1988 Specialized Hardrock

RetroDavy

Dirt Disciple
Back in March 2019 I asked on here about a mystery bike that I'd owned for a while and was ready to build into something. It turned out to be a Specialized Hardrock from 1988 (and not the Muddy Fox as claimed by a sticker on the top tube).  

See viewtopic.php?f=1&t=395615

It is a relatively light, neatly TIG welded frame and I decided to rebuild it as original, more or less.

Roll on 9 months and the frame has been powdercoated a fetching red.  Specialized did a red and a teal that year, and the powdercoaters, Elite Engineering in Bootle, had the red in stock and I preferred it.  John at Elite did an excellent job on this and two other frames and is a nice bloke.  Stickers from Gil. Also excellent.

Before the nice new paint, however, I had to cut the corroded and stuck-fast original stem off the forks to release them from the frame. This started with a cross-ways cut just above the top headset nut.  I then hacksawed, with great care, two parallel cuts 1cm apart lengthwise down the inside of the alloy stem remains inside the steel fork tube, before chiseling the resulting sliver of metal from the stem tube and crushing it in a vice to break the corrosion, then pounding it out of the fork with a lump hammer.  Fun times.

I also bought a same-year bike with a ladies frame for the replacement stem and other components which were in better condition than the ones that came off the original bike, like the badly pitted bottom bracket. (That bike has been rebuilt with non-original parts and now takes my partner to her Pilates class each week, with some of the bits also due to find their way onto a genuine 1988 Muddy Fox Roadrunner project.)

So it's all original specification other than the grips and pedals and a new SRAM chain: Suntour XCD4050 mechs, Dia Compe canti and U brakes, Sugino cankset, Sansin hubs and Araya rims.
  
It's not fancy and nor is it tilting at full-restoration perfection, there is plenty of worn paint and dirty fasteners on the components, and cracks on the tyres. 

But it rides very smoothly, the gears and brakes are great; I'd forgotten how much I like riding with thumbshifters. It's a comfortable every day bob-to-the-shops kind of bike and it's pictured here having taken me for a haircut this morning. 
 

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CassidyAce

Senior Retro Guru
Re:

Well done! It looks great and ready to last another thirty-one years. I bet it's a nice, comfy ride, too.
 

Dossa

Retrobike Rider
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Re:

Excellent resto - I shall keep my eye out for it when I’m out ‘n about.. :D

Good to know that Elite Engineering are competent powdercoaters for future reference too.
 

RetroDavy

Dirt Disciple
Re: Re:

CassidyAce":l6tj2rf5 said:
Well done! It looks great and ready to last another thirty-one years. I bet it's a nice, comfy ride, too.

Thanks :D . Yes, very comfortable. Head up and take in the scenery. I may add a sprung Brooks saddle I have to increase the comfort factor even further.

And John at Elite did a proper job on the coating, with anti-corrosion primer, then powder then a clear coat, so another 31 years is on the cards. It was £100+, so not the cheapest, but good quality: he's a proper enthusiast.

Dossa":l6tj2rf5 said:
Excellent resto - I shall keep my eye out for it when I’m out ‘n about.. :D

Good to know that Elite Engineering are competent powdercoaters for future reference too.

Cheers! The next project to appear here will be a 1990 (ish) Saracen Limited Edition featuring your fine Mavic/XT wheelset. It will sit in the rare category of 'MTB with down tube shifters' as I had a set of bosses brazed on around 1992, in a fit of teenage enthusiasm for low tech. Vive la Difference!
 
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