Been given an old road bike

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by pat mustard, Apr 12, 2016.

  1. pat mustard

    pat mustard New Member

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    Looking for info on a Bike I have just been given...for free! :)

    Not sure what to do with it (except ride it of course...). I feel like Id like to strip it down and rebuild it, replacing stuff as necessary. I don't know if I should keep the look of the bike or change it.
    I can't find anything at all pertaining to the builder, Midas, and Im not sure what sort of quality the running gear is.

    Hopefully some pics will help get some information. Any input is greatly appreciated

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  2. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    I have never seen or heard of a Midas frameset. It looks to be of at least intermediate quality going by the pictures. As to a guess about its vintage...early 1980's going by the braze-on's and components.

    The shifters and derailleurs are low-end Campagnolo...possibly Triomphe or Victory models. The rest of the components are a pretty weird mix of low end Ofmega, Saccon, etc. Saccon was founded in 1981 in Italy and is, as far as know, still in business (http://www.saccon.it/index.php).

    The bike is really not worth dumping a lot of money or time into as it is in pretty rough condition and 6-speed rear end. It is worth cleaning up, replacing what is absolutely needed and riding it. The frame may provide a very good ride. The biggest issue with the bike is corrosion from a distinct lack of care and/or poor storage conditions over the last 30 years or so.

    The polishing and detailing time might amount to 40-60 hours or even more, but if you have the time the final result will be worth the effort, in conjunction with some necessary repairs. Doing it in 2 to 4-hour sessions the job will be complete in a few weeks time. It sounds like a lot of time, but it's really just a matter of sticking to it.

    You will, of course, need new tires and tubes. The chain may be salvageable...or not. All bearings will need to be pulled apart, cleaned and lubricated. If you have the correct tools and mechanical aptitude, this is a fairly easy job. Having a bike shop do all of the above for you might run into a couple hundred dollars, but if you can tires mounted yourself and do the mechanical work, you'll be on the road for around $50-$75.

    The brake and shift cables probably will work for a few more months, but if you plan on really getting this old girl out on the road and packing on the miles...replace them. $20-$30 or so.

    The spoke nipples are probably seized up with rust. After those rotted tires are removed I would start soaking the spokes/nipples from both ends with penetrating oil. It may take several days of heat from a propane torch, CAREFULLY heating the spokes and re-soaking and slowly applying just a little toque to the nipples with a spoke wrench, to get them to turn, but they usually can be freed up for truing the rims as needed.

    One last thing...I can't tell if that is a Modolo stem or not, but those things are dangerous. If it is, replace it before hitting the road. They were recalled because some of them cracked at the handlebar clap. The loss of steering can be...uh...fatal. At the very least the possible epoch face plant should be avoided for the $25-$50 a replacement stem would set you back. In the one picture I see "Cycloman"...might be the manufacturer. The stem is raised above the safe insertion limit and needs to be lowered significantly before riding.

    Good luck and thanks for having the decency to provide detailed pictures. Have at it! If nothing else you will have something very few other cyclists in your area have seen. It would be perfect for Eroica rides, vintage shoes and such. And for everyday riding!
     
    #2 CAMPYBOB, Apr 12, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2016
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  3. pat mustard

    pat mustard New Member

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    Thanks very much for all the info. Much appreciated.

    I will probably strip it and replace the parts you have suggested. Some really useful pointers there.

    I really liked the idea of painting it in a custom scheme to put my own stamp on it. However given that I cant find any other examples of this frame set It might be a shame to spoil it if its a rarity (regardless of value).

    Iv never been really 'into' cycling as a serious hobby but I have always had a bike and like to get out on it every so often in the summer.
    Iv never had a road bike though, always had hard tail mountain bikes that have never seen any proper off road action, just used for leisurely paced rides on countryside roads (I'm in the UK)! So hopefully this bike should be better suited for this kind of thing. I don't really need anything high end so this should be good once Iv spent a bit of time sorting it.

    Cheers.
     
  4. pat mustard

    pat mustard New Member

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    Should I do an Oxalic acid bath on the parts? Id like everything really clean and shiny. Is they a good way to go about it?
     
  5. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Acid bath? It would really have to be diluted or limited to only the steel parts. The chrome plating has already been ruined, so I would recommend a bronze wire wheel or nylon bristle wheel on a pedestal grider and a followup with a buffing wheel and buffing compound. Clear laquer the steel after that.

    The aluminum pieces can be hand polished or machine polished.

    In addition to a pedestal or bench grinder with bristle wheels, a Dremel type tool is useful for detail polishing.

    Most of the alloy parts can be made to look like brand new. The steel parts are more difficult to get looking good, but time and using the correct finishing technique can restore most to the corrosion damaged to 'good' to 'very good' condition. The level of detail work is what will make the overall restoration look good to the eye. No way it will ever be perfect or 'like new' again, but you CAN get it close.

    The monetary value of the finished bike will never be much above $200, but having a nice piece of cycling history and being able to ride it and enjoy it is hard to put a value on. I believe that it is not just the high-end bikes that are worth putting effort into and that the low and mid-line bikes can be just as rewarding to do up correctly.

    Look at some of the pictures of my bikes that I posted on pages 44 and 45 of the 'Did You Ride Today?' thread in the Road Cycling forum. I have an old Huffy (value is near $0) pictured that was as much fun to piece back together as a high-end Italian racing bike. I have restored nearly worthless Schwinn Super Sports and old junk-quality Raleigh Record bikes just for the challenge and for the fun of doing them.

    Please post pictures as you go along, if you decide to dress up the old Midas. Others will be interested in how you did it and take encouragement from your results.
     
  6. pat mustard

    pat mustard New Member

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    Thanks a lot! Il take plenty of pics before during and after :)

    By the way, do you mind me hitting you up for advice via pm if I get stuck ( only after using the search facility of course!)

    Cheers.
     
  7. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Pat, no sweat...PM is fine, although there are a couple other folks on here that are good with refinishing and restoration work.

    BTW, the OEM paint job is unique and the 'fade' is representative of the era. A fade to panel such as yours is pretty cool. I would try to leave the paint original and maybe do a touch-up job to the many nicks and scratches on it as opposed to the average re-spray.

    The other option would be to take lots of pictures of the existing decals and have the paint and decals reproduced as closely as possible...a pretty expensive proposition unless you happen to know people in the vinyl laser cutting decal biz and a handy motorcycle or automotive painter!

    I think your biggest issue at this point (assuming the frame tubing is sound and not internally rusted badly) will be the spokes. Cutting them out and re-spoking the wheels would be my preferred course of action. Still, as I explained above, with enough time and work they may be salvageable, as is. Polishing the rust off the what look to be silver painted spokes is not a big job. It just takes a little time with some strips of crocus cloth (like fine sand paper) and then hitting them with a clear coat to prevent future rust.
     
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  8. pat mustard

    pat mustard New Member

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    One last thing I forgot to ask! Is there a way to tell which sort of steel the tube is made from? Is it more than likely just 1020, or could it be Reynolds 531 or similar (better?)

    Thanks.
     
  9. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Given the lack of a decal or evidence of one having been in place at one time I think it's fair to say it's just mild steel or perhaps a low grade chrome moly. Other than being slightly thicker walled to make up for a lack of strength and thus adding a little weight to the equation...some of the lower end bikes still rode nicely enough.

    If you get a little time you might want to research Midas bikes. Like I said, it's unknown to me so I will be of no help with its pedigree. As a wild assed guess from looking at the components, I would think it was an Italian brand or at least a company that sold bikes they spec'd and had built in Italy.
     
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  10. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    The bike is in very rough condition but it does have what appears to be an old Campy Victory, but on closer examination it's probably a Triumph derailleur on the rear which weren't all that great but they worked.

    The frame if I recall was Reynolds 531 but those bikes are not very plentiful and my recall could be wrong since it's been a very long time since I've seen one...and I've only seen one!

    If you know how to restore something of that poor condition then have a whirl at it, take your time with it.
     
    #10 Froze, Apr 13, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2016
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  11. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    It's been neglected and Fredded up over the years, but with a lot of work could be made into a delightful rider. I don't know what the frame's made of, but its profile is classy, definitely better than a your typical campus bike.
     
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  12. pat mustard

    pat mustard New Member

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    Thanks again for taking the time to reply. So, froze, you've seen one of these before? Are you UK based? My plan is to restore it as best as I can replacing worn/dead parts, savibg the original paint by t cutting it and touching up with a close match where necessary.

    Really looking forward to making a start! I have a few other projects to finish off first but this will keep me busy over spring/early summer hopefully!
     
  13. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    No, not UK based, I saw one in the US very roughly 40 years ago while I was in California in Santa Barbara where I use to live. It never occurred to me at the time to ask where the bike was purchased, it wasn't anything unusual just the brand which I'll explain why, and when living in California a person see's a lot of different brands you don't see elsewhere. The only reason I remember it was because that same brand name made vacuum cleaners! Not sure if the two are actually related, but the guy said that they were...problem with what he said was back in those days there were a lot of off brands that people said things about then later were found to be untrue like Nishiki and Centurion bikes were made by actual companies with those names, like Trek, when in fact they were nothing but decals like Motobecane and others today.
     
  14. JD1234

    JD1234 New Member

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    I've been restoring two bikes for the past several weeks and I'm both a newbie and doing it myself. Here's what I've learned: You're going to spend a fair amount of money if you try to restore and it's probably cheaper to purchase a new bike. IMHO this is a personal decision. If the frame is in good condition i.e. no rust, no cracks, welds are solid then you can have a great project restoring it yourself and learning as you go along if that's what you want to do. You can buy kits that include the crankset, front and rear derailleurs, brakes and shifters. You'll have to purchase a compatible wheel set to go along with the drive train. Oh don't forget about cables, cable housing, handlebar tape, lubricants, tools etc. Again it's a project. Just be aware of what you're getting yourself into.
     
  15. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

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    Years ago I bought my wife a started roadie for $800 ( 1996 Bianchi Premio). She didn't really care for riding a road bike as she preferred her hybrid. BUT!!! We ran into this dude that wanted to sell an old Bianchi for $40. It was beat, dirty but still able to ride. He wanted $40 to put down toward a Walmart MTB.

    She sat on the bike and loved it. Bianchi 105 rear derailleur equipped. I cleaned it up, switched it from 6 to 7 speed so that she could use STI. I found some front wheels on sale at SuperGo. Ultegra hubs with blue rims that looked cool for $30. Bought 2, tore one down and built it onto the rear hub. New chain rings etc. Found some 105 brake calipers $30 for the set. Got some great deals and cleaned the sucker up.

    My wife had never ever heard the saying 'steel is real' but when she said when she sat on the bike it felt magical. She said it felt like it had a life of its own. :eek: After she rode this thing, she had no desire to go back to her hybrid that she said she loved.

    She rode it for about 3 years and did really well. We ended up getting her a full carbon bike, put top of the line Continental tires on it, spent just under $3,000 for the bike. She rode it a few times over a period of 2 months and said she still liked the steel bike more as it was a better ride. :mad:

    She finally started favoring the carbon bike when she started doing 80 mile rides saying the effort of pushing less weight in the longer miles made the difference.

    I told her that she could sell the steel Bianchi if she liked. She said no, she will never sell it! :eek:

    We've gone to bike shops where the employees have gone out to look at her Bianchi. Also had a couple of offers to buy it, she says no! :p

    This thing was a mess when we got it!


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  16. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Mr Beanz, that was a very nice Bianchi you got your wife. Not sure why she didn't like it on 80 mile plus rides, the weight thing is a non issue next to comfort unless she's trying to race it. But a lot of long distance touring people that's all they'll ride is steel, of course the geometry of that Bianchi frame is more of a race geometry than a touring geometry so maybe that part of it, I don't know, I find that an odd reason, but at least she's fighting to keep the bike.
     
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  17. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    atsa nice Bianchi!
     
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  18. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    What was your point there CampyBobby?
     
  19. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

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    I think she ended up liking the women specific geo on the new bike. Smaller levers, narrow bars (thought the Bianchi is not much wider), bit more upright position as the Pilot is a relaxed bike.

    Heck, if I ever find a good deal on a steel bike like this.......... ;) I'd ride one. :cool:
     
  20. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    speaking of heck, heck you could put narrower bars on the Bianchi, taller stem to get the bars up higher for that more relaxed position, smaller levers, I bet you could work on it and get it as likable as the new CF bike she likes.
     
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