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The latest from the workshop - Vintage bike restoration

Another happy bike to emerge from our workshop. We've just completed the restoration of this late 1970's mixte vintage bicycle. It was unbranded on arrival so we're yet to find out who built it. There were quite a few brands following a similar spec at that time - although we suspect it's a Raleigh. I thought this would be a good restoration to share with you as it's a contrast to a previous blog we'd written called the Rebirth of the Raleigh All Steel.

The aim with the All Steel was to restore it to shop bought condition while retaining as many of the original parts as we could and sourcing new old stock where we couldn't. The restoration of this bicycle in constrast was about making it road worthy and looking great while working with a smaller budget. The results are still good and the costs are significantly less but it is historically inaccurate and there are noticeable imperfections. 

vintage bike refub

This is how we received the bike. We did also have a complete (ish) box of parts including handlebars, saddle and grips. The frame was sound which is all that really matters but the parts were all well used, the frame had been repainted by hand and it was missing some crucial parts (the obvious being wheels)

The bike was stripped and dismantled before it arrived but it's worth mentioning that this doesn't necessarily make the job easier or quicker. It's common that we'll receive a bike stripped by the owner to save us time without realising that we photograph the bike in detail before stripping it and make a note of the component set up. We have no problem taking on stripped bikes (it's actually good fun to figure out the jigsaw without the picture on the box) but it takes a little longer and will cost more than if we had received the bike whole. 

vintage bike renovation uk

Here's a rough break down of what was required to complete the transformation.

Components: Most of the components were good and just needed to be stripped, cleaned and polished. The effect was good although minor imperfections were present.

Frame: The original paint work was metallic but as this is double the cost of gloss finish the decision was taken to colour match the original paintwork in a gloss finish. 

Mudguards: Needed a little repairing and were powder coated with the frame. 

Wheels: Both wheels are new "off the shelf" alloy with a new chain and cassette. New tyres and tubes.

Forks: Originally these were split chrome forks. This is possible to restore using the traditional methods but it requires the entire fork being chromed to start and then masked off and sprayed after. This was out of budget so instead the forks were powder coated along with the frame and mudguards and then we hand painted the "chrome" area with chrome effect paint. A little time consuming to get a clean line but still much cheaper than the alternative. 

classic bike restoration england

vintage bike repair

In this case the bike was owned locally so it could just be dropped in. We restore bikes globally and can provide an estimate from photos. We'll arrange to have the bike collected and then returned at the end of the job. 

If you have a bike that you would like to restore then feel free to get in touch. We are happy to take on work of any level and just as happy to give out advice if you are doing the job yourself. We would also love to see what other work is going on out there so if you have your own restoration it would be great to see your progress.