Restoration Ethics

Vintage, yesteryear and retro biking

Re: Restoration Ethics

Postby Cranky Jim » Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:54 am

OK. First the Malvern Star...

BEFORE

I started with something that looked a lot like this... much worse than this actually.

Image

and ended up with....

Image

The original bits are the frame, the head stem, the seat post, cranks, chain rings and pedals - and most of those had to stay because of the peculiarities of the frame. I am old and large. So is the bike. I have had it since I was 16. A lot of sentimental value - and as it is a 1977 Malvern Star it is one of the last Australian mades. I am not a performance cyclist. I just wanted to make my old faithful more rideable. She is still heavy...but so am I. The alloy wheels make for a better ride, the RX gear make life easier, my bottom appreciates the saddle. Long reach brakes were added because of the change in wheel size. I'd like to think I have made a balanced compromise between my old bike and something safer and more efficient....and bright and shiny....

Image

As for the Hercules, I am at a loss to find the cable thing that connects my camera to my computer at the minute but he is almost identical to this ...

Image

Mine is a little older than this one, but exactly the same colour and identical - except that this one has a chain guard and a 3 speed hub. Mine is single speed. It has the same 'featherbed' saddle, but mine is tatty and needs retrimming but is complete with all 16 springs. Mine also has the iconic Hercules chain ring...

Image

Thanks for looking.
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by BNA » Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:31 pm

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Re: Restoration Ethics

Postby hewey » Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:31 pm

Funny all this talk about hot rodders, I dont have a rod but I am in a rod and custom club and we've got a '61 Holden wagon which will be getting customised and certainly not restored 8) For me it's about having something different and individual. When I've bought brand new mountain bikes I've happily bought Giants because they offered the best value for money, but customised the look/setup with new bars, grips etc to suite me and to have something a little more different.

I think Jim's post above is great - the Malvern Star is a great example of how a bike can be improved in both looks and performance when it is tastefully customised, and the Hercules is a great example of a bike which should be maintained in its original condition and preserved.
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Re: Restoration Ethics

Postby ldrcycles » Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:25 pm

That MS looks absolutely fantastic Jim! Great work.


As for the original question, i would say anything goes so long as you are not destroying something valuable (not necessarily valuable in a monetary sense, but something that can't be replaced). The important thing for me is that the owner gets enjoyment from it. Great example is my Dawes Shadow, it was originally an entry level 10 speed with crummy Simplex gear and 'safety' lever brakes, i resprayed it and built it as a singlespeed with flashy anodized cheap V wheels. A few people have said that they really don't like the look of it, whereas i absolutely love it, and it rides incredibly well. I think the fact i ride it often and have a blast doing so means it can look whatever way i want it to :) .

So long as a bike is being enjoyed, STI shifters, modern wheels, different paint schemes are all fine. Grinding off cable guides on a special bike (say a vintage Colnago/Pinarello etc) or for that matter, building up a bike with a fortune in NOS bits and then just hanging it on the wall, is just not ok in my book. I'm not going to go all internet vigilante if that's what someone wants to do, but i wouldn't do that myself.
When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments- Elizabeth West.
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Re: Restoration Ethics

Postby Mustang » Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:45 pm

ldrcycles wrote:That MS looks absolutely fantastic Jim! Great work.


As for the original question, i would say anything goes so long as you are not destroying something valuable (not necessarily valuable in a monetary sense, but something that can't be replaced). The important thing for me is that the owner gets enjoyment from it. Great example is my Dawes Shadow, it was originally an entry level 10 speed with crummy Simplex gear and 'safety' lever brakes, i resprayed it and built it as a singlespeed with flashy anodized cheap V wheels. A few people have said that they really don't like the look of it, whereas i absolutely love it, and it rides incredibly well. I think the fact i ride it often and have a blast doing so means it can look whatever way i want it to :) .

So long as a bike is being enjoyed, STI shifters, modern wheels, different paint schemes are all fine. Grinding off cable guides on a special bike (say a vintage Colnago/Pinarello etc) or for that matter, building up a bike with a fortune in NOS bits and then just hanging it on the wall, is just not ok in my book. I'm not going to go all internet vigilante if that's what someone wants to do, but i wouldn't do that myself.

I just bought (in a weak moment) 5th generation NOS Delta brakes, now after reading a comment here "they are only NOS once" I dont feel like fitting them to my new project? They belong on a wall , but like your thoughts whats the good of that? unless you are loaded. Should I fit them & ride around the block they will drop $200.00? or at least I'am the only one that ever rode them? help!!!
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Re: Restoration Ethics

Postby Wal42 » Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:24 pm

That's why I don't really chase NOS stuff too actively, I don't care how much it is, if I buy it I'm going to use it, but then I don't build resto's, I build them to ride, even if I do a frame re-paint, at the end of the day, it's the riding of the bike which is the reason why I buy it. They're never bought for an investment, I buy what I buy because I love having a variety of different things to ride, everything rides different, everything has it's own personality, probably why the new stuff doesn't appeal to me, I just find them soulless.

