Bike Forums

Bike Forums (https://www.bikeforums.net/forum.php)
-   Bicycle Mechanics (https://www.bikeforums.net/bicycle-mechanics/)
-   -   Proper way to restore vintage bike on budget with limited skills? (https://www.bikeforums.net/bicycle-mechanics/1072356-proper-way-restore-vintage-bike-budget-limited-skills.html)

WolfRider 07-13-16 08:28 PM

Proper way to restore vintage bike on budget with limited skills?
 
Newbie here, but I appreciate all the archieved info available on the site.

I grew up cycling and was a decent rider and I know vintage bikes pretty well. I was never much of mechanic though. I have just started getting back into cycling after a long time off. Finally got in riding shape on a crapola commuter. I wasn't even trying that hard but I just picked up a couple nice vintage Road bikes somehow. I know what I like, I am vintage steel guy 80's 90's Road or Mountain. (I'm lost with all the newer bikes Carbon fiber ,aluminum and most mfg seems to be in China and parts plastic) I plan on getting a few more bikes. So what I have is a Rossin Record and a Raliegh Competition GS. Both are clean and original and have been garage queens for awhile.

So the local bike shop guy is good but a little pricy for me. I am just having him repack BB bearings and hubs and maybe put some new brake rubber on.

What is the best course of action from that point? I want to take all the parts off and clean them and detail the frame forks. and put everything back together. I would like to do a little work myself to learn, but I don't have tools and I don't want to mess anything up on these two. I probably need a practice bike to hack around on myself. It would be great if I could find a guy to help me and I could learn a little in the process. Or I could just pay to get it done right. Any suggestions? What can I get away with doing myself? ( I am coordinated with tools, just need direction and some practice)

JohnDThompson 07-13-16 08:36 PM

There's no indication of where you are located. Perhaps there is a bike co-op nearby that could help?

WolfRider 07-13-16 09:47 PM

I'm in Northern Ca, Sac , Davis I think there are some Coop bike places around here. I just want to do these bikes right. So maybe I will check out some of those spots. Bike mehcanic skill level and knowledge of vintage bikes can vary with some of these volunteer outfits.

markjenn 07-13-16 10:30 PM

If you're reasonably handy with mechanical things, there is no reason you can't self-teach yourself to a pretty high level of bike mechanics - bikes are very approachable and most things are out in the open and non-mysterious. Get a good basic book (like the Park), slowly buy the tools as you need them, and tackle things slowly and one at a time. If you have questions or get into trouble, shoot some pictures and ask questions here. And it's a good idea to get to know someone at a LBS - seek out one that seems receptive to DIY's coming in for parts, tools, and advice. (If everything starts out with "make an appointment", then you want to go somewhere else.)

I wouldn't recommend you tear your bikes down all the way at once. Tackle one thing (e.g., wheel truing, hub overhaul, stem adjustment, chain replacement, deraiileur overhaul, etc.) at a time and you won't get overwhelmed or forget how you took something apart. Later when you are more experienced you can try the complete restoration in one fell swoop deal.

Classics are in many ways simpler to work on, but they require a little different approach as you may need to improvise or experiment a little more. And you have to scrounge for used parts more, which is often good because new bikes have ridiculous prices for most parts. They're great for learning. I can't see that the bikes you have are so valuable that they wouldn't be great for cutting your teeth.

- Mark

Andy_K 07-14-16 12:36 AM


Originally Posted by WolfRider (Post 18910674)
I probably need a practice bike to hack around on myself.

This is a pretty good idea. Look for something with comparable types of parts (i.e. same types of brakes, shifters and bottom bracket but not necessarily the same brand or model) as what you have. You can probably find something for around $100 that needs some work and sell it for at least that when you're done learning. You probably won't destroy anything, but having a bike you don't care so much about will take the pressure off.

dedhed 07-14-16 08:22 PM

MY "TEN SPEEDS - Home Page

corrado33 07-15-16 09:13 AM


Originally Posted by WolfRider (Post 18910674)
Newbie here, but I appreciate all the archieved info available on the site.

