This article was first published in Cycle magazine – August/September 2016.
Cycling UK’s Technical Editor Richard Hallett
Renovating an old bike can be hugely rewarding, whether it’s a simple respray or a full rebuild. Technical editor of Cycle magazine Richard Hallett explains.
Unless thrown into a canal or wrecked beyond repair, old bikes don’t die: they simply sit at the back of the garage, acquiring a patina of rust, oil and dirt to go with their perished tyres, and waiting to be rescued. And these days, there are plenty of rescuers around.
Finding and re-commisioning an old bike can be a cheap way to get out cycling – possibly at vintage events like the Big Bike Revival. For some, however, it can be about returning what was once a highly desirable machine to something approaching its former glory, which may mean anything from a careful restoration for use in the burgeoning vintage cycling scene to a comprehensive upgrade that hangs modern components on an old but still very much rideable frameset.
It might even mean extensive repair. The classic scene is buoyant, and genuinely interesting framesets from the golden age of British lightweight frame building fairly rare, so it can be both emotionally and financially rewarding to bring back to life a frame that might look fit to be consigned to the bin.