In terms of bike maintenance, having never done anything more than changing an innertube when I was 14, so I decided to get an old road bike and do it up in a style I had in my head. This was a clean brushed steel finish (no paint), complete with whatever age related marks it had, brown saddle and tape.
I acquired a rusty 1976 Carlton Corsa for nothing; it hadn't moved for 20 years. I stripped it down to nuts and bolts, ground, cleaned and polished all the parts, bought new wheels and a saddle, stripped the frame, clear powdercoated (for protection) and re-built it.
It was a lot of work. I'm really pleased with the result and I've learned an awful lot. Just some setting up work to do now before a test ride.
Here are the before and after photos. I took almost 300 during the works, mainly so that I had some reference points when putting it back together. I know it was/is a basic spec bike, but it was well worth the effort just for the lessons learned. I also tried to finish it for as little money as possible.
Before and After Summary: 1976 Carlton Corsa
The Full Works:
Here's just a few from the album link above