My top 5 vintage bike restoration tips

My top 5 vintage bike restoration tips

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In this video I’m going to provide a number of vintage bike restoration tips. Tips that might provide insight in your own restoration project and set the right expectations.

Tip 1. Don’t expect to make money restoring bikes

I’ve calculated how much money I spent on average restoring a bike and it ran in the hundreds of euros.

I estimate that I put in twice the amount of money in a project that I could get out of it. So for a bike that took 500 euros to restore I should be happy to get more than 200 out of it if I would ever sell it.

This is not because I’m stupid but because I like premium stuff on my bikes, because I’m actually going to use them myself.

People who fix bikes only to sell them in general don’t use premium components, because it eats away their profit margin. And I don’t blame them. Just look at an arbitrary road bike from a reseller. I bet it runs Michelin Dynamic Classics.

You shouldn’t do anything just because it pays, and as far as vintage bike restoration tips goes it applies here as well.

Tip 2. Buy the tools you need

Even if you’re willing to spend the money restoring a bike, it doesn’t really make sense only doing it once.

That’s because you’re going to need specific tools for the job, and you don’t want to buy stuff you’ll only end up using a couple of times or worse, once.

I spent hundreds of euros on bike repair tools and I don’t own a bike stand or truing stand. This relative costly investment repays itself each time I use it.

Tip 3. The older the bike, the harder the restoration

It’s all relative of course, but in general the older the bike the more difficult the restoration process is going to be.

Bikes and parts are more damaged, more seized, more difficult to repair and harder to source.

On the other hand, you might like a challenge. And the bigger the challenge the greater the satisfaction of overcoming it.

Tip 4. Become friends with your local bike shop mechanic
My local bike shop has helped me out on numerous occasions. They have the expertise, experience and tools to do things I simply cannot do.

So unless your a bike mechanic yourself, become friends with one. A couple of beers for a job well done goes a long way I can tell from personal experience.

Tip 5. Persevere

Bike restorations can test your patience and perseverance. Each project bring with it their own set of challenges to overcome that will test you.

I’ve also written about blog post with more information. If you want to read this article go to https://www.restoration.bike/bike-repair/vintage-bike-restoration-tips/

Visit my website for more bike restoration tutorials: https://www.restoration.bike/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/restoration.bike/
Music is from the YouTube Audio Library

Song is “Pine Street” from Reed Mathis

3 Comments

  1. Laser Sharp on December 7, 2022 at 12:26 am

    Any chance you know how to set up Suntour Roller Cam brakes?



  2. zdravo on December 7, 2022 at 12:54 am

    Hello there and thank you for this useful video. In the moment I am in the restoration process of one old bike, it’s a german bike with steel frame and yes, original parts for it are hard to find, during the dissasembly process they can and for sure will snap or crack. I stripped all the parts from the frame and send it with the fork to professional sandblasting and powdercoating. After I get the frame and the fork back I will start assembling the bike. The parts are on the way to me (tires, tubes, cables and few other things. After I get it all I will try to make a video of it. I don’t plan to sell that bike, I will keep it and ride it. And one more thing, I will be able to reuse 90-95% of original bike parts that came originally on it



  3. Anatoliy Pidlubnyy on December 7, 2022 at 1:04 am

    Hi Johan (did I spell your name right?). Just found your channel and will follow it closely. I share the passion to vintage bikes restoration. They a beautiful machines with souls – meticulously crafted and elegant.
    I’m curious what do you do with the bikes once they restored?