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Ritchey Nitanium framed bargain? What did I just buy?

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Ritchey Nitanium framed bargain? What did I just buy?

Old 09-06-20, 04:35 AM
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Ritchey Nitanium framed bargain? What did I just buy?

I just picked up a Ritchey Logic framed bike along with a generic Alu mtb, with loads of tools and stuff for a song.

The vendor sold me these two bikes as they have spent a few years on his balcony, after being used for light touring.

The bikes share a cocktail of STX, STX-RC, Deore LX & XT parts, and some other decent mid range components.
The interesting frame is the Ritchey Nitanium. This bike is really light, or at least feels light compared to my DB Ascent for example.

My concern is now how to repair the chipped lacquer and rusty stains without ruining the brushed metal finish. Otherwise it might need a chemical strip and refinishing the bare metal.
I should raise this question in the bike mechanics section.....

I aim to convert this into a restored daily runner, as I have a thing for brushed metal. I will not likely find another frame like this here in Spain, especially as this one fits me like a glove.

Here is the Ritchey:






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Old 09-07-20, 03:19 AM
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Thanks.
As I understand that these frames are CroMo steel alloyed with ‘trace elements’ of nickel and titanium.
It should be ideally be treated as a normal CroMo frame.
I am also discovering that just clear coat over mild steel might not be the correct way to go as it does not necessarily offer the same protection as etch priming and painting, nor powder coating, which would be ideal.

As it is, the frame has many small rust spots, so a complete strip of the old clear coat is in order.
I am now looking at the possibilities of clear powder coat or some good industrial prep and 2-part clear coat.

Here is how it looks after some stripping with acetone and a light sand with 800 grit paper to maintain the brushed finish:

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Old 09-07-20, 12:52 PM
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So you DO have rust, correct? Then this Nitanium tubeset (unknown to me) is a steel alloy and not made of either (enough) nickel or titanium to be "stainless". If the only decal your stand to lose is that tubing sticker MAYBE you can obtain a replacement from one of the many decal suppliers (but since this is pretty rare that may not be available), I would strip it completely of all the current clear lacquer and pay for the best prep and clear POWDERCOAT you can find in Spain. This possibly would be the most durable and least likely to rust underneath the clear IF the PC shop does a good job of both media-blasting and coating. Only downside if it you want a "Brushed" finish as in gone over with hand-pad or steel-wool you might be better off settling for the more even "satin" finish the blasting leaves and having the shop coat straight over that before any moisture or contamination can touch the raw metal. NICE frame, BTW, good luck with it!
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Old 09-07-20, 01:25 PM
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"Nitanium" is a gimmicky marketing name for a steel alloy that is close to AISI 4130 steel but containing less than 1% of titanium and nickel in the chemical composition, which does nothing functional for the tubing, as far as bicycles go. The bike is essentially a regular alloy steel bike with silver paint on it.
If you want a brushed look I would refinish with nickel-plating. You can Scotchbrite the steel underneath before plating instead of polishing.
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Old 09-07-20, 04:27 PM
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I am enquiring at a local nautical metal finish specialist here, who can do clear powder coat, chrome or nickel.
He should be up to the job as he works with demanding ocean-going yacht parts and such like. He’s even cooking up ways to save the sticker too!

I was not intending to fork out much $ on this bike, but I might be falling in love, it is a beautiful frame that fits me really well. I was going to flip it, but now I’m not so sure.

When it is ready I have an old nice Rock Shox Judy to go on there, replacing the rusting generic rigid one that was fitted.

New Pub bike!

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Old 09-07-20, 06:09 PM
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Here is a bit more info for you, https://forums.mtbr.com/singlespeed/richey-nitamium-frame-anyone-know-anything-about-63788.html :
Post#2 - "the Rithcey NiTi tubeset was designed around a fairly high tensile strength without heat treating so that the welds would not lose very much strength. Ritchey's line on the NiTi tubes was that they retain 98% of their original tensile strength after welding. It's not quite an air hardening steel, but it is the next best thing short of brazing."
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Old 09-17-20, 02:44 PM
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Here’s the bike built up trying some different parts, my newly built wheels, and our ten year old assistant giving it a little try out.
I need to find a more suitable front derailleur and install a new BB, but this runs soooo well. The Judy fork adds a little luxury- the rigid fork that came on the bike was cheap n rusty.

I have now stripped the bike down again, completely removing the lacquer via chemical means. My idea was to get the brushed steel finish back and apply powder clearcoat.

The rusty bits needed some more thorough scrubbing, and as a result I have discovered that this frame is in fact nickel plated.
Instead of the clear powder coat I am now investigating the more effective method of a fresh nickel coating, as TenGrainBread mentioned.

FYI the bare frame weighs 1760g or 3.9lb. Not bad for vintage steel!





