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8valve's vintage meanderings

  • 14-02-2021 7:30pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 809 ✭✭✭ 8valve


    OK, so there's been a bit of interest here lately in some of the vintage restorations that some of us are carrying out, so I thought I'd start a little thread for those of you who might have an interest, both from a spectator's point of view on seeing how I go about it, and maybe even encourage some of the rest of you to have a go!


    Fundamentally, vintage bikes are not complicated machines to work on, compared to modern machinery with their composite frames, electronic gear change gizmos and the dreaded internally routed cabling.


    Resilient, long-lasting metal frames, straightforward wheel spoke lacing patterns, friction (or simply indexed) down-tube gear levers and simple brake levers that just pull brake cables, rather than shifting and trimming gear cables as well.



    I'll try and show how I go about certain jobs, methods for good results that I've learned during my own experience of this hobby, where to find various bikes/bits/components without getting fleeced and pitfalls to watch out for.


    I'm a cyclist since my mid-teens, back when Kelly ruled the pro peloton, and I've been fixing my own bikes since then. In the past decade, I took to renovating bikes for charity and in recent years, got hooked on restoring old racing bikes, which are very close to my heart. Most of the projects I do are the bikes that I dreamed of owning as a teenager, but were unattainable due to cost. I also like quirky designs, as they are all part of cycling history.


    In recent years, I jumped off the corporate ladder, gave a shot at running a small business which, sadly, didn't make it, so I now work part-time as a mechanic in one of the oldest bike shops in Ireland. I love the fact that I may be fine tuning a set of DI2 gears on a high-end carbon racer one minute, and the next I'm adjusting the brake rods on a high nelly!


    So, I'll document what I'm working on, why a bike appeals to me and I'll post pics of progress as I go along. Feel free to ask questions; there are no stupid ones. We all started somewhere, made mistakes, and (hopefully) learned from them.


    I suppose the best way to start is to list what is currently in the workshop...


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,428 ✭✭✭ TheBlaaMan


    Great stuff. Thanks for doing this ...............looking forward to following the thread.


  • Registered Users Posts: 809 ✭✭✭ 8valve


    Right....I actually had to go in and look at what's in there, as I've a head like a sieve. In no particular order...

    1956 Claud Butler Buccaneer: this was handed to me by a friend as a frame, complete with lovely hammerite paintjob...and a cardboard box of bits. He said ''take your time; I want it back like brand new!''. A long-term project, so, as sourcing original parts is an ongoing quest.

    1980s Battaglin: this frame arrived from Holland as a fixie, with no paint on the frame and BATTAGLIN badly written on the downtube in permanent marker! Fortunately, the dreaded fear of the derailleur hanger being hack-sawed off didn't come true. I have mostly gathered a period correct groupset Campagnolo for this, including the highly coveted delta brakes, and intend to build it as a replica of Stephen Roche's 1987 bike.

    1980s RIH Mistral: another friend's bike; he entrusted me to strip it down, respray the frame and apply new decals, service all the parts and rebuild it as a complete bike; this will be fairly straightforward...probably.

    1980s Paganini: Columbus tubed frameset. This one is very close to my heart and a bike I lusted after in my teens. A friend owned one, complete with full Dura ace groupset, so I'm restoring this one in the same colour scheme as his, with a full Dura ace 7402 group that I sourced here within this community.

    1960s Mercian: Reynolds 531 frame, owned by a good friend. I'm in the process of repainting this in Ford Purple Velvet metallic with cream details with new reproduction decals; a fairly straightforward job that will be completed soon, hopefully.

    1994 GT Force: It is rumoured (but not very well documented - no pics anywhere online) that GT provided the frames for the Mavic neutral service bikes for the 1994/1995 Tour Du Pont in the US, using their immediately recognisable triple triangle frame design. I can't find any details, so I'm just making this project up as I go along, with a Mavic yellow paintjob and a mix of GT & Mavic decals...and a full mid-90s Mavic groupset. looking forward to getting stuck into this. I've always loved the GT frame quirkiness.

    Early 1990s SNEL: this was a gift from a friend in Holland. I am assured it was a Dutch National team frame, and I have no reason to doubt its authenticity. It arrived with a bent chain stay (I've since realigned this with brute force, ignorance and luck....and coldset it to 130mm to take wider rear axle wheels), wrecked paintjob and lots of surface rust. No bother at all, so! I took a gamble and emailed SNEL Racefietsen B.V. in Utrecht to see if they had any old bike frame decals that would suit. an absolute legend of a chap named Berend emailed me back, having rooted in the back of cupboards, drawers and store rooms and mailed me a bundle of the original decals...at no charge. probably the only originals left in the world, as they're marked out for correct application to steel frame tubes by the in-house frame-builders at the time! All he asked in return is for a pic of the restored frame, when finished, which I will gladly provide. Haven't decided which route to go with it, but I'll probably default to my preferred choice of period correct Dura Ace when the frame is painted and ready to build up.

