In 1954, a year after General Motors introduced the Corvette sports car, Schwinn introduced the Corvette bicycle as a teenager’s model. The first of Schwinn's middleweight line and built for speed, or at least the illusion of speed.
This 1963 Schwinn Corvette is the result of major restoration efforts including period-accurate powder coat paint, fully rebuilt wheels, reconditioned Sturmey-Archer three speed hub, and many freshly chromed parts. The vintage rear rack and reflectors were added along with new-old-stock Schwinn grips, and the original front rack restored.
A combination of licensed and custom graphics, white brake and derailleur cables and retro white sidewall tires bring this 57 year old gem back to its original glory.
Pinarello Treviso FP c. 1992
This early 1990s Pinarello Treviso FP, designed with a 6061 T6 aluminum frame and fork, had previously been converted to a flat bar bike with 3x9 Shimano XTR shifters and a 2x8 speed drivetrain. The client was looking for reconditioning of the bike, but also some performance upgrades.
The stock wheels were replaced with a set of Mavic Ksyrium Elites with bladed spokes, and the drivetrain upgraded to 2x9 speed using the same XTR shifters, still functioning flawlessly, and Shimano 105 derailleurs. The Campy Super Record brakes were reconditioned with wax lube for the pivots and new pads.
Finishing touches included a Bontrager WSD saddle, Aerozine XG lock-on grips with pink lock rings and Continental Grand Prix 4000 tires.
Huffy Timberline 1968
This 1968 Huffy Timberline comes from an era of quality made-in-America bicycles and was a direct competitor to Schwinn and other top brands. With North Road handlebar, 26 inch chrome wheels and Shimano DL 3 speed internal hub, the Timberline was a versatile all-around bike.
The restoration plan included restoring the paint and clear-coating, adjusting the fit with a taller stem, servicing the bottom bracket and other bearings, and restoring the chrome to its original brilliance. Several retro parts were selected by the client as replacements, including grips, saddle, rack, pedals and brown cables.
But the most interesting part of this project involved the vinyls. The "Huffy" vinyls on the downtube were preserved along with the three-color stripes, but the "Timberline" vinyls on the top tube were damaged and peeling. The client decided to replace the latter with her last name. Our custom graphics house reproduced these and the stripes to match the original.
Worksman PT Junior Trike
This Worksman Port-O-Trike Junior, c. 2000, was in need of an overhaul when we were first contacted to assess the job. We learned that a petite young woman with special needs rode it around the neighborhood and took great joy in this activity.
A single speed folding model, the PT Junior was to be a limited restoration, restoriing the paint and chrome, repairing bearings and pedals, and upgrading the front drum brake with a parking brake feature. The tires, still in good condition, were freshened with a coat of white paint and heavy wax preservative and the tubes replaced.
The seatpost was replaced with a new chrome model, and a new vinyl clad basket was installed. With a new chain, clear-coated frame and waxed chrome wheels, the trike was delivered to a very happy young lady.
Schwinn American DeLuxe 1963
This 1963 Schwinn American had been stored in the client's garage for most of the past 55 years, and was ridden by he and his brother through the late 1960's. Initial appearances were deceiving as the bike was layered in grime and oxidation, but underneath a pristine classic soon emerged.
A single speed cruiser with oversized S-6 tires, "tank," and battery powered horn and headlight, the only mechanical issues needing attention were the coaster brake and wheels. Otherwise, all of the bearing races were reconditioned and bearings replaced, the wheel rims and spokes degreased and the chrome polished.
The frame received a fresh application of clear coat and rust inhibitor for the internal surfaces, and the vinyl saddle and grips treated in a bleach solution.
At 52 pounds, this bike was a stately cruiser meant for Sunday morning rides along sunny park trails. And it returns for a vintage second run.
Gunnar Hot Dog 1999
This 1999 Gunnar Hot Dog! is the client's commuter bike and it arrived in significant disrepair, including a damaged STI shifter, crankset and brake issues. But my client produced a second bike, a Specialized road bike whose frame was damaged in an accident. What say we transfer the entire Sram Force 10 speed group set and Fulcrum wheels to the Gunnar? This worked, although we had to locate a carbon crankset of the same model.
The Reynolds 853 steel frame and Time Stiletto alloy/carbon fork appeared in excellent condition, but not so for the paint. Produced by Waterford Bicycles as a budget line, the Gunnar paint and decals were of low quality. The Hot Dog! decals were removed and the Gunnar decal carefully restored by hand. Touch-up paint was selected for the frame and several coats of clear coat for finishing. The Time fork was stripped and painted in hammered white.
Modern reflective elements replaced the wire wrap to make this bicycle stand out during early morning commutes. All in all, a quality frame restored as a high performance commuter bicycle.
1950 Raleigh Lady Sports Tourist
The 1950 Raleigh Sports Tourist bicycles were modern machines. Ladies and Gents models were manufactured at the great Raleigh factory in Nottingham, England, and were constructed of high carbon steel tubes with brazed-up lugs, chromed steel wheels with stainless steel spokes, and three-speed Sturmey Archer hubs.
This bicycle held great sentimental value for the client, having been in the family since her mother was a young lady. Presented to us in a heavily rusted condition, the task was a full custom restoration. The client was clear that she wished to ride the bike again.
Disassembled down to the frame and separate components, the task involved detailed reconditioning of the original parts, and some vintage replacement components from a 1962 parts bike of the same make and model.
A classic roadster restored to functional beauty some 65 years after production.