As I am getting closer to finish this project, I thought it would be nice to start a topic about this restoration.
It actually started almost ayear ago. As my wife is Italian, I am in Italy a lot. As I picked up cycling again, mostly some MTB and XC, I thought it would be nice to have a bike there as well. So I looked on the national auction side for something nice and not expensive. Then I came across this bike. I had no idea what it was, but I instantly liked it. This is how it was:
It was advertised as a Magura Black widow, which of course were the names of the brakes and pedals, but showed the lack of knowledge of the owner. As always, I payed way to much, considering the state and quality of most parts, including the broken Spinergy Roks wheels. I even had a moment I thought it was a homebuild bike, but the serial on the BB gave me some confidence.
I decided to rebuild it with some nice parts and at least give a repaint. When removing the 7 old layers of paint, I came across the original logo on the head:
Trying to figure out what was actually written, I finally found out it was a Rafty. We have another owner on the forum, so he knows all about it, but Rafty was cult bike in the mid '90's here in Holland, as it was one of the first aluminium MTB bikes. Only a few were made.
This made me decide to take it a bit more seriously. I researched parts from that era and made my wanted list. By now, I have almost everything together.
In the mean while, I learned that the original builder, Edward Hagen, was still making bikes, parts and skeelers, and actually runs a machine shop in almost the same town as were I live! A few weeks ago I stripped the frame almost completely:
I contacted Edward and he confirmed it was a bike from his hand, but also told me this particular one was a sort of prototype as all other Rafty's had a round front tube. Only 2 of these with the square tube were made.
He offered to fix up the frame a bit, like polishing the welds. He also resprayed it, and applied the original decals!
Last week I got the message it is ready. I am now waiting for my headset to arrive, as he has the press for it, and will press it in when I collect the frame. I hope the headset will arrive this week.
The parts list is really what I wanted, although I am a bit insecure about the colour theme, bit still pretty impressive anyway.
I will keep it a surprise for now.....
Watch this space for the next update!
PS: sorry for the long text, but I thought a bit of background would be nice.