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Restoration Tips

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RESTORATION TIPS - PAINT:   Touch-up or not posted by: Paul on 12/28/2003 at 9:03:18 PM
Hello all,
I'm just returning to riding after a 30 year or so absense and purchased a '73 Paramount on E-Bay. The bike appears to be completely original and in excellent condition. As expected the aluminum needs cleaning and polishing, new spokes, bearings and such.
My Question is about the paint. It is black and in truly excellent condition except for several BAD scatches on the head tube. I don't want to do a total restoration as the bike really looks good.
My questions are:
1, Can it, or should it, be touched-up? Because the paint is black the scratches don't leap out at you but you do see them when you look.
2, Who does that kind of work well.
Any other tips about polishing everything without scratching would be helpful.

          RE:RESTORATION TIPS - PAINT:   Touch-up or not posted by Stacey on 12/29/2003 at 1:17:29 AM
Welcome back to the fold Paul! One thing to keep in mind is... It's only original once! Can it be touched up? Of course. Should it be? Well, there my friend you open a discussion that runs eternal.

There are hard line camps on both sides which make valid arguments equally well. I tend to agree with the purist folks who's cry is "It's only original once" Anything cosmetic (that can be seen) replaced or altered detracts from that originality and therefor any intrinsic value as such. This is wonderful logic for the 'trailer queen' or 'wall hanger' but terribly impractical for a rider and after all they were made to ride... right?

For those head tube scratches, I'd get some Kiwi black shoe polish and work the area with that. There are some pigmented waxes available at Pep-Boys etc, but the Kiwi is cheaper and works just as well, 'specially on black.

If you have rusty chrome plate use ONLY copper/brass wool. Think 'Chore Boy Pot Scrubber' You know, in the dish soap section at the grocery. This will get the grunt work done. Add a bit of WD-40 if you like, it's all good. Follow up with some automotive chrome polish/cleaner. For that WOW sparkle I like to finish it up with some "Never-Dull" Just grab a wad of batting, rub it up, let it dry to a haze, and polish it off. Viola! Beauty!!!

The alloy bits are easier. Start with the chrome polish... yeah I know what the directions say. Ignore them :-) But be careful. Some alloy bits have a clear anodize over them... you'll be ages cutting through that! Once you've got the grunge off with the chrome polish, yep... Never-Dull :-)

Take your time and have fun with it, you've got a fine mount there, enjoy! Just remember... It's only "Original" once :-)

          RE:RE:RESTORATION TIPS - PAINT:   Touch-up or not posted by Paul on 12/29/2003 at 6:22:55 PM
Thanks for your reply. I particularly like the shoe polish idea.
About the rest of the bike. The chrome is perfect but the components need a good bit of work. I believe that someone stored the bike for most of it's life. Every bearing run rough, the break cables "pull" is very irregular. All in all in need of alot of cosmetic work and lubrication. With the exception of scratches I beleive that the bike will look nearly new, just a nice petina on the black paint.
I was very lucky on this purchase.
Now another can of worms but considering the forum I believe I can anticipate the response.
This bike will be my rider. I am undecided about keeping it totally stock or using it as a show case for components that I like. For example, I have a mint set of Delta brakes that are about 8 years newer than the bike. I would consider clinchers with newer low flange hubs, that kind of thing.
I am really undecided on how to go on this and if I didn't have the Deltas I'm sure I'd go totally stock.
Any thoughts?

          RE:RE:RE:RESTORATION TIPS - PAINT:   Touch-up or not posted by Stacey on 12/29/2003 at 9:59:13 PM
IMHO Paul, as long as you don't do anything that can't be undone... go for it! Just be sure to save all of your 'take off' parts. That way it's just a matter of an hour or two work to return it to it's original configuration.

For a wider variety of opinions, I'd suggest you post in the Vintage Lightweight forum. Your Paramount surely clasifies, and the Restoration board gets little traffic.

You're welcome :-)

          RE:RE:RE:RE:RESTORATION TIPS - PAINT:   Touch-up or not posted by Marc on 1/3/2004 at 5:48:51 AM
Make it a rider, but keep the original parts in your attic, just in case it becomes a super collectible.

          RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RESTORATION TIPS - PAINT:   Touch-up or not posted by Paul on 1/15/2004 at 6:56:26 PM
Don't touch it up with paint. Just get a cleaning kit and bring it to it's best original condition. Painting can decrease the bike's value.

