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  1. #1
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    Restoring a Vitus U959 Question

    Hello All,

    I am in the process of restoring a Vitus U959 frame. At this point i have everything stripped off the frame except the crank, stem, and fork. The crank need a special tool of some sort and i have talked to a local cycle shop around New Orleans that can take this apart for me. The stem and the crank seem to be frozen together. The stem is aluminum and the fork is steel. Im going to start using some penetrating oil and tapping it once and a while for a few days to see if i can break it loose. But i have read something about aluminum stem and steel forks getting stuck together pretty bad because of the oxidation of the aluminum.

    Anyhow, My first question is about the stem and fork. I was wondering if anyone had some tips or tricks that will help me separate the two from each other.

    My second question is about the frame construction. I have been looking around the internet but have not really found anything about it. The frame is lugged and im trying to find out if the frame is glued, brazed, epoxied, or something else.

    Also, im talking to Renolds about the sticker and getting a replacement for after i get it repainted or powder coated; which leads to my last question. Can i get this frame powder coated or not? I ask because im not sure what holds the bike together so im not sure if i can expose it to the heat of powder coating.

    I would like to say... Thanks to all who take the time to read my post and reply with any information to help me out here. Also ill post some photos of the frame.

    Daniel Lemoine

  2. #2
    Senior Member Chombi's Avatar
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    Not familiar wth Vitus 959(?) frames (the 979 frames are what I know about) but ff this is an Aluminum Vitus frame, the tubes are bonded/glued to the lugs with "Aircraft grade adhesives, as mentioned in period Vitus ads and mentioned in tests at the time. Vitus aluminum frames are also, usually anodized with their different color "tints". and not painted.
    Powdercoating curing usually require heat ranges around 325 to 375 degrees. If the frame is glued together, you might have to find out if the glue can withsatnd those tmeperature ranges,
    I think you can also just carefully strip/polish off the damaged anodizing finish off and get it down to the base aluminum surface and end up with a nice silver aluminum bike....if it is aluminum.

    Chombi
    84 Peugeot PSV...itus

  3. #3
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    I don't think you're going to have much luck obtaining a sticker from Reynolds.

  4. #4
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    959? pics? as for the stem.... the bolt is loose as well as the wedge at the bottom? alot of the gentlemen on here talk about some kind of caustic acid. it easts away the corrision that has formed bonding the two together. as chombi stated that is glued frame look close to make sure all the joints seem to be ok. if you see a narrow area on the tube that looks a darker color the rest that could mean trouble.

    OH what kind of cranks? you can't use a standard puller for them?

    pics?
    Bianchis '87 Sport SX, '90 Proto (2), '91 Boarala 'cross, '93 Project 3, '88 Trofeo, '86 Volpe, '89 Axis, '79 Mixte SOLD, '99 Mega Pro XL Ti, '97 Ti Megatube, , '90 something Vento 603,

    Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '86 Bertoni (sold), '09 Motobecane SS, '98 Hetchins M.O., '09 K2 Mainframe, '89 Trek 2000, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape

  5. #5
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    looking for my cam currently.... Will have some up tomorrow at the latest. The joints seem to be fine... i have looked at them and have rode the bike many times on long rides. No odd noises like creaking or anything. I also got the stem and fork out after i started this thread today by using a metal rod and tapping the stem out.

    I also tracked a company down the re-glues Vitus frames and spoke to a guy who said to wet paint the bike instead of power coating it because the heat from the curing process would damage or destroy the epoxy holding the tubes together.

    Anyhow let me go find that camera

  6. #6
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    did your 'glue guy' have any leads on decals? http://stores.shop.ebay.com/Cyclomon...&submit=Search
    Bianchis '87 Sport SX, '90 Proto (2), '91 Boarala 'cross, '93 Project 3, '88 Trofeo, '86 Volpe, '89 Axis, '79 Mixte SOLD, '99 Mega Pro XL Ti, '97 Ti Megatube, , '90 something Vento 603,

    Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '86 Bertoni (sold), '09 Motobecane SS, '98 Hetchins M.O., '09 K2 Mainframe, '89 Trek 2000, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape

  7. #7
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    Ill put a few more up in a little while

  8. #8
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bonejaw View Post
    Hello All,

    I am in the process of restoring a Vitus U959 frame. At this point i have everything stripped off the frame except the crank, stem, and fork. The crank need a special tool of some sort and i have talked to a local cycle shop around New Orleans that can take this apart for me. The stem and the crank seem to be frozen together. The stem is aluminum and the fork is steel. Im going to start using some penetrating oil and tapping it once and a while for a few days to see if i can break it loose. But i have read something about aluminum stem and steel forks getting stuck together pretty bad because of the oxidation of the aluminum.
    What's the problem with getting the cranks off? It's a perfectly conventional square-taper crank/loose-ball bottom bracket setup. If a bike shop says it takes "special tools", find a better bike shop. They don't know what they're talking about.

    It looks like you got the fork and headset apart.

    The frame isn't anything really special. Powdercoat it, put it together, ride it.
    Jeff Wills

    All my bikes.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Chombi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bonejaw View Post
    looking for my cam currently.... Will have some up tomorrow at the latest. The joints seem to be fine... i have looked at them and have rode the bike many times on long rides. No odd noises like creaking or anything. I also got the stem and fork out after i started this thread today by using a metal rod and tapping the stem out.

    I also tracked a company down the re-glues Vitus frames and spoke to a guy who said to wet paint the bike instead of power coating it because the heat from the curing process would damage or destroy the epoxy holding the tubes together.

    Anyhow let me go find that camera
    Uhmmm....lets get everything straight first. From what we see in your pics, what you have there is a steel frame made from a Reynolds 453 tubeset and Vitus dropouts and maybe Simplex or Vitus(?) lugs. The steel frame and lugs are bronze or silver brazed together not glued, so you can forget talking to the Vitus aluminum frame "specialist". As the previous poster also noted, it looks like you have a very conventional crank and bottom bracket. Any bike shop with a competent mechanic can remover the drank with a "common" cotterless, tapered square axle, crank puller, unless the threads around the crank bolt openingwere are damaged that a puller cannot be attached to the crank. A good mechnanic will have a way around such problems though.
    I suggest you take your frame to a bike shop if you havenent and they can give you most of the useful infromation you need to deal with you restoration. But we are still all glad to help if we can on this forum. Thankfully you were able to post pics of your bike and we can redirect your restoration process as needed.
    BTW, you should be able to powdercoat this frame without any problems. There is no glue betwen the lugs and tubes to worry about. Just srtip off the paint and clean off ALL the rust from it and a powdercoater can do their magic on it.

    Chombi
    84 Peugeot PSV

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