Ok, I Need Advice So I Can Finally Do My Restoration Project On My Junker Bike

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by MotownBikeBoy, May 29, 2015.

  1. MotownBikeBoy

    MotownBikeBoy Active Member

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    And please, don't tell me I'm throwing money down the rabbit hole - the entire point of this is to learn something, and a couple of bucks is worth it to me. TIA FWIF.

    So, this is what I have, a circa 1985 Huffy Windsprint road bike. It's actually in structurally great condition, no rust, paint is really good looking, but rubber parts are rotten, and a lot of the equipment is just plain outdated and wasn't the best quality to start with.

    So, my biggest question is - how far do I go? How much of the original equipment do I replace?

    I know that I hate the pedals, the brakes, the shifters and brake levers. Handlebars are a bit "primitive" compared to today's standards.

    Seat and tires obviously, a no-brainer.

    So, what should go, what should stay?

    I found this on YouTube - similar to what I want to do:

    http://m-us.lorealprofessionnel.com/?p=aHR0cDovL3d3dy55b3V0dWJlLmNvbS93YXRjaD92PW5UbndwTVhtOGNV
     
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  2. Jcycle

    Jcycle Active Member

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    If this is a project for fun and experience I say go for it. Replace anything that is damaged. Restore it to as new of a condition as you have the money and time for. Upgrading the parts could be fun. I love taking older things and updating them. I get a sense of satisfaction seeing them put to use afterwards.
     
  3. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    A guy I shoot with GAVE me one of those a couple years ago. It is red and black and rather handsome in a craptastic American junk bike sort of way. I repacked all the bearings, adjusted everything up and my wife rides it on the Rails-to-Trails bike paths. Prior to that I had rescued another one from the target pile for the machinegun shoot I used to host. This one is an ugly blue that was factory matched with yellow cable housing. It's pretty ugly despite seeing almost no use other than taking up space in an American garage until the owner grew so obese as to need the floor space for a mobility scooter.

    Both are stickered with the proudly made in the U.S.A. union label. Which is why they are now proudly made by Chinese communists that can't spell 'Socialist Trade Union'.

    IIRC, they have 26" wheels, so fitting a 700C in the rear is impossible due to the tire hitting the stamped steel brake bridge plate. The one I was given actually had been fitted with a decent pair of new 700C wheels and tires by the previous owner. The rear would NOT seat into the stamped steel dropouts fully and was unsafe if for no other reason than the el cheapo stamped steel brake calipers barely hit the brake tracks of the larger wheels. I installed a set of OEM wheels on it from one that was being tossed into the trash.

    My memory is not fresh, but I know I put new tires and tubes on the one the wife rides and I 'think' they were of the Schwinn 26" size that ain't really a true 26" size. If you install new tires, take your rims to the shop and match the rubber to them. Schwinn...always fucking shit because they could. Sheldon Brown's website has more info on the Schwinn 26" stuff.

    If you are RESTORING this $59 MSRP bike, have at it. You'll put out a few bucks buying more Windsprints for parts, but not be out much. If you're trying to modify and "upgrade" it for...whatever purpose...good luck!

    Both stamped steel derailleurs are serviceable. The friction shifters are crappy, but function OK if a bit slowly and they lack any feel.

    The stamped steel one-piece Ashtabula crankset has arms as soft as butter. The pedal threaded holes are easily stripped and NOT the current thread standard. While Ashtabula BB adapters are out there, they are a bit tough to find and for practical purposes you are locked into using an Ashtabula design.

    The chainrings, themselves, are crude stamped steel items and are likely riveted to the spider. Bolts cost real money, I guess.

    The pedals are bearingless Nylon flats block pedals. Again, IIRC they are of the department store 1/2" thread size.

    The stamped steel brakes are difficult to center and are easily knocked off center during wheel changes.

    The headset is a decent unit for a cheap one. Yeah, it's all steel.

    The steel stem and steel handlebars are...sturdy. And heavy. Did I mention they were sturdy?

    The foam rubber bar pads are kind of eighties cool and mine are in great shape for being 30 years old or so.

    The seat is trash, but you know that. Keep it for resto purposes. Ride a seat worth sitting on.

    The wheels...where to start. They're steel. Did I mention how much fun Kroil oil and 30-year old spokes/nipples are to true? Did I mention the soft wire spokes? Did you know the hubs are made from pressed steel shells?

