Retrotec spring project- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1

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    ... and if we just ... Retrotec spring project

    Hi guys,

    Here's what I bought yesterday on eBay: a 10 years old Retrotec, fillet-brazed frame:



    The good news is that I got it for 40.5 Euros (about $50), with forks, stem, bottom-bracket.
    The bad news is that the frame has a large crack which seems to be on top of the downtube:



    It also has one missing eyelet on the right dropout:



    My intention is to have it repaired by a local frame builder, and perhaps replace the classical dropouts by some horizontal dropouts (Surly ?) at the same time. Then I'd like to repaint it with some cool color scheme (like the one from Francois).
    The goal is to build it as a rigid single-speed with some cool parts (Syncros...)

    I'll try to post some more pics of the next project steps.... Can't wait to receive it !!!!

    In the meantime, any suggestions are welcome !!!!

    Cheers,
    Francois (not the ulltralord one...)

  2. #2
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    those are such cool looking frames! i am sure whatever you do, it will make a cool ride!

    i have always wanted a retrotec (maybe one day)

  3. #3
    Witty McWitterson
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    $50!!! man what a grab! Even with the tube cracked, it's certainly repairable. Great eye. Be sure to keep up to speed on it. I'm sure there's lots here who'd like to see it finished.
    Just a regular guy.

  4. #4

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    Me too !

    I was also dreaming of them since I discovered them in an article about the Retrotec/Cooltool team in Jan'96 MBA !
    (In fact this MBA number also included the Dagger FS bike test, which became my first fully !)

    BTW, does any one know what is the seatpost size on these old Retrotec ?

    Francois

  5. #5

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    Just received the frame....

    .... Looks good, except the down tube crack runs around nearly 2/3 of the tube....
    <br />
    <img src="https://gallery.mtbr.com/data/mtbr/500/249417Retrotec2.jpg" border="0" alt="" /> <br />
    <br />
    Seems like I will need to put two gussets: one on top, and one on the bottom of the tube.

    Also the powdercoating is not in very good shape. I was thinking of re-painting only the front part with some white spears, but it really needs a complete new paint.

    Here are some more pictures:
    <br />
    <img src="https://gallery.mtbr.com/data/mtbr/507/249417Retrotec6.jpg" border="0" alt="" /> <br />
    <br />
    This frame has an internal cable routing for rear brake, and two tabs for road-style levers on the down tube, with the corresponding cable guides under the bottom bracket. First time I see this kind of setup on a mountain bike !
    <br />
    <img src="https://gallery.mtbr.com/data/mtbr/507/medium/249417Retrotec7.jpg" border="0" alt="" /> <br />
    <br />

    Next step: remove the paint around the crack and visit my lbs/frame builder....
    Cheers,
    Francois

  6. #6
    Penis Goat!
    Reputation: GirchyGirchy's Avatar
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    Try to find out what kind of steel it is, it might make a difference as to how it'll be welded.

    Also, it might be cheaper to take the frame to a regular welder. If there's a university nearby, find the professor in charge of car projects, like the SAE cars. Ask him where a good local welder is.

    I had my frame repaired by a guy who welded airplanes for forty years. Good work for $20.

  7. #7

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    After I removed the paint....

    It looks like the previous owner removed the two shifter internal cable guides, and even if it was filled with brass, it's where the crack started:
    <img src="https://gallery.mtbr.com/data/mtbr/500/medium/249417Retrotec12.jpg" border="0" alt="" />
    I hope next pictures will be after frame repair...

    Francois

  8. #8

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    Cool-blue Rhythm After repair...

    Hi !
    It took me some more time then I thougt to repair it ! In fact the frame welder of my lbs has just stopped working, so I decided to do it myself... After a few weeks reading the framebuilders list and various websites, I decided to silver-braze a big gusset on the broken-tube.
    I was lucky enough to find a supermarket-mtb frame wreck that had exactly the right size top tube to make the gusset !
    Here's how it looks after cleaning and polishing:
    <br />
    <img src="https://gallery.mtbr.com/data/mtbr/507/249417Photo035.jpg" border="0" alt="" /> <br />

    And after a rattle-can repaint of the front part of the frame:
    <br />
    <img src="https://gallery.mtbr.com/data/mtbr/507/249417Photo045.jpg" border="0" alt="" /> <br />
    <br />
    <img src="https://gallery.mtbr.com/data/mtbr/507/249417Photo051.jpg" border="0" alt="" /> <br />

    I should receive the latest parts to re-build it this week...

