90's GT Zaskar Build

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90's GT Zaskar Build

Postby lotusboy » Sat Jul 20, 2013 3:32 pm

It all started (as most of these things do) with a mate. A mate who mountain bikes. Nothing serious just a few basic trails around the area. As an avid road cyclist I thought a bit of light offroad might be fun, mix things up a bit from time to time y'know? My road bike is a 90's Apollo running Spinergy Rev Xs so I figured a suitably period mountain bike would be fun addition to the fleet. A quick look through the Retro Mountain bike Tribe thread revealed a plethora of exciting machinery that I wanted to get amongst.

Trawling through the the 'bay and gumtree I found an old raceline on gumtree for 30 bucks. The seller didn't know much about it but from the few grainy photographs I had, it had a rock shox fork and a Deore LX rear derailleur so i figured it couldn't be that bad. I assumed a new handlebar (it was running some hideous beach cruiser number) and I'd be on the trails all for beer money on a bike that was never top of the line but still quite respectable.

Unfortunatly it was not to be. After getting it into the workshop for a bit of cleaning I noticed two inauspicious cracks running down the headtube. The Raceline was toast.

Once again I was back on gumtree sifting through page after page of Huffys and Northen Stars when I found a lonely looking ad unassumingly describing with one line a "GT frame, Alloy, Good Condition" One hastey text later i was rewarded with a couple of photos. The graphics, while mostly gone, provided enough information to research its origins and I quickly discovered it was a roughly 1995 Zaskar. Certainly a frame worth the $40 he was asking. I rocked up to the guys house, looked over the frame checking the headtube quite thoroughly. Apparently the fellow was a rubbish collector and seeing this on someones pile he didn't have the heart to throw it away. Perhaps I should have wondered why it was on someone had thrown it out to begin with but there was no time for suspicion, I was excited. I'd bought a GT! The frame was tossed into the back of the Land Rover and I turned for home.

I'd only gotten a few streets when, still feeling the sting of the Raceline saga, I pulled over to do a more thorough inspection and my heart sank when I saw the bottom bracket. Somoene had shredded the splines on one of those horrible plastic cups and with that failed it looked as though they'd taken an angle grinder to it. It was bad. How did I not notice this? I was annoyed with the guy for describing it as "good condition" when it was quite possibly ruined but I was even more annoyed with myself for not having noticed it. I had it half in my mind to just take it back and be done with it all but a closer look revealed it was probably salvageable and if worse came to worse it was such a pretty frame 40 dollars for a piece of art seemed like a comparable bargin. I drove home aprehensive about the whole ordeal and also the dwinderling supply of funds in the MTB fund should it be another lemon. I was trying to do it all on the cheap and two ruined frames didn't really fit into the budget.

Image

A careful morning later with my BB tool I had it unscrewed a few turns when the last of the splines gave out and thus shamefully a hacksaw and dremel became my only options and at last the cup was free, albeit in 4 pieces. A quick trip to the LBS where the frame was left overnight for the mechanic to run a tap down the threads. Picked up the next morning, it was time to begin.

A bit of cleaning and polishing later i had a frame that was semi respectable. A few hours after I'd stripped the Raceline and had the usable bits onto the Zaskar which is where I am now.
I'm still short a few bits and pieces. I've got a thread up on the WTB page with what I'm after.

Sorry about that wall of text, kinda got a little carried away.

Thanks for reading and I'll keep ya'll posted.

-Lloyd

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by BNA » Sat Jul 20, 2013 3:43 pm

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Re: 90's GT Zaskar Build

Postby ldrcycles » Sat Jul 20, 2013 3:43 pm

lotusboy wrote:
Image



:cry: Ouch.

But the after photo looks great! :D Keen to see the finished product.
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Re: 90's GT Zaskar Build

Postby pentlandexile » Sat Jul 20, 2013 8:23 pm

Looking forward to seeing this, classic frame, well worth $40 even with the scorched earth BB. Have you had a look at the MTBR classic/vintage threads for inspiration?
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Re: 90's GT Zaskar Build

Postby lotusboy » Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:00 am

Thanks for the kind words folks!

The MTBR threads are fantastic, unfortunately said 'inspiration' and my bank account arn't really in alignment...
I'd love to be putting XT on it but as this is sort of an experiment I'll have to make do with what I can scrounge together

Should be fun though, and depending on how much I enjoy it, perhaps one day i'll do the build properly

-Lloyd
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Re: 90's GT Zaskar Build

Postby ldrcycles » Sun Jul 21, 2013 4:38 pm

lotusboy wrote:
The MTBR threads are fantastic, unfortunately said 'inspiration' and my bank account aren't really in alignment...


Ain't that always the way :) .
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Re: 90's GT Zaskar Build

Postby pentlandexile » Sun Jul 21, 2013 5:36 pm

ldrcycles wrote:
lotusboy wrote:
The MTBR threads are fantastic, unfortunately said 'inspiration' and my bank account aren't really in alignment...


Ain't that always the way :) .


'inspiration' seems to be a lot cheaper stateside :(
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Re: 90's GT Zaskar Build

Postby petie » Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:04 am

Nice! I'm a fan of saving old stuff, seems you are too by the other garage inhabitant :twisted:
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Re: 90's GT Zaskar Build

Postby mikgit » Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:41 pm

nice, reminds me of when my xizang arived, having the BB stuck in it, many hacksaw blades and 1 new dremel had it out.

1 question, from the photo up there^ is the end cap on the top tub flat or curved, looks curved to me from the pic, but that could be the angle of the photo.
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Re: 90's GT Zaskar Build

Postby Mulger bill » Wed Jul 31, 2013 7:07 pm

mikgit wrote:nice, reminds me of when my xizang arived, having the BB stuck in it, many hacksaw blades and 1 new dremel had it out.

