My girlfriend had a beat up old beach cruiser that she used to ride around the city when she lived in Philadelphia. It was rusty, had a broken pedal, was missing its kickstand, and just needed a lot of TLC. About a year ago, I decided to fix it up and present it to her for her birthday. The results were fairly stunning, considering the shape it was in to begin with. She thought it was a new bike!

This instructable will show you how to tear down an old bicycle, remove the old paint, clean the frame and various components, repaint, and reassemble. It helps to be familiar with how bicycles work, but not entirely necessary. At the very least, you should be "mechanically inclined". If you have an older bicycle, it will be easier to work on.

At any rate, read on to see how I did it.

Note: This is my first instructable. I've been coming here for years for ideas and inspiration. I figured it was about time I contributed. Unfortunately, when I build things, I get so wrapped up in the process that taking pictures is the last thing on my mind. The only reason I took so many pictures of this project was so that I could show my girlfriend that her new bike was, in fact, just her old bike with a fresh coat of paint and a few new parts. In the future, I'll try and take more pictures as I go so that I can share more of my projects.

Step 1: Tools & Materials

This is the bicycle I used. It's an old beach cruiser with a one-piece crank and a coaster brake. Bikes with a one-piece crank are easier to work on since the arms the pedals connect to are all one solid piece, as opposed to two separate crank arms that are pressed onto an axle.

At this stage, you should decide on how you want to paint the bike. I ended up settling on a red and white color scheme. You should also take this time to decide which parts you're going to replace. A fresh set of tires and tubes can't hurt, and a new seat can make a world of difference. Also consider replacing the handlebar grips if yours are cracked or dry rotted (or outright missing, as they were in my case). Make a list of what you're going to need.

To make stripping and painting as easy as possible, we're going to remove nearly every component from the frame and clean them thoroughly. Unfortunately, when I did this, I neglected to take enough detail photos, so bear with me and I'll try to explain things as best as I can.

Materials Needed:

  • An old bike
  • Spray paint in your color(s) of choice, primer, and clear coat (I recommend Rustoleum)
  • WD-40 or your favorite penetrating oil
  • Lubricating oil, such as 3-in-1
  • Kerosine, diesel, or gasoline in a small, metal container for soaking and cleaning small parts
  • New parts (tires, seat, etc.)

Tools Used:

  • An assortment of wrenches and sockets in various sizes
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Pipe wrench
  • Screwdrivers
  • Allen keys (hex wrenches)
  • Tire levers (if you have them)
  • Pliers
  • Angle grinder with wire wheel and wire cup wheel
  • Brass wire brush
  • Sandpaper
  • Bike pump
Really cool. If you're going for a retro or vintage look, google "vinyl bicycle decals". A couple of companies make reproduction decal kits for $20 - 50, or custom decals for as little as $10! How about a Flying Scot (http://bicycledecals.net/flyingscotdecals.htm), Indian Princess (http://www.velocals.com/indian-princess-decal-set/) or build your own (http://veloink.com/collections/new/products/decal-constructor)?
<p>Amazing job! I love the new color choice, too!</p>
<p>Wow, gorgeous results! That's a happy bike.</p>
<p>A tip seen on a pbs show called curiosity quest at a bike shop: If you have an air compressor blow air at the edge of the handlebar grip/handle bar metal interface and the grip will easily slide off intact. It expands the grip on a cushion of air and allows it to be removed effortlessly. </p>
<p>Nice tip!</p>
<p>Looks great! Love the red and white combo! :)</p>
Wow man, came up fantastic. Like how you just bypassed the chrome and just painted the mud guards.

About This Instructable


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Bio: I like to make stuff
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