[I apologize for the re-post, but I added a description of everything I did to get the bike in riding shape.]

As promised, here are pics of the bike that I built. I wish I'd had the forethought to take some before pictures, and pictures of it in progress as it was completely stripped.

My grandmother's neighbour collects bikes from the dump, from metal drops, wherever he can find them, because he plans to fix them up and give them away to people to use - but he has probably 50 bikes now and I don't know how often he gets around to working on them. So I snagged this beauty last time I visited - I'm pretty sure it's a late 70s Eaton's department store model, though the frame says it was made in Japan, as do many of the parts.

It had been outside for goodness knows how long, so the first thing I did was get rid of the chain (rusted solid) and the old cables, and tore off the old handlebar tape. Then I stripped everything off the bike and gave it a good wiping down.

I took apart the headset, cleaned it, replaced the ball bearings, greased it, put it back together; took apart the drive train, cleaned it all (including ball bearings) re-greased and put it back together. I threw out the old tubes and tires, took apart both wheel hubs, cleaned them, replaced the ball bearings, and put them back together, then replaced the tubes and tires with some basic road tires, then I trued the wheels (only needed adjustment). I had to replace the cassette on the rear wheel, too, with a used cassette that I cleaned.

In the meantime I cleaned all the various small parts that had come off the bike (brakes, shifters, cable holders, derailleurs). Then I started putting them back on. I chose some new white cable housing for my cables, adjusted the brakes and shifters. I oiled the derailleurs.


Then I taped the bars with snazzy cork-coloured tape finished with white electrical tape, and replaced the old seat with a comfy new tan-coloured one with an Italian name that I can't quite remember at the moment (it wasn't a very expensive one).

Then I put the kickstand back on and eased on down the road (after rechecking my tire pressure) - I think it took me about 15 hours to get to riding condition, while working at a pretty leisurely pace and learning as I went.

ETA: For people who are interested, here's an approximate cost breakdown (read: I probably spent more than I should have, but I love doing this):


  • new cables: $15
  • new z-chain: $15
  • cable housing: $20
  • seat: $25
  • tape: $15
  • tires: $15 each; tubes: $5/each
  • used cassette: $2
  • [labour/teaching: year's membership at the bike coop (which I already had): $30]
  • total: approx. $135.
  • ETA: I forgot that I paid a couple bucks for ball bearings too. And these are Canadian dollars - things might be cheaper in the States since most things are.