Status: In Progress
Made in London, England
Frame & Fork: Reynolds 531
Groupset: Campagnolo Record
Bars: Original-Gerry Burgess (GB)
This bike comes with a great story. I went to Vernon, BC to see a guy about a Specialized Stumpjumper FS (see blogs 19 and 20) and ended up buying two bikes from him. When he found out that I liked to rebuild vintage bikes, he said that I had to meet his neighbour, Gordon. Gordon had been given this Holdsworth as a project. I suspect it was because Gordon seems handy and is British. Gordon was way to busy for another project, especially one like this that needed a lot of work, so I ended up taking it home. What a lucky day that was! I went home with three bikes in the car and a lot of excitement about this Holdsworth.
I found a Holdsworth Facebook group that has many people in it who know a lot about Holdsworths, including a few people who are former employees of Holdsworth. They directed me to a website and spreadsheet and were able to help me find out about this bike. Based on the serial number (69473), which is found on the bottom bracket and the fork tube, the bike was a Shop Special, meaning it was made in their shop rather than their factory, and is likely an Italia Sprint.
The paint was in horrible condition and I really wanted to repaint it to look like the Holdsworth team bikes, so it had to be orange and blue. I stripped it down to the bare metal and that revealed the beautiful brazed lugs and Campagnolo dropouts. This was my most challenging paint job to date. It had two colours and the world championship decals were very challenging to apply so that the coloured bands matched up perfectly after wrapping around the frame. The painting/decal process took me 10 hours. In the end I was really happy with it, but there is a mistake that I will have to correct before I build the bike this winter.
20) 1996 Brodie DynamoRead Now
Status: For Sale at $475
Handmade in Canada
Weight: 23.4 lbs/10.6 kg (without pedals)
Frame and Fork: Tange Infinity Tapered Double Butted Cr-Mo with Ritchey Dropouts
Crankset & Brakeset: Shimano STX RC
Derailleurs and Shifters: Shimano Deore LX
Wheelset: Mavic M-231 rims on Shimano Deore LX Parallax hubs with Continental Race King 26x2.0 Tires
Click here for the 1996 Brodie Brochure
When I went to Vernon to look at a Stumpjumper FS, the owner said, "I have another mountain bike for sale. Do you want to see it?" We went around the corner of the garage and there sat this beautiful Brodie. I made a deal for them both.
I love the early Brodies and was thrilled to find one. After doing some research on this one, I discovered that it was from 1996, the first year that Brodie sold complete bikes. It was made with Infinity tubing, Ritchey dropouts and a beautiful rear canti-brake routing guide. The paint was still in decent condition and restored nicely. I was able to find a pretty close match in the Shopper's make-up department. The groupset was in really good condition as well and cleaned up nicely. I can't get over how light this bike is! It doesn't even have the lightest groupset that Shimano made back then but it still weighs only 10.6 kg! I might need to keep this one for myself!
Designed in California, Handmade in Japan
Weight: 11.8 kg / 26 lbs
Frame: Tange Prestige Double Butted Cr-Mo
Fork: RockShox Judy XC (Completely rebuilt with SRP Steed Springs)
Groupset & Brakeset: Shimano Deore XT (upgraded to V-brakes)
Wheelset: Araya TM-801F rims on Shimano Deore XT Parallax hubs with Maxxis Pace 26x2.1 Tires
I saw this bike advertised on FB Marketplace about an hour's drive from my house. The Stumpjumper was a legend, so I thought it might be worth checking out. This one had been very well loved and needed a lot of work but the bones were great and it had a nice groupset that would clean up well. One of the best things about it was that he also had a Brodie Dynamo for sale (see Blog #20) and his neighbour had a Holdsworth (see Blog #21). It was a great day!
The frame was scratched and rusty on the outside and it had a botched job of removing the cantilever brake hanger from the seat stay but fortunately, there were no dents and the tubing was clean on the inside. I sanded down the botched hanger and chose a GM paint called Fine Silver Birch and straight black decals to give it a classy look. I made every decal with Photoshop and Cricut except for the Direct Drive decal that I bought from Velocals.com.
The fork rebuild was a challenge. There wasn't any oil in the damper cartridge and the elastomers were useless. I bought a cartridge rebuild kit and replacement springs from specialtyretroproducts.com. It took me a while but in the end, the Rock Shox Judy XC not only looked great but it worked really well, too.
The crankset and the seat post were beaten and scratched but lots of sanding, buffing and polishing made them more beautiful than when new. The rest of the groupset cleaned up quite nicely and I replaced the LX front derailleur with an XT to match the rear mech. The bike came with mix-matched wheels on LX hubs. I had a beautiful set of wheels with near new looking rims and beautiful polished aluminum Deore XT Parallax hubs that I was saving for a build of my own but in the end, I felt they were destined for this bike. Another lucky score was the Specialized saddle that I came across last summer. It really finishes off the bike perfectly. I'm sure happy with the way this turned out and I know that someone is going to really enjoy ripping up the trails on this 90s classic.
