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Beginner question - where to start with a bike restoration?

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Beginner question - where to start with a bike restoration?

Old 04-22-23, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa
I always start by putting on some music and pouring a glass of wine.
then some soft music , dim the lights and pop one of the good lean cuisines in the toaster oven. Sexy time
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Old 04-22-23, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by iab
Don't get mad when you screw it up, we all did at one point and still do after many years,
Yes, this! I still remind myself when something breaks. Get mad no but laugh and say shucky ducky!

I think that where you are in process that I would seek to find a co-op in your area. If you can locate one, they will have most all the tools and knowledge to help you proceed. If not some minor investment into some proper tools, videos from RJ the bike guy, and the forum here is a great place to sound board your needs for advise, or friendly ridicule lol.
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Old 04-22-23, 10:04 AM
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For basic vintage bike repair/maintenance, I got 99% from these 2 sites.

https://www.sheldonbrown.com/

https://www.parktool.com/en-us/blog/...AaAousEALw_wcB
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Old 04-22-23, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by panzerwagon
That sounds a bit farfetched...
Keep telling yourself that.
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Old 04-22-23, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by ehcoplex
Be aware (or....beware...) that this may be akin to taking your first hit of crack. It starts with 'I'll just fix up this old bike so I can ride it" and pretty soon you're trawling FB marketplace, etc, for vintage bikes in need of 'rescuing'...
Originally Posted by bikingshearer
Keep telling yourself that.

Speaking from a place of experience

Nothing else I can add OP, just here for the good time. You are in good hands
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Old 04-30-23, 01:03 AM
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Originally Posted by PistolPeteW
Professionally I am known as "Pistol Pete Wearn". You'll need to Google it, unfortunately, as I can't share a link until I have some more posts )
I found you on Spotify as well, that's some good stuff! I like what you do.
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Old 04-30-23, 02:45 AM
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Where to start with a bike restoration?


First step.
Arrange a meeting with your bank manager/Wife and convince/plead with them that it is a necessary for mental health (this is used for everything nowadays, so give it a go), and above all, lie that it will be a one off.
Step two.
When n+1 arrives you can lie saying either/and I am selling the other bike/I am selling this new bike because it will make a profit.
Step three.
Spare parts at bargain prices. Employ methods above. Tip, ensure tidy storage, it appears that you have less of a horde.
Step four.
Just accept you are down a rabbit hole and convince friends/family you will get better, someday.

So prepare to lie and spend money, yes I think that about sums it up…. Life is too short not to have a passion! Go for it!
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Old 04-30-23, 02:59 AM
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Originally Posted by retswerb
I found you on Spotify as well, that's some good stuff! I like what you do.
Thank you - I'm very glad you enjoyed it (the new album is out on 12th May, pre-order your copy now!).

Thanks to everyone for the comments. I'm looking forward to getting the bike polished up to its former glory again. Realistically, I've realised that priority #1 is building a new shed that doesn't leak so that I have somewhere to do the work and somewhere dry to store it. So I've ordered myself a copy of Zinn & The Art Of Road Bike Maintenence and kicked the restoration down the road a little way while I sort that out.
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Old 04-30-23, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by PistolPeteW
Realistically, I've realised that priority #1 is ...
This thinking is how I have more partial bikes than working bikes.

Allow me to be a contrarian voice. Your bike probably does need all the things listed in the full teardown described above. But, it is transporting you, and you must be enjoying it.

You may be skilled and a fast learner. If I tore everything to the frame when I started on my first vintage bike, I'd have quit the hobby because getting everything together is a big task the first time.

The advice I got, which I pass along, it to keep enjoying the bike (which reminds you why you're doing this) and make incremental progress. I tried to have one project most weekends. Hopefully the bike was ridable at the end of each day's effort. This was not always achieved, but usually...

I was something like this progression, gaining confidence and experience, in an order basically suggested by C&V for an ease-importance tradeoff:
1. Wash thoroughly. Check chain wear (assess wear in rings and cogs) lube chain.
2. Replace brake pads and brake cables.
3. Replace chain.
4. Rebuild front hub with new grease and balls. The easier end, for practice.
5. Bottom bracket, grease &balls. Swap 42 for 39 chainring.
6. Headset....
7. Rear hub, including freewheel 6->7 speed and new downtube shifters.
Etc...
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Old 04-30-23, 12:29 PM
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Also potentially contrarian: I have what used to be called the "Nashbar Big Tool Kit", with basic versions of the most common bike tools. It was something like $40 (20 years ago), but has served me well. If I pulled a lot of cranks, maybe I'd need the Park tool. But I think I've done 5-6 and was fine. Ditto cone wrenches, pin tool, freewheel tool, chain whip.... The kit got me started and had the tools I needed so I didn't need to buy a new one every weekend.

I was a little hesitant to mention this, because I don't have a brand recommendation that I trust.

I see one kit, cheap $30-something, by 'Foundation', but I bought a Foundation Y-allen and the 4mm seems bigger than my other Allen wrenches! REI had one kit for $340. I bet there's a perfectly sufficient getting started kit somewhere in between, but I just don't know a brand.
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Old 04-30-23, 01:09 PM
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In no particular order of components but each one should be separated in a baggy or box. Taking your time, say perhaps to tackle a brake caliper. Completely dismantle, clean, lube and reassemble. When done, back to the baggy it goes.

Again, no need to toss all in a basket case. But if the components are kept separated, its much easier to focus on them individually. No particular order to which component is to be done. Spend an hour here, and another later etc..

As you continue the progress, eventually all components will be clean, serviced and ready for the main assemby.

