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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:25 pm 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2011 3:35 pm
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Location: Derby, UK
Hi folks a long time lurker and enjoy reading all the restoration threads and now possibly have one of my own. :D

First a bit of history about my bike;
I purchased this Gary Fisher Montare back in 1996 to go off road with my friends. It took a fair bit of hammer as we were younger back then (and therefore felt invincible) so did a lot of crazy things. We stopped mountain biking around 1998 and this bike just sat in my parent’s garage for a few years until my mate wanted a bike for commuting so I gave him this. I then pretty much forgot about it until the other month we were in the pub and he said he was thinking of taking up biking again but wanted a Hybrid and if he brought a new bike did I want my old GF back? I was totally surprised that he still had it. He said it had been sitting in his shed for the past few years and only used now and again as the shocks were gone.

I have managed to repair the shocks Q21R by using some Kronos springs. I took it out for the first time over the weekend and it was like getting back with an old girlfriend, very familiar and very nostalgic – it was great. It is however looking a bit ragged around the edges and this is what I want to resolve if possible, as i think it deserves a bit of TLC :D

Apart from the tyres and brake blocks everything is as it was when I first brought it 15 years ago (nothing else at all has been changed) and if possible I would like to keep it that way, also everything still works, I couldn’t believe it – even the gears change smoothly!!

Please have a look at the pictures and the main questions I have are as follows;
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From the pictures you can see that the blasted aluminium frame has got some corrosion or pits in it, I don’t know if this is the lacquer or the frame itself, how would i go about removing this?

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Could i do this myself or is it is professional frame restorer job?

If i have to have the frame restored where would i get the decals from?
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Also what is wrong with the diacompe break lever? Is this also corrosion or lacquer? Again how would I remove this?
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I will no doubt have other questions but these are the most immediate ones at the moment, Thanks


Last edited by Inzaman on Thu May 03, 2012 10:31 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:46 pm 
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Location: North East
It looks like oxidisation on both.
On the frame it's under the laquer causing the blisters and on the levers it's broken the through the finish.
If the frame has a blasted bare finish then a professional blaster should have a suitable medium that will remove the laquer and the oxidisation together leaving you to get it refinished.
The brake levers could be rubbed down with fine emery cloth to bare metal and re coated.
Check which decals are available as you'll lose them in the process.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 1:10 pm 
Windmilling for a Scotch Egg
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Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:27 am
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Location: Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
As above - the corrosion on the frame is only on the surface. Stripping the lacquer with Nitromors means you can get to it to remove it. This is easy with a polished frame but may be more difficult with your frame as it looks like a rough finish. A bead blasting may be best, and would certainly be quicker.

Remember to take detailed photos of ALL the decals. Gil_m on here can do repro ones - some he has on file but if he hasn't he can design new ones for you but he needs very good photos of the originals to work on. Obviously with the work involved it will cost a few quid so see if you can get some already printed first (try ebay?).

With the brake lever, you can strip the paint and polish the lever up or repaint it. It's very satisfying to do this yourself but you need patience to do a decent job. Just depends on how good you want the finished item to look really. It might be easier and quicker to get some new ones (should be able to find some very good condition ones given a little time and money) but then you'll always know they aren't the originals that you bought in '96. Up to you really!!

Good luck in restoring the bike - it will be worth it. Come on here and give us progress reports and ask any questions you need to. It's amazing the wealth of knowledge on here so don't be afraid to ask. It's nice to see you want to relive those memories!


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:07 am 
retrobike rider
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Thanks guys much appreciated. Gil-m is away until mid Nov which is fine. I will see if i can get the decals and then look into getting the frame done by a pro. I think i am good to do the other itesm then.

I will have a go at the brake levers as i want to keep all the original parts on it if possible. Once i get going with it i will post some progress pictures.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:44 am 
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Location: North East
Sounds like a plan, make sure your blaster is used to doing bike frames as most do heavier stuff using a grit or heavy sand that will reduce your frame to dust!.
Some powder coaters do light blasting as well and that may be your best bet.
Looking forward to some updates.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:52 am 
Retro Guru
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Pulls chair up ... :o


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:55 am 
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Find out what blast media they are using. Needs to be glass bead tops anything more will be far to abrasive. If you want to be really careful try searching for a soda blaster near you. That stuffs amazing can take the paint off a coke can with no damage or warping.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 11:04 am 
Devout Dirtbag
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Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:46 pm
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Location: Nottingham
If you need a good local firm to strip your frame (cheaper than doing it yourself!) I can recommend ProStrip in Nottingham:

http://prostrip.co.uk/content/view/14/28/

They stripped my aluminium Gary Fisher frame for £30, and did a fantastic job; all I needed to do (as I was going for a 'bare' alu style) was polish with Autosol and then clear lacquer.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 3:59 pm 
retrobike rider
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chriscl wrote:
If you need a good local firm to strip your frame (cheaper than doing it yourself!) I can recommend ProStrip in Nottingham:

http://prostrip.co.uk/content/view/14/28/

They stripped my aluminium Gary Fisher frame for £30, and did a fantastic job; all I needed to do (as I was going for a 'bare' alu style) was polish with Autosol and then clear lacquer.


Thanks for the link, that could be a big help. Going to see a local frame builder tomorrow (if i get chance as i will be on my road bike for a bit as it is supposed to be sunny) but if no joy from them i will try prostrip.

I would then need to add the decals and get it lacquered. Once the frame is done i can then focus on the other parts. Did you apply the lacquer yourself? Also did you add any decals?


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 3:26 pm 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2011 3:35 pm
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Location: Derby, UK
I have spent the past month or so reading, researching, and generally working out the best approach. This site has been amazing for that, there are many knowledgeable members and a wealth of information once you hit the search button.

So far i have purchased a new set of brake levers - Dia Compe 7, the same that is currently on the bike. They are NOS and look very good.
I also have a new seat post as the old one is pretty scratched up. I will keep the old one for the winter months though so i can attach the lights and rear guard.

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I also have a set of Judy SL in yellow coming next week and a XT front mech as my current one is loose and corroded. I am trying to keep it as close to original as possible but adding slight upgrades where possible, obviously keeping to the period of the bike - circa 1996. I always wanted a set of Judy SL back in the day but could never really afford or justify them 15 years ago.

I have contacted Gil_M who is working on a new set of decals for me.

I have also contacted a local bike shop who will spray the frame the current colour and style - or close enough as i might go for a slightly different finish - more smooth as opposed to the blasted look, but the same colour.

I managed to track down an original catalogue so have a picture of what it should look very similar to once done.

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I was planning on getting it all done over winter but i have just started going out with the East Midlands group so will just put the Judys on and then get the frame and decals applied March/April time once the nicer weather starts to come in. That is it for now - i will post more updates soon.


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