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Just hit it with speed
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
1997! Gary Fisher 853 Reynolds X-Cal restore

I've got an older Fisher X-Cal that is showing some signs of wear. With the recent purchase and addition of my Fisher Rig I thought it would be cool to get this X-Cal back up to speed. Its rideable now with some parts that I got from Jenson but from what I hear people really love their 853 Steel Reynold frames and I am lucky enough to have one sitting in my garage. My plans for the bike are to convert it to a single speed with 19t or 20t in the rear and through some Crank Bros Mallets on it so that anyone who would like to ride it could(Friends, Family). I am a little concerned with the condition the frame is in. There are some spots where the paint has worn away down to the steel and there is rust forming. I could careless how the frame is aesthetically (Although if I could maintain the dated look of the graphics that would be cool)but what I would like to do is to stop the rust from spreading and if I could remove it completely. If anyone could help me with the removal and refinishing process it would be greatly appreciated.

Also does anyone know if the rust that is on the bike already could weaken the frame in anyway? Here are some pictures I just snapped of the frame. Let me know if a full-quality/larger photo would help any.
 

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Cool bike. You don't see many of those. I wouldn't mind owning one some day.

I wouldn't worry about that rust. It doesn't seem to be in critical places. If you want to stop it, you need to remove some paint around the rust because its probably spread a bit under the paint. I like to use a small hand held sandblaster.

Do a search for POR 15 online. Its a very good 3 part rust treatment.

By the way, I wouldn't go SS if the bike is going to be used by friends or relatives that don't have bikes. They usually NEED gears. ;)
 

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I'm sorry to say, that Fisher is not a 1993. It's a 1996 or 1997 (I'm pretty sure it's 1997) and made by Trek. That doesn't mean it's not a FANTASTIC frame, though.

If you're really looking to keep it from rusting you should take it to a pro. If it's rusting this much on the outside, it'll be much worse on the inside. Take it to someone that can bead blast (glass or silicone) and have it repainted. Also, make sure to use JP Weigle on the inside of the frame.

Or, if it's a 19", get in touch with me and I'll take it off your hands.
 

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Doesntplaywellwithmorons!
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I was about to say... 853 didn't exist in 1993.
 

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Just hit it with speed
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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Your totally right. Any idea how much a restoration like that would cost in and out the door? Guess I'd lose the graphics than huh?
 

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Unfortunately you'd lose the graphics. If you go outside the bike biz you could probably find someone to blast it for $50-100. Just make sure that it's not sand blasting. Some sort of a "softer" bead would be best because 853 is fairly thin. You may be able to then bribe your local auto paint shop to paint your frame for another $50-100. Especially if they are painting a car in the same color that you want on your bike. You may have to do the prep work (masking) and there probably won't be a coat of primer on the paint.

Of course you could always send it out to someone like Hot Tubes (Worcester, MA) who does it for a few hundred. (He paints frames for Seven Cycles, by the way) Joe Bell is typically considered the master of frame painting, but he gets pricey.

Good luck!

P.S. personally, I think the frame is worth it
 

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wickedwheels said:
Unfortunately you'd lose the graphics. If you go outside the bike biz you could probably find someone to blast it for $50-100. Just make sure that it's not sand blasting. Some sort of a "softer" bead would be best because 853 is fairly thin. You may be able to then bribe your local auto paint shop to paint your frame for another $50-100. Especially if they are painting a car in the same color that you want on your bike. You may have to do the prep work (masking) and there probably won't be a coat of primer on the paint.

Of course you could always send it out to someone like Hot Tubes (Worcester, MA) who does it for a few hundred. (He paints frames for Seven Cycles, by the way) Joe Bell is typically considered the master of frame painting, but he gets pricey.

Good luck!

P.S. personally, I think the frame is worth it
I wouldn't hesistate to sand blast steel. You can always reduce the velocity of the sand if you're really worried about it. I would only spend the extra $ for media blasting on aluminum or ti.
 

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Just hit it with speed
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have to admit this is sounding like more work than I thought. Can I do anything to stop the spread of the rust and maintain the frames integrity without spending triple digits?
 

