Category Archives: GT

GT Karakoram

I am being 100% honest with you when I saw that I am not one of those ‘vintage was waaay better man!’ guys. I remember riding my Bridgestone a couple years ago, and thinking I’d try it on some of the root infested, technical trails we have all over the river valley here in Edmonton.

It was terrible. I could barely keep my hands on the bars. And I was worried the whole time about how this very lightweight steel frame – with a reputation for breaking – was handling the punishment of the trail, and the very not lightweight rider pounding it through the roots.

So, I would say unequivocally, that the general off road riding experience has been improved since 1990. V-brakes, and disc brakes, better forks, proper rear suspension – all of these have made mountain biking better.

GT Karakoram

But, I am convinced that there is something about vintage bikes that modern bikes don’t have. Some intangible factor that existed in the early days that you don’t see now. And this early 90’s GT Karakoram just might show us what that is.

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More eBay lunacy

One thing I’ve always wanted, is a titanium frame. I’ve had a couple actually, but didn’t hang on to them because they just weren’t quite right. I think I’ll find the right one someday, but it’s not a priority at the moment.

Doesn’t mean that I don’t look though.

Today I found a gorgeous GT Xizang.

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GT Xizang

The Xizang was highly desirable back in the day and continues to be today. So much so that the seller is asking $1400 for this frame. It doesn’t appear to have been built up, so it’s technically new, but it’s New Old Stock. It’s not New new.

As a comparison, a New new Lynskey Ti frame runs about $1700. But that’s with all mod cons like a tapered head tube, press fit BB, disc brake mounts, and dropper post cable routing (maybe, I don’t know). So, I don’t know if $1400 is reasonable. I don’t know if “reasonable” even is a factor when it comes to vintage bikes.

Especially a rare one like the Xizang.

My problem though, is the listing itself. That terrible picture I posted above? That’s probably the best picture on the eBay listing. Between the six pictures posted, you end up seeing the entire bike, but never the whole thing at once.

Even worse, is the seller has put this very rare, very expensive, never been built up frame on the ground, resting up against a metal pole. At Redbike we had crazy awesome metal work stands (that are still there I think) that we were under incredibly strict orders to NEVER prop a bike up against. Because a slip and a massive scratch was so easy on those stands.

It’s pretty hard to accept this price with such a shoddy attitude towards selling.

Nice frame though.

Freeride Revival is go!

Well, it’s not really a go yet because we don’t have the bikes, but, the time is right.

First though, we need to talk about what Freeride was, just in case you don’t know.

In the mid to late 90’s, a group of BC riders were getting themselves into Bike magazine regularly thanks to their ridiculous skills on the skree slopes of Kamloops.  Eventually, a large chunk of an issue was devoted to these guys – Richey Schley, Wade Simmons, Brett Tippie, and others – and the scene was blown wide open.  But, the scene needed better bikes.

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1998 Rocky Mountain Pipeline

The first bike that comes to mind when you think “freeride?” The Rocky Mountain Pipeline.  However, Cannondale desperately wanted their bike to be one you thought of first.  So much so that they trademarked the name “freeride.”  Which was kinda dumb given that skiiers had used it for years, but we’re talking about trademark law in the U.S. – logic and reason do not apply.

This threw a wrench into Rocky’s plans to use it obviously. Until someone at Rocky came up with Froriders.  History was made.

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Completely irrational

I have very strong opinions with regards to cycling.  A lot of them have very little basis in reality, most of them don’t even matter.

But welcome to the Internet!  Every feeling that everyone has is somehow valid, no matter what.

Enjoy.

1. I refuse to acknowledge Bradley Wiggins’ knighthood.  The guy is a jerk, period.  Also, not even born in the UK.

2. I refuse to acknowledge Chris Froome’s knighthood.  Oh wait – he doesn’t have that.  I just wanted to mention him because he was also not born in the UK.

2a. I refuse to acknowledge knighthoods. Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government, or recognizing achievements in cycling.

3. I really don’t care about Lance Armstrong.

3a. Wait – I do care!  I saw the TV documentary Stop at Nothing, and I can you that he is INSANE-O. He is a clinical psychotic.

4. Trek’s president, John Burke, is a jerk.  He forced Greg Lemond to apologize for claiming that Armstrong was doping.  And yet, when Lemond turned out to be right, what did he do?

Nothing.  Nothing is what he did.  Well, he also bought out Gary Fisher and eventually made his bikes disappear…

5. Treks are the most boring bikes made on this planet. The only current one I like is the Superfly, which was a Fisher before it was a Trek. Otherwise, cookie-cutter bikes with graphics maximized to appeal to consumers.

6. Specializeds are the most boring bikes made on this planet.  I don’t care how good the magazines say they are, I would never ride one.  If I see you riding one, know that I am secretly judging you.

7. I will not name my bikes nor will I refer to them as “rigs,” “steeds,” or “whips,” because doing so is silly.  (it’s cool if you name your bike though, I don’t mind) Bicycles are damn cool on their own and do not need to be compared to other vehicles.

8. I used to not like GTs just because of their “triple-triangle” design. I realise now though, that I was young and foolish, and that those bikes had fantastic paint, and just plain looked good.