I spend hours on end looking for vintage and new MTB. parts and complete mountain bikes. Whatever I can not use for upcoming projects I like to pass the savings onto the public. I have also noticed that some people don't have the time or know where to look for certain vintage MTB parts. Before you get too discourage, email me at DJpHbalance@Roadrunner.Com I can help find that elusive part. For example: This U.S.E Fork I found for a customer last month.
FORMER VINTAGE SEROTTA T-MAX BUILDS
This bike was sold years ago but it was one of my first custom builds.
Saturday, February 2, 2013
Serotta T-Max Project
PROJECT SEROTTA T-MAX
On this blog I will be restoring another Serotta T-Max. I love these mountain bikes. The frames are made out of Columbus Max OR steel and you can either purchase one off the showroom floor or the correct way have it custom measured just for you. These bikes are hand made and worth every penny. I'll be showing you a step by step process from beginning to end. So I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Here's just a small list of item's that are going on my new project. I will be going step by step with you during the build process. Right now the bike is being media blasted and primed. The parts are starting to roll in and I will be photographing each part and listing it's weight so everyone can see the bike's true weight. I'm real excited about this build because after selling my first T-Max I felt sad to see it go. I'm sure that you had a bike that made you smile just by looking or walking by it. That's how I felt, it made me feel good and now a days you need something like that every now and then. Anyway I hope you enjoy the ride...
1994/95 SEROTTA T-MAX CUSTOM
16.5" Columbus Triple Butted Max OR Steal Frame Painted (By Me) In A Color Shifting Silver Rainbow Micro Metal Flake 1390Gm
TiTanium V-Brake Pad Fixing Bolts KCNC Aluminum Pulleys KCNC Aluminum Jockey Pulley Bolts KCNC Cassette Lock Ring KCNC Valve Stem Lock Nut & CNC Valve Cap KCNC Aluminum Chainring Bolts KCNC Granny Ring Bolts
Other Needed Items: 2-3 Ounces Stan's NoTube Sealant Problem Solvers 1" To 1 1/8' Steerer Tube Adapter Frame Protection Tape For The High Scratch And Impact Areas
Total & Actual Weight 6741g = 14lb 13.782oz
Frame Freshly Media Blasted, Primed & Ready For Paint
Silver RainBow Micro Metal Flake Paint Sample
These Are Hard To Come By Since Serotta Won't Sell Decals To Anyone Unless You Are A Serotta Dealer And Yes I know They Are For A Colorado Road Bike. I Have The T-Max Decals Being Made For Me By My Decal Guy.
NOS Rock Shox Quadra 10
Band Spanking New That I Am Modifying w/ A Aluminum Steerer Tube A Lizard Brake Booster And TiTanium Hardware To Help Lighten An Already Super Light Suspension Fork. I would Like To Have It Under 1100 Grams.
ENVE 26" Carbon Tubeless Rims 235 Grams Each
This Option Is A Weight Weenies Wet Dream Plus A Costly One And There Are Other Options Besides Carbon Like The Stan's NoTubes Rims But If You Can Afford To Go This Route I Suggest You Sell The BaseBall Card Collection And Purchase A Set Of These Rim's.
Maxxiss MaxxLite 285 2.0 x 26" Tires
These Are The Lightest Tires Money Can Buy At 285 Grams Per Tire Plus I Am Running Them TubeLess To Loose Another 150 Grams
Marwi Ti-Dye TiTanium Spokes Blue Aluminum Nipples
Just Another Way To Loose Those Precious Grams Off Of The Total Weight Of The Bike. Nothing Beats A Set Of SuperLite Wheels And Will Become Apparent Upon Your First Ride. It's Worth The Money And Then Some Plus Look how Cool They Are!
Full Carbon Fiber Saddle w/ Carbon Rails 90 Grams
You Have To give It To The Chinese, How They Can Manufacture A Full Carbon Saddle With Rails And sell It Under $50 Amazes Me!
