What to do with an early 90s Apollo MTB?

Hi all,

I am quite attached to my old, if cruddy bike:

Sorry for the crappy photo. It’s a 92 (?) Apollo Kosciusko with a newer 9 speed derailleur shifting 7 speeds quite happily, and runs Schwalbe Kojaks for maximum rolling goodness.

The paint is quite banged up, but I would still like to get it into a much better mechanical state. This project is for fun, as I realise I could simply find a better steed on Gumtree if i wanted.

However, I have a few questions:

  1. Is an MTB like this worth putting knobblies onto and hitting some trails, or better off keeping it as a commutersaurus?

  2. I want to swap the front (riveted) triple out for a single ring, taking me to a 1x7 setup. Would the best approach be to look for a 2 x square taper chainset and remove the inner ring? I prefer to keep an MTB look rather than go for some Sugino or other single chainsets.

  3. Old style fork (threaded?), stem and quill. Is it worth getting one of those adaptors to fit a modern set of bars? What are my options without a fork swapout?

  4. Brakes. I wanted to fit a newer set of less fiddly cantilever brakes (not v-brakes) for Melburn Roobaix this weekend, but I think I have left it a bit late.

  5. Does anybody sell decent rim brake 26 inch wheels any more?

Sorry, that was a bit of a brain dump, but I am curious as to whether you collectively think this is worthwhile for some fun or that I am wasting my time and dollars.

I’m interested in this…

I’m thinking of putting in a bid on this http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Apollo-Kosciusko-26-MTB-For-Parts-Or-Build/232373772465?_trksid=p2481888.c100675.m4236&_trkparms=aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20160908105057%26meid%3D35a52a2a5cf9479fa7b6cc2411eeae41%26pid%3D100675%26rk%3D2%26rkt%3D15%26sd%3D282528188620&_trkparms=pageci%3Af19c09c7-5571-11e7-a9c9-74dbd180a19f%7Cparentrq%3Ac3c9105f15c0ab6bb7545962fffd127d%7Ciid%3A1

For my eldest kids next bike as a project we can do up together.

You might enjoy this then:

http://www.bicycles.net.au/forums/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=37956&p=1382315&hilit=apollo+kosciusko#p1382315

My bike has all the original drivetrain save for the RD. It’s all Shimano 200GS, with a Biopace chainset

  1. Is an MTB like this worth putting knobblies onto and hitting some trails, or better off keeping it as a commutersaurus?

Sure, it’ll be fun on smooth trails like along the Yarra.

  1. I want to swap the front (riveted) triple out for a single ring, taking me to a 1x7 setup. Would the best approach be to look for a 2 x square taper chainset and remove the inner ring? I prefer to keep an MTB look rather than go for some Sugino or other single chainsets.

Just get an old MTB triple and ditch the big and little ring, old MTB doubles don’t exist as MTB doubles is a relative recent thing.

  1. Old style fork (threaded?), stem and quill. Is it worth getting one of those adaptors to fit a modern set of bars? What are my options without a fork swapout?

Don’t both swapping forks or stems but some wider/riser bars might be good.

  1. Brakes. I wanted to fit a newer set of less fiddly cantilever brakes (not v-brakes) for Melburn Roobaix this weekend, but I think I have left it a bit late.

Tektro CR-710s are cheap and more powerful than CR-720’s but in saying that most canti’s feel good and powerful with flat bar levers. Look for any that use standard threaded V-brake pads.

  1. Does anybody sell decent rim brake 26 inch wheels any more?

yes, almost any LBS can order you wheels to suit.

Join retro MTB (pre 2000) on the FB. put up a WTB post and you’ll get what you need pretty cheaply.

FWIW, I went the supercommuter path with my o1989 rockhopper - 1 x 8 (NW 36t at front, 11-34 back), full mudguards, shorter road style quill stem with Risers, v-brakes and 2" semi-slicks.

Hi MikeD and rcoh,

Thank you so much to both of you for your input! Very much appreciated :slight_smile:

Subscribed. There’s a true temper Diamondback Apex frame that someones thrown out in my basement that looks like a fun bike.

Some silly questions:

  1. I need a new BB. The choice of BB will be determined by the crankset in terms of BB type (obvious). However the spindle length is also determined by the crankset, correct? I could go with a square taper crankset, or any of the other wacky types as long as they are JIS threaded, right? Sheldon gave me information overload, so I am doubting my understanding now.

