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 Post subject: Where to start?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 2:37 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:37 am
Posts: 21
Location: Heysham
OK, I'll be honest, my knowledge and ability regarding repairing/rebuilding bikes is fairly limited, even though I'm now late 30's. I'm reasonably new to being really interested in them, it has evolved from my general interest in everything from my era, cars, just anything currently 'retro'.


So, a couple of years ago whilst scouting for my 'other' stuff at a local second hand place, I kept finding bikes, ones I've always liked, and remember well, small children's ones, BMX's, racing bikes......well, I kept buying them, usually for anywhere between £5 and £20 depending on what they were, and the condition. Most if not all are recovered by my man from the tips, so that could be a good indicator of condition generally, 'chucked about' with poor wheels/tyres and paint. Sadly, I sold a few nice ones, a beautiful Ribble, a Raleigh Gran sport, and some of the higher end BMX's, but I'm still left with maybe 60 or 70 bikes of varying quality. I will describe the collection as mainly low end mass produced ones, for example, I have 3 Raleigh Winners, a couple of Record Sprints, and a Record Ace, a nice Gitane, plenty of Peugeots of varying quality, a nice 531 'Competition' was collected yesterday, along with a 531 Claud Butler frame too, plus there are many more

I'm just not sure where to start, every time I decide to make headway, I end up just moving them around, and don't want to part with many to be honest. :lol:

I look at some of the readers bikes and would love to have the knowhow to just strip/upgrade and rebuild, but I just don't know what will fit what, what is good, what is bad......


By now I'm sure many of you are shouting 'get a grip!', but any help at all, even a kick up the backside, will be gratefull received :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 3:24 pm 
rBoTM Winner
rBoTM Winner
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Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:28 pm
Posts: 3104
Location: Mansfield Woodhouse, Nott's.
When i'm on the look about for a quality bike i check the seat post diameter, if its 27.2mm you'll know the frame isn't a cheap gas piper.

Look around the frames for nice lugwork and stamped/named 'drop-outs'.

If the rear derailleur is attached directly to the frame this indicates its a quality bike, if the derailleur is
attached to a zinc plated hanger which is then attached to the frame, this indicates its a cheap mass produced bike.

Look for stainless or chrome plated double butted spokes! these spokes were fitted into quality made wheels.
Dull horrible galvernised thick spokes = cheap mass produced wheels.

Any bad rusting of chrome parts on cheap bikes is very expensive to be re-plated, so think!
is it worthwhile spending hundreds of pounds on something that is not worth no more that £60 ?

See what equipment is on the bike ? Maybe you might have several bad bikes but finding out
that you can make one or two mint bikes by changing the worn parts with good parts.

Re-painting of frames is solely up to you and what you want but it can cost as little as £20 for a powder coating to £300 for a quality re-enamel.

Anyway the list is endless and i'm sure there be more folk to add their bit.

IR


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 5:15 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:51 am
Posts: 254
Maybe just take one apart, making notes as you go and keeping parts together in tubs or bags or tie wrapped together, clean up the frame, and reasssemble cleaning the parts as you go. If you struggle on either the dismantling or reassembly and setup, read the relavant bits on sheldon brown's web site or ask here or other forums, plenty of people will advise. Tools can be fairly cheap, either amazon or eBay have a cheap selection, only get the quality ones when you realise you need it.

The mechanics aren't overly difficult, but knowing what is compatible is sometimes a trial but you learn as you go along.

For a beginner, I'm new to this myself, I'd say that 531 or 501 frames are the way to go, something from the late eighties should be fairly easy as will have 700c wheels, will probably have a standard wheel spacing on it and should be fairly easy to find parts to fit. Although as I've found out myself sometimes bikes aren't always what you expect them to be but then it's an opportunity to learn some more.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 5:32 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:41 pm
Posts: 8226
Location: Cumbria
60-70 bikes ! Blimey !

I'd pick on one and start from there. The Record Ace would be a good starting point as quite a few people have them on here for help and they have no hidden surprises :)

Shaun


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 5:33 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:08 pm
Posts: 2185
Location: Shrewsbury
I actually couldn't tell you how many strip and rebuilds I've done over the years, I'm sure my wife thinks I'm a 'bit' :lol: OCD.

