Our Reader’s Rig of the week comes from Tylor Reimer in Manitoba, who shares the 1993 Diamondback Topanga he stripped down and rebuilt from the ground up with a super sensible mix of modern parts. Learn more about Tylor and his basketpacking all-rounder here…

Words and photos by Tylor Reimer (@tylorreimer)

Hey all, my name is Tylor Reimer of TheCyclelist.co, and I’m an art director and photographer from just south of Winnipeg, Manitoba. I grew up riding bikes, but it’s only been within the last few years that I took it up again. For me, cycling is the perfect means to get away from the busyness of work and enjoy nature—usually capturing photos along the way.

Tylor Reimer, Diamondback Topanga

Shortly after getting back into cycling, the idea of building up a 90s MTB got firmly stuck in my head. I scoured classifieds online for months, but nothing worthwhile ever came up. I finally came across a 1993 Diamondback Topanga that looked like a viable candidate to modernize, and I picked it up.

  • Diamondback Topanga
  • Diamondback Topanga

After giving the bike a proper inspection, I realized it was in worse shape than I originally thought, and I ended up leaving it untouched in my garage for a couple of months before starting to work on it. Most of the strip-down process went smoothly, but the project stalled when I got to the bottom bracket. It was very rusted after years of sitting untouched, and I couldn’t break it loose. I tried all the online tips I could find, but nothing seemed to work. The thing that finally got it moving was bolting the BB tool on, using a large wrench, and tapping the wrench with a sledgehammer. Once free, it was time to build the bike back up again with a mix of period-correct and modern components.

  • Diamondback Topanga
  • Diamondback Topanga
  • Diamondback Topanga

Velo Orange was the perfect place to source a large number of components with their large catalog of parts designed for older standards. Igor is also a wealth of information, and with this being my first from-the-ground-up build, I asked my fair share of questions.

  • Diamondback Topanga
  • Diamondback Topanga
  • Frame/Fork 1993 Diamondback Topanga
  • Rims Velo Orange Voyager 26” 32h
  • Hubs Shimano Deore XT
  • Tires Panaracer Smoke and Dart
  • Handlebars Velo Orange Klunker Bars
  • Headset Velo Orange Grand Cru 1″ Threaded
  • Crankset Shimano Exage 300LX with Wolf Tooth 110 BCD 42T chainring
  • Pedals Wellgo MG-1
  • Cassette microSHIFT 11-42T 9-Speed
  • Derailleur microSHIFT ADVENT Medium Cage
  • Brakes Velo Orange Grand Cru Zeste Cantilever w/ Koop Stop USA Eagle 2 pads
  • Brake levers Velo Orange Grand Cru
  • Shifter(s) microSHIFT ADVENT Thumb Shifter 1×9
  • Saddle WTB Volt
  • Seatpost Dajia Cycleworks 1b
  • Stem Velo Orange Quill Stem w/ Removable Faceplate
  • Front bags Rockgeist Meanwhile Wald Basket Bag (not pictured)
  • Accessory bags Oveja Negra Chuckbucket
  • Rack Velo Orange Randonneur Front Rack – Canti
  • Light Light & Motion VIS Pro 1000 Blacktop
  • Other accessories T.R.N.K Component Light Mount, Wald 137 Basket

For the drivetrain, I opted for the microShift ADVENT 9-speed with a thumb shifter—the perfect neo-retro combo of friction shifting and clutched derailleur. I paired it with one of my favourite chainrings, a Wolf Tooth 42T, and the bike’s original Shimano Exage 300LX crank arms.

  • Diamondback Topanga
  • Diamondback Topanga

In true dad bike fashion (#26isdad), I put a rack and basket on the front, ready to throw my basket bag of choice on—either the Outer Shell 137 Basket Bag, Atwater Atelier Rambler Tote, or Rockgeist Meanwhile Basket Bag depending on the application—and an Oveja Negra WACK PACK Chuckbucket for quick beverage access with a little 90s flare.

You can find Tylor on Instagram @tylorreimer and check out the Cyclelist at TheCycleList.co.

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