CL rescue and resurrection of a Rock Lobster
As many of you know, I made the trek from Houston to Austin last weekend to purchase a Rock Lobster I found on Craigs lisp. It came to me filthy and out of tune with the hubs bleeding grease from years of sitting in a hot Austin garage.
Once home it was completely disassembled (minus cartridge BB), thoroughly cleaned, polished, greased, re-cabled, and lubed before truing the wheels and adding air to the fork. Unfortunately I did not take any pick of the tear down. I was shocked to see the condition of the grease in the headset and hubs, compared to the lithium based grease in the shifter housings. The lithium grease was still white and appeared to be unaffected by the heat that melted the lube from the grease in the hubs and headset.
Drivetrain ready for trail duty:
Still undecided on the handlebar... thoughts?
Dented rear rim & slightly bent seat post
The paint is brittle or the previous owner was careless. It polished up nice, but there are a number of chips and small scratches.
The best news of the build was the functioning Mag21 fork with 1" aluminum steer tube! I was told it was not holding air, but a few pumps with a ball needle and each leg has held 50 psi for a week now. That and there is not a scratch on the legs, and the boots appear to have been on since new! It is squeaky clean underneath! What's the modern equivalent of Judy butter and is this a good idea with a Mag21?
Now for a test ride, and maybe a few pics of it on the trail!
A couple of thoughts;
- You might want to take the opportunity to pull the cartridge BB and re-install it. They sometimes tend to seize into the frame, if it were mine I'd set the clock back to zero on that.
- "Scratch Out" from an auto store might give you even better results with the paint.
- It's easy (relatively) to overhaul a Mag21. You'd replace the fork oil, which does what Judy Butter did on the elastomer/oil cartridge on them. In other words, the seals largely self lubricate. There are certainly instructions in easy to find places on the web. Perhaps even here.
- And the bar? Eh. Totally a judgement call. I never liked those, but it's not really out of place.
Don't call it a gooseneck.
Thanks for the advice!
On a side note, I've been in and around the bike industry since the mid 90's and I never knew XT hubs of this vintage were stickered and not etched. Take a close look at the last photo and you'll see it peeling up. WTH?!?!
I just got finished with servicing a mag21 myself last week. The service and tuning manual for Mag21 is available at;
One shortcut not in the manual, if you do not happen to have the obscure main-seal puller tool, you can alternately remove the mainseals (after first removing the big snapring between mainseal and wiper) by pressurizing the fork and use combination of the internal pressure and external pulling on the stanchion and lower in order to get the main seal pulled/blown out. (When the mainseal does finally release, it will likely spew fork oil all over you.)
If your mainseal is holding air, you probably should just leave the fork together, change the oil via the aircaps so as to avoid damaging the mainseal. Compelling reason to go inside the fork would be to shorten the top-out spacer by 20mm for the long-travel modification.
Looks great, I agree with J'zilla remove the bottom bracket for piece of mind if nothing else. Looking forward to ride report.
Nice looking bike, and very nice pick-up.
Each bicycle owned exponentially increases the probability that none is working correctly.
By richieb in forum Vintage, Retro, Classic
Last Post: 2 Days Ago, 07:37 AM
By eastcoaststeve in forum Vintage, Retro, Classic
Last Post: 08-10-2012, 11:52 AM
By canyonrat in forum 29er Bikes
Last Post: 06-22-2011, 11:05 AM
By Bar01 in forum Vintage, Retro, Classic
Last Post: 04-20-2011, 10:18 AM
By Bar01 in forum Bike and Frame discussion
Last Post: 04-20-2011, 07:20 AM