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Do's and Don'ts when restoring a vintage bike.

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Do's and Don'ts when restoring a vintage bike.

Old 11-04-19, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Reynolds 531
All Gitanes must be purple. I know of no other rules.
Oops.

Mine is and was always RED!
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Old 11-04-19, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by SkyWave
Oops.

Mine is and was always RED!
Easily fixed.

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Old 11-04-19, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Reynolds 531
Easily fixed.

Sorry won't match my kit so I will be the outlier.
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Old 11-04-19, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Reynolds 531
Easily fixed.
Is that product worthwhile? As in, have you used much? I'm always interested in new options for paint.
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Old 11-04-19, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by francophile
Is that product worthwhile? As in, have you used much? I'm always interested in new options for paint.
No, but I have a Blue Bianchi, that needs to be corrected.

I have yet to see this paint in real life, so I about to just go ahead and buy some. I have heard good reviews, but I do want to see for myself.
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Old 11-04-19, 02:16 PM
  #56  
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There's plenty of already good advise on here so I probably won't add anything useful. That said if you are going to upgrade a bike, I am always hesitant to replace the headset if it is threaded because the different headsets have different threaded height needs (ball bearings and grease always good to replace), the seat post (which often matches with the frame well), and front derailleur (as long as it is all metal, and not Simplex).

It's fine to find low end stuff to work on but there is a sweet spot of used bikes like Univega's, Schwinn Prologues and Preludes, and Trek Multitracks, that likely have decent frames and okay parts to get you going well. If you are not looking to flip, 90's MTB's can be had with nice parts for a fair price, but they don't bring much in returns. Get to know what are good frame materials, Reynolds, Columbus, Tange, Easton, and True Temper in general are good. Items marked as 4130 steel, 7075 Alum, 6065 Alum is typically still good. Hi Tensile Steel and 1030, 1020 steel, not as nice usually. I'm sure there is plenty others but I'm trying to use broad strokes here.

And all Gitane's must be purple. Unless they are not. If they are blue they need the chrome holographic lettering.
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Old 11-04-19, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by francophile
Is that product worthwhile? As in, have you used much? I'm always interested in new options for paint.
The spray bike has a shop in Atlanta with the color spectrum available, at least according to their website they do.
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Old 11-04-19, 03:51 PM
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Fun thread. I'm almost through my 3rd bike refit.
The first time I took a 10spd to a single spd, but had the shop install a new BB and headset, and order a lot of the parts, which I assembled myself, but it was nothing harder than brakes & wheels & a crank.
The 2nd time was a much older bike, and I had a shop find the right BB for it, and replace that, and the headset, since I still didn't have a tool for that. I did everything else myself again.
This 3rd time, I've done everything myself. Borrowed a headset press, bought even more tools for removing BBs, cassettes, cranks, etc. I felt much more confident, but also spent a lot of time watching youtube over and over and over, and reading Sheldon, and asking questions here. I researched and found all the parts I wanted myself, and bought them myself through various online retailers, and some from LBS. It's almost done.

Biggest agreement I have without already posted thoughts is DOCUMENT EVERYTHING. Take craploads of pics of everything before you disassemble. You will absolutely refer back to them when you're reassembling. Also take pics of any size or model information stamped/stickered on any parts you take off - even if you aren't replacing it. I keep track in the Notes app on my iPhone of everything and check them off as I replace, and it's easy to quickly check sizes and stuff, etc.

Go online and try to find the bike manufacturer's catalog from the year so you can look at the back and find as much info about the specs, parts, build, sizing, etc of your bike model as possible - it's not always 100% of the info you need, but gives you a starting point at least.

Tools tools tools. Buy or borrow. You'll need them more than you think. Besides once you start tinkering, you'll always tinker.

Be ready yo do things over and over because you screwed it up.

