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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 4:02 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 3:34 pm
Posts: 250
Location: Stockport, UK
I initially thought I'd been ripped off when I bought this bike off of ebay. The seller had advertised it as a 1997 Rockhopper, with some scratches, but otherwise okay. The seller had also advertised it as aluminium, but I could tell from the tubes that it was a cromo. The photo was small, but it looked okay, so I bid, and bought it for 45 squids!

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The rain hides the scratches quite well!

On collection, I felt that the buyer had understated the condition of the bike, somewhat... The scratches were numerous, and there were an above average amount of bare metal patches caused by repeated scuffing. Bike carrier damage, I reckon. There was also a dent on both sides of the down tube, as if someone had put it in a vice. The brakes and shifters were scuffed beyond belief, and the Gripshift was vague and couldn't hold the gears in place. oh, and it was a 1998 model. :facepalm:

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Dent.

Here's the spec when I bought it. Mostly original, apart from the stem and the seat (and probably the seat post), I think:

Frame: 19" Specialized Rockhopper (Ritchey Nitanium)
Fork: Specialized Direct Drive

Headset: 1 1/8" threadless Ritchey Logic
Stem: 1 1/8" X-Tasy High Cover (105mm ext, 35mm rise)
Handlebar: Specialized aluminium

Brakes: Dia-Compe VC757
Brake Levers: Dia-Compe DP7

Shifters: Grip Shift SRT-600
Front Derailleur: Shimano Alivio
Rear Derailleur: Shimano STX-RC
Cassette: 8-speed, 11-32
Cranks: Specialized Strong Arm Expert
Chainrings: 22/32/42

Rims: DRC MT19
Hubs: Ritchey
Front Tyre: Specialized Traction Control 26x1.95
Rear Tyre: Specialized Traction Master 26x1.95

Saddle: Plastic awfulness
Seatpost: Aluminium

At first, I thought I might just resell it, and hope I get roughly what I paid for it, but then I found people saying that the Nitanium frames were pretty good. I was still a bit dubious.. I didn't really feel like putting money into such a ratty frame, and the dents made me feel that a respray/powder coat would be too much of an expense.

Then I found this thread: http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewto ... p;t=192838

I'd considered stickerbombing the bike, but didn't have enough (any) stickers, and thought it would look a bit tacky anyway (it's better suited to BMXs, I reckon), but the rat look.. I never realised it could look so effective! Plus, I already have some Nitromors, I have wire wool, I have arms, and I have a lot of rain.. :P

Project "Rusthopper" is go!!

First on the to-do list is to replace the saddle, stem, and shifters, which I'll probably source from my previous bike. Then over the next week, I'll start using the Nitromors during my lunchbreaks at work. Can't really do it at home, as it's too stinky to do indoors, and too rainy to do outdoors. oh, and there's the small matter of a curious 2 year old boy. Last time I did stuff to a bike while he watched, he took to trying to 'fix' my bike whenever he saw it. Usually by banging it with toy cars. :shock:

I'll post progress pics after each break. It will no doubt end as a total mess, and I'll have to scrap it! :P

flickr set: http://www.flickr.com/photos/spatuluk/s ... 373615562/


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 4:50 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 3:34 pm
Posts: 250
Location: Stockport, UK
Soz for the delay, but I haven't had any usable lunchbreaks due to trips to the Post Office and a couple of mechanical failures - the chain snapped on the way into work, and the headset came loose on the way home, and refused to go back together. :shock:

Anyway, that's all fixed now, and I've posted useless junk far and wide, so today I was able to attack the bike.

I'm sure everyone guessed what the first dose of Nitromors would do to the frame...

Image

Naff all!

Well, okay - maybe it's stripped off some of the lacquer, but I was kind've hoping for bubbly paint goodness, like the old formula used to do. I think my shower gel might be more powerful than the new formula. :?

Plan B is sand paper, lots of elbow grease, and maybe a little Nitromors where the sandpaper can't reach. I'm feeling far more confident about this approach! :)


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 5:04 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 4:39 pm
Posts: 1455
keep at it!!!


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:05 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:26 pm
Posts: 420
Location: Bristol
I have the same bike that I've ratted to the max! I sprayed it black (mine is a red one) and then red fades here and there. I've even sprayed the tyres. It's embarrassing to ride but that's the point - who'd want to steal it?! And it's actually a good bike under all the terrible paint!


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 9:48 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 3:34 pm
Posts: 250
Location: Stockport, UK
carter711 wrote:
I have the same bike that I've ratted to the max! I sprayed it black (mine is a red one) and then red fades here and there. I've even sprayed the tyres. It's embarrassing to ride but that's the point - who'd want to steal it?! And it's actually a good bike under all the terrible paint!

That sounds pretty ratty! I'm trying not to make it look shabby, though. The idea is to make the frame rusty, but still have half-decent looking components. Probably lots of shiny stuff to juxtapose the rust.. I haven't quite figured that bit out yet.. :roll:

Anyway, time for an update!

On my way home last night, I decided to see if a DIY store I pass had any paint stripper that looked old school. They only had one of any kind: Everbuild X3 Paint & Varnish Stipper. It didn't look like it'd be much better, but I decided it was worth a go, and today I slapped it on!

