Raleigh Crested Butte “Mountain Tour” mountain bike

This bike left the stable in 2021

From my teens to the age of 30, all the bikes I owned save one were mountain bikes. My primary bike for the first five years I lived in Portland was an entry-level Giant Rincon. While I have fond memories of what that bike helped me achieve, I don’t have such fond memories of the bike itself. Since getting rid of the Giant Rincon in the summer of 2006 I had only owned road. touring, three-speed, or cargo bikes. I hadn’t been interested in a mountain bike in quite some time. But around fall of 2012 I started thinking about what I could do with the stout frame and wide tires of a rigid frame mountain bike. On a whim, I purchased a 1993 Raleigh M40 off of Craigslist for only $40. While this bike taught me that yes, I like mountain bikes again, the too-small frame and entry-level parts made me pine for something better. And it didn’t take me that long to find that better bike.

A 1984 Raleigh Crested Butte popped up on Craigslist in mid-October 2012 for $200. Unlike the M40, the Crested Butte was top of the line for its era and its componentry speaks of such: mostly Shimano Deore XT, the top of the line mountain bike componentry of that era. The Crested Butte has the slack, laid back geometry of early mountain bikes, 68 degree head tube angles and such. This was because the original “Repack” mountain bikes were based off Schwinn cruisers. The relaxed geometry means a nice relaxed ride. Yet it is still a capable climber due to the low gearing.

The Crested Butte in its original form was quite the “garage queen”. I wanted to keep it as original as possible, but knew I would have to do some additions and alterations to make it workable for me. Currently (June 2021) this is how the Crested Butte is set up:

  • Kalloy stem and Nitto Bosco bars
  • Rustines Constructeur rubber grips
  • Wald basket
  • “Huffy” branded leather saddle (sort of like a B17)
  • Schwalbe Big Ben 26″ x 2.35″ tires, in terra cotta
  • SKS fenders
  • Spanninga Pixeo rear light
  • Generic bottle cage
  • Tektro brake levers and V-brakes
  • Sun-Race shifters
  • 2 x 6 drivetrain. Sugino 40-26 chainring, six speed generic freewheel (highest tooth 28)
  • MKS “bear trap” pedals

I’ve ridden the Crested Butte a lot in the 9 years I’ve owned it. It acts primarily as a commuter/city/utility bike, but I have done a little bit of off-roading on it, some longer rides, and even some bike camping.

For more photos of my Raleigh Crested Butte, see the flickr album below or click here.

Golden. Mt Tabor, 30 Oct 2020

7 thoughts on “Raleigh Crested Butte “Mountain Tour” mountain bike

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  1. a mid 1980’s rigid fork lugged steel mt bike is on my bucket list at the very least I would like to find an early steel mt bike and build it up as bullet proof commuter, missed out on a $15 Peugeot Montreal Express a few weeks ago. Your crested butte is good inspiration

    1. I recently picked up a Mountain Tour Elkhorn that I love and am transforming into a cheap touring bike . Question about your Kalloy stem. What size is it? My stem appears to be a hai over 21 mm , and I’m not finding too many stems to choose from .thanks

  2. A bit off the wall, but I have recently been watching some good videos on youtube about a UK guy called Ed Pratt who has been touring around on a unicycle. When I say touring around, I mean the world! I did some cycle touring in New Zealand on a mountain bike, but a unicycle is something else!!

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