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RESTORATION TIPS - MISC:   custom control cable tool? posted by: Michael S. on 12/23/2003 at 10:41:42 AM
Is there a tool which would allow you to make your own brake or shifter cables? One that you could use to make custom length jobs, and press a nib to the ends wherever you wanted them?



          RE:RESTORATION TIPS - MISC:   custom control cable tool? posted by Stacey on 12/27/2003 at 11:31:54 AM
Not to be argumentative Michael, but the only relevant applications I can think of would be the S/A & Shimano 3 spd cables and a handfull of x-over cables on some center pull brakes.

I have tried the crimp on nib route for a Shimano shifter... it didn't work for me. :-( I have contimplated going the lead casting route. But the cost/return would be phenominal! Just to make or have made a mold would be quite an undertaking in itself. Then factor in the cost of a crucible, etc just to melt & cast a couple cc's of lead?!!?

I'll stick with the $3.00 solution for my shift cable... a bolt-on replacement cable end. Available in both flavors right here. As for brake cables, eh... I'd scrounge for OEM cables myself. This is one of those situations where a catastrophic failure could be er, how do you say it? Catastrophic!

Just my 2% of a dollar. :-)

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RESTORATION TIPS - PAINT:   Painting aluminum frame's posted by: dent on 12/22/2003 at 8:05:09 PM
I have a road bike I'm wanting to paint, it's aluminum, any special prep needed to be done to the metal? Do you just primer like you would steel, do you need special primer for aluminum or will it adhere to the bare surface?

          RE:RESTORATION TIPS - PAINT:   Painting aluminum frame's posted by dent on 12/23/2003 at 12:42:36 AM
Do you even need a primer?

          RE:RE:RESTORATION TIPS - PAINT:   Painting aluminum frame's posted by doug on 1/1/2004 at 1:14:12 PM
you must use zinc chromate primer to paint over aluminum

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RESTORATION TIPS - PAINT:   paint code posted by: scott on 12/7/2003 at 3:54:32 PM
I am restoring a pea picker krate and have to paint the frame. Does anyone know a current automotive type paint _(base coat clear coat )paint code that would be a close match to the campus green that was on the pea picker? Any info would be appreciated. Thanks!! e-mail nitrous@netnitco.net

          RE:RESTORATION TIPS - PAINT:   paint code posted by doug on 12/10/2003 at 11:58:41 PM
I think www.hyper-formance.com has just what your looking for or prob can point you in right direction

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RESTORATION TIPS - RUST:   Help ID an old bike posted by: MacDonald Daniel on 11/23/2003 at 7:21:41 PM
I just purchased a single-speed from Bikes Not Bombs and was hoping someone could help me on two fronts:

* It's pockmarked with rust blisters. Nothing serious, but I'd like to keep it running. Brass wool followed by a clearcoat? What should I do?

* Strange bike. I can't identify the manufacturer. It's got "5000" on the seatstay, and a small heart welded on the downtube near the bottom bracket. I'm guessing Colnago?

In advance, thanks.

          RE:RESTORATION TIPS - RUST:   Help ID an old bike posted by Gralyn on 12/6/2003 at 2:36:39 PM
I saw a bike with "5000" on the seat stays. There were no other identification markings or stickers, or headbadge, etc. to identify the bike - only that "5000". Judging by the components (I know it had steel cottered cranks)- and it's weight, I was guessing it was something like a low-end bike boom bike....like maybe a Free Spirit, possibly a Nishiki straight steel frame....something like that.

Does anyone know what bikes may have had "5000" on the seat stays?

          RE:RE:RESTORATION TIPS - RUST:   Help ID an old bike posted by marc on 12/9/2003 at 7:51:02 AM
I've seen sekai bikes with model numbers similar to this. highest I've seen was a sekai 2000

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RESTORATION TIPS - PAINT:   decals (P.S.) posted by: Mark on 11/19/2003 at 3:25:09 AM
By the way....they are both men's frames, 26"....forgot to mention that.........


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RESTORATION TIPS - PAINT:   decals posted by: Mark on 11/19/2003 at 3:20:04 AM
Does anyone out there know where I can find decals or reproductions of decals for a 1965 Dunelt and a 1966 Robin Hood? I am in the process of trying to restore both, and would like to get them at least looking as much like they did originally as I can. Let me also just add that I have found many of the restoraton tips here very helpful. Thanks!


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RESTORATION TIPS - MISC:   Guaranty Quality Supreme/Fleetwood posted by: Phil on 11/16/2003 at 12:39:55 PM
I have a Guaranty Quality Supreme/Fleetwood model 26" criuser with no serial number I can see, great shape. It appears to be all original and fully funtional. It has the original bike store decal from Ames Bike store Algonac Michigan. Before my son and I convert this bike into a 26" lowrider I would like to know if it has any value in its current state.


