide to tour with it, keep and fix the Diamond Back. Those early mountain bikes were tanks, but can be re-puposed as commuters, freight-haulers or touring bikes.

    The SunTour hubs are really nice. I'd suggest building them with new spokes and rims. You simply shouldn't ride old spokes, and old mountain bike rims are either heavy or weak.

    After you do that, all you'll need are new pads and cables for your brakes, whatever gearing is right for you and your choice of saddle, handlebars and pedals--if they're not already on the bike. Even if you replace all of those things, you'll spend a lot less than you would for a Surly LHT or similar bike.

    1. Good advice. I'll come out pretty far ahead if I can get this bike in shape. I'm going to strip everything off the bike, clean the parts, upgrade what I can from the donor bike, and buy whatever else is needed. Choosing racks and bags will be the next big decision.