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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:08 pm 
Deputy National AEC
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Location: Cumbria, England.
Alpinestars cro-mega EOS - My ultimate alpinestars cro-mega!

Background:

In 1992 I got my first proper mountain bike, an alpinestars cro-mega LX in dazzling alpine white. It is the one bike that has stuck in my memory ever since and was indeed the reason I found Retrobike in the first instance. Like all mountain bikers back then I upgraded and changed the bikes spec at every opportunity my piggy bank allowed, thus removing the 500LX groupset and the standard alpinestars parts. Here’s a picture of it in 1993 sporting the latest Deore LX groupset, Tioga Power-Stud bar ends, Velo Jet titanium saddle, XT thumb shifters, XT brake levers and a mixed tyre selection of Smoke/Porc. It later went on the boast SPD’s, Local Motion saddle bag and other upgrades.

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Project:

This project is going to take that thinking onto another level. I’m trying to get back into the mind of that 13 year old in 1992 and build my ultimate alpinestars cro-mega. I’m looking to build this into a stylish, period bike that bitd would have been my upgraded dream. Bling isn’t really my thing so simple retro elegance is the brief here. With my favourite era of mountain biking being ‘91 to ‘93, all the parts for this build will be sourced from this period with a few small exceptions. The bike will be a rider, as I’m not really one for garage queens. The parts will almost entirely be reconditioned with a few NOS parts where I’ve decided to ‘treat’ myself.

The bikes title is the ‘Alpinestars Cro-Mega EOS’. A strange name you might think? Why not a cro-mega XTR, or a cro-mega XC Pro, etc you might ask. Well back in 1991/92 alpinestars sold framesets separately so they could be built up into one off custom bikes to the customers specification, these were given the names of ‘ti-mega EOS’, ‘al-mega EOS’, etc at the factory and thus were decaled as such. ‘EOS’ being the abbreviation used by alpinestars to describe their ‘Elevated Oversize System’, a style of bike design that we know generically as the E-stay.

The project begins:

The spine of this project was bought this back in November from Ebay as a full bike. Ebay wasn’t working properly that night, you couldn’t search anything and Auction Watch was coming up with no results also. Luckily I was watching the bike on MyEbay, when I checked it had no bids and had just hours to go, so I made a bid of the minimum £100 and went to bed. Next morning I discovered I was the sole bidder and the bike was mine. Only one problem, the bike was in Southampton and collection only, so I used ‘the bike and parts collection thread’ to see if any willing Retrobikers were local and could possibly save me a very long round trip, fortunately Jonnyboy666 was that man and did me a fantastic favour in collecting and posting the bike. What a fantastic place Retrobike can be thanks to people like Jon who give up their spare time without a second thought to help another Retrobiker.

I only wanted the frame so sold off the remainder to finance the build and cover my initial investment. The parts on the bike were of good quality and through selling off the bits I recouped close to £200, which after costs gave me a round a £60 profit, a few parts towards the build and a free frame!

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This build was to be my big build of 2010, but it looks as though ‘Project No. 8’ was stolen its thunder. So for the time being this project is on hold. But to bring you totally up to date I’ll post up the completed frame and forks in a few moments.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:08 pm 
Deputy National AEC
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Frame

The frame is from a 1992 alpinestars cro-mega DX and would therefore have been painted in Ferrari red originally. These were the top of range cro-mega frames and got True Temper OX Ultra II double butted and heat treated cro-moly tubing. Thus, for an ultimate cro-mega, the True Temper frameset is the way forward.

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The frame arrived in a nickel plate finish and I liked the idea of keeping it like that, but some areas of the frame had surface corrosion and the finish was flaking in places with corrosion beneath. The frame also suffered from cracks around the seat post clamp area. Therefore, I thought it best to have the frame repaired, then powder coated. It is a shame to lose the nickel finish as in places it really would have looked the business when it was first done.

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Treatments and Repairs:

Before sending away to my local welders for the repair to the seat tube I gave the frame the ‘Frame Saver’ treatment. This is a sticky motorbike chain lube type substance that you spray into the tubes of a steel frame. It then treats the internals of the tubes and protects them. This frame is to be chemically dipped before powder coating, so the frame saver will be washed away and thus will not react with the powder coat. I left it in the tubes for a couple of weeks prior to sending to the powder coaters, hopefully it had ample time to work its magic. Frame saver spray is available from www.ceeway.com I’ve also sprayed it on some of the rough patches of nickel plate to show why the frame needed to be refinished.

