1990 Schwinn High Sierra

Yay! A stable. Finally. Been awhile. Thanks to Bee of course. So here is a nice little jewel of an old MTB. Super kool work from Taiwan. TIG welded chro-moly, over-sized tubing, frame-set from Schwinn. Elliptical ends on the tubes suggest some outer butting, which is just too trick for words, if true. Could just be smooshed, it's hard to tell.

The frame-set has the full upper braze-on treatment set-up for routing the shifters, and rear brake, cables all along the top-tube. Neat. If you've never seen them before, yes those chain-stays are bent. Schwinn had a funny, fancy name for this, but it is way more effective than the name. This set-up really does reduce chain-slap significantly, and adds to the over-all smooth shifting ride this guy is.

Ritchey head-set, Racelite bars, and Vantage Sport hoops are super, super kool. This thing is pretty clean for an old guy, and has a pretty motley groupo on it. A little research revealed that from what I can tell the bike is perfectly complete, right down to the Schwinn high-end/yet crap, rubber. It's got Shimano Exage hubs at both ends, 7 spd cassette in the rear. Shimano Rapid Fire shifters are of the Deore LX/DX stuff in prior years, only branded for the Exage package, or in this case de-branded. Integrated, beefy brake-levers. Shimano Exage 300LX crank with steel rings (Hehe). Shimano Exage 400LX rear deraileur, long-cage of course. These are an awesome changer, and wore many monikers over the years. Each was a little lighter, and a little more durable, this one falls right in the middle. Shimano Exage 300LX front deraileur. For brakes it has the ambiguous Shimano Deore-like hunks o alloy that were so ubiquitous for a few years there.

The Ritchey head-set is a nice touch. So is the upper cable-routing. TIG welded frame-set. Lot's of really kool little touches on the guy. The Paramount stuff above it in the line-up was actually pretty good, competitive stuff. This was the geometry, in a bargain basement tube-set. Even has semi-uni-crown forks. I'm pretty sure this is the largest frame size it came in.

This sold against the Specialized Rock Hopper Comp, the Diamond Back Apex, the GT Avalanche, the Trek 950, and others like that. This was a lot heavier than many of those, but it's incredibly beefy. Plus, I'd bet a penny that it's lighter than the Trek. Hide-a-way front brake-cable routing, nifty little roller for the front deraileur, oh ya, this thing has all these kool little touches. It is one giant hunk of tank though, I'm here to tell you. Phew!

The rear wheel has an owy. Sniff. Needs both hubs done too. Should prolly get a cartridge BB in it too before a long ride. Very soon though, I'll have this guy going strong. Very pleased with this acquisition. Lucky too as I don't think these sold very well, certainly not in the biggest frame size, no less. I'm going to guess that this guy is very, very rare. Not all that special, really. Just very rare. I can't tell you how much I wanted one of these when they first came out! Hehe.


JP said...

Back in 90' my mother bought herself one of these High Sierra's and along with that bought my father a Diamondback Apex, so I grew up riding both of those bikes.

Overall they were both awesome bikes for their time but something about that Apex just drew me to it. Probably that wicked awesome smoke paint. It was also a bit lighter than the High Sierra and felt a bit more compact.

I believe my dad still has both of those bikes in his possession and I'd love to restore both of them.

Lots of memories on both bikes, including the steep rides up to Mt. Washington in Pittsburgh.

Thanks a bunch for the time-warp!

Vance said...

Yeah, I was all poor, working in shops, and felt like this bike had a lot to offer at the price-point. It's in the same market as the Specialized RockHopper, and the Diamond Back Apex, and the Bridgestone MB-3, all of which were a little heavier, and didn't have all the Ritchey stuff on them. Thanx for swinging in!

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