January 4th 2015
I was browsing the For Sale ads this afternoon and saw an ad with a photo of an old blue cruiser and the headline ‘Preloved pushies / mountin bikes / cruisers / bicycles’. You never know what’s lurking within these ads, so I clicked on it.
The ad says the bikes are $75 each, so I begin to click through the photos – there’s a cruiser, another cruiser, a road bike, another road bike, a Euro spec Marin Eldridge, another road bi … woah there!!!
I call the seller immediately, and an hour and a half later I’m picking up a neon green / neon yellow / black splatter paint 1990 Marin Eldridge Grade (I never thought I’d find one of these, I was almost peeing my pants).
The seller was a young guy called Chris, who has a garage full of old bikes he’s making road-worthy. (Yes, I did have a nosey around to see what else he had stashed away.)
Getting it home I gave it a hose down and a thorough wash. And it’s not too shabby. It needs work, for sure. There are small patches of rust, some discolouration, and the seatpost won’t move (groan!) but the original XT/LX drivetrain is all there, as are the original brakes and Wolber AT 18 wheels. As is common with old bikes, just the saddle and tyres are letting it down.
Sadly, it’s a size smaller than I’d like but it’s such a rare find I’m not too fussed about that. Maybe someone has an identical frame in a 19″ and is happy to swap the two over, who knows?
And what is Euro spec? Well, during the late 80s and early 90s, Marin bikes mostly had matte Grey Zolatone paintwork, each model having a different coloured neon fork, stem and handlebar (check out the 1990 Marin Pine Mountain here on my site). But in 1990 and 1991 Marin released some truly eye-catching neon splatter and neon fade colour schemes for the French and German markets (possibly other markets too). This beautiful old bike is one of them.