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information leafblower
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well...

it's a bit ghetto but it worked for me.

I had a Bontrager Race frame on which the paint started to blister aorund the gusset head tube area... just small strands of surface rust. I rubbed them back with fine wet/dry sandpaper and then masked off and primed just the problem areas and resprayed it with a close colour match. it wasn't the prettiest solution but it held up fine for over a year without further evidence of rust.
 

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Just hit it with speed
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have tried to change the name of the thread but without much success. I recently saw this frame on ebay and I asked the seller what he knew about the bike. He confirmed as someone earlier in this thread that the bike is from 1997.

As mentioned a couple of posts above that is what I was thinking more along the lines of a fix. Sanding down the area covering it with something and than eventually repainting it. I care 0% about spots that don't match and if I ever care in the future I will get the bike repainted for the hundreds of dollars mentioned above. My main concern now is removing the existing rust and stopping the appearance of new rust. Is there a simple way to do that without having to sandblast and re-powdercoat the frame? Is sanding done the effected areas and sealing them not effective enough?

Also the hole in the back which I guess was for a reflector or something, does anyone have a suggestion on how I could seal that or stop the rust that is formed inside of it?
 

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GFisher2001 said:
Is there a simple way to do that without having to sandblast and re-powdercoat the frame? Is sanding done the effected areas and sealing them not effective enough?

Also the hole in the back which I guess was for a reflector or something, does anyone have a suggestion on how I could seal that or stop the rust that is formed inside of it?
If you don't care about the looks, then you can sand the affected areas (by hand, dremel, small wire wheel, etc) & paint. the rust does migrate under the paint, so you'll need to sand to the metal in a larger area around the rust. I recently did a 'rattle can' special on an old trek, it took a lot of work with wire wheel to get the rust under control, but I was also removing a crappy rattle can job in which the entire bike was sprayed.

Ideally, use a metal primer, then paint, or just use something like rustoleum... depends on how close you want a match. enamel paints from a hobby store work fine for small areas (ie testor's model paint). Also, prep is key if the paint is gonna stick, so wipe down with solvent before you paint & keep it clean.

for the rust inside the seatstay bridge, I've used products like 'corrosion block' with good success (it's made for marine applications.. there's a non-marine version, it's on their website.)... If you're worried about rust inside the tubes, corrosion block works great for that too, it's what I use in my steel rides, since it's hard to come by JP's framesaver.

good luck!
 

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Just hit it with speed
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Exactly the kind of response and info I was hoping to recieve. Thanks for the help everyone this sounds like a weekend project if i have ever heard one. (That and a six pack worth of work)
 

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GFisher2001 said:
I have tried to change the name of the thread but without much success. I recently saw this frame on ebay and I asked the seller what he knew about the bike. He confirmed as someone earlier in this thread that the bike is from 1997.

As mentioned a couple of posts above that is what I was thinking more along the lines of a fix. Sanding down the area covering it with something and than eventually repainting it. I care 0% about spots that don't match and if I ever care in the future I will get the bike repainted for the hundreds of dollars mentioned above. My main concern now is removing the existing rust and stopping the appearance of new rust. Is there a simple way to do that without having to sandblast and re-powdercoat the frame? Is sanding done the effected areas and sealing them not effective enough?

Also the hole in the back which I guess was for a reflector or something, does anyone have a suggestion on how I could seal that or stop the rust that is formed inside of it?
Don't be afraid to sandblast. Its extremely easy to do. If you already have an air compressor, all you need to buy is an inexpensive handheld sandblaster that connects to your air hose. Its much easier than hand sanding and more gentle also...IE the sand will attack the rust only and leave the good steel intact. This is especially important if there are deep pits. Its almost impossible to get the rust out of a pit by hand without damaging the surrounding steel.

A wire wheel mounted on a drill or dremel would be the next best option.

Again, look into POR 15 if you really want to stop the rust from returning. Its a 3 speed process.

Step 1 is an acid wash that neutralizes the rust and coats it with zinc. Similar to galvanized steel.

Step 2 is the sealant. It looks like paint but dries to an extremely hard and durable finish. Similar to an epoxy or a baked emamel.