18) 1995 Rocky Mountain EquipeRead Now
Status: For Sale at $695
Built in Canada
Weight: 11.5 kg / 25.4 lbs
Frame: Tange Prestige Ultimate Ultralight Double Butted Cr-Mo with Ritchey Bottom Bracket and Dropouts
Fork: RockShox Mag 21
Headset, Crankset, Stem, Handlebars, Grips: Race Face
Derailleurs & Brake/Shift Levers: Shimano Deore XT
Wheelset: Specialized Rims on Deore LX hubs with Continental Race King 26x2.0 Tires
Link to the 1995 Rocky Mountain Brochure/Calendar
I received this bike in exchange for some work I did on a bike. It had been found in an alley by a dumpster. It was missing the front wheel, was missing most of the original parts and the frame was badly scratched but it had great bones for a quality build.
I thought about the repaint with the original coffee brown and the original decals but after rebuilding the 1995 Rockhopper (Project #24) I fell in love with plum and silver. When someone on the Vintage Canadian MTB Facebook page listed the downtube decals in silver with gold trim to match the fork, the deal was sealed. I couldn't be happier with the finish! And the frame is so well built and so light at 2.12 kg with the Tange Ultimate Ultralight tubing. The Race Face cranks that were originally white, really came out nice as polished aluminum with new decals. The Race Face headset, bars, stem and grips really finished it up nicely as well. The Grip Shift was replaced with a really nice 7-speed Deore XT shifter/brake lever combo and look and work great. I'm so pleased that I took a bike that wasn't rideable and turned it into a bike that is now better than it was when it was new!
17) 1990-93 Tech ProRead Now
Status: In Progress
Frame & Fork: True Temper OX Quad Butted Chromoly
Groupset & Brakeset: Shimano Deore DX
Wheelset: Araya RM-17 rims on DX hubs with Continental Race King 2.0 tires
The Facebook ad was for a lot of 5 mountain bikes for parts or repair. There was only one picture in the ad and it was hard to tell if there was a diamond in that rough. I thought there was potential with the orange one but it was hard to tell in that picture. I asked for a picture of that one and got a nice pic of the bike. Hmmm, I thought, there might be something here. That looks like it might be DX. I asked for a closeup of the rear derailleur and that got me excited. It had Deore DX which is a really nice vintage groupset so it had to be a decent bike. I collected them all and kept the Tech. The others were rust buckets that wouldn't be worth saving so I took a few parts off them and hauled them to the scrap metal yard.
Handbuilt in USA
Frame & Fork: Ritchey designed Tange 4130 Chrome Moly
Crankset: Shimano Deore MT-60 on Shimano sealed BB
Saddle: Vetta Turbo
Grips: Ritchey True Grip X
Handlebar: Ritchey ProLite
Groupset & Brakeset: Shimano Deore XT (Cantilevers, Thumbies)
Wheelset: Ritchey Vantage Sport rims with Shimano Exage hubs on Maxxis Pace 26x2.10 tires
I've wanted a Ritchey Ascent Comp for a long time and I was lucky to see this one for sale in my region and lucky that the first buyer fell through. At first, because of the magenta/yellow colour scheme, I thought it was a 1988. Upon closer inspection, however, I realize it is a 1989. The giveaway was the switch from a U-brake in the rear for the 1988 model to cantilevers on the 1989 model. This was going to need a lot of work and shopping to make it worthy, but I was excited for the challenge.
This was my third painting project and I think I finally figured it out. The stripped frame showed off the beautiful TIG welds at the head tube and bottom bracket and the smooth fillet brazing everywhere else. I found really close PPG paint matches to the original magenta and yellow and the painting went flawlessly for the first time. For this bike, I didn't make the decals myself and I didn't mask them. Instead, I bought the full decal kit from www.velocals.com. They were premium cast 1-mil vinyl and were super easy to apply and can barely be felt under the clear coat.
