Refurbishing classic bicycles

Discussion in 'General Bike Discussion' started by KC-Steve, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. KC-Steve

    KC-Steve New Member

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    Hi all,

    I'm new here and have jumped into bikes again after many years since riding during my youth. I'm not really fanatical about bicycles, I just enjoy riding now and then.

    I have a mechanical side to me that wants to refurbish-improve an old classic like a 1985 Schwinn World 10-speed. The Schwinn's frame fits me perfectly. I also bought a 1978 Raleigh Record Ace, mainly for parts, because the frame is too large for me. I plan to use the Brooks seat, the brake extension handles, maybe even the center-pull brakes from the Raleigh.

    My question is are there a lot of people buying old frame sets such as the Raleigh for $50 or so?

    Thanks for replies,
    Steve
     

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  2. Xela

    Xela New Member Tavern Member

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    Welcome, Steve! Great to have you on the forum.
     

  3. Industry_Hack

    Industry_Hack Total noob (& forum admin) Admin Staff Tavern Member

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    Just throw that frame on Craigslist, and mention that it's a perfect candidate for a fixed gear conversion. It will sell.
     
  4. KC-Steve

    KC-Steve New Member

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    Thanks Xela and Hack, I will keep you posted on the project's progress.

    :)
    Steve
     
  5. lotek

    lotek New Member

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    Steve,

    There is a rather large market for old steel frames, especially ones that we of
    a certain age rode 'back in the day'.
    One word of caution, vintage bikes are an addiction, once you start you'll start
    noticing old bikes, and lusting after different marques, bikes from different countries of origin etc.

    Marty
     
  6. hophead

    hophead New Member Tavern Member

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    Hmmmmm, so how big is "too big?"
     
  7. Doohickie

    Doohickie Older than Hack

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    Looks to be about a 23-24" frame.
     
  8. KC-Steve

    KC-Steve New Member

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    Sorry for the late reply. Doohickie is probably right. I haven't measured the Raleigh but the Schwinn is 20" (I think) crank to seatpost with 28-29" top-tube height and fits perfectly. The Raleigh might be around 35" to 36" top-tube height. Very uncomfortable to me. I didn't even ride it since I was planning to part it out. And the rear tire is ORIGINAL. he-he. . . Cracked like the 'Canyon of Grandeur.'

    On the plus side, the Raleigh's original paint is excellent after being garaged all those years.

    Steve
     

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    Last edited: Jan 26, 2010
  9. KC-Steve

    KC-Steve New Member

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    Hi Marty,

    I can feel it already! I would love to refurbish the Raleigh just because of the excellent shape of the paint job. But after pricing tires and tubes alone I don't see how I could sell it and make a profit. Most old classic road bikes around Kansas City are selling for less than $80 or $90. Tires and tubes would cost at least $40 or more. . . I spent $50 on the purchase, equals $90. And no telling what else needs to be done. Very likely needs bearings packed, brake pads, replacement cables, etc. And the Record Ace was the low-priced Raleigh back in 1978 weighing in at around 30 lbs.

    Unless I am planning to ride it myself I don't think I'll waste the money. It is a shame though. It looks like it was a GREAT BIKE in its day!

    Steve
     

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    Last edited: Jan 26, 2010
  10. greenhorn

    greenhorn greenhorn

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    Been dabbling in fixing bikes up and selling them for a couple years. In Pittsburgh, PA area older bikes are always in demand with so many colleges around. I sold an old Schwinn world for $200. It was in excellent shape. I also sell some on ebay, it is cheaper than you think to ship these bikes.
    I buy bulk 27 inch tires and tubes online, tires for $8.00 and tubes for $3.00.
    Makes a big improvement when selling a bike.
     
  11. KC-Steve

    KC-Steve New Member

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    Hi Greenhorn, Where do you get tires for $8?

    Maybe Kansas City hasn't caught up with the rest of the country on bicycle prices.

    I just measured the Raleigh and found the frame is 23.5" and the top-tube height is 33.5". You guys are gonna talk me into refurbishing the Raleigh too now. :)

    Steve
     
  12. greenhorn

    greenhorn greenhorn

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    Here goes all my secrets. A couple places offer them real reasonable so you need to check both places when you're ready to buy. bitetiresdirect.com offer great deals on vintage cruiser tires as well as better modern tires. The more you buy the cheaper the shipping. The other place I always check before i buy is what is currently on ebay. There are lots of places selling these tires and even when they ask more they will ost of the time accept offers of much less if you're buying over 6 tires.
    But you can always find them for under $10 even if you only want 2. Hope that helps...half the fun is the cleaning and rebuilding those old bikes.
     