1 question, from the photo up there^ is the end cap on the top tub flat or curved, looks curved to me from the pic, but that could be the angle of the photo.

Pretty sure all the higher end GTs BITD had the curved plate.
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Re: 90's GT Zaskar Build

Postby pentlandexile » Wed Jul 31, 2013 7:10 pm

My US-made Zaskar LE was a 99 or a 2000, bought new, and it had the flat plate. Plenty of debate on other forums about whether or not Zaskars ever had curved plates.
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Re: 90's GT Zaskar Build

Postby mikgit » Wed Jul 31, 2013 8:36 pm

the later tawainese had curved end caps, all US made zaskars had flat end caps, only other one was the 92 ish pantera
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Re: 90's GT Zaskar Build

Postby cray- » Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:16 pm

I've been doing a bit of reading about '90s GTs the last few days as I picked up an old Pantera.

There is a fellow by the name of "gm1230126" on the retrobike.co.uk forums who has earned the tag "Old School Grand Master", particularly when it comes to old GTs. There are dozens of posts on the forum debating Zaskars and it's filled with misinformation, gm usually pops his head up to set things straight. The 3rd post on this thread offers a pretty good run down: http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewto ... 1&t=214360

This thread also attempts to define a ruleset for identifying Zaskars: http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewto ... 1&t=261495 And of course a bunch of people post examples that don't follow the rules. The curved vs. flat endcap rule has a few exceptions to confuse matters. Any chance of a serial number and/or aluminium type stamped onto the rear dropout?
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Re: 90's GT Zaskar Build

Postby pentlandexile » Mon Aug 05, 2013 3:46 pm

cray- wrote:I've been doing a bit of reading about '90s GTs the last few days as I picked up an old Pantera.

There is a fellow by the name of "gm1230126" on the retrobike.co.uk forums who has earned the tag "Old School Grand Master", particularly when it comes to old GTs. There are dozens of posts on the forum debating Zaskars and it's filled with misinformation, gm usually pops his head up to set things straight. The 3rd post on this thread offers a pretty good run down: http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewto ... 1&t=214360

This thread also attempts to define a ruleset for identifying Zaskars: http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewto ... 1&t=261495 And of course a bunch of people post examples that don't follow the rules. The curved vs. flat endcap rule has a few exceptions to confuse matters. Any chance of a serial number and/or aluminium type stamped onto the rear dropout?


Good info, thanks. Only thing I'd add to that is that my late model LE had the serial number on the BB shell, and a riveted on 'Made in Santa Ana' head badge. I'd love to get hold of a nice early GT. Thread hijack over!
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Re: 90's GT Zaskar Build

Postby brettels » Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:20 pm

Having owned and sold several GT's including 4 Zaskars, the several rules to look for are the following:

Pre 2001 are American made from 6061 and Easton 6061.

Models below the Zaskar are generally 7005 alloy (Avalanche, Pantera)

American Zaskars have flat caps

American Made 6061 alloy Zaskars have the serial number on the rear dropout

Of course...sometimes an exception comes up..


The one in the post has a curved cap and a 7005 alloy sticker on the frame....so Avalanche or Pantera is my guess..
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Re: 90's GT Zaskar Build

Postby mick_copetti » Sun Aug 11, 2013 1:44 pm

petie wrote:Nice! I'm a fan of saving old stuff, seems you are too by the other garage inhabitant :twisted:
More pics!

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Re: 90's GT Zaskar Build

Postby lotusboy » Wed Aug 28, 2013 5:59 pm

Wow, I apologise for my inactivity, life has gotten in the way a little the past few weeks

Anyway, I was made aware of the suspiciousness of my bikes origins by brettles a little while back who seems to be the local GT guru around here and for those of you playing at home the end cap is indeed curved and it has been stamped with the 7005 and the number on the dropout is H4K15956 (if anyone knows how to decode these that'd be great) So it is probably as mentioned, a pantera or avalanche. That being said, the stickers on it certainly seem original but I know its highly more likely to have been faked up.

Either way I'm still stoked on the frame, and this has done little to curb my enthusiasm

As far as the build is concerned finally got the thing mobile last week after brett hooked me up with a set of LX cranks so sans front derailleur (which i'm still on the hunt for btw) I took it for a spin on a few of the dirt tracks near my place and naturally had a blast. Still needs a bit of fettleing and a few parts are definitely on the list to upgrade already.

Unfortunatly (for the GT at least) i'm going backpacking around Europe for a few months so the whole things been put on hold till i get back. I had hoped to have it done by the time i left but as always seems to be the case things haven't worked out that way.

As for the "other inhabitants" of my shed, that'd be my fathers 1972 Alfa Romeo Berlina which is currently awaiting reasembly after an engine rebuild, hopefully he'll have that done by the time i get home.

Anyways thanks for the interest


-Lloyd

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Re: 90's GT Zaskar Build

Postby pentlandexile » Thu Aug 29, 2013 5:21 am

It doesn't matter what stickers it's got, if it's a GT it'll climb like a rocket anyway. Looks good.
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Re: 90's GT Zaskar Build

Postby cray- » Fri Aug 30, 2013 12:24 am

Pretty sure it's something like:

H4K15956
H-Hodaka Taiwan
4-1994
K-November (11th letter in alphabet)
Build 5956 or 15956

Not a Zaskar, still a nice ride.
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Re: 90's GT Zaskar Build

Postby franco cozzo » Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:56 am

looking sweet..nice ride. i like those era gt frames
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