General Cycling Discussion - Bike Restoration Project
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I've just acquired a ladies racer bike (circa 1970s/early 1980s) which I'm going to attempt to restore. This will be my first attempt at restoration. The bike in question is a Falcon and is in a bit of a sorry state at the moment. Most of it is salvageable though.
It will need the frame taken down to the bare metal and resprayed. The wheels are the worst part of the bike. The chrome has a lot of pitting. The easiest way would be to put on new wheels but the cost is prohibitive as I am not keeping this bike. My friend asked me to find a ladies racer for her. She doesn't have a lot of money to spare so I thought I could restore the bike and give it to her as a present. I have two weeks to restore this bike as we are going up north to visit my friend for the weekend in a couple of weeks time and I want to take the bike up with me (she lives over 300 miles away). She has arthritis and only wants the bike for gentle exercise to keep her joints moving.
Anyone got any suggestions as to the best way to get rid of the rust on the wheels so they at least look better than they do now?
Once I get the bike restored I'll post before and after pics.
09-02-07, 06:35 PM
Check in Classic & Vintage subforum. Ocylic (I think) acid or electrolisis seem to be the prefered methods.
09-02-07, 06:54 PM
My favourite thread on rust:
Just wish it was on Bike Forums!
Do remind your friend that she will need to be especially cautious when stopping in the rain. It sounds as if she has steel wheels, rather than alloy.
09-02-07, 07:08 PM
I used Oxalic acid to remove the rust from my Miyata 1000 frame.
I got it at Lowes and it's labeled as deck wash. From what I've read, you should dilute it by 1/4 what they want you to do to wash your deck. I wasn't that precise. I just poured the entire gallon jug into the bath and filled it up with warm water. Worked perfectly and only took a day to dissolve the rust.
I just lined a bike box with plastic and filled it up.
09-02-07, 09:00 PM
Rusty steel wheels are going to be a problem. You can remove the rust, but the underlying metal is likely to be pitted, which will really screw up the brake feel. You might be able to smooth it out a bit with fine sandpaper ( I wouldn't do it with aluminum wheels, but steel should be able to stand a little abrasion). Depending on the wheel size, you might also find a parts bike at someplace like the Salvation Army that you can cannibalize. I bought an old Trek for $25 a few weeks ago and scored a Brooks B-17 saddle (about $90 new), Blackburn rack ($40), Suntour barcon shifters (can't get 'em, but Shimanos are about $75), two good Michelin tires and a set of mediocre wheels, one of which is on the rear of my singlespeed now.
I've had a good look at the bike this afternoon. With the exception of the front wheel (possibly), chain and dereallieur everything else seems to be salvageable with a bit of good old-fashioned elbow grease. The frame will definitely have to be rubbed down to bare metal, primed and resprayed.
I'm having a cup of coffee just now then it's on with the old clothes and to work:D
09-03-07, 10:50 AM
I use 0000 steel wool or bronze wool (when I can find it) on my steel wheels and if there is any chrome left it will clean right up. I also use a small brass "tooth" brush to get in around the spokes. Some people use a bit of oil with the steel wool. This works very well on the older chrome wheels, like on the old Raleighs and Schwinns. Mainly pre-1980. Once the chrome went offshore to the pacific rim the quality really took a nose dive and doesn't seem to clean up as well.
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