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Lipstick on a pig

Old 04-19-21, 03:20 PM
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Lbxpdx
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Lipstick on a pig

At least thats how it feels at the moment. I am doing my first rebuild, a 1991 Trek 990 that Iím trying to do for as little money as possible. The last few days Iíve been cleaning the bolts and other hardware with a brass brush attachment in my Foredom. I have even cleaned the surface rust out of the Allen head socket holes. The paint is shot on the frame and the black anodized parts have seen their fair share of sunlight in the last 30 years, but I have to say Iím enjoying it. My goal is to have every part cleaned, greased and ready to go by the end of the week.

Iím hoping that IĎll dig the ride this summer and have it powder coated next fall/winter.

As found. Every piece either has mud caked on it for who knows how long, some surface rust, or black paint. Luckily all the original Deore XT parts are still there.



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Old 04-19-21, 03:52 PM
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Curious, what method are you using to get the rust out of the bolt hole heads? I've yet to find a flawless method other than removing the bolt entirely and soaking in a jar of Vap-o-Rust I keep on my bench.

Dremel with a wire attachment works ok, but not too great on smaller stuff like bottle cage bolts.
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Old 04-19-21, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by francophile View Post
Curious, what method are you using to get the rust out of the bolt hole heads? I've yet to find a flawless method other than removing the bolt entirely and soaking in a jar of Vap-o-Rust I keep on my bench.

Dremel with a wire attachment works ok, but not too great on smaller stuff like bottle cage bolts.
I cut a piece of old brake wire, frayed one end and chucked it up in the Foredom. All the Dremel bits are too large for bolt holes.
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Old 04-19-21, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Lbxpdx View Post
I cut a piece of old brake wire, frayed one end and chucked it up in the Foredom. All the Dremel bits are too large for bolt holes.
That's really damn crafty. I hope you realize I'm totally going to steal that, and while you're out of sight on the other side of the interwebs, I'm over here kicking myself in the ass for not thinking of it first.
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Old 04-19-21, 04:14 PM
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You say you want to do this as inexpensively as possible, then there's talk of powder-coating it? That's not a bike or a frame I'd consider for powder-coating - but that's just me.

Should be a good little project, have fun!
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Old 04-25-21, 07:49 PM
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Pig? Hardly...

Whoa, a lugged Waterloo-built 990? You're not giving it nearly enough credit, my friend... That's a fine True Temper frame, and the XT componentry is first rate. Forget the paint job, keep the genuine patina!! I have a 1990 970... The Waterloo 900 series were (and still are) awesome bikes that feel great on all terrain. 👍👍👍
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Old 04-25-21, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by ridelikeaturtle View Post
You say you want to do this as inexpensively as possible, then there's talk of powder-coating it? That's not a bike or a frame I'd consider for powder-coating - but that's just me.

Should be a good little project, have fun!
Iím curious why the frame doesnít cut the mustard for you? Heat treated, oversized, double butted, lugged steel American made frame is nothing to sneeze at.

powder coating is roughly $150 and all the components are still good, so all in all, Iíll be under $350 with everything greased and new bearings if I have it powder coated.
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Old 04-25-21, 08:25 PM
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Just remember that a pig with lip stick can run faster than and old dirty one without.

And my pig in the back yard with lip stick and the short skirt... well don't you talk to her cause she lies!
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Old 04-25-21, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by montclairbobbyb View Post
Whoa, a lugged Waterloo-built 990? You're not giving it nearly enough credit, my friend... That's a fine True Temper frame, and the XT componentry is first rate. Forget the paint job, keep the genuine patina!! I have a 1990 970... The Waterloo 900 series were (and still are) awesome bikes that feel great on all terrain. 👍👍👍
I'm still looking for the pig in those pictures! I agree with montclairbobbyb, these 900 series Treks are some of my favorite bikes ever made. That is a glorious bike. They make great dirt drop conversions and can also take 650b wheels when paired with Tektro CR720 cantilevers. To each his own but I wouldn't touch the paint on that bike. To me it sort of speaks to the history of it and what you had to do breathe life back into it. Maybe address any surface rust issues but leave the rest alone. What an awesome find!

IMO they are just as good as the top end Bridgestones but are more common and don't have the the cult following so they don't cost as much. More than once I've come across a 930 or 950 that is collecting dust in someone's garage or going to waste outside and I always do my best to try and rescue them. A couple of years ago I saw a 1990 950 sitting out in the rain. I knocked on the door and convinced the owner to let it go for $50. I was able to refurbish it all in for about $140 and then sold it to a friend for that amount.
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Old 04-26-21, 04:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Lbxpdx View Post
Iím curious why the frame doesnít cut the mustard for you? Heat treated, oversized, double butted, lugged steel American made frame is nothing to sneeze at.

powder coating is roughly $150 and all the components are still good, so all in all, Iíll be under $350 with everything greased and new bearings if I have it powder coated.
Is it special? Is it uncommon? Is it rare? Is it Italian?

When I ask that, it's not a value judgement on the bike itself. It's solid, sure, and you're correct it's "nothing to sneeze at", and will make a great project.

