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  • Writer's pictureAdele

Retro MTB Build - GT Zaskar

The remit was simple. Take the components off an old GT Zaskar frame and build it up on the newly painted frame. What could go wrong?

Taking on this build wasn't a challenge in itself. Doing it justice in the end was! We were contacted by the client who had a history with the GT Zaskar. The GT Zaskar is a cult mountain bike and one which has earned its following since the mid 90's and can still be bought new today. With its unique toptube with the "triple triangle technology" and GT's history of producing bike frames which were banned from UCI races for being too good it is easy to see why this frame was so popular.

Unfortunately for GT they ran into financial difficulties in the early 2000's and the firm was bought out. The new owners of GT started to make changes to the frames and our two frames straddled the dates the between the old and the new.

The Specification of the components to be installed was epic. From the full Shimano XT drivetrain, the Rock-Shox Psylo fork and the Hope M4 4 piston callipers and genuine hope discs this build deserved perfection. And here is where the problems started. The current front Shimano XT derailleur wasn't suitable due to the cable routing on the new frame. The rear frame mounts weren't suitable for the calliper to be used with a conventional sized disc and the integrated head tube bearings were now an obselete standard.

Bike Barn painstakingly sourced every part to be used. The front derailleur was the hardest. To find a part that is 30 years old, in the correct colour, with the correct clamp, for the correct diameter tubing, and the correct cable routing may have been more good luck than anything. A genuine Hope disc of 140mm was sourced and we managed to source individual bearings and races which suited the unconventionally angled integrated head tube recess.

The calipers had seen better days and a free caliper service was carried out to ensure all of the 4 pistons worked in the calipers.

After several test builds to ensure everything was compatible we were able to start the final build. It didn't take long. The hours of preparation and testing resulted in a smooth build.

From installing the new bottom bracket and fitting the new tyres to bleeding the 30 year old brakes the components complemented each other perfectly and the finished bike rides like new.

The frame was treated to an invisible protection film to prevent cable rub on the paint.

After looking at the bare frame in the workshop for some time we weren't sure on the colour, but once complete the colours all came together perfectly.

Then we added the decals........ What a stunner!

The bike left us just at the end of Summer and is off to to enjoy a nice dry and dusty life on the trails of Spain. We hope that it lasts another 30 years to be enjoyed by another generation or 2 of enthusiasts.

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