Essential Tips for Bicycle Restoration

Posted on by Interns AreAwesome

Bicycles are becoming an increasingly popular form of urban transportation in the U.S. Urban cycling promotes healthy benefits like increased cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength and flexibility, improved joint mobility, and decreased stress levels. Not to mention eco friendly. One major growing trend in the cycling world is bicycle restoration. 
We got the chance to chat with expert bicycle restorer, Cass Jones, the Director of Shop Operations at the Boise Bicycle Project. Cass has been working on bicycles for 10 years and has been with BBP since 2009.

What would you look for when restoring an old bike?

  • "When restoring an old bike rust can cause many problems. It can seize parts together and make it difficult to remove. Also, older bicycles have cranks with cotter pins and after time they're hard to remove. Eliminating these things can make the process a lot quicker."

What are the advantages of assembling or restoring your own bike?

  • “It’s yours man, completely customized exactly how you want it. We have tons of different parts and pieces that allow people to make these customized bicycles. When building a bike, you can mix and match different bike styles together to give you the right fit."

What are some drawbacks or challenges from restoring old bicycles?

  • "Compatibility between the different eras and brands of bicycles can make it challenging to restore or create a bike. The different parts and pieces can overwhelming for someone who is just starting to build a bike. We have mechanics readily available to help during store hours with questions and builds."

How long on average does it take to restore?

  • "Building a bike can take 4-6 hours if everything goes smoothly. If you run into complications like rust or compatibility it may take more time and some patience."

What is the average cost when restoring a bike?

  • "Cost depends on how fast you want the bike and the particulars needed to create it. If there isn’t a rush, finding parts at garage sales, online, and BBP over time can be cost effective. If you want the bike completed quickly, you may have to buy new parts which can add up quickly. Entry level bicycles can range from $200-$250 to build but keep in mind sometimes you need different parts that can vary in price depending on whether it is new, used, or the quality."

Any tips for beginners?

  • "Understanding what you’re working on and if it seems hard, there's probably a tool that can make the task much easier. Use resources to learn how to correctly restore or create a bike."

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Essential Tips for Bicycle Restoration
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