Vintage Pro-Flex

Pro-Flex was one of the first companies to offer a rear suspension bike.  You couldn’t really call them full suspension – at least not the early ones – because they only had a flex stem up front.

Suspending the bike is different than suspending the bike.


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This is a 1991 550 utilizing an elastomer “shock” in the rear end, and a Girvin Flex Stem in the front.

There’s nothing particularly special about this bike, but when I saw it, it reminded me that I used to see a woman riding around town on slightly newer Pro Flex.  It’s kinda funny to see bikes that were made with serious off-roading in mind log heavy miles as commuters and grocery getters.  And I always liked the look of these early bikes

They’re pretty popular amongst the VRC crowd, I think because of their pioneering of suspension, and for the attention grabbing looks of the later models with Girvin/Noleen Cross Link fork.


They were eventually bought out by K2 – makers of skis – and still exist, but just as very plain, inexpensive bikes.  Whatever innovation that existed in the Pro-Flex/Girvin/Noleen days is long gone.

80’s Big Sale

It’s time for me to clear out the garage as I have a bunch of projects that I want to sort out, and no money to do that with.  So I’ve gathered up all the newest and shiniest gear I have, and before it goes on eBay, I thought I’d display it here.

Let’s start with the biggest and best;


1. 2010 Rocky Mountain Altitude 29, size large.  Shimano XT 9 speed shifters and derailleur, Race Face cranks, Stan’s ZTR rims with tubeless Continental Mountain King tires, Fox fork.

I really like this bike – it just rolls over everything – but given the type of riding I do, when I ask myself if I’d rather have this, or my 20th Anniversary Blizzard running, and my Dekerf built up, and maybe some other vintage machine, the answer is clear.

I would entertain trades on this bike for an older, XTR equipped 26er.  Don’t care about the brand, or if it’s suspended or hardtail, I’m looking for parts here.

2. Single speed wheelset; front is a silver Chris King disc hub, black spokes, and silver Mavic 717 rims.  The rear is a polished White Industries ENO eccentric single speed hub, black spoke and 717 rim.  It’s the older style ENO with a thread on freewheel mount.  This wheelset can be used with either disc or rim brakes, and I have the eccentric mount adapter for it too.  I might also have road spaced dropouts too.

I would entertain offers to part this wheelset out, but, if I did, I’d be keeping the rims, because a good rim brake compatible rim is becoming hard to find.  And I would also be interested in trades for a good rim compatible geared wheelset.  Like an old Crossmax for instance.

3. Vicious Cycles steel fork.  Black, disc-only, meant for a 26″ wheel, but I think it’s tall enough that it’ll work on 27.5″ as well.  It would probably also work on a disc-only CX bike.  I have put a 700c wheel in it, but there’s no clearance with a 29er tire.

4. Frames!  Small Norco Bush Pilot with fork and Campagnolo headset.  That’s right, Campagnolo on an entry-level mountain bike.  That is how it’s done.  Large and extra-large Fisher Marlin frames circa 1998, rim brake only, both of which I’ll probably repaint before I sell, but let me know if you’re interested, you can pick the colour maybe?  GT Zaskar LE, size 20.5, possibly broken.  If you want this, it’s yours.  It’s not pretty, but it was great before I maybe broke it when it was on the roof of my car.

5. All kinds of parts; SRAM 10 speed, 42T chainring (new).  SRAM composite v-brake levers (used). SRAM X.7 long cage rear derailleur.  Manitou X-vert fork (used).  Redline CX fork (used, disc and rim compatible).  Marzocchi Z.1 Drop-off 20mm fork (used, disc and rim compatible).


Vintage Rocky Mountain

This certainly isn’t fancy, but it’s out there getting the job done in our freshly arrived winter.


It’s a Sherpa from 1998 or maybe ’97, and I found it doing some winter bike commuting duty at a school.

That Manitou fork was definitely not stock that year, or any year for that matter on a Rocky, but it’s nice to see one out in the wild.  The seat does not look good.  It looks like the cover came off it five years ago, and weather, or possibly rodents, are working on the padding now.

Most shops will have seats that were swapped off of new bikes, and will sell them for $20.  I guess this rider is unaware.

It does seem to be faring a little better than the last old Rocky I found in the snow.


Funny how similar they are, with the racks and destroyed seats.

Come on people – these old Rockys deserve better!

Vintage Merlin

I’ve been spending a lot of time on, which is probably the biggest English retro site out there, going through the 250 pages of posts on readers bikes.

Here’s a beautiful Merlin from the back pages;


It’s pretty much perfect.  Not just in the period correctness of the parts, but in the particular brands chosen.  Parts on this bike come from the legends of the industry that are of just the right style for a Merlin.  Like Wilderness Trail Bikes (hubs), Interloc Racing Designs (seatpost), Salsa (stem), Specialized (tires), and Ritchey (fork).

Add in rare black Shimano XT brakes, those fabulous 4-finger brake levers, Mavic rims, Sugino cranks, and a Regina Extra Amercia freewheel – this is some crazily rare piece that I don’t even know what it is – and you have perfection.

It was posted three years ago, but there are some more fabulous pictures here;

I talked about price in my last post, but this is a bike that it would be very hard to put a price on.  I don’t know that I’d ever have the budget to make the builder let it go.  But even then, you’d hope that it’s a bike the owner can hang onto it until he’s able to pass it on to a younger family member, and so on.

No question, this is a 10.