Many people have been asking, "What does the restoration process entail?"
Well, documented here will be the step of my restoration process. I'm using a 22" men's Chicago Schwinn Varsity as the test subject. Stay tuned for up to date progress on the bike!
Here is the condition of the bike as I recieved it. The wheels have been removed and will be documented later. But as you can see, it's pretty rusty, crusty and old.
Wash time! The first step is to get as much mud, dirt, gunk, etc off with hot soapy water, (Dawn dish soap works best) and a soft brush. For this bike, I was unable to save the original bar tape :-( because it was severly torn.
I've also removed all the cables and housings before washing except for the rear derailler. Here's why.
Tip #1 Pull the shift lever as if you are going into the lowest gear. That will fully extend the derailler and hold it in place while you wash all the hard to reach places!
Here are all the parts removed after washing the bike. This is where most of the work lies. Most of these parts will go into the parts cleaner with degreaser. Then finished with a wire brush, and soaked in WD-40 to get the moisture out.
Here is the frame, naked and cleaned with a citrus degreaser. That bottom bracket cleans up nicely!
Shiny parts! The degreaser loosens all the grime and dirt. Then it's brisk work with a wire brush and Dawn dish soap to complete the job.
Usually the chains are a complete disaster and I just end up buying a new one but in this case, the chain was in good condition...just incredibly dirty. No problem. Degrease and wash.
Here is the fork before and after.
Next up are the handlebars.