Old bike in dry shed, unused for 30 years. How to revive it ?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
axisofevil
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Old bike in dry shed, unused for 30 years. How to revive it ?

Postby axisofevil » 28 Jul 2020, 12:07am

I've got a decent bike that's been in a dry shed for about 30 years. :shock:
I know a lot has changed...
For example what seems to be the "cassette" was always referred by everyone as a "block" and has 6 or 7 sprockets.
I'd have to check, but it ought to have mostly Campagnolo for the moving parts.
Single chain ring crankset [my choice]
Frame is 531(?)

It's had no care - what's the chance that it hasn't totally seized up?

I'm guessing that the tyres will be knackered - I don't even know whether the rims are a metric size.
Does this mean new wheels/tyres?

Did they ever solve the longstanding tubeless tyre problem?
Last edited by Graham on 28 Jul 2020, 8:42am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Title

tatanab
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Re: Old bike in dry shed, unused for 30 years. How to revive it ?

Postby tatanab » 28 Jul 2020, 10:01am

Just strip and rebuild it with the parts that are there having cleaned out and replaced old grease. Replace obvious things like tyres and probably tubes, maybe cables, but reuse everything else and I am sure it will be fine. I rebuilt a bike for a friend back in 1980, so 10 years older than the one you are looking at, knowing it hasn't moved since then I would have no issues at al about doing just that. Once you have it mobile and sorted, that is the time to think about modernising it if you want to. I have several frames and lots of equipment older than that in regular use.

peetee
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Re: Old bike in dry shed, unused for 30 years. How to revive it ?

Postby peetee » 28 Jul 2020, 10:14am

Entirely agree with Tatanab. I don’t think I have a bike that’s younger than yours and all run perfectly. As for the wheel size, nearly everything then had 700c wheels either tubular ‘racing tubs’ tyres or wired (or folding bead) open tyres with tubes. These are entirely compatible with tyres of today - with the exception of tubeless items.
Current status report:
Back on two wheels in deepest Pastyland and loving every minute. Mission: to enjoy big, bad hills again.

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printedland
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Re: Old bike in dry shed, unused for 30 years. How to revive it ?

Postby printedland » 28 Jul 2020, 11:51am

I'm just doing something similar on a 1987-ish Dawes Galaxy. What I found is:

It's worth stripping down as much of the components as possible to be able to give everything a thorough clean and re-grease. If in doubt, photograph and/or take notes of which order things go in, or how they are fitted. I got a load of plastic yoghurt pots and the like, and put separate components in each, and labelled them with a sharpie, so I knew what would go back where.

Headset and Bottom bracket in my case are probably perfectly serviceable. The original clipped ball bearings are poor, and I'm replacing them for loose ball bearings, and re-assembling with plenty of grease.

It's possible to do the same with wheel hubs, but in my case they ran perfectly smoothly

Clean the freewheel BEFORE oiling it! You can risk dragging grit down into the freewheel mechanism

I've replaced brakes cables (£3 each) and the brake cable outers (£3.50 on ebay), along with gear cables (also £3 each) and gear cable outer (just for the last bit of cable going into the derailleur) - a very cheap piece of reassurance

That, plus new bar tape and new tyres, and you can have a lovely bike for not much money.

drossall
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Re: Old bike in dry shed, unused for 30 years. How to revive it ?

Postby drossall » 28 Jul 2020, 1:55pm

Should be fine with a bit of a service. We'd all love pictures - there are a fair few here who love old bikes, even more so if they have Campagnolo parts.

I've got an Aende that I built up as a student in 1979, and a Holdsworth Mistral that I bought on here and is basically all original (except the obvious tyres etc.) from 1983. Both good bikes.

whoof
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Re: Old bike in dry shed, unused for 30 years. How to revive it ?

Postby whoof » 28 Jul 2020, 2:58pm

I would change the tyres and tubes even if they look OK. Replace cables and regrease headset, bottom bracket and hubs as the existing grease may have gone hard. Check the the seatpost and stem haven't seized in.
BTW a freewheel and a cassette are different things.
https://www.sheldonbrown.com/free-k7.html

Don't know about the longstanding tubeless tyres problem. Used to road race and time trial on 'tubs' and train on 'wire-ons'/ 'high-pressures' both of these tyres had tubes inside them.
There are now tubeless tyres but the need a third type of rim to those above.
https://www.bicycling.com/skills-tips/a ... res-guide/

9494arnold
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Re: Old bike in dry shed, unused for 30 years. How to revive it ?

