Monday, July 25, 2011

Schwinn Pixie Restoration

Restoration of vintage bicycles is a rewarding endeavor. Transforming an undesirable cast-away into a prized jewel is very satisfying - restoring a precious heirloom even more so.

Recently, a Cincinnati customer brought her own childhood vintage Schwinn Pixie for restoration. Though she might have found a new or better condition Pixie elseware, she wanted this specific bicycle restored for her daughter.

The Pixie needed a lot of work. The frame needed a deep cleaning, fenders and all other bright metal needed to be re-chromed. The saddle and grips would need to be replaced. The heavy hard rubber tires needed to be replaced with new wheels that used lighter modern tires & tubes.

To satisfy my own curiosity I started to clean one of the fenders and was surprised to find the original triple-chrome plating still in good condition. What a testament to American quality in the 1960's! It took plenty of chrome cleaner and elbow grease, but the the fenders started to shine. The underside of the fenders required a coat of silver zinc oxide paint to keep any future corosion at bay. After a thorough cleaning of the entire bicycle, I was ready for reassembly. The Pixie now looks and handles beautifully, and the integrity of the personal value of this bicycle was maintained.