Friday, February 13, 2015

Fifth in a Series of Bruce Gordon's Personal Bikes

     Let’s take a step back to 1983, in the early 80s Jim Merz , who was building frames in Portland, started working with Mike Sinyard of Specialized.  At a cyclo cross race in Portland, Merz had what he called a “Mountain Bike”.  It had fat 26 inch tires and upright bars. He suggested I ride it up and down curbs. I remember thinking it was pretty neat that you could ride up and down curbs.  But, I remember thinking that it was an odd bike that would never take off.  I was wrong.  So, I built a Mountain Bike in July of 1983.  It was the first paint job by Corbin Dickinson, my new painter.  I told him I wanted a green with black zebra stripped.  He masked it off and made it very Anatomically correct.

It was the way mountain bikes where in the early 80s. Back then, head and seat angles were very slack and there was no specific mountain bike tubing. So, I made a lugged frame with Columbus SP Tubing (it was the heaviest tubing available at the time).  It had a 1 inch top tube, 1.125 inch down tube and seat tube.  It was a 60 cm center to center, with a level top tube.  Head angle was 68º and seat angle was 70º, 62 cm center to center top tube, 5.3 cm of rake, 46 cm chain stays and drop of 4cm.  I don’t remember what kind of lugs I used.  I used a Mountain Goat Fork Crown that I brazed over the mountain goat cast into the top of the crown.  I got it from Jeff Lindsey of Mountain Goat Cycles in Chico California.


I had all the parts anodized black. It had Suntour derailleurs and thumb shifters, Specialized Triple Crank, hubs and headset, with a Regina Oro 5 speed free wheel (“that’s right, before the freehub existed”), with Martano Italian made rims and Specialized Ground Control Tires.  Shimano cantilever brakes with Magura brake levers, Campagnolo Seatpost and Quick Release Seat Binder, Avocet Touring II Saddle, Bear Trap pedals,  and a Bull Moose handle bar brazed by Tom Ritchey.  

"Turns out I was wrong about Mountain Bikes, Things have changed, Mountain bikes are quite different then the first once."


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