Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Zaskar!

I may have a problem!

This poor old thing followed me home, via eBay anyway, and now I'm the proud owner of a 1995 GT Zaskar. I always liked the Zaskars, but my first attempt at ownership ended in sadness based on the damn thing being so huge and purple. And while that sounds like the subtitle of a bad porno movie, what I really mean is that the frame was a 20", and the thing was anodized purple. Purple that would make a Mopar fan happy. Very Purple. Purple.

After my failed Purple Experiment, a guy that I really didn't like in the shop got one, and I soured on the things for the next 10 years. He was that much of a twit, what can I say!? I'm much more mature and adult now, so lets move on...(I bet he's still an ass!)

Zaskars should be silver. Specifically, they should be unpolished 'ball burnished' silver. Ball burnishing is a finish which provides for an almost mirror like shine, but one much more resistant to tarnishing that a typical polished finish. The burnishing treatment basically peens the aluminum with media, and the billions of very tiny impacts actually harden the surface of the aluminum while polishing. Bringing this one back to shine without rubbing off the burnished finish will be tough. I'll clearly need decals too.



How do I know this thing is a Zaskar, especially in an age when every jerk on eBay buys decals for expensive frames and puts them on lesser models? (and there were lesser unfinished aluminum GTs available) Pretty simple if you know where to look...

First clue...the flat 'GT' panel at the back of the top tube. Zaskars are flat, while lesser aluminum GTs like the Asian made Avalanche and Panteras were domed.

Next...Zaskars are 6061 T6 aluminum, shown here stamped on the dropout, while the lesser GTs were 7000 aluminum. The difference? Expense of manufacturing and heat treating the 6000 series frames made the 7000 that much more affordable by comparison, and amenable to manufacture overseas. I don't like overseas. The Kona Lava Dome is from Taiwan...I don't much like that either. People need to pay each other for goods and services...fairly pay. Buy at home!

This pic also shows the replaceable derailleur hanger too...a feature not available on early Zaskars.
Toothpaste welds at the bottom bracket...

Pre 1996 Zaskars have the head tube gusset under the top tube, while 1996 on have the gusset under the down tube. The later looks like a big fat hunk of poo, so pre 1996 please...


Why do I have this thing?...Why not!? Hang it up and look for replacement decals...at least that's my plan...

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

What about Jane's college fund?

Utahdog! said...

Who?

René said...

Agree on the Zaskar thing: It should be Ball Burnished.

Like erery rule, there is one exception: The 99 Zaskar Team :)
(Like I have)

Nice job btw to bring it back alive.