Postby 9494arnold » 28 Jul 2020, 3:25pm

30 year old MIGHT be on 27" wheels, rather than 700c ( should be something on the tyre to tell you one way or the other)
If the saddle is Leather might pay to give it a leather treatment of some sort, even a decent quality Hand Cream will help a dry leather saddle, shoe polish (don't ride in light colour clothing) all help revive old leather, nears foot oil from the butchers, Brooks Proofide etc etc
( I have recently done the seats in my 1930 car ! ) otherwise what everyone else has said. Clean out dry grease and re grease.
You will probably have a Multiple Freewheel , the sprockets and the freewheel are in one unit that screws in to the hub (and are a bugger to get off) . Modern quality bikes have a Free hub, the sprockets and the freewheel are effectively built into the hub ( you CAN remove the freewheel element but it's different to a freewheel, sprocket removal/ replacement is pretty easy . )
Not sure if brake blocks were mentioned, yours might have age hardened and need replacing. (Decent quality modern blocks are much better then old ones.
If you are in tubulars they might look ok but they will have deteriorated so best to replace (and don't forget you need to carry a spare, you can't practically mend a tubular puncture at the roadside , you have to undo stitching, mend the hole and stitch it up again. Need new glue too for tubs.
531 means it's a reasonable quality frame. Oldest 531 frame I am riding is circa 1950 , another from 1956 and 1959.
My oldest is a Victorian High Wheeler , the a French Safety circa 1890 . Not 531 though . :D

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bigjim
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Re: Old bike in dry shed, unused for 30 years. How to revive it ?

Postby bigjim » 28 Jul 2020, 3:37pm

I'd oil what I can see. Change the tyres. Check the brakes work ok. If the tubes are still holding air they would probably ok. I've got some ancient tubes still doing well on my bikes.Then go and ride it around the block a few times. You'll soon know what needs doing urgently.

axisofevil
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Re: Old bike in dry shed, unused for 30 years. How to revive it ?

Postby axisofevil » 28 Jul 2020, 4:51pm

Thanks for the help.
Definitely replace the cables.

Not quite the bike I'd remembered - some confusion on my part there!
It's a "Viner Special Course" with damaged paintwork - so not a super lightweight.
Got an assortment of bits on it, some of them rather good.
Found a spare Shimano freewheel 6 cogs 14 - 19 straight-through - yuck!

BTW What is this cassette thing - is it just a rear cluster?

20200728_160224.jpg

drossall
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Re: Old bike in dry shed, unused for 30 years. How to revive it ?

Postby drossall » 28 Jul 2020, 8:28pm


slowster
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Re: Old bike in dry shed, unused for 30 years. How to revive it ?

Postby slowster » 28 Jul 2020, 11:20pm

You have in the main three options:

1. A 'period correct' rebuild, replacing any worn out parts with parts of the same era. Some people get a great deal of satisfaction from such projects, but it can involve time consuming hunting down of parts on Ebay and such items can be significantly overpriced.

2. 'Make do and mend', i.e. keeping the bike and parts pretty much as they are, giving everything a clean and re-lubrication.

3. Replace some components with modern parts to improve the performance/useability of the bike.

Obviously these approaches aren't entirely mutually exclusive, but it will help if you know which of them you want to achieve.

Note that in some cases replacing parts with modern components may be the cheaper option. For example, you have a TA Cyclotouriste chainset with a single ring. If you were to decide that you now needed more gears, especially lower gears, it is still possible to buy the requisite chainrings and longer chainring bolts to convert it to a double or triple chainset from Spa Cycles. However,

- the parts are expensive
- you cannot buy the necessary longer TA axle for a double or triple, and there is some doubt about what would be a suitable modern replacement, since the taper on old TA axles for their cranks is not a straight match for one of the two 'modern' square taper axle standards, ISO and JIS (Japanese Industry Standard).
- I also suspect you might have difficulties getting a modern front derailleur to work with a TA double or triple chainset.

If you wanted to fit a double or triple chainset, it might therefore be less expensive and much simpler to fit a modern square taper double or triple. Spa for example have a wide choice of own brand chainsets, and the benchmark cartridge square taper bottom bracket is the Shimano UN55.

That all said, you might be quite happy with your single chainring, and you could probably still lower the gears quite a bit if required by buying a new freewheel with a wider range and/or by replacing your chainring with a smaller one.

You will probably face a number of choices like these, and it may not immediately be obvious what is the least expensive and/or easiest/least troublesome option.

Tools may also be an issue, e.g. do you have a TA crank extractor and either the TA tools to undo the bottom bracket or suitable alternatives, e.g. lockring and peg spanners? You will need these to clean, inspect and (if appropriate) re-grease and re-assemble the bottom bracket, or for that matter to remove the bottom bracket and replace it with a modern cartridge bottom bracket (for which you would need a different tool).

