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Refurbishing older bicycles project

Old 03-31-23, 01:32 AM
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SlowingDown
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Refurbishing older bicycles project

Greetings!

I need some advice. I am in the process of refurbishing an old bicycle that i have had for years. Sadly, it is not in the best of shape however it is in good enough shape that I just don't want to throw it out. I have found that it is a bit of an "orphan".....kind of like the old Ford Courier pickup.....where neither Ford, nor Mazda truly wanted to claim it as their own.


I have a vintage 80's "Peugeot Urban Express", a 15 speed, which seems to have "gone by the wayside". It is outfitted with Shimano parts including 5 speed freewheel gear cluster, and three front gears. It uses an older style 1/2" x 3/16" chain, a Shimano FD-AL11 front derailleur and a Shimano RD-AL11 long cage derailleur. I called a bike shop and of course was told that the only way it would be worth my while would be to do all of the work myself since the bike is so old. I think that after going through everything, cleaning it up, replacing cables, chain, brake pads, tubes, tires, etc., that there is a decent chance that the gears and derailleurs will still work, however I wanted to know if anyone knows if there are any other newer sets of derailleurs that might work for me, without having to replace everything else in the process. The 5 speed cluster consists of a low range of 14T, 17T, 20T, 24T, 28T. The front gears consist of 30T, 40T, 50T. If it turns out that the existing rear cluster is marginal, I do have a used replacement cluster that I ordered from eBay if necessary. Such clusters are difficult to find, to say the least. What I am looking for is to determine the best "Plan B" option, should my "Plan A" fail. There is a point where my effort may become futile however, I am not ready to give up on the project.


Depending on how my effort goes, if I am successful with refurbishing my bicycle, then I also have a "Peugeot City Express" to refurbish next which my wife used to ride Having said that, it is a bit ironic because even though the "City Express" was not as robust as my 15 speed "Urban Express" when I purchased it, I expect that since the "City Express was a 12 speed, it might be easier to find some replacement derailleurs, although I am not sure about whether the existing gearing would be compatible. In any case, I would appreciate any advice that could be offered to use these existing bikes. At 70+ years of age, I don't expect to be putting as many miles on bicycles as I used to do and since I am retired, I can also take whatever time that is necessary to refurbish what I have. It would just be nice to find some newer parts to use if I find it necessary to do so. Any advice is appreciated.

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Old 03-31-23, 02:08 AM
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Unless they are physically damaged, I doubt you need to replace the derailleurs. The tools to disassemble the bottom bracket are probably something you don't have, but overall this shouldn't be a tough project to undertake if you are somewhat mechanically inclined. The tires, tubes, rim tape, cables and fresh brake pads you already mentioned and maybe a chain are not too tough to DIY.
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Old 03-31-23, 02:59 AM
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Thanks for your replay....

Originally Posted by Chuck M View Post
Unless they are physically damaged, I doubt you need to replace the derailleurs. The tools to disassemble the bottom bracket are probably something you don't have, but overall this shouldn't be a tough project to undertake if you are somewhat mechanically inclined. The tires, tubes, rim tape, cables and fresh brake pads you already mentioned and maybe a chain are not too tough to DIY.
Thanks for your reply and advice! The only "dicey" issue is that the bikes were stored in a storage building where the vapor barrier went bad and everything in the building was exposed to a higher level of moisture until I was able to get the roof replaced. As a result, there was a fair amount of rust damage on a lot of my tools and other items including the bicycles. I spent a lot of time cleaning up my tools with a wire wheel on a bench grinder that made a huge difference with being able to salvage most of my tools. I am just now getting around to cleaning up the bikes and it remains to be seen whether or not any rust has damaged certain components beyond repair, especially the rear derailleur. I won't know if I can get it working properly until all of the cables and other parts are replaced. It also remains to be seen what the longevity of the derailleur will be, before it has to be replaced. I like to stay "ahead of the curve" and explore any other options, just in case. I need to find a different solution. I have invested in some select Parker tools to accomplish the tasks at hand, including a DIY bike stand. There is nothing better than to be able to have a proper stand to not only make repairs, but also do periodic maintenance and adjustments. If I am going to put out a little money, I would rather put it into a few bike tools rather than brand new bikes, which will make it easier to not only better maintain my bikes, but also the bikes that belong to my children and grandchildren. Aside from the smaller shop at my house, I also own a farm where my oldest daughter and her family live. It has a 30ft x 80ft. shop which is the perfect place to dedicate space to work on bikes when I periodically stay there.

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Old 03-31-23, 03:04 AM
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You don't have enough posts to post pictures, but you can upload them to an album anyway. If you upload a few pictures, they can be viewed and you will get better advice as to where to proceed and ways to do it.
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Old 03-31-23, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Chuck M View Post
Unless they are physically damaged, I doubt you need to replace the derailleurs.
This.