    The fork is flimsy and yet it always surprises me that so many held up to kids riding them off the roofs of buildings. Pressed and welded steel blades with smooshed dropouts. And a steel steerer. Steering is slow and stabile because the fork is raked somewhere South of 8-mile.

    The cable routing...zip ties. Yes. Zip ties...and cable housing still flopping all over the place. This is one reason shifting is slow and so inaccurate that friction shifters are all the could work on such a beast. Both the cable housing and inner wires have a mile of 'give' in them.

    The frame. Uh huh...it's steel. Welded by the blind. Tube fit up is not classic era Schwinn stuff, for sure. Paint quality? That rivals 1972 Raleigh's for uneven application, runs, splatter, orange peel and light spots with primer showing.

    Beware of the fasteners and the torque used to tighten them. Some of the fasteners are pretty soft. But at least they are all...steel.

    The kickstand. Unlike Schwinn trash with their welded-on kickstand mounts, Huffy kickstands...made from 100% pure, you guessed it, steel...are easily removed. Where you may or may not find partially crushed chain stays.

    The dork disc. It's actually 100% plastic (no metal hub) and also usually so brittle a few tugs with some pliers will remove it a few minutes.

    That leaves us with the no-name Cateye clone reflectors. LOTS of reflectors because CPSC said so. That's why.

    There you have it. If you have a wife unit, she (or 'he', not that there's anything wrong with that) may enjoy the old Huffy. They certainly do not deserve the fate of ending life as a target for machineguns to shred. The best source for parts is your local Craigslist and those parts come in the form of (mostly) complete bikes in varying conditions. Do not pay more than $25 for one in decent condition. Ever. These are, "Hey, you wanna free bike?", toys at best.

    I trust today's lesson has been of some value, because there is NONE in that Huffy.
     
  4. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    And once you're done with your Huffy resto, there's a whole universe of Murray, Columbia, Western Flyer and Sears Free Spirit bikes in need of a good home.
     
  5. BikeBikeBikeBike

    BikeBikeBikeBike Well-Known Member

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    Well if learning is your goal and money doesn't matter, then the answer to what do I replace is simple. EVERYTHING. That way you learn everything you can from the bike. Start with the parts that a pretty standard across bikes, easy to figure out a match and cheap. Bars, pedals, rims and tires. Then you can work on harder things like bearings and drivetrain. This presents the easiest learning curve. Or you could plan the whole bike out and try it at once. This way yields more harmony in components but is way harder.
    Search online for parts too. I use chain reaction a lot. It's from UK but will sometimes ship to Canada for free and even with exchange the prices are lower.
     
  6. kylerlittle

    kylerlittle Member

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    I think money does matter though. Get one that feels comfortable for you and just "good enough" not way over the top bike and pay a comfortable price. You don't wanna break the bank to get one.
     
  7. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    "...then the answer to what do I replace is simple. EVERYTHING."

    Starting with the frame. Visit the LBS and get one of those pre-assembled frames that come with a complete bike wrapped around them. Like a WREK. Or a Cannonwhale. Or a SpeshulBike. Or a Dwarf.

    Let me be clear. I did NOT upgrade anything on the wife's bike trail wonder except the seat. And that was free, too. I just tuned what was already there to function as best as it could. She has put a couple hundred trouble-free miles on it on level terrain at 12 to 15 MPH average speeds. The day I put the new tires and tubes on it was the day I knew I had spent too much money on it.

    Using an old Huffy as a learning tool is fine, although I'm not really sure what it would teach anyone in regards to the mechanical skills required to wrench on a modern era bicycle. It may or may not turn into an exercise in futility. It might give the builder a good lesson in municipal clean-up day curbside scavenging. Or police auction bargains. Like I said earlier, these are basically 'free' bikes if you go looking in the right places.

    As BBBB stated and I described in detail, pretty much everything on those old department store bikes is serviceable and pretty much all of it is crap. And that model has not been sold in 25-30 years. Even when Huffy was selling that bike the technology and quality levels of the frame and components was a decade or more out-of-date.
     
  8. BikeBikeBikeBike

    BikeBikeBikeBike Well-Known Member

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    But OP said "the entire point of this is to learn something, and a couple of bucks is worth it to me." So essentially money doesn't matter to OP although it may to you.

