My First Mountain Bike
The first mountain bike that I purchased was a 1991 GT Team Avalanche. In 1992 I started looking for a bike after several years of not riding. At first I was unsure if a wanted a mountain bike or a road bike, but after talking to several friends I decided on a mountain bike. Several weeks of looking lead me to decide on a 1992 GT Avalanche, a Shimano DX equipped bike. However, as I was calling around to shops for prices, a shop in Herndon, VA, had a good price on the previous year's XT equipped Team Avalanche.
The Team Avalanche had many unusual features that may not have been unique to GT, but probably did not exist as a "set of features" on any other bike. The bike was marketed as having a GT 2x4 system, which included horizontal drop-outs on the front fork, and a GT flip-flop stem, which allowed the bar height to be easily varied. The flip-flop stem had a removable face plate, not common in 1991, and although it used a threaded headset, could be inverted - the quill portion of the stem has an expander wedge on either end that when tightened expands inside both the steerer tube and the almost "threadless-style" stem. Additionally, the bike uses a 1-1/8 inch steer tube (somewhat unusual in 1991), a u-brake on the rear seat-stays (actually common for GT) which used odd cable routing to maneuver around the "triple triangle" designed frame, and an internally routed brake cable.
The Team Avalanche was the second from top-of-the-line bike from GT. The fillet brazed Psyclone was the highest model frame available at the time. The Team Avalanche was the best TIG-welded bike that was offered.
Unfortunately my original GT was stolen. I bought this bike which is the exact color, size, model, and year as my first bike. I must have grown some since 1992, as it was a little small for me now, and as a result I sold it in early 2004.
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