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RESTORATION TIPS - WHEELS:   1948 murry tri cycle front tire posted by: terry wells on 11/16/2003 at 3:20:17 AM
I am restoring a tricycle which belonged to my sister. it has a 12 x 1.75 clipper punture proof tire,which has no rubber left on it. where can I find a replacement. Thanks for any help.


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RESTORATION TIPS - MISC:   Rebuild posted by: tim on 11/14/2003 at 8:57:57 PM
There are occasionally questions as to how restore an old bike - at least to rideable condition. My particular interest is vintage lightweights, and others, but my primary interest is in riding them. Here are the steps I take in a total rebuild:
a) Wash the whole bike. Lots of soap and water. This lets you see what you have. Don't worry about water in the bearings, etc. as this will be taken care of later.
b) Starting with any component set you like, remove the parts and treat as follows:
c) completely disassemble. A digital camera can be invaluable in not only before and after pictures but also to remember assembly order of washers, nuts, etc.
d) clean with whatever combination of paint thinner, Brasso, fine steelwool and rags works best.
e) toss and replace the tires and brakeblocks
work all the way down to the bottom bracket and headset
f) replace all of the bearings in wheels, pedals, bottom bracket, and headset - bearings are cheap.
g) Throughout the process work with fine steelwool and Brasso to polish every component to the greatest degree. Although this can take some time, the results are well worth it.
h) put every component set in a baggie, thread twist ties through wheel assemblies to keep the various parts in order.
i) replace all cables, and housing (but only if necessary - old housing look nice)
j) once you are down to the frame only, carefully clean all bearing races, polish the frame using chrome polish and fine steel wool on the the chrome, car wax and a rag on the paint. Don't worry too much about scratches.
k) reassemble using the new tires, brake pads, and cables.

Take your time, be thorough, appreciate each part as you remove, clean, polish and reassemble it. Use grease on every thread, cycle oil on every pivot, and don't neglect any part or take any short cuts.

If you have good mechanical skills, this won't present any huge challenge at all and will provide some hours of pleasure.

Any comments or other advice?

          RE:RESTORATION TIPS - MISC:   Rebuild posted by Kim on 11/27/2003 at 2:45:41 PM

Problem with your step "d".

DO NOT use steel wool, no matter how fine the steel wool is. Use bronze wool like they have in the bike reconditioning kit they sell here at oldroads. The steel wool is harder than the bronze wool and the steel wool WILL SCRATCH your chrome.

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RESTORATION TIPS - MISC:   do I restore posted by: Phil on 11/13/2003 at 1:44:56 AM
I bought a 1941 Schwinn Challenger bike at a local auction it is great shape tires are a little dry rot but for a little rust here and there it is great.What I need to know is it best to restore or will it decrease the value.I buy and sell antique furn. ,glassware and things like that and know that when you restore funture it will decrease the value some of the times are bikes the same way.

          RE:RESTORATION TIPS - MISC:   do I restore posted by MNSmith on 11/13/2003 at 7:52:08 AM
Depends on what you mean by "restore". A clean up, done correctly, will increase value. A repaint type of restoration, done correctly, might help a bike retain it's value, but the cost of the restoration will eat a big chunk of the money. Done incorrectly and the bike will be good for parts or a project for someone who really knows how to restore old bikes. There are only a handfull of folks across this country that know how to do it correctly. If you are going to do a clean up / detail, don't add ( like paint touch ups ), just clean and leave what was originally there a little brighter and shinier. Remember, it is only original once!


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RESTORATION TIPS - PAINT:   Bianchi Restoration posted by: Kevin on 10/22/2003 at 6:55:54 PM
I have early to mid 80s Bianchi frame that I would like to restore. I have been trying to get information on the frame model from Bianchi but the are unable to identify the frame based on the serial number or the pictures I sent in. So, I have a few questions about this restoration project:

1.) Can anyone help identify the frame if I send them pictures and the serial number?

2.) If I can't find information on the original color scheme for the frame, does anyone know what colors (besides Celeste) were used during that period?

3.) Should I paint the frame or have it powder coated?

4.) Will Campagnolo NR components be appropriate for the restoration?

I look forward to any help anyone can provide. I want to get this right and it is tough without good resources.

