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Cannibalize Junk Mountain Bike for Bianchi Grizzly Frame

Old 02-11-19, 04:58 PM
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loubikes
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Cannibalize Junk Mountain Bike for Bianchi Grizzly Frame

This idea may be anathema to many here, but I have a Bianchi Grizzly mountain bike frame that I want to rebuild on the cheap. I'm watching craigslist for a junk mountain bike that I can use for parts.

MY QUESTION. Can you tell me the most common problems I'll have with this plan? I.e. Older mountain bikes have a 1 inch bike fork steer tube and newer ones have 1 1/8 inch (I just came across this info and I'm wondering what else I might expect to find).

Again, my only real goal is to get the bike to a point that it can be ridden.

Other thoughts? Thanks!
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Old 02-11-19, 05:31 PM
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Do you have a local bike coop? They may be able to help you with finding parts.

I don't have very much experience with mountain bikes but i would expect that you could probably find an old SIS shimano shifting system for like nothing. I have an old department store raleigh that has those shifters on it and I see them on cheaper old mountain bikes all the time. They have a friction mode, which is probably your best bet if you end up mixing say a wheel and a shifter. not positive about this but feel like you may run into problems if you try to do anything with indexing/trigger shifters unless you're sure you have the right measurements. Not to mention that different levers will have different cable pull on the brakes(v brakes vs cantilever), and i'm not sure that all models will have the little switch that allows you to use both like a lot of shimano brake lever/shifter combos have.

I hope it works out, sounds like a fun project. If you decide to buy anything, buy wheels!!! they'll help the bike feel much lighter and then you'll have more freedom with what you chose for the cassette/freewheel.
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Old 02-11-19, 06:29 PM
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All depends what is needed to get your bike to riding condition. 1-1/8 isn't hard to find. I have a few older mtb's in that size stem. What year is your bike? Search for the specs on it maybe?
TONS of used mtb parts out there.
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Old 02-20-19, 07:07 PM
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Depends...there's cheap and then there's inexpensive. On CL you see a lot of cheap MTBs like the Huffy Granite, but unless you're a fan of one-piece, riveted steel cranksets or broken no-name grip shifters, I'd avoid these. On the other hand, there are a lot of high-end, late-80s thru 90s MTBs and hybrids, with mid-range or better Shimano components that are inexpensive. The step-through framed bikes (aka "girls' bike") offer the best bang-for-buck as donor bikes. Know what you're looking for; become familiar with the Shimano component hierarchy and compatibility. Then, learn to spot them from the pictures posted, or simply ask the poster "What does it say on the rear derailleur?". You're looking for the "I-had-this-bike-hanging-in-the-garage-and-need-it-gone" type of ads.


Your local bike community bike co-op is an excellent source for inexpensive components and helpful advice, but here again you need to know what to look for and be willing to get your hands dirty. Try to avoid parts taken from the "cheap" bikes already mentioned, no matter how shiny.
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Old 02-21-19, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by loubikes View Post
This idea may be anathema to many here, but I have a Bianchi Grizzly mountain bike frame that I want to rebuild on the cheap. I'm watching craigslist for a junk mountain bike that I can use for parts.

MY QUESTION. Can you tell me the most common problems I'll have with this plan? I.e. Older mountain bikes have a 1 inch bike fork steer tube and newer ones have 1 1/8 inch (I just came across this info and I'm wondering what else I might expect to find).

Again, my only real goal is to get the bike to a point that it can be ridden.

Other thoughts? Thanks!
Just look around. There are some incredibly well-equipped older steel "all-terrain" bikes that you can pick up for next to nothing, if not free, simply by putting an add on the local Buy 'n'Sell.
Most of them were used very little, and seldom abused, especially if they had step-through frames (women's models).
I picked these ones up for free, and, as you can tell, either one of them would supply enough spare parts to rebuild your Bianchi Grizly frame into a rideable bike.
Indexed Shimano kits and cantilever brakes.
Bink.