    1969 Triumph: owned by a gent since he was 11, he has asked me to strip it, then he'll repaint it (he's a car restorer) and I need to source some parts to complete the period correct build. Fairly straightforward.

    Further down the pipeline:
    1980s Raleigh burner (friend's bike)
    1980s Concorde PDM frameset (frame damaged, so a longterm project)
    1980s Razesa frameset (frame damaged, so a longterm project)
    1986 Peugeot Galaxie deathtrap (google it!)
    2012 Chinarello Dogma frameset...might build this as a Bradley Wiggins replica.
    A couple of 1930s high nellys....god help me!


  • Registered Users Posts: 809 ✭✭✭ 8valve


    1956 Claud Butler Buccaneer; beautiful fillet brazing on this 65 year old frame.


    Delighted to find the original 'Duck Egg Blue' paint under the headbadge, so i can get an exact paint match.


  • Registered Users Posts: 809 ✭✭✭ 8valve


    RIH Mistral; a nice straightforward strip down, repaint and rebuild.


  • Registered Users Posts: 809 ✭✭✭ 8valve


    Paganini frameset, built with Columbus tubing. A project I'm really looking forward to.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 809 ✭✭✭ 8valve


    A selection of frames, fresh from blasting and etch priming. I get this done by Molloys in Co Wexford, as they were recommended by a local vintage car restorer. a sound bunch to deal with and their work is top class, every time. I do this with any frame that is getting a full repaint, as it removes all paint, contamination, surface rust etc and leaves every little frame-builder's detail visible on the frame.


    PS ignore the cardboard in the background.....that's what happens when you leave a large breed 9 month old pup unattended in the van with an empty cardboard box for 5 minutes!:D


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,629 ✭✭✭ cletus


    That's great stuff. Each bike there is a potential thread on its own. Are they all personal projects, as in, outside the shop you work for?


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 13,438 Mod ✭✭✭✭ ednwireland


    https://flic.kr/p/6yzte1

    hanging in the shed

    if anyone has a use for it


  • Registered Users Posts: 809 ✭✭✭ 8valve


    cletus wrote: »
    That's great stuff. Each bike there is a potential thread on its own. Are they all personal projects, as in, outside the shop you work for?
    Yes, as if I hadn't enough bike related stuff in work... I go home and unwind...by fixing old bikes :-)


  • Registered Users Posts: 809 ✭✭✭ 8valve


    https://flic.kr/p/6yzte1

    hanging in the shed

    if anyone has a use for it

    Someone needs to save this!!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,629 ✭✭✭ cletus


    https://flic.kr/p/6yzte1

    hanging in the shed

    if anyone has a use for it

    Where are you based?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,263 ✭✭✭ hesker


    Great thread.

    Nice to see a RIH in your collection. I visited the RIH-Sport shop a few years ago and Wim van der Kaay was there. Sadly he passed away a few years ago.

    There are some good videos about him on youtube.

    543686.jpg





  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 42,388 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder


    cletus wrote: »
    Where are you based?
    north west ireland i think...


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,629 ✭✭✭ cletus


    Might have to leave it hanging in his shed, so...


  • Registered Users Posts: 809 ✭✭✭ 8valve


    cletus wrote: »
    Might have to leave it hanging in his shed, so...

    Not too big of a deal to get it boxed up by the local bike shop, you could get it couriered then?


  • Registered Users Posts: 644 ✭✭✭ jimm


    8valve wrote: »
    A selection of frames, fresh from blasting and etch priming. I get this done by Molloys in Co Wexford, as they were recommended by a local vintage car restorer....

    Do you know what media they use to blast with? I was reading on the FB group "Steel is Real" where someone recommended that only walnut shells be used when blasting bike frames. He said sand was too abrasive.


  • Registered Users Posts: 809 ✭✭✭ 8valve


    jimm wrote: »
    Do you know what media they use to blast with? I was reading on the FB group "Steel is Real" where someone recommended that only walnut shells be used when blasting bike frames. He said sand was too abrasive.


    They use a fine sand for my steel frames, followed by a generous coating of etch primer, to protect the metal from the moisture in the air, until it's painted. I'm happy with the results, as I always then use a filler primer, to get back to a smooth finish, prior to applying paint. It's needed as a lot of the frames I restore have a lot of surface corrosion and this gets rid of it all; I've had occasions where I've even had to add a skim of filler as the blasting removes any pitted corrosion, so I'm confident I'm back to sound, solid metal. They are the experts in this area, having done this work on vintage and classic vehicles for years, so I'm always happy with their advice and recommendations.



    For aluminium and magnesium frames, they use a gentler blasting medium, as the metal would be too soft and would become very pitted.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 42,388 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder


    i used a wire brush attached to a drill to strip the frame i recently worked on. doesn't seem to have done it too much damage.


