Restoring an old Schwinn 10-speed bicycle can be a rewarding project, bringing new life to a classic ride. Here at The Huntington Bicycle Shop, we recommend a seven-step process for bringing new life to an old bike. 

Assessment and Planning:
We begin by thoroughly assessing the condition of your bicycle. Taking note of any rust, damage, missing parts, or components that need replacement, we will discuss with you a detailed plan for the restoration process.

Clean and Degrease:
Before we start replacing parts or making repairs, we first clean the bike thoroughly. We remove old grease, dirt, and rust using appropriate cleaning products and tools. A degreaser can help clean the chain and drivetrain components.

Inspect and Replace Parts:
We then carefully inspect each part of the bike, including the frame, wheels, brakes, gears, and pedals. With access to a large supply of authentic, vintage parts, we can replace any worn-out or damaged components. Common replacements include cables, brake pads, tires, tubes, and handlebar tape. 

Repainting and Refinishing:
If the bike’s frame has significant rust or cosmetic damage, we might recommend repainting or refinishing it. We can strip the old paint, sand the frame, and apply a fresh coat of paint or clear finish. We use a high-quality primer and paint suitable for bicycles. This step can significantly enhance the aesthetic appeal of your restored bike. When a full repaint is desired, it would need to have new decals placed on the bike.

Lubricate Moving Parts:
Next, we apply lubricant to moving parts, such as the chain, derailleur, and pedals. This helps reduce friction and ensures smooth operation. We use bike-specific lubricants to prevent build-up that attracts excessive dirt and grime.

Wheel Truing and Tire Inflation:
We will check the alignment of the wheels, true them if necessary, and also inspect the spokes for any damage or corrosion. It is important that the wheels spin freely without wobbling. We will then inflate the tires to the recommended pressure, or replace them if they are dry-rotted or damaged.  Also, we like to discuss riding goals the owner has for the bike and how those goals impact the decision on the wheels.  Sometimes it is simply better to purchase new, improved wheels if the bike will be ridden much.

Fine-Tuning and Adjustment:
Before returning your vintage bicycle to you, we will take time to fine-tune the bike’s components. We will adjust the brakes, derailleurs, and gears for optimal performance. We’ll check that the seat and handlebars are at a comfortable height. We’ll then invite you to test ride the bike to ensure you’ll have a smooth and comfortable riding experience.

Restoring a classic 10-speed requires patience, attention to detail, and a passion for preserving vintage bicycles. We are known for our work with old Schwinn bikes, but we work on nearly every make and model. We take great pride and satisfaction in bringing a piece of cycling history back to life.