But to me it's not special or unique... or worth treating to powder-coating. You could buy two more of them for the same cost, right? If I'm wrong, I'll hold my hand up.
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Old 04-26-21, 04:28 AM
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I had an old Schwinn last year that I got from the scrap guys here. The bike was complete and looked un-molested other than a heavy coat of cheap red paint on everything.
Not expecting much in the end, someone said try Easy Off oven cleaner. I had a few old cans in the basement from years ago, so i gave it a try.
It melted the cheap paint off like wax off a candle. I sprayed it down, let it sit a bit, and rinsed, I kept at the drips and runs for a second and third coat and it all came off, it even left the decals behind. I only left it on long enough for the paint to start to wrinkle, then I hit it with a hose and a rag, especially around the decals. Every trace of the spray paint came off leaving behind a finish I couldn't figure anyone ever felt needed to be painted over.
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Old 04-26-21, 06:25 AM
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I own one, 90's model. It's black with white splashes. Great bike, used for commuting for many years, now my casual rail-trail bike. I have thought about making it a drop gravel, has the correct geometry but I do like its current casual rail trail setup. All XT and Suntour Superbe Pro with Phil Wood hubs
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Old 04-26-21, 06:26 AM
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Originally Posted by ridelikeaturtle View Post
Is it special? Is it uncommon? Is it rare? Is it Italian?

When I ask that, it's not a value judgement on the bike itself. It's solid, sure, and you're correct it's "nothing to sneeze at", and will make a great project.

But to me it's not special or unique... or worth treating to powder-coating. You could buy two more of them for the same cost, right? If I'm wrong, I'll hold my hand up.
It's the top of the line MTB from Trek for that year.

So, yes, it is special and uncommon. And US made.

Proprietary True Temper OD tubing, with only this and the 970 sharing the frame. The 990 with full XT build (when XT was the top of the line group).

It's a special bike.
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Old 04-26-21, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
It's the top of the line MTB from Trek for that year.

So, yes, it is special and uncommon. And US made.

Proprietary True Temper OD tubing, with only this and the 970 sharing the frame. The 990 with full XT build (when XT was the top of the line group).

It's a special bike.
Fair enough then, I had no idea - it just didn't look special to me; I learned something new - powder-coat away!
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Old 04-26-21, 07:19 AM
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No pig. That's a very nice ride. I seem to remember seeing a scraped up 990 within the last year..don't remember where I saw it. In any event, once you get it cleaned up, you'll find it to be a wonderful bike. I have a drop bar converted 1993 (lugged) 970 that is used as a touring bike. I run Schwalbe Big Ben tires on it (26x2.15)..super easy rolling tires and a cushy ride. Love the bike. Doing a drop bar conversion with STI shifters was a no brainer. Front and rear derailleurs were completely compatible with the shifters (3x7 Tourney).

As for being rare..collectable..special..Italian(please..Italian bikes are wonderful..but not rare, nor unique, nor particularly special..there's lots of great bikes out there..I have a Columbus SL tubed, all Campy Record road bike..love it..but I also ride several Lemond's equally great bikes).

A 990 is quite rare though. I've keep an eye on 950-990s throughout the midwest..daily..for a few years. I've seen maybe one 990 come up for sale in the MN, WI, IL, MI, IN, & IA region in that time. And no..you won't be buying two for the cost of a powder job, not even close.

This is my 970 as purchased..it's since been drop bar converted, Brooks Flyer saddle, VO Cigne stem...... I need to take some pics of it..

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Old 04-26-21, 07:33 AM
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Looking at google results for Trek 990s I found your other thread on this particular bike 1991 Trek 990 and I was relieved that you weren't the one who had tried crudely scraping off the black fade areas. It should be interesting to see what a bunch of refurbished components look like hanging off this frame. I wish you luck with the rebuild and your assessment period. If you decide to keep it (and I can't see why not), at least the repaint will be totally guilt-free!
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Old 04-26-21, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by dirtman View Post
I had an old Schwinn last year that I got from the scrap guys here. The bike was complete and looked un-molested other than a heavy coat of cheap red paint on everything.
Not expecting much in the end, someone said try Easy Off oven cleaner. I had a few old cans in the basement from years ago, so i gave it a try.
It melted the cheap paint off like wax off a candle. I sprayed it down, let it sit a bit, and rinsed, I kept at the drips and runs for a second and third coat and it all came off, it even left the decals behind. I only left it on long enough for the paint to start to wrinkle, then I hit it with a hose and a rag, especially around the decals. Every trace of the spray paint came off leaving behind a finish I couldn't figure anyone ever felt needed to be painted over.
That's a great idea. I'm going to file this one away for later use.
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Old 04-26-21, 09:36 AM
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Have you considered just respraying the gloss black? The 1991 catalog describes the color as "black on conch" and the lighter section of that frame looks good. I would think that someone with an airbrush or a touch-up spray-gun could do a good job restoring the gloss black following appropriate surface prep. You could keep the cost low and restore the bike to near its original appearance. Get some USA decals for the seat stays, a light clear coat over the whole frame and you would have a beauty!
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Old 04-26-21, 12:33 PM
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As far as the pig reference goes, it is the same color of one, rolling in some mud!
Tim
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