Be as period specific as you can with any swapped parts. If you want a steel bike with new fancy components, just go buy a new All-City or something. Keep vintage bikes as vintage as you can. As was said, most older parts can be brought back to life with some cleaning and scrubbing. And they don't all have to shine like the sun - as long as they work well.
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Old 11-04-19, 04:24 PM
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Awesome advice here. Read the websites posted. My Ten Speeds and Sheldon Brownís sites are a treasure trove of information.

Iíll just reiterate some of the things I found really important.

Take your time.
Breath, relax, let it go. That nut you just stripped isnít laughing at you, and thereís ways to fix it.

Get the right tools or donít do the job. Bike communes are great for this. You donít have to buy expensive tools you wonít use much, or maybe only once. They will usually show you how to use the tool too.
Another note, donít buy the cheapest tools. For example, some stores sell cheap 12spline sockets, and theyíre even guaranteed for life. Youíll hate these when it strips a bolt that will cost $10 to replace, and maybe some serious time to find.

A torque wrench is you friend when youíre starting out. Not only does it help so you donít strip threads, but over time you can learn what different amounts of torque feel like. Tightening by feel is handy to be able to do when youíre out on a ride.

Honestly, I think youíre off to a good start by posting here.
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Old 11-04-19, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101
Use the right tool for the job. If you donít have the right tool, stop.

A drill and a hammer are never the right tool.
never use anything abrasive on rust or chrome. Just speeds up the return of rust later.

Donít paint. Learn to accept and appreciate worn paint as ďpatinaĒ.

Donít buy NOS parts to rebuild your bike. Sure consumables should be new. But NOS parts sell for 5x their lightly worn cousin and are used parts the moment you put them on your bike. To me at least, shiny new parts look out of place on my well patinaíd bikes. Now if I am looking for something to display on the wall, NOS can be interesting. Still too expensive for me.
Can't agree with a lot of that.

I painted a MIELE Tange Infinity frame green-white-red because I wanted a custom paint job on a bike I was going to put an all Italian Campagnolo groupset on.

I have an old 1980's red BIANCHI here I'm gradually restoring to catalogue new. Most of the parts I put on it so far are NOS Cyclone ones. They might be used parts once I rode the bike but at least I know they are not defective in some way.

Cheers
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Old 11-04-19, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by the sci guy
.
Be as period specific as you can with any swapped parts. If you want a steel bike with new fancy components, just go buy a new All-City or something. Keep vintage bikes as vintage as you can.
Um...some of the nicest builds on this site can be found here: Retro roadies- old frames with STI's or Ergos

Want a period correct Colnago? Rock on!
Want to put Di2 on your Paramount? Go get it!
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Old 11-04-19, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Reynolds 531
All Gitanes must be purple. I know of no other rules.
Uhmmm.....No!
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Old 11-04-19, 07:15 PM
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The best guide is Donald Adams' "Collecting and Restoring Antique Bicycles." He focuses more on the period from Draisine to Safety, but a lot of it applies to restoring more recent bikes as well.

https://www.amazon.com/Collecting-Re...2916402&sr=8-2
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Old 11-04-19, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Chombi1
Uhmmm.....No!
Yeah, but that's not the right size!
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Old 11-04-19, 08:38 PM
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Don't give up! That component is out there. It may take years to surface but it is out there.
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Old 11-04-19, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Gary Fountain
Don't give up! That component is out there. It may take years to surface but it is out there.
You may need to buy 20-30 more bikes before you find it though
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Old 11-04-19, 08:59 PM
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Prowler up above said it. Get good quality tools, particularly screwdrivers and allen keys. Don't use 25 cent Walmart junk, you'll round out fasteners.

The best allen keys out there are the Wera. I have the stainless ones. they are awesome ! The flats are "cupped" so they are like Snap-On Flank Drive sockets and Will Not Slip. available from Chad's toolbox dot com or seller KC_Tools on ebay.

