Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Falcon cycle restoration project 3

When I started my Falcon bike restoration project in September last year, I never thought that it would take me this long but I have finally done it.

Take a look at the picture of the bike when I first bought it:


And now after the restoration:

falcon bike2012-05-31 20.11.16

During the process, I have learnt so much about bikes, their repair and maintenance.

I found out that there are two main schools of thought with regards to bike restoration project - one group believes that we have to keep the bike as original as possible and even if you have to replace some parts, you have to try to source the exact parts.

On the other hand, there are a number of bike restorers who take the bike apart, completely striping it down to the skeleton frame, and rebuild the bike with modern parts.

I guess I am somewhere in between - I have tried to keep as many of the original parts as possible and apart from treating and repainting some badly rusted patches, have left the bike pretty much as I got it. However, I had to replace the tyres, the brake pads, the chain and also got myself a new comfy Brookes saddle as well.

falcon bike2012-05-31 20.17.38
My new made in India Brookes saddle. Leaving it in the rain was a bad idea.

falcon bike2012-05-31 20.17.17.
New chain

Alligning the side pull brakes were a real pain but a few YouTube videos later, I finally got them centered and working perfectly. I have removed the pannier rack which was badly rusted (but might be salvageable) and the mudguards. The gears are terrible but I have left them on.

I still do not know the age of the bike - I have tried contacting the Falcon cycle people on their website but   have not received any replies so far. However, I think this is just the beginning.

The bike rides beautifully and I love it but I have realised too late that it is probably a bit high for me - this might be a problem while driving in city traffic. Now I am also wondering whether I should have gone for a new paint job - completely stripping the old paint and have it powder coated as opposed to conventional liquid painting. I would still prefer to have it in black but probably with some custom made stickers. I might also replace the gears for something more modern and practical. The same goes for the brakes as well. They are not really effective in stopping the bike when I am going fast. I guess that's the trade-off - between keeping it as original as possible and having a bike which you can use everyday.


Alan said...

That bike's identical to the one my dad had! (Even had rusty carrier)
Bought new I think 1980-82 or so.
You may find date of manufacture stamped on back of brake callipers.

Adam Dilip Mutum said...

Thanks for dropping by Alan. I will take a look tomorrow.


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