I bought this bike a month or so ago on Ebay while I was away in Paris, having seen only one low-quality picture of it:
It looks nice as it is, but I'm going to saw off the handlebars until there's only 2 inches left on either side of the headset, because bikes look better like that, and then convert it into a fixie.
Just kidding! I'm not an arse.
With some temporary new wheels, it looked like this:
Over the past weeks, though I'm trying to keep it relatively original, I've done a fair few things to it, namely:
Big clean-up - removed approx. 1 barrel of grease from the freewheel and chain
New wheels & tyres - the old ones were well and truly knacked, but someone still wanted them on Ebay, so fair enough. I bought some nice narrow Rigida rims with Maillard hubs, in great nick, to keep its retro flavour. Schwalbe Luganos the colour of a badger.
New cables & outers - I did a full service at my LBS, which lets you use its workshop and tools if you're a member. Which is also free. New cables, headset bearings greased, etc.
New bar tape - yellow cork tape, appallingly applied, and equally badly re-applied.
Pinhead security skewers - I live and work in North London
The brakes aren't the best, being the original centre-pull Weinmanns, with original blocks and dirty rims. I bought some new Shimano R450s, not knowing they had recessed allen key fitting. Rather than drilling, I have sent them back and will soon order some Tektro brakes that actually fit.
I have just spent a pleasant portion of afternoon with steel wool, cleaning the corrosion off the spokes, scoring the brake blocks, and, following the advice of a bike mechanic, sanding the rims lightly.
The brakes are now working much better, and the bike currently looks like this:
I have also ordered another set of the same Weinmann drilled levers, which I love, but this time without the 'suicide levers' attached.
At some point in the future, I might also get some slightly narrower and straighter mudguards, but apart from that and the new calipers, I'm pretty happy with what I've got. I would gladly welcome any further suggestions though, I am thoroughly addicted to Ebay.