St. Paul Bike Blog

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My old Scott Vertigo World Cup LSD DH bike circa 96/97/98. The frame was designed for Formula disc brakes but none were available in the U.S. at that time. Fortunately, one of the guys on my team was a machinist so we made Hope brakes work which included making a rear mount adapter and a smaller disc to fit the frame (each manufacturer had their own mounting specs back then). The bike came with a spring for someone that weighed 150lbs, no other spring rates were available. I called up Betts Spring to see if they could make one for me (they made most MTB suspension springs). The guy laughed and said I couldn’t afford it. When I told him about the bike he asked me to fax him some info/schematic on it. Two days later he called back and said they really wanted to work on it and would charge me $300 for one spring after originally quoting me thousands. So I sent them the frame and it came back with 6 springs of 2 different types (straight and barrel) in 3 spring rates 3 weeks later. I wound up liking the barrel springs better, less binding in the Rock Shox rear shock near full compression. The Mr Dirt adjustable 6-10’ travel front shock was one of the first upside down triple clamp forks and came with Hope brake mounts (home made tank slappers) with an early version steering damper whose name I have forgotten (maybe Answer?). Very tunable open bath design, heavy but amazing. The front wheel is a Mr Dirt thru axle hub (20mm?) I built up with a double wide Alaska All Season Snow Cat rim, IRC Missile 2.3. One of my Bennett’s bike shop co-workers worked at All Season when he lived in Anchorage and suggested I use them. The rear was built up with a wide Specialized DH rim that had a rubber liner (to help prevent pinch flats) with an XTR hub, some Continental 2.1 “paddle type” tire, go forward and stop, slide out before your front tire. XTR rear derailleur and shifter. Frame was fully adjustable for leverage ratio, rear travel 4-8”, BB height, and head tube angle. I wound up using a Syncros road crank since large MTB chainrings were tough to find. I really had to pull some strings to get the chainguide as Scott had committed to just one arbitrary manufacturer for mounting, again, no standards. Shimano SPD-636 pedals. I wish I still owned this thing. Thanks for indulging me. Google is your friend.

My old Scott Vertigo World Cup LSD DH bike circa 96/97/98. The frame was designed for Formula disc brakes but none were available in the U.S. at that time. Fortunately, one of the guys on my team was a machinist so we made Hope brakes work which included making a rear mount adapter and a smaller disc to fit the frame (each manufacturer had their own mounting specs back then). The bike came with a spring for someone that weighed 150lbs, no other spring rates were available. I called up Betts Spring to see if they could make one for me (they made most MTB suspension springs). The guy laughed and said I couldn’t afford it. When I told him about the bike he asked me to fax him some info/schematic on it. Two days later he called back and said they really wanted to work on it and would charge me $300 for one spring after originally quoting me thousands. So I sent them the frame and it came back with 6 springs of 2 different types (straight and barrel) in 3 spring rates 3 weeks later. I wound up liking the barrel springs better, less binding in the Rock Shox rear shock near full compression. The Mr Dirt adjustable 6-10’ travel front shock was one of the first upside down triple clamp forks and came with Hope brake mounts (home made tank slappers) with an early version steering damper whose name I have forgotten (maybe Answer?). Very tunable open bath design, heavy but amazing. The front wheel is a Mr Dirt thru axle hub (20mm?) I built up with a double wide Alaska All Season Snow Cat rim, IRC Missile 2.3. One of my Bennett’s bike shop co-workers worked at All Season when he lived in Anchorage and suggested I use them. The rear was built up with a wide Specialized DH rim that had a rubber liner (to help prevent pinch flats) with an XTR hub, some Continental 2.1 “paddle type” tire, go forward and stop, slide out before your front tire. XTR rear derailleur and shifter. Frame was fully adjustable for leverage ratio, rear travel 4-8”, BB height, and head tube angle. I wound up using a Syncros road crank since large MTB chainrings were tough to find. I really had to pull some strings to get the chainguide as Scott had committed to just one arbitrary manufacturer for mounting, again, no standards. Shimano SPD-636 pedals. I wish I still owned this thing. Thanks for indulging me. Google is your friend.

