Sunday, September 14, 2008

Reader Project: Diane's 1963 Schwinn Hollywood

Diane left a comment a while back asking for help dismantling an original Sturmey-Archer grip-shifter on her 1963 Schwinn Hollywood. She eventually figured it out herself (with help from the OBB and its readers, yay!), and her success has energized her efforts to clean up and restore her beautiful old bike. Here's what Diane has to say:

The bike had a tremendous amount of rust on her from top to bottom I mean on EVERYTHING! I didn’t know where to start or what to use that wouldn’t take the whole thing down to the metal…I began with a regular hairbrush to get the flaky rust off. Then I took a product called Rust Cure and extra fine steel wool from Ace Hardware which I read was perfectly safe for the chrome areas and they did shine up like a new penny (or nickel)…but the spray dripped onto the paint on the fender (also covered in rust) right where the decals are…I panicked and rubbed the area with a golf towel (husband wasn’t very pleased with that choice) and shockingly it also shined up like a new penny! No damage to the paint or the decals! After I followed this process on every inch of the bike…she looked exactly the way she did when mama let me have it as my “big girl bike”. It’s a pretty awesome product used sparingly and with caution… I also repaired the brake by myself, the chain & the tires…the grip shifter is the finale…but then I get to begin a much more thorough cleaning and restoration of the chrome and such.

I love hearing stories like this from readers who aren't "bike people." Diane says that before she started this project, the only thing she knew how to do with this bike was ride it. That's just like me when I started this blog, and now fourteen months and four bikes later, I've learned so much more than I ever expected. Folks, it is possible to work on your own bike, and fun too, and you don't have to be a hard-core mechanic to do it. Having the bike to ride is important, but it's also the sense of accomplishment and feeling of pride that comes along with doing your own work on your own bike. And, as you gain confidence with each new task accomplished and skill mastered, you can move on to more complicated projects. Sure, there will be setbacks, but even occasional failures are instructive. It's all about learning, doing, and overcoming challenges--lessons that transcend working on old bikes.
 

5 comments:

  1. I have an update. During the cleaning I uncovered the bike's VIN#. Turns out her birthdate was April 29, 1959! I also recently purchased all the materials including the original metallic blue paint and aluminum base coat to repaint her. I dead set against doing any body work as the blemishes, dents and dings are all a part of our history (each one represents the hard fought skills I had to learn to ride her!). So those will remain, but they'll shine like the medals of honor they became...oh...and just for the record...never EVER turtle wax rust! It turns white...Rookie Error...I want to thank everyone for sharing their experiences here that have been guided me through this new journey.-Diane

    ReplyDelete
  2. Where did you find the paint?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I just bought the exact same bike today for 15 bucks!

    ReplyDelete
  4. i have a chicago schwinn men's typhoon and a women's chicago schwinn hollywood both bikes like new?

    ReplyDelete
  5. A neighbor kindly left a Hollywood Schwinn at the trash on Friday...I am now the proud new owner of this wonderful bike that only needed one back tire and a new seat. I appreciate the Rust Cure info. I will go to work on it now that I have a safe plan!

    ReplyDelete