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Just getting into restoration as a hobby... advice???

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Just getting into restoration as a hobby... advice???

Old 07-03-18, 07:21 PM
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TheCAkid
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Just getting into restoration as a hobby... advice???

Hey all,
I have been an avid cyclist my whole life. In the last year I have been doing a lot of my own bike repair and love it. Due to a series of random events I have come into possession of a few vintage bikes and have found that I really enjoy restoring them.

Since you all all have been doing this for so long I was curious if anyone has any advice for someone just getting into the restoration game?
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Old 07-03-18, 07:25 PM
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If you have a spouse/significant other, help them see the value of this hobby - stress relief, learning new skills, potential for profit (very little, if being honest, but still!), time in the garage vs time at the bar, etc.

That will go a LONG way. Maybe you can start a nice restoration piece for them, then get them riding. I've found that a supportive spouse is probably the most important component, especially when I wheel project bikes into the living room

Other than that, enjoy it, love it, and don't do anything that would make you not.
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Old 07-03-18, 07:26 PM
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CAkid,
Get ready to go down the rabbit hole...this is addicting but enjoyable. My advice is to take your time, do your research and try not to get carried away by all the "bargains" that you find..it might also be better to concentrate on a few makes/models.
I have an eclectic mix and now am trying to thin the herd to focus on a few marques.
Best, Ben
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Old 07-03-18, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by AdventureManCO View Post
I've found that a supportive spouse is probably the most important component, especially when I wheel project bikes into the living room

Other than that, enjoy it, love it, and don't do anything that would make you not.
Excellent advice!!!! My spouse has been tolerant so far even though we are currently in a one bedroom apartment. We are going for a fun ride for the Fourth of July tomorrow so hopefully I can get her hooked too.
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Old 07-03-18, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by xiaoman1 View Post
CAkid,
I have an eclectic mix and now am trying to thin the herd to focus on a few marques.
Best, Ben
Thanks Ben,
I have a nishiki international and a Schwinn world sport I am playing with currently. I think the Nishiki’s are a lot of fun but we will see.
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Old 07-03-18, 07:40 PM
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One gentle caution: Don't repaint or powdercoat your bike a new color, add modern rims, brifters and carbon whatnots and then say you're 'restoring' the bike. That's customizing. A lot of us here do that on some bikes we get. It's fun to do and can make an old bike really terrific and fun to ride, but it's the opposite of restoring it.

Also, bike parts are expensive. Whole bikes, on the other hand, can be had very cheap or even free, quite often. Keep your eyes peeled. And since parts take up less storage space than whole bikes, maybe check around for a local co-op to dump your unwanted frames after you've removed the parts you want. Or if it's a nice frame, sell it here or on Craigslist.

If you've scored a bike that you're not keeping and you think may be too special, too original to strip; ask us here. You'll get opinions.

Ohhhh, so very many opinions...
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Old 07-03-18, 07:52 PM
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Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here

Let me hold your wallet for you...




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Old 07-03-18, 08:00 PM
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[QUOTE=Lascauxcaveman;20427554]
Also, bike parts are expensive. Whole bikes, on the other hand, can be had very cheap or even free, quite often. Keep your eyes peeled. And since parts take up less storage space than whole bikes, maybe check around for a local co-op to dump your unwanted frames after you've removed the parts you want. Or if it's a nice frame, sell it here or on Craigslist.


Great Point!
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Old 07-03-18, 08:16 PM
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You just asked a bunch of addicts how best to feed your habit,
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Old 07-03-18, 08:22 PM
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Run
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Old 07-03-18, 08:43 PM
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Get a second job.
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Old 07-03-18, 08:44 PM
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Then run.
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Old 07-03-18, 08:53 PM
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Stop. No. Don't.

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Old 07-03-18, 09:50 PM
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Don't do it naked.
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Old 07-03-18, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by TheCAkid View Post
Since you all all have been doing this for so long I was curious if anyone has any advice for someone just getting into the restoration game?
Get professional help as soon as possible, before it is too late... while you still have free space in your home and garage!
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Old 07-03-18, 09:52 PM
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...all worthwhile suggestions above
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Old 07-03-18, 09:58 PM
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The way a bike addict sees the world.....

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Old 07-03-18, 10:02 PM
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I love working on old bikes, but fortunately (IMO) I don’t feel compelled to restore them to their original state. Instead, I like to take old cheap bikes and modify them so that they exceed expectations. For example, old French bikes with steel wheels can be improved by using modern aluminum rims and nice tires. No, let me rephrase that: just about ANY older bike can be improved with modern alu rims and good tires! But beyond that, it is interesting to learn what parts really affect the function of a bicycle. Old cottered steel cranks, for example, are still perfectly functional items, although I would love to modify them to take a granny gear! So as you can see, it can be an interesting exercise in being inventive as well as simply looking for period-correct parts.
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Old 07-03-18, 10:59 PM
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I have 8 bikes in my garage shop currently Total value probably less than $2000.

I restored a 1960 Maserati once and spent $25,000 on it doing almost everything myself. I had a 1965 Columbia 36 sailboat that i had $25,000 in after restoring it doing everything myself.

Looked at that way bikes are a cheap hobby.

You don't have to restore exotic bikes to enjoy the hobby. Here is a 1962 Peugeot UO8 I did recently. it was extremely satisfying and cost very little .

