1990 Manitou Mountain Bike

It was the May 1991 edition of Mountain Biker magazine that drew me on a 20-year journey to finally own a Doug Bradbury era Manitou Mountain Bikes. 

 

There was something about the design and look of the bike that resonated with me, there was no flashy paint, a utilitarian design that made sense. The bike just looked extremely! The large gussets coming off the head tube, the large diameter aluminum tubes and boxy stays really appealed to me. Along with the Manitou rigid fork, stem (machined out of solid aluminum) and customized 115mm wide front hub and 145mm wide rear hub. The standards for those days were 100mm front/135mm rear.

 

I located the bike in California and it was in rough shape, neglected to time. I set about having the frame, fork, IRD seat post and Manitou hubs refinished by a friend, who brought them back to life. And then set about compiling components that would have been originally specified by Doug. Namely, Shimano XT 7-speed shifters and brake levers, Grafton cantilever brakes, Answer Hyperlite Handlebar, ODI Tomac Attack grips, Ringle Quick Release skewers, Cook Bros cranks, and my favorite vintage saddle, a Selle Italia Turbo. Another good friend then built the bike. 

 

A couple of things that are outstanding on the bike to finish, is to retap one of the stem handlebar clamp pinch bolt threads, replace the Grafton brake cable hangers with Shimano and finally, replace the Shimano XT headset with a taller stack Chris King or Mavic headset. Then she’ll be ready to ride. And I’ll take some better photos.

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