I grew up cycling and was a decent rider and I know vintage bikes pretty well. I was never much of mechanic though. I have just started getting back into cycling after a long time off. Finally got in riding shape on a crapola commuter. I wasn't even trying that hard but I just picked up a couple nice vintage Road bikes somehow. I know what I like, I am vintage steel guy 80's 90's Road or Mountain. (I'm lost with all the newer bikes Carbon fiber ,aluminum and most mfg seems to be in China and parts plastic) I plan on getting a few more bikes. So what I have is a Rossin Record and a Raliegh Competition GS. Both are clean and original and have been garage queens for awhile.

So the local bike shop guy is good but a little pricy for me. I am just having him repack BB bearings and hubs and maybe put some new brake rubber on.

What is the best course of action from that point? I want to take all the parts off and clean them and detail the frame forks. and put everything back together. I would like to do a little work myself to learn, but I don't have tools and I don't want to mess anything up on these two. I probably need a practice bike to hack around on myself. It would be great if I could find a guy to help me and I could learn a little in the process. Or I could just pay to get it done right. Any suggestions? What can I get away with doing myself? ( I am coordinated with tools, just need direction and some practice)

Bike coops are a great place to start. You put them down yet it seems like you know much less than they do. ;)

Old bikes are generally the easiest to work on, unless they have some sort of old proprietary technology that's barely ever seen anymore. (Shimano front freewheel for example.)

I'm going to be honest with you here, but if you took the bike to the shop to get the BB repacked and new pads put on, you may be over your head as those are two of the easier things you can do on a bike. Sure, you need a couple of special tools to do the BB, but nothing a competent home bike mechanic wouldn't have. Don't take this the wrong way. Bikes are easy to learn!

I suggest going to the COOP. They're there to help you learn, not to fix your bike for free. You can learn on other bikes too, not just your own! Ask the coop people if you can help fix other bikes, or simply learn. I'm sure they'd love to have you. If you don't like the particular volunteer you're working with, then come back another day. We have a hierarchy at our coop. If any of the new volunteers can't fix something, they bring it to one of the more seasoned volunteers. If they can't fix it they bring it to me. If I can't fix it I bring it to the old guy at the shop who has been doing bikes since the 70s. :) At that point it's unlikely that we will be able to fix it anyway. Sometimes we simply do not have the parts to fix something. (For example, a guy needed a 73 x 113 BB the other day, which we did not have unfortunately.)

cslascro 07-15-16 09:22 AM

I just got into a budget resto on my 1984 Schwinn World Sport and it's been a lot of fun to learn bike mechanics. YouTube is an amazing teacher--I really like the videos by RJbikeguy.

For cleaning parts, I'll say that a bronze brush and some odorless mineral spirits have been my best friends! It's the best way I've found to clean metal parts, even chrome! Just put them in the mineral spirits up to as long as over night and then scrub hard with the bronze brush until it comes clean.

The only specialty tools I've purchased are a crank puller and freewheel removal tool. Other than allan wrenches, combination wrenches, screwdrivers and several sizes of pliers have been enough to get it all done.

3alarmer 07-15-16 10:11 AM


Originally Posted by WolfRider (Post 18910836)
I'm in Northern Ca, Sac , Davis I think there are some Coop bike places around here. I just want to do these bikes right. So maybe I will check out some of those spots. Bike mehcanic skill level and knowledge of vintage bikes can vary with some of these volunteer outfits.

...the Davis bike co-op situation is in constant flux and a little chaotic ever since they got tossed out of the Domes.

The Sacramento Bike Kitchen has the stuff you need, but a lot of the olde bike guys left last year. There is still a great collection of various tools there, and depending on when you visit (the day) you may or may not find someone there who is knowledgeable about your particular project bike. That's probably your best place to start.