.
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Old 02-21-19, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Binky View Post
Just look around. There are some incredibly well-equipped older steel "all-terrain" bikes that you can pick up for next to nothing
Thanks, this is exactly what I'm hoping to do.

Can you tell me any easy tells for determining if a bike will have a 1 inch fork? I.e. Most bikes made before 1985 or most 6 speeds, etc.

Or is there no easy way to tell without measuring it.
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Old 02-21-19, 01:26 PM
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Can you tell me the most common problems I'll have with this plan?
Lack of good tools? not dong background reading on bike mechanics before starting?

is there no easy way to tell without measuring it
this suggests you need to do more reading. got a library in your town, get a book on bike mechanics.
I did this 60 years ago..




...

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Old 02-21-19, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by loubikes View Post
Thanks, this is exactly what I'm hoping to do.

Can you tell me any easy tells for determining if a bike will have a 1 inch fork? I.e. Most bikes made before 1985 or most 6 speeds, etc.

Or is there no easy way to tell without measuring it.

Chime in here guys.... tell him to measure the ID of the fork tube, or put in a 7/8" quill and see it it rattles around like a dick in a bowler hat.

Are we looking for a fatter than usual handlebar stem with a 1" (25.4mm) quill ??
If we are, I have a Cro-mo ALICO handlebar stem, but it as an outrageously long reach. See picture below.
If you have arms like a gorilla and cannot find anything closer to home, let me know and we'll figure some way to get this to you before riding season stars.

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Old 02-21-19, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by loubikes View Post
This idea may be anathema to many here, but I have a Bianchi Grizzly mountain bike frame that I want to rebuild on the cheap. I'm watching craigslist for a junk mountain bike that I can use for parts.

MY QUESTION. Can you tell me the most common problems I'll have with this plan? I.e. Older mountain bikes have a 1 inch bike fork steer tube and newer ones have 1 1/8 inch (I just came across this info and I'm wondering what else I might expect to find).

Again, my only real goal is to get the bike to a point that it can be ridden.

Other thoughts? Thanks!

When you find your donor bike, maybe you could strip EVERYTHING out of the donor's head tube, including the pressed in chromed bosses, to see if they can be moved over, forks and all, and re-used with your Grizzly frame.

The donor forks might be just as good as the forks on your Bianchi.... (blasphemy).

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Old 02-21-19, 02:37 PM
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I would start with the specs on your frame. Does it come with "extras" like a headset or bottom bracket?

26"? 29"? Quick Release? Thru Axle? Sizes, dropout spacing?

Quill stem? Threadless stem/headset?

Seatpost size?

Bottom bracket specs?

Disc Brakes? Hydraulic?

Then once you have the specs of your bike down, it can drive your search.

Technically you could swap rims or hubs if one is close and not another, but it can be a hassle, and perhaps expensive. Or choose a donor bike that supplies 75% of the parts, then you'll acquire the remaining 25% of the parts.
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Old 02-21-19, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I would start with the specs on your frame. Does it come with "extras" like a headset or bottom bracket?

26"? 29"? Quick Release? Thru Axle? Sizes, dropout spacing?

Quill stem? Threadless stem/headset?

Seatpost size?

Bottom bracket specs?

Disc Brakes? Hydraulic?

Then once you have the specs of your bike down, it can drive your search.

Technically you could swap rims or hubs if one is close and not another, but it can be a hassle, and perhaps expensive. Or choose a donor bike that supplies 75% of the parts, then you'll acquire the remaining 25% of the parts.

