Upcycling our recycled cycle!
Our Recycled cycle: Progress report
A few weeks ago I told you about our trip to the fantastic not-for-profit initiative Nottingham Bikeworks to find a bike for our eldest daughter, Beth, (See Nottingham Bikeworks: We recycle cycles). We bought a lovely Nottingham-built 1991 Ladies Raleigh cycle for only £85 with a front basket and a frame for panniers. It turned out to be a great buy and Beth has ridden to school on it most days.
Although the bike was in good condition for its age and had been checked over by Tom and his team before we bought it, Richard was keen to restore it to its former glory. He loves tinkering with bikes and has a bike stand and tools in our garage so he set to work sprucing it up and adding a few more bells (literally) and whistles.
Understandably, after 25 years, there was a bit of rust, particularly on the back of the mudguards. Richard used some Quick Set Evo-Stick Metal Epoxy Putty (available from Halfords) to strengthen the mudguard where the rust had weakened it. He sanded it down and then masked off an area about 6 inches up the mudguards and sprayed it with Halfords Anti-Rust Primer.
Once dry, he sprayed the area with a darker, contrasting Halfords Metallic Blue Spray Paint. Then he used silver adhesive automotive tape to edge the newly painted area. He added a new reflector to the mudguard too.
A touch of sparkle.
Did you know that you can use kitchen foil to polish chrome? Tom at Nottingham Bikeworks recommended using it as an inexpensive alternative to Brasso or chrome polish. Just tear some off, crumple it up and start buffing the dull chrome until it sparkles. Beth and Richard raided my kitchen cupboard and set to work on the wheel rims and handlebars with the foil and it polished up a treat. Next, Richard turned his attention to the wicker basket. He cleaned and scrubbed it with warm soapy water and once it was dry he sprayed it with PlastiKote Polyurethane Varnish. It looks as good as new.
Richard sourced a lovely retro style bell (Widek Crown Chrome Bicycle Bell) and found an inexpensive cycle pump that fitted the mount on the bike frame.
Let there be lights.
We wanted to get Beth some lights for her bike but didn’t want to buy modern lights, preferring something more in keeping with the style of bike. We loved the idea of getting lights that looked like the old dynamo bike lights we had when we were younger. Richard found the perfect lights at velovitality.co.uk, the front light, a 20 Lux Retro Chrome LED (£19.99), is exactly what we had in mind. It has the ‘retro’ look but it’s an LED light.
The Spanninga Brasa Pannier Light (£16.99) looks fantastic too.
We bought a pair of inexpensive panniers from Decathlon (B’Twin 300 rear pannier) for Beth to use until we can source some nice satchel style leather panniers. Failing that, I might buy some pannier clips on eBay and make my own if I see the perfect satchels.
The upcycling is complete!
Richard really enjoyed this little upcycling project. It has made a great bike look fantastic. Beth is delighted with the finished result.
Over to you.
What do you think? Would you consider upcycling an old cycle? As always, I’d love to hear from you.
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