Note that if you decide to replace the TA chainset and bottom bracket, it will probably be worth your while to sell them, e.g. on Ebay. The value of a lot of old kit is inflated by the prices people are willing to pay who want to build up period correct bikes for events like Eroica.

You will probably find that the best source of parts is SJS Cycles, especially for odd items and small parts which no one else stocks.

MarcusT
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Re: Old bike in dry shed, unused for 30 years. How to revive it ?

Postby MarcusT » 29 Jul 2020, 4:58am

It'll take some work, but getting it back on the road should be simple enough. Good thing about the age, is that tools should be simple and none of the proprietary nonsense that exists today. Mind you, it's not economical to restore, between tires, tubes, cable/housing, brake pads and so on, it can cost , but having a classic is something to be proud of. My biggest fear is oxidation, like the spokes and such, that requires a lot of elbow grease.

Good luck
I wish it were as simple as riding a bike

scottg
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Re: Old bike in dry shed, unused for 30 years. How to revive it ?

Postby scottg » 29 Jul 2020, 7:51pm

MarcusT wrote:It'll take some work, but getting it back on the road should be simple enough. Good thing about the age, is that tools should be simple and none of the proprietary nonsense that exists today.[snip]


I've an interesting set of tools to fettle Cyclo-Benlux mechs, a decent assortment of freewheel removal tools,
and the essential early Stronglight crank extractor. And the Airlite cone spanners.
Plus having the 2lb Birmingham screwdriver calibrated every year, costs a pint.

I believe the sons of the Freewheel designers now are employed in bottom bracket design. :)
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Why not the best, buy Cyclo-Benelux.

rmurphy195
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Re: Old bike in dry shed, unused for 30 years. How to revive it ?

Postby rmurphy195 » 30 Jul 2020, 5:32pm

Tyre size should be pri9nted on the side of the tyre, failing that just take one of the tyre or wheels into a bike shop and ask!

Likewise brake blocks. Has it gone steel rims or alloy?
Brompton, Condor Heritage, creaky joints and thinning white (formerly grey) hair
""You know you're getting old when it's easier to ride a bike than to get on and off it" - quote from observant jogger !

Brucey
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Re: Old bike in dry shed, unused for 30 years. How to revive it ?

Postby Brucey » 30 Jul 2020, 8:40pm

axisofevil wrote:Thanks for the help.
Definitely replace the cables.

Not quite the bike I'd remembered - some confusion on my part there!
It's a "Viner Special Course" with damaged paintwork - so not a super lightweight.
Got an assortment of bits on it, some of them rather good.
Found a spare Shimano freewheel 6 cogs 14 - 19 straight-through - yuck!

BTW What is this cassette thing - is it just a rear cluster?

20200728_160224.jpg


Viner Super Course was quite a nice frameset BITD and not cheap either; typically built in 531 DB tubing. Some info about 1978 model here

https://www.lfgss.com/conversations/280554/

but yours may be a different year and a different specification.

The rear wheel looks like a 700C one; the reason I say that is because it is a black, and 27" rims had pretty much died out by the time black rims became popular. The rear hub looks like it has round cutouts, so could be campag Nuovo Tipo/Nuovo Gran sport large flange.

The sprockets are just a spare screw-on freewheel. Certain types may be worth a small amount of money since quality ones are no longer made new and you can't use vintage hubs without one. Oddly enough a shimano freewheel may be a useful thing, since without too much difficulty the body may well accept new sprockets taken from a new SunRace freewheel, possibly turning a clunky 14-19 UG freewheel into a more useful 14-28 freewheel with HG-esque shifting qualities.

The components are an interesting mix of good quality parts that would have been out of fashion by the late 1980s/early 1990s and those which were cheaply available. For example the photo is not clear but the rear mech (if it is a simplex) would have been the cheapest and most horrible RD you could buy when it was new; IIRC one model of simplex was so cheap it has rivets holding the pulleys in rather than bolts....? If the RD is campag that looks like a 980 or a 990; alright but cheap and cheerful rather than 'record' quality.

So it looks like a collection of parts that were used and then demoted to 'hack bike' by their owner, maybe to ride to work or something (lights are a clue). There is no reason to keep them together; if it were my bike I'd either break it and sell the frame/parts 'as is' or restore the frame and build it up as a 2x6 'road bike'. It doesn't have mudguard eyes but it does look as if it has room for 25mm tyres and mudguards (using 'p' clips) so it could be a useful bike. Small dents in the top tube may look bad now but can be dealt with if/when the frame is refurbished.

Some of the parts may have retro appeal, for example the saddle looks like it might be a Unica Nitor; once to be used/abused on your hack bike, now a collector's item. Someone will even buy the saddlebag from you if it is in half-reasonable shape.

If the bike fits you then it could be an interesting retro project.

cheers
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