We thought we would put together the top 10 essentials for cleaning up your vintage bike so that it's ready for the 3rd annual Tweed Ride Victoria on September 28th. Don't have a vintage bicycle, no problem these tips will work for any bicycle. Oh and have fun!
10 secrets for cleaning up your vintage bicycle:
Bicycle tune-up: You will want to have your bike tuned up so that it’s working at its best for the days ride. You can have your local bike shop tune it up for you but be aware that they will be busy with other tune-ups as we get closer to the Tweed Ride date, so call ahead for an appointment. Or if you fancy yourself up for the job do it yourself.
Prep:1. Stuck: If you find a few things seem to be stuck, like your seat post or bolts try using WD-40 Multi-use to free up these parts.
2. Grease removal: steaming hot water and gentle soap can’t be beat for cleaning off that sticky grease.
3. Rust Removal: If you find signs of rust on the chrome try using bronze wool (steel wool will scratch the chrome), rub over the rusted spots on the chrome, you should see good results right away. Check out this great video.
4. Signs of rust on paint: Using bronze wool rub over the rusty bits, careful not to rub over good paint.
See the video for extreme rust and steps to clean it up.
5. Avoid touching up the paint: Most vintage bikes have lived a long life and have nicks in the paint. Avoid touching up the paint on a vintage bicycle, especially any hand-painted stripes and decals. Doing so devalues the worth of your vintage bike.
6. Paint saver: If you find the paint chip has gone down to the bare metal of the frame you can avoid rust for a good long time by rubbing a bit of oil over the exposed area.
Washing and care:
7. Time to wash your bike: it’s the first thing you want to do. Use steaming soapy water. Avoid using any kind of chemicals when cleaning your bike, especially around hand-painted pinstripes and decals.
8. Dry your bike thoroughly: Use a soft chamois leather (also known as a shammy). Chamois leather is known for its gentle, not-abrasive composition and absorption properties and is great to use to dry your bike with.
9. Time to apply polish: I use good old-fashioned Turtle wax, super hard shell. It works like a charm, has fantastic results and should keep you’re your sweet ride shiny for months.
Apply Turtle wax, super hard shell with a damp clean cloth, wiping away extra polish. Keep your bike out of the sun and let it stand until it dries into haze. Buff lightly for maximum shine. Do not use on your chrome, we have something better (see step 10). Also do not rub Turtle wax over hand-painted lines or decals as it can rub it off; the horror!
10. Lastly Never-Dull polish: Looking for a lustrous shine that can’t be beat? I use The Original Never-Dull with fantastic results. It polishes the chrome, glass on my lamp, removes rust and corrosion instantly. Is excellent for shining up the chrome on the wheels (they will be shiny for kilometres).
Remember: It is still critical that you do not rub Never-Dull polish over decals and hand-painted stripes as it can rub it off.
Rub polish over your chrome and metal with a small portion of the wadding cloth until all dirt is removed. Then finish with a dry, soft cloth to obtain a brilliant, lasting lustre. I use a dry chamois leather (as noted above) to rub the Never-Dull polish off.
Voila! You are now Tweed Ride Ready.
Send us your photos of your Tweed Ride sweet ride, we’ll post them on our website.