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PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 2:40 am 
Old School Grand Master
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Location: Heathfield, East Sussex
This really should be subtitled 'The intended cheap hack that may well turn out to be anything but...!'

Let me explain (so long as I can get away with this without my other half looking over my shoulder at some point and realising what I've been doing with all my hard earned! :shock: )...

This past August we went for a short camping break - cue atmospheric night shot to support this...

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...during which I would keep track of my overdraft, sorry, e-Bay watch list, on my Blackberry - top of which was a very original (bar the fork) Cro-Mega LX. e-Bay listing screen shots follow...

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The seller was very honest re the overall condition of the bike ('pix make it look better than it is...') and the original forks were included, and of course I really wanted it - I mean REALLY wanted it, having done what many here did BITD and sold one to finance it's replacement some 18 years ago. Back then I had the plain white frame without the neon fade, but I did fit purple ano canti's and a Flite. If I remember right I built it up as an eight-speed with STIs - unfortunately I no longer have any pix :cry:

Anyway, the bidding was going somewhat higher than I had anticipated and as we were going down to the beach I put a much larger bid on than I had intended (did I mention I really, REALLY, wanted this bike?), closed down the phone before 'anyone' noticed and went off to do the obligatory holidaymaker bit for the camera - say cheese...

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When we got back to the tent I fired up the Blackberry to find that the bike pictured above was indeed now MINE - YES!

You will, of course, forgive me if I don't say exactly how much over £200 I paid for it ("Yes Dear, I know - it's just a story I'm writing to illustrate my bike here on retrobike to make it sound more interesting. You know how boring you find my bike stuff - yes, I'll put the kettle on - yes, now, not in half an hours time..." :roll: )

As luck would have it one of Royal Mails finest arrived with a rather large cardboard box for me on one of my rare days off during the week. I quickly assembled the bike out of the box and smuggled it into the gazebo out of sight of enquiring eyes before they got home from work :shock: Now, as I already had a red bike (my Explosif) and a recently acquired white bike (Team Banana Falcon) it wasn't that difficult, given the typically female disparing attitude toward my collection, for me to wheel out the Cro-Mega onto the patio and work on it within full view of the kitchen window without arousing any suspicion that the collection had grown still further!

It was my original intention to just build the bike out of the box, re-fitting the original cro-mo blade in place of the Rock Shox Jetts they were replaced with, and ride it as it was. Yeah, right... :roll: How often have you heard THAT?

The first spanner in those particular works was that, with the passage of time, I had forgotten that Alpinstars' used 1 1/4" headsets - DOH! to fit the Jetts a reducer headset had been installed so all I had left of the original headset was the bottom race on the cro-mo's steerer - well that bottoxed(sounds like...) that idea!

My saviour in this respect was that, despite her ambivalent attitude towards my interest, my other half actually wants to come out with me occasionaly so I had to build her a bike too...

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...the fact that her last bike was a Moulton 'shopper' and she'd never ridden a 'proper' bike before goes some way to explaining the somewhat 'interesting' geometry of the Rockhopper above (shown in its 'Mk1' incarnation - future 'post' to follow...), wearing my favourite P2 fork which it was about to donate to my latest project in exchange for the Jetts (and I absolutely refuse to post a pic of a blue bike with orange forks, red brakes and pink grips - rest assured it is in line for a serious makeover - as a teaser it will be wearing neon pink Halo Twinrails!! 8) )

At the same time I changed the bars because, although it was wearing its original 'fat' bar, the stem didn't fit properly- zoikes! (hmmm, closet Scooby Doo fan too...) Cue my favourite Brahma bar (yes, I have one on my red Explosif too...) robbed from my brothers bike cos he's hurt his back and wanted a riser bar - that'll do nicely - I also filched the stem (well I did build it for him myself afterall...).

Anyway, that should have been that - but wasn't... I had the bike, but now I realised I wanted something to go on it I couldn't afford BITD - Maguras - neon yellow Maguras! Now I was really on a roll...

Courtesy of a very nice Italian eBayer I spotted on the Auction Watch here I was very soon in possession of a complete set of excellent working order, if slightly tatty, HS33s - which I soon complimented with a blindingly bargain priced EvoII booster/mounting kit.

I should at this stage point out that I was yet to discover retrobike so I was completely ignorant of the outrage that would be provoked by the fitting of the seat in the photo below!! I can own up to this now because I have since replaced it with a Flite :oops: though I am resolutely sticking with the seatpost that replaced the one in the photo and you're not going to approve of either... :roll:

Things were progressing nicely but something was still bugging me? The fork just didn't look quite right? Ah, it's the wrong colour! A rattle-can paint job and a set of retrobike decals later and I was happy - that's more like it... But then I noticed the scorn regularly heaped upon the original Exage 500LX groupset - oh bugger! More expense...

Back to eBay in search of some nice retro LX componentry - work in progress photo below...

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As you can see, despite the rather naff photo quickly taken to MMS to my son, the build at this stage is very nearly finished - just the front brake to fit and it's done. Uh-huh, you think? The above is what I would term the 'Mk3' incarnation (Mk1 was out of the box, Mk2 was with standard P2 and awful seat...) - I'll take some decent pix of the 'Mk4' and post them ASAP because I've now completely changed my mind over which direction this is going to go :twisted: AAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaarghhhhhhhhhh - PHUCK!! Why did I have to buy that 1 1/4" Chris King headset? WHY?

