Sunday, May 25, 2014

1993 Koga Miyata Elevation 10,000

1993 Koga Miyata Elevation 10,000

One question that pops up regularly when friends see my bikes is which one is my favourite? It has to be this one, the Miyata Elevation 10,000. This bike has been with me for the last 21 years. We have moved house about 4 times and it even spent time inside a storage warehouse for almost a year. In spite of all the inconvenience of having to maintain it even when there was no chance to ride it, I have never wanted to give it up. This was a real pricey bike for me to buy back in the 90's. I remember having to make monthly installments because I could not fork out the cash. But its all worth it because today, this bike is priceless. This was the signature bike that Greg Herbold rode in the World Mountain Bike Championship and won. This was also the bike that I used in the Singapore Pesta Sukan Mountain Bike race that was held in Yishun,  where Orchid Country Club now sits. I was 8th in my age group; an achievement I am proud of till this day. This is a great bike and nothing much comes close to the technology it was built on and the way it handles on the trail and road. I remember taking on the roadies and beating them sometimes. Nothing much has changed except for some upgrades here and there which I will explain further.

The original brakes were XT but I switched to XTR brakes because they are the best. The Deore XT thumb-shifters were replaced with Suntour XC Pro for weight saving purposes. I was a weight weenie in those days but not anymore. Needless to say, the thumb-shifters are bomb-proof.

I cannot remember what the original threaded stem was but they were replaced by a Ritchey thread-less stem because I switched to a thread-less rigid fork. The original fork was a Rockshox with an inch of travel and bloody heavy but it worked well.

The XTR brakes are awesome. Just look at how they are made and you will understand.

Whats so unique about this bike? Well, this bike has not a single weld and its put together using APA bonding and nuts and bolts. People laughed in those days when they heard about this technology but when it won the world championship, not many people were laughing after that. In fact, it started a whole new standard and revolution in bike construction.

The original Deore XT front derailleur and crank. Outperforms the modern stuff anytime.

The original Shimano Deore XT rear derailleur short cage.

The decal says it all.

They don't make water bottle cages like this anymore. This is made by Ringle.

The seat post is from USE and the seat is from Kore.

The bike has just went through an upgrade. It was not an easy task updating a bike like Alfie (that's his nickname) when everything is already quite top notch. But I wanted to bring the bike to the next level and yet retain its roots. I did not really like the Mosso fork because it seems too modern. So, when I chance upon an old Marzocchi suspension fork designed only for V-brakes, I grabbed it. The original fork on the bike was a Rockshox so I knew putting a suspension fork will not affect the geometry. The polished look of the Marzhocchi fork matched the rest of the bike nicely.

I had wanted to replace the Sun Mistral purplish-anodized rims with a set of Specialized heat-treated rims but it seems the bike did not like it! No matter how much truing was done, the new wheels refused to sit centered. Perhaps that's how Alfie wants to look different from the rest, if there are any left!

The handle bar was replaced with a FSA Comet that is low-rise and longer. It is also oversized to match the tubes on the bike. The stem was replaced with a Cobalt stem which was lighter and nicer looking. I like how the front end looks now. It still looks tame but more practical.

Needless to say, the thumb shifters remained.

A view of the cockpit.

The short cage Deore XT rear derailleur was replaced with a long cage because some parts of the rubber on the old derailleur broke off.

Deore XTR brakes are such a pain to adjust but once done, the braking power is awesome. 

My favorite Ringle water bottle holder. They don't make them like this anymore. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

2007 Voodoo Hoodoo

All of us have been there and done that. I'm talking about spontaneity, that thing about doing something without putting much thought into it and hoping for the best. This bike was not something I ever thought of building. Someone posted it for sale on the local bike web; a few text messages later and it was sitting in my room. I had bought the Deore LX brake and shifter combo set from the seller previously and he seems to be a honest guy. Well, I was not too wrong. The bike was in very good condition; some little nicks here and there but nothing noticeable after a good polish. This is a one-owner bike bought in 2009. The guy had build the bike as a hybrid for his wife but decided to get something else for her. Its a smallish 15" frame but surprisingly, not light for its size. Voodoo uses its own Voodoo Cro-Mo steel. I decided to carry on the hybrid theme and shod it with slick tires. Most of the parts were cannibalized from another bike i.e. Giant CFM3. The bike was originally running on disc brakes but I decided to take the V-brake route. Because it was configured for disc brakes, I had to run a full length brake cable from the brake lever to the rear brakes. The bike had a pearl white finish quite like the Bridgestone MB-0 Zip. Maybe that's why I was drawn to it…the subconscious in me thinks its a MB-0 and if you cannot have the real thing, this is the next best.