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Old 04-03-07, 06:08 PM   #1
Dewbert
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Bicycle restoration 101?

Well, I've recently become re-infatuated with classic/vintage Schwinns and am thinking about buying an old one and trying to restore it. (Probably a basic, single speed from the 50s or 60s.)

I'm a person of moderate mechanical skill and have recently completed some bike mechanics courses, so I know my way around the mechanics of a bike.

But here's the question:
I don't know a thing about rust removal or painting. Is there a good "Dummies" book or a resource for learning the basics of bike restoration? I think I'd enjoy this kind of project, but I'm the kind of guy who needs a reference manual or at least a source to turn to when I get stuck.
Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-03-07, 06:25 PM   #2
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This book is an ok start
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Old 04-03-07, 06:49 PM   #3
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Honestly, save your money and do a search on this forum, you will get all the info you need about rust removal (oxalic acid, navel jelly, etc.), painting (anything by the good Dr. D), decals and any other restoration question you may have.
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Old 04-03-07, 06:50 PM   #4
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http://www.bunchobikes.com/repair2.htm That site has a bit of information.
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Old 04-03-07, 06:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iab
Honestly, save your money and do a search on this forum, you will get all the info you need about rust removal (oxalic acid, navel jelly, etc.), painting (anything by the good Dr. D), decals and any other restoration question you may have.
"First, do no harm".
Then do as iab says.
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Old 04-03-07, 07:01 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by iab
Honestly, save your money and do a search on this forum, you will get all the info you need about rust removal (oxalic acid, navel jelly, etc.), painting (anything by the good Dr. D), decals and any other restoration question you may have.
I sort of guessed that this forum might be my best resource. (I've learned tons on the other areas of BF and figured this one wouldn't disappoint.)

Fortunately, my local library actually carries the book that new_dharma recommended, so I've put it on hold and I'll start there and then be back for more info when the time comes.
Thanks!
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Old 04-03-07, 07:18 PM   #7
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Start with a bike that has paint you can live with. The cost of a pro paint job is double the cost of the whole rest of the process. Painting it yourself , buy the time you buy the stripper the primer the paint and the clear coat 2 or 3 cans of each and put in all the work its a lot.I started into restoring classice about a year ago. The learning curve is fast once you get started hands on. It is so much easier than working with cars or any kind of motors. I started fliping bikes just to make room for more projects.
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Old 04-03-07, 07:47 PM   #8
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Another good resource is the Schwinn message boards:

http://www.schwinnbike.com/heritage/....php?forumid=5

Many of the same posters here and there. I love it when people post pictures of their restored Schwinns.
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Old 04-04-07, 03:36 AM   #9
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...Many of the same posters here and there. I love it when people post pictures of their restored Schwinns.
We're all over the place! Between here and SF, we can answer all your questions.

And I have a couple of ?? for you.

Do you plan to ride your classic Schwinn bike? If so (and most of us do ride ours), get one you can really ride. So if you live in a flat area, a single speed balloon tire bike is OK. But, if you live in a hilly place, that 50 lbs of Schwinn indestructability is an ascent challenge. Downhill, on the other hand, can be a blast!

If you plan to ask the question; "Should I repaint?" Be prepared for an equal number of responses on both sides of the argument. There's no consensus on this hot topic.
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Old 04-04-07, 06:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dewbert
Well, I've recently become re-infatuated with classic/vintage Schwinns and am thinking about buying an old one and trying to restore it. (Probably a basic, single speed from the 50s or 60s.)

I'm a person of moderate mechanical skill and have recently completed some bike mechanics courses, so I know my way around the mechanics of a bike.

But here's the question:
I don't know a thing about rust removal or painting. Is there a good "Dummies" book or a resource for learning the basics of bike restoration? I think I'd enjoy this kind of project, but I'm the kind of guy who needs a reference manual or at least a source to turn to when I get stuck.
Thanks in advance.
I once used a product called "zip strip"---it took the paint off well on the "open" areas, however, after using it I needed to do a little extra scraping around the lugs to get down the the bare metal. Afterwards, I wiped the frame down with "rubbing" alcohol, primed it with aerosol metal primer, waited 24 hrs, then applied rattle can enamel paint.

If I had to do it over again, I would have sanded the primer w/fine paper and practiced my rattle can skills a bit more b4 hitting the frame, as I remember some drips. I wonder where that raleigh is now.
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Old 04-04-07, 06:43 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh
We're all over the place! Between here and SF, we can answer all your questions.

And I have a couple of ?? for you.

Do you plan to ride your classic Schwinn bike? If so (and most of us do ride ours), get one you can really ride. So if you live in a flat area, a single speed balloon tire bike is OK. But, if you live in a hilly place, that 50 lbs of Schwinn indestructability is an ascent challenge. Downhill, on the other hand, can be a blast!

If you plan to ask the question; "Should I repaint?" Be prepared for an equal number of responses on both sides of the argument. There's no consensus on this hot topic.
Good questions.

1. I live in Central Indiana (virtually no hills) and will probably only ride this bike around town for very short rides. It'd be solely a show-off bike!

2. Painting: Don't know yet, but I think that the answer must eventually be 'yes', since I tend to dive into projects in a pretty major way. I'm one of those folks who love to learn new things--often painfully , but always learning something new, nonetheless.

I actually have a two-tiered plan here. I'm going to buy a singles-speed balloon tire bike of some sort and "practice" on restoring it. My long term plan is to restore a Schwinn that was my father's when he was a boy. I'd like to get some experience and make most of my mistakes on the "practice bike" that doesn't mean so much to me as my dad's bike does.

In the mean time, I'm enjoying my reproduction cruiser and I think that having dad's vintage Schwinn, restored, would be pretty darned cool. (Thread about my retro cruiser: The Dairy Queen Bike)

Thanks!
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2005 Fuji MTB (for the snowy and muddy days)
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Old 04-04-07, 11:43 AM   #12
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In the mean time, I'm enjoying my reproduction cruiser and I think that having dad's vintage Schwinn, restored, would be pretty darned cool. (Thread about my retro cruiser: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...iry+queen+bike)
Cool indeed! To restore your Dad's old Schwinn would be a real tribute. And you have a good plan to make it happen. Those new crusiers sort of remind me of my '66 Collegiate. I imagine, however, that its shifting is more responsive than my old Huret Allvit RD.
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