AEST CNC V-Brake Lever's 58 Grams Pair
I Have These But In Blue. Again The Chinese Have Made It Possible To Be A True Weight Weenie w/ A Very limited Budget.
RainBow Colored TiTanium Bolts
This Is An Expensive Option On The Quest To Shed Weight. But Put It Together With The Recon CNC RainBow Cassette And The KCNC Bling Package People Will Notice Your Attention To Detail Which Goes Hand In Hand If You Are A Weight Weenie.
KCNC Bling Package
I Really Hate That Word "Bling" But What Else Do You Call Item's That Add Color And Flash To Your Rig???
February 16, 2013
Today I will be prepping the frame for paint. The frame has a flat gray base coat but I will be adding a flat black base coat in certain areas where the decals will be going. I'm doing this because the metal flake paint is a clear type of paint. You mix the metal flake with a high gloss top coat and what the metal flake doesn't cover will be seen. I want the decals to pop and I think the decals would get lost with a gray base coat. By adding the black in those decal areas you'll see the decals better and it will add another color scheme/look to the bike.
I have also been looking at other Serotta's on the Internet and checking out their decal schemes. I have noticed a change where people are fore going the full "Serotta" name on the seat tube and just putting the "S". I'm digging that look as well as putting a "S" on the top tube. Minimalism at it's best. I say let the bike do most of the talking. People know you have a Serotta by the down tube and the chain stays. It looks like you're shouting, "hey look I have a Serotta!" Be proud of your bike not brag about your bike.
I could not stop myself with only painting the frame black where the decals were going. When I saw how nice the frame looked in the black areas I said "let's do the whole frame in black." I'm telling you guys, if you can get a air compressor with a spray gun attachment do it. This is just the base coat and you would swear that the bike looks finished. I will never use canned spray paint ever again. The metal flake is going to look unbelievable on top of the black. I am really pleased with this step...
February 17, 2013
I received the donor fork yesterday and I started taking it apart so I can use the crown and steerer tube for the Quadra 10 fork. The Quadra 10 fork came with a 1 1/8" steerer tube so it 's un-usable with this project. I am also going to use the inners of the donor fork as well because it will give me more travel and I'm thinking about painting the crown black because it's not as nice as the new crown and everything else is new on the bike so the crown would look out of place being scratched up and dull looking.
It's pretty cold here in East Aurora NY so I don't think I'll be spraying the metal flake today. The area where my make-shift shop is has no heat and my space heater crapped the bed and I would like the room a bit warmer for painting to get a better result. I have plenty of other things to do today like lacing the rear wheel and putting the fork together.
February 18, 2013
The bike is all pre-sanded and ready to be sprayed in the morning. I'm really looking forward in seeing the results and how the metal flake will look. I have never sprayed metal flake before so to be sure I have my distance correct I'll spray some water first so I can adjust the amount and the pattern coming out of the nozzle. This is good practice for any do it your selfer.
February 19, 2013
Again pictures do not do the bike justice. But you can get an idea on how awesome the bike looks. Now I will let the bike cure over night then I'll lightly use a scrubby pad to smooth the surface down and put the clear coat over it repeating a few times to get the desire clear coat look.
February 20, 2013
I will be clear coating this morning. I have noticed with this clear coat that it drys in just a few minutes. This will allow me to shoot the bike over and over till I get the desired look but I don't want to shoot it too much since I am going for a weight weenie bike. You have no idea on how much paint weighs. Just think about it, hold a can of primer, a can of your bike's color and maybe a couple of cans clear coat. Granted there is over spray and that paint won't make it on the bike but a half to 3/4's will make it on the bike for each can. That's a pound or two or more! Even more if your bike is a larger or extra large frame. Ideally a hardcore weight weenie will leave his/her bike without any paint. I wanted to go that route but I didn't like the way it looked. I'm a color guy as if you can't tell.
I have been talking to a guy who tells me that people have been taking suspension forks with a 1" steerer/crown/stanchions and retrofitting them to install a set of Sid lowers. It seams like a ton of work to do and there's a Dremil involved. Myself I would just search for a Sid with a 1" steerer tube already installed. They are out there but finding one in mint condition would cost a fortune! I'll try to find a picture or 2 of this retrofit. I would love to see it.
