Back in 1996, DiamondBack came out with the V-Link series of full-suspension mountain bikes. Since the shop I worked at was a DB dealer, I ordered up a V-Link Pro. It is one of those bikes that I've wanted back ever since I sold it.
A couple of years ago, I bought another V-Link (not the Pro, but this orange model), with the thought of riding full-boinger, once again. I ended up going with the soft-tail KHS, instead, and now I've reverted back to fully rigid on the 29er.
I held on to the V-Link frame, thinking that Kyle would eventually want it. And, I was right.
I had done some work on the top tube, which destroyed the paint on about half of it, so I masked it off and sprayed a bit of gloss black on it. Kyle said he liked the orange, so I didn't paint the whole frame.
The Manitou Black fork came off of my pink bike, by way of the Trek STP that I had, last year. The wheels are Mavic Crosslands, which I had been saving to use with the frame. The SYNCROS crank was also on the pink bike, at one time.
I bought a rear disc-brake adapter for the frame (there weren't a lot of disc-ready bikes in 1996), and some Tektro brakes (rebranded as Performance's Forte' brand), in order to build it for Kyle. I like the cable-actuated discs, and I've had good service from them on both the commuter and the mtb 29er. They are pretty low-maintenence, and fairly bomb-proof; two things very important to me on a mountain bike.
The only downside to the adapter is that you have to pull the quick-release lever completely out of the axle in order to remove the rear wheel, if you have a flat. That makes it a not-so-quick-
release. Not a problem, unless you are racing and have a flat.
As a mechanic, I find that I am much more interested in parts that let me ride my bike, trouble-free, than I am the latest and greatest equipment. All of the components on this bike are tthings I have found to be durable and high-quality, down to the old Deore DX rear derailleur.
The Ergon grips are pretty pricy, but they give great support to the hands and allow you to ride farther without hand soreness or numbness. Unfortunately for me, they won't fit on the mustache bars on my bike. That makes it fortunate for Kyle, since he gets to use them, now.
I bought a new rear shock for the bike, when I first got it. It has the heavy-duty coil spring (again, simpler and more reliable than the air-charged versions, and not that much heavier). I weigh about 170, and I ride this bike with the preload that you see on the spring, in this picture, so there is plenty of adjustment available.
The SRAM 9.0 brake levers are a lot nicer than the levers which came with the brakes, so I left them on the bars. Those shifters are some of my all-time favorites, too. You can see the "indestructable" pedals I always put on the nephews' bikes. They are the Forte' Shovel BMX platforms that I use on my commuters.
Now, I just need to get it packed up and shipped to Pennsylvania.