With vintage bikes, the thing to do is to fully overhaul everything, reassemble with new consumables (chain, possibly freewheel, cables/housing, etc.) and adjust with perfection. While overhauling a component, you will usually know if something is worn out and needs replacement. Other times, you'll discover issues only during your maiden voyage after the full overhaul of the complete bike.
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Old 03-31-23, 08:02 AM
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Foil and water is your friend for rust, bikes like those usually don't need much. A lot of the time bikes like yours just need new grease in the bearings and a little wd-40 here and there.

Get a few more post and a couple of days you'll be able to post pictures, with those we can give you very good advice.
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Old 03-31-23, 08:28 AM
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you'll want to go here as well.

​​​​​​https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vintage/
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Old 03-31-23, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by SlowingDown View Post
The 5 speed cluster consists of a low range of 14T, 17T, 20T, 24T, 28T. The front gears consist of 30T, 40T, 50T. If it turns out that the existing rear cluster is marginal, I do have a used replacement cluster that I ordered from eBay if necessary. Such clusters are difficult to find, to say the least.
Readily available brand new

​​​​​​https://www.universalcycles.com/shop...gaAhPwEALw_wcB
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Old 03-31-23, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
This.
With vintage bikes, the thing to do is to fully overhaul everything, reassemble with new consumables (chain, possibly freewheel, cables/housing, etc.) and adjust with perfection. While overhauling a component, you will usually know if something is worn out and needs replacement. Other times, you'll discover issues only during your maiden voyage after the full overhaul of the complete bike.
It sounds like I am on the right path since I am waiting for a new chain, cables/housing, and a few tools to disassemble the drive train to arrive. New brake pads, tubes, and tires are already here, along with a few other "bell and whistle" parts. I never realized that there are now so many choices of brake pads to choose from. Since my Peugeot's are set up for more road use than off-road, and also living in Oregon where there is a lot of rain, I purchased some pads that are better suited for less than dry weather. I have already learned a lot doing some initial research and expect to learn much more in the near future. Before retiring, I worked in an IT department and if necessary, could build a computer from the ground up, with "one hand tied behind my back", figuratively speaking. Lol I have no problem with "expanding my horizon" in the "bicycle world" and forums such as this certainly help me to "ramp it up" a bit. Thanks for you comments.
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Old 03-31-23, 11:37 AM
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@SlowingDown, are you able to edit your messages after posting? You can delete duplicates this way.

After clicking Edit, click the Delete button, select Delete Message, then click the Delete This Message button. Sometimes it takes a while for the software to update the page. Be patient.
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Old 03-31-23, 02:07 PM
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The 80s Urban Express had a pretty good spec sheet. Chrome-moly frame, Chrome manganese fork, mostly alloy accessories.

BTW, Evaporust is your friend here for tools at least. Good luck.
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Old 04-01-23, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
@SlowingDown, are you able to edit your messages after posting? You can delete duplicates this way.

After clicking Edit, click the Delete button, select Delete Message, then click the Delete This Message button. Sometimes it takes a while for the software to update the page. Be patient.

Thanks for the information. As a "Newbie", i seemed to have messed up a bit, but on your advice, did some "house keeping" to clean it up. I had to wait for a day to take care of it since I had already used up my limit of free postings for an non-paying subscriber.
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Old 04-01-23, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
you'll want to go here as well.
Thanks for the link for the gear cluster. Being a "Newbie" with less than 10 posts, I had to edit out the URL. I went ahead and ordered a new gear cluster from the link that you sent. I am sure that it will be a better solution than installing used gears. I had not found that particular source and I was pleasantly surprised to see that they have a store in my own "back yard", here in Oregon. I should be receiving the gears in another week and I will anxiously be awaiting their arrival.
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Old 04-02-23, 06:46 PM
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Hi,
Welcome to the forum. What area of Oregon are you in? You need to see if there is a bike co-op near you. There are several in Portland. I know of others in Hillsboro, Corvallis, Salem & Eugene. I’ve been volunteering at the NW Hub in Salem for six years. The co-ops have training classes, work stations & sell the both new and recycled parts as well as new and refurbished bikes. You can signup for volunteer work which gives you access to the services.
If you are mechanically inclined, bicycles are a great hobby. Not too expensive if you stay away from the exotic stuff and provide the opportunity for lots of exercise. 🤗
Cheers,
Van
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Old 04-03-23, 06:26 PM
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You have a pair of excellent, durable bicycles that should provide years of continued service.

