I got my first road bike probably in 2010 it was purchased from the second-hand market in a decent condition. With few adjustments the bike was ready to hit the streets. It was with me in Lithuania and England up until 2018 riding almost every day for past 4 years. I really didn’t give it any love or maintained it in any way. With rusted chain and chainrings as well as most of the frame the bike decided to give its last power before it completely gave up. I decided to bring it back from the UK rather than trashing it and completely restore it. Since I have a new Specialized road bike I am not feeling comfortable to leave it locked in any place, so I decided to make this oldie my go-to bike that I am not afraid of leaving under one lock and not so heartbroken if it’s gone.
So here it goes:
Step 1: Taking photos of all the pieces mounted on the bike and how it’s put together. I have made a bunch of those and sent it to myself on Facebook since I could add notes on each photo before sending it. I also took a short video in case I have missed a photo so I can clearly see how brakes and shifters are assembled.
Step 2: Taking the bike apart completely. I have removed the seat with the seat post first and then the wheels in order to be able to place the frame on the work table and take off the rest of it easier. The rest of the part came off pretty hard since the bike was out of lube and rusted in most of the places. Some took some beating and swearing to come off but eventually it all gave up and the frame was free!
Step 3: Cleaning the shit out of it.
After taking everything apart I have decided to clean everything, because I was not sure which part I will want to use again at the beginning of this project. I unscrewed all the bolts and put them into the de-rusting liquid together with all the parts that have been collecting the rust on them. While the rust was leaving those parts I started sanding and polishing the rest of the metal parts such as brakes, shifters, seat post etc. I have used electrical drill with the adjustable sanding attachments. It is way faster than sanding everything by hand as well as stronger so it was a big time saver for me. After sanding and polishing all the small parts I have also cleaned and polished the parts that were sitting in the de-rusting liquid.
Moving on: I have found the old can of paint remover that I have used to take the paint of from the front fork and the frame itself. It takes just a couple of minutes and the paint jumps right off, although the majority of the paint was easily peeled off, the rest of the paint that was harder to remove I sanded with the drill and finished off with white spirit. For more tricky areas such as all the welding areas I have used old toothbrush and old dentist tools to reach and scratch the paint off.
Step 4: Degreaser / Primer / Paint / Varnish
As I mentioned I have used White Spirit to remove the paint easier, but it also makes the frame too greasy to paint on, I have picked up degreaser called Nefras from the local paint store to start prepping frame and fork for the painting. I have decided to paint fork and frame in white and since I had no idea what paint or primer should I get I went to some shitty paint store where they gave me Hammer 3 in 1 spray paint telling me that it already has primer and varnish in it so it will be easier to paint. No it wasn’t.
I started testing the paint on the fork. And it looked crap. It was matte and had sand like texture which I hated. I decided to start over, so I cleaned the fork and here we go again.
I googled the car paint store where I could get any proper assistance and headed over there. I picked up car paint primer in grey colour because there was no other option, car varnish in the spray can and some Montana paint. The guy in the store told me that it’s better to choose darker colours because it has more pigment and will be easier to handle. So I picked this wonderful navy green Montana spray can and headed back to my garage.
It’s time for round 2! So here it goes, tape the parts that have to be covered hang the fork/frame of the secure thread (mine was electrical cord – very safe indeed) and degrease the hell out of it with Nefras (or any other stuff u found). I have used blue paper towels for degreasing, and it is also important not to touch the areas you cleaned with your hands to not put the oil from your skin back on the metal.
After it is all clean and shiny its time to prime. Since I don’t own the spray gun thingy and I am low budget, I got all the painting components in spray cans. I primed the frame 3 times with very thin coats to make sure it doesn’t leak or drip anywhere because by that time I was so tired of fixing stuff.
After the primer is all dried up, I have sanded it slightly by hand with very soft sanding paper in order for the paint to stick better to the primer. I have painted 2 layers of paint paintantly waiting for each of it to completely dry.
I hanged those pretty things inside to dry overnight before I start spraying the varnish. While spraying paint there were some minor leaks of the paint which I also left to dry and then sanded with a tiny bit of sandpaper to even out. And since I have put a few layers of paint it was an easy fix. The varnish was the hardest part, or at least I found it to be, because it has to be perfect, if varnish leaks it’s very hard to fix and it makes you swear a lot, so it takes patience and most importantly not going over the same place twice. I decided to do 3 layers of varnish in thin layers and it turned out to be good.
After 24 h when varnish is all dry it was time to put this baby together.
Step 5: Finish line
By the time the paint dried out I have decided to make this bike as minimal as possible and get rid of the gears and brakes. I have decided to put in the coaster brakes and make it single speed for easy city cruising. For that, I took my bike to the repair store where an amazing bike wizard finished it all up with new wheel set that already had coastal brake in instead of trying to convert my old shitty wheels. Put a new chain on and I am ready to roll.
Costs: Since I live in the family of fixers and DIY makers, all the equipment was already in my garage including sanding discs and bits and bobs that I’ve used during the whole process. The primer/paint/varnish all together was €17 and the new wheelset plus new chain rings and the chain, and paying the bike wizard for help was around €50. So overall I have spent under €100 euros for this single speed pleasure.
Thank you for reading Those Silly Stories.