February 20, 2013
As you can see I put the decals on. I'm kind of bummed out because the clear coat bled into/under-neath a couple of the decals. You can only see it if you are up close and looking for a mistake. I went ahead with putting the full "Serotta" decals on the seat tube. I thought about snipping the "S" off of them and only using it on the seat tube. It wouldn't have look right so I nixed that idea. Today I will continue spraying the clear coat a couple more times. I want a nice and smooth finish but I don't want to load the bike up with extra coats because we are trying to keep the bike as light as possible. Remember we are going for a "Weight Weenie" bike. Looks like I'll be putting parts on over the weekend and maybe ridding it within a few weeks. Only if the weather clears up and there's no snow on the streets.
February 21, 2013
Here's a nice shot of the brakes and you can see how nice the clear coat came out.
The Chris King Headset slid into the head tube nicely since I have a headset press and I tried to make sure that the 2 cups matched.
Here are a couple of close up photos of a few components and a nicer look at the paint job. With these photos you can really see the metal flake. I took the frame outside last evening before the sun went down and the bike looked silver. I am absolutely pleased with my paint job. I am thinking about going pro!! LOL
February 23, 2013
Going To Ricks Cycle Shop today to work on the forks. I am going to swap crowns & steerer tubes from the donor fork to the Quadra 10 fork. I would have liked to do this at home but I don't have an allen wrench long enough to get the job done. Plus my steerer cutting device broke so I'll have to use theirs. The fork is holding me up from putting the bike together. I need it on so I can put the Nokon cables together that will allow me to install the front and rear mechs. I had to make a change with the crank spider, the costs were starting to add up so modifying the spider to fit with the crank arms was going to cost more than I was willing to pay. I ordered a Sram/Truativ XX/XO spider and sold the Funn spider. I sent the spokes out to be cut and threaded by a guy in IL. He'll cut and thread my spokes for .25 cents a piece plus return shipping. Having to purchase Marwi Ti-Dye spokes again would have been between $4.00 to $5.00 a piece so tell me what would you have done? Huh? Having all of these connections helping me build bikes allows me to build bikes for others at affordable rates. There's really nothing I can't have done on any type of mountain bikes.
I was able to get the legs off with the help of the longer allen wrench. I had to cut the stanchions because they were too long for the Quadra 10 legs. I will be paint the crown and brake arch the same color as the bike.
This ought to add a bit of flash and the fork and brake arch will match the bike bringing all of the parts together. Again, attention to detail is a must with building custom bikes and I do my best to make sure my bikes are works of art.
February 25, 2013
Fork is all finished and all put back together. I have it mocked up with a pair of visegrips so I can see what it's going to look like on the bike. I had to do that since my stem/bars/seat post haven't arrived yet. Here are a few pics.
Granted I could have put a higher end fork on but finding one in mint condition and in a 1" steerer tube would cost a fortune. I have been searching for months now but I may consider changing forks if I find one that's priced right.
You can see by spraying the metal flake over the silver crown adds that little touch of sparkle but spraying over the black arch ties the fork to the frame. I don't know if you noticed that I drilled holes in the arch to take some weight off. Every little bit helps lower the total weight. It's looks cool too.
Too bad you can't see the rainbow color on the cassette but you can see the blue KCNC pulleys and pulley bolts.
Remember that all of the colored bolts you see will be replaced by the rainbow colored titanium bolts. Here is a good look of the FSA ceramic bearings GPX Bottom bracket.
The TR V-Brakes, sorry for the flash drowning out the frame. I like the placement of the Rock Shox decal.
The seat post bolt and another all white decal. A few of my bikes were loaded up with decals but I am going for more of a cleaner looking bike so less is more in my case.
February 28, 2013
I'm in a holding pattern until the last of the parts come in. Even though I don't have the stem or handle bars I was able to install the Nokon shifter cables. There's nothing else I can do, bad planning on my part not to have the parts coming in on time but more than half of them are coming from China and sometimes customs take longer than it should for packages to clear. It's a waiting game now.