Good luck with the refurbishments.
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Old 04-04-23, 12:31 PM
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Chain ring guards

My new bike stand arrived and now I can begin some serious refurbishing. I haven't ridden my Peugeot Urban Express in years, but I always recall how annoying it was to wrap velcro leg guards around my pants to keep them from getting into the chain. To that end, while my Urban Express is all torn down, I thought that I would install a bicycle chain ring guard over my front gears. It seems as if it is a rare thing and not particularly recommended to place a chain ring over a set of three gears. My question is, as long as there is enough clearance for the pedal, does anyone every add a chain guard ring over three gears? I realize that the chain ring bolts may need to be extended out and some spacers used with the outside gear however, if all of the clearances are good, is there a problem with doing that? In looking, it is a bit of a challenge narrowing down a chain ring to a 50T gear at 110 BCD. The main deal with that is that I have found some interpretive discrepancies of the actual referenced bolt-to-bolt measurements which led me to not assume that all 110 BCD bolt patterns are the same. According to some information on the "Wolf Tooth" gear ring site, here are the listed specifications that also match my 50T gear ring:


5 Bolt Chainrings - Measuring two adjacent bolts

BCD Distance (mm) Distance (in)

110mm 64.7mm 2.55in


While the majority of 110mm chain ring guards don't reference the above bold-to-bolt standard as shown above, I have seen a couple of advertised chain ring guards that show a variation from that standard, which leads me to try and verify the bolt-to-bolt specification before purchasing anything. Of course the first issue to resolve is if it is acceptable to customize a three chain ring bike in the first place by adding on a guard ring. Any comments or advice is appreciated.
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Old 04-04-23, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Senior Ryder 00 View Post
Hi,
Welcome to the forum. What area of Oregon are you in? You need to see if there is a bike co-op near you. There are several in Portland. I know of others in Hillsboro, Corvallis, Salem & Eugene. I’ve been volunteering at the NW Hub in Salem for six years. The co-ops have training classes, work stations & sell the both new and recycled parts as well as new and refurbished bikes. You can signup for volunteer work which gives you access to the services.
If you are mechanically inclined, bicycles are a great hobby. Not too expensive if you stay away from the exotic stuff and provide the opportunity for lots of exercise. 🤗
Cheers,
Van

I actually "bounce around" between two locations. My home is between Oregon City and Molalla, but I also have a family farm that I inherited outside of Amity, where my oldest daughter and her family now live.. Your suggestion about joining a bicycle co-op sounds like a fun thing to be involved in. After retiring in 2019, my major focus has been and remains, completing a lot of major projects at the farm which is why most of my time is spent at one location or the other. There are major projects at the farm that I need to complete i.e., finish installing an 800 ft. perimeter of deer fencing, 250 ft. of cross fencing, 75 ft. of picket fencing, complete the interior of a goat barn, run water lines to and from a solar-powered well and elsewhere on the property, install raised garden beds and connect a small water tower that I built last year for a drip irrigation system to the raised beds, lay underground conduit to an additional array of 10 solar panels for auxiliary power, and also build a pump house for the well that was drilled about three years ago,. You get the picture. Lol

The rural area where the farm is located is a popular place for bicycle riding groups to have riding events and I observe such groups riding every year. It would be a natural fit for me to keep my Peugeot Urban Express and City Express bikes at the farm, once they are refurbished. It is also a much safer and enjoyable place to ride when compared to where my home is.

If I had the time to join a bike co-op, it would be worthwhile endeavor. If the current weather was better, I would be at the farm now, working on some of the outlined projects but with all of the wet, rainy, and cold Oregon weather that we are having, it is a perfect time to be working on the bike refurbishing project.....at least until the sun comes out more.

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Old 04-04-23, 01:00 PM
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Evaporust

Originally Posted by WizardOfBoz View Post
The 80s Urban Express had a pretty good spec sheet. Chrome-moly frame, Chrome manganese fork, mostly alloy accessories.

BTW, Evaporust is your friend here for tools at least. Good luck.

Thanks.....I ordered some and it will be here soon for me to try out.
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Old 04-05-23, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by SlowingDown View Post
Thanks.....I ordered some and it will be here soon for me to try out.
Works great - make sure that the tool is totally immersed though. If a section is sticking out it leaves a black ring at that point. Not anything functionally bad, its just that if you put money and effort into de-rusting stuff you want it to look nice.

Also, you may wish to try Boeshield T9 or CRC 3-36 or Fluid Film for preventing rust reoccuring on hand tools.
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Old 04-14-23, 03:57 PM
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Not meaning to brag but I have numerous posts relating to restoring old bikes. Check them out and you are likel;y to find some info you can use. I have been working with Bikex.org for about 10 years fixing up old bikes for donation as well as doing restorations for sale.



As stated previously, most old bikes, if they haven't been thouroughly thrashed or left out in the rain to rust, can be brought back to good serviceable condition with a good cleaning, replacement of cables, and tires, and a adjusting.
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Old 04-14-23, 04:21 PM
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also some good web resources

https://www.parktool.com/en-us/blog/repair-help

https://www.sheldonbrown.com/

a book i like (covers old and new) https://www.amazon.com/Zinn-Art-Road...74944533&psc=1


sounds like you have your hands full with the farm...good luck with all of that
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