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The cracked seat tube is shown in the picture above, I’ve managed the get it repaired down at my local welders. Only cost a couple of quid and I think the results are excellent. I’ve dressed the weld using a selection of files and the trusty Dremel.

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Powder Coating:

The frame was sent off for powder coat, I chose to send it to a long established powder coaters called Moto-Coat in Rossendale, Lancashire. Their brief was simple, powder coat this in the brightest glossiest white you have, I think they achieved the objective. I had thought long and hard about what colour I should coat this frame, but as I said in my intro I’m after a simple retro elegance with this bike, and after all it was an all white alpinestars back in 1992 that started all this.

Decals:

As usual Gil_m was the supplier of the decals. Gil had the alpinestars ti-mega EOS decals on file from the 1991 frameset and after a little rework he has managed to convert these into cro-mega EOS decals. Here is a breakdown of decals.

Top Tube:
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Down Tube:
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Head tube and Seat tube:
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Rear Stays:
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Elevated Chain Stays:
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Bottom Bracket:
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The Finished Frame:

Pictures speak a thousand words.

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Last edited by sinnett177 on Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:09 pm 
Deputy National AEC
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Forks

I’m a big believer that certain parts work better than others on some brands, for example Pace parts on an Orange or Ringle parts on a Fat Chance. For alpinestars I believe Answer parts work the best, so that’s what I’ll be using on this build. Back in 1992 I couldn’t afford Answer parts but I remember buying an Answer sticker sheet from Leisure Lakes, Preston and thus turned may weighty alpinestars cromo stem into an Answer Atac and my Alpinestars ‘Mega-Lite’ bars into Hyperlites, see below for personal embarrassment.

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Answer Accu-trax

Here the Answer parts begin with a pair of their awesome Accu-trax forks. I’ve always had a thing for these and finally got my first pair especially for this build. Getting hold of a pair in 1 ¼” is never an easy task as every Yeti owner and his dog wants a pair for their bike, but luck was on my side. It felt like Christmas when they arrived, finally a pair of Accu-trax!

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This pair are rim brake specific, I know Tim Davies has a pair of Accu-trax on his 1991 ti-mega which have disc mounts on them and the temptation was to go in this direction, but I can’t remember lusting for discs back then. I think the general consensus bitd was that the available disc brakes were too numb feeling.

The forks went off for powder coating at the same time as the frame and after tying myself in knots over what colour to choose I chose the same white as the frame. The other colour that I was seriously considering was the original gloss black, but after looking at the picture of my original 1992 cro-mega LX I plumped for the white. Gil_m again supplying the decals.

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Last edited by sinnett177 on Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:20 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Nice to see some updates on this one, Mark :wink:

Yeah I'm still kicking myself :cry: that I missed bidding on this one on that night, but in a way I'm glad it was you that won it... :)

Looking forward to seeing where this journey takes you, I know the end resul will be crackin (not literally, cos it's not an Al-Mega :lol: ) as your attention detail is envious.

Good luck, I'll be keeping my eyes peeled, and if I can be of any help with anything on this one, please feel free to shout (I have a 'few :roll: ' parts laying around)
Steve


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:40 pm 
Deputy National AEC
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Cheers Steve, absolutely no idea what i'm going to build this up with. I had a groupset and parts ready for it but as I say Project No. 8 is on its way and that will gobble up all the parts I'd set a side for this. With the cro-mega SS yet to be completed this one might drag on quite a while :D

Frame and forks now posted up btw.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:46 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Absolutely loving the Accu Trax, they were my most desired fork too, as a 14 year old in 1990 (way before bouncy things were mainstream....)


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:51 pm 
Section Moderator & South West AEC
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flinkin blip!!!!! :shock: that looks great!!!! :D


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:57 pm 
Deputy National AEC
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jonnyboy666 wrote:
flinkin blip!!!!! :shock: that looks great!!!! :D

Cheers Jon, hope i've done your time and effort justice. Thanks again for all your hard work in picking the bike up and posting it, i really am sincerely grateful. With a lot of luck I might have this built up for Mayhem, but doubt it if i'm honest.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:57 pm 
Gold Trader / PoTM Winner / RB Rider
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really nice refurb . :D


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:58 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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silly question #12 for me:

What is that 'Frame Saver' stuff?


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