  13. funetical

    funetical Slowin it up.

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    How many tires do you purchase at one time then?
     
  14. greenhorn

    greenhorn greenhorn

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    I usually wait till I need a bunch before I order.
    My last purchase was 27 bikes in one lump. I traded 4 wooden recurve bows for 27 bikes, 14 were older road bikes. The rest were BMX and kids bikes.
    But I took a look at the bunch, saw which bikes were worth fixing, and which of those needed tires, handle bar wrap or whatever..then put an order in for all of it. Of course some of them are parted out for future use.
    One time I ordered 16 tires at once. I keep tubes and tires on stock of the popular sizes.
    It's my hobby, hitting garage sales and auctions looking for bikes cheap.
    I can typically buy an old Schwinn or Ross or Fuji 10 speed for $10 or $20, selling them for $100 to $200. And my wife puts up with this. I work on bikes in my study while watching TV in the evening to keep my hands busy.
    Nice big closet stocked with tubes, tires, tools, bar wrap, chrome cleaner, rubbing compound and wax.
     
  15. devinfan

    devinfan New Member

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    That Schwinn looks like it will end up being a nice bike, but where are the shifters on it? Am I missing something? (Edit: found them. Very sneaky - I haven't seen that before.)
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2010
  16. KC-Steve

    KC-Steve New Member

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    Thanks devin. I have bought new wheels, chain, rear sprockets and cables. But I'm still thinking about whether to keep the old handlebars. I'm in the "design process" right now, and considering how much I want to spend on it. It will definitely get new paint because I'm learning how to use a paint gun so it is chalked up to training so to speak. I'm guessing the rebuild will cost about $300 or so. Quality paint and primer are expensive these days and is about half the expense.

    But I'll keep ya up to date! :)

    Steve
     
  17. devinfan

    devinfan New Member

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    Really? Paint? The paint looks perfect to me in the pictures, but maybe I'm missing something that you're seeing in person. If that bike were mine I'd lose the kickstand, rack and dork disc, and either move to down-tube or bar-end shifters. I personally like drop bars, and the ones on the Schwinn look fine, but I'd go for new tape. Also, the frame has a nice shape to it, but the saddle isn't really flattering it. Something more streamlined like an old school Flite titanium, or if you want a more classic look, Brooks?

    Anyhow have fun with it!
     
  18. wild

    wild Yesterday tired old man, Today retired old man

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    We were talking about bikes and the son mentiond he would like to have a old Schwinn like he had in high school. The next week the old guy (I am 65) down the street brings me a Schwinn Superiur here you want it:thumbsup:. so now I look it over and every thing works ok but the seat is tore, I think I can get a seat, but the old guy down the street stops buy with the seat that came on the bike:thumbsup:. I called my son you know that Schwinn you said you would like I got it here. He droped everything and came right over and the last I saw the Schwinn it was going down the street to his house. So I guess there are people that like and want the old bikes. It would have made a great fixe:D
     
  19. KC-Steve

    KC-Steve New Member

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    Sure enough they want the old bikes! I can't find 'em cheap anymore like I did the two shown ($40 and $50). Why pay $400 to $800 for a new one with cheap components? Or $1000 and up for one with expensive components? And I'm not all that convinced aluminum or carbon fiber is bullet-proof like steel, or ~$100 for each pound of weight removed is a good deal.

    Hey "Wild" I'm not much younger than you. I last owned a bike long before these two were a sparkle in an engineer's eye! :)

    Steve
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2010
  20. KC-Steve

    KC-Steve New Member

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    Thanks Devinfan, I will have fun. As an older guy, I am looking at a bike more as something to ride for fun and not interested so much in weight reduction. I need the exercise too. :D I probably will remove the "dork disk" though. I'm still not sure about the handlebars. My aged body doesn't work well bent into a racing position on a hard seat. :) When I have ridden it, I tend to keep my hands on top of the bar so I am thinking about maybe a straight mountain style bar. I also found a local upholstery shop that specializes in bike seats. I also just want to paint the bike something other than black, but there are a lot of scratches too. I don't think the changes I plan will affect the bike's value much because the Schwinn World is not necessarily rare. But this one was made in Taiwan (1985) because it has lugs that couldn't be made in Chicago. Not many Schwinn's had lugs.

    Again thanks for the thoughts.
    Steve
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2010