First off hello to all, I just registered as a new member... I found this forum on google... I just acquired matching his/her John Deere bikes. They were apparently made in the mid-60's, possibly in Taiwan. They were originally 3 speed bikes and say so on the frames, and have a shifter on the right handlebar, but the derailer is removed and there is a single sprocket on the rear tire with no provision for shifting. Apparently these bikes are not worth very much and have a reputation for being unreliable, which explains the missing shifter mechanisms. I really like these frames (I am a John Deere collector) and what I would like to do is to strip them completely and have them polished and clearcoated to preserve the finish, then build them up with modern components. I want to use quality parts that will not rust (aluminum, stainless, titanium, whatever) but I do not need competition parts. I want these bikes to fun and easy to ride, but they will not be commuter bikes or racing bikes or anything like that. I will probably change out the old style handlebars, brakes, shifters, etc. and would like to go back to 3 or maybe even 5 speeds.
What I need is opinions from experienced bike enthusiasts about the best parts, sources for parts, etc.
I will post pics this evening.
Thanks to all who help!!!