Another cro mega! My Alpinestars Cro Mega DX (1991).
This came up when I was doing one of my weekly searches on Ebay for local pick up only in a 30 mile radius. I seem to be too far away even when I limit the search to 50 mile radius for anything resembling anything retro or half decent, or those that I do like seem to have postage and therefore go for a fee beyond my budget. Fair enough and all that, but I do like a bargain.
Anyway, back on track and this was in my watched items on a 10 day listing and I thought I’d stick a 99p bid in whilst I remembered as it ended on a Sunday evening. At the time I was unable to get internet access at home so I phoned my brother (superstu) and got him to check if I was winning. With ten minutes or so of the auction at 8pm he said I was still winning but that I should up my bid, so I did, but I ended up getting it for 99p anyway. Then, looking at the sellers other items I also snaffled a pair of no name wheels which are actually quite good enough for any hack project I have later after this is finished and got those for 99p as well.
Getting down into the the middle of the sticks I was curious having not seen an estay in the flesh (I was into bikes more from 1995 onwards when they had all but died out, and I was delighted when I saw it. If you look at the pictures below you can see what a cool bike it is, it even has some great Mint Sauce stickers from back in the day.
My 99 pennies got me quite a lot, the dx cantis were all there, the stem and bars are original alpinestars and the cromo blade forks are there and in good shape. The headset was completely dry and therefore knackered. The only problem was that the seller listed that the seat post was stuck.
Bad scratches/lack of paint!
The strip down
First of all I got the frame back, and this being the first time I have ever done anything other than tweak a v brake or change a stem, I was a bit apprehensive. Like a kid with all the gear and no idea it took me a while to work out what my tools were meant to be doing to get bits off. The stem and bar are in good nick except they are quite scratched but they came off easily. The dx shifter combos are looking good but for some reason the right hand gear shifter was replaced with a deore thumb shifter. Being a bit anal about matching things, I have since sold it on here after someone placed a wanted add.
The cranks are pretty nice dx ones and will come up nicely. Now, having never taken off any cranks I wasn’t too sure what I was doing and now have to admit to spending a whole evening scratching my head and looking on the internet. I then (to my shame) asked for help on here before someone pointed out that you need to take the crank bolts off first. This was in my top 4 moments where I wished the floor would open up and I could be swallowed into the ground. Luckily the internet doesn’t show my face so I can pretend to be someone else if I ever meet any of you at the next SW meet! After being told the seat post was stuck I was thinking the bottom bracket was going to be a pain but a little bit of a tug and the unit plonked straight out without much hassle. This was very relieving and the threads are good as I stated earlier.
Having read a few threads on here I thought that the seat post wouldn’t be too bad. I soaked it. I tried the seat-twisting tricks. I read Sheldon Brown’s 15 top tips. And not a milimeter did it move. In the end I got my Dad to take it to an industrial metal works company he knows well and they had three men twisting the frame with a four tonne industrial press clamoing the seat post. They were amazed how bonded it had become and were surprised it took such force but after half an hour the seat post budged as shown in the photo and my frame was then stripped. I have since taken out the headset cups since the photos:
I know my photos are rubbish but this is how small my seatpost was to cause me so much trouble:
Thanks to the people who responded to my thread about cleaning out the seat-tube, I have used a piece of dowell wood and cut an X into the bottom, then put a strip of wet and dry along it and spun the wood around, it seems to have done the trick although I will check it before I stick the new seat post in fully. There was a bit of residue from the stuck seat post. I will also chuck some frame saver down it soon as well just as an extra precaution.
This is what it looked like pre-hand reaming:
As mentioned, the frame is in good nick structurally. It has some spotting of rust but the threads are all good. I was dead set on getting it resprayed but when my local bike shop (the brilliant Soanes Cycles in Colyton) said it would be a shame to get it re-sprayed I did waiver a bit. However, I think I will stick with it, the frame needs touching up and I want to invest time in getting the rebuild right. I will be using this as my main bike (I have a modern Kona too) but I don’t want to get it rebuilt and then wish I had the frame looking mint to match and then strip it all down again. Any suggestions on colour etc? I was thinking plain white, gil_m is getting me some decals sorted and this includes the neon colour bit when the white and grey meet.
I haven’t used cantis for years, but I do love them. I have the dx ones that came with the frame and see no reason to change them. I think the pads will even be ok to start with but I’ll get some new ones as soon as I feel they are needed. I am undecided to keep the shifter/lever combo as the right shifter is missing off the combi unit so may use a NOS stx-rc unit that I have hanging around. It may not be period correct but it is pretty. And it should be functionally very dependable.
The dx chainset is excellent. They look great in the flesh. I am going to polish these up if I can, sinett177 has however set a benchmark that very few of us can match on polishing things. Started off by WD Pro as well. I need to practice first else not draw attention to the fact that I have tried to polish them!
In a moment of madness I purchased a 1 ¼ orange stalk stem from here but not sure I want to build a bike around a £10 stem! Otherwise, I have all the bits to build it then I will make it into the machine I want as and when the whims I have take hold. Lukily for me I have already found a NOS zoom seat post (which isn’t a great brand but it is new and shiny and is functional enough for now) and a XT ehadset that cost quite a lot but is NOS from eBay. All I need to rebuild it now is some cables and a new bottom bracket.
It’s going to be powder coated this Friday. Not sure they can do two tone colours and wanting to keep it cheap as possible I am going to have to choose a solid colour. Not sure how well the white decals will go onto the white frame but I am not too keen to go wacky with the colour. We will see. I will post photos once it returns!
Any comments/suggestions GREATLY appreciated. Sorry for my rantings - I‘ve been on here 6 months and this is my first build. Plus it seems as if Saracens have had there month of fame and its now dyna techs and cro megas as flavour of the months o I want to jump in on the feel good vibes!
Some photos (sorry about the quality):
The frame came with some nice XT spds as well, which was an added bonus, and the saddle has turned out to be a brooks which looks awesome. Happy find!