All change, again!

The Peugeot’s sold.  The Kona’s sold.  The Rusthopper’s been given away.  The bike I was going to bid on was ended early (bah!).

Things have changed again!

Hopefully, this is the last change.  After the silliness of a few weeks ago, I realised that I needed to be more focussed than just buying every bargain-tastic, vaguely decent bike I see on ebay, or else things would always be changing, and my wife would leave me!

I decided to sell the Kona, and wait for a mid-nineties Saracen Protrax or Tufftrax to turn up.  I didn’t have to wait long!  The following week, a 1995 Saracen Tufftrax appeared on ebay, located in Chester.  I was worried that it’d get ended early, so I did what I’ve always hated..  I made an offer outside of the bidding system.  😮

The seller accepted my offer, and after a bit of fannying about, the bike was mine!  😀  I couldn’t pick it up until the following weekend, so I spent the week selling the junk that I’d acquired on ebay.  Then, on the Wednesday, something else popped up on ebay…

Remember I mentioned a bike that I wanted to bid on? It was an old Carrera elevated chainstay bike, built by Saracen.  Apparently Halfords asked them to build some e-stay frames for them, when e-stays were being seen as the next big thing.  I’ve always been intrigued by e-stays, and wanted one for myself.  Well, the thing that was on ebay was a 1992 Saracen Kili Racer; a proper Saracen e-stay.  And it was cheap, and on a buy-it-now!  After a few minutes of hesitation (mostly wondering how I was going to break it to the wife), it was mine!  😀

Both bikes have now been collected, so here they are:

1992 Saracen Kili Racer
Saracen Kili Racer

This bike was in pretty rough condition when I picked it up. It was covered in grime and filth, it’s seatpost was stuck, one side of it was covered in scratches, and it just didn’t look very well looked after.  It needs almost everything doing to it, but that’s half the fun.  This one is going to be quite a project!

1995 Saracen Tufftrax
1995 Saracen Tufftrax

This bike, however, was almost immaculate!  It was covered in stickers at first, which I pulled off as soon as I got home.  One of them took the Tange sticker with it, but I’m not too bothered by that.  It needs new wheels, new chainrings, and new pedals, but that’s about it.  I’ll be riding it to work tomorrow!  😀

No more new bikes now – honest!


Rust update

Rust update

After 4 days of spraying with saltwater 3 times a day; RUST!

Today’s weather should’ve improved things even more. Especially after fording 3ft deep water. Best bike ride ever! 😀

All change, please!

Soz for the delay, peoples, but things have been a bit busy lately.  Fear not – it’s nothing scary or important; it’s ebay and bikes, damn them!

Remember that Peugeot I bought in the last post?  It was a 21″ frame, and way too big.  Had to strip and sell it.  Then I bought a 1998 Specialized Rockhopper for £40.  It was shabbier than expected, so thought I’d probably just sell it on ebay as-is, and hope I got my money back.  That plan changed, but not before I bought a 1994 Kona Lava Dome frame and fork for £60.  I figured I could transplant the parts from the Peugeot, and that’d be my main bike.  Should I mention the bike that’s in my watch list, which I really hope I get (not telling you what it is!)?  Or my desire to own a Saracen Protrax or Tufftrax from the mid-90s? 😛

Oh, and I stripped my Hardrock, too – it’s now just a frame at the back of the shed.  Fickle probably isn’t a strong enough word!

So, at this point in time, I officially own a Kona Lava Dome and a Specialized Rockhopper.  The Lava Dome is still in the box it was delivered in, waiting for a full quota of parts before I start building it.  I only need a seatpost, a bottom bracket, and some brake/gear cables, so not long to go now! 🙂

The Rockhopper.. well, that turned into something very unexpected!  Allow me to quote the ebay description:

“Classic specialized rockhopper. A few scrapes but overall a good bike that can still be used.  New in 1997 and only two owners.”

1998 Specialized Rockhopper

I dunno what those two owners did to that poor bike, but it was scrape city!  There were scratches, scuffs, bare patches, and even two dents on either side of the down tube (no idea how they managed that).  The gripshifts and brake levers looked like they’d been dragged along concrete for a mile or so.

I was a bit annoyed, but I consider ebay buys like that to be ‘sold as seen’, so anything I discover on pickup is my problem. Should’ve been more careful.

Other than the paintwork, brakes, levers, saddle, and seatpost, the bike was fine. Reading up on that type of frame, it turned out that ‘Nitanium’ frames were highly regarded.  I wondered if it’d be worth getting it powder coated, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to spend any more money on it, as the two dents bugged me.
Then I came across this, and the future of the Rockhopper was decided!

Specialized Rusthopper flickr set
As I never get any time to do stuff to bikes at home, I decided to do this project at work, on my lunchbreaks.  The plan was pretty simple:

  • Make the bike ridable.
  • Strip the paint.
  • Watch it rust.

To make the bike ridable, I pilfered the seat, pedals, stem, and the gear/brake combo from my Hardrock.  That was the easy bit!

Next came removing the paint.. as a test, I applied Nitromors to the fork.  It did nuffin, apart from making some of the clearcoat go a bit matt.  The next day, I tried a different paint stripper, which didn’t seem much more effective, until I tried sandpapering the paint.  It didn’t exactly fall off, but it certainly started coming off pretty quickly!  In half an hour, I had most of the paint removed from the main tubes!  The next day, I didn’t apply the paint stripper, as I wasn’t sure if the sandpaper had been doing all the work, and the difference was pretty big – I could barely get any of the paint off.  I repeated the process using the paint stripper every lunchtime for a week, and yesterday afternoon, I stripped the last bit of paint off! 😀

Paint-free Rockhopper

Now all I have to do is wait for the rust!

oh, and put a Kona Lava Dome together…
and bid on another bike…

busy, busy, busy!