My Projects...so far

Vintage, yesteryear and retro biking

My Projects...so far

Postby BronzeLady » Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:05 am

Hi all.

I am extremely new to bike renewing/building/customising so please be gentle! :D I've already posted some pix but thought I'ld expand on my projects.
Even though I've been riding on and off throughout my life I have only recently been catapulted into obsession with older style bikes where I can let loose and create new ones using all the color combos in my head. My hubby is correct when he says I get compulsive and OCD with ideas sometimes :lol:
So my initiation started when I bought this old frame from Camberwell market a few years back:
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I couldn't ID it and even though it had some nice pinstriping on it, it was also cracked and damaged/rewelded in a few spots so I didnt feel bad stripping it back and respraying it in a flat finish:
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That project satisfied me for a while but then more ideas popped into my mind and coincidentally a workmate had an old ladys bike that she was going to throw away so I graciously took up the challenge. Stupidly I didnt take any before pix but it was an old crappy Sportsworld bike and I got busy transforming it into this:
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Now I am creating my "daily" ride. I picked up two old Graecross bikes and am halfway into completing mine then will start on the other one for my husband (when he eventually comes up with a color scheme!!). This is how I got it.
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I would have loved to have kept the Graecross decal but just couldnt remove it without damaging it so I'm thinking of getting some pinstriping on the tubes instead. I have just attempted my first go at paiting the lugs a different color and I guess you learn from your mistakes, because I was too impatient and taped up the lugs to spray the frame and the paint was still a bit soft...so now I'll have to retape and respray :oops: :evil: :roll: Pix will be up by tomorrow hopefully!
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by BNA » Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:56 am

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Re: My Projects...so far

Postby GaryF » Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:56 am

You're doing a great job and it's nice to read that it's a fun family activity. Identifying many of the old bikes that turn up can be impossible so re-purposing them is great fun. The two you have re-juvinated are both extremely well done. I wonder what you will come up with after the Graecross? It will be nice to see it when completed.

It sounds like you are careful to try to identify bikes that may be worth more in their original condition than getting a strip and repaint. I once came across an old green framed, and very dirty bike with very cheap tattered decals on it for next to nothing. It had some nice old but dirty components on it though. I bought it to strip the components off it. After a little cleaning I discovered it to be an old '54/55 Bianchi in original condition - worth HEAPS. If I had started to strip the paint I would have destroyed it's value and collectability.

Keep having fun.
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Re: My Projects...so far

Postby WestcoastPete » Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:08 am

Top work! I love how you can be expressive by what you do with these bikes and not just build them up to be generic.
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Re: My Projects...so far

Postby ldrcycles » Fri Mar 29, 2013 3:52 pm

Very nice work, the 2 you've completed look really clean, keen to see how you get along with the Graecross.
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Re: My Projects...so far

Postby BronzeLady » Sat Mar 30, 2013 6:31 pm

Thanks guys. Very much appreciate your kind comments :)
Gary...i wish mine was a Bianchi underneath!!! What a find that must have been!
Well I finished painting the frame and I must say I'm very disappointed with my efforts :( . I think I tried to do too many combinations and its ended up a bit dog's brekky as far as I'm concerned. I tried to go for a different color for the lugs as well as some lug lining. I'ld like to say that it was the paint that was the problem but I think its just my lack of experience and technique! I attempted a chrome paint for the lugs and it may be that I didnt leave it to dry for enough days but when I masked it up to paint the rest of the frame, it just went a weird color when the tape came off. And the lug lining isnt very good and it looks a tad garish. The pix are before the lug lining...should have left it like that! Oh well...you live and learn from mistakes and as this will be ridden a fair bit, I don;t mind as much as I'm sure it will get knocked around a lot.
I'm going for front brake only for the first time in my life and am a bit nervous. Is it weird to ride with the one brake only? I keep picturing myself flying over the handlebars for some reason!
I also want to use the original brake calipers but there were 27 1/4 wheels on before and now I'm running 700 deep Vs. The brake calipers seem to clamp in the right spot but as I'm a newbie I don't know if I should buy different calipers. Any thoughts?
I did a quick mock up to see how it would all look like and trust me when I say the pix look a lot better than how the bike really looks :(
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Now its just a matter of finishing the build and starting on the one for my hubby. Already spent this arvo tearing it down and he's finally chosen the color so all systems are go!
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Re: My Projects...so far

Postby ldrcycles » Sat Mar 30, 2013 6:58 pm

BronzeLady wrote: I attempted a chrome paint for the lugs and it may be that I didnt leave it to dry for enough days but when I masked it up to paint the rest of the frame, it just went a weird color when the tape came off.


I had a similar issue recently, I was too impatient and ended up with very hard to remove adhesive residue on the paint I had masked. Interestingly enough, polishing it with peanut butter worked a treat, really.

I've found with the chrome paint that unless the surface it's going on is REALLY good, it looks rubbish, yours looks great so you're obviously doing your prep well :) .

Don't worry too much about ones that go wrong, it's all experience, and if you can learn from it, it means the next one will look even better :) . IMO I think the bike may look a little better if it was all the same shade as the bars. There is a website thingy called pedalmafia where you can try different colours on a frame and wheels (i'm not sure how to explain it, but google it and have a look, you'll know what I mean), that one is quite basic, there's another called bikecad, but I haven't used it so don't know how good the free version is.

