Progress has been slow with the ‘Wildthing‘ frame and forks. I’m still waiting on decals from Gil, he’s been a very busy man, but promises to get the ‘92 alpinestars decals on file just as soon as he has time. I’m would ideally have liked to use this bike in the Whinlatter Challenge later this month, but doubt it will be ready.
However in the meantime I’ve entertained myself by renovating some of the groupset and controls.
As mentioned previously in the build I got the stem powder coated for just a few quid extra whilst getting the frame and forks done.
Freshly powder coated stem in gloss black.
The stem is a cro-moly alpinestars designed one from 1992. The alpinestars stems in 1991 were aluminium, sadly these suffered badly from cracking to the extent of causing a factory recall. So for 1992 alpinestars addressed the weakness with an oversize bar and stem system with the stem reverting the stronger steel construction. By 1992 alpinestars were fully committed to oversize components and as such all their head tubes were beefed up to 1 ¼”. They continued the oversize theme with oversize bars, creating their own ‘Mega-Lite’ 28.0mm diameter aluminium bars. Sadly making the alpinestars stem compatible with only these bars.
I’ve upgraded my stem by using titanium bolts for both the quill and the bar clamp. These aren’t positioned for lightness or extra kudos, but purely for rust prevention as these are bolts notorious for collecting water. This build will never be a lightweight, but it should hopefully be low maintenance.
Titanium bar clamp bolt.
Titanium quill bolt.
Seat Post Collar
Again I’m using original alpinestars parts. The seat post collar and rear cantilever cable hanger have both been powder coated in gloss black. I’m running with this gloss black theme, which might sound boring but should compliment/counter the striking colours of the frame. I’ve bolted them together with a Brand X seat bolt, which is excellent quality and value for money.
Seat Collar and Canti Hanger bolted together with a Brand X seat bolt.
The front mech I believe to be pretty rare. I picked it up from boy’o’boy who had it on a alpinestars frame he bought. I’d never seen one of the endless band type in ‘93 LX before and this gave me the inspiration for this bikes groupset. BiTD I spent a small fortune on ‘93 LX upgrading my cro-mega LX, the groupset had been derived from the successful M900 XTR of the previous years and was a real leap forward. Even now it feels good with a positive shift.
My front mech had a few chips and a bit of rust here and there. The rust has been treated and the chips touched up with some gloss black paint. After a quick polish its looking good. It also features a titanium M6 countersunk bolt, this enables the mech to be tightened down with more torque. The retainer is a custom made piece made by RB’s very own Mikee, its one of his lightweight versions and looks very factory.
Tricked out front mech, thanks to Mikee.
The rear mech follows on the ‘93 black LX theme. This has just had a good service and a touch up with gloss black paint. It’s the M-560 version which is the 7 speed variant, the M-563 8 speed version is identical in looks and can easily be mistaken.
Great looks and performance make ‘93 LX a great bargain.
The bad thing about having black cranks is that they get scratched and chipped which soon makes them look scruffy. The good thing is they can be repainted with gloss black paint. I searched for a while for a set of cranks with good logo’s and eventually a pair turned up. I then masked the logo’s and the rubbed the cranks down, 3 coats of gloss black later and some lacquer and they look like new.
Repainted cranks freshens up the chainset.
The chainset has been built up with used Shimano rings, Brand X black chainring bolts and Middleburn black self extracting crank bolts. I really pleased with it.
I did think about using Magura Racelines on this in fluorescent yellow, but I’ve used those on an alpinestars e-stay before and didn’t really enjoy the experience. I found the rear end would lock to easily under braking making the bike even more twitchy on the descents.
I decided in the end I’d stick with the black LX theme and went with the M900 inspired M-560 cantilevers. I’m told that these are an evolution on the XTR stuff as the cable clamps are above the lever body, thus creating more leverage and hence power.
An M900 XTR evolution.
I once read a bike should have matching stem and seat post, not sure if I completely agree but like I say I’m going with this black theme and it continues with the post. The seat tube is a bizarre 30.0mm (alpinestars cro-mega's usually run 29.4mm) and so I’ve taken the easy option and gone for a black aluminium USE 25.0mm post with 30.0mm shim. All the clamp parts will be greased on assembly to prevent them creaking, a problem I’ve experienced many times on the ti version. The shim will be kept free of grease though, as they have a tendency to slip if greased.
USE seat posts, great problem solvers.
Thought long and hard about what saddle to go with on this build. I thought Turbo, Turbo-Matic, Avocet, Avocet 02 and Flite. In the end a trip to the cycle jumble at the Manchester Velodrome produced the answer, a 1995 Selle Italia Flite titanium with fluorescent yellow corners. It looks great, especially with the rarer ripple cover and all for just £15.
Flite was probably the only choice for a USE post.
Still a few bits to do, but really waiting on those decals.