Bikes of Our Lives: Jeff’s Croll Mountain Bike
This is the beginning of a series of blog posts exploring the non All-City bicycles that folks on our team own, ride, and hold dear. The purpose is to let you get to know us a bit better by the bikes we ride, as well as get a glimpse into where some of our inspiration and stoke comes from.
Each of us have bikes that have helped shape and mold our opinions and ideas, and I always think it's insightful to get a peek at what bikes folks feel compelled to hold on to and collect. All-City as a company has always worn our influences on our sleeve, and it is our hope to be a building block for cycling love and passion for this generation the way that Merckx, Bridgestone, and Fat Chance, for example, were for us.
We're starting out with a recently completed project that I am super pumped on, a New Old Stock (NOS) Croll MTB.
Walk with me…
For those not familiar, Croll was a local frame builder out of the Twin Cities that operated from the late '80's to the early '00s. They did custom as well as stock geometries and built lugged and tig welded bikes from Reynolds 531 and 853 mainly. One of my goals in my bike life is to have as many locally built bicycles as possible. To that end I own a Capricorn track bike, a Peacock Groove road bike (predecessors to our Big Block and Mr. Pink), a Croll road bike, and now this MTB. Bikes were built by Walter Croll or one of his proteges, Erik Noren of Peacock Groove being the most notable of those.
Having grown up racing mountain bikes in the 90's, I have a particular soft spot for off-roadies of that era. I currently own a '98 Scwhinn Homegrown, a '97 Schwinn Homegrown, a '95 Fuji Suncrest (repainted and rebadged as the GMS Bike), a '93 Bridgestone MB-1, and now this beautiful lugged Reynolds 531 Croll of unknown vintage (my best guess is '94 - '95).
This particular frameset was NOS and I had been lusting after it in the basement of local shop One on One for years. Fortuitously a visit this Fall revealed that Gene Oberpriller (of MPLS legend) had recently lowered the price, which was all the incentive I needed to finally pull the trigger.
The build is all pretty much period (except for the lock on grips), and the parts were sourced locally and via the Vintage MTB Trading Post on Facebook. I almost opted for a straight XTR M-950 build, but decided it would ultimately be way cooler to do something a bit more eclectic. I had the cranks lying around, although they were in terrible condition due to being ridden by the previous owner through 8 winters, and a few hours spent polishing had them looking presentable. With the centerpiece of the build in hand, it only made sense to find matching wheels and to go with as much silver as possible.
Shifter: Deore XT Thumbies 7 Speed (with hidden click)
Front Derailleur: Shimano XTR M-900
Rear Derailleur: Shimano XTR M-900
Cassette: Shimano XTR M950
Brake Levers: Paul Component (early vintage), NOS
Handelbar: White Brothers Ti, NOS
Stem: unknown steel
Headset: Chris King, No Logo
Cranks: White Industries
Bottom Bracket: Shimano BB UN-91
Pedals: Time World Cup
Wheels: White Industries laced to Mavic SUP217, blue alloy nips
Quick Release: Ringle Holey
Tires: Onza Aggro 2.1, front NOS
Seatpost: Control Tech, NOS
Saddle: Selle Italia Turbo
Hope you enjoyed it, I am excited to share it with you. And don't worry, like all my bikes, it's not for hanging, it's for riding.