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Old 08-27-10, 10:17 PM   #1
hikelite
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Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you... Cruz.

I just got a 1991 (I think that's the year) Specialized Hard Rock Cruz. I've decided to call her Cruz for short.

I actually got her 2 weeks ago, but it was the Thursday before I went backpacking last week. Tonight was my first chance to get acquainted with her. She was found as part of a police evidence bike sale by the city. The sales was supposed to be a couple weeks earlier, but they had to postpone due to weather. I work for the city, so I had already went out to the warehouse and looked at what bikes they had. I went there hoping to find an older steel mountain bike to make into a commuter bike. They had about 60 or 70 bikes, but once I found Cruz, I knew she was the one for me.

Here are a few pics of her. She's not real pretty right now. She has obviously been neglected a bit, but I can tell she has plenty of life left in her!

Here's a full body shot


Here is where she gets her name. You can also see the police evidence tag hanging from the seat.


Steel baby


Her drivetrain is pretty bad. I'll be replacing it.



There is quite a bit of rust, but nothing that looks terminal. The area around the head tube bearing races looks perfect. I'm going to be replacing the races themselves. The rest of the rust will get taken care of when I refinish the frame. Haven't decided on powder coat or paint yet, but I'm pretty sure I want to do matte black.




I think I got a deal on her.


I want to document her make-over in this thread, so consider these the "before" pictures. I know they aren't the greatest, but I'm planning to strip her down tonight and start prepping the frame this weekend. I to eager to get started to wait for daylight tomorrow, so I have to settle for pictures using a flash.

I was going to try and ride her to work at least once before I took her apart, but after a short test ride tonight, there is no way. The bottom bracket is loose, as is the rear hub. The front hub's bearings are shot. I already knew the brakes were sticking bad, so I have a set of V brakes coming in hopes I would be able to just swap those. Once the frame is redone, I will steal some parts from my current bike to get he up and running while I watch for deals on replacement parts. One of my goals is to rebuild Cruz for as little money as possible. I have the means to buy new parts, but there is an appeal to me in rebuilding her with recycled (ie used) parts. It is sort of an extension of the "green" part of bike commuting carried over to the bike itself. Of course the real reason is I'm saving up so I can buy a shiny new bike next year.

The main thing I was looking for to replace my current bike was a larger steel frame. I'm riding an aluminum Trek mtb right now that I've put on fenders, road tires, and one of those seat post racks with a trunk bag. Cruz also has the eyelets for a real rack that the Trek lacks. Once she is finished I can turn the Trek back into an off-road bike.

Anyway, here she is. I'm so excited to ride her, I hate that it will be at least a few weeks before I have time to get everything done on her!
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Old 08-28-10, 07:14 AM   #2
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I don't know why I'm envious of a rusty, old bike... but I am. Congrats!
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Old 08-28-10, 10:14 AM   #3
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If you replace the cantis with V-brakes, you will need to change the levers as well.

Am interested to see what it ends up looking like.
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Old 08-28-10, 10:25 AM   #4
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I had an '89 Hardrock that made an awesome commuter bike. Fenders, racks, fat tires, rigid fork =. I'm looking foward to seeing what you do with it. I bet you can rescue those cantis if you want to.
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Old 08-28-10, 10:44 AM   #5
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Congrats on the new ride! She'll make a fine commuter. Have fun on the rebuild!
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Old 08-28-10, 11:00 AM   #6
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If you replace the cantis with V-brakes, you will need to change the levers as well.

Am interested to see what it ends up looking like.
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I had an '89 Hardrock that made an awesome commuter bike. Fenders, racks, fat tires, rigid fork =. I'm looking foward to seeing what you do with it. I bet you can rescue those cantis if you want to.
I have a set of Single Digit 5 brakes and levers coming. Found, IMHO, a good deal on that popular auction site. I was looking for 7's for the speed dial feature, but this set has it. I guess it used to be on the 5 tier, but now Avid only puts it on 7 and above.

My current bike had cantis when I first got it. When I put on a suspension fork, I had to change the brakes. The difference between the cantis and the V-brakes was HUGE! I'm planning to ride this bike in the winter (snows here), so I'm hoping the V-brakes will stop better in the nasty stuff.

Edit: It just occurred to me that the brakes I bought are silver. I wonder if I can make them black.

