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Help Restoring Old Jamis Diablo w Rigid Fork

Old 09-21-10, 01:49 AM
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safariofthemind
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Help Restoring Old Jamis Diablo w Rigid Fork

The subject of converting MTB's to touring bikes has been talked about a lot in this forum so excuse me for being a little new around here. I did use the search function before posting

I have this very old rigid Jamis Diablo with rigid fork that I'd like to use for touring off road. It was salvaged from someone's shed in Chapel Hill, NC for 40 bucks and it was a mess. After a little TLC is back running around and very solid except for the stock Deore LX shifters and derailleurs which are skipping. The original cables had seized up and the LBS did some tuning to get everything working again and replaced the chain and get the wheels back to true. For such an old vintage bike it feels amazingly solid - and heavy! It's built like a tank and the frame, bottom bracket, crank, head set and brakes all feel super solid. The cassette shows some rust and there's pitting on the frame from it being rained on, probably for years. The bike feels solid and I have only invested maybe a grand total of 120 dollars on it.

So, should I bother to convert this old ship? I want to use it to run the dirt roads and old train rights of way all around NC and VA and to take rough riding when I don't want to take my 2009 Surly Cross-Check (which has Shimano 105 and is not as rugged for off road use despite fat tires IMO).

Any help appreciated. Here's a pic. Sorry it's a little fuzzy but it's from the cell phone as my camera is on the fritz.


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Old 09-21-10, 01:03 PM
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Ever heard of the expression "dog dreaming of steak"? Here's my filete mignon, a Thorn Nomad Mk2 (thanks to lazyrandonneur); general idea is a very light touring load, ultralight backpacking equipment and rugged good looks.
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Old 09-23-10, 06:26 AM
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Here's a link to the one I just did. Pretty similar to what your looking to do. There are some other ideas as well that some folks posted. By the time I get the front rack on and a few other things I think I will have about $400 into it.
But if your BB, crank and other things are good you can get out a lot cheaper.

https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...rebuild-begins

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Old 09-23-10, 10:54 PM
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Sweet ride I-like-free! That's what I am talking about. And the price seems reasonable for what you are getting.

Do you think it is worth it to scrounge parts for changing the power train? The click shifters are really in bad shape. The shift, sort of, but no longer "click" and seem to miss the cable length pulled on each shift, leading to slipping. The chain does not come off, but often I can't get the chain from the smaller chain ring to the bigger ones. The chain is new, recently installed by the LBS. Once the chain does shift, it rides perfectly fine, no rattles or anything.

I am not experienced wrenching at all but I read Todd Down's book on bicycle maintenance and I put together some tools from ebay already so maybe this is a good project to gain experience with. On a 20+ year old machine like this are the bubs and Araya spokes on it going to be ok? I think everything is still the original spec'd parts except for the tires and they show no cracks but they are heavy knobbies. I'll try to get some more photos to post tomorrow showing more details.

The year of manufacture is not clear, but it seems to be from around 1993 or so. See https://www.bikepedia.com/quickbike/B...ablo&Type=bike
for the spec which is similar to what I have.
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Old 09-23-10, 11:18 PM
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On the https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...d-begins/page2 thread, does anyone know what kind of fenders and rear/front racks "Fizzaly" is using on his conversion?
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Old 09-24-10, 05:01 PM
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As promised, I created a detailed set of pictures with all the components in closeup. Hopefully this will allow you experts to recommend yay or nay to whether I should try to restore this old piece of iron. Thanks for all the help and comments. RJ

https://www.flickr.com/photos/5413871...7624902303221/

ps.
Would I be better off buying a newer hard tail mtb without all the rust and swapping the fork for a rigid fork, everything else being equal in terms of getting mtb components and a steel frame/fork and shimano components and good wheels?

Last edited by safariofthemind; 09-24-10 at 05:06 PM.
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Old 09-24-10, 05:53 PM
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Those a very nice thumb shifters. You should be able to clean and rebuild them without much effort. Those have an index and friction setting. That rear derailleur is not original - much younger than the rest of the bike.

I would repack all the bearings (maybe replace the bearings while you are at it), install the tires/rack/handlebars of your choice and give it a try.
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Old 09-25-10, 06:36 AM
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I only changed my shifters because the old altus rapid fire's were junk. Lots of plastic parts. I love the Deore LX thumb shifters. I would suggest cleaning them up and using them. Ride with friction shifting for awhile and see what yuo think if the indexers don't work right, I prefer them. Also figure that 1/2 of the stuff I bought was to set up the bike which is is equipment you would need no matter what you get (panniers, bags, bars,racks etc.). Use the park tools website, it's a great resource for learning bike repair. And think of the bike you will be saving from the steel pile at the dump!
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