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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 04-21-23, 02:42 AM
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Beginner question - where to start with a bike restoration?

Around about 10-15 years ago I bought a late 1980s Peugeot "Le Tour" racer for £40. I rode it for weekend exercise on & off for a long time until an incident on the road put me off cycling for a bit and then a global pandemic hit. It went into the bike store, a pallet of building materials was delivered blocking access and I didn't think about it for a while.

Fast forward to 2023 - my new patio has been laid allowing me to once again access the bike shed and my son has started a new school a couple of miles away. I'm struggling to keep up with him on his scooter so I retrieve my bike, which has clearly not had the best few years. Water has been getting into the store and so there's a fair bit of rust, particularly on the wheels and chrome parts, a lot of spider webs and a fair bit of muck.

A dab of 3-in-1 on the chain got it going again ok, gears are working fine (and the brakes seemed to be alright until I tried them this morning on our first wet school run) so it seems to be mechanically sound, just very grubby.

I've seen lots of beautifully restored bikes of that era on this and similar websites as I've Googled over the last few days, but it's not the kind of project I've ever really attempted before, so I'm just wondering where to start. Any advice on what will need done, what products I'll need and how long it might take to get it back to the kind of state where I can ride it for the next 15 years would be gratefully received.

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Old 04-21-23, 03:10 AM
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Complete disassembly, down to the bearings. Remove dirt and rust. Reassemble. Add new bearings (with grease ), new brake and shifting cables & housings and new tires and tubes if needed. Bearings and grease will set you back £20. Cables and housings another £20. Tubes and tires will be £60. And to make the job easier, some bike tools. I'd guess £40-£100 for those.
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Old 04-21-23, 03:13 AM
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And figure in as a newbie 20-40 hours of your time. Don't get mad when you screw it up, we all did at one point and still do after many years,
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Old 04-21-23, 03:15 AM
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Or have your LBS do it. I'd guess £200-£250 + the cost of replacement parts.
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Old 04-21-23, 03:17 AM
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Was PistolPeteM taken?
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Old 04-21-23, 03:22 AM
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Where to start with a bike restoration?
I always start by putting on some music and pouring a glass of wine.
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Old 04-21-23, 03:40 AM
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I forget the chain. Get a new chain, £10. Can't say about the freewheel & chainrings without a pic.
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Old 04-21-23, 03:45 AM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa
I always start by putting on some music and pouring a glass of wine.
Excellent. I can tick that one off at least!

That's probably enough achieved for today, right?
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Old 04-21-23, 03:49 AM
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Originally Posted by iab
I forget the chain. Get a new chain, £10. Can't say about the freewheel & chainrings without a pic.
Thanks for your helpful responses. I will share some pictures later if it stops raining here.
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Old 04-21-23, 04:00 AM
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Originally Posted by iab
Was PistolPeteM taken?
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)
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Old 04-21-23, 04:06 AM
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Nice stuff!!!!!

Free plug.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HqfXsCcAFc

Last edited by iab; 04-21-23 at 04:10 AM.
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Old 04-21-23, 04:16 AM
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Do not neglect stronger alcohol either:

Drunk build thread - hot summer Monark 90320 Super Continental

It can do wonders for your inspiration.
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Old 04-21-23, 04:45 AM
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Assuming you decide to tear down and rebuild, you may need to pick up some special tools and some consumables.

If the crankset is a cottered-type, you'll need a cotter press to avoid damage to the cotter pins or cranks. If it's cotter-less type, you will need a threaded crank puller to get the crank arms off of the spindle.

The bottom bracket may require a pin spanner for the non-drive side bearing cup, and an appropriate removal tool for the drive-side cup. Bearings may be loose-type or caged.

The headset will require purchase of an appropriately-sized headset wrench (to work the headset upper cup), and an adjustable wrench for the top nut.

Getting the stem and seat tube out of the frame will require a set of metric Allen hex keys, and also a small rubber mallet (to free up the stem wedge).

Hub rebuilds are going to require 13, 14, 15 and/or 16mm cone wrenches.

Truing of the wheels will require a good spoke wrench (at the very least).

A set of cable shears and an awl will help immensely with cable replacement.

Replacement of the clincher tires and tubes will require purchase of a set of nylon tire irons.

A bicycle stand and wheel truing stand are optional, but make working on the bike much easier.

Plan on getting some waterproof grease, Tri-flow (or similar) lubricant, some replacement shifter and brake cables and housings, cable crimps, replacement 700c tubes (and maybe tires), a tire patch kit, and decent-quality brake pads. The bar tape may also require replacement. You'll also need 1/4", 3/16" and/or 5/32" ball bearings (preferably Grade 25 or lower) if the ones you currently have are rusted/pitted.

