Inspired by the content of this forum, I've embarked on a journey to rebuild (and restore) a 1991 Alpinestars Cro-Mega DX.
In the beginning (early 2011), there was an eBay purchase of a frame/fork/stem/bar:
The seller advertised it with a seized BB, so I knew in advance what I was letting myself in for. Having perused the site to learn the dark art of BB removal, I set to work using various methods, including Plusgas (which didn't work) and soaking it for days in Coca-Cola (which didn't work either but did amuse my children).
Having failed to shift the BB one iota at home, it was time to see my friends at In-Gear Cycle Sport in Uckfield. Into the workshop we went. Into the vice went the frame (and BB removal tool). Everything was securely, er, secured. Strong hands grasped the frame, and turning began. This was the result:
One sheared vice. One BB still sitting firmly/happily in the frame. And some profanity. Quite a lot of profanity actually. I left it with them, with instructions to get it out somehow. Which they did, with a lot of heat and a lot more profanity. Success (of sorts)! The act of removal revealed corrosion between the BB shell and downtube, and it looked as though my project (which I'd been happily gathering components for in the meantime) was doomed from the outset.
With a heavy heart (and a soon-to-be-lighter wallet), I asked the guys at In-Gear what my best option was. After they'd finished laughing and pointing at the scrap bin, their suggestion was "send it to Argos Racing Cycles in Bristol and see what they can do". So, that's what I did. And this is the result:
I'm rather pleased with the result (to the point where I lost the power of speech for several minutes upon opening the box last Wednesday). The BB shell and downtube were replaced, the frame stripped and resprayed (as was the stem), and a set of Gil's decals applied/lacquered. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery: which is why Mark's stunning (in my eyes) Cro-Mega SS was the guide from which I instructed Argos to work. Cheap? Hell, NO. Worth it? Probably not. The wrong decision to 'rescue'? Nope, not as far as I'm concerned!
What next? I need to finish tracking down the components: I'd REALLY like to find a NOS (or VGC) ATAC stem (silver), a NOS DX seatpost (and suitable collar), Hyperlite bars and a saddle. I'd welcome any suggestions from forum members, as a second opinion is always helpful. My wheel choice is also something I'm deliberating: part of me wants to be faithful to the period, while another part says do something neo-retro involving black Mavic rims mated to the NOS DX hubs already in my possession. Decisions, decisions.
Thanks for looking/reading. If all goes to plan - which it won't, but I live in hope - I'll provide another update in a week or so (once I've investigated vapour blasting the various non-NOS pieces I've purchased to date).
It's my first retro MTB build. It might be my last. I don't profess to be an expert (retro/evo MX bikes are my background). I'm GUARANTEED to get something wrong (so go easy on me when I do). Heck, I might not even ride it when I'm finished. But as a project, it's been interesting so far...