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  1. #1
    Junior Member toledoeng88's Avatar
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    Rebuilding an old bike.

    So recently I purchased an old road bike at a yard sale for next to nothing but it needs some major restoration. So when I got home I completely disassembled the bike. I have also sanded the whole frame down and I am painting it flat black this weekend. Also I have ordered some new tires and grip tape for the handle bars. I was just wondering if you guys could give me some tips on other things to look for when restoring an old bike before I start putting it back together to ride. Thanks for any advise.

  2. #2
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Old bike??? Ask the folks in the C&V forum. They know all about those things.
    My bikes --> 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2013 Cannondale CAAD 10 2 (5) "Racing Edition"

    Life is like a 10-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use. ~ Charles Schultz

  3. #3
    Senior Member gurry's Avatar
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    When restoring an old road bike, make sure to grease the seatpost before installing it. This will help prevent it from getting stuck in the frame over time. You can also lube the cables before installation, this helps them to move freely when you release the brakes or shift the gears from big to small.

  4. #4
    Pants are for suckaz HandsomeRyan's Avatar
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    Repack grease in the headset and BB if needed.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    To me the real challenge of these projects is knowing when to stop.

    I always like to feel That I'm upgrading and improving the bike a little while also spending the least amount of out-of-pocket cash. I'm fortunate in that regard because I have a bunch of "stuff" that I've accumulated over the years that I can use.

    Since you're going to the trouble of repainting, I'm thinking that a couple of carefully selected custom "touches" are what makes the bike. When I built my fixed gear, for example, I actually chose the handlebar tape to match a yellow water bottle cage that I already owned. Then I painted the center portion of the handlebar to match the frame color and bought a new Nitto stem which looks much better than the crappy stem I had previously. (Fits me much better too.) I'm really happy with the outcome.

    Anybody can buy a bunch of new parts and convert a "free" bike into a $1,000 bike. The trick is to figure out what simple things you can do that will give your renovated bike a little extra "pop" without breaking the bank.

    I love doing these kind of projects. Let me know if there's anyway I can help.

  6. #6
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    Pictures would be nice.

    I love a garage sale bike. Good luck. I'd try to keep it on the cheap.

  7. #7
    Junior Member toledoeng88's Avatar
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    Now that I have started to rebuild it I wish I had taken a before picture. But as soon as I get it reassembled on probably weds I will be sure to take a few pics and post them.

    So far here is what I have spent on it.
    Bike 5$
    Paint and Sandpaper 6$
    Chain 9$
    Two Tires 12$
    Two Tubes 5$
    Handlebar Grip 8$
    Lots of Work Cleaning Sanding and Painting

    For this bike of mine I am going for an all black look and the original bike had white cables that worked fine so to save some money I took black electrical tape and carefully wrapped each of the cables so now they are black. Another thing that I really like about this bike is that it has disc brakes in the rear. Well for now I am just waiting for the tires tubes and grips to come in on weds.

  8. #8
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    I'm with grouch--in general, I don't enjoy maintaining or working on the bikes I ride, but I like resurrecting old ones. I'm not a fanatic about keeping them original, but if I can make them pleasant and dependable and decent-looking without spending a lot of money, good for me. I've given several bikes to neighborhood kids or donated them to the salvation army, and I like thinking somebody gets some use out of them.
    The brand and model of bike would make some difference in how much you'll want to do, and you don't mention that. if it was a $50 clunker originally, you might fix or adjust some things you'd replace or upgrade on an expensive bike. For sure, though, all the bearings (hubs, bottom bracket, headset) should be greased and adjusted, probably with new balls (they're cheap in bulk). Cables should be greased or cables and housing replaced, depending. The brake pads are probably old, cracked and glazed, and should be replaced (try lightly sanding off the glaze first, if you want, to see if that helps). And of course clean and lube everything that moves, the derailleurs and shifters and chain.

  9. #9
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    Do overhaul/repack the headset and bottom-bracket - as well as the hubs. This way you are, in effect, starting with the bare frame/fork and everything will go more smoothly. No pun intended.

    I, too, love these sort of projects. I've built up some really nice bikes that cost me next to nothing. And purposefully built some true road-horrors* to freak people out!


    * - But fully functional!
    Last edited by Panthers007; 06-14-09 at 02:02 AM. Reason: Sp.
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  10. #10
    Junior Member toledoeng88's Avatar
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    So I just did a little bit of research on the bike I have and it is a huffy that is from either 78 or 79. I know this isn't probably a very good bike to start with but as of right now i think it looks pretty sharp and its super cheap. I had been looking to get a project started like this because I live right next to a bike trail and currently I have been doing 20 miles on it every couple of days on my mountain bike but while on the trail I kept seeing road bikes and thats why I started this project. This has been a very interesting build though because I live in a dorm building so space and work areas are confined. Even with these constraints I found a friends house where I painted the frame but everything else other than that has been done in my dorm.