  2. Should I be on the lookout for 104BCD if I am going to go single ring? I could go matchy matchy for crankset/derailleur, but a 96MM BCD is a PITA, right?

this is mine - but now have ergo grips!

i’ve got a variety of MTB cranks i’m trying to get rid of + rings and and BBs.
i’m not sure what combination of what will work for you, but if you can bring the bike over i’m sure something could be sorted out (you might need to order a BB to get the chainline exactly spot on, but we’ll know what length is required and square taper shimanos are both indestructible and ~$25).

probably only want a 6 pack depending on exactly which bits and pieces do what you want (some of the rings and BBs are new or almost new so i might want replacement price on CRC, wiggle, etc for them)

P.S. a colleague commuted on of those into the ground over a period of ~10 years probably everything except the frame had been replaced multiple times

P.P.S. i’ve probably got some of the other stuff you’re talking about as well, front wheel for sure and a pair or two of tektro cantis (i tihnk they’re 720s???)

Hi DaFrog,

Thanks for all the info! I will get in touch via a PM :slight_smile:

A minor update today:

  1. Put a new front wheel on in readiness for the Melburn Roobaix. Alexrims X2000, with a disc hub. My dad and I drilled the disc bolts out to get the disc off, and then put the Schwalbe Kojak on it. It rode fantastically, save for the brake squeal coming from the left pad. I filed the pads down, but it didn’t seem to help. Nonetheless, the wheel is shiny, quiet, rolls smoothly, great! Now I just need to organise myself to do the rear wheel.

  2. Bought a set of Tektro CR510 canti brakes, and a nice straddle wire set up. Same as the CR710s, which I couldn’t find, but without an adjuster barrel, and shittier looking pads. Hopefully fitting these will get rid of the squeal.

  3. Front Shimano 200GS trigger shifter is super gummed up. Need to give this a clean based on one of the many youtube videos on offer. Should be easy to fix.

  4. Need to track down another triple chainset. Here are some potentially silly questions
    a) If a non square taper chainset shows up, should I just get it, or will fitting the appropriate BB be an issue?
    b) Are 165mm cranks easy to get a hold of?
    c) What’s the standard BCD I should go for to go 1x? 104?

Will post a pic once I have swapped the front cantis over.

Id do something like this with an old 90’s mtb…oh wait I already did :wink:

I remember your post Jezza, and the love it got! I have been thinking about going to drop bars, but I have the Pompino for that. I am currently running a 9 speed RD, so if the trigger shifter gives up I’d seriously consider moving to 9 speed and would entertain the idea of drops and brifters. Having said that, the new rear wheel will need a cassette spacer to fit the existing 7 speed cassette on it at the moment anyway.

Are you still running the triple on the front? Can’t tell from this photo.

Its a road triple crankset, with no outer ring (bash guard instead), using a road double FD

Cool, thanks for the info!

At $14 new, I think this may be a good deal:

http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/au/en/shimano-alivio-m430-octalink-triple-chainset/rp-prod58156

Any issues with Octalink? Is it totally obsolete? Only issue I can think of is that I’ll have to have it fitted by the LBS… less of a bargain then eh.

In my uneducated opinion, I’ve not had any issues with Octalink BB’s/cranks on the bikes I’ve had. Yes, it is somewhat “obsolete” in that it’s an old standard (so is square taper by that definition…)but I wouldn’t count it out based on that. I mean you can still buy spares for them for the time being…

Have the BB and crank fitted by the LBS? Buy/borrow/steal the BB tool and DIY it, if I’ve done it then it can’t be too hard.

So I tried to swap the rear wheel today and ran into my first challenge:

New wheel = 135mm spacing
Frame = 130mm spacing

Consulting The Oracle I now know that:

130 mm Rear 7-speed (MTB) and 8- 9-10-11-speed (road) except disc brake
135 mm Rear 7- 8- 9-10-11-speed (MTB); rear with disc brake (road)

So now I am a little stuck, needing to replace a tired old rear wheel that uses a MTB standard that I imagine has gone the way of the dodo.

Any suggestions? Should I cold-set it Sheldon style?

This was supposed to be a budget thing, so building a wheel etc. was not really in my plan!

Do you have the new wheel already? I would cold set it for sure or even some people may want to look away now just put the 135mm hub in there. Sure, it theoretically adds a bit of tension to the rear triangle, but in the real world it’s not that much, and it’s not like your working with really stiff light tubing here. If there is enough give to just stretch the dropouts a bit to pop the wheel in, it should be fine.

On the other hand, if the tubes are not that stiff then it is easier to cold set them anyway.