Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 05-28-11, 10:09 AM   #1
travelrobb
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Tune-up for bike in long-term storage

Hi all-

My inlaws have a ten-speed road bike that I hope to use for weekend rides when I visit. The bike is probably 30 years old, and probably hasn't been ridden for 20 years--it's probably spent that period in the garage, or in the basement.

My question: what do I have to do to get it ready for use?

First, should I presume that no tube or tire could last 20 years without degrading--should I definitely replace them?
Would the axles and cranks and other bearing locations necessarily need overhauls?
What else should I look at?

Many thanks,
Robb
travelrobb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-11, 10:44 AM   #2
bikeman715
Senior Member
 
bikeman715's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Salinas , Ca.
Bikes: Bike Nashbar AL-1 ,Raligh M50 , Schwinn Traveler , and others
Posts: 2,436
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
If the bike have not see service for 20 years , yes a overhauls is need . replace the tubes and tires if dry rotted ,cables and housings and the brakepads .
bikeman715 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-11, 11:58 AM   #3
HillRider 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Bikes: '''96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '12 Surly Pacer, All are 3x8,9 or 10. It is hilly around here!
Posts: 28,917
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 94 Post(s)
Before you ride it 10 feet, disassemble, clean and relube the hubs, bottom bracket and headset bearings. After all of this time the factory grease has almost certainly dried out and provides no lubrication and you will ruin the bearings if you ride it this way. I once got a 20 year old bike that hadn't been ridden in 15 years and the original bearing grease was a totally dry solid.

After that, new tires and tubes and brake pads and, probably cables and housing.
HillRider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-11, 12:18 PM   #4
skilsaw
Senior Member
 
skilsaw's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Victoria, Canada
Bikes: Cannondale t1, Koga-Miyata World Traveller
Posts: 1,546
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Interesting question.
Two considerations:
1) How much will you ride it?
2) Will you do the overhaul yourself?

My guess is an overhaul with new tubes, tires, cables and housings will cost around $150.

1) If you only visit them once or twice per year, or your weekend rides consist of maybe a short ride around town, to the park, or the grocery store, and the bike is basically functional right now, you may be alright just riding it as is. It may not be what is "best" for the bike, but it is most practical.

2) If you can do the overhaul yourself and have all the tools and motivation, you can be on the road for $50 in parts. If you are really into bikes, and want to do the overhaul, then this is a good project during one of your visits. Otherwise the overhaul will cost you $150 and may be more than the bike is worth.

The overhaul may be what is needed from a mechanical point of view, but the "best" action may be to ride the bike occasionally as is, until the idea fades from memory.
skilsaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-11, 01:17 PM   #5
HillRider 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Bikes: '''96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '12 Surly Pacer, All are 3x8,9 or 10. It is hilly around here!
Posts: 28,917
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 94 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by skilsaw View Post
1) If you only visit them once or twice per year, or your weekend rides consist of maybe a short ride around town, to the park, or the grocery store, and the bike is basically functional right now, you may be alright just riding it as is. It may not be what is "best" for the bike, but it is most practical.
I disagree unless the OP is willing to ruin all of the bearings in very short order. A relube isn't just "best" for the bike after all the storage time and neglect, I believe it's mandatory.
HillRider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-11, 07:07 PM   #6
3alarmer
Can'tre Member
 
3alarmer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Tomato
Bikes: old ones
Posts: 14,027
Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 880 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
Before you ride it 10 feet, disassemble, clean and relube the hubs, bottom bracket and headset bearings. After all of this time the factory grease has almost certainly dried out and provides no lubrication and you will ruin the bearings if you ride it this way. I once got a 20 year old bike that hadn't been ridden in 15 years and the original bearing grease was a totally dry solid.

After that, new tires and tubes and brake pads and, probably cables and housing.
One of the great things about BF is the wide range of opinions here.

One of the worst things about BF " """" """" """"""""" """"""" """""" """"""".