Addison's Cycle Reparium is a one man show, and he focuses on olde bikes and restorations.

The Edible Pedal used to have considerable classic steel presence, but it has dropped off some under new ownership. The midtown location is under a different name now, on Liestal Alley. In West Sac it's still the same name.


If you have specific questions, (after you try a few of these resources), I might be able to advise you as to a course of action. I used to do a lot of this, less now. You can PM me here, I live in the BIg Tomato.



Your idea of a practice bike to **** up prior to starting to the one you care about is a good one, and you can probably find something cheap at the Bike Kitchen. Good luck. Like they say, it's not rocket science, but it's still possible to fubar something.

squirtdad 07-15-16 10:25 AM

the park tool site is great on line resource Repair Help Articles | Park Tool

also in addition to this forum check out classic and vintage.

Sugget you take it one step at a time.... like clean, regrease and adjust bearing on front wheel hub, then adjust brakes, then go to rear hub,

corrado33 07-15-16 10:36 AM

The thing that got me started was a bike repair app, probably similar to the park tool website. It had videos and instructions on how to repair everything.

I only used it once or twice before I didn't need it anymore!

Phloom 07-15-16 11:43 AM

I joined a local coop a couple years ago and it as been a great experience for me. Not only have I gained some useful skills but I really enjoy helping others work on their bikes. I have gotten pretty good at changing wheel bearings and getting the play just right. When I get new wheels, I take them apart and put them together the way I like. The only thing I haven't mastered is build a wheel from a hub, spokes and a rim. Hoping one of the experts at the bike coop will show us how someday.

Homebrew01 07-15-16 06:48 PM


Originally Posted by WolfRider (Post 18910836)
I'm in Northern Ca, Sac , Davis I think there are some Coop bike places around here. I just want to do these bikes right. So maybe I will check out some of those spots. Bike mehcanic skill level and knowledge of vintage bikes can vary with some of these volunteer outfits.

You can update your location. Might help get better future advice.

Grand Bois 07-16-16 01:27 AM

You don't need to buy a third bike to learn on. Learn on the two you have. You won't hurt them.

Delmarva 07-16-16 10:48 AM


Originally Posted by Grand Bois (Post 18915826)
You don't need to buy a third bike to learn on. Learn on the two you have. You won't hurt them.

+1
The parts are either out in the open or easily accessed. A smart phone can be used to document how things came apart.g The only caution I would offer is in cleaning, polishing and detailing. Be careful with those older finishes because they can seemingly disappear, decals loosen, badge paint come out, etc.

fietsbob 07-16-16 01:33 PM

# 1 Learn more skills, read A Bike Mechanics book or 2 at the Library.

Yes, Join A Bike CoOp. then there will be the tools , space , and people there to ask Questions .



./.

rjmeyer67 07-16-16 04:40 PM

Maintenance
 
I brought a couple of books and YouTube videos. As maintenance, or repair is needed, I learn a new skill.
You have a knock around commuter. Pick something and try it.
Lots of tips out there, aka hacks. My favorite tip was to use zip ties on the forks and use them as gauges for regular truing. If your wheel is way out of true, like after a bad pothole or something, take out on for a $12 repair. It beats spending a few hundred on a truing stand that you may need one or twice a year.

WolfRider 07-20-16 08:00 PM

This is all great info guys I appeciate it. I grew up cycling and been out of it for awhile, so trying to get up to speed. I think I just need to get in there and start doing stuff, with a little direction. I'll make sure not to mess up anything on the nicer bikes. Sometimes if it's done right i'll just pay for it.

