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1984? Ross Mt Whitney original but rusty frame

Old 01-17-19, 12:41 PM
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1984? Ross Mt Whitney original but rusty frame


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Old 01-17-19, 12:58 PM
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Old 01-17-19, 01:08 PM
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Posted pictures first and could not figure how to add text so posting a quick reply to my own post.
Recently acquired from the original owner. Low miles, not ridden in at least fifteen years. Been sitting in basement for fifteen. Sadly, frame and forks are rusty. Components including chrome on handlebars, appear to be very good condition.
I realize I could rehab with new bearing grease, inner cables, tubes, and tires but the rust would bug me and I would not be able to keep my eyes off it. One of the problems with living with a critical eye.
My thought is to salvage/sell the components and recycle the frame. I suspect no value in the frame?
Tires are Cheng Shin and I suspect not original but do not know. Would it be best to remove tires before selling rims so photos could be taken of spoke ends and inside of rims?
Sell all components as a groupset to someone with a Mt Whitney frame of just piecemeal out the different components?
Look forward to hearing your thoughts.
Thanks!

Last edited by cyclehealth; 01-17-19 at 02:04 PM.
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Old 01-17-19, 02:06 PM
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Take a wire wheel to the rusty area and see what it looks like underneath the rust. The bottom bracket is pretty bad but there's a chance it's just on the surface. The rest of the bike looks good.

Disassemble the bike before getting the rust off.
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Old 01-17-19, 05:40 PM
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TengrainBread, Yea, I considered that but there is also a couple of blotches of the heavier rust on the fork crown, also up under the pair of small triangular plates that help support the top of the downtube, and at the top of the seat post. I realize I can grind it off, but then what? I will have exposed steel. I believe it would be just cosmetic but it would always be prone to rusting again and also an eyesore.
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Old 01-17-19, 08:34 PM
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I would see how bad that rust is as it's in very original condition. You dont see those red grip end caps that nice often But I would start at seatpost first. Those get stuck as base sits in that top wider section so they stick to sides and at bottom of post.
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Old 01-17-19, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Bikerider007 View Post
I would see how bad that rust is as it's in very original condition. You dont see those red grip end caps that nice often But I would start at seatpost first. Those get stuck as base sits in that top wider section so they stick to sides and at bottom of post.
Seat post is free.
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Old 01-18-19, 08:34 AM
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The 1984 catalog shows a red logo and small flange hubs, while the 1985 had the black logo and large flange hubs like the OP's bicycle. Still, it doesn't have the shoulder strap bosses or Super Plate version of the 1st generation Deore XT rear derailleur, so I'm leaning towards 1984, which we should be able to confirm the serial number.

I'd probably part it out, though more effort is involved. Early ATB components are often thrashed so there's a good market for used parts in good or better condition. The SunTour XC II pedals typically fetch $75-$100. The 1st generation Deore XT derailleurs and shift lever set should fetch about the same. Bullmoose bars in very good condition typicallyl bring $40-$50. The SR MTE-100 extreme setback post, even though it's rebranded, should warrant $20-$30. I don't recall seeing any wheelsets with Deore XT large flange hubs having been sold recently.

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Old 01-18-19, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclehealth View Post
Seat post is free.
That hopefully would mean the rust is not that bad.

But could mean they greased the crap out of the seatpost but then let the rest rust away. Which now that I look at may be the case as the chain is usually frozen as well when frame looks like this.
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Old 01-18-19, 12:02 PM
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Serial number and most rust


rear of seatpost
Photo showing serial number. Also more rust photos. Sad, isn't?
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Old 01-19-19, 09:00 AM
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The frame was built by Ross in October 1983, which is late enough in the year to be a 1984 model.
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Old 01-19-19, 03:20 PM
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Oxalic Acid is your friend, here - Do NOT wire wheel it without trying the OA first:

https://bmxmuseum.com/forums/viewtopic.php?id=351132

It won't harm the chrome at all.
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Old 01-19-19, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by mixteup View Post
Oxalic Acid is your friend, here - Do NOT wire wheel it without trying the OA first:

https://bmxmuseum.com/forums/viewtopic.php?id=351132

It won't harm the chrome at all.
Excellent article! Thank you!
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Old 01-19-19, 05:07 PM
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I would agree don't use a wire brush. You can Usually test if chrome will clean up by using some fine steel wool and WD40 on a spot or two if it cleans up fine then I would agree go with a tear down OA and metal polish, if not it probably won't and you can save a tone of time. The bike looks great and if it won't clean up I wouldn't spend a tone of time on it and just get all the mechanicals good and ride it rusty.
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Old 04-25-19, 09:04 PM
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Hello,
If you're looking to get rid of it I would be interested in it as-is.

I was searching the web for info/parts for rebuilding my 1985 Ross Mt. Whitney and came across this and another post.
I've had it since it was new, putting thousands of miles on it. Won quite a few races in the 80's with that bike in the Florida panhandle and North Georgia.

During a lull in my enthusiasm, a friend "rebuilt it" for me for my birthday and swapped out the forks and bars. The forks were tweaked but I never got them back.

Anyway, would you have any interest in selling it complete?
If you are going to part it out, I'd definitely be interested in the fork and bars.


Thanks,
Casey

P.S. Bit of trivia. A buddy I rode with back then picked up a Ross factory team bike. Very similar geometry, unicrown fork IIRC, mostly same components, but hand fillet welded by Tom Fisher was the story. Flamingo pink that thing was, but what a buttery ride. I can't remember what it was called, Mt. Tam?

P.P.S I've still got a 1985 catalog from somewhere around here if you want a scan.

Last edited by CSwain; 04-25-19 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 04-26-19, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by TenGrainBread View Post
Take a wire wheel to the rusty area and see what it looks like underneath the rust. The bottom bracket is pretty bad but there's a chance it's just on the surface. The rest of the bike looks good.

Disassemble the bike before getting the rust off.
Forget the abrasive approach, that will just promote/speed up rust. Underneath that rust, the chrome is gone/gone/gone. Thats just not the surface, I've had three of these.

Only way to clean up that rust is chemically. If you are up to it, a search via google will lead you to over 1,000 threads on rust treatment. No need to repeat it here.

If you are not up to it, then part the bike out, piece meal. No one wants the groupset, but plenty will want individual parts. There is about $300 to even $400 worth of parts on that bike. I've done it. In fact, I keep a look out for old Ross MTBs as they are typically rusty but have desirable parts on them. I've sold all those parts, depending on condition, at higher prices than TMar mentions above.

I believe it is a 1983 model based on serial number. No impact on value. Parts will go based on the date codes on them.

Ross chrome just wasn't very durable. I have a couple of them where I removed all the rust (chemically), touched up with rust converter, then chrome paint. None were as rusty as yours above. Chrome will be very bad. Fork may clean up OK.

As far as tires, I tend to include them when I sell the wheels, something like: "tires are old and dry rotted, I will leave them on the wheels to protect the rims in shipment". People don't want original, 35 year old tires regardless.


This is one I rebuilt.



IMG_1779 by wrk101, on Flickr

Last edited by wrk101; 04-26-19 at 10:00 AM.
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Old 04-26-19, 03:14 PM
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Very nice!
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Old 04-26-19, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by cyclehealth View Post
Posted pictures first and could not figure how to add text so posting a quick reply to my own post.
Recently acquired from the original owner. Low miles, not ridden in at least fifteen years. Been sitting in basement for fifteen. Sadly, frame and forks are rusty. Components including chrome on handlebars, appear to be very good condition.
I realize I could rehab with new bearing grease, inner cables, tubes, and tires but the rust would bug me and I would not be able to keep my eyes off it. One of the problems with living with a critical eye.
My thought is to salvage/sell the components and recycle the frame. I suspect no value in the frame?
Tires are Cheng Shin and I suspect not original but do not know. Would it be best to remove tires before selling rims so photos could be taken of spoke ends and inside of rims?
Sell all components as a groupset to someone with a Mt Whitney frame of just piecemeal out the different components?
Look forward to hearing your thoughts.
Thanks!
Evaporust soaked rags, Turtle wax chrome polish rust remover slathered on, brass and stainless brushes, elbow grease and this will come way around. Bare metal in these spots could be just fine for normal use, please do not scrap this, dig in and see.
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Old 04-26-19, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
Forget the abrasive approach, that will just promote/speed up rust. Underneath that rust, the chrome is gone/gone/gone. Thats just not the surface, I've had three of these.

Only way to clean up that rust is chemically. If you are up to it, a search via google will lead you to over 1,000 threads on rust treatment. No need to repeat it here.

If you are not up to it, then part the bike out, piece meal. No one wants the groupset, but plenty will want individual parts. There is about $300 to even $400 worth of parts on that bike. I've done it. In fact, I keep a look out for old Ross MTBs as they are typically rusty but have desirable parts on them. I've sold all those parts, depending on condition, at higher prices than TMar mentions above.

I believe it is a 1983 model based on serial number. No impact on value. Parts will go based on the date codes on them.

Ross chrome just wasn't very durable. I have a couple of them where I removed all the rust (chemically), touched up with rust converter, then chrome paint. None were as rusty as yours above. Chrome will be very bad. Fork may clean up OK.

As far as tires, I tend to include them when I sell the wheels, something like: "tires are old and dry rotted, I will leave them on the wheels to protect the rims in shipment". People don't want original, 35 year old tires regardless.


This is one I rebuilt.



IMG_1779 by wrk101, on Flickr
cool bike.

bet it's a fun ride for you.
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Old 05-24-19, 07:10 PM
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1984 Mt. Whitney

This is my favorite bike in my stable. Truly an incredible frame. Mine had some rusted spots as well. I went the cola and foil route, then phosphoric acid to neutralize the areas, followed by a wax job. I will say this; my rust was not as advanced as yours, but I too had similar concerns about eye catching ugly spots on my frame. Since I cleaned it, I've had no issues, and the areas have a really lovely patina to them now. This bike rides better than any other I've had in my life. I know you gotta do what's right for you, but if you're into going out on bike safaris over pavement, grave, dirt, grass, or whatever comes your way, I would say it would be worth your time to give that frame a shot. Mine is my fair weather bike to help ensure that the corrosion will not come back, and because I'm that protective of it.
Anyway, enough of my pitch here
What did you decide to do with it?

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Old 05-26-19, 06:01 PM
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Update: Thank you everyone for your help and suggestions over the last few months. All was much appreciated. I ended up selling every part except the cables, cable housings, chain, and freewheel. Freewheel landings were damaged upon removal. Fork was removed from bike and sold on eBay as was all other sold parts except the rusty frame which was sold locally via craigslist for $20. I did not keep track of the total amount for all the parts but I was impressed what most of the part sold for. Except for the rusty frame and forks which I spent no time cleaning the remainder of the parts cleaned up spectacularly. I did spend a great deal of time laboriously cleaning and detailing the parts before putting them up for sale. It is a process that I enjoy and is somewhat meditative for me. Away from my work and down in my well lit basement in the cold of winter with the woodstove and the tunes going it is time well enjoyed.
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