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PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 3:10 pm 
Dirt Disciple
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Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2009 11:14 pm
Posts: 33
Location: Gloucestershire
I'd like some advice please!

In the past couple of months I've picked up 2 unwanted Lava Domes from 1991 and 1992.

The first is 18" purple, frame is a little bit rust/oil/grease stained and scratched but without any issues for riding, forks are P2 spinners with older P2 decals, but are pitted so currently got the wire wool on them. Rear wheel is a cheap 6 spd replacement so that's going to the dump/local bike project. Front wheel is original RX7 on 500LX hub with QR skewer with unperished and supple Maximum tyre. Impact headset - bottom seal is perished, but headset still serviceable. Groupset is original 500LX in good nick inc cantis, apart from the horrid integrated brake and shifter levers one of which is broken beyond repair, original velocity stem and 165 bars, needs new seatpost, saddle, bottle cage allen bolts, cables etc. It's a 1991 - the seat clamp is old school brazed on for QR bolt.

The second is 20" purple - 1992 as there's a modern style QR clamp, paintwork is much better - doesn't need respray/coat. Forks have the vertical writing decals and are in good nick too. This will go for sale on here or ebay I think as its a little too big for me to ride. This has Deore LX chainset, Deore DX front mech, MC 10 Alivio rear mech, Deore thumbies, Rear reaction tyre unperished and rideable, both RX7 on 500LX hubs, Velocity stem, a bar which might be the original, SLR brake levers and the U bracket on the rear cantilevers - the cantilevers themselves are silver in colour, def shimano, but I'll have to get them off the frame to check the model number.


I want to respray/coat then build up the 18" with modern drivetrain/road tyres etc. as a pootle around bike that I can pop a baby seat on and paniers etc. from time to time so I'll be breaking up both bikes to fund the build. I'm not going for an expensive Argos respray/coat - local finishers for £40 will do me fine so colours? so I'm thinking a close match to original purple with black forks, bars and stem or white frame with black or all black might be nice - any other examples worth checking out here?

I've not been on retrobike for a while so a few questions:

Are these components and frames in demand here still?

Or seeing as I'm not after a factory spec bike to ride myself I could still put one bike together as close as I can to factory spec for fun and eventually for sale if it's likely to generate more interest than the parts individually + more fun. Anyway how best to do it? What saddle should I hunt for if I can't get an Avocet original?

Pictures to come a bit later when I've decided what to do.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 3:43 pm 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 1:55 pm
Posts: 8222
Location: New Forest, UK
The answer is that all this stuff is still valued one here. Don't chuck anything away as somebody might want to do a catalogue build. Breaking a bike for bits always brings in more cash.

In general less is more - you can spend a fortune in bits for little extra function. I'd switch to a set of plain brake levers and thumbshifters as they work well and last.

The older Konas are slightly less desirable (in my opinion) than say 1994-98 as they won't take suspension forks so happily. Opinion is divided on hot-rod paint schemed or nerdy faithfulness to original paint - up to you. Suffice it to say that unless the paintwork is truly dire, it's amazing what a bit of touch-up paint and a good polish can do.

On saddles, fit what is comfortable!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 3:51 pm 
Dirt Disciple
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Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2009 11:14 pm
Posts: 33
Location: Gloucestershire
Thanks hamster, great reply.

I like the P2 rigid forks, kind of nostalgic about the feel of riding those - takes me back to when I was 15. I guess I'll break the bikes up then and see what happens in the market place, but might have fun putting an as close to factory spec together and taking some photos beforehand.

I'm looking forward to having one to ride as well as it'll replace the 17" Orange Clockwork 10th anniversary (Orange and Pearly white) that I love, but has always felt a little small and too low and crouched posture for me, although your comment about suspension forks made me wonder if its worth finding a suitable sus fork to try with it before I put that up for sale as well.

I need to update my signature now, just noticed the Kula Primo on there....


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 3:57 pm 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 1:55 pm
Posts: 8222
Location: New Forest, UK
Konas with P2s handle brilliantly - my favourite bike is a 1994 Cindercone rigid singlespeed. I've also got a lightly hot-rodded 1994 Lava Dome.

You can make an awesome machine for way less than a halfway decent new bike.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 4:08 pm 
Dirt Disciple
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Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2009 11:14 pm
Posts: 33
Location: Gloucestershire
oh, single speed - now there's an idea..... ;0)

do you use a tensioner or is it possible to get the chain the right tension without one? - I wouldn't want fixie, just single speed freewheel convertor.

Right so looking forward to getting some time to tinker now....


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 4:44 pm 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 1:55 pm
Posts: 8222
Location: New Forest, UK
You'll need a tensioner. Yes, you can get some magic gear, then the thing goes slack again as the chain wears...too much hassle for me! The sprung tensioners tend to drop the chain more than bolt-in-place ones if you hop the bike a lot...which you'll do as it's so light!

I'm down to 20.5lbs for mine without amazingly exotic bits...


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 4:47 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 2:09 am
Posts: 799
Location: Runcorn
Aren't Konas from this period painted in Imron? It's the stuff used for helicopter gunships and buses. Rarely used on bikes now because you need to wear a spacesuit to spray it, but about the toughest paint ever.

You don't need a tensioner to try single speed: google "ghetto singlespeed" - you use the rear derailer as a tensioner and keep the rear gear cluster on.


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