Wow !! I assumed that he had an old Grizzly from the late 1980s, one of those old rigid steel all-terrain bikes.
Please correct me if I am mistaken.
It would probably be a good idea if we actually saw a picture of the frame you have.....
Maybe it will look more or less like this when finished off:


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Old 02-21-19, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Binky View Post
Wow !! I assumed that he had an old Grizzly from the late 1980s, one of those old rigid steel all-terrain bikes.
Please correct me if I am mistaken.
It would probably be a good idea if we actually saw a picture of the frame you have.....
Maybe it will look more or less like this when finished off:
My web search came up with an entirely different bike.

https://www.bikeradar.com/us/mtb/gea...-review-52153/

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Old 02-21-19, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
My web search came up with an entirely different bike.

https://www.bikeradar.com/us/mtb/gea...-review-52153/

Well, when he comes back to check his messages maybe he can tell us which of us has the more accurate idea of the Grizzly frame he picked up. If it looks like the Grizzly you found on the internet then he is going to have quite a lot of trouble building it up just using an old all-terrain bike like the ones I suggested, but if it looks like my antique Super Grizzly it should be a breeze. Pictures of the Grizzly frame, please.
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Old 02-21-19, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Binky View Post
Chime in here guys.... tell him to measure the ID of the fork tube, or put in a 7/8" quill and see it it rattles around like a dick in a bowler hat.

Are we looking for a fatter than usual handlebar stem with a 1" (25.4mm) quill ??
The frame takes a 1 inch fork, which means it'll take a 7/8" quill. My main goal is to find a donor bike that will provide as many (if not all) of the components as possible. I don't have a ton of time, so as I skim through bikes on craigslist, I'd like to find a way to quickly tell the likelihood of any given bike being a good donor match. Likely the best indicator would be if they were from the same year (mid 1980s) but often years aren't known or provided for bikes like this on craigslist.
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Old 02-21-19, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Binky View Post
When you find your donor bike, maybe you could strip EVERYTHING
Again, this is what I want to do. Take everything from the donor bike.

The donor forks might be just as good as the forks on your Bianchi.... (blasphemy).
My frame doesn't have a fork.
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Old 02-21-19, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Binky View Post
Wow !! I assumed that he had an old Grizzly from the late 1980s, one of those old rigid steel all-terrain bikes.
Please correct me if I am mistaken.
You are correct!
It would probably be a good idea if we actually saw a picture of the frame you have.....
I'll try to post a pic but it is the one in your pictures.
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Old 02-21-19, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
this suggests you need to do more reading. got a library in your town, get a book on bike mechanics.
I did this 60 years ago..
...
I've heard of this place. As the lore goes, it's uphill both ways.
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Old 02-21-19, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by loubikes View Post
You are correct!


I'll try to post a pic but it is the one in your pictures.
Great. That bike in the picture is my own Bianchi Super Grizzly, probably from 1988 or 1989.

You will have no trouble finding a parts bike. Either of those steel all-terrain bikes that I posted before, the blue Raleigh Rocky or the green Northern Trail would suit.
The bike frame you have will accept a front fork from just about ANY all-terrain bike with 26 inch wheel set and that has a 7/8" quill.
Does your Bianchi frame have braze-ons to accept cantilever brakes on the seat stays... or is it the type like mine that has a centre-pull clamping rear brake located behind the bottom bracket ??

Bink

Bink.
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Old 02-21-19, 08:11 PM
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Sorry, I got sidetracked with the old vs new.

So, yours is an older model.

Searching Craigslist for:

Deore, Rockhopper, stumpjumper, and a few other key words might turn up some good donors.

This one popped up with my hunting.

https://norfolk.craigslist.org/bik/d...811843570.html

Many of the others I saw were in excess of $200... which still might be reasonable, considering.

Ok, so I'm partial to the larger road derived cranksets.

That one has a fairly short headtube. How big is your frame?
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Old 02-21-19, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by loubikes View Post
The frame takes a 1 inch fork, which means it'll take a 7/8" quill. My main goal is to find a donor bike that will provide as many (if not all) of the components as possible. I don't have a ton of time, so as I skim through bikes on craigslist, I'd like to find a way to quickly tell the likelihood of any given bike being a good donor match. Likely the best indicator would be if they were from the same year (mid 1980s) but often years aren't known or provided for bikes like this on craigslist.
Craigslist ads rarely/never get the year right. You have to develop the eye for spotting sizes. Iíve bought a lot of donor mountain bikes to complete projects, itís a very cost effective way to do projects.

the one piece of advice I have is to aim high. A MTB that might have cost $900 new could sell used for the same as a bike that cost $200 new. Most brands made a full line from basic to excellent. A bike with higher end components is the objective. Do you want indexed shifting? Thumb shifters or grip shift or whatever? Donít count on the seatpost fitting. Headset may have wrong crown race too. And you are going to need some quality tools.

