Monday, April 30, 2012

Early nineties GT Pantera

GT Pantera we refurbished here at Bike Boom. If your'e not familiar, Bike Boom is a used bike shop in Davis square, on the border of Cambridge and Somerville , near Boston MA. where we specialize in restoring and refurbishing used and vintage bikes and offer professional bicycle repair services.
This GT Pantera 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 waster (the shock absorbs some of the pedaling 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 Pantera has an Aluminum 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 Pantera screams early 90's Orange-pink Neon paint scheme and punk-rock style decals. The goal in refurbishing bikes like the GT Pantera 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 Suntour thumb shifters which were not as good and crisp as shimano's. We had to replace front shifters since finding quality thumbs shifters is quite hard these days. We ended up replacing the tires to the semi slick and thin type  We had the chain and freewheel replaced along with a comfortable suspension seat post. 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 famous triple triangle geometry which, in my opinion, was mostly a gimmick. 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 nice girl looking for a reliable point A to B bike for short commutes in the somerville area.

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