Last edited by hikelite; 08-28-10 at 11:03 AM. Reason: addition
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Old 08-28-10, 11:03 AM   #7
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Commuter projects are fun. I dropped my dual suspension build to embark on a commuter project.
I had more fun on the commuter build that the duelie..............
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Old 09-13-10, 12:00 PM   #8
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Pics!

I started painting her this weekend. Here are some pics of the process...

Everything removed. Just a frame and fork.


The rust was bad in some spots.


The drop outs looked real bad


Here she is naked. Sorry it's a little out of focus. Didn't realize until after I started painting.


Here are some close-ups of the frame after removing the old paint and rust. It actually cleaned up great.








I've also decided her name isn't Cruz. I'm not sure yet what her name IS yet, but she "told" me she doesn't like Cruz.
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Old 09-13-10, 12:12 PM   #9
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I built a little make-shift paint booth.



Here she is wearing white primer.






Seeing the frame white made me consider painting it white! I had planned to paint the frame black, but then I thought a lighter color would improve visibility. I was also worried about a black frame getting hot in the sun and then touching my leg. Ouch! I'm going to paint it "Sage Green". I think it will look nice when it's done.

The primer went on yesterday. I was going to wet sand it tomorrow and then start the color coats on Wednesday or Thursday, but now I'm thinking I might put on another coat of primer. I tried wet sanding a little yesterday after the first primer coat, but the metal started showing too easily. Maybe I should do a few more coats of primer so I can have a nice smooth finish to put the color on. I'm planning to wet sand between the color and the clear as well. I'm still undecided if I should sand between coats of clear or not.

It takes more paint than I thought it would. A single coat of the primer on the frame and forks took nearly the whole can. I think it's because so much gets wasted trying to paint tubes. The directions say to paint from 10-16" away, but when I do that, almost no paint hits the metal. I ended up spraying more like 7-10" away.

It's fun watching the transformation. I kept entertaining ideas of trying to leave the bare metal showing as I cleaned it up, but I also know that's not real practical.

I'm eager to see it finished, but I'm also taking my time to make sure it comes out good. I know I need to let the paint completely cure in between coats, so I'm thinking it will take me at least a week to get it painted. Then I'm planning to let it sit a couple weeks before I start building it. I don't have all the parts on hand yet anyway.
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Old 09-13-10, 12:19 PM   #10
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Penelope?
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Old 09-13-10, 12:36 PM   #11
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Wow, she really cleans up nicely. How did you strip the old paint and rust?
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Old 09-13-10, 12:47 PM   #12
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Sweet! I ride a 2000 or so Hardrock Classic, and it's a great commuter.
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Old 09-13-10, 01:27 PM   #13
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It'll make a great commuter. Love my '95 Hard Rock.
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Old 09-13-10, 06:25 PM   #14
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Penelope?
I'll ask her, but my gut says probably not

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Wow, she really cleans up nicely. How did you strip the old paint and rust?
I used paint stripper first. I did a few applications. That got most of it. I then used a wire brush wheel attachment in my corded drill (important to use the corded as it has a trigger lock). The wire brush did great to get rid of the rusty areas. This was the most time consuming part for me, but I was pretty anal about making sure I was down to bare metal everywhere. A few areas the wire wheel couldn't get into, so I got those with sandpaper. I hand sanded the whole frame with some 220 grit to smooth out the brush marks and reduce the rust pitting areas. Rather than judge purely by sight, I used touch. Basically, if it didn't feel perfectly smooth when I ran my hand over it, I sanded it some more.

I agree she did clean up beautifully! Like I said, I loved her bare metal look, but running around naked isn't practical.

It's going to be really hard not to touch her while I'm waiting for the different coats of paint to dry. I think I'm going to do a few more coats of primer. I want to be able to provide a perfectly smooth base for the color coats. I'm thinking I'll do a few more coats of primer before I wet sand it. There are 2 coats (cans) on there now. Trying to wet sand the forks after the first can didn't work. It was way too thin. Even using no pressure, I was cutting down to the metal too quickly. Maybe I'll use the 600 grit instead of the 320.

