Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Interim bike

This bike popped up on Craigslist last week. It's a Novara X-R. This is the third configuration I've seen this bike in.

I bought one years ago -- 700c, fillet brazed, Tange tubing, with LX components, crazy track bars and bar-end shifters. Then I saw one a couple years ago at the bike swap -- even more interesting: 26" wheels, fillet brazed, etc.

Turns out that Glen sort of perked up with these bikes too -- he ran across one a few months ago and bought it (the 700c track bar version). If I didn't have a bunch of bikes and a couple similar bikes that I don't ride enough, I would have pestered that one out of him. Instead, it's hanging in his shop, awaiting its fate.

This version (the third that I know of) of the X-R is much different than the others... and older maybe by 8 years or so. It's basically a mid-80's mountain bike with drop bars. Japanese. Lugged. Tange Infinity. Shimano DX, shimano barcons, Araya rims. There's a little sticker on it that says it was "Designed by Scot Nicol." That's the Ibis guy.

So, when Glen saw this little bike on Craigslist, he bought it and he decided to make a few changes to it and let Maddie ride it for a while. This will be Maddie's bike until next spring when we figure out the next bike. She's outgrown her righteous Grape Bike. And we're talking about some multi-day (week?) road touring next summer, so we'll need to figure out that deal.

He put some old chestnut wheels on there. These are Mavic MA-2 rims laced to Shimano 600 hubs. But these aren't just any old MA-2s. See the Bontrager sticker? Mavic did not make these rims in 559 way back when. But mountain bike racers wanted this style of rim. So Bontrager had a business (in which Glen was a cog) rolling down and re-welding the 700c rims to 26". 

Sugino Maxy crank with Mavic rings. Another chestnut from Glen's stash of cool old shit.

Click for big and dig that crazy-ass lacing on that wheel. Glen didn't have a story there.  He also put some sweet rubber on there: Schwalbe CX Pro.

Modern Ritchey drops and a stubby stem. In true 80's mountain bike style, this bike with a 48 cm ST has a 57 cm TT.  Glen also swapped out the weird-o Shimano friction barcons with some 8-speed indexed versions.


rory said...

I have brand new 559 mavic ma40s lying around. gathering dust.

just sayin'.

Jon said...

I love those Schwalbe tires! They are my favorite all-rounder/skinny knobby.

I see the Nicol-designed bike, every so often, here in Denver. I actually built one up very similarly to this one, for a fellow.

DavidLFields said...

This bike has many awesome memories for me. I bought one brand new from REI and had it highly modified. I had flat bars added and added fenders and racks. It was outfitted with Berta City Slicker tires in 700c x 35.

This mid 80's mountain rig was an excellent city commuter and summer touring setup.

This bike brought me to university and work daily. Regrettably it was stolen on 1993. If I had this bike today I'm not sure I would change very much from my original setup. My Giant has been setup nearly identically and it still does what it needs too.

Thanks for sharing. I miss that bike. If I ever find who stole it I will likely do hard time for my treatment of their physical person.

Set her up and treat her nice. She won't disappoint.