YouTube is your friend when it comes to tutorials on how to tear down and rebuild bicycles. The C & V forum is as well, of course.
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Old 04-21-23, 05:39 AM
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watch YouTube videos for instructions.
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Old 04-21-23, 06:28 AM
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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'...
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Old 04-21-23, 06:46 AM
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I seem to recall there was once a topic on the heirarchy of bike tools, what is needed and in what order. Your list is a pretty good start.

Originally Posted by kunsunoke
Assuming you decide to tear down and rebuild, you may need to pick up some special tools and some consumables.
If the crankset is a cottered-type, you'll need a cotter press to avoid damage to the cotter pins or cranks. If it's cotter-less type, you will need a threaded crank puller to get the crank arms off of the spindle.
The bottom bracket may require a pin spanner for the non-drive side bearing cup, and an appropriate removal tool for the drive-side cup. Bearings may be loose-type or caged.
The headset will require purchase of an appropriately-sized headset wrench (to work the headset upper cup), and an adjustable wrench for the top nut.
Getting the stem and seat tube out of the frame will require a set of metric Allen hex keys, and also a small rubber mallet (to free up the stem wedge).
Hub rebuilds are going to require 13, 14, 15 and/or 16mm cone wrenches.
Truing of the wheels will require a good spoke wrench (at the very least).
A set of cable shears and an awl will help immensely with cable replacement.
Replacement of the clincher tires and tubes will require purchase of a set of nylon tire irons.
A bicycle stand and wheel truing stand are optional, but make working on the bike much easier.
Plan on getting some waterproof grease, Tri-flow (or similar) lubricant, some replacement shifter and brake cables and housings, cable crimps, replacement 700c tubes (and maybe tires), a tire patch kit, and decent-quality brake pads. The bar tape may also require replacement. You'll also need 1/4", 3/16" and/or 5/32" ball bearings (preferably Grade 25 or lower) if the ones you currently have are rusted/pitted.
YouTube is your friend when it comes to tutorials on how to tear down and rebuild bicycles. The C & V forum is as well, of course.
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Old 04-21-23, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by RB1-luvr
watch YouTube videos for instructions.
I had watched some YouTube videos of bike restorations, but the first few I found just showed the process without commentary, so I wasn't too clued in on what I should be typing into the search box to get detailed step-by-step guides, hence I thought it might be good to ask here.
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Old 04-21-23, 08:03 AM
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To add to the above, I'd suggest that you buy some Evaporust to safely remove rust without harming the finish.
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Old 04-21-23, 08:15 AM
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Take photos before you begin and during every step along the way of disassembling. Be sure and pay close attention to cable routing through your derailleurs and brakes as well as the order in which you remove hardware from parts so that you can reassemble without difficulty. Do not try and reassemble just from memory, use pics.
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Old 04-21-23, 08:19 AM
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RJ the Bike Guy on Youtube was really helpful for me. Also, googling whatever my problem was plus 'bikeforum' and reading threads here.
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Old 04-21-23, 12:26 PM
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There are a (large) number of threads on here that cover the restoration process inch by inch. Maybe not in detail of what to do for each step, but they will outline each step of the overall journey. Only problem is that I can't think of one off the top of my head.

RJ the bike guy is great. Be wary of random restorers on youtube that you find. Ever since YouTube got rid of the like/dislike function, you, a newbie, will have a difficult time figuring out if someone's video shows proper technique or not. Also, when searching for information on this website don't bother with the integrated search box. Type this into google without the quotes for when you want to search:

"keywords blah blah site:www.bikeforums.net"

Tons and tons of good information can be found that way.
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Old 04-21-23, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by PistolPeteW
I had watched some YouTube videos of bike restorations, but the first few I found just showed the process without commentary, so I wasn't too clued in on what I should be typing into the search box to get detailed step-by-step guides, hence I thought it might be good to ask here.
Try watching Park Tools on youtube. Some people are natural born educators, Calvin Jones is one of them, and his team are also wonderful. You will learn a lot.
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Old 04-21-23, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by awac
Try watching Park Tools on youtube. Some people are natural born educators, Calvin Jones is one of them, and his team are also wonderful. You will learn a lot.
Here's the link.

While it can be fun to watch the hobbyist videos, the Park Tools ones are concise, explain what's being done clearly and show the process clearly.
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Old 04-21-23, 09:46 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'...
That sounds a bit farfetched...
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Old 04-22-23, 08:52 AM
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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'...

i did this for a couple of years
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