Do you use it & lose $200 in value? If the $200 bothers you most then sell it & buy something with a reasonable value to condition, if it's going to blow the wind up your skirt having the part on your pride & joy, then go for it, I understand that totally as I do get some NOS stuff if the value is right.
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Re: Restoration Ethics

Postby Elsmworth » Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:18 pm

Late to party, but a fundamental debate for all vintage tragics. For mine, it goes to the rarity of the bike in question. If there's still plenty of them, do what you want - it's your bike. But if it's a survivor, it's a piece of the past that deserves to have its originality preserved, because we will not see its like again. Fourty years ago people used to hotrod Model-T Fords, because they were still pretty common. I don't think you'd do that today. Same with lots of WWII planes. Fifty years ago they were scrapping them. Today they spend squillions to keep the last ones going. It's probably not that hard to decide what's worth keeping authentic and what you can go to town on. It is, however, a terrible thought that given a century or two, even today's Kmart bikes will excite interest. Finally, 700cm wheels on vintage bikes are just wrong in 360 different ways.
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Re: Restoration Ethics

Postby ldrcycles » Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:35 pm

Mustang wrote:I just bought (in a weak moment) 5th generation NOS Delta brakes, now after reading a comment here "they are only NOS once" I dont feel like fitting them to my new project? They belong on a wall , but like your thoughts whats the good of that? unless you are loaded. Should I fit them & ride around the block they will drop $200.00? or at least I'am the only one that ever rode them? help!!!


Hey i just bought a Dawes key ring from the UK, don't go looking at me for sensible advice :lol: .
When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments- Elizabeth West.
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Re: Restoration Ethics

Postby dayne » Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:25 am

What spirito and Ellsworth said,

If it is a very special, rare, or survivor treat it with care and if the bike justice,
If its a malvernstar 5 star try to go period correct and original as possible, if its a run of the mill do what you like.
Most of the times less is more, just clean it and leve it original, if a bike needs new paint it's not a bike for me.
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Re: Restoration Ethics

Postby dayne » Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:25 am

What spirito and Ellsworth said,

If it is a very special, rare, or survivor treat it with care and if the bike justice,
If its a malvernstar 5 star try to go period correct and original as possible, if its a run of the mill do what you like.
Most of the times less is more, just clean it and leve it original, if a bike needs new paint it's not a bike for me.
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Re: Restoration Ethics

Postby munga » Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:23 am

Mustang wrote:I just bought (in a weak moment) 5th generation NOS Delta brakes, now after reading a comment here "they are only NOS once" I dont feel like fitting them to my new project? They belong on a wall , but like your thoughts whats the good of that? unless you are loaded. Should I fit them & ride around the block they will drop $200.00? or at least I'am the only one that ever rode them? help!!!

[/quote]

if you bought them to use, then use them! if you bought them as an investment, put them in a box with the date and price you paid, and forget about them for 10 years. :wink:
at the end of the day, i can't see your great grandkids swapping them for real estate, so don't get too hung up about it.
pitty43 wrote:Thanks all for your help. Better change my Gumtree add now.

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Re: Restoration Ethics

Postby WyvernRH » Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:59 pm

Elsmworth wrote:Finally, 700cm wheels on vintage bikes are just wrong in 360 different ways.


Unless you have a vintage track bike of course as all tubular rims (except for a few smaller weirdos) are 700c (622mm) :)
Also the French and the Italians were pretty keen on them way, way back...
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Re: Restoration Ethics

Postby devilishdesigner » Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:05 pm

The Malvern Star does look rather wonderful.

I very much take it on a case-by-case basis too, but for me ridability is the primary goal.

My most regularly ridden bike has a 1960's Repco frame, forks, bars and cranks, guards and rack. I have stripped it, replaced the bearings, fitted 700c wheels and tyres, fresh chain, seat, grip tape, and love riding it. When I got it it was house-paint black with stuffed wheels but under the repaint was the beautiful original battered paint.

I have 3 others currently for sale which I have built with the same ideals, saving beautifully patina'd frame which may never have been rare or immaculate enough to be worth restoring, and giving it a new lease of life with some modern technology.

Having said that I love a good original bike too. I have an incredible Super Elliott which I am working on at the moment, all original as far as I can tell, colour coded westwood rims, colour coded mudguards, a previous owner has fitted a basket themselves and very crudely, but in the 1960's by the looks of it. At around the same time the bike had a trip to a painters where the spots that the paint had worn thin (fork ends and such) were repainted in a near perfect match to the original paint with beautiful scallops and pinstriping to blend in the touch-ups. I love this bike just as is, I will give the bearings all a once-over, and give the Bell leather saddle a little TLC, but I don't intend on replacing a single original part on the bike as it is a treat to look at and ride as is.
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Re: Restoration Ethics

Postby WestcoastPete » Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:17 pm

Cranky Jim wrote:OK. First the Malvern Star...

Image



Hey cool! My wife's mother just dropped her one of these over. Owned since new. She still likes riding it but it needs a bit of attention. New tyres, chain, chainring (if I can find one - what is the issue with changing to another crankset?), and new dual caliper brakes; braking was the main complaint. I'd like her to be able to come on a decent long ride with me on it, but will keep the resto conservative for now, to see how she goes with it.

You've done a great job with yours!
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Re: Restoration Ethics

Postby scratchman » Thu Feb 28, 2013 6:12 pm

here's my Model A Ford Hot Rod with a couple of swap meet buys, a 1956 Cecil Walker track bike and a Healing Road bike with George Goodwin's name on the top bar
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