|The Ridge Runner in its revamped form.|
For years, I pined for my first Miyata; my original mountain bike that I had stupidly sold long ago. When I found a Ridge Runner as a replacement earlier this year, it was mostly stock, and had been seemingly unused for much of its life. As it turns out, lack of use is both a good and bad situation when it comes to the longevity condition of a bike. It took me some time to take the Ridge Runner apart, inspect it, and put it back together. Along the way, I rebuilt everything that could be rebuilt, and even so, had to substitute several items for those that were no longer up to par.
Join me now, on a whimsical adventure as I strip the frame and reassemble it, as only an old bike nut can.
|First sign of trouble. The bottom bracket exhibited considerably less than free rotational action. At about this point, I began to wonder if only old timers like myself still possess semi-obsolete bottom bracket tools such as this.|
|That is 29 years worth of old, waxy grease that no longer has any lubricating value. Difficult to spot in this photo are the tiny fragments of metal embedded throughout. You got it, a shattered bearing.|
|On the positive, inside the frame was clean and without any sign of rust.|
|My suspicions were borne out after cleaning the spindle, when the drive side race was clearly pitted. One of the ball bearings had mostly disintegrated at some point in the distant past, and its fragments subsequently chiseled away at the race.|
|Next up was the rear derailleur. The upper pulley of the SunTour MounTech derailleur had a thick wad of waxy grease and an impressive quantity of embedded hair wrapped around it. I don't know why, but hair often ends up in pulley wheels.|
|Having things apart allowed me to confirm, as suspected, the frame features SunTour dropouts.|
there's a good article about it here, and frankly if you've read this far, why not?
|I have few spare SunTour derailleurs, so the first I considered was the Cyclone M-II.|
However, the Cyclone M-II not quite right for my Ridge Runner. I don't intend for this bike to be a museum item, and it would be a shame to beat up the Cyclone off road. Moreover, it doesn't have quite the chain capacity that I need, so I dug a little more in my parts bin. I located a set of circa 1985 SunTour XC Sport 7000 derailleurs. The rear would likely have been of the sort used for warranty replacement of a faulty MounTech derailleur. Perfect. Incidentally, it was somewhere around this time that SunTour transitioned to being spelled Suntour, with the lower case T.
|SunTour (Suntour?) XC Sport derailleurs.|
|Presto! The same derailleur, suddenly clean, through the magic of the internet.|
While cleaning the frame and parts, I found some cryptic indicators denoting era of manufacture, further underscoring 1984 as the year of production of the majority of the parts on the bike. I couldn't help but think of the dates I found in relation to the events of my life at the time. Ninth grade. Not an entirely happy time for me. I suppose any year in which Ghostbusters and Star Trek III came out wasn't all bad, though.
|The super clean Dia-Compe brake levers are inscribed "0184", likely month and year of manufacture|
|The end of the Nitto bullmoose bar is stamped "Cr-Mo" and "R-R", possibly meaning the bar design was specific to the Ridge Runner. Who knows?|
|The "M" in the serial number signifies 1984, but I have no idea how to interpret the rest of the number. Yep, no chain marring here, baby.|
|Clean and temporarily devoid of parts.|
|I've been wrapping the drive-side chainstays of my bikes with tube strips since 1988, and I'm sure others were doing it well before me. It's how I generally begin a build.|
|That's a Park Third Hand tool, a Park Fourth Hand tool, and a 10 mm wrench simultaneously used to adjust the front brake. As much as I like old bike stuff, I'll take the much simpler adjustment of Avid BB7 disc brakes over this any day.|