  11. #11
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toledoeng88 View Post
    So I just did a little bit of research on the bike I have and it is a huffy that is from either 78 or 79. I know this isn't probably a very good bike to start with but as of right now i think it looks pretty sharp and its super cheap. I had been looking to get a project started like this because I live right next to a bike trail and currently I have been doing 20 miles on it every couple of days on my mountain bike but while on the trail I kept seeing road bikes and thats why I started this project. This has been a very interesting build though because I live in a dorm building so space and work areas are confined. Even with these constraints I found a friends house where I painted the frame but everything else other than that has been done in my dorm.
    I started commuting to work on a 1974 Huffy 3-speed. A heavy bike, but durable. The older Huffys are certainly much better quality than current models. Sounds like a great bike for what you hope to accomplish.

  12. #12
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Get the wheels checked out for true and spoke tension. Cheaper to do it now than once you have broken them by use.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  13. #13
    Junior Member toledoeng88's Avatar
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    When I first got the bike I noticed the wheels were not true and alot of the spokes were loose so I watched a video online about how to make adjustments to your wheels and after about three hours of adjusting they are both running pretty close to true and they have almost perfectly even spoke tensions.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by toledoeng88 View Post
    So I just did a little bit of research on the bike I have and it is a huffy that is from either 78 or 79. I know this isn't probably a very good bike ....
    Huffy is almost synonymous with "junk" these days, but millions of people have ridden and enjoyed them. Go ahead with the rebuild/tuning project and have fun. But I wouldn't spend any more money than necessary, because it's a low-end bike that will never be worth much.

  15. #15
    Junior Member toledoeng88's Avatar
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    So I finally finished assembling the bike today after receiving the parts in the mail this morning. So everything went together smoothly. I took it for a test ride tonight for about 8 miles and the only thing I noticed was that there is a high pitched squeak that hopefully I can fix tonight with a little bit of lube. I also noticed that the spokes on the wheel need a little more adjustment to make the rear wheel run completely true. Hopefully tomorrow I can get some good pictures of it and post them because I think it turned out really well for what I started with. It was a huge change for me moving from an 18 speed mountain bike to the 10 speed road bike. During my normal ride today I struggled at first getting into some gears that I was comfortable pedaling in and also the different handlebar set up was a little uncomfortable at first but I got use to it and now I am really liking it.

  16. #16
    Senior Member coldfeet's Avatar
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    Errr, excuse me, huffy road bike from '78 with a disc on the back wheel?

    Does that seem strange to anyone else?

  17. #17
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    Back in "the day" a few entry level road bikes were offered with rear disc brakes.

    There was a general paranoia of front brakes back then, that some of the manufacturers fed into with this minor trend. It was a little more common on some of the Stingray knock offs, but it did make it onto some road bikes.

  18. #18
    Junior Member toledoeng88's Avatar
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    Yea the discs on the back of this bike are kinda jank I really dont want to ever completely depend on them. I have a question though about the shifter This may be a noob question but its something I dont know. When I got to shift into another gear i have to push the knob a little past the point of the next gear to get to shift. Is there any way to fix this. Another question I have is how should i mount a water bottle to this bike since there are no places to bolt it on. (I would like to put two on for my longer trips)

    Thanks

  19. #19
    Senior Member coldfeet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Darwin View Post
    Back in "the day" a few entry level road bikes were offered with rear disc brakes.

    There was a general paranoia of front brakes back then, that some of the manufacturers fed into with this minor trend. It was a little more common on some of the Stingray knock offs, but it did make it onto some road bikes.
    Ah, thanks. I wonder if that paranoia had anything to do with the fact that US bikes are mandated to have their front brakes on the left?

  20. #20
    Junior Member toledoeng88's Avatar
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    I just got home over the weekend so that I could get some pictures of my bike to see what you guys think about it. Leave any comments or advise for the project. and after the pics were taken I put a water bottle cage on the frame.

  21. #21
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Hang in there. This is what can be............

    Riding a 20 yr old clunker to work
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

    Originally Posted by krazygluon
    Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?

  22. #22
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toledoeng88 View Post
    I have a question though about the shifter This may be a noob question but its something I dont know. When I got to shift into another gear i have to push the knob a little past the point of the next gear to get to shift.
    That's common. I doubt you'll be able to adjust it out of that bike.

    Even today, lower level shifters have a bit of "overshift" built into them to account for the "slop tolerance" that exists in lower end derailleurs. It's subtle, but you can feel it in the shifters once you know that it's there.

  23. #23
    Senior Member gurry's Avatar
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    Try to get some black zip ties and replace the white ones for a tidier look. The rear shifter cable may be routed wrong, but a quick fix would be to zip tie it to the seat stay, just give it a good loop before the zip tie. (use two ties).
    As for water bottles, just use zip ties to install the mount.

  24. #24
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    One peice crank, welded frame, no quick release front and rear. Yeah, that probably was Huffy's attempt at making a low-end 10 speed. All of that went overseas because it didn't take much knowledge to make such a frame and the Taiwanese and later the Chinese could do it at a fraction of the labor cost.

  25. #25
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    I'm currently doing a very similar thing (cheap, frame, strip it all down, repaint... in black) and it's been huge fun so far. Currently struggling with a stupidly hard bottom bracket, and am not sure whether to keep trying, or give in and take it to a bike shop.

    Fourtunally I've also got a scrap bike from the same era, which is making the project alot cheaper by being a very good donor bike. So far it's given up it's from wheel and will shortly be giving up it's crankset, bottom bracket and rack as well.

    The one you've done looks sweer, bit unsure about the cable routing but love the overall look.

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