          RE:RESTORATION TIPS - PAINT: Bianchi Restoration posted by Noel on 1/15/2004 at 12:26:43 AM
I'm fairly knowledgable about Bianchis of that era. If you havn't already got it figured out, I'd be glad to look at pictures. I can't do anything with serial numbers, but if the frame has any numbers on the seat clamp area, that would help.

The most common colors besides celeste were white and black. This is very dependant upon the model, however. Some of the lower end models were sold in blue and even red.

If you want the frame to look right -- especially if it has any chrome -- it will need to be painted rather than powder coated. Proper paint is damned expensive -- begin at $500 and go from there. I'd love to restore my 82 Super Leggera, but it's hard for me to justify spending that much on what is really, by this time in Bianchi's manufacturing scheme, a very run-of-the-mill frame.

Finally, Nuovo Record is perfectly appropriate, but possibly not on the very top-of-the-line frames from that era which would have been sold with Super Record. For the most part, the top two models were so equipped.

Hope this helps,


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RESTORATION TIPS - MISC:   Hey dont waste your money. posted by: Annyonomus on 10/13/2003 at 3:28:43 AM
Dont buy the bike cleaning kit. It is a waste of money all you need to take rust off is A pack of the coursest steel that you can get at an ACE Hardware for like $3.00

          RE:RESTORATION TIPS - MISC:   Hey dont waste your money. posted by JimW. on 10/14/2003 at 2:15:32 AM
I've never used the cleaning kit, presumably the one sold here, but I can tell you one thing, it won't destroy your chrome like the coarsest steel wool you can find at the hardware store. I'm not one of those people who refuses to use steel wool, but I certainly wouldn't touch chrome with coarse steel wool. And bronze or brass wool, as found in the kit, is absolutely better for use on chrome. Following this anonymous guy's advice will cost you dearly.

          RE:RESTORATION TIPS - MISC:   Hey dont waste your money. posted by Annyonomus on 10/15/2003 at 2:57:13 AM
Hey this is the annoynomus guy and Im just curios if you have ever tryed Courest steel wool cause ive used it and it does miracle getting off the rust and not pointing any scratches on chrome or metal.I do it all the time for bike building and stuff and hey you dont have to take my word for it caus you dont know me but next time your throwing away some rusty metal run out and buy the coursest steel wool and try it your hands might get a little poked but if u must where gloves its that simple

          RE:RESTORATION TIPS - MISC:   Hey dont waste your money. posted by Annyonomus on 10/15/2003 at 2:57:17 AM
Hey this is the annoynomus guy and Im just curios if you have ever tryed Courest steel wool cause ive used it and it does miracle getting off the rust and not pointing any scratches on chrome or metal.I do it all the time for bike building and stuff and hey you dont have to take my word for it caus you dont know me but next time your throwing away some rusty metal run out and buy the coursest steel wool and try it your hands might get a little poked but if u must where gloves its that simple

          RE:RESTORATION TIPS - MISC:   Hey dont waste your money. posted by Annyonomus on 10/15/2003 at 3:01:50 AM
HEy I was just wondering maybe you got your own way to take off rust with out using steel wool... So tell me what it is cuz Most people i know just use a cleaner and type of wool.

          RE:RESTORATION TIPS - MISC: Hey dont waste your money. posted by jack on 10/19/2003 at 2:33:37 AM
For very light surface rust on chrome, I use chrome polish (forget about the pits). For heavier rust, I use fine steel wool with a dollop of chrome polish. If you rub too hard, even the fine wool will scratch the chrome, but if you take it easy it'll be an improvement. Imagine my horror today when I saw a guy at the bike shop taking the rust off the spokes of a vintage Schwinn using sandpaper! Thanks for the brass wool tip, I hope I can find some as it seems the best way to go. By the way, I have also found out the hard way that Scotch-Brite? pot scrubbers will also scratch the chrome. This whole area of discussion has always puzzled me because we have always been told that chromium is one of the hardest metals. So why so easy to scratch?

          RE:RE:RESTORATION TIPS - MISC: Hey dont waste your money. posted by JC on 10/22/2003 at 2:57:06 PM
Well, I'm not anonymous and I use the kit sold here at OldRoads. Actually I'm on my 3rd kit in about 3 years.
It works. It doesn't scratch the chrome and the cleaning fluid polishes the chrome and paint to show quality. Those before and after pictures don't lie.

(and I'm curious as to why OldRoads didn't just delete your anonymous slam!)

