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Retro MTB Any old shool bikes outside the Fat world like Ritchey, Breezer, Salsa, VooDoo, Yeti, Bontrager, etc.

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Old October 27th, 2009, 8:33 AM   #1
Dr S
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Default Pace rc100s

Time to out another of my old rides, this time its non Fat. Don't worry, normal service will be resumed as soon as I finish my SAB and Fat Ti.

This one is from a small UK builder not often heard of outside Europe from 1990 and has some interesting touches. One of the firsts on the RC100 was the headset arrangement. It uses a modded Suntour headset, machined out threads to make a aheadset. The stem and steerer is one piece and bolts into the crown and is adjusted with a allen head bolt. Other nice touches are the 100mm bottom bracket- lots of mud clearance for the UK trails and the Magura brakes bolted directly to special boses on the frame. Pace also introduced a carbon legged suspension fork for this bike in 1991- another first?

I found this bike last year after lusting after one for the last 18 years. It was in pretty good shape structurally but needed a full resto. It is now completely factory standard and wears mainly NOS parts.

Retail price was
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Old October 28th, 2009, 7:00 AM   #2
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Cool bike!
That is a truly interesting piece of UK MTB history! How does it ride?
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Old October 28th, 2009, 5:53 PM   #3
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i love those bikes. never saw one in person but the non conventional thinking ala Klein, ok even more unconventional than Klein and totally form follows funtion, makes me smile.
now.. i never understood what is the set up w/ the stem and fork being one piece.
and what about 100 BB? not 68, not 73 but 100? how does it clear mud better than the standard set ups?

really nice.
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Old October 28th, 2009, 11:04 PM   #4
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way, way cool.

the square tubing reminds me of my Nishiki Alien.

the front triangle was square. looks like they took the idea from Pace.

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Old October 30th, 2009, 6:15 AM   #5
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Thanks for the comments guys.

A few more bits of info on the rather unconventional design...

Adrian and Duncan came from a motorbike trails background and started riding MTBs for training. They soon found the bikes on the market to be fragile and broke many bikes up on the North Yorkshire Moors in the late 80's and started to buld prototypes back in late 1986. The terrain up there is quite demanding and has seen many a bike fall to peices. Although Pace bikes are now made in the East they are still designed and tested on those same rugged moors.

They decided to start from scratch with the design. Having no background in cycling they were able to start with a blank sheet of paper with no preconceptions.
The threaded headset was the first problem they solved- they 2 nut threaded headsets were always working loose. They decided to machine out the threads on the lower part of the top nut of a Shimano 105 headset and discarded the lock ring. The bottom race was then fitted onto a very precisely machined floating collar that allowed it to float on the stem/steerer unit. The stem itself was integrated with the steerer tube into a one peice design and made from brazed Reynold tube. This had the top half of the modified headset pushed onto it before being fitted into the frame with the bottom race slid into place followed by the fork lowers which were clamped into a machined fork crown. Endfloat was adjusted with a single 6mm bolt under the crown after slackening the two inner fork crown bolts; quick and simple and they never work loose. So kinda like a inverted ahead system. It also saved half a pound or so over the separate steerer/quill stem set up. The fork legs themselves were made from Reynolds 531 seat tubes and are quite harsh to say the least, this is probably why they quickly designed the RC35 carbon suspension fork in 1991. Many RC100's gained the suss forks in later life and the original fully rigid bikes are thin on the ground.
The frame was special too. they used a sophisticated CAD model to design it. Those tubes were externally machined down on all sides to reduce weight and the frame came out at just over 3lbs. They are incredibly stiff but some have failed around the top of the seat tube.
The rear end was designed around the Bullseye 100mm 2 peice crank (for which they made their own alloy spider). The chain stays are asymetric and requires a specially dished rear wheel to be built. This allowed the large diameter square stays to be straight and untapered like a FAT but allowed a 2.35 tyre to be fitted with still an inch of mud clearence on each side whilst retaining a perfect chain line and a chainstay length of 16.5". I will get some detail pics of this area as it will make more sense.
The headtube was another nice detail. It is machined from solid billet and has strengthening ribs to the rear to stiffen the front end. The front end was indestructable and there have been no reported failures in this area (a common breakage on alloy frames).
There are some failings with this bike. Again they were too stiff for all day use- perfect for a 90 minute race but a day on this thing would be punishing. The biggest hassle is taking out the wheels. The Magura HS11s did not have quick releases and the tyre has to be deflated before the wheel can be removed. Also the rear wheel has to be specific to the bike- no swapping your wheels around here from other bikes. From a longevity point of view the crank bearings are a pain as they are no longer available in that size. I have converted several cranksets now to take common sized bearings by machining a few thou of the axle. Pace tried to counter the problem of bearing wear by fitting a grease nipple into the bottom bracket and also at the back of the headtube so fresh grease could be pumped through to flush out the muck.

So all in all, a brave attempt to change the way MTBs were built. The problem was that as so much of it was handbuilt they were very expensive. It was cheaper to buy a FAT or a Klein frame from the states and build it up however you wanted it. As a result they were a rare sight outside of the UK. They have become an iconic bike over here now and are highly sought after. I reckon that I could have built two Yo Eddys for what it cost to restore this one. Funny thing is, a Yo rides twice as nice on an all dayer. Nothing turns heads like an RC100 though so I guess I will just enjoy it for what it is.
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Old October 30th, 2009, 6:46 AM   #6
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A few more pics...

The inspiration for my quest; the 1990 Freewheel catalogue. I had this pic on my shed wall for 16 years



That stem/steerer set up


The original Pace spec sheet


The bottom bracket and chainstay area with braze on front mech. First frames had a band on mech.


As found back in late 2007


Prevoius owner was going to build it up with later RC35 carbon fork. Also note the Pace carbon front hub that was designed as part of the fork package and the rear facing brake mountings. The idea was the braking forces would be transfered into the fork instead of away from it.


Si
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Old June 11th, 2011, 4:54 PM   #7
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Default Pace

Nice Bike!

I brought one of the first RC200's almost twenty years ago,cost me
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Old August 27th, 2011, 5:29 PM   #8
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Default Nice ride!

never seen a pace in the NW so i'm guessing they are quite rare in the states.

Any info on the Funk?
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