Brand new white walls for my cruiser bike, fresh from the warehouse. Jealous much?
I used the delightfully unseasonal weather to do a bit of restoration work on my cruiser.
I managed to scrape most of the rust from the fenders and handlebars, polish the frame and replace the inefficient plastic pedals. While the cosmetic improvement is immense, but the mechanical function is still rusty.
In trying to adjust the tension on the derailleur, the shifter cracked in two. I can’t say that I was surprised to find that the shifter was made of thin, brittle plastic, but it does complicate things. Thankfully I saved the thumb shifter from my first “gear bike”, so that will be stepping in once I figure out how to wire it up.
The front brake is great, but the rear has tension issues because of hardware that’s rusted beyond adjustment. I’ll see if I can mount some old brakes to this frame, if not — stunt bike.
I found this Supercycle Classic Cruiser on the side of the road while cycling on garbage day and ended up wheeling it beside me as I rode home. It needs a good deal of care to bring it back to cruising state. Too bad I found it so late in the season, because I don’t have the space to work on it until the spring.
It’s hard to say what year it was made — a sticker on the stem points to 1997, but discussion on-line pins it at about 2000 — but judging from the way the rust has formed on it and how the tires look aged but not worn, I’m going to guess that it sat untouched in the former owner’s backyard for several years. For example, half of each wheel is covered in rust, while the other half is only tarnished.
The chrome fenders are rusted beyond anything that I can restore. I’m going to hit them with gun oil and light steel wool and then pickle them in naval jelly before deciding whether or not to paint them with Rust Coat. Similar can be said of the handlebars and wheels, which aren’t too bad. The cranks are very rusted, as are the brakes, but can be restored by being disassembled and then hand sanded for a few hours.
The pedals will be replaced with BMX pedals and if the bearings will allow, rear BMX stander pegs will be installed.
So after some hardcore Googling, I was surprised to learn that the bike that I’m rebuilding is not a Raleigh after all. It’s actually a 1973 Nishiki Olympic. The previous owner had painted it white with latex house paint before casting it off to the curb, and I ended up scrapping off the decals, so I had no way of identifying it. However, while doing some research on the rear dérailleur I stumbled across the specifications for the 1973 Olympic, and everything checked out. Nevertheless many of the parts that were too far gone to be rebuilt were stripped from a donor bike, a Raleigh Record Ace, taken from the same curb.