The bike sits right in the overlap between the tail end of the BMX era and the early rise of the MTB era, and there are some odd design and specfication details to these old Couriers that puts a foot in both camps. Many of the component brands and styles will be very familiar to those BMXers from the late 70s. The feel of the bike is more'klunker' or cruiser than the head down stretched out MTBs from the early 90s on.
There are not many of these left around, and likely none in this condition. My old man had one of these from new, which I also have, so have always had a sentimental attachment to these. This bike was a project that started a few years ago, to build the best possible Courier I could, using all 1987 period correct Japanese made parts, but excluding anything made by Shimano. Where key upgrades could be made they were, as long as they fitted the other criteria. This bike is the completed project.It is a true collectors item, and has a large number of very rare or highly collectable parts fitted. It is also functionally perfect, it rides as well if not better than the day it was new, as a result of the upgrades and the degree of care taken in the build.
I make no appologies for the amount of text here, it is necessary to detail all the work that has gone into it. The spec is as follows Frame - 1987 Muddy Fox Courier 21 (the middle of the 3 sizes offered). This is made from Tange MTB cromo tubing, and is of a lugged construction.The tops of the seat stays are pantographed with the MF paw print. Paint and decals are all original. Fork - 1987 Muddy Fox Courier - original to frame. Headset - Upgraded 1987 Suntour Sprint 9000 HS-SA00 JIS 1, NOS, less than 20 miles use since fitting. Handlebar / Stem - Upgraded genuine Nitto Bullmoose from around 1987. It is an early one as it has the integrated cable hanger. Grips - Original 1987 foam grips, near perfect condition. Seatpost - Upgraded 1986 Suntour XC SP-2000 micro adjust in the correct size for the frame.
Saddle - Original 1987 Muddy Fox leather saddle in fabulous condition. No rust to rails, leather virtually unmarked. No tears or cuts, probably the only one in this condition anywhere.Crankset - Original Sugino VP130 triple with matching original 28/38/48t Sugino rings. All bolts and axle caps original Sugino branded. Very little wear or marks to any of these parts. Pedals - Upgraded Suntour XC II (XC2) mk1 bear traps, both 9/16 threaded and in exceptionally good condition.
These are highly sought after and are very rare, especially in this condition. Both pedals are matching mk1 XC IIs, both with orignal dust caps and all original Suntour branded cage screws.
Both axles have good condition chrome finish still, and both bearings are smooth and spin beautifully. Both cages are undented and all teeth are present, none are bent.Bottom Bracket - Original Muddy Fox branded loose ball bb. All seals intact and present. Rebuilt with new G10 bearings and Dura Ace premiun grease. Smoother than most modern road BBs. Rear Mech - Replcement NOS Suntour Alpha 5000 GX, never riden since installation. Front Mech - Replacement NOS Suntour Alpha 5000, never ridden since installation. Shifters - Upgraded NOS Suntour Acushift SL-XS00-CH thumb shifters. Less than 20 miles use. Freewheel - Original Suntour Winner Pro 13-30 6 speed. Overhalled with new G10 bearings and Dura Ace premium grease.
No measurable or visible wear. Very rare component in this wide ratio configuration and this condition. Also fited is the original Suntour spoke protector'pie plate' in amazing condition, with no damage or yellowing.
Chain - Original Izumi 1/8 chain! Very slight signs of age, but no measurable wear. Cables - All original Suntour Index branded outers in excellent condition (Very Rare).All new stainless steel inners. Brake Levers - Original Dia Compe moto levers. Brakes - Orignal Dia Compe 983 cantilevers, fitted with NOS Shimano! NOS Dia Compe straddle hangers fitted. Original rust free straddle wires. Front Hub - Original Sansin (sunshine) Muddy Fox branded large flange 36 spoke. New G10 bearings and DA premium grease. Rear Hub - Original Sansin (sunshine) Muddy Fox branded large flange screw on 36 spoke 126mm. Rims - 2 x Original Araya 7x 36h dimpled. Polished and good quality reproduction decals applied (the gold bits are gold foil and reflective, not yellow). Velox rim tape fitted to both. Spokes & Nipples - New DT Competition 2mm stainless spokes and new Sapim BAT brass nipples. Tires - New Compass Rat Trap Pass 26" x 2.3". These are not period correct admitedly, but being large volume amber walls I think they suit it perfectly. These are premium japanese made tires (made by Panaracer) and both have less than 50 miles use. I do also have the original Panaracer Ibex amberwalls that are in very good condition for the age.
These can be included by negotiation. Rack - Aftermarket Nitto M12. This is obviously a departure from stock but I liked the look of it. Misc - There are a few other miscelanious parts fitted, including the front wheel retainers (as fork has no lawyer lips), all are original and present.
Geometry wise, it is a 21 frame. The top tube is 22" c-c, the seat tube is 21" c-c. There is very little (if any) bottom bracket drop therefore the stand over is quite large for a medium frame. The top of the top tube is 84cm from the ground.
Im 5' 9 and just have enough clearance to straddle it comfortably. This doesnt affect riding it, but it is worth noting.
It looks like a gate but rides far smaller than it looks. The reach from saddle nose tip to the centre of the bar (as pictured) is 53.5cm. Some people say the smallest 19 frame is the best, however while it has far better top tube clearance, it is unusably short for all but the shortest of people.Condition wise, I would first say please look at the photos. All were taken specifically for the listing, and accurately show the condition. Im the 2nd owner of this, and have always stored it indoors. Im sure the previous owner did also for the first 30-odd years. There are a few small imperfections, but remember it is 34 years old.
The paint and decals are all original, it is a preserved original rather than a restored orignal. The photos dont do the paint justice, it is a very rich pearlescent white that really sparkles in the sun.
That and the amount of chrome and polished alloy on this bike make it seriously sparkle in the right light. Functionally it is perfect, and very usable actually.All bearings are perfect, smooth and play free. The wheels both run totally true, the gears index well but are clunky by modern standards (to be expected). The brakes work as well as they ever will, which is adequate, but not amazing. They are very positive and smooth, if lacking a bit of bite. The bike needs and wants for nothing, and can be used immediately if needed, or hung up and admired.
It is very smooth and quiet to ride, other than its weight it hides its age very well. It has been a real talking point for visitors in recent years, and it always attracts attention when out and about in the summer. This bike will not apeal to all, but for the collector or enthusiast who understands the rarity and condition of it, it is likely the only opportunity to find a Courier like this. The price is reflective of its rarity, condition and build. Im in no need or rush to sell so no silly offers please.
They will be deleted with no response. I will not break it for parts either. It either sells complete or I'll just keep it. Collection is welcome, from BA15.
I may be able to deliver within a 25 mile radius for a small charge, please send me a message to discuss. If you opt for the courier I will carefully package the bike. Some reassembly will be required, bars, wheels etc.Please also see my other items. The item "1987 Muddy Fox Courier retro bike vintage RARE MTB Nitto Bullmoose Suntour XCII" is in sale since Tuesday, April 20, 2021. This item is in the category "Sporting Goods\Cycling\Bikes". The seller is "billyausten" and is located in Bradford-on-Avon. This item can be shipped to United Kingdom.