USA-themed custom paint, Italian-made, 1999-dated mtb

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  • Incoming. Collecting it this afternoon from a small town near Venice.

  • Intrigued. USA paint got my attention. And anything from the 90s. Brand?

  • It's a Pinarello frame (aluminium, 7005) that's been painted by a local bike guy called Antonio Tabarin ( and from what I can tell it has been sitting behind the fishing gear of the guy I bought it from for about 15 years.

    It is absolutely ostentatious, beneath the dirt/grime/dead spiders (yes, Shimano M570 Deore LX in gold)...

  • Sunday.

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  • It's been a long day and my fingers are battered. However, everything has been stripped down, cleaned, reassembled and greased. Managed to get everything back on the frame, just need to make yet another visit to Pinarello tomorrow as I need a chain, a way to undo one of the brake mounting points on the fork, and for some headset spacer advice (somehow, and I honestly don't know how, the existing headset and spacers appear to have shrunk, meaning I can no longer clamp down with the stem cap). I suspect I'll find more problems but for 1.5 days' work, I'm pretty pleased.

    Hope to update a full parts list tomorrow and maybe some photos.

  • A few teasers while I do further damage to my throbbing fingers, polishing the frame.

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  • Oh man, golden LX... Very tasty!

  • It is so bling, I don't think I'd ever choose to put this on a bike but then I also wouldn't paint a frame with the stars and stripes on either...

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  • Hell that's looking rad! What forks are those?

  • From what I can find online, some RST Aerosas, which I think came out in 2003/4. I am half thinking about swapping them out for some rigid forks as these might be overkill, but until I give it a ride I won't be able to tell.

  • I knew this was going too smoothly. It seems the front fork brake pivot mounting points are mangled/damaged/something and so the brakes won't slide onto them, connect the small pin with the hole, and engage, meaning they cannot create sufficient tension. I'm hoping Pinarello have some spares, but I may be hoping in vain. Rear brakes are rebuilt and reinstalled, but the fronts are another matter.

    Plus I have to order a chain so I doubt I'll be riding this week.

  • This.

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  • Right, I think (think) I've worked out what's going on. The pivot boss (which can be unthreaded and removed) doesn't appear to fit the Shimano pivot arm (it is maybe 2-3mm proud when screwed all the way in, meaning that the pin doesn't engage). I've found a handful of examples of similar situations online but no definite answer as to how to resolve this. I could buy a replacement boss, but presumably this will be the same size as the current one (I guess m10 x 1.25) and therefore won't help.

    Anyone have any ideas to prevent me from sobbing uncontrollably into a greasy rag?

  • Potentially resolved. Spoke with a really helpful guy from Brake Stuff in Germany ( who informed me that the canti strut (new one on me) is slightly different for different fork manufacturers and as a result, the Shimano brakes won't fit. So I've ordered some others and hope they work.

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  • While I wait impatiently for the new canti bits and chain, @vp1337 would it be crazy to consider swapping out this fork for a rigid one? The terrain around here is pretty much paving and gravel (the reason why I bought this bike in the first place is the abuse my Scapin was receiving every time I went out on it anywhere other than the main road). I've never ridden a bike with a suspension fork and it seems a little OTT for 20-30km of gravel paths and country lanes.

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  • This is so obnoxious, I love it.

  • Well, if it works for you, it ain't crazy! Especially if you can find a nice fork for the case.

  • This is being compounded by the fact that the air dial on these forks just spins when rotated, and won't undo to allow access to the valve, and the dial on the opposite side (which I presume is related to the sag/travel) just tightens and loosens with no obvious impact. I'll wait for the chain and canti bolts to arrive and just ride the damned thing and see what is what. It's never straightforward, but it builds character, or at least that's what I tell myself.

  • Nice, but bin the forks and get hold of some open bath oil/coil Marzocchi Bombers (Z1, Z2 or Z3) from circa 1999.

  • I like the look of the Marzocchi forks but they are a bit spendy - it is supposed to be my beater for when I'm too scared to use my Scapin on the gravel. I can probably find a set of the Bombers but aren't they likely to need servicing and rebuilding? I've found a few on eBay that I'll keep an eye on, but I'm half tempted to stick an old rigid steel fork on (Orange/Tange/Mongoose/Surly/Kona etc) before I swap one suspension fork for another.

    Oh and did you ever find a -17 degree stem? I swapped my ITM one for a 3T (31.8mm clamp) and can send the link if you need it.

  • The open bath oil forks are probably some of the most reliable ever made. Unless the seals are weeping, they should be good. An oil change is often worthwhile though.

    Never did get that stem either, shelved it for now!

  • What do you think about some older RockShox forks? They are easier to find in good condition here in Italy, presumably because so many were sold as part of complete bikes back in the early 2000s. I have no idea how the quality compares to Marzocchi though.

  • They were poor for a good period around that time, till about 2004/5 when they released The Pike following the SRAM takeover. Rigids probably a better bet! Bet you can still buy 30mm bushings/seals for Marzocchis from that period though. Have you tried Pinkbike marketplace?

  • That gold/copper LX stuff is amazing - never seen it before. Looks like many hours of elbow grease and frustration have gone in to this - keep going!

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USA-themed custom paint, Italian-made, 1999-dated mtb

Posted by Avatar for MrMister @MrMister