  • Registered Users Posts: 809 ✭✭✭ 8valve


    i used a wire brush attached to a drill to strip the frame i recently worked on. doesn't seem to have done it too much damage.


    Steel is very resilient, so that's an ideal way to do it at home. Fiddly around lugs, braze-on fittings, though.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,076 ✭✭✭ gman2k


    The shell blasting can be used on carbon frames, but sand can be used safely on steel.
    I watched a steel frame of mine getting blasted in Tallaght Powder coating, and it was lovely to watch!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,629 ✭✭✭ cletus


    I've had a steel frame blasted with lead shot, had to make sure all threads were peotected


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 13,438 Mod ✭✭✭✭ ednwireland


    cletus wrote: »
    Might have to leave it hanging in his shed, so...

    donegal . but it's not going anywhere too big for me.


  • Registered Users Posts: 194 ✭✭ WOT


    donegal . but it's not going anywhere too big for me.

    Can I ask what the frame measures Seat tube Centre to centre?

    I’d be interested if it in the 59/61 ballpark.

    Assume 126mm rear is about right?


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,629 ✭✭✭ cletus


    donegal . but it's not going anywhere too big for me.

    How much are you looking for, and what size frame.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 13,438 Mod ✭✭✭✭ ednwireland


    WOT wrote: »
    Can I ask what the frame measures Seat tube Centre to centre?

    I’d be interested if it in the 59/61 ballpark.

    Assume 126mm rear is about right?
    cletus wrote: »
    How much are you looking for, and what size frame.

    58cm if i remember right will update when i get in the shed

    not sure about the rear spacing

    no idea what its worth (if much at all) it has a campag record seatpost and headset though. i think its british threaded BB, internal cable routings a pain in the hole ;)
    annoyed with myself i didnt protect the chrome when i came over here

    Apologies for hijacking the thread !

    oh as an aside i may have a totally original (except tyres ) 1950's raleigh which was my dads, its in the loft at home -in the uk i think i even have the original receipt, when we can travel agian ill be over so if anyone had an interest ........


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,418 ✭✭✭ fat bloke


    I can't remember if I asked you this before but I've a Colnago Master Olympic that's been lying idle for good few years now and I'd love to know what to do with it. It's too small for me and too big for the Mrs (it's 54 I'm pretty sure).

    Are there places in Ireland to restore paintwork like this? Is it worth doing?


    2016-05-30-21-25-48.jpg
    2016-05-30-21-25-37.jpg
    2016-05-30-21-25-44.jpg
    2016-05-30-21-26-17.jpg
    2016-05-30-21-26-32.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 809 ✭✭✭ 8valve


    fat bloke wrote: »
    I can't remember if I asked you this before but I've a Colnago Master Olympic that's been lying idle for good few years now and I'd love to know what to do with it. It's too small for me and too big for the Mrs (it's 54 I'm pretty sure).

    Are there places in Ireland to restore paintwork like this? Is it worth doing?


    2016-05-30-21-25-48.jpg
    2016-05-30-21-25-37.jpg
    2016-05-30-21-25-44.jpg
    2016-05-30-21-26-17.jpg
    2016-05-30-21-26-32.jpg


    Even in its current condition, it is worth a few bob, maybe a couple of hundred euro; many people who are into vintage bikes are quite happy to have all the nicks, scratches and patina that the frame has picked up over the decades.


    There are others who only want bikes in mint condition and are willing to pay handsomely for a mint condition original frame.


    However, to get that paintjob reproduced will cost several hundred euro by an airbrush artist who specialises in that kind of decorative paintwork and, when it is done, it will no longer be original, so it's a bit of a double edged sword...paint it and lose its originality (and only get a couple of hundred on top of painting cost when you sell), or sell as is for a couple of hundred.


    There are a few marques that will sell very quickly: Colnago, Tommasini, Bianchi, Olmo all spring to mind immediately, plus a few other continental framebuilders.


  • Registered Users Posts: 809 ✭✭✭ 8valve


    Also, that frame size makes it an easy frame to sell; 54/55/56 will be snapped up if priced correctly but anything smaller/bigger than that sweetspot midrange frame size will take a little longer here in Ireland.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,418 ✭✭✭ fat bloke


    8valve wrote: »
    , when it is done, it will no longer be original, so it's a bit of a double edged sword...paint it and lose its originality (and only get a couple of hundred on top of painting cost when you sell), or sell as is for a couple of hundred.


    Yeah. I see what you mean. The wife loves it cos of was her first race bike so we'd always thought we'd mount in on a wall as a nice "piece". I wonder where the balance is in restoring to former glory while maintaining a faithful originality.


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  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 42,388 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder


    was telling 8valve, but i recently bought a frame on a whim for 25 quid but it's probably a little big for me so i'm trying to decide whether to restore it. it's a 1952 sun 531 frame, made in the raleigh factory on hanover quay.


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