Back in 1989, I was working at Pacific Coast Cycles. Although during that summer, I left with a friend to ride our bikes to Boston. And in a grass-is-always-greener moment, left to work for a spell for Mammoth Mountain Bikes. It was sometime during 1989 that this Salsa custom came to be. I don't specifically recall working on this bike then, but I definitely remember the bike and the original owner. He was an interesting character who was quirky and a good customer of the shop.
It was a real treat when the current owner of this Salsa contacted me to have some work done to it 23 years after it had been built at the shop I worked at. The bike was built with a mostly WTB mix which we were (and still are) big fans of at PCC. The crowning touch on this frame is the Grease Guard bottom bracket. It takes a lot of faith and guts to trust someone to take a reamer and machine the perfectly good threads out of a bottom bracket shell to fit a 6003 bearing. Heck, I did this in my old Ibis SS. It's a great system. Large diameter bearings. Set as far to the outside of the bb shell as possible. This is starting to sound like some of the new bottom brackets found in modern bikes, but it was also common in the 80s. Klein was the largest proponent of the system, but others were doing it in Marin County and San Diego County as well.
The Salsa that Tyme fogot
This is an XT 7-speed rear hub. Note the modified lock-nut. We used to grind the flange off the nut so a full sized 17mm wrench could be used to adjust the hub instead of a skinny cone wrench. It worked well as a bearing adjustment aid.
The work performed was the installation of a new, shorter, Phil Wood titanium axle. The previous axle gave perfect chainline, but the new owner wanted to bias the chainline towards the larger cogs. A 7mm shorter axle still gave a good chainline, narrowed the q-factor, and still left the bike with adequate chainring/crank arm clearances. Those two holes toward the edges of the shell are where grease is injected. The bearing is grooved around its outer diameter which provides a channel for the grease which fills the inside of the bearing through two holes into the inner bearing. There is a backing piece which prevents grease from filling the inside of the bb shell and is then purged out the outer seal near the axle. These are original bearings and still in great shape. I was able to salvage them perfectly.
And there it is, all together.
(What's playing: John Stewart Little Road and A Stone To Roll)