Thursday, April 25, 2013

Early 90's Diamond Back Apex

This was my first serious mountain bike.   I purchased the Diamond Back Apex at North Division Cycle and Ski in Spokane, Washington in 1992.  The frame is good old Tange Chromoly steel and rides as smooth and steady as it did twenty years ago.  The bike was equipped with the long discontinued Deore DX mountain bike group that featured the then cutting edge under bar integrated trigger shifter/brake lever pods.  Back in the day I think the bike was considered just a basic mid-level mountain bike but to me I was on top of the world as I cut my mountain bike teeth in the Rocky Mountains of Washington, Idaho, Western Montana and Alberta, Canada.   

I've been dragging this bike along with me through the years and while it has spent much of it's latter years hanging in semi-retirement I get it out once in a while and take a sentimental spin.  Just for fun I converted it to a single speed in the mid 2000's.  It's a good no-nonsense ride around town and quite zippy once the 46-16T gears are spun up.  Another thing I did away with at that time was the flashy red paint job and hideous 1990's neon accents.  Primer gray lends an old school look that I find pleasing.

Keeping the old Diamond Back around really paid off because my son who is 12 years old had already outgrown his Trek that he got in 2011 by the end of last summer.  I installed a spare set of 26" wheels and some fresh tubes and he was off.  I wasn't sure he'd go for the single speed because he's grown accustomed to shifting gears.  His initial comments were "Wow! it's pretty light" and "I like the gray paint it looks cool!"  As they say the fruit doesn't fall far from the tree.

The bike will be fine for the shorter around town riding that he does and he can use the experience to help decide what kind of bike he may want next.  I wouldn't mind spending a bit more for a good bike for him now that he is ready for a full size frame and wheels.  I just want him to be very sure of the style of bike to best fit his own needs as a rider.

Testing One-Handed stability.

During the initial test ride we were out about 2 miles from town taking a picture break when suddenly the rear inner tube on the Diamond Back let out its air in a long pssssss.  I had just put a fresh tube into the rim so I'm not sure what happened but I went to the local bike shop and got some new tubes.  We'll do a thorough autopsy on the flat and should be up and rolling soon.

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