So, I have these old bikes. One is a 1989 Fisher CR-7 with a full XT group (minus the thumbshifters) and a 1992 Trek 9200 with a DX/XT mix. Neither of which I have any designs on keeping. The Fisher was abandoned by it’s owner (considering it’s condition, I’m not too surprised), which ended up being a score for me for the parts, because it’s a 15″ frame. And the Trek is a joke – it’s a terrible bike.
But, together, they represent two bikes worth of pretty decent vintage parts. Which means, I can get a bike to put those parts on…
This is a Mammoth RC-201, made somewhere between 1989 and 1992. I’m going to get all CSI up in here, so hang on; there is nothing stamped on the frame, but the ’89 catalog shows the RC-201 having U-brakes. This frame is made for cantilevers though, so it must be newer than ’89. The rear brake cable runs down the down tube, under the bottom bracket, and then up to a roller, and finally to the brakes. I’ve seen Mammoths without this admittedly ridiculous setup, and I’d have to assume those are the newest iterations of this frame.
And finally, Mammoth was done by ’92 or ’93, so, I’m saying this is a 1990 or maybe a 1991.
Mammoth was not a really big or popular bike maker, so there isn’t a ton of info out there, and as such, I’ll probably never know for sure what year it was made. But that’s ok, because it achieves the one thing I really want in a bicycle, which is; I’m the only kid on the block that has one.
Now, what I do know about Mammoth is that it was started by guys that ran Tracker, which made skateboard components. It’s an elevated chainstay bike, which was popular for a bit in the early 90’s, and us VRC guys love e-stay bikes. It’s made from 2024 aluminium (those numbers represent what metal is alloyed with the aluminium, in this case, copper) – which did not require heat treating after welding. And in fact, it’s not really welded at all.
So, I’ve got myself this crazy rare bike, and now I have to figure out how to put it together. It uses a pressed in bottom bracket – which oddly enough, is now becoming an industry standard. But of course in 1990, they used different size bearings.
It needs a 1″ fork. This size was completely dead in mountain bikes by 1992. Well, in good mountain bikes anyway. If I want a good fork for this bike, I could be spending $150 or more.
And then there’s the paint issue. Do I repaint, or polish? Mammoth liked a red/white/black fade, but I’d be using spray cans. I’ve sprayed quite a few bikes in my day, but don’t know that I could pull that off.
Aluminium looks great polished, but I’ve done that before, and it’s a lot of work. Also, I want to be a bit different. Most of the parts I have a silver, so I figure a darker colour is best. I saw Krylon in Key Lime green though, and it looked good…
OK, I think I’ve geeked out enough on this bike for one day. I just discovered that my pictures are coming up on the first page of a Mammoth RC201 image search, so I’m happy. Also, I bought a cool Atak/Sun/Ringle wheelset for it today. This is going to be a great bike when it’s done.