I'm going to use the frame protection tubes that Nokon gives you with their cable kits.
March 1, 2013
Here's some positive news, Serotta just got back to me with an answer to a couple of questions I asked them last week involving switching head tubes from my 1" head tube to a 1 1/8" head tube. He told me that it's possible for them to do the swap for me but I didn't get a quote yet. As for adding a disc brake tab he mentioned to me, since my T-Max didn't come with a disc brake option it might put undue stress on the rear chain stays. But he didn't say that it's not possible. Anyone wanna guess how much it's going to cost to swap head tubes?$$?
Here's a picture of what the head tube looks like in it's raw form. I would like to have a 1 1/8" by 1 1/2" head tube so I can purchase a 2013 fork.
Here are the disc brake dropouts in their raw form. I have a solution to the rear chain stays not being strong enough to handle the stress that disc brakes will put on them. You can reinforce both the upper and lower chain stays with a brace that would connect them both. Problem solved.
MARCH 2, 2013
The TiTanium Rainbow bolts came in today. I'm missing about 1/3 of my order but they are going to be sending me quite a few more bolts in a few extra sizes. It's not a huge deal but they should have told me that they didn't have all of my bolts in-stock before they took my money.
Sweet right? This is what I call attention to detail. I even use the rainbow TiTanium bolts in places where you won't even see them but that's how I roll.
March 3, 2013
Serotta got back to me with a price quote for replacing my 1" head tube with a 1 1/8" head tube. Hold on to your jaws, it's $250.00 plus a $150.00 frame check then there's a refinishing charge for them to paint the areas that were affected but I think that would include the replacement "S" head tube decal and lastly a charge to pack and ship the bike back to you. I herd Serotta was in some financial trouble but come on!?!? This doesn't include the disc brake dropouts so figure $700.00 or more in total. I mentioned to him that he just priced me out of this upgrade. This is really disappointing, it's a great idea and just think of all of those older Serotta mountain bikes out there. People would flock at the chance to be able to upgrade their bikes. It doesn't make any sense to me so I have just enrolled into a welder course. Just kidding or am I? Back to the drawing board I guess.........
I have a ton of spare time on my hands while I'm waiting for the rest of the parts come in. So I purchased some nifty decals that have a metal flake look. Since I wasn't able to purchase decals from Serotta I had to improvise where I was missing OEM Serotta decals. I really like this one and where it's placed.
Here again I used the decals so people can see what Serotta model it is and believe it or not they show up really nicely.
This one on the other hand I'm not sure about keeping. For once I would like to have my name on it other than the "Weight Weenies Inc. Prototype 1 Of 1" decal I put on all of my custom race ready out of the box mountain bikes I build for customers. I think it would look better with only "Team Hausbeck". Remember less is more and I don't want to have too many decals so people focus all of their attention on the bike NOT the decals. I don't make money building custom bikes because they like the look of all the decals. If anything I'll change it to, "Team Hausbeck" or "Team Weight Weenies Inc." but I would have to go with smaller letters.
March 4, 2013
Oh baby, I want these! Extralite E-Bones W 479 Grams w/Ceramic Bearings. This happens to me all the time, I purchase components then they start to roll in and while waiting I see item's like these cranks and I say to myself "I should have waited!" Lesson learned.
THE SCALE NEVER LIES
Now what do I do? Do I sell the crank set and chain rings I have now before they get installed or do I keep them and hope to win a few bucks on these NYS Lottery scratch-offs I have? Does anyone know how much they give you for making a deposit to a sperm bank?
March 5, 2013
I found a guy who makes super light weight CNC Bash Guards. 37/40 grams for a 4 bolt 36t 104 BCD colored aluminum and the best part is they are only $12.00 w/ free shipping! How can this guy be making any money? These would still sell for $20.00 or more w/ free ship I would bet. Check it out: http://bbgbashguard.com/index.html
I purchased this one and do you see the nice and even drill holes to lighten it up. I'm putting the crank arm on the spider today. I'll have to make a little adjustment to the spider because the arm doesn't sit flush to the spider. I'll use a Dremil w/ a grinding attachment to widen the area where it's blocking the arm from become flush with the spider.
