Project Darkside

i’ve all but finished my black ops darkside stealth skunkworks project. I took it along to the monthly bike jumble at Mud Dock Cafe. The monthly jumble is run by the Cheesies and is a cracking morning’s entertainment. It’s really grown in size and popularity and is a fantastic place to source cheap bike parts. It’s predominantly an MTB affair, but there are always several gleaming bits of roaderotica.

I took the GreenOrange down to the jumble for a quick spin to see if it worked at all and to pick up a front derailleur from Bristol legend, Sir Cab of Ratbike. Whilst we’re on the topic of skunkworks projects, there was a Moulton Pylon in attendance. It’s the Dark Knight of Moultons and is a staggering piece of engineering.

Woven in stainless steel with a complex belt-drive system and gated rear triangle
Carbon forks running in a sort of parallel to the head-tube; full suspension system.
You can see why it’s called the ‘pylon’; the cluster of steel stays supports the truncated seat-tube
belt drive and rohloff hub

It was the Moulton to end all Moultons. Meanwhile, the GreenOrange was also attracting lascivious glances. I was unprepared for how covetous people could be in the face of a mid 90s mountain bike.

the GreenOrange. Thou shalt not covet another man’s retro MTB.

It’s a blast and quite exciting to be riding something you can throw around and ride off kerbs with relative impunity. I opted for mostly old parts; a retro 7 speed groupset with thumbshifters. I like it very much. The intention is to use it for the transportation of a small child, but i have about 8 to 10 months to figure out how.

Antony of the BSCC suggested that retro MTB might well be the next big thing in bicycle trends. If so, i’m well ahead of the curve and have got in cheap. Frame, forks, stem, headset, rear mech, grips and assorted sundries were £75. This feels bargaintastic, given the quality and lightness of the frame. I managed to source the other parts for extreme cheapness.

retro chainset
slam the stem, roadie style.

7 thoughts on “Project Darkside

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  1. Nice Orange… green.. erm, Retro 🙂

    Some of us are old enough to ride retro mtb’s that were brand new when we bought them. But, be warned, retrobikes are an incurable disease, capable of emptying you bank account of all funds (plus some you haven’t earned yet) faster than a Russian scam artist.

    Enjoy that retro, and keep you eyes open for other retro mtb riders, we look just the same as other cyclist, we’re just wearing bigger smiles.

      1. Retro road bikes and now retro mtb’s; there is no hope of saving you from yourself.

        I don’t know about this niche malarky, I fancy we’re more of an underground movement, intent on undermining those who have mortgaged their children for the latest in full susser mtb Nirvana.

  2. Let me know when you’re out on it in a few months and we can go on some Dad rides up the Railway path for caffeine at Bitton.

    ( +If you go with a rear child seat it might be worth considering some forks that can take panniers to avoid the backpack in babies face scenario.)

      1. They’ve been gone in spirit for years. Sad to know they’ve finally gone. Enid was an institution and Andy was (still is?) a good framebuilder.

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