Made in Torino, Italy
Frame & Fork: Columbus Zeta
Groupset: Shimano 600 Arabesque
Wheelset: Front: Araya rim with Suzue hub; Rear: Campagnolo Record Serie Elan Hd100 rim with Miche hub and Schwalbe Lugano 2, 25c tires
My first restoration was a Benotto 850 and I couldn't believe it when I saw another on FB Marketplace. The condition wasn't as nice on this one and it needed some parts and repairs but I knew it would be beautiful when I finished. The rear derailleur wasn't shifting at all, the rear wheel had a broken spoke and the freewheel couldn't be removed to replace the spoke because someone had stripped it with the wrong tool at some point in its history. Also, the saddle was a wreck and would need to be replaced.
The seat stays had been mangled by a rack at some point in its life. I was able to make a pretty good match with the paint in order to touch it up, though, and was happy with the paint in the end. It was challenging to find a nice saddle from the 80s and in the end I used the one that had come on the Leonardo with plans to replace it with another. It turned out that the derailleur hanger had been bent and that's why it didn't shift. After fixing that, it shifted like it was supposed to. In the end, I was super happy with the way this bike turned out.
Made in Japan
Frame & Fork: Tange Prestige
Groupset: Shimano 105 (1055)
Stem & Bars: Nitto Olympiade bars & Nitto Technomic stem
Wheelset: Matrix ISO C-II rims on Shimano 105 hubs and Maxxis Detonator 700x28c tires
Centurion made some great bikes with nice groupsets and Tange Infinity tubing. They also came with what I always thought were terrible graphics and paint. So, when I saw this ugly beat up bike on Facebook Marketplace I thought, "Hey. Those are nice bones with a great groupset. Looks like the perfect opportunity to try my hand at painting a bike."
Wow! It was so much fun rebuilding this bike! The frame was in terrible condition on the outside. The paint was destroyed. There was rust all over it. When I took it apart however, the inside of the tubes was mint.
I had so much fun painting this bike. I made a few mistakes but they weren't severe and I learned so much. I sanded and stripped all the paint from the frame and fork and removed all the rust. I used the PPG Shopline automotive paint system. All the white 'decals' are actually paint. First, the frame was primed, then the areas with white logos were painted white. I created the decals in Photoshop and cut out vinyl decals with a Cricut. The decals were placed on the white paint and then the blue was painted. After that, the decals were removed, revealing the white underneath. I mixed too much clear coat so this bike received four coats of clear. I was very happy with the results. There were a few runs but nothing too bad. As well, I stupidly placed the Infinity tubing decal in the wrong place and had to cover half of it with the front derailleur. I won't make that mistake again!
The spokes on the wheelset that came on the bike were quite corroded but luckily I found this nice Matrix wheelset that coincidentally already had the Shimano 105-1055 hubs. The shifters and brake levers on the bike were in really bad shape but I luckily found NOS ones on Marketplace. The cranks were in such bad condition with grooves and nicks that I had to file out all the rough spots and then polish them back to a nice shine. In the end, they turned out beautiful. I also had to replace the original handlebars and stem. The bars were steel and rusted beyond repair and the stem was also in pretty rough shape. Luckily, I found this really nice Nitto combo. There ended up being a lot of 'new' on this bike. It has new bar tape, brake levers, shift levers, chain, seat, cables and housing. It has nearly new wheels and tires.
Made in Poland (Completely original except for the saddle)
Frame & Fork: Unknown Steel
Groupset: Shimano 333 FA 3-Speed Hub
Wheelset: Steel Rims with Shimano hubs and the original 26" tires
This one was at the scrap metal yard. I saw a bike through the gate so I went in to ask the owner of the scrapyard about it. I didn't get that one but when he showed me this dusty barn-find, I thought I should give it the care it deserved.
This bike cleaned up so well. It's hard to believe it's 50 years old! The paint restored to a nice shine. I rebuilt the 3-speed hub and it works like a charm. Everything is glistening and working well. It will be a perfect bike for cruising downtown or along the beach.
Made in Canada
Frame: Reynolds 631
Fork: Marzocchi Z3 Light Bomber
Groupset: Shimano Deore XT derailleurs with Deore LX V brakes & levers
Wheelset: Rear-Mavic XC717 rims with Deore XT hub, Front-Sun Rims SubIV with Deore LX hubs and Vee Rubber Topaz 2.1 tires with blue sidewall stripe
When I saw this on Facebook Marketplace, I thought it was sad that a Norco Rampage had been relegated to a sit-up, bike-path kinda bike. In 1991, Norco introduced the Rampage, North America’s first front suspension-specific mountain bike. This bike was a classic and I felt like I had to restore it to its former glory. Somewhere out there was a person who knew the legend of the Rampage and would want it in his stable.
Boy did I have fun with this restoration! The pearl-white paint was in remarkably good shape and restored amazingly well. I wanted to put new Panaracer Fire XC Pro tires with the blue sidewalls like the bike had when it was new but I couldn't find any. So, when I saw the Vee Rubber Topaz 2.1 tires with blue sidewall stripe on Ebay I went for it. They probably cost too much but the look was so cool it had to happen! I had to replace the stem, the seat, seatpost and grips. The fork had just been tuned by the previous owner, so it was working well and just needed a makeover. I was super happy with the result and tempted to keep it but knew that it would be appreciated more and ridden more by someone else.