Wow what a rabbit hole Iv'e found myself in. ( in a good way, except for I am running out of cash.) I was thinking about upgrading my basic GT MTB commuter which was the only bike I owned. Wasn't even really trying to look really and then two pretty nice bikes that fit me and were original came up. So had to make a move. Picked up the aforementioned early 80's Rossin Record and a 80 Ralieigh Comp GS. Now my whole head is swimming with bikes and projects. Always wanted a Shimano Sante build, so putting together a groupset for that. Miss my old Bridgestone MB2 a lot. Would pay for a clean one. Wouldn't mind a 59cm RB 1 either, I would have to upgrade from Shimano 105 of course. Man there is no end to this. I better slow down. I'm saying this while just trying to figure out how to somehow procur this sick Panasonic Dura ace equiped original Track bike. man what a beauty. Not sure what that one is worth, but trying to come up with some cash and make a play on it. Fits me too. Oh man forgot to mention that an auction ended on ebay for a NOS Modolo Profesional brakeset(etched on side) that I was kind of of interested in, but didn't bid. Turns out the winner pulled out because of high shipping and was relisted. I did the math and because rarity and price was pretty good. $260 shipped from AUS Went for it! on its way. Making up for lost time I guess being out of cycling.

Doc_Wui 07-21-16 08:22 AM

Learned a lot about bikes and what tools I needed from watching youtube videos. Used to really get into home car repairs though.

Now I want to learn welding, LOL, but not from youtube. A night course.

corrado33 07-21-16 08:41 AM


Originally Posted by Phloom (Post 18914591)
The only thing I haven't mastered is build a wheel from a hub, spokes and a rim. Hoping one of the experts at the bike coop will show us how someday.

It's not hard. Get yourself a good wheel building book and follow the directions. It's almost like legos at that point. The very hardest part is getting the first spoke correct. After that it's just "Insert spoke, skip X# of holes, screw in nipple."

tarwheel 07-21-16 09:14 AM

I'll put in a plug for local bike shops. Like you, I am not particularly mechanically inclined and don't have the time or a decent place to work on my bikes. I have shopped around a lot when it comes to bike mechanics and found several that are reasonably priced and do great work. They don't mind me supplying some of the parts, although I usually buy some parts from them as well. In my experience, it is worth paying for their expertise. When I try to fix something beyond basic maintenance (such as chains, cassette, stems, bar tape), I usually end up having to take the bike into the shop anyway. Maybe I will find the time to learn how to do more after I retire, but while I am still working I would rather pay someone else to do it right the first time.

WolfRider 07-21-16 10:21 AM

@tarwheel. Yeah it can be a time thing for me also. I would like to learn how to work on bikes a little more, but I have other commitments on a regular basis as well. If any of my bikes turn into projects that sit for an extended period of time I am just going to pay to get them done. I want to get them ready and put some road time in. It's a nice feeling when you know your bike is pretty much dialed in and you can just grab it and go for a good ride. Or even take it out for a coffee shop cruise.

kevindsingleton 07-21-16 02:24 PM


Originally Posted by WolfRider (Post 18928313)
@tarwheel. Yeah it can be a time thing for me also. I would like to learn how to work on bikes a little more, but I have other commitments on a regular basis as well. If any of my bikes turn into projects that sit for an extended period of time I am just going to pay to get them done. I want to get them ready and put some road time in. It's a nice feeling when you know your bike is pretty much dialed in and you can just grab it and go for a good ride. Or even take it out for a coffee shop cruise.

This is the kind of situation that calls for buying that "third" bike that you can use to "learn by doing" without taking your regular rides out of the rotation. There's nothing like doing a job that you've never done, before, to build your confidence, and it's the only way you can know, absolutely, that your bikes are dialed in and ready to go.

If you have the parts, tools, and a place to do the work, you can overhaul the bottom bracket, headset, and hubs, true the wheels, replace the chain, all the cables and brake pads, wrap the handlebars, and adjust the FD and RD, in less than a full day, with time left over to grill some meat and drink some beer. It's called, "Sunday".

If you run into a stuck seat post or stem, well ...that's a different story! :lol:


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:59 AM.


Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.