Restoring Vintage Bicycle




About: I'm a simple guy from a simple country called Latvia. I enjoy making useful (and sometimes not so useful) stuff to make people around me happier!


4 years ago I bought a vintage Peugeot bicycle (it was made in 1975), I wasn't satisfied with its color, so I took it all off and painted the frame with black spray paint. So for 4 years I was riding my black bike, when one day came, when I thought to myself:"God, how awful my bike looks!", so I decided to completely restore my bicycle!

Unfortunately I was so busy with the work that I forgot to take pictures of the painting process, so this instructable is mostly about how I covered saddle and handle bar with leather!

Tools needed:

  • Many different wrenches
  • Sandpaper (both very low and very high grip)
  • Pliers
  • Screwdriver
  • Needle
  • Fan
  • Pegs


  • Spray paint
  • Primer
  • Leather
  • Glue
  • Duct tape
  • Varnish
  • Thread

Step 1: Taking Apart

I started with taking the bike apart, it was all easy until I got to bottom bracket, that was when all the problems started. First of all, it took me half an hour to take off both of the crank arms, they were holding really tight. It is important not to use metal hammers to take them off, in my case crank arms are made out of aluminum, and on impact from metal it breaks, so I used a piece of wood to hit them off!

When I took out the bottom bracket I wasn't able to take off that part that held the bracket in the frame. After an hour of hard work and many failures I finally did it, the bike was in pieces!

Step 2: Saddle

  • First I soaked the leather in hot water for 15 minutes, then I started stretching the leather around the saddle.
  • I didn't have clamps, so I used needle and thread, I started sewing it together as tight as possible
  • Then I dried it using a fan and cut off the excess leather
  • After a day, when the leather was dry, I put some glue on the saddle and stretched the leather around it
  • Again I cut off the unnecessary leather, and, using pegs, I glued the strips of leather to the saddle.

Step 3: Handle Bar

For this you'll need long strips of leather.

Again, I soaked them in hot water for 15 minutes, and started to stretch the strips around the handle bar.

The leather that I used was quite thick, so I had to flatten it using wooden hammer.

After a day when the leather was dry, I glued the leather strips to the handle bar.

Step 4: Mistakes

When painting, I couldn't decide what to do. I wanted to color the connection parts both black and white. First I painted them black, but only then understood that white would be more suitable, because the green color was dark enough by itself!

I was too lazy to duct tape all of the connection parts again, so I simply painted them all green, and only a few parts I painted white. At the end the result was more than satisfying!

Also I tried the primer on the fork, but the primer wasn't compatible with the color, and the coat shattered, so I had to take it all off. After that I decided to leave it metallic!

Step 5: Result

From distance the bicycle looks nice :D but when looking closer there are some parts that don't satisfy me, however all in all, the bicycle looks awesome!

The paint cost me about 25 euros, all of the leather cost me about 6 euros!

It definitely was worth it, and for such a small price anyone could do it!

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11 Discussions


3 years ago

Another awesome result... great work!

you're instructables are awesome, you seem to like leather projects and can make them real cool!

1 reply

Reply 3 years ago

Thanks again! Yeah, leather is a great material to work with!


3 years ago

Nice work.It has a classy and stylish look now. Did youget rid of your gear shifters?

Now you ride single gear?

1 reply

Reply 3 years ago

Thanks! Yeah, I took, them off, as I always have used only one of the gears!

Marcel W

3 years ago

For those who want to try this, watch a Video on how to apply the handlebartape, you have to Start from the outside, not like it was done here!!!

1 reply
ElmarsMMarcel W

Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

I do know that it has to be put on starting from the outside but consider this:

1. This instructable shows how to make handlebar tape using real leather by yourself! Assuming that you know how thick real leather is, you should understand that by applying the tape in this way it both looks better, and the excess leather can be put in the holes at both ends of the handlebar!

2. One might think that if applied this way, the tape might come off or be uncomfortable, but I can assure that it is not any more or less comfortable than tape that is applied from the ends of the handlebar, and it definitely hasn't fallen off yet!

3. This is a optional guide, if somebody wants to do it this way, than he has all the rights to do it this way!


3 years ago on Introduction

I must be getting really old! That bike looked like a fairly modern thin-wheel, banana-seat, gear shifted model. When I think "vinage" I envision something with fat tires, single speed (no gear shifting), and wide flared handle bars. But the Instructable is well done and easy to follow. Good work and a good project.

1 reply

Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

True, technically it doesn't seem so old, but it definitely looks old! Thanks!


3 years ago

Cool and vintage!
it makes me want to steal my father's bike! After, he will not recognize it ;)
Thanks for this instructable !