    Francois

  9. #9
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    ... and if we just ... great job!

    nice job on that frame. i guess if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself, huh . i just recently came across some postings on cruiser style mtb.'s and really love that retro look. one of my faves is aquaholic's threads/posts on his KHS Fleetwood. imagine the look on people's faces when they see someone riding a cruiser in the trails . i liked that look so much that i'm waiting for my cruiser to arrive so I can do some Frankenbikin' - should be here next week (really wanted a retrotek, but don't have the $$ at the moment , so i'll just have to wait to get lucky like you and find a frame within budget).
    anyways, build it and make sure to post some pics of your finished project. can't wait to see it. happy building!

    Quote Originally Posted by fanzy38
    Hi !
    It took me some more time then I thougt to repair it ! In fact the frame welder of my lbs has just stopped working, so I decided to do it myself... After a few weeks reading the framebuilders list and various websites, I decided to silver-braze a big gusset on the broken-tube.
    I was lucky enough to find a supermarket-mtb frame wreck that had exactly the right size top tube to make the gusset !
    Here's how it looks after cleaning and polishing:
    <br />
    <img src="https://gallery.mtbr.com/data/mtbr/507/249417Photo035.jpg" border="0" alt="" /> <br />

    And after a rattle-can repaint of the front part of the frame:
    <br />
    <img src="https://gallery.mtbr.com/data/mtbr/507/249417Photo045.jpg" border="0" alt="" /> <br />
    <br />
    <img src="https://gallery.mtbr.com/data/mtbr/507/249417Photo051.jpg" border="0" alt="" /> <br />

    I should receive the latest parts to re-build it this week...

    Francois

  10. #10
    Witty McWitterson
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    Indeed, VERY creative solution to getting it running again. For an amature, your work looks pretty nice! Did you practice on the doaner bike first?
    Just a regular guy.

  11. #11

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    Exactly !!!
    In fact I started by doing more or less the same operation on the donor bike.
    The main issue I had is that I couldn't cleanly close the two innner-cable holes, that's why I choosed to put a second small gusset on top of the tube...
    Next step will probably be to replace the vertical dropouts by Paul's singlespeed dropouts. But I'll probably wait for next winter.

  12. #12
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    Great job!
    Forget the horizontal drops and just get an ENO eccentric hub. Its a lot less trouble and a much better solution overall.

  13. #13

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    Fixmeup told me there should be a magic-ratio at 36x18, that's what I'll check tonight...
    It will also depend if I keep riding it off-road, or if I end up using it as a backup commuter, with 42x16, horizontal dropouts, surly hub and some mungo or mary bars...
    In anycase I need an ENO hub for my converted Fisher Procaliber... ;-)

  14. #14

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    First test ride !

    Just received the latest parts this morning, finished the build before going to work, so that I could go to ride this evening.
    Unfortunately the supposed magic-ratio is too loose, and required a singleator.

    First ride impression: it's f#@& light ! Even if the frame is not very light (about 6 pds), the complete bike weights something like 22 pounds...
    I felt immediately comfortable on it, and it's really cool to re-discover the qualities of a good fully-rigid frame-fork ! Even if the downhills are pretty rough, especially with skinny 1.9" ritchey wcs tires....
    The main problem I had was that every possible screw seemed to come loose: stem quill, seatpost clamp, seatpost head... Spent my time getting my allen keys from the Camelback....

    <img src="https://gallery.mtbr.com/data/mtbr/502/249417Photo013.jpg" border="0" alt="" />

    <br />
    <img src="https://gallery.mtbr.com/data/mtbr/502/249417Photo011.jpg" border="0" alt="" />

    <img src="https://gallery.mtbr.com/data/mtbr/502/249417Photo006.jpg" border="0" alt="" />

  15. #15
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    Hot Damn!

    Great refurbishing job!

  16. #16
    Sofa King We Todd Did
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    You did a remarkable job with that, mate. A bit of a curious question - as you were repairing that crack, any reason you didn't opt to lose the vertical dropouts and replace them with horizontal dropouts? After all, if you were taking the torch to the thing...

  17. #17
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    Wow! Nice work.

  18. #18

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    Thanks !

    I'll probably wait until next winter before changing the dropouts...
    It seems that Paul dropouts should do the job.

  19. #19
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    Very nice save

    Loving the look. Although he seems to be crying for canti's...

  20. #20

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    Hummm... I have an old set of Ritchey Logic + Dia-compe SS5 that I could borrow from my girl-friend commuter, but I don't remember them being very effective... and my handling greatly improved when I switched to V-brakes !
    I would rather put a sweet set of XTR V-brakes... But that's a bit more expensive than those Avid SD5...

  21. #21
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    I absolutely love what you've done with the bike. I have loved the look of the Retrotecs ever since I saw an article on them and seeing them in person down at Sea Otter really confirmed it for me. They are like works of art with all of those curved tubes.

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