I worked on the Sekine, for the next couple of weeks, that Spring.  By the time warm weather had arrived, the components were all rebuilt.  Most of the alloy stuff had been machine polished, on a home-made polisher, that I built a long time ago.  I should add, that I have built and restored quite a few antique motorcycle wheels in my time.  With that experience backing me up, I laced a set of high flange Shimano hubs, to a very clean set of steel rims.  For the person who would like to learn how and give it a try, visit Sheldon Brown's web site and have a look at his wheel building article.  Follow the procedure, and you will begin to understand how to assemble, true and tune a wheel.  Practice the procedure, over and over, on a spare wheel and you will eventually, without all that much difficulty, learn how to build wheels.

With the components all cleaned up, and wheels built, the last big task I was facing, was a paint job.  Though I was unaware of it, at the time, I was already on a long road to failure with the "Big Green" (that's the nick-name I gave to this example of How Not To Street Restore A Vintage Road Bicycle).  I was about to make things even worse.

With the arrival of warmer weather, I took the frame/fork set outside and proceeded to strip all of the paint off.  This took some doing, but the result was a perfectly clean, down to bare metal, frame and fork set.  I should add, that I managed to strip the paint without using any harsh or toxic solvents.  Since recycling bicycles is supposed to be a green endeavour, I choose to avoid things like aerosol cans, solvents and toxic substances, that I can get along without.  With-in minutes of finishing striping the frame of its old paint and art work I started painting - with a 1" paint brush!  Once again, I prefer not to use a spray can, whenever I can avoid doing so.  Additionally, it is really difficult to do a good job of spray painting a bicycle frame set.  Over spray becomes a serious problem and the results will likely prove less than acceptable.  However...

Painting with a brush, can offer really good results.  The task is no where nearly as messy as spray painting.  The Sekine received a two tone green paint job (light green on the tubes, with dark green on the lugs).  As mentioned, the results of brush painting can be quite rewarding, if you take your time.  Two other vintage road bicycles have also been painted, by hand, with a paint brush.  The first was an early eighties Cambio Rino 2000, the second a beautiful 1958 Carlton Flyer.  These other two hand painted bicycles also wore my first attempts at making decals.  The process is hardly perfect, but the results are more that presentable.  The most recently hand painted bicycle to come out of The Old Shed is my sixties something Peugeot PX10, a bicycle I have lusted for for years.

Completing the paint job, on the Sekine, took a couple of days, but the results were very pleasing.  Certainly not what you would get, from an expensive professional paint job, but quite nice none-the-less.  The nice thing about painting a bicycle with is brush, is that you can do it, just about anywhere and without too much worry about making a big mess.  Try spraying a bicycle frame with an aerosol can in the kitchen.  See how that changes your life.  Mine, would be cut short immediately, once my wife caught wind of the activity.  But she will, grudgingly, approve painting a bicycle frame set with a brush in her kitchen.

Another nice thing about a brushed on paint job.  It is really easy to touch-up, if you do manage to scratch, or chip, the paint later on.  It is always nice to have such an option because, sooner or later, the paint will get banged.

Once the paint had dried, to my satisfaction, it was time to assemble the bicycle.

I was very lucky, when I started building "Big Green".  A long time, local bicycle shop, had decided to close its doors.  The shop was selling off all of its bicycle tools and inventory, for a fraction of the value.  I managed to purchase a pretty good assortment of bicycle repair tools, for a very good price.  Anyone choosing to build a vintage bicycle, will need to have a basic tool set, and a few specialty tools.  I purchased most of what I needed, in one fell swoop and with minimal cash outlay.

Sadly, I really didn't know exactly what I needed, when the shop was going out of business, and I passed on a complete set of frame and fork straightening tools.  I do wish that I had them today, since most frames arrive in less than perfect condition.  Of course, that is a coulda-shoulda-woulda story, that has passed me by.

After installing the cleaned, polished and rebuilt component grouppo, I set about tuning everything up.  Setting up a bicycle is not, necessarily, an intuitive activity.  I had to do a bit of research, before I had the fundamentals figured out.  Once I managed to get everything working, sort of just right, it was time to take the bicycle out for a test ride.  Yup!  A test ride!  Test rides are a very important part of building a vintage road bicycle.  The problem is, this first ever test ride of "Big Green" took place at the wrong time!