Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Retro bike builds are nearly here

Posted by Matt | May 19, 2009 | 1 comment so far

Somewhat improbably, Dave and myself have both embarked on retro bike builds using late 90’s Marin frames that have been ‘discovered’ at the back of garages. How strange too that we should be talking about the late 90’s as retro – it seems only yesterday that we were buying our first proper mountain bikes; in fact, the frame I’m using is my first proper MTB!

It’s testament that some bikes just refuse to die or in my case it’s another attempt to make it fit me!

So what’s the reason for this unexpected bike buildage you might ask? A surprisingly sharp and cutting comment I must say which I’d normally expect to come only from an exasperated spouse. My reply, really the only valid response worth the name is ‘since when has a decent reason got in the way of a bike build?’ But if pressed, it’s because it’s a good way to tidy up the garage and collect all those pointless bits of discarded bike together in one place.

Surprisingly, on my part at least there is almost a valid reason to assemble all the not-quite-a-bike bits in the garage into a working machine. I’m going to use the bike partly for a spot of casual road riding with an attachment for towing my son’s tag-along bike. Son One is now pretty much ready to ride unaided but Son Two is now nearing the point at which he can sit on the tag-along as I do all the work.

After experimenting last year with slick tyres on my MTB I’ve decided to put my Marin Muirwoods frame back into service in a semi road-specific guise although dry summer trails will also see it shod with fat Conti Verts in a bid to remind myself how far mountain bikes have come. The combination of the Landrover descent, a racy steel hardtail frame, carbon forks and V-brakes should be an interesting one! It could be an enjoyable tool for cranking out mid week miles.

As for Dave, his reasoning appears similar, to have a reasonable quality hack bike for road work and occasional off-road excursions. It’s a bid really to show that, properly sorted, there’s a lot of life left in some of the kit of yesteryear and it expands the number of situations when you can ride a bike.

As it stands I have most of what I need to build the bike, so look out for the bike build and photos over the next week. Dave too should be assembling his parts-bin special around the same time. If you see two frightened looking riders with knackered Marin frames and melted V-brakes out on the trails in the next few weeks, say hello. Although we might be laughing too much to hear…

Filed under Mutterings, Trends in May 2009


About the author

Matt is one of the founding Molefathers of the Muddymoles, and is the designer and main administrator of the website.

Having ridden a 2007 Orange Five for many years then a 2016 YT Industries Jeffsy 29er, he now rocks a Bird Aether 9 and a Pace RC-627.

An early On-One Inbred still lurks in the back of the stable as a reminder of how things have moved on. You can even find him on road bikes - currently a 2019 Cannondale Topstone 105 SE, a much-used 2011 Specialized Secteur and very niche belt drive Trek District 1.

If you've ever wondered how we got into mountain biking and how the MuddyMoles started, well wonder no more.

There is 1 comment on ‘Retro bike builds are nearly here’

We love to get comments from our readers - if you've spent a few moments to comment, thank-you.

  1. JR says:

    Does that mean my turn of the century cortina blue Stumpjumper is becoming a newly fashionable Retro bike?

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