As for the brakes, they may fit, it varies from frame to frame, and different makes of calliper, so try fitting the original ones first, if they don't reach, then Tektro make good quality inexpensive long reach callipers (I have them on my singlespeed).
My first singlespeed had only a front brake, it was usually sufficient, but I would recommend fitting front and rear brakes, just in case you need to stop in a hurry sometime, I fitted another brake after an unpleasant incident at a roundabout.
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Re: My Projects...so far

Postby BronzeLady » Sun Mar 31, 2013 11:16 am

ldrcycles wrote:
BronzeLady wrote: I attempted a chrome paint for the lugs and it may be that I didnt leave it to dry for enough days but when I masked it up to paint the rest of the frame, it just went a weird color when the tape came off.


I had a similar issue recently, I was too impatient and ended up with very hard to remove adhesive residue on the paint I had masked. Interestingly enough, polishing it with peanut butter worked a treat, really.

I've found with the chrome paint that unless the surface it's going on is REALLY good, it looks rubbish, yours looks great so you're obviously doing your prep well :) .

Don't worry too much about ones that go wrong, it's all experience, and if you can learn from it, it means the next one will look even better :) . IMO I think the bike may look a little better if it was all the same shade as the bars. There is a website thingy called pedalmafia where you can try different colours on a frame and wheels (i'm not sure how to explain it, but google it and have a look, you'll know what I mean), that one is quite basic, there's another called bikecad, but I haven't used it so don't know how good the free version is.

As for the brakes, they may fit, it varies from frame to frame, and different makes of calliper, so try fitting the original ones first, if they don't reach, then Tektro make good quality inexpensive long reach callipers (I have them on my singlespeed).
My first singlespeed had only a front brake, it was usually sufficient, but I would recommend fitting front and rear brakes, just in case you need to stop in a hurry sometime, I fitted another brake after an unpleasant incident at a roundabout.


That's exactly what I think happened with my paint as well...hahahaha but peanut butter NEVER entered my mind! Seriously? Good to know.
I did toss up with the two different shades of green and yes now that it's all together I agree with you...should have kept it the one color. I've definitely checked the Pedalmafia...I love it but hadnt seen the Bikecad one. Thanks.

Cheers on your advice with the brakes. If I was younger and more reckless I'ld probably go the one brake but I think I'll take your advice and go with two. Thanks again :)
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Re: My Projects...so far

Postby Apple » Sun Mar 31, 2013 11:38 am

wow :shock:
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Re: My Projects...so far

Postby seddo » Sun Mar 31, 2013 1:56 pm

Apple wrote:wow :shock:

ditto
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Re: My Projects...so far

Postby devilishdesigner » Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:50 am

Looks good, I do a bit of similar work with older frames which are beyond economical restoration to their original form:

You've done a lovely job of painting those handlebars, did you strip the crome from them first?

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and my rider:
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Re: My Projects...so far

Postby BronzeLady » Sat Apr 06, 2013 2:19 pm

[quote="devilishdesigner"]Looks good, I do a bit of similar work with older frames which are beyond economical restoration to their original form:

You've done a lovely job of painting those handlebars, did you strip the crome from them first?

Hey. Thanks. I've seen your work on this forum and I like what you do. Bringing the old and the new together...very cool.
I didn't strip the chrome from the bars...just made sure they were lightly sanded then primer then paint. I'm still learning a lot from prep/painting and I'm still not that good because when I go to screw nut/bolts on, the paint does come off in certain areas but happy with what I have so far.

I noticed you're using REID wheels with the original brake calipers on the red bike....that's what I was wondering if it can be done as I know they were used for 27 1/4 wheels originally and not 700s. Do you find they work ?
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Re: My Projects...so far

Postby devilishdesigner » Mon Apr 08, 2013 1:01 pm

The brakes very much depend on the bike. I have a collection of different sized brake sets and I work my way through them to find a set to match the wheel/frame combo and which suits the rest of the bike. I am yet to find a combination of wheels and frame which I have not been able to locate suitable brakes for.

Unfortunately I am yet to find a paint which adheres to chrome without chipping up, but it has been many years since I have experimented with it, the painted handlebars to look great!
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Re: My Projects...so far

Postby BronzeLady » Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:42 am

Finally took my latest bike for a few spins. Very weird to ride at first but absolutely love it now. Weird to only have one gear speed but I like it as I'm not constantly switching gears.
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I couldn't help my obsession and bought another project the other day. Don't know anything about these. If anyone could shed some light on the brand that would be great. i'm not stripping this one back to bare metal...just adding a few touches before riding it. Some moron decided to paint the frame using a paintbrush! So i'll remove that and touch up the paint underneath. This is also the first time I've encountered 26 x 1 3/8 tyres. I don't mind them except they are smaller and chunkier than I would have liked and not many places stock them.
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Re: My Projects...so far

Postby ldrcycles » Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:05 am

Looks like just an ordinary entry level sort of bike, i'd say the same quality level as the Graecross, so nothing special but no reason it can't provide decent service for decades.

Re the tyres, 26 x 1-3/8" is also known as 650A and uses a 590mm rim. Modern 26" MTB wheels are 559, so you might be able to switch to those if your brakes reach, and then you would have a much larger choice of tyres and wheels. You could also go 650B which is a 584mm rim, but they aren't anywhere near as common.
When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments- Elizabeth West.
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Re: My Projects...so far

Postby BronzeLady » Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:57 am

ldrcycles wrote:Looks like just an ordinary entry level sort of bike, i'd say the same quality level as the Graecross, so nothing special but no reason it can't provide decent service for decades.

Re the tyres, 26 x 1-3/8" is also known as 650A and uses a 590mm rim. Modern 26" MTB wheels are 559, so you might be able to switch to those if your brakes reach, and then you would have a much larger choice of tyres and wheels. You could also go 650B which is a 584mm rim, but they aren't anywhere near as common.


Thank you very much for that info. Much appreciate it. I'll look into the choices now.
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