16 August 2013

bike time 137 - green grizzly

The kids have been taking swimming lessons at the local YMCA.
It's been fun to watch them progress from landlubbers to mer-kids.
But that isn't what this post is about!
1986-1988 bianchi grizzly MTB

While I was waiting for Macey to finish up in the locker room,
this ancient mountain bike was ripe for picture taking.
Good thing cause I had already memorized the swim class window literature.
bianchi grizzly

I immediately recognized the celeste green frame as a Bianchi.
The color camouflaging the Japanese production lugwork,
which screamed a late 80's build.
green tange steel

Even better the owner was still running the old U-brake,
that silver thing underneath the bottom racket area.
I remember having one of those in an old Scott Boulder MTB.
Definitely wasn't made for mud!

I admired the steel frame long enough
to wonder how different these japanese made lugged bikes really were.
Besides some changes in angles and tube lengths,
there seems to be a standard in which these rigid frames were made.
Tange or the rebadged Ritchey tubing was common,
and those lugs looked awfully familiar to Bridgestones.

Was there a specific area in Japan that specialized in frame manufacture?
Or maybe a handful of sister factories that all competed for the same thing.
Whatever it is what a great time to be a bike rebrander.
Drop in to the manufacturing district with a wad of cash or credit,
throw down some frame dimensions, color choices/graphics,
 and choose shimano vs suntour...
A couple months later you're line of perfect MTB's awaits!
bianchi grizzly

Not to knock this era in the slightest,
you know I dig these old hardtails.
There are small design changes among certain brands.
Check out that lugged front fork on this Bianchi.
Something to set it apart from the others.
How many of these deco shocks survived?
I swapped my rigid fork for a RockShox JUDY XC back then,
and loved every minute of it.
Who needs dual suspension!?

This owner had hot rodded his into the perfect commuter bike.
A road bike stem, single gear front crank, and Fat Frank tires,
together with a bulletproof Deore group,
made a simple and light go anywhere bomber.
deore 6-speed

I took enough pictures to be considered a stalker,
but the guy never showed up.
Macey likes to warm up in the hot shower,
so I had some time to sit on the bench out there.
Each guy that left,
I'd think maybe...nope... that's not the lucky owner.
vintage bianchi grizzly

The main idea here,
if you're in need for a solid city or cross-country mountain bike,
pass on charging up your credit card with a new fangled piece of trendy junk.
A local craigslist search will turn up all kinds of cool vintage rides,
and the parts needed to finish them up right - (or ebay).
You can still support your local bike shop,
by having them assemble and tune to your liking.
The best part is having a stand-out ride that will last another 20 years.
macey - 2013


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