I'll be doing that and the brake cables and noodles are coming in today so even though I don't have the stem or handle bars I'll still assemble and run the brake cables. And all I can do with the crank set is mock it up and show you a picture or 2 of what it will look like on the bike but without the bash guard.
Do you see the pink crank bolts of the inside of the crank set? I had these laying around and thought it would add subtle color to the overall scheme of the bike.
March 6, 2013
Something doesn't look right w/ the front mech and the crank set. Maybe it's the 36t chain ring and I am not use to looking at something so small. Normally I have a 42t or larger and this is the first time that I am using a double set up. I usually use a triple. See for yourselves.
Granted the bash guard isn't installed but it looks like the front mech is way too high/away from the chain ring. I'm wondering if I have to go with a low mount front mech?
You see the nifty brake noodle.
I also reinstalled the Nokon shifter/brake cables. I had some white and black pieces left over from previous builds so I used them to make more of an interesting design. I like it better than just the plain blue.
On another subject I can't freaking believe how long it's taking for the cockpit and saddle to arrive from China. That and the spokes are all that I am waiting for. I can't cut the steerer until the cockpit arrives and it will only take me a few hours to lace the wheels. The streets here are all nice and clean so even if it's 20 degrees out I would still take the bike out for a ride to the local coffee shop so I am acting like a little kid on Christmas's waiting for the mailman to arrive carrying packages that I can tell are for me. I know, I have a problem but I ran out of my medication. LOL
March 7, 2013
I don't know if using the Lizard Brake Arch is strong enough alone to use instead of the OEM Rock Shox Brake Arch?
it takes 2 1/2 ounces off the total weight of the bike.
You would think that the hub/skewer would keep the legs from twisting but I don't want to sacrifice safety to save weight. It also changes the look of the fork and bike. I like the fact that I don't have that cable routing tab that's on the OEM arch. Since I wasn't using it, it looked useless and out of place.
March 8, 2013
The bash guard came in and I have to say it's a pretty nice guard for the money.
At $12.00 shipped how can you go wrong?
The stem, handle bars and seat post came in as well. Not happy with the stem though, it looks like there a broken bolt inside one of the stem's face plate holes and the bolt only goes in a 1/4 of the way. I have no way to tighten that one bolt but if I trim the bolt it will fit. I just hate cutting bolts because any mistake with the grinder there goes a $2.00 titanium bolt.
Here's a nice shot of the shifters and levers.
March 9, 2013
Maybe the saddle will come in today. That 3T stuff is gorgeous and I am glad I purchased them. I love the way the silver Xida handle bars changes color veiwing them at different angles. I still haven't shaved the one stem bolt down. I wanted to show you guys first because with building custom mountain bikes nothing comes easy. There's always a part or two that has to be tweaked before it gets installed.
Man that pisses me off but I enjoy tinkering with the bike parts and it gives me more experience w/ building custom mountain bikes which will allow me to ask for more money for one of my bikes. Right now they are pretty cheap in mountain bike dollars.
SRP Titanium fork brake bolts
The Marwi Ti-Dye spokes came back today from my guy who resized and threaded them for me. He saved me a ton of money doing this. I would have had to purchase new Marwi spokes and at $5.00 a piece it would have cost the project more. I spent .25 cents per spoke to have this done. What a great way to use components that you have laying around.
I think he meant to write 163 on the bag. I would like to thank Lee Killpatric for the resizing of the spoke. If anyone wants to do the same thing and have their old spokes re-sized just email me and I'll hook you up with Lee.