I've been doing this a long time and Hillrider's advice is what
I'd follow. You, of course, are the one who lives with whatever
breakdowns and consequences come up in usage.

One thing you might consider.....would you rather find out how
this stuff works in a controlled environment in your garage or
workshop, or trailside with a universal pocket tool and frame
pump. Twenty year old grease and rubber is a poor bet.


You might get by with the cables.
3alarmer is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-11, 09:11 PM   #7
FastJake
Constant tinkerer
 
FastJake's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Bikes:
Posts: 7,577
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
It's not your bike, right?

Pump up the tires, give all moving parts a thorough WD40 treatment and make sure the brakes work. If the tires are badly cracked replace them. If you care about not ruining the bearings, regrease them.


If you want to give it a REAL overhaul, that will also include new cables, housing, and brake pads IMO. Don't bother replacing the tubes if they hold air. I've never seen an old tube "go bad."
FastJake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-11, 07:03 AM   #8
strock 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Hudson Valley, NY
Bikes:
Posts: 247
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
One of the great things about BF is the wide range of opinions here.

One of the worst things about BF " """" """" """"""""" """"""" """""" """"""".


Made possible, in this particular case, by the fact that no one has actually seen the bike and we are all guessing about its condition. My advice to the OP: Check out all of the things that have been mentioned above -- tires and tubes, hubs, headset, cables, brake pads, BB, etc. Overhaul what needs to be overhauled. If it hasn't been ridden for 20 years, the odds are pretty good that it will need some work. But you won't know for sure until you have a look.
__________________
Steve

Last edited by strock; 05-29-11 at 07:06 AM.
strock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-11, 08:33 AM   #9
Retro Grouch 
Senior Member
 
Retro Grouch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: St Peters, Missouri
Bikes: Rans Rockst (Retro rocket) Rans Enduro Sport (Retro racket) Catrike 559, Merin Bear Valley (beater bike).
Posts: 26,740
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 141 Post(s)
3 answers:

1. Ride it the way that it is. If you hurt the bike it won't really matter because nobody is using it anyway. The biggest downside is that it won't be very much fun to ride.

2. Overhaul the bike before riding it. If you really think you'll be using it periodically, that's a good answer. Drawback is you can spend a bunch of time and money to convert a crummy old bike that probably doesn't fit into a slightly less crummy old bike that probably doesn't fit. Either way it still won't be very much fun to ride.

3. If you want to have fun at your in-laws, take your own bike to ride. It'll fit better, function better, be more fun to ride, and it'll get you away from the in-laws for a couple of hours.
Retro Grouch is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-11, 11:09 AM   #10
strock 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Hudson Valley, NY
Bikes:
Posts: 247
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
3 answers:

1. Ride it the way that it is. If you hurt the bike it won't really matter because nobody is using it anyway. The biggest downside is that it won't be very much fun to ride.

2. Overhaul the bike before riding it. If you really think you'll be using it periodically, that's a good answer. Drawback is you can spend a bunch of time and money to convert a crummy old bike that probably doesn't fit into a slightly less crummy old bike that probably doesn't fit. Either way it still won't be very much fun to ride.

3. If you want to have fun at your in-laws, take your own bike to ride. It'll fit better, function better, be more fun to ride, and it'll get you away from the in-laws for a couple of hours.
I love option #3. Nothing against my in-laws, you understand.

If you choose #1, be sure to attend to any issues -- e.g., tires, brake pads -- that are important for your personal safety. It's one thing to damage the bike. It's quite another to damage yourself.

As for #2, for me, in addition to the question of how often you would ride it, a lot would depend on the nature of the bike. If it's the wrong size and in lousy shape, there's probably no point in putting much into it. OTOH, if it fits and is in reasonable condition, an overhaul might well be in order. I'm guessing that a 30-year-old road bike that hasn't been ridden in 20 years doesn't have a lot of wear and tear on it. Especially if the frame and build are of good quality, it could well be worth bringing it back to life.
__________________
Steve
strock is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:21 AM.