Month of the Bikes

The past two days of this fledgling 2009 year have been dominated by thoughts and actions related to bicycling.
I’m not into the practice of making resolutions for the new year, but I have been harping for some time now about learning how to service my bicycles.  So, instead of blowing my rapidly dwindling cash reserves on a new bike, I’m going to rebuild one of my retired ones and hope to experience the additional satisfaction of learning how the components go together. I believe I can get a “ new” bike in the process.
I pulled down my 1980’s vintage green, steel-frame, original issue 1985 Diamond Back Apex that has spent the past decade hanging from a hook in one of my outbuildings.  Here’s a photo of the exact bike from a  vintage catalog. I might add that my sort of exhaustive web search for a photo and details on this bike were located deep within Bikeman’s web site, the shop in Bath,  Maine, where I bought the bike  :diamondback1988pg4-5
Thanks to the internet, I have been able to track down all of the original data about the bicycle.  Here we go:   Diamondback Apex .

Here are a few facts:
Original MSRP: $499
Material Type: Cr-Mo
Tubing: Double butted
Welding Type: TIG
Color: Metallic Teal

The most interesting design aspect of this bike is the chain stay is comprised of three spokes as shown below pic.  chainstay
It also has these unique Suntour XC Power Cunningham Design rear brakes.


I stripped the bike of everything that was bolted, screwed or glued onto to it, eventually arriving at just the frame and the fork. I plan to sand and degrease the frame and fork, take them to a local body shop to be repainted, and then work my way through the rebuilding process, and hopefully arriving at something to be proud to ride.
I plan to use the bike for road rides, as an alternative to my yellow drop bar aluminum Cannondale.  With smooth, high pressure ties, and road gearing the new ride should be a real mover, and will be more comfortable as well.   My lower back has been beaten up long enough by my Cannondale road rides, as the rigid aluminum frame transmits every thumping shock from potholes and sprouting through-the-pavement-rocks up the old spine.
Gotta get some sanding done this week.

6 thoughts on “Month of the Bikes

  1. hiker

    you may be able to save yourself a lot of sanding by taking the frame to a machine-shop and seeing if they can do an acid-bath, which takes off everything.


  2. Scott

    I have one of these mid-80s apexes in my garage. I’d like to turn mine into a commuter, perhaps a tourer as well. Did you ever do yours?


    1. Yes! Had the frame professionally repainted. Same color. Reset it up with road gearing, high pressure slicks and updated shifters. The bike rocks. It is my road bike now. Love the flex of the cromoly frame.


  3. Greg

    I have a 1985 Diamondback Apex identical as the one showen above. I am looking to sell it but I have no idea what it’s value maybe? Can anyone help…it has all original parts except for the tires I replaced….thx!


  4. Scott

    I bought that same bike in the mid-80s and put a carrier and milkbox on it to haul books in grad school. It took a lot of neglect and abuse and always bounced back. this year i got back into cycling after a couple decades, with a vengeance and saw that diamondback laying in the garage, under a pile of junk, forgotten. like you, took it all apart, had the frame and fork sandblasted and painted a flat black matte. Replaced the biopace eliptical chainrings (yuck) with round ones by salsa and FSA. Cassette was still good so i kept it, a nice simple 5 speed, and derailleurs still worked perfectly. replaced headset and bottom bracket, trued wheels, steel-wooled the spokes and rims to a nice gleam. replaced fat old biodegraded knobbies with Panasonic Pasela Tourguard (Kevlar) 1.25″. replaced stem and bars with black origin stem and straight bars, with Ergon DC3 grips and bar ends. Put on some black Planet Bike fenders and carrier, Koki trunk bag, and red Axiom Monsoon panniers. Replaced bottle cages with red plastic ones and got Kleen Kanteen red bottles. Red Hold Fast pedals and straps. ZNIS black seat post and Brooks aged B17 saddle.

    It is a beautiful black bike with red accents. Worth every penny, it is so comfortable, agile, fun that I use it to commute everywhere, everyday. My Specialized Roubaix sits collecting dust in the bedroom.


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