    In think Bob is correct about it not teaching you about modern bikes, but there is certainly things to be learned, Not everyone rides a modern bike, in fact the majority of bikes I see around town are closer to a Huffy Windsprint than a Giant Defy. So the skills would be useful for working on older or lower end bikes.
    But in the grand scheme if someone really wanted to get serious then they are better off getting a used bike that's a little more modern bike and learning off that.
    But hey ANY time spent working on a bike is time well spent in my books!
     
  9. MotownBikeBoy

    MotownBikeBoy Active Member

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    Thanks for the perspective and tips. Yeah, not gonna sink tons of money into it, just gonna see what I can do to make it a quasi-rideable bike. Then it'll probably collect dust until I give it away to some 16 year old or dump it off at St Vincent de Paul with other shit I need to get rid of.
     
  10. superbobby

    superbobby New Member

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    Restoration is a nice hobby. I don't think you're wasting money.
     
  11. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    The problem with using an old Huffy as a learning experience is they have so little in common with any decent bike made since 1980 that you'll be practically starting from scratch when you want to fix something you'd want to ride.

    Well, yes, you will learn how a lever pulls on a cable and makes a caliper or derailleur work. You will learn what's inside a bearing. You will learn how that left pedals are reverse-threaded.

    Be advised that when Wal-Mart or Target warranties one of these bikes, they give a refund an throw it into the trash compactor.
     
  12. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Quote by OBC:
    "Be advised that when Wal-Mart or Target warranties one of these bikes, they give a refund an throw it into the trash compactor."

    My local WalMart's return area is at the front of the store. It's the size of a really big living room.

    While I stand in the checkout line...waiting for the slow old geriatrics they hire to man the registers to take 30 seconds to swipe each product six times...I make a point of looking at the bikes that are returned and waiting disposition. It seems like there is always 3 to 6 bikes that were returned for some reason.

    Chicom junk that is final-assembled and tunes by life's rejects.
     
  13. Volnix

    Volnix Well-Known Member

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    2015 bikes have to comply with CPSC's rules. The rules are plain put ridiculous.

    The fatigue strength test (performed in China by test-mills) needs the bike to survive 10000 cycles. That's about 2 rides.

    And that's for City bikes. Race bikes have even less strict standards. :D

    Ya think that it was better in the car era 80's?

    Your luck is based on that since this is cheap steel it won't have 0.3mm thick walls on the frame like Columbus xcr and -might- be a bit stronger. If the welds are good. Welding changed a lot lately.

    I had only one frame cracked apart and it was a hi ten bmx frame and yes it cracked on the headtube weld.

    Don't spend one dollar on it for riding purposes. - Maybe make something else from it? Like some modern art garden thing? For the love of Cthulu don't give this to kids after you "learned" on it too... :D Give them weed! It's probably safer! :D

    Maybe you could learn by getting a decent commuter and do all the repairs on it your self? You might find a bike repair school or something too.
     
  14. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Quote by Volnix"
    "2015 bikes have to comply with CPSC's rules. The rules are plain put ridiculous."

    Wait! You Greeks can't pay the interest on your loans! and you think 'our' rules are ridiculous?!?!

    Just for that, we'll send Angela to 'talk' to you!

    CPSC...the folks that killed our really cool Lawn Dart games. If you think CPSC rules suck, you should see the shit the NHTSA people put out while allowing GM to sell cars that the ignition keys fall out of the switch and millions upon millions of faulty airbags are on our highways. Yeah, we might survive the wreck only to have the Takata airbags kill us!
     
  15. Volnix

    Volnix Well-Known Member

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    Ford F15 lighting... You bought it, again and again and again. :D

    Well... maybe the 10000 cycles was for ISO... Maybe your baby bubu over there is 12340 cycles...

    "I never get involved in politics" :D


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1St7sRFEEE
     
  16. superbobby

    superbobby New Member

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    Can you post pictures of updates on the restoration? I'm a bit curious.
     
  17. Volnix

    Volnix Well-Known Member

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    You'll never stop him you know... :D (Oh man, these are really good lemon bars :D )


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwVKWEuEYm0
     
  18. lectraplayer

    lectraplayer Member

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    I'm seeing a lot that can go wrong unless he rides what he restores, like I do. Sometimes this stuff can get tempermental, and having it come apart after you gave it to Lonnie at St. Vincents can be asking for trouble. I would rather do the project and then either commute on it or tear through Red Mountain Park and see how I did. Lots of bad habbits would go unchecked otherwise.
     
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