Sunday, September 11, 2011

Vintage Falcon bike restoration project

A few days back I went to pick up a slide which my wife had bought for the kids over eBay. As I was leaving the lady who sold us the slide mentioned that they had loads of stuff in the garage and enquired whether I would like to take a look. Of course, I couldn't refuse. I suddenly noticed this old black bike and the Falcon sticker. I told her that I would like the bike. Unfortunately her husband was not around and asked me to call up later.

I totally forgot about it until we received an email from the seller later inquiring whether I still wanted the bike and to put in an offer if I did. I offered £20 and he accepted. Later on we had a chat over the phone and he asked for £25. That was a little bit more than I wanted to give him but then one similar bike had gone for little more than £60 on eBay (it was in a better condition though). I had also been looking for a vintage bike to restore and decided to buy the bike.

When I brought it back home, my wife was furious. "What were you thinking?" "I don't want the junk inside my house".

She only calmed down after I explained that the Reynolds 531 alloy frames were going for more than double the price of the bike on eBay.


Here is the lovely looking bike.


I guess this was one of their cheaper models as it only has a sticker instead of the stamped metal headbadge.

The famous Reynolds 531 tubing made of a manganese/molybdenum steel alloy and apparently these are in high demand by fixie bike fans.


Badly rusted pannier rack. I read somewhere that the spokes were cadmium plate units and they must have been shining when they were new. I think all it needs is a touch of metal polish and elbow grease to remove the oxidation and bring the shine back.

It is interesting that this bike has components made in Japan, US, Taiwan, Italy, Germany, France, Switzerland and of course, England - truly a global bike.

The cycle has Shimano derailleurs and Weinmann brakes which are in excellent condition. The front tyres are Michillin World Tour 27 x 1 1/4" and still hold air. Unfortunately the same cannot be said about the rear tyres (made in Taiwan).

I have no idea how old this bike is as there is very little information about Falcon bike on the net. My guess is that it is from the early 70s - meaning that we might be around the same age.

Initially I was thinking of stripping of the old paint and getting it repainted but I found out that the vintage look is in right now - people actually like the old weathered look on old bikes and have decided to leave it that way with some cleaning and touching up.

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