This bike wasn't an easy build because it needed some things to really finish it off right. The stem that came with the bike was not original. In fact, it looked like a road stem. Because the bike was so small, I didn't want to install a long stem. I was lucky to find this unknown, chromoly stem that had a nice shape to it and with the stop for cantilever brakes. It was badly scratched but after painting it to match the fork it seemed perfect. The bars were also inappropriate for this bike. I was lucky to find a Ritchey ForceLite bar that was in pretty good condition. So many have the decals worn away. The XT front derailleur was broken and needed to be replaced. I tried hard to find the appropriate Avocet Turbo saddle with no luck but I did manage to find a really nice Vetta Turbo that closely resembled the Avocet. The bike came with a mixed set of wheels and hubs but I found a set of Ritchey Vantage Sports in great condition that worked out well. It had a nice crankset but the cranks were really beat up and scratched. Lots of sanding and polishing took care of that. The bike came with platform pedals but a bike like this needed Deore XT pedals from that era. These are pretty hard to find but I did manage to find a pair and they really added to the bike. It needed brake pads and luckily you can still find Kool Stops in yellow. They match the bike perfectly. In the end, I couldn't be happier! I feel like this is my best work so far. It's been sitting in my dining room so I can see it every time I'm at the computer or walking by. If only it was my size! It will be hard to let it go and I almost feel embarrassed by asking so much but a lot of money and time has gone into this one. Someone will see the value in it and will be a very happy and lucky owner!
Frame & Fork: Chrome Moly
Brakeset: Dia Comp XCM
Wheelset: Araya Aluminum rims with Vee Rubber 26x1.95 tires
The ad on FB Marketplace was for two Kuwahara projects (See #14 for the other). Neither was finished and this is the one that caught my eye. It had a really nice set of Araya TM-810F rims on Deore XT Parallax hubs with new Schwalbe Tough Tom tires. I had another project in mind for the wheelset and since the Instinct didn't have a rear derailleur hanger, and since the shifters and derailleurs were in terrible condition, I decided this should be an MTB cruiser.
I was so happy with the way this MTB cruiser turned out. The paint polished up nicely and didn't have any rust. The anodizing on the stem and cranks were in terrible condition so I sanded and polished those. They turned out beautiful in the end. A nice chrome riser bar went well with the polished stem. The almost new saddle that I pulled off another bike fit well with this cruiser style. The Araya rims polished up nicely and went well with a set of trail tires that were waiting for a home. In the end, I ended up with a really nice MTB cruiser that is perfect for the bike trails, the rail trails and for cruising downtown or to the coffee shop.
14) 1990s Kuwahara M4.5Read Now
Status: For Sale at $425
Frame & Fork: Tange Infinity MTB Tapered Butted CR-MO
Shifters: GripShift SRT-500 with New Old Stock (NOS) ODI World Map Grips
Derailleurs: Rear: Shimano STX RC, Front: Shimano Deore XT
Brakeset: Rear: Shimano U-Brake, Front: Ritchey Logic Cantilevers
Crankset: Shimano sealed bottom bracket with Shimano STX RC Cranks
Wheelset: Rear: Bontrager Mustang rim on Shimano STX RC Parallax hub, Front: Mavic 238 rim on Shimano XTR hub on Kenda Small Block Eight 26x1.95 tires
The Facebook ad was for two Kuwahara project bikes and this was one of them. I really only wanted the wheelset that was on the other Kuwahara (see blog #15) but decided I could turn this ugly duckling into a swan. The paint was beyond restoration so this one will be my next opportunity to improve my painting skills.
This is probably my favourite before/after bike. It's an entirely new bike, really. The frame was stripped to bare metal and then painted with the PPG Shopline automotive paint system (3 coats primer/hardener, 3 coats of base, 3 coats of clear/hardener). All the light green 'decals' are actually paint. First, the frame was primed, then I tinted the white with some of the dark green and painted the areas with the logos in the light green. I created the Kuwahara and MBW logos in Photoshop and cut out vinyl decals with a Cricut. The decals were placed on the light green paint and then the dark green was painted. After that, the decals were removed, revealing the light green underneath. This paint job turned out nicer than my first with no runs.
It was tricky outfitting this frame. It came with an ugly, heavy and poorly functioning Trek fork that I decided not to use. I found a rigid chromoly fork on a trashed BRC bike and luckily it fit. The rear derailleur was nice, a Shimano STX RC 8-speed but there was nothing else to go with it. I happen to take in another bike that had an STX RC 8spd hub and freewheel that was the perfect match. Another bike that I had with a trashed frame happen to have STX RC cranks. I added a nice vintage Shimano XT front derailleur and a nice set of Ritchey Logic brakes. It took me a while to settle on the shifters. I had a set of 8-speed GripShift shifters but they were missing the inside grips. Luckily, I found a NOS set of ODI World Grips from a guy in Portugal. I thought they went perfectly with the earthy green frame.
I don't think I could be happier with the result. The new paint looks great and the Infinity frame and stem/handlebar set-up offer a comfortable ride. The shifting is crisp and smooth and the brakes are adequate for their age and style. Someone is going to get at least another 30 years of enjoyment out of this bike.
Mike the Bike