This GT tequesta is a great example of an affordable and reliable commuter. After we perfected the process of refurbishing vintage road bikes (10 speeds) and than english 3 speeds, we took on the challenge of refurbishing the early mountain bikes made from the late 80's to the late 90's. The correct term for these bikes is "Rigid" as they have no suspension, unlike the hardtail (front shocks) and full suspension (front and rear shocks). I have a lot of respect for these bikes as I used to race rigid mountain bikes back in the days when suspension was still considered unreliable and energy waister (the shock absorbs some of the pedalling energy) plus they were not that efficient as the early hardtails did not have more than 2" of travel (the distance the shock compresses).
GT was a strong player in the Mountain bike scene throughout the 90's. This early GT tequesta has a Tange double butted chromoly frame and a U brake in the rear but the location is quite unique, placed on the seat stays unlike most U brakes which were located under the chain stays. U brakes were wildly popular between 1986 to 1988. They were very strong but due to the location under the chain stays they were hard to service without flipping the bike up side down and also were basically mud traps when you actually took it off road. the GT tequesta screams early 90's with its marble violet paint scheme and punk-rock style decals. the goal in refurbishing bikes like the GT tequesta is keeping it under budget as these are the most affordable bikes in our shop. The parts these bikes came with were quite hi tech but not all of them survived, especially the shifters which were early variatons of the shimano rapid fire ("click shift") and were constantly improved every year, but back then were not too reliable. They actually work well if they are being used but if a bike has been sitting for long the grease inside tends to gunk up and the shifters stop working. The shells were also weak and a lot of them crack and break. We ended up replacing the tires to the semi slick and thin type and the shifters which were suntour x-press, one of the worst shifter designs in history in my opinion. We had to replace the rear suntour XCE derailer to a shimano as suntour derailers don't work well with shimano compatible shifters (in this case SRAM MRX grip shift). All the cables, brake pads and some of the housings were replaced as well. GT was a unique company and were readily identifiable due to the famout triple triangle geometry which, in my opinion, wasmostly a gimick. GT merged with schwinn in 1998 and was later bought by the pacific company and than by the dorel industries bicycle conglomerate.
sold to a graduate student in the Cambridge area.