June 16th 2015
So I’m browsing Gumtree one Tuesday morning (I may or may not have been at work) and I see this expertly photographed Bear Valley for sale.
Even with blurred vision I can see it has a naff saddle, naff tyres, and naff painted stem. But the rest of it appears to be complete. I called the seller (Steve) who was out by the airport.
Steve told me it was bought new by a woman who rode it for a year or so and then stored it under the house (dumb-ass). She’d then forgotten about it. Steve bought it, washed it, and cleaned it the best he could (but there’s still along way to go, it really hums).
Closer inspection reveals the stem is original – but painted. Badly. The original STX shifter levers have been replaced with crap ones (a common thing with old bikes – some bike shop is making a packet selling lever shifters no-one actually needs). And the cantis are pretty grim. Along with the pedals they’re destined for the bin.
The good news is the wheels are all original and rims, spokes and hubs are in great condition. The STX chainset and mechs should clean up OK. And the frame is free of dents, even if the paintwork isn’t perfect in a few places.
Since finding this bike I’ve found a set of Marin Quake tyres, some new old stock cantis, a new old stock stem, new old stock lever shifters, and a used but good condition saddle.
Oh, and it doesn’t smell any more.