Remember those fabulous Nineties?

They ain’t makin’ ’em like this anymore,
mostly because nobody’s buyin’ ’em.

The Ride Your Own Damn Bike Festival® continues.

Yesterday the DBR Prevail TT got its couple of hours in the sun, and today its dirty cousin the Axis TT shall do likewise.

If memory serves this is an 18-inch model, from 1995, with a top tube longer than a Russian novel. A hardtail. With rim brakes and 26-inch wheels. If that ain’t a dinosaur Jesus never rode one.

After this there will be only one functional machine left unridden in the festival, the Soma Saga (cantilever edition). And I should really be aboard that one today, because it’s perfect road-riding weather.

But I’m tired of the road and want to goof on the trails for a bit, see if I can remember how to propel myself around and about with a squishy fork and these itty-bitty wheels.

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10 Responses to “Remember those fabulous Nineties?”

  1. SAO’D Says:

    Just noticed our friends in the People’s Republic of Boulder won at Flanders yesterday. Been a while since the last classic win, so chapeau to Vaughters & Co

    • larryatcycleitalia Says:

      Well, sorta as the winner was Italian rather than a citizen of the People’s Republic of Boulder. Those Eye-tees won the women’s race too. I have to admit until MSR (when I looked the guy up) I thought Bettiol was a comrade of Uran’s or from somewhere like Portugal. Seems like most of the Italian cycling media did too? Over the years Vaughters’ teams have won all of the Monuments (with the exception of MSR) as well as the Giro d’Italia so BRAVI to them!!! They need to buy up this Brendan McNulty kid’s contract and get him over here full time me thinks.
      As to 26″ wheeled, rim-braked hardtails, we have a couple of those collecting dust at our HQ in Italy. Will we EVER ride them again? I doubt it as the trails these daze seem so beat up you need a 29″ or at least a 27.5″ size to avoid coming to a dead stop when you hit a bump or depression. They were OK to careen around Rome a few years ago but I think they’re destined to collect dust from now on. 😦

  2. Pat O’Brien Says:

    “The good old days weren’t always good, tomorrow ain’t as bad as it seems.”

    Billy Joel. Keeping The Faith

  3. khal spencer Says:

    That looks like an old fashioned triple crank, too.

    I took the CAAD5 (speaking of dinosaurs) out yesterday and found some new fun in the City Indifferent. Down West San Francisco to the Plaza, east on E. Alameda to Gonzales. Hike up Gonzales to Hyde Park Road. Went up past Thousand Waves to where the road drops but took a right into a small road that hikes up one of those hills. Then back down, headed North on Gonzales to some other road that became Valley that hit Bishop Lodge Road. Then back home again. Just a short ride as my better half’s back went south again so I was in charge of dinner and dog/cat duties, but it was a nice day.

    Today back to the salt mines, so the 600 lb bike came out of the garage.

  4. Shawn in the Gorge Says:

    Dinosaur? I have one of those beasts in a Ti material that I love. I’ve been all over the place on it and will continue to do so. Besides, us folks that ride these bikes are tougher anyway. We have to be because they sure don’t have the suspension technology that exists today. What I don’t get is that people now seem to think that you can’t ride a bike like that on trails anymore. I guess it was like the time for a few years that people thought you couldn’t ride road bikes on dirt roads….. Of course we were riding on silk-tubed paper thin sewups at that time….. The unfortunate matter about the 26″ rigs is that it is getting hard to find decent tires for them anymore. Grrr….. I hate it when I have to evolve….

    • larryatcycleitalia Says:

      I used to think that too, but the last couple of times I went out on the antique (usually the top combination of bike and rider age) the bumps in the trails created by these larger wheeled bikes seem to swallow the old 26″ wheels almost whole. Any kind of stepped trail seems much larger now but the bigger wheels roll over them seemingly much better. It’s not that I’m going to toss my antiques and replace ’em with the newest-latest, it’s more that I just don’t take ’em out on anything more technical than a dirt road these days. And as the industry will have you know, you need a proper “gravel” bike for this, so I’m an antique guy on an antique bike…which is why we like the vintage scene so much!

      • Shawn in the Gorge Says:

        Yeah I discovered the large wheels vs. 26″ wheel stepped trail dilemma in recent times. I was on a wonderful steep climb trail that in the past was great. But the larger wheel bikes have caused bumps that are a real effort to get up and over. One of these days I’ll go back to work making something that is exciting and fissionable (orangeheadian) or perhaps more humane and productive for society and can then afford a new bike or two.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Down here the knuckleheads ride trails when they’re wet and carve grooves into the caliche that harden up and hang around for months. Get caught in one of those with a 35mm and it’s like being a slot car on a track.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      You can ride anything anywhere. I ride touring bikes on the trails around here alla damn time, though I pick my trails carefully.

      I still think a 29e with fat rubber is better suited to what we have out here in the upper Chihuahuan Desert. Next best is a 27.5/650b-plus, though it seems that bubble has popped. I kinda covet this rigid Marin Pine Mountain, but I’m fresh out of hooks in the garage. And we’re on a bike-in-, bike out basis.

      My go-to bike remains the Voodoo Nakisi, with its 700×43 Bruce Gordons, but it really needs some serious maintenance. I’m pushing my luck on that beastie.

  5. somedude Says:

    Be careful of those AC crank arms as they are known to fail, mine broke at the top of Big Bear CA ( think that area was/is called the 5 bitches). pedal and about 3 inches of crank arm connected to my shoe. I have an Axis TT as well, love that bike.

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