Step 3 is a self etching primer. Paint will not stick to the sealant, so you need the primer.

Then you paint whatever color you want.
 

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Just hit it with speed
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Alright I didn't have as much time to work on the frame as I would have liked but I still got to a little bit of it. I'll be getting a repair stand soon for my birthday which should make the job *ALOT* easier. (I was leaning the bike against the outside of the garage and bending over with a cord that barely reached blah blah blah.....) The dremel was more work that I thought it stripped the paint very very easily and removed all of the residue(primer or whatever it was). It took a fair amount of work to get through the rust and the dark uneven spots. As I went over the frame with such a fine tooth, I became aware of alot more little scrapes with brown in them.

I am still nowhere near primer or painting the bike again yet but I was wondering how good would a alcohol cleaning of the stripped area, primer, and rust - stop rustoleum be compared to POR 15. If the rust - ol would stink for an application like this then obviously i'll scrap the idea.

I am also considering repainting the bike completely. How easy is it to maintain the graphics? I'm probably being niave thinking that is even feasible. Finally can I do any damage using a dremel and a wire-wheel? Do I need to be careful of removing some of the steel? Finally I was not able to get into that rear bridge mentioned earlier. I could easily remove the rust from around the edges but had no success getting the rust within the hole. Any insight or info about the above questions or statements let me know thanks!
 

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As I went over the frame with such a fine tooth, I became aware of alot more little scrapes with brown in them.
yeah, once you start looking & working, you realized there's more than just a couple of spots... been there! :madman:
I've got the bike together, but need to get the chain & adjust everything on my latest project- an old lugged trek which I did a flat black rustoleum job on... I hope to post it up this week.

I am still nowhere near primer or painting the bike again yet but I was wondering how good would a alcohol cleaning of the stripped area, primer, and rust - stop rustoleum be compared to POR 15. If the rust - ol would stink for an application like this then obviously i'll scrap the idea.
I've never used the POR, but it sounds like a good product. From the looks of it, it converts oxidation back to metal & seals it. sounds like graw has used it with good luck & I know guys w/ metal boats who've used it for that type of application successfully. I can't say anything about durability compared to 'rustoleum' type of product, but rustoleum has worked fine for me, except for the clear coat... very hard to get a good looking clear finish with this brand...

I am also considering repainting the bike completely. How easy is it to maintain the graphics? I'm probably being niave thinking that is even feasible. Finally can I do any damage using a dremel and a wire-wheel? Do I need to be careful of removing some of the steel? Finally I was not able to get into that rear bridge mentioned earlier. I could easily remove the rust from around the edges but had no success getting the rust within the hole. Any insight or info about the above questions or statements let me know thanks!
-I'd contact GF/trek about what decals they might have from back when. If they don't have anything suitable, put out a shout on these forums. You might also be able to find a local graphics/sign shop type of place that would be able to reproduce them, but that might be costly.
-it'll be hard to damage the metal with a wire wheel, but I only go as far as needed to remove rust. For small spot rust I've used one of the cone shaped grinding/sharpening stones, which can go deep if you're not careful.

-finally, if you can find graphics & have some extra cash, a repaint is not a bad idea. powder coat is most durable. A buddy of mine has a local company strip & coat for ~$125 for a simple one color job, if he wasn't picky about colors, as they 'tossed' in the bike with another job.
There's lots of good places to send the bike for a repaint like spectrum powderworks, if you wanna spend the cash.
It's always a question of what you want the end result to look like & time vs money of DIY job.
 

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29er Geek
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wickedwheels said:
Unfortunately you'd lose the graphics. If you go outside the bike biz you could probably find someone to blast it for $50-100. Just make sure that it's not sand blasting. Some sort of a "softer" bead would be best because 853 is fairly thin. You may be able to then bribe your local auto paint shop to paint your frame for another $50-100. Especially if they are painting a car in the same color that you want on your bike. You may have to do the prep work (masking) and there probably won't be a coat of primer on the paint.