March 10, 2013
Taking the day off so I am sorry to say no updates on the project. Monday I will lace the wheels, cut off the excess shifter/brake cables, shorten the chains length and tighten down all bolts since I only have them finger tight while the build is in progress. The bike won't be ready to ride on Monday either since I haven't received the saddle or the Stan's NoTubes sealant. But the bike will be able to ride within 10 days. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I'll have to make up my mind if I am going to keep it or sell it? If I sell it, I don't know what to ask? Even with all new high end components, a vintage mountain bike like mine wouldn't get the price that I personally think it deserves. This class of mountain bikes have a price ceiling which limits your ability to get back what you have invested unless the bike has a cult following, like an Amp, Fat Chance, Litespeed or Moots. There's always a chance that someone out there is the type where money is no object, they have to have it at any costs.
March 11, 2013
I forgot to show a picture of the seat post. I had to cut and sand the bottom of the seat post to fit inside of the seat tube. The Serotta seat tube is really and I mean really small. I think it might be a 26.0mm. Finding a carbon fiber seat post that is the same size is next to impossible. So some surgery had to be applied. I was very careful not to cut the seat post too short and not to sand the post up too high in case I sell the bike and the new owner needs to raise the seat post and there are sand marks showing.
I don't know if you have noticed that I haven't posted any full shots of the bike w/ the components. I only have shown close-ups or half shots. I'm doing this on purpose because I only want a full picture when the bike is completed. I'm also trying to keep you guys interested and I hope I am doing it so far.
March 14, 2013
Had to put the build on hold for a few days. Nothing is wrong, everything is still going quite well if I may say so myself. Still waiting on the saddle and I been thinking about which grips to put on? I have a set of KCNC light blue foam grips 20 grams and a set of Propalm dark blue foam grips 40 grams and I like the Propalm grips better. They match with 85% of the other blue components. I'll take the hit on the extra 20 grams for attention to detail any day.
I like the way the Propalm grips feel on my hands. More than likely I'm going with the Propalm grips.
March 19, 2013
I'm starting to sound like a broken record but the saddle still hasn't arrived. I emailed the dude but he hasn't returned my email yet. I'm not worried, I'm just getting frustrated because I'm closed to finishing the bike and I am looking forward to the first ride.
The flash drowns out the blue on the grips so they look like they don't match but the levers and grips match nicely.
This is a better shot that shows how nice the grips match the levers and the Nokon shifter/brake cables. I also laced the wheels and I ran into a problem with the non-drive side spokes. For some reason every other spoke seems to be longer and I am not able to tighten the nipples on those spokes. Huh?? They are exactly the same length as the others so I must have made a mistake in centering the hub and rim. I just hate un-lacing and re-lacing my wheels because sooner or later you'll strip a nipple or break a spoke. If I had the money I would have someone lace the wheels for me but I am trying to keep the costs down just in case I decide to sell it.
April 1, 2013
Been on holiday for the past couple of weeks. I really needed the rest plus I had other projects around the house to do. This week I'll be lacing the wheel set. It's the only work left on the bike besides tightening down all of the bolts and tuning the derailleurs and brakes in. I have been putting it off because I think the spokes are a bit too long by a millimeter each. I guess I'll know for sure by Wednesday so till then wish me luck.
I guess it's time for me to come clean about the ENVE rim's and the Tune hub set. They're Chinese knock-offs, ENVE doesn't make V-Brake mountain bike carbon rims and I would never spend close to $600.00 for a hub set. But I dare you to notice this if you were to see the wheel set in person. Boy, am I glad I got this off of my chest. LOL
April 2, 2013
Here are a couple of pictures of the saddle.
Talk about an aero design. I'll be shooting some blue metal-flake on it to give it some color. I want to tie it into all of the other blue components.
Here's a great look at how thin it is and the carbon rails. It doesn't look like it's comfortable to ride but that's why we ride with padded shorts. Also how comfortable is a 90 gram saddle suppose to be? Mountain bikers don't spend a ton of time on the saddle anyway.
April 26, 2013
I finally got off my skinny ass and laced the wheels. I Hope you like them as much as I do.
I really would like to start accepting some offers for the T-Max. Is there anyone out there that would like to own one of the best custom mountain bike that I have built so far??Email me for any and all offers! @: