How to Restore Vintage Bicycles

How to Restore Vintage Bicycles
Vintage bicycles are an icon of American engineering. With long swooping handlebars and styling more focused on comfort than function, most vintage bikes are easily recognized by their oversized toptube, coaster style brakes and whitewall tires. Unfortunately, many vintage bicycles are in disrepair or have been all but forgotten by their owners. It is possible to restore vintage bicycles to their once-impressive luster with just a few simple steps.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Chrome polish
  • Electric drill with grinding wheel
  • Paint
  • WD-40
  • Tire Pump
  • Soap
  • Bucket and Sponge
Step 1
Use the soap, bucket, sponge and some water to clean up the bike the best you can. Make sure to get in all the nooks and crannies of the different bike parts.
Step 2
Use the chrome polish to buff out any rust or surface oxidation on the handlebars and pedals.
Step 3
Use the drill and grinder to grind down any rusty areas and to grind all of the paint off of the metal bike frame. Wipe off the grinding dust with a towel and then use the red paint to paint the entire bicycle. Apply the the decals according to the included manufacturer's instructions, after the paint has completely dried.
Step 4
Pump the tires up with the tire pump. Spray down all moving parts with WD-40 and then use the Armor All to polish up the seat. Take your new looking bike for a test spin!

Tips & Warnings

The key to a successful restoration is to work methodically and slowly.
Sometimes you will need to replace the tires completely rather than just pump them up because they may be dry rotted.

Article Written By Nathaniel Miller

Nathaniel Miller is a technical writer for an environmental division of Microbac Laboratories, Inc. He has a Master of Science from Ohio University. With over eight years of technical writing experience, Miller has a diverse skill-set and enjoys a wide-ranging client base. He is widely published on numerous writing websites and runs a small writing business out of his home in Marietta, Ohio.

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