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Questions and answers about sports

HELP Identifying a vintage MTB frame

5 min read

Asked by: Jessica Thompson

How do I tell what frame my bike is?

Most bicycles have a frame number stamped into the metal under the bottom bracket. If it’s a carbon frame, the number will be etched into the surface or displayed on a sticker. Occasionally, the frame number will be on the inside of the chain stay or on the down tube or top tube.

How do I know if my frame is hardtail?

A hardtail is a bike with a solid frame and it usually has a suspension fork on the front. Here is a typical hardtail model: A full suspension (FS) bike has the same fork out front, but it has a frame that consists of two pieces, a front triangle and rear triangle, that are joined by pivots.

How is an old mountain bike frame measured?

1 Identify the top of the seat tube, where the seat clamp holds the seat post. 2 Identify the center of the bottom bracket (it’s the axle that holds the crank arms together). 3 Measure the distance between the two points (C-T) – this is the length of the seat tube.

How can you tell a vintage road bike?


Quote from video: The third the number tells me the year is made in this form and that's 1980 and the rest of its just the serial number of the bike ride the production. Number.

Where is the serial number on a bike frame?

bottom bracket

The majority of serial numbers are located under the bottom bracket where the two pedal cranks meet. Turn your bike upside down and record the number. If there is no serial number near the cranks, you should check other common places including the front headset or rear stays.

Is bike frame number same as serial number?

Yes, “serial number” and “frame number” are the same thing. The number on the sticker should match the number on your bike. Depending on the age of your bike, it will be in one of two places. Bikes built before mid-1999 will have the frame number stamped on the driveside dropout.

What does a hardtail mountain bike look like?

Quote from video: There's no bearings or pivots or bushings or anything like that no moving parts compared to a full suspension bike we've got our dropper.

What makes a mountain bike a hardtail?

Hardtail bikes, often referred to as hardtail mountain bikes are a bicycle designed to be ridden on a wide variety of off-road terrains. As the name suggests, hardtail bikes have no rear shocks but will feature a front suspension fork.

What makes a bike a hardtail?

Hardtail mountain bikes



With the lack of a rear shock, a hardtail gets its name from a rigid rear end. Like their full-suspension counterparts, hardtails are for off-road use and are typically cheaper and lighter than dual suspension bikes.

How do you measure a 90s mountain bike?

Measure from the centre of the BB to the middle of the top tube. That was the official GT way of measuring late 90’s frames. eg – my GT is a 16″ but measures 18.5″ to the top of the seat tube and 16″ to the middle of the top tube.

Where is the frame number on a mountain bike?

bottom bracket

Frame number location



Most typically the bike frame number can be found stamped on the bottom bracket. However, it’s not always and might not be stamped at all. It can sometimes be found on a sticker, especially with carbon frames.

How do I know what size frame my mountain bike is?

Quote from video: Look for a size label near the bottom of the seat tube some bikes have bike frame sizes listed right on this label.

How many digits are in a bike frame?

A bicycle serial number often referred to as a bike frame number, is a unique sequence of numbers typically between 6 and 10 digits long. Almost every bike manufacturer stamps a unique frame number onto the bikes they produce[1]. Occasionally before the serial number, there may be a couple of letters.

How do you identify a serial number?

Quote from video:

What is hardtail frame?

“Hardtail” is the name given to bikes that feature front suspension but no rear suspension. Lighter, simpler, less expensive, more durable, and more reliable than a frame with rear suspension, the hardtail is the workhorse of the mountain bike world.

What is the difference between hardtail and rigid?

The suspension system of a bike is one option geared toward both control and comfort. A hardtail bike contains a front suspension fork that absorbs impacts from rough trails, while its brother, the rigid bike, contains no suspension. This difference changes the way the bike handles and reacts as you ride.

What is the difference between full suspension and hardtail?

Hardtails have a rigid rear end for simplicity and pedalling efficiency, and a suspension fork to absorb bumps that would otherwise jiggle a rider’s arms and upper body. Full-suspension bikes have a second spring and damper between the rider and the rear wheel, to both smooth out the ride and boost traction.

Can you ride anything on a hardtail?

No problem, hardtails are typically more efficient than full suspension bikes and have plenty of room for frame bags. Some slight tweaks are usually all it takes to transform your hardtail into whatever it needs to be. You can ride a good hardtail anywhere and everywhere!

Can a hardtail go downhill?

Yes, you absolutely can ride a hardtail downhill. You’ll feel every bump your back tire hits but you can sure do it. In fact, many riders will ride a hardtail bike downhill to force themselves to learn how to pick a better path.

Do hardtails climb better?

Nothing can beat a hardtail for flat-out climbing speed and efficiency, but they suffer on the technical features found on modern cross country courses.