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Old 09-17-20, 06:31 PM
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3.9lbs is not bad for a vintage steel road bike, kind of extraordinary for a vintage steel mountain bike! That's a find!
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Old 09-17-20, 08:33 PM
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Tom Ritchey wouldn't have confessed to it even if you'd nailed him to the cross, but back then we all thought that "Nitanium" was a sly dig at Ti bikes... "N"ot t"itanium."

Either way, that's a rare bird. You should tell us what you paid, so that we can all be jealous.

That's a Rad Ritchey!

--Shannon
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Old 09-17-20, 08:45 PM
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Slide the saddle forward a bit, raise the saddle, get some 165-170 cranks and the Lad will make that bike his.
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Old 09-18-20, 01:23 AM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
Slide the saddle forward a bit, raise the saddle, get some 165-170 cranks and the Lad will make that bike his.
That’s exactly what I shall NOT do, then!

jaja sonny is going to have to grow a little more....
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Old 09-18-20, 01:45 AM
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Originally Posted by ShannonM View Post
Tom Ritchey wouldn't have confessed to it even if you'd nailed him to the cross, but back then we all thought that "Nitanium" was a sly dig at Ti bikes... "N"ot t"itanium."

Either way, that's a rare bird. You should tell us what you paid, so that we can all be jealous.

That's a Rad Ritchey!

--Shannon

Thanks!
The nickel plate over brushed steel gives it a ‘T-itanium’ look, - no accident I assume.

This bike came bundled with another alu framed bike, both fitted with LX XT STXRC grade parts. Rapid-fire shifters, Avid brake levers and SRAM Vbrakes, Mavic wheels, Wilderness Trail saddles, etc etc. The PO had built two really good tourers for himself and his wife. They were selling up to return to city life, had them on sale for 130 euro the pair.
I discovered a crack in the alu frame, so I took them both for 100. I can salvage that alu frame.

The black Ritchey Rizer bar and STX parts (hubs and crank) came off the alu frame, The wheels being used in those last pics are my home-made wheels; Ryde Andra rims on NOS STX hubs, which are supposedly going to go on something else.

I pulled the great condition Ritchey tires off of my old Corratec, to go onto this bike’s Mavics, for a bit of added Ritchey value!
Now on to find a nice old Ritchey headset....



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Old 09-18-20, 03:27 AM
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You could polish the rust off then coat with this. It seems to be called "owatrol oil" in your location. Works fine, easy solution.
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Old 09-18-20, 07:50 AM
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Thanks, I’ll look into it.
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Old 02-25-21, 01:13 PM
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I am not sure if I followed up on this thread somewhere else, but here is the bike in its last incarnation.
I am still tinkering and using and then stripping down again, swapping parts between different bikes.

The interesting Nitanium frame is standing up to indoor parking, no blemishes not rust coming through.
As recommended, I applied some neat Owatrol treatment to the pitted areas, and they have not altered their appearance since. Great!!



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Old 02-26-21, 12:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Deepcherry View Post
I am enquiring at a local nautical metal finish specialist here, who can do clear powder coat, chrome or nickel.
He should be up to the job as he works with demanding ocean-going yacht parts and such like. He’s even cooking up ways to save the sticker too!...
If you have to sacrifice the stickers at some point, take good digital photos of the sticker(s) and good measurements before you do. Any shop that makes stripes, decals, logos, etc. for vehicles will be able to make a satisfactory reproduction for you. Shouldn't be a problem, or expensive to get that done if none of the normal bike decal makers have that one in stock.
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Old 02-26-21, 12:57 AM
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Thanks for the advice.
As it happens, no more treatment is necessary for the frame apart from some regular wiping down and periodic waxing. It really is a thing of beauty
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Old 02-26-21, 03:28 PM
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Nice score on the frame.
If it were me, and I was going to keep it, I'd start working towards some colour-matched components. Red grips, black fork, brown saddle, red seatpost collar, and purple pedals don't do it for me, but it's your bike.
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Old 02-26-21, 04:07 PM
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Totally agree, I was using my parts bin. Right now it is again half rebuilt using strictly black and silver bits!
Doubtless there will be some pics to follow.
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Old 02-26-21, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by bOsscO View Post
Nice score on the frame.
If it were me, and I was going to keep it, I'd start working towards some colour-matched components. Red grips, black fork, brown saddle, red seatpost collar, and purple pedals don't do it for me, but it's your bike.
It's on eBay right now. Item number 164716509523. You can always buy it and make it right
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Old 07-06-21, 03:46 PM
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Epilogue:
I decided to keep this bike in the collection as it is quite special, and I have three sons growing up quickly who could well make use of it too. It rides just great.

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Old 07-06-21, 07:20 PM
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I said it before, and I'm saying it now:

This is one of the raddest bikes I've ever seen.

If it were mine, (and ohh, how it wish it were mine...) it'd be a drop-bar plushy go-fast-and-go-anywhere rocket sled. A carbon WoundUp fork would be the business. (Especially with the Record OR Tandem cantis I've got stashed away.)

You, Sir, are a gentleman of great taste and refinement. And luck. Lots and lots of luck.

Also, I hate you.

--Shannon
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