First thing I would say get a good bike stand, and a camera. Remove everything, for some reason I have a set order of doing this now which follows brake cables off, calipers off, handlebars off, seat and post off, chain off, gear cables off, derailleurs off, chainset off, bottom bracket off and finally forks off.

Next I strip and clean individual parts, this is where the camera can be useful for the first couple of bikes you do. Although I still occasionally use one myself for gear lever assemblies. WD40 is a great general purpose cleaner and I start with the frame. Clean off all the muck, oil and usually tar spots. Stubborn marks, rust spots can be much improved with some 0000 grade steel wool dipped in oil.

Work you way through the parts, renew anything worn, cables and chains can be changed as a matter of course, plus any worn bearings. The you can reverse the whole process and rebuild what should be as good as new bike.

A useful book worth buying to start you off is Zinn and the art of road bike maintenance, I only do touring and racing bikes.

And for inspiration this video shows what can be achieved with time and patience :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bakGDj5XXE8

Good luck, remember you're saving a bit of cycling heritage everytime you restore one of these bikes and get them back on the road :)

Oh and buy the proper quality tools for each job, that will pay you back 10 fold.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 6:18 pm 
rBoTM Winner
rBoTM Winner
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Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:28 pm
Posts: 3104
Location: Mansfield Woodhouse, Nott's.
Midlife wrote:
The Record Ace would be a good starting point as quite a few people have them on here for help and they have no hidden surprises :)
Shaun

Hey Shaun your post is wrong about not having any hidden surprises!!

In Boston. Lincolnshire they have a market day and there is an auction section and there is always
the odd bike here and there, Well you can either believe me or not but i am telling the truth about one bike i got.

I won myself a 70's Raleigh racing bike and i won it for £5 bearing in mind this was in 1982ish so a fiver was alot for me.
Well i got it home and started to clean my 'new' racing machine and the seat post would rotate but it would not go down the
seat tube, so in frustration i removed the post to see what was stopping the post from going down and to my surprise i could
see a leather strap inside the tube and shrugged my eyes at it and gave the strap a pull and out came another smaller alloy tube
with a screw on base!! so i went to my Dad and asked him what the hell is this thing, he looked boggled and said ''no idea Son'' so
we set about un-screwing that cap and to our shock and surprise it was full of rolls of banded up paper money, we went weak at the knee's.

In total there was some £700 in £5 - £10 - £20 notes and this must have been someones saving, maybe a relative had died and got shut of his stuff.

I was so happy but at the same time very sad and when we went back to Boston the following week we asked if they knew who the bike belonged to...''Nope'' he said :shock:

Thoroughly check your old bikes as you never know what could be hidden
:D

IR.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 6:32 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 10:55 am
Posts: 2920
Location: Dorset
You can chuck a few my way - i am a sucker for old raleigh's :D

I taught myself what i know now, just took one apart - i remember taking off a bottom bracker for the first time there were bearings everytwhere :oops:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 6:45 pm 
rBoTM Winner
rBoTM Winner
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Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:28 pm
Posts: 3104
Location: Mansfield Woodhouse, Nott's.
widowmaker wrote:
i remember taking off a bottom bracker for the first time there were bearings everytwhere :oops:


I remember taking my first bottom bracket out to find no bearings at all, but just two big steel nuts and a noggin of wood

This held the axle straight... axle went through the Nut - Hollow Wood - Nut, then held steady by the cups! PMSL :lol:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 7:58 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:06 pm
Posts: 11
Location: South London UK
Quote:
Robbied196:

First thing I would say get a good bike stand,


It might not qualify as a good bike stand, but Lidl are advertising a bike work stand next week, for about £30. Their stuff may not always be top notch but it's usually reasonable and OK value.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 4:36 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:08 pm
Posts: 2185
Location: Shrewsbury
Pearson wrote:
Quote:
Robbied196:

First thing I would say get a good bike stand,


It might not qualify as a good bike stand, but Lidl are advertising a bike work stand next week, for about £30. Their stuff may not always be top notch but it's usually reasonable and OK value.


That is a half decent stand for the money. First one I bought was one of these:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/HOME-MECHANIC ... 255fe00c48
By a million miles the worst bit of kit I've ever bought. It traps the gear cables, so you can't adjust the gears when its on the stand, not that you could anyway because the bike flops around like its held up by a rubber band.
Avoid :evil:


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