Friday, 12 March 2010

Restorers rant

Well as I have recently seen some shocking ( So called ) restorations featured on the net I thought I would offer my views as a bicycle restorer. Because of the recent fixie boom many old bicycles have been given a new lease of life, which is great as I'm all for recycling cycles, but to advertise a bicycle as restored it should at least look period correct. They certainly did not paint bikes back then in colours such as orange, fluro pink etc. Also because of Pashley in the UK releasing their Governor range of " Path racers " some people have been converting 26" or 28" roadsters into fake path racers by adding some white tyres, taking off all the other parts such as mudguards, chain cases, lamp brackets etc and flipping the north road bars upside down ? . Doing that certainly does not make the bike a path racer and to re chrome parts that were originally nickel plated only looks terrible to anyone with any knowledge of vintage bicycles. If for some reason you purchase an antique / vintage bicycle the least you should do is to try and find out the history of the bike and with the vintage bicycle hobby growing all the time and clubs like the Veteran Cycle Club & The Wheelmen there are plenty of people out there willing to give some advice. Many of these people have access to scans of original catalogs showing what your bicycle would have looked like when new. And if you can't afford to do a total restoration, don't cut corners just to get it on the road again as you will only regret it later. Part of the fun in collecting & restoring bicycles is tracking down the parts that would have been on it as new, sometimes this can take years if it's a very rare bicycle but most of the time you should be able to find the correct parts without too much trouble. Some people might disagree with the above comments but a nice vintage bicycle deserves to be restored to it's original condition not painted fluro green with a crank set made in Taiwan. Pictured above is front fork of an Australian made " Bullock " bicycle which happens to be a racing bike from the 1930s which has been restored correctly

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