Also, anything tight - don't force it. Stuff gets corroded and stuck. Spray your Aero Kroil or PBBlaster. Wait. Make sure you have a good fit on it with your tool before applying mega-force. Goes especially for BB fixed cups.

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Old 11-04-19, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Reynolds 531
All Gitanes must be purple. I know of no other rules.
Hehehe....true.
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Old 11-05-19, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Miele Man
Can't agree with a lot of that.

I painted a MIELE Tange Infinity frame green-white-red because I wanted a custom paint job on a bike I was going to put an all Italian Campagnolo groupset on.
...the painting thing always pops up in this topic. Then someone always says something like, "It's only new once." Which is true, of course. But I have to say that lately I've gotten much better at painting, myself. This was after inspiration by a number of Cycle Art repaints I've either bought or encountered over the years. I recently "restored" a Lenton Grand Prix, and because the paint and decals that were on it were both relatively intact and kind of fragile, I overcoated everything with Spraymaxx 2K Clear Glamour out of a spray can.

There are only so many bicycles that are both of interest to me and my size that have survived in good cosmetic condition.

I think, but cannot prove, that a lot of the anti-painting sentiments come from seeing so many crummy home paint jobs over years of looking at bicycles. But liquid paint is clearly a very flexible medium, and most of us are not doing concourse d' elegance restorations. You can make a bicycle restoration look very impressive painting it yourself, but it's labor intensive and time consuming. I just finished repainting a Mark I Raleigh Pro that needed a few tiny frame repairs. (With some of the paint burned off, it wasn't hard to make the decision to repaint it.) Turned out OK.

I'm not sure I'd recommend frame painting as an endeavor for everyone without reservation, but it does help to reduce the number of bikes you buy when you have to look at the prospective purchase in terms of the work that might be involved.
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Old 11-05-19, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by WDE_aubs
wow, thank you to everyone. So many helpful comments
...if I can offer anything, it is that by far the best penetrating oil (for disassembly issues) is a mix of 50/50 acetone and ATF. Most really old stuff will require the heat of a torch somewhere along in the disassembly process. I use the same one I use for copper plumbing repairs, a MAPP gas torch from Home Depot. Don't burn the paint.


And sometimes you will have to make a decision to sacrifice something like a freewheel by doing a destructive removal, in order to save something else like a nice Campagnolo hub in a solidly built wheel that you are at risk of ruining in the regular removal process.
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Old 11-05-19, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Reynolds 531
Easily fixed.

Originally Posted by francophile
Is that product worthwhile? As in, have you used much? I'm always interested in new options for paint.
...there was a bike shop here that carried it (that has since gone out of business.) So I stopped in one day to check it out. At the time, the color palette was somewhat limited. The product itself is a one part acrylic, and interesting in that the application of it is done with the nozzle pretty close to the surface (maybe 6-8 inches), rather than the usual spray technique for painting that is farther away and more sweeping strokes. It does dry pretty quickly, and does seem to be as good at least as any other acrylic enamel paint. the examples I saw at the shop were mostly frames that had been "personalized", by overpainting with stencils. I imagine it's excellent for something like that. Also it was kind of pricey at the time.

But availability now in single use, disposable spray cans of 2 part acrylic epoxy paints like Spray Maxx 2K, (which at 20 bucks per can will exactly cover one frame and fork (or two forks if you have one that needs it when you have it mixed up,) has rendered it unattractive for me as an option. I'm unlimited now in color coat choice, and I know that any 2 part paint with a hardener will be tougher and more durable. And it allows spraying the whole paint job including the graphics (usually on vinyl) reproductions with a hard clear coat, that has good depth and gloss as the final finish coat.

So in fairness, I've only seen it used, not used it myself. But in my applications, it makes little sense because of the cost of it and the limitations on color matching.
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Old 11-05-19, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer
...the painting thing always pops up in this topic. Then someone always says something like, "It's only new once." Which is true, of course. But I have to say that lately I've gotten much better at painting, myself. This was after inspiration by a number of Cycle Art repaints I've either bought or encountered over the years. I recently "restored" a Lenton Grand Prix, and because the paint and decals that were on it were both relatively intact and kind of fragile, I overcoated everything with Spraymaxx 2K Clear Glamour out of a spray can.

