Refurbishing an Albuch Kotter Mountain Bike I

So for the last three years I was riding the streets of East London. Mostly to and back from work. I had some trouble finding a proper bike that would support my weight but then ended up with a classic steel frame dutch bike with a custom mavic back wheel.

Now that I have moved back to Germany and live in a hilly area with lots of forest I am looking into rebuilding my old Mountain Bike. It is quite an interesting bike since my dad had it custom built 20+ years ago. He rode it maybe twice and when I grew tall enough I started using it to get around town. I remember that at the time I always wondered about a lot of things that I noticed were different about this bike to my friends wholesale bikes. I remember being sort of ashamed for the saddle, then there was the weird position of the back break and my gears were unlike other bikes I knew. The brands on it were super weird and I hadn’t seen them on my friends bikes. I was always ashamed in fact. Today I know that this was because it was a custom bike made for a very big guy, my dad. I remember he used to say it was 3500 DM (Deutsche Mark ~today~ 2000 Euro). Sounded way more money to me back then! I remember thinking that the rims said Lamborghini on them — today I know they say Campagnolo. The frame is an Albuch Kotter. The fork is from Columbus Tubi. All the gearing and breaks are Shimano Deore XT. The saddle is an amazing brooks saddle, which I learned about in London when looking for a great saddle. If I had known what it was I would’ve never left it in the rain, haha. Still looks good though! Since the frame maker and the bike shop don’t exist anymore and Albuch Kotter was more well known for racers I have no idea if this was mostly stock or really completely custom. I would really appreciate if anyone reading this post has any input whatsoever.

Some time ago after about 10+ years of its last refurbishment I took it out of my parents garage, put some lubricants on it and took it for a quick test ride. I can confidently say that all mechanical parts are still in perfect working condition. I will replace the break rubbers and tyres though.

There is just one flaw —the seatpost and handlebar is way too low. I shouldn’t have grown much since I used it last but I guess I know more about comfortable and healthy riding positions now. Unfortunately whoever built the ride seems to have used an Alumnium seatpost in a Steel frame. If you know a thing or two about bikes this will make your alarms go off. So my mission is now to either destroy and remove the seatpost or adjust it.

  • My first attempt is classic — put some WD40 on it and see if it manages to get in there. This is not very likely to succeed since the seatpost has probably oxidised and the WD40 has nowhere to go. Still worth a try since it comes at zero cost.

Then the next steps would be mechanical.

  • Putting the frame with the seatpost in a vice and trying to turn it might be an option.
  • The other is brute force — take or even build a long saw. Saw the seatpost in two pieces and then somehow try pulling it out.
  • Last resort would be using caustic soda to dissolve the aluminium seatpost. This is a pretty messy process and if I can I’d prefer to avoid it.

That is it for my first post. Let’s see if people are interested in reading more. I know this is a common issue but the bike is not that common so maybe it’s interesting for some. Also I wanted to get the bike out since I found no information on Albuch Kotter MTB’s and I feel like this bike deserves to be persisted somewhere on the internet.