One thing I have learned is that the best way to do a restoration is to completely strip all the components of the bike , inspect, clean or paint the frame , polish everything,and re assemble. On an old bike you never know where the problems will lie and trying to fix a stuck brake can easily lead to a more significant repair and much duplication of effort. I had a Specialized expedition cleaned up and ready to go and then noticed a crack in the chain stay that I hadn't seen on first glance. ruined the project.
If you start with Japanese bikes you will probably find parts cheaper and easier to find . There are some very nice Japanese bikes out there.
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Old 07-03-18, 11:50 PM
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The 12 Step Program or The Rakes Progress

Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
You just asked a bunch of addicts how best to feed your habit,
Hi my name is Chas. and I went almost a year without buying a bike or frame... Then in Feb. I fell off the wagon and bought this 1971 Raleigh Competition as a beater for gravel grinding on Eroica CA this past spring.

When I bought it on eBay it looked like this, supposedly just overhauled and "ready to ride":



Many hours and ~$200+ later it was "ready to ride". Beater that it is, it quickly became one of my favorite riding bikes.

I had most of the components on hand so it wasn't that much out of pocket but still bike projects quickly go over budget.



In 1980 I was down to 2 bikes, 1 on and 1 off road. By 1992 it was 5 bikes. In 2006 I started riding on road again and by 2012 here's the results:








What stated off as a collection, quickly became my inventory! I look at it as my retirement fund... I'm hoping to sell off 1 or 2 a month.

@TheCAkid Advice, the frame and wheels are the most important parts of a bike. A light weight alloy steel frame and alloy wheels offer the most bang for the buck as far as ride and handling are concerned. The rest of the components just have to function properly. They can be upgraded later for performance or vanity/aesthetic reasons.

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Old 07-04-18, 12:02 AM
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I had the pleasure of meeting Chas quite a few years ago while on a road tripp to Los Angeles with my dad. His collection is impressive in person and the best part is we got to go for a ride with Chas. I was on a late 60's PX10 of his and my dad was on a beautiful Bianchi.

This is a satisfying hobby to have and one that also has the benefits of supporting good health too.
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Old 07-04-18, 01:25 AM
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Since you all all have been doing this for so long I was curious if anyone has any advice for someone just getting into the restoration game?
I publish MY "TEN SPEEDS", a website intended to help people get into the vintage bicycle restoration hobby without making a bunch of costly, time consuming and frustrating experiences.

Spend some time learning about Vintage Bicycle Quality, or How To Find Vintage Bicycles or how to fix this or that or where to look for this or that.

Anyway, anything from tools needed for any and all levels of restoration to how to paint a bike, in your kitchen with a brush. That sound silly, I know. But it don't look all that silly when you see the finished product when you look at the finished job, frame straightened and all.

From this...


to this...


Of course, before you make the decision to paint a bike, you also need to ask yourself - Should I Paint My Bicycle?

Hope some of the above proves helpful
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Old 07-04-18, 02:15 AM
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As someone else who started not long ago. Here are some things on top of mind:

1. Read My 10 Speeds, mentioned above.
2. Also mentioned above: Start by disassembling everything, cleaning it all (and polishing and waxing the frame) and then putting back together, replacing pieces when and if needed.
3. Remember that you need to/should overhaul the bottom bracket, hubs and headset on any vintage bike you get. Meaning take them apart, clean them out and re-grease the bearings, replacing them if need be.
4. If you don't already, GET A BIKE STAND. NOW. Seriously. I came here some time ago asking for similar advice. People told me to get a bike stand, something that I did not do right away. I immensely regretted it and since finding a very nice stand for cheap on OfferUp it has made the hobby so much more enjoyable for me.
5. Get your hands on the few bike specific tools you'll need.
6. Learn the signs of a low end, mid range and high end bicycle. Learn to consider things like various tubing stickers, stem shifters vs down tube shifters, steel vs. alloy etc.
7. Search this forum for pretty much any question you have and you'll find an answer.
8. Watch the RJ The Bike Guy youtube videos while working on things. He's probably covered whatever you're working on and his videos are easy to follow.
9. For rusty bits, drop them in a bucket of Rustoloeum for a few hours. It works wonders!
10. Low and mid range mikes deserve your attention. Especially mid range. In retrospect many of the middle of the line bicycles were very well made and at times provide nearly as good of a ride as their upper end brethren. As for entry level bicycles, some of them were actually worth a damn. Consider the Peugeot UO-8 (pictured above). Yeah, it was Peugeot's entry level, but Peugeot was making damn good entry level bicycles. As is they are good for daily commuters, and they are pretty enough to be built up a little bit, swapping out steel components for alloy to lose some weight etc.

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Old 07-04-18, 04:12 AM
  #24  
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Invest in a set of metric dial calipers and school yourself on learning exact dimensions of critical bike parts or frame interfaces. This will help you to narrow your search for that specific item you are seeking.

Be patient! Tracking down the correct part sometimes takes years!

Also invest in a little micro grease gun like the Pedro’s. These permit you to apply just the right amount of grease where it is needed without waste. The resulting assemblies are more consistently problem free in my experience. I also love my Chinese high powered LED headlight which helps me continue to see what I’m working on in low light conditions.
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Old 07-04-18, 06:04 AM
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Try volunteering at a co-op. First, you will learn a lot about bike maintenance. Secondly, you won't have to make a major investment in tools. Third, you can work on bikes without buying parts or bikes. Fourth, you probably will find a project or two along the way. Fifth, you will be doing something good for the community.

I'm buying (and selling) fewer and fewer bikes as I do more wrenching at the co-op. I'll find the occasional interesting donor bike, or project bike at the co-op.

On space requirements, you not only need decent workshop space, you need storage space for parts. My parts storage far exceeds my workshop space.

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