Image

It sure smelled more potent than Nitromors! The instructions said to coat once, wait 30 mins, then coat it again and wait at least an hour. I waited for 2 hours, aaaaaand... it made the decals flake slightly, but otherwise: naff all! :facepalm:

Before heading home, I decided to have a quick try with some sandpaper. The coarsest I had was rated '60', whatever that means, and I gave the top tube a good old scrub with it. Within seconds, I was seeing bare metal! :D So then I gave the down tube a bit of a scrub. Then the seat tube.. Then the top tube a bit more..

Image

That's more like it! In 30 minutes, I managed to remove about 50% of the paint from the bike (all the easy bits). I'm not sure if it came off so easily because of the paint stripper. Hopefully it did help, because that means I didn't waste a lunchbreak and £5.99.. :P

Tomorrow, I have to post some more ebay stuff, but I'll try to make a bit of time to scrub off some more paint. :)


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 3:11 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 3:34 pm
Posts: 250
Location: Stockport, UK
It turned out that I didn't have to go to the Post Office after all, so this afternoon, I got the sandpaper out! :D

Unfortunately, the sandpaper had somehow gotten a bit damp, and it wasn't working anywhere near as effectively as it was yesterday. I did manage to remove a bit more paint from under the tubes, but it doesn't look a whole lot different than it did yesterday, and getting sandpaper into all the nooks and crannies is looking like it's gonna be a right pain! :|

There may be a plan C, however.. last weekend, I went into my local DIY store, which is about 100 yards from my house. They had several brands of paint stripper, and I swear one of them contained methylene chloride (along with a skull and crossbone!). I was looking out for dichloromethane on the labels, which is what Nitromors used to contain, but I've since found out that methylene chloride is the same thing!

So, if it does indeed contain methylene chloride, then I'm gonna let some chemicals continue my work while I do family stuff. Hopefully the shed won't explode... :P

Anyway, I've now created a smaller anti-rat project: I'm trying to refurbish the scratched-up Dia-Compe DP7s that came with the bike. Here's the result of the little test scrub that I gave one of them:

Image

A bit more scrubbing, some metal polish and some laquer, and they might actually scub up quite well! :)


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 4:45 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 04, 2013 9:32 pm
Posts: 84
Location: Leeds, West Yorkshire
I did the same thing with the brake leavers with a scowrer and sandpaper.. worked out pretty well quickly.

Image


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 6:59 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:34 am
Posts: 1042
Location: Hook, Hants
Although this was only £400 new, the "Comp FS" had the same frame with upgrades (+Manitou forks) and was £600 so it should respond well to upgrades :wink:

Always a good idea to rough-up the paint before applying "New Improved" Nitormors.

Nice to see someone making the best of what they've got and learning new skills, rather than simply throwing money at eBay :D


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:55 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 3:34 pm
Posts: 250
Location: Stockport, UK
So, no - the paint stripper that I'd seen the weekend previously turned out to be the same as the one I already had, but branded as Supadec. The bottle and blurb were identical! :P

Yesterday, I decided to put the paint stripper on again, as I suspected it had been the reason that I made so much progress last Thursday. It turned out that I was right - it made the paint soft and much easier to sand off! It makes sense, I guess, as the bike is most likely powder coated rather than painted, so the paint stripper must unbond the coating for a bit. Once it dries, the paint seems to bond back on.

I didn't take a photo yesterday, but I did the same thing today, and here's my progress (red bits may or may not be staying):

Image
Apologies for the bad mobile photo

Nearly all gone! :D

Lessons I have learned so far are:
    Sand the area to be stripped first; just enough to break through the clearcoat (paint stripper doesn't like clearcoat!).
    Don't try to strip the whole bike in one go - concentrate on one area at a time.
    Carry a lot of baby wipes - they clean EVERYTHING.
    I should probably have just taken it to a sand blaster (time is money!), but sanding is kinda fun. :roll:

Tomorrow, I take on the stays, which are the only bits with paint left on them. :D


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 10:46 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 3:34 pm
Posts: 250
Location: Stockport, UK
lrh wrote:
Although this was only £400 new, the "Comp FS" had the same frame with upgrades (+Manitou forks) and was £600 so it should respond well to upgrades :wink:

Always a good idea to rough-up the paint before applying "New Improved" Nitormors.

Nice to see someone making the best of what they've got and learning new skills, rather than simply throwing money at eBay :D

At the moment, I'm trying not to do too many actual upgrades, other than fixing stuff that I don't like, and recycling stuff from my retired Hardrock (all the red bits - I swapped some red sided Panaracer Fire XCs this morning).

I'm waiting for some STX RC shifters (hate gripshift), I've got a black Ritchey seatpost (not putting it on while paint stripper is flying about), and I've fitted a less vertical stem. I might swap the Alivio front mech for a STC RC model (the bling of STX RC fits well with my vague plan for the bike!), but it's not essential.

So far, I think I've spent about £20 extra on the bike, including £5.99 for the paint stripper. :)


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