Subsequent to my previous discussion here: Anyone familiar with Spokesman Cycles? I am asking for advice from AC members who have undertaken a restoration task before. The bike is not a particularly special example or oddity and is (by estimate) 32 years or so old.

Never having undertaken the task before, my question is; exactly how far do you go? I realise the frame will need the greatest amount of attention in as far as it will need stripping and painting. Do I go to the trouble of replicating decals that are currently on the frame? What about mechanics and upgrades to components? The bicycle is basically useable in its current state, just needs some cleaning lube and tyres/tubes, the headset has signs of surface rust, do I replace that with one from a similar era or is a modern upgrade permissible. Do I replace the pedals with some clipless or do I persevere with the alloy pedals with toe clips? Do the brake pads have to be authentic to the vintage or is an upgrade acceptable?

That's just some of the questions I have. Any or all advice will be gratefully accepted.

Over to you, the audience.

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All up to you.

With my steel frame I had it fully de-chromed , painted it matt black and fitted kitted it out with up to date equipment, included an older set of carbon 1" threaded forks.

I'm debating exactly the same thing Dale... have a mid-70's Peugeot at home I haven't started work on because I can't work out if I want a winter commuter (the original purpose) or a display piece - the amount and type of restoration to me is dependent on the intended use.  If I go the winter commuter I'll probably get it resprayed and replace parts with modern equivalents where possible but go to no effort with decals etc.  If I go the display piece I'll probably look for like-for-like replacement bits, decals etc.

Bikes for Refugees have 4  levels . Perhaps help you discern, which best suits your needs? And which you have resources to attempt?

Level 1: get it going. clean it up, wash down, check the important things; if  rideable - use as is. If it ain't broke, don't fix it

Level 2: give it a good service. ie stripdown, regrease bearings,  replace parts that are worn e.g cables, blocks,to make it reliable in future. Give it a wash, clean the chain.  

Level 3: rebuild: as level 2, use the good parts of the bike as a basis, and others, you replace as you wish. The end result is a bike you like, but it might or might not look like the Spokesman originaly looked. when it was new

level 4: Restoration -  you aim to resore the bike to  as it was when new.

Re level 4, whether to use new parts or authentic parts -   depends on indivual judgment and preference.

The issues might be clear to explain with vintage cars. The original paint method, was hand-applied enamel, 17 coats, to build up the finish.  But you can get almost the same result, by using contemporary spray paint, in an afternoon.  I guess one needs to make a decision... weigh factors...

Same issue re Hadrian's wall in the UK. Some argue, leave it as a ruin. Others say,  rebuild .

If you rebulid -  the The Ruin camp, complain. They will say, what you are seeing, is a 21st century building using recycled materials. As there are no paintings, the structure now is a guess, not what was there originally. You have interfered with it.. . 

 If you leave it as Ruin. Or just stabilize it to prevent further decay. The Rebuild camp  complain. They say, a heap of stones doesnt convey much to people. To understand the site, people need to know what it originally looked like, when Hadrian had it built. So rebuild the wall, put up some tree trunk pallisades,  re dig the ditches...use hand-made nails, not those from Mitre 10.

All good advice Mike; several ways of looking at the same problem. If I was comparing the bike to a car it's probably categorised as a mass production type of bike, even though the frame was hand built, the components are all off the shelf, nothing too fancy, definitely spray painted and vinyl silk screened decals - very '80s.

Two ways of doing this - - either as a museum piece, where everything possible replicates the original, or as a user, where up grades are desireable to make it safe and reliable, and an enjoyable ride. eg: originally, it would have had friction down tube shifters, but why not go for indexed ? Modern tyres and brakes are a must if it is to be ridden regularly.   

+1 for this advice, and join up on that forum as well.

also look for Marks Brown vinegar trick on that forum, for removing rust from steel. Decals look particularly easy to do.

Also work your way through some of the named Appreciation Society threads as you will see how others have tackled their projects.

I have a 1938 conserved bike, 1949 period correct restoration (no expense spared), and one fun bike with stem, bars etc from the 1930's on a 1970s frame but with modern long reach Tektro brakes and Mavic Open Pro rims, plus a modern carbon road bike. I enjoy riding them all.

I would encourage you to make no non-reversible changes (such as removing braze-ons), this way you can keep your options open. 

Great forum post that one. Thanks Roger. Looks like I'll probably have all the donor bits I need of my old '88 Ricardo Elite. Interesting to see that Araya rims and Shimano Bio-Pace cranks are highly valued, I've got them as well.

I recall an earlier post on AC about what to do with finish. Described how to remove surface rust without respraying. Good if a budget or wanting to look authentic. Search using the textbox in the top right corner of the AC screen.

Another thing to ponder is; what do you want to use it for? I have an old Cyclops frame in 'original' condition that I use as a single speed. I replaced the headset and BB, added a single speed crankset, flat bar and Brooks saddle, with cheap 'track' wheels. Actually looks quite cool in a retro sort of way, didn't cost much to build, and has the character in the frame still. Rides quite nicely too, for an oldy.

if you want a basic bike for everyday so your $2000 pride and joy is not likely to get nicked from the shop.

I will suggest Mike's level 2 is the way to go.

After all if it is likely to get nicked the less you spend on it the less you loose also the less somone lese will take a fancy to it.

It is your bike you can do what you want with it.

If people don't like this they can always make you an offer you can't refuse.

Then it will be their bike and they can do whatever they like with it.


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