Books about antique bicycle restoration
If you are interested in antique bicycle restoration, read ahead for a general overview. It just might spark your interest to begin restoring your vintage or antique bicycle.
Antique Bicycle Restoration: Step by Step
- First, it’s very important to find a good, reliable source for vintage parts for a vintage or antique bicycle. Most vintage bicycles come with at least some, if not many, worn out or broken parts that will need to be replaced. For a true antique bicycle restoration, you’ll want to find original, vintage parts, not newly made ones.
You can find good vintage parts online or in local vintage shops, garage/yard sales, and swap meets. You may also consider buying an extra bicycle of the same make and model to use as parts for the bicycle you’re restoring.
It’s also important to know the specs when purchasing parts for a vintage or antique bicycle. You should measure (not just guess) the seat tube diameter, stem diameter, and frame size.
- Second, check the frame for rust before beginning your restoration project. Nothing will ruin a bicycle more quickly than a rusty frame or rusty components. You definitely don’t want to put a lot of time and money into a restoration only to have it ruined after a few years by some previously unnoticed rust.
Remove the bottom bracket. Once it is off of the frame check all tubes inside and out for any signs of rust. Remember, many, if not most, vintage bicycles are made out of steel. If steel bicycles were ever left out in the rain or snow, rust can be lurking inside the bicycle surfaces even if it looks perfect from the outside.
If you do encounter significant rust remove it by soaking the part in gasoline then scrubbing the parts with a wire brush. Afterword, treat the steel with an antirust treatment. Coat the inside of all tubes with antirust spray, and make sure you occasionally oil all of the insides of the tubes.
- The third step for an antique bicycle restoration check the entire bicycle for any signs of significant wear and tear. This is when you’ll determine whether you will fix certain parts of the bicycle or replace them. Take the remaining portion of the bicycle that is still together apart to clean and inspect each part separately.
- Repaint the bicycle frame. If you want your restoration to stay true to the times, you can research the details of your bicycle make and model. A lot of vintage paint colors are still available for your restoration. When choosing your paint, make sure you choose a paint that is free of lead and any chemicals that are illegal or would damage the bicycle.
For a really professional finish, you can have an auto repair shop paint the frame to ensure a professional, clean, beautiful finish.
- Purchase any parts you intend to replace. Make sure all parts are completely clean and dry, and reassemble the bicycle. After it’s reassembled, grease the parts. During this step make sure the bicycle has all of its bearings. Bearings can be located, on most bicycles, in the hubs of the wheels, in the pedals, and in the front fork. If the bicycle is missing any bearings, replace them.
- The next step for your antique bicycle restoration is to check the chain and how well the chain functions. Determine whether or not the chain is the proper length for the bicycle. Remove any rust from the chain, and lubricate the chain with motor oil to remove any stiffness.
- Finally, clean the wheels and the rims. If there are any broken or worn out parts fix or replace them. Make sure to disassemble and reassemble the wheels to inspect for damage and unusually heavy wear and tear. You may also need to replace the spokes as well.
Tip: Be wary of using steel wool to clean your antique bicycle.
Steel wool can work wonders when it comes to removing congealed bicycle grease or accumulated rust on your antique bicycle. However, if the steel wool is overly coarse, it can severely abrade the cleaning surface.
Try to use fine steel wool wherever possible and even then, use them sparingly. Once the grime you’re scraping off is dislodged, use a soft cloth to finish up the cleaning process.
Tip: Sand-blasting is a great way to get rid of rust.
In the course of your bicycle restoration project, there’s a decent chance you’ll have to clean some rust off the parts. While steel wool and metal polishes may prove reasonably effective, sand-blasting is by far the most effective way to thoroughly remove rust from old bicycle parts.
It’s expensive, but it’s a one-off procedure and you’ll be rewarded with a sparkling clean bike part.
Here are some of the products that you might want to buy for your antique bicycle restoration:
Last Word about Antique Bicycle Restoration
There is a lot of really great information out there for restoring antique bicycles. From books to the web, there is some valuable information if you’re interested in pursuing this hobby.
The preceding information is a general overview regarding bicycle restoration. These are general steps that are applicable to almost all antique bicycle restorations. You may want to investigate specific steps for specific makes and models of bicycles if you’re newly getting into the restoration of antique bicycles.
Restring antique bicycles is an exciting hobby. It brings so much joy and satisfaction to collectors and restorers. Once you start the hobby of restoring antique bicycles, you’ll never want to stop.