Tuesday, January 04, 2011



This bike, as far as I can tell, is a 1995 Schwinn Moab-S frame with a dizzying pile of upgrade equipment bolted to it. Here's a sampling:

The OEM fork was a cheapo RST from the mid-1990s. That got upgraded to a Marzocchi Bomber Z2. It's an older fork but fully adjustable. I wish it had lockout, but it doesn't.

The OEM rolling stock was a pair of reasonable 1.95" Kenda tires mounted to some crappy off-brand rims and entry-level Shimano hubs. This got upgraded to a pair of Bontrager Corvair rims with asymmetric drilling on the rear wrapped in 2.2" Bontrager JonesXR tires.

Brakes: Upgraded all around, with Shimano Servo-Wave levers going to some really nice V-Brakes.

Crankset and drivetrain seems to be stock entry-level Shimano Acera stuff from the factory, but with different chainrings and cassette gearing.

And then there's my added flair: Lights and a rack. Now all I need is a nice pair of fenders. Despite the massive tires, there's plenty of clearance.

Over the past few weeks, this bike has revealed itself to me. It's a well-mannered Frankenstein bike. It's big. It's slow. But it gets through all kinds of stuff. With its insane 22x30 gear combo on the low end, I wonder if it could pull tree stumps out of the ground or be used to tow an SUV. The high gear leaves a lot to be desired, but it's not about getting around quickly. It's just about getting around.

Anyhow, meet Frank, my winter bike. I didn't actually ride this bike today. I opted for The Twelve instead, since the roads were clear.


Apertome said...

I bet narrow, light slick tires would change its handling considerably. However, as you said, you have the Twelve for clear roads, so that wouldn't make much sense.

Looks like a very practical and fun winter bike. The parts spec is nicer than I expected, given all the upgrades. Acera's the only thing on there that isn't great, but it works, and you can use it until it starts giving you trouble.

Noah said...

As far as I can tell, the crappy parts (Rear Der. is actually Alivio... even worse!) are completely stock, but they still work fine. If they ever give out, I'll probably just pony up for some modern Deore stuff. Heck, the low-end stuff coming out now looks more rugged than the XT stuff from a decade ago.

I've never really understood upgrading derailleurs before they wear out. Shifters, sure, but mechanically, the derailleurs are pretty much all identical. The higher end ones are more durable and only marginally lighter. The Goat, for example, has some old Shimano SIS RD on the back. That tired old thing is 12 years old now and it might be the only moving part on that bike that still works properly.

rorowe said...

Looks like a great winter bike, nonetheless. Love the chosen name, too!

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