My old bike shop, Bennett’s Cycle (the largest single shop in the U.S. at the time, $3+mil/year, early ’90s), purchased all the Fisher RS-1’s for closeout of the line. We had a few of these with Mert Lawwill leading link forks but most came with the first gen of Rock Shox (purple frame gold rear suspension). I really wish I had purchased one of these. Way ahead of it’s time, 4 bar suspensions still rule. Component compatibility and the short comings of the elastomer springs doomed this bike. Campy MTB gruppo sucked on hardtails much less full suspension. Pro Stop disc brakes may have been the best thing on this bike…until the heat built up and locked the brakes on (same problem Mountain Cycle San Andreas had). On the plus side, Gary Fisher visited our shop on a regular basis.

My old bike shop, Bennett’s Cycle (the largest single shop in the U.S. at the time, $3+mil/year, early ’90s), purchased all the Fisher RS-1’s for closeout of the line. We had a few of these with Mert Lawwill leading link forks but most came with the first gen of Rock Shox (purple frame gold rear suspension). I really wish I had purchased one of these. Way ahead of it’s time, 4 bar suspensions still rule. Component compatibility and the short comings of the elastomer springs doomed this bike. Campy MTB gruppo sucked on hardtails much less full suspension. Pro Stop disc brakes may have been the best thing on this bike…until the heat built up and locked the brakes on (same problem Mountain Cycle San Andreas had). On the plus side, Gary Fisher visited our shop on a regular basis.

onabicycle:

 NBA legend Bill Walton looking pretty sweet on his track bike in the late 1970’s

This photo reminds me of my old bike shop for two reasons. 1. A smarmy shop employee, who we will call “asshole”, tried to sell NBA MN Timberwolves’ Luc Longley (3” taller than Bill Walton) a 62cm (center to top) road bike that we had “in stock”. I interceded and set up an appointment with Minneapolis, MN custom bike builder Walter Croll. 2. In appreciation for the business we sent Mr. Croll our employees, including myself, wound up getting free, or at cost, custom track frames which we all deployed at the NSC Velodrome. One of the shop employees crashed Mr. Croll in a particularly vicious Unknown Distance sprint finish that resulted in multiple broken bones and thousands of slivers. How’s that for gratitude? (I miraculously bounced off both and finished second.) An aside, I love Bill’s slammed stem! The shorts/socks not so much. “Asshole” didn’t get one of those track frames.

onabicycle:

 NBA legend Bill Walton looking pretty sweet on his track bike in the late 1970’s

This photo reminds me of my old bike shop for two reasons. 1. A smarmy shop employee, who we will call “asshole”, tried to sell NBA MN Timberwolves’ Luc Longley (3” taller than Bill Walton) a 62cm (center to top) road bike that we had “in stock”. I interceded and set up an appointment with Minneapolis, MN custom bike builder Walter Croll. 2. In appreciation for the business we sent Mr. Croll our employees, including myself, wound up getting free, or at cost, custom track frames which we all deployed at the NSC Velodrome. One of the shop employees crashed Mr. Croll in a particularly vicious Unknown Distance sprint finish that resulted in multiple broken bones and thousands of slivers. How’s that for gratitude? (I miraculously bounced off both and finished second.) An aside, I love Bill’s slammed stem! The shorts/socks not so much. “Asshole” didn’t get one of those track frames.

Old MTB team jersey. Scott USA gave us 7 bikes (2 Endorphins, 4 Teams, 1 Vertigo World Cup LSD), 2 EZ-Ups, and some cash to run their only regional/national team. My shop, Bennett’s Cycle, gave the team tons of dollars to run neutral support (after the team was taken care of) at all the NORBA races in our area. We bought the old Park Tool support van. 7 bikes, 100mph average getting to the Traverse City, MI national…Fast Times at Bennett’s High…