          RE:RE:RE:RESTORATION TIPS - MISC: Hey dont waste your money. posted by JimW. on 10/29/2003 at 5:57:30 PM
What I always try first is aluminum foil. I wad it up and rub the rusty surface with it. Aluminum foil is softer than the plating, so it won't scratch. It will usually work on light rusting. If it doesn't work, then I'll try more radical means, such as brass or bronze wool, or extremely fine steel wool.

Chrome is hard, true, however most chrome plating is extremely thin. It doesn't take much wear to go through it, into the copper base-plating beneath it.

          RE:RESTORATION TIPS - MISC:   Hey dont waste your money. posted by dan on 11/5/2003 at 3:25:17 PM
I'd like to find out what this mixture recipe is. I use minearl spirits, wd40 and carb cleaner, brass wool and brass wire tooth brush....steel wool and steel wire brush is ok if you like scratches on your chrome or you can gage the exact pressure you can use before youscratch the chrome which is kinda hard to guage.You can use steel on cast parts or polished aluminum but never should it be used on chrome.Maybe chrome here is being confused with stailess and polished steel and aluminum? Are you a metalurgist? Well I have studied metallurgy and also worked in a commercial plating factory. While more familiar with chroming procedures than cleaning it, it is still safe to say NEVER USE STEEL WOOL ON CHROME NEVER! Chrome polish and an old sock would work better and not DAMAGE the part. Buy brass wool or bronze wool, found at hardware stores. Steel wool is like using sandpaper!

          RE:RE:RESTORATION TIPS - MISC:   Hey dont waste your money. posted by John on 11/11/2003 at 12:56:07 AM
Tell you what, use 0000 fine steel wool with some mothers polish. If you still see pitting, then get a bunch of item's that need rechroming & thats right suck it up and rechrome it. You can thank me later.


          RE:RE:RESTORATION TIPS - MISC:   Hey dont waste your money. posted by Rw on 12/19/2003 at 1:46:38 AM
HMMMM, now im curious, all this about steel wool, bronze wool & Brass wool, with most cleaning fluids under the sun named, yet i have not seen one mention of a product i find HIGHLY useful. AUTOSOL.

Its useable on chrome, paint etc etc. have you ever tried using it when using bronze wool to remov light rusting ? it does the job fantastically ! mind you, i would NOT use it on fresh chrome plating.

NOW BRASSO padding MAYBE, the benefits are HUGE, NO messy fluids, NO risk of spilling it, but most of all, its easy to use.


          RE:RESTORATION TIPS - MISC:   Hey dont waste your money. posted by James on 1/8/2004 at 8:14:42 PM
I use bronze wool and Bar Keeper's Friend (which is the only polish I've found that polishes and removes rust effectively)

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RESTORATION TIPS - MISC:   Need to take dent out of a Chrome fender posted by: James on 10/13/2003 at 3:20:05 AM
Hey me and a buddy restored an old Collegiate, Schwinn that we found and we are all done even with paint and stuff and now we are messing around with some small cosmetic stuff and I need to take out a dent from a chrome fender that is on the bike. If anybody has any advice that doesnt involve going out and buying expensive dent pullers and stuff please tell me

Thanks a ton


          RE:RESTORATION TIPS - MISC:   Need to take dent out of a Chrome fender posted by Shannon Reynolds on 10/14/2003 at 3:45:45 AM
Find a shop with an english wheel. Or, you can place a bag of shot or sand under the dent and lightly tap it back into place. You will still have to have the fender wheeled to get out the wrinkles and humps.

          RE:RESTORATION TIPS - MISC:   Need to take dent out of a Chrome fender posted by James on 10/15/2003 at 2:59:13 AM
Thanks very much mister Shannon Reynolds I appreciate any hep I can get.............thanks again!

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RESTORATION TIPS - PAINT:   schwinn catalina posted by: Kristi on 10/11/2003 at 5:31:23 PM
Hi, I just got back from a garage sale. I purchased a Schwinn, Catalina for $2.00. I believe it's a 1959. I am so excited to restore it. Any good beginer books? Also any idea of value? Great website!

          RE:RESTORATION TIPS - PAINT:   schwinn catalina posted by doug on 10/12/2003 at 10:13:48 PM
Hi Kristi right now on e bay there is a video for sale on restoreing bicycles for 19.95 great for a beginner cuz you can reference it over and over feel free to e mail me any time you need to ask a question too and this forum is also a great place for info as well good luck doug

          RE:RESTORATION TIPS - PAINT:   schwinn catalina posted by C on 1/19/2009 at 12:01:51 PM
Hello! I know this post is rather old, but I was wondering how your restoration went. A Schwinn Catalina is a very good find, especially at $2.00. Do you have any photographs?

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