Even with current inflation, one can easily acquire bike tools w/ workstand (or still go without) for $100. Aldi grocery site occasionally offer a workstand for $30 and I've seen old stock further duscounted. Brand new multi pack bottom bracket tools, thin wrench sets. Basic consumables are plenty and cost even less than 10 years ago. Don't be trigger quick, rather take the extra time shopping vendors Amazon and ebay. Its all coming out of Asian sources, even the name brand stuff.

Ps. I know a seller whom buys at retail bulk, say 5 pair of brake pads for $11. He then repackages and sells a pair for $10. Lol
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Old 04-30-23, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by PistolPeteW
Professionally I am known as "Pistol Pete Wearn". You'll need to Google it, unfortunately, as I can't share a link until I have some more posts

Before you ask, no I am not a stripper (although I'm willing to consider offers if overweight 40-somethings are your thing)
bravo!

I am looking forward to listening to some of your stuff after I saw a list of your covers!

iTunes is going haywire on me but I may have to check out Spotify like one of the gentlemen who responded previous
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Old 05-09-23, 02:41 AM
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Update: Following tgot 's advice to attack the bike one manageable job at a time, over the weekend I pulled the wheels off and gave it a good clean with a toothbrush and washing-up liquid (not feeling brave enough to disassemble the drivetrain yet). This morning I'm dealing with the resulting issues - the rear wheel was rubbing the frame (I think it moved after I hit the first bump with weight on - I definitely checked it for clearance when I put it back on), and the front brake calliper not returning to 'square' when released. Although it needs new pads anyhow, so that might be next weekend's job.
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Old 05-09-23, 03:09 AM
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Originally Posted by PistolPeteW
Update: Following tgot 's advice to attack the bike one manageable job at a time, over the weekend I pulled the wheels off and gave it a good clean with a toothbrush and washing-up liquid (not feeling brave enough to disassemble the drivetrain yet). This morning I'm dealing with the resulting issues - the rear wheel was rubbing the frame (I think it moved after I hit the first bump with weight on - I definitely checked it for clearance when I put it back on), and the front brake calliper not returning to 'square' when released. Although it needs new pads anyhow, so that might be next weekend's job.
FYI. I was always told not to clean with washing up liquid on a regular basis because it contains salt, which is corrosive. Yes I have used WUL, and yes you will be fine, just advice for long term cleaning.

Look at Park tools videos, they will help.
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Old 05-09-23, 09:31 PM
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(Takes notes....)
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Old 05-09-23, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by PistolPeteW
This morning I'm dealing with the resulting issues - the rear wheel was rubbing the frame (I think it moved after I hit the first bump with weight on - I definitely checked it for clearance when I put it back on)...
Did you get the quick release properly tightened? That's an important basic, especially for the front wheel.
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Old 05-10-23, 04:22 AM
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Originally Posted by awac
FYI. I was always told not to clean with washing up liquid on a regular basis because it contains salt, which is corrosive. Yes I have used WUL, and yes you will be fine, just advice for long term cleaning.

Look at Park tools videos, they will help.
FWIW I watched a GCN video on bike cleaning where they used washing-up liquid, but I'll definitely keep that in mind*

Originally Posted by tgot
Did you get the quick release properly tightened? That's an important basic, especially for the front wheel.
It's old-school - so just 2 10mm nuts rather than a quick release, but the obvious answer is I *thought* I had it tight enough, but evidently I didn't!







*Although I do wonder if bike steel could really corrode more easily than things I use washing up liquid on a daily basis, like cast iron pans
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Old 05-10-23, 05:00 AM
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Originally Posted by PistolPeteW
It's old-school - so just 2 10mm nuts rather than a quick release, but the obvious answer is I *thought* I had it tight enough…
Your wheels are being held on by 10 mm nuts? Are you sure?
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Old 05-10-23, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by smd4
Your wheels are being held on by 10 mm nuts? Are you sure?
I mean, they could be 9 or 12mm, but yeah - they're the bike wheel nuts shaped like a top hat that clamp the axle mechanism between the forks. I may be using the wrong terminology here, but I'm pretty sure it would have been the standard way wheels were held on to cheaper bikes when it was made. I understood a quick release to be a spindle with a lever-operated cam that releases/locks the wheel without the aid of a spanner. Have I got the wrong end of the stick?
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Old 05-10-23, 07:06 AM
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Usually axle nuts are much bigger--14 or 15 mm. Maybe you're just referring to the axle diameter itself??
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Old 05-10-23, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by smd4
Usually axle nuts are much bigger--14 or 15 mm. Maybe you're just referring to the axle diameter itself??
I'm pretty sure I'm just much less good at eyeballing a size than I would like to think.
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Old 05-10-23, 08:59 AM
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15 on this one:
P1030371 b on Flickr

Quick Release
Campagnolo Record Hub ~1974 vintage on Flickr
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Old 05-10-23, 06:21 PM
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- Rebuild/repack both hubs.
- Repack pedals and fork.
- Replace brake cables and pads.
- Replace shifter cables.
- Replace/repair saddle (if uncomfortable).
- Replace tires and tubes.
- Service/lubricate shifters.

Obviously if you care about aesthetics, you should take everything off the frame, and the tires and hubs off the wheels, to do the aesthetic repairs, before completing any of the above.
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Old 05-10-23, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by PistolPeteW
I watched a GCN video on bike cleaning where they used washing-up liquid.
I thought those guys just put their bikes through a car wash.
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Old 05-11-23, 11:16 AM
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Your steps nailed it!
I drive my wife crazy with each vintage/classic bike purchase. All have been short money. My plan is to work on the first one as a learning process. I have a stand and a bunch of dedicated tools, a couple of books and Sheldon Brown's pages along with YouTube and this site. This will be a hobby for my retirement which is less than 2 years away. i tell my wife its either that or hanging out at a local pub all day...
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