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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:46 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:34 am
Posts: 1042
Location: Hook, Hants
An unplanned first project. As far as I can tell this is the first 20" 89 model to appear on the site, only the 3rd in original Spearmint. But unlike other owners I wasn't looking for one and didn't have one BITD.

Retiring my Claud Butler in the spring rekindled my interest in old bikes and first I stumbled upon a mint Klein I'd lusted after in 1997/98. That was a non-project unless you count touching up paint chips.

I still wanted an older rigid steel bike so I kept searching for project/parts bikes. eBay is a non-starter in my area because nothing goes cheap or under the radar. One Sunday morning I was browsing Gumtree for anything badly-advertised and something made me click a generic "Mountain Bike" advert, probably the decent side-on picture.

To my surprise I immediately spotted a Deore rear mech, crank, thumbshifters and twin U-brakes. I'd seen some of the Trekker projects on here so I knew exactly what it was. It was sprayed black with Scott stickers but it was dirt cheap and had to be good for a few parts at least.

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It looked worse in the flesh and was barely rideable so I quickly stripped it down. Surprisingly under the grime and overspray was an original and low-mileage bike with only the saddle/grips/tyres/chain changed. So change of plan, I decided to build it back up re-using all the factory parts. Also the frame looked a touch small for me so I didn't want to throw money at it only to split it or pass it on.

Paint stripper shifted the black paint leaving mostly intact powder-coat. The pics are very flattering though, the paint is peeling, scratched, and flat.

The cranks were rubbed/faded so I decided to polish them. Mr Muscle took hours to shift the black anodising but after that it was 100, 400, 600, 800 wet & dry, then T-Cut/Polish. They're far from perfect but I wasn't going for mirror finish. The tatty brake levers got a similar treatment. The seatpost got a quick sanding but it's now pretty loose... The big/ugly quick release has been swapped for a bolt to help hold it in place.

The 135mm rear axle seems a squeeze for the frame, the nominal distance between the drop outs is 130mm. Also why did they fit short cage rear mechs? Finding a chain length that lets you use all 21 gears seems impossible. I wasted a lot of time refurbing the Exage Mountain pedals to find there's no way to get the left cone/locknut tight enough without special tools. They weigh a ton as well (520g a pair) so they've been ditched.

So here's the end result with only new tyres/pedals. Saddle/grips/chain/SharkFin came off my Claud Butler and I stuck a lighter Ritchey handlebar on to avoid scratching the original... Hard to believe it's mostly the same bike above!

Only taken it for a few shakedown runs so far but first impression was it's a bit of a tank! Those high-mounted U's make it feel a bit top heavy. It fits me better than I expected but the ride is quite stiff compared to my lugged 501 'Butler, even with the same comfy saddle.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 1:14 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2007 1:26 pm
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Looks great and I do like the green, wish mine was green !

I am slightly amazed that you have removed the black ano from the cranks as this was one of Saracens cool trade marks. Are the u brakes the originals as they look like new !

With the short cage it was suposidly a lighter mech that would shift quicker, you never use all 21 gears on any bike, the key is keeping the chainring straight as possible which would mean you never hit Big-Big or small-small, all of my bikes have short cage mechs :wink: as a guide I set the chain length so that the rear mech is near vertical when in top gear , this will give you Big-Big but will always be slack when in small-small.

If you need decals let me know as I have had my 89 ones scanned and reproduced for my 88

8)


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 1:39 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:34 am
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Location: Hook, Hants
The cranks were worse than they looked above. I hate painting stuff and wanted to try polishing :wink:

They're the original Us and brake pads! They were badly sun-bleached though, as were the brake lever mounts but I did a good job of spraying them with a can of Wilko's Matt Black Enamel.

Yeah I never use the big chainring anyway but it seems a bit cheeky selling it as 21 speed when you can only use 19.

Thanks but there's no point putting decals on this paint, it's shot to bits. It's only supposed to be a shop/station bike but it's turned out too good for that :oops:


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:53 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2009 2:12 pm
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Location: Yateley, Hants.
That looks very purposeful. £60 for a shot blast and powdercoat from Aurora in Northcamp.

Carl.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 4:40 pm 
BoTM Winner / retrobike rider
BoTM Winner / retrobike rider
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Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 8:24 pm
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Location: Dorset
I know of a half decent powder coater in Portsmouth who'd do frame and forks for £20.
Can forward the details if you need them :wink:


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:35 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:34 am
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Location: Hook, Hants
Was wondering if there were any decent powder coaters in the area, even £60 sounds very reasonable :)

For now I quite like having a bike with tatty paint I don't care about too much :wink:


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:42 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2009 2:12 pm
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Location: Yateley, Hants.
I used Aurora for my Lads Kona and will be using them for my Kili flyer, they are not the cheapest but they do a good job and there are no extra costs incurred for travel or postage as they are so local.
I probably would have tried the Portsmouth place if I lived locally but once I add up the travel and time costs it's not worth it.

Carl.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:28 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:09 am
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Location: Devon
Very nice and very jealous. A cheap saracen double U brake is going to be my next project if I can find one.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:53 pm 
National & North West AEC
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Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2008 12:43 am
Posts: 8146
Location: Macclesfield Forest
Lovely job, some decals would finish it of nicely.


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