There are only so many bicycles that are both of interest to me and my size that have survived in good cosmetic condition.

I think, but cannot prove, that a lot of the anti-painting sentiments come from seeing so many crummy home paint jobs over years of looking at bicycles. But liquid paint is clearly a very flexible medium, and most of us are not doing concourse d' elegance restorations. You can make a bicycle restoration look very impressive painting it yourself, but it's labor intensive and time consuming. I just finished repainting a Mark I Raleigh Pro that needed a few tiny frame repairs. (With some of the paint burned off, it wasn't hard to make the decision to repaint it.) Turned out OK.

I'm not sure I'd recommend frame painting as an endeavor for everyone without reservation, but it does help to reduce the number of bikes you buy when you have to look at the prospective purchase in terms of the work that might be involved.
With DIY painting preparation is the key and next is to not make haste. I take my time and I only paint when I really feel like so that I don't get tempted to rush it just to finish.

Here's the bike I painted green-white-red back in 2001. It has a mix of 9-speed Campagnolo Veloce (silver parts) and Mirage (black) components. The Ergo levers and front derialleur are Mirage the rest is Veloce.




Cheers
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Old 11-05-19, 11:31 PM
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For rusty bare steel, spray with WD-40, then scrub with Chore Boys, my 70 year old bike I did that to the handlebars when I first got it five years, still shiny and looking new today, if you are unsure if it is steel, don't use it, Chore Boys is a stainless steel version of steel wool, it will scratch anything not steel.
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Old 11-06-19, 08:57 PM
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Hello to everyone!
I'm planning to start restoration of a vintage bike with my friend soon, so we need a proper equipment to do this work. Earlier I had only a small toolkit for carrying with me while riding. But now, I need a tool kit for home maintenance. I was looking for it everywhere in the internet and, I've found some sources with tool kit reviws, here is one of them,https://outdoorsly.org/best-bike-tool-kit/ (maybe, it'll be useful for someone). Here are pros and cons for every tool kit, and I've chosen 2 variants, but I need to choose only one and that's why I'm asking for some advice. I'm interested in the Bikehand Tool Kit Set (first one here) with 23 tools in it. And at the same time, I like the Demon Tool Kit too, even if it has only 19 tools instead of 23, because it still has all the necessary tools, as I understand. Which one would you recommend? I've asked that question on several forums and I'm waiting for all the experst opinions.
Thank you in advance. Wish you good riding.
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Old 11-06-19, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by USAZorro
Unless you've acquired an extremely special bicycle (one that Eddy rode as a pro, or that Mario made with his own hands for instance), or you're trying to make 87 cents an hour flipping a $30 bike for $75 after spending $28 for new tubes and cables, chuck any concerns about affecting your "investment" out the window. If you make any money passing a bicycle along, it's a happy accident. Most of us do this because we like riding bicycles, and seeing a plan come together. It's a labor of love, and if you lose sight of that, it's going to become drudgery. Repaint that beat up old top of the line Gitane. Don't sweat converting the Raleigh Team Pro to a 2 x 9 drivetrain (but be aware of the limitations of 753 tubing). Have gugie add a bunch of braze-ons to your 70's sports tourer to make it a functional randonneuring rig. (I don't have a Gitane, but I've done the last two things).

There are nearly as many "right" ways to enjoy this avocation as there are practitioners. They're your bicycles, and while you may seek feedback and advice from others, don't feel constrained by "expectations" or "conventions". Yes, they have their place, but it's your call, and in the grand scheme of things, you shouldn't lose sleep over something that's not likely to greatly impact your life should you have second thoughts.
Some great advice here!
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