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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Stringer Fleet: 1995 GT Outpost


It may seem odd to have a 90s-era mountain bike among my small collection of vintage road bikes, but this machine is near and dear to my heart.  I received this GT Outpost as a gift on my twelfth birthday.  After proving to my old man that I could safely handle and maintain an inexpensive department store mountain bike, he took me down to our local bike shop where I picked out this sweet little workhorse.  I rode the shit out of it for years; around the streets of my hometown, up and down the dirt roads outside city limits, and on the trails in the national forest.


The bike ended up being somewhat neglected during my college years.  During graduate school, though, I started riding the trails to work and the Outpost started getting regular use again.  A couple years ago I realized that I had been pretty lax in properly maintaining the bicycle, and I decided that it either needed a major overhaul or I needed to start shopping for a new bike.  In the end, I put more money into it than the bike was worth getting it fixed back up.  Nonetheless, I've been pretty pleased with my decision to keep this machine around.


My first order of business was to replace the warped wheels whose hubs had never once been repacked with a set of Weinman rims laced onto Shimano hubs.  I covered the wheels with some 2" Bontrager knobbies.  Next, I replaced the cantilever brakes, as the plastic bushings on the original cantis were brittle and beginning to crack.  I was able to find some NOS Shimano Altus brakes to replace the old ones.  And the last major update was a new WTB Speed V Comp saddle.  Once I had the new parts I needed, the bike was cleaned up and tuned up, with a new bottom bracket cartridge and new pedals and clips.

After a few technical-ish mountain bike rides, the GT spent most of its time on the Katy Trail.  So I added a front and rear rack so that I could haul repair supplies and beer.  The last upgrade was a Bontrager computer that my dude KP gave to me as a birthday gift.  The old front fork has lost a lot of the original paint and is looking a little rough, so it will probably have to be replaced eventually.  But as for now, I'm pretty damn pleased with how this bike came back to life.  After all, I've been pedaling this rig for over 17 years now and it would be a shame to see it go the way of Old Yeller.

2 comments:

  1. I really like that set up. And I am a huge fan of the legendary GT triple triangle frame. I too recently brought an old GT back from the brink. These old mountain bikes make great utility (go anywhere do anything) bikes. And as you know I am also a big fan of the WTB Speed V saddles. I don`t think you will find a better saddle in that price range anywhere. I like bikes that make sense. And these bikes surely do that. Well done!
    Cheers

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  2. I bought an new Outpost in 1997, it was reduced because no suspension and a big frame. I commuted across London on it for 4 years, a round trip of about 23 or 14 miles a day. After we moved abroad, I had it fitted with 2 baby seats, one aft, the other bolted to the top tube. Still use it now, kids are 18 and 16, so the seats are off. Great bike and surprisingly light

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