Of course you could always send it out to someone like Hot Tubes (Worcester, MA) who does it for a few hundred. (He paints frames for Seven Cycles, by the way) Joe Bell is typically considered the master of frame painting, but he gets pricey.

Good luck!

P.S. personally, I think the frame is worth it
S&D does amazing work for great prices...
S&D Powder Coating
107 Sycamore Avenue
South Attleboro, MA 02703
Phone: (508) 399-6501

Wicked, my friend Steph paints for Seven, but she works in house (She used to weld for them!)

RJ
 

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Just hit it with speed
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for the info on the bike painting. I think what I would like to do is completely go back over the frame and meticulously clean the rust that I can find. The hard to reach spots will be addressed with whatever sealant rust stoppage product I can find. I'm than going to primer and repaint the frame in the closest match color I can find. Doing this will allow me to maintain the graphics while also saving the money of getting the frame repainted(which can be spent on components). I have decided that this bike will become a SS(I have not decided on rigid or not). I plan on getting a King Headset and than taking the well known(& cheap) Cane Creek S1 and putting that on the X-Cal and viola its first modern component. It will next get my pedals from the Rig (Shim SPD 505), followed by the seat, stem. If the 29" Rig becomes a rigid than this X-Cal will stay w/ suspension(Currently Rock Shox Judy XC).

Anyone got any sick ideas for where I could take this project?

The components I yank from this guy may go on that $50 frame from nashbar so my family/friends can have a bike to ride( have gears )
 

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logbiter said:
As I went over the frame with such a fine tooth, I became aware of alot more little scrapes with brown in them.
yeah, once you start looking & working, you realized there's more than just a couple of spots... been there! :madman:
I've got the bike together, but need to get the chain & adjust everything on my latest project- an old lugged trek which I did a flat black rustoleum job on... I hope to post it up this week.

I am still nowhere near primer or painting the bike again yet but I was wondering how good would a alcohol cleaning of the stripped area, primer, and rust - stop rustoleum be compared to POR 15. If the rust - ol would stink for an application like this then obviously i'll scrap the idea.
I've never used the POR, but it sounds like a good product. From the looks of it, it converts oxidation back to metal & seals it. sounds like graw has used it with good luck & I know guys w/ metal boats who've used it for that type of application successfully. I can't say anything about durability compared to 'rustoleum' type of product, but rustoleum has worked fine for me, except for the clear coat... very hard to get a good looking clear finish with this brand...

I am also considering repainting the bike completely. How easy is it to maintain the graphics? I'm probably being niave thinking that is even feasible. Finally can I do any damage using a dremel and a wire-wheel? Do I need to be careful of removing some of the steel? Finally I was not able to get into that rear bridge mentioned earlier. I could easily remove the rust from around the edges but had no success getting the rust within the hole. Any insight or info about the above questions or statements let me know thanks!
-I'd contact GF/trek about what decals they might have from back when. If they don't have anything suitable, put out a shout on these forums. You might also be able to find a local graphics/sign shop type of place that would be able to reproduce them, but that might be costly.
-it'll be hard to damage the metal with a wire wheel, but I only go as far as needed to remove rust. For small spot rust I've used one of the cone shaped grinding/sharpening stones, which can go deep if you're not careful.

-finally, if you can find graphics & have some extra cash, a repaint is not a bad idea. powder coat is most durable. A buddy of mine has a local company strip & coat for ~$125 for a simple one color job, if he wasn't picky about colors, as they 'tossed' in the bike with another job.
There's lots of good places to send the bike for a repaint like spectrum powderworks, if you wanna spend the cash.
It's always a question of what you want the end result to look like & time vs money of DIY job.
Yeah I have used POR 15 on cars...badly rusted cars in Michigan (the rust belt) This stuff is unreal. It goes on like a paint, but dries completely different. It dries to a rock hard, slippery finish. Similar to baked enamel or porcelain like on household stove. The key is that it creates a 100% air tight seal that doesn't allow any oxygen to reach the steel. Its also much more durable than paint, which is important on a MTB. Its kind of expensive...$127 for a gallon, but you don't need anywhere near that much for a bike. A pint would be plenty.

By the way, I wouldn't worry about the hole in the bridge.
 
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