While I am having fun painting her, I've already come to the conclusion this is the only time I will ever paint a frame.
I've spent about half what it would have cost to have it powder coated here in town. It's fun, but I could have spent the time working on many other projects. Plus, powder coat would be stronger.
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Old 09-14-10, 05:02 PM   #15
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Nice progress! Apparently it's difficult to get treated right when your name us "Cruz." Here's a Crossroads Cruz I picked up in similar condition a few years ago, 26" rear wheel, 700c front (neither original,) rust, filth, clueless chain routing, etc.:





I sandblasted the fork and painted it, then decided that painting the frame would be a waste of time (we're on parallel paths here, but I'm not as ambitious as you )



I rode her for a brief while until one that fit better came along, now she's stripped down to a frame and fork in a corner of my garage. It's not easy being Cruz.
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Old 09-20-10, 12:03 PM   #16
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She's green!



She's not as shiny as I hoped. I don't think I can get a perfect finish in my makeshift facilities, so I am probably gonna leave her as is. After it dries for a bit more, I might consider a little wet sanding of the clear coat and another coat or three. Probably not though. I'm getting pretty eager to starting building her so I can ride her! I want to let the paint cure for at least a week before I begin assembly, so if I were to put on more clear coat, that would delay the building further. I think she's done
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Old 09-20-10, 12:06 PM   #17
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Nice progress! Apparently it's difficult to get treated right when your name us "Cruz." Here's a Crossroads Cruz I picked up in similar condition a few years ago, 26" rear wheel, 700c front (neither original,) rust, filth, clueless chain routing, etc.:

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_TIeBxBH6dXI/S4...0/cross_01.jpg

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_TIeBxBH6dXI/S4...0/cross_03.jpg

I sandblasted the fork and painted it, then decided that painting the frame would be a waste of time (we're on parallel paths here, but I'm not as ambitious as you )

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_TIeBxBH6dXI/S4...0/cross_05.jpg

I rode her for a brief while until one that fit better came along, now she's stripped down to a frame and fork in a corner of my garage. It's not easy being Cruz.
The geometries look pretty similar. Does that frame use 700c wheels? That's about the only thing I wish this frame had, but I'm OK running 26" wheels. I have those available, but I would have to buy some larger wheels.
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Old 09-20-10, 01:45 PM   #18
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Yes, it was originally a 700c bike, but it was wearing 27" wheels in that photo because I had them on hand when I bought the bike. When I found it, it had a 26" rear wheel and the brake pads rubbed on the tire.

I'm now riding a battered '90 Rockhopper comp which I'm thinking about outfitting as my commuter. I just need to resist the urge to make it pretty
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Old 09-20-10, 02:04 PM   #19
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If you really want to take this project to an extreme and have plenty of time to look through the archives here there's a post form someone who took a Hardrock and really tricked it out for commuting. It looked really nice, and it seemed to work really well too. He had some pictures of it in front of a drier, and blocked out the window to the drier for some reason, you'll have found the one I was referring to if you see that.
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Old 09-20-10, 04:04 PM   #20
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Wow! Great progress on that bike!
I look forward to seeing the build.

Nice job!
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Old 09-21-10, 04:03 PM   #21
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Yes, it was originally a 700c bike, but it was wearing 27" wheels in that photo because I had them on hand when I bought the bike. When I found it, it had a 26" rear wheel and the brake pads rubbed on the tire.

I'm now riding a battered '90 Rockhopper comp which I'm thinking about outfitting as my commuter. I just need to resist the urge to make it pretty
I'm only making it semi pretty I didn't pain the stem or handlebars because I wasn't sure what parts I would be using. I have some with a decent black finish, so that will have to do. I'm done painting... forever! lol

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If you really want to take this project to an extreme and have plenty of time to look through the archives here there's a post form someone who took a Hardrock and really tricked it out for commuting. It looked really nice, and it seemed to work really well too. He had some pictures of it in front of a drier, and blocked out the window to the drier for some reason, you'll have found the one I was referring to if you see that.
I'd love to see that thread. When I first got it at the police sale, I looked for threads about hard rocks. Unfortunately you can't search for those words
Maybe I'll try a google search of the site and see if I can find that thread. Do you think it will help to include the word drier? Was that discussed?

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Wow! Great progress on that bike!
I look forward to seeing the build.

Nice job!
Thanks. I'm really loving the color. I can't wait to ride it. I was hoping I could get it built this weekend, but it's my wedding anniversary on Saturday. We're going to go spend a couple days in La Jolla so swmbo can "smell the ocean". I'm actually looking forward to it too. We agreed the goal is to do as little as possible. Mostly we plan to read on the beach.
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