Malte’s Mountain Bike Bromance

21 Feb 2012  |  Posted by BREGAN  |  Categories: Friends

(Editor’s Note: This is an article submitted by Malte Wiedenmann, seasoned mechanic and long distance adventurer, currently (and since some time) managing repairs at Fahrrad Cohrt in Hamburg, a must-to destination for bike lovers of all stripes, and one of our fine Dealers of Excellence.  Malte was kind enough to share some words and pictures regarding one of his life’s great loves.)

“Back in 87 or 88, the Mountain-Bike-Boom was on and somewhere in Taiwan a sturdy frame was welded. The main triangle consisted of 4130 CrMo-steel. Equipped with the complete (somewhat heavy but reliable) Shimano Exage 450 Mountain groupset, I purchased a bike in Whakatane/New-Zealand labelled as the Healing “Wild Thing”.

(Healing used to be one of two major bicycle-companies in New Zealand. The company has gone by now, leaving only a few traces on the net.)

After some more or less demanding cycling tours up Mt.Tarawera, through Urewera NP or to Hawkes Bay (and regularly driving 230 Jersey-Cows towards the milking-shed) I took it home to Germany.

In 1992 I rode it from Edmonton (Alta.) to Dawson City (YT) on the famous Alaska Highway, only being topped by the wild Dempster Highway, a graveled road stretching over 730kms beyond the Arctic Circle as far as Inuvik (NWT), close to the Arctic Ocean. Completed with a loop in Central-Alaska and another one in Washington State, the whole journey clocked up 9000kms on the odometer.

While being used for every day-use it was consecutively upgraded to DeoreXT. Additional more or less spectacular rides in Northern-Germany made it one of my favourite bikes.

After some trailer-towing at home and on vacation the “Wild Thing” was degraded to a pure winter-vehicle for the days when the other (spike-tire-equipped) mountain-bike would have been too noisy.

And some day it ended up totally dismantled in the basement for a five year long sleep …

Last winter I decided to wake it up. The old paint got stripped and new a powder-coating was applied. Mostly used parts but also some old, unused components were fitted. Only the Deore shifters have to be replaced by the precious and hard to get XT-thumb-shifters and the XT (730-735/737) groupset will be complete.

BTW: on top I mounted my well broken in, 23 years young, Brooks Professional!”

Malte from Hamburg, North Germany

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2 Comments

  1. James Mason 
    Posted 9:04 am
    21 Feb 2012

    I ride several old bikes of the same vintage. My solution to the problem of XT top mounts going for $200 on eBay is to buy “Paul’s Thingies” from Rivendell. http://www.rivbike.com Attached Shimano handle bar end controls to Paul’s Thingies and you have fabulous top mounts, better than the originals. And they’re current. I think bikes of 1980s vintage represent a pinnacle of design. What we have now is borderline silly in many cases.

    James Mason
    Dutch Harbor, Alaska

  2. Paul Ahart 
    Posted 8:00 pm
    21 Feb 2012

    The story of this ‘ol mountain bike is similar to mine. I purchased a Ritchey Mount Tam in December, 1983, and over the decades, have repainted, re-equipped it, toured New Zealand with it. Through all this, it’s been topped with an extremely well broken-in Brooks B17 Special Honey saddle. The bike has Sugino AT cranks, Real CNC’d chainrrings, Chris King headset, XTR cantilever brakes, Avid levers w/sealed bearing pivots, XTR front derailleur, Suntour XC Pro rear derailleur, Suntour 7spd thumbshifters, Suntour XC Pro Greaseguard pedals with toe clips and Alfredo Binda toestraps. Hubs are Mavic sealed-bearing, with a screw-on Sachs Aris freewheel.
    Tires are Panaracer T-Serv 26×1.75. The heavy original fork was replaced years ago with a Tange Prestige CroMoly unit. Probably over 30,000 miles of happy riding.