There is a Schwinn Sierra on the Norfolk C/L for $60 right now. Iíd be in my car driving right now.

on donor bikes I tend to do the opposite of the above, I search by price instead. Do a price range of $25 to $100 for example. Be sure to include a lower number that eliminates the people that donít list a price.

now on road bikes Iíll search for Campy, Campagnolo, Dura Ace and a few others at a higher price range.

Last edited by wrk101; 02-21-19 at 09:17 PM.
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Old 02-21-19, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Binky View Post
Does your Bianchi frame have braze-ons to accept cantilever brakes on the seat stays... or is it the type like mine that has a centre-pull clamping rear brake located behind the bottom bracket ??
cantilever
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Old 02-21-19, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
How big is your frame?
About 52cm
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Old 02-21-19, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
Iíve bought a lot of donor mountain bikes to complete projects, itís a very cost effective way to do projects ... the one piece of advice I have is to aim high. A MTB that might have cost $900 new could sell used for the same as a bike that cost $200 new. Most brands made a full line from basic to excellent. A bike with higher end components is the objective ... I search by price instead. Do a price range of $25 to $100 for example. Be sure to include a lower number that eliminates the people that donít list a price.
These are all really good thoughts. I was really thinking I'd try and get something super cheap just to get it ridable but it would probably be worth it to me to find something with higher-end parts if I can get it for 100 or so. Thanks.
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Old 02-22-19, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by loubikes View Post
The frame takes a 1 inch fork, which means it'll take a 7/8" quill. My main goal is to find a donor bike that will provide as many (if not all) of the components as possible. I don't have a ton of time, so as I skim through bikes on craigslist, I'd like to find a way to quickly tell the likelihood of any given bike being a good donor match. Likely the best indicator would be if they were from the same year (mid 1980s) but often years aren't known or provided for bikes like this on craigslist.


First off, if your Bianchi will accept forks that have a 1" tube and will accept a 7/8" quill, then you are in good company. That is the normal and default style for Bianchi bikes of that era, and also the standard for about 98% of the steel of the all-terrain bikes of the time.

I'm still waiting for a picture of your Grizzly frame that shows what all is still installed on the frame.

Craigslist may not be your best bet. Try the local buy and sell or Goodwill / Salvation Army store. Or just put the Grizzly frame aside and wait until you see a nice older all-terrain bike at a garage sale. Something with Weinmann or Araya alloy rims. If you check the Garage Sale ads in your area and send off a few emails or make a few phone calls to see if they have a bike in their sale, you will likely get what you want with flat tires for $5 to $20. I often keep a few older rigid bikes like these around (like the green and blue ones I pictured earlier) because I supply a couple of buddies who go to CUBA several times each year and they take all of the medium-quality "all terrain" bikes they are allowed.
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Old 02-22-19, 06:24 PM
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Hmmm...

This popped up locally.
https://eugene.craigslist.org/bik/d/...821630497.html



It looks like it would be an excellent donor, and probably a good rider. Trigger shifters & etc. It also appears to have a cassette, which is a nice option with the newer bikes.

However, it also has some shortfalls It looks like the Novara probably has a 1 1/8" threaded fork. Somewhat of a rare beast, but more common in the late 90's and early 2000's.

You also have to choose cantis vs V-Brakes, both with costs and benefits.

I agree, check out the thrift stores, and various online places. I've talked to a few Craigslist sellers, and they also frequent the local police auction (oddly independent of the County auction).
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