To be continued... :oops:

So, to update;

Having decided I wanted to radically customise my recently acquired Cro-Mega I found I couldn't do without my neon-framed bike either! :oops: My initial idea was to source another frame, build two bikes and just swap components around depending which bike I wanted to ride - hmmm...

Luckily, trolling back through the 'for sale' section I spotted HC's bike and it still seemed to be available? A quick PM confirmed that yes, it was still for sale, but someone had just beaten me to it with the PM! :shock: Hells teeth! Still, I had second bite so fingers crossed...

Fast forward a couple of weeks and HC's Cro-Mega is now sitting in a box in my kitchen courtsey of my other half... :D (it wouldn't still be boxed up were it not for the fact I contracted food-poisoning last weekend, wasn't at work when UPS delivered it on Monday and haven't had time since!!) So, shortly I shall be unboxing my new steed and introducing it to its stablemate (too many metaphores?) for a couple of pix to keep the punters happy...


Last edited by We_are_Stevo on Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:33 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 11:55 am 
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
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Joined: Sun Apr 02, 2006 1:03 pm
Posts: 11796
Location: Returning
thats the spirit fella
good to see some more astars on here

looking good

revell do an enamel that is not a bad match for the flouro colours
on early alpine stars (tho it depends on how much they have faded)
great for a wee touch up job
use the flat white first tho

so get on with it then :lol:

btw
welcome to "where'd that come from ?.co.uk"


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 3:36 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 1:10 am
Posts: 4756
Location: Heathfield, East Sussex
Cheers for that, wish it were that simple - and inexpensive!

I won't actually be needing the neon colours afterall, having hit upon an idea for a scheme I think will be classy and slightly different... :idea:

I have to get my daughters bike upgraded (her Chrimbo present...) first, though it really is nearly done, then I'll get on with this one - it'll involve a total rebuild following a trip to the powder coaters in Eastbourne... :)


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 3:56 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Great bike and good write up. I'll be watching this one with interest. 8)


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 6:20 pm 
Deputy National AEC
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Location: Cumbria, England.
Great write up and great to see another alpinestars has gone to a good home. Its looks like a nice bike thats been well cared for.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 7:26 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Location: Heathfield, East Sussex
sinnett177 wrote:
Great write up and great to see another alpinestars has gone to a good home. Its looks like a nice bike thats been well cared for.


Cheers for that - I actually 'discovered' retrobike whilst looking for parts for this after I'd bought it - then spent ages in front of my PC going through your posts, particularly the black '92 XT. In fact, how did you secure your E-Type front mech? I have an LX I'm going to use on the 'Mk5' version of this but am a bit leery regarding that second bolt which is supposed to connect to a bracket on the seat tube?

Why can't I just leave things as they are and ride the damn things?? :roll:


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 7:38 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Very nice indeed.

These things have a hell of an aggressive riding angle, so it's nice to see you've made it even more agressive with that stem angle :shock: 8) 8) 8) 8)

Lovely bike... 8)


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 7:48 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 1:10 am
Posts: 4756
Location: Heathfield, East Sussex
Yes, quite - thing is I'm over 6' tall but I have a long back, short legs and long arms (makes me sound like Gollum! :oops: ) hence my liking for small framed bikes with long stems... :)


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 8:19 pm 
Deputy National AEC
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Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2008 4:43 pm
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Location: Cumbria, England.
We_are_Stevo wrote:
sinnett177 wrote:
Great write up and great to see another alpinestars has gone to a good home. Its looks like a nice bike thats been well cared for.


Cheers for that - I actually 'discovered' retrobike whilst looking for parts for this after I'd bought it - then spent ages in front of my PC going through your posts, particularly the black '92 XT. In fact, how did you secure your E-Type front mech? I have an LX I'm going to use on the 'Mk5' version of this but am a bit leery regarding that second bolt which is supposed to connect to a bracket on the seat tube?

Why can't I just leave things as they are and ride the damn things?? :roll:

You need to braze on a lug to bolt the e-type cage to the frame, you also need to put a small dent in the seat tube to fit the mech in. The black cro-mega XT was my first retrobike project, would love to do that all over again one day and get it spot on. I dismantled it a good while back but the frame was reused for my cro-mega SS which is still going strong (see link in signature).


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 10:39 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Posts: 4756
Location: Heathfield, East Sussex
Yes, you have a good close-up shot of the lug now I look again - I had to put a 'dink' in the chainstay on my Kilauea to clear the 52-tooth Ultegra chainset when I fitted it which worked rather well. I was in two minds whether or not to grind off the std mech. mount and braze on another but I'm reluctant to kind of 'burn my bridges' in that respect :?

I did find one of those 'problem-solver' bolt-on jobbies on a US website that would have been a perfect fit but forgot to bookmark it at the time - and haven't been able to find it again since... :roll:

I'll make up my mind once I've stripped it down and start offering parts up for a trial fit.


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