Ted Easton Ladies Bicycle gets a makeover for its 50th Birthday

This bike originally caught my eye at a garage sale one morning. I knew nothing of Ted Easton or vintage bikes at the time but the old girl just looked interesting. The lady selling her told me how it was the bike she rode to school each day in Albury in the 60's and her husband could remember that a Ted Easton was the bike to have in Albury back in the day. Very interesting I thought, so I handed over my $10 and she had a new owner.

As it was at the time. By the way, that's a hockey stick holder.
To my good fortune, through the process of trying to research information about Ted Easton Bicycles, I was able to make contact with Ted Eason Jr. We exchanged a few emails and I learned that Ted Easton was a champion Australian cyclist in the 1930's and 1940's (more) who also had his own bicycle shop in Albury (in the 50's and 60's I think).

With this information (and Ted Jnr's blessing) I decided to give the old bike a treat, as best I could tell from the information and dates available, I had about a year to restore it in time for its 50th birthday.

There were a few parts on the bike that were never going to shine again, such as the spokes, and she's been treated to a lovely new brooks saddle, but I generally tried to restore the original bike as much as possible rather than replace parts.

A new coat of 'paint'
Some vintage bike purists seem to turn their noses up at powder coat, but its a fantastic finish for a bike, particularly as it is a very tough and durable coating. This finish is a two coat system, the first coating being silver and the top coat a translucent candy.

The effect looks quite spectacular, in the sun there is a deep sparkle from the silver that comes through topcoat. I also had some of the 'small' parts coated such as brackets and stays for mounting the fenders and chain guard. The fenders are ivory white.
In addition to a lot of sanding, the frame required an amount of preparation with the use of a heat resistant filler (powder coat is oven cured above 200°C) to smooth over a few blemishes.

Before, during and after powder coating

Polishing etc.
Anything could be polished back to a good finish was, as well as replacing all the spokes, nuts bolts and screws with new stainless ones.

Lots of photographs of the original decals, many hours on the computer creating new graphics and a signwriter to print them as a new set of stickers.

New work no Lines
One of the more challenging and satisfying parts of the process. This took a lot of time, but I did eventually manage to reproduce all the original line work. Never having done anything like this before I'm glad I did because it really finishes the bike off.

Amost like new again.
Finished just in time, the rebuilt bike ended up as a Christmas present for someone special. They were rapt with their 'new' bike. Also very pleasing was the feedback from Ted's son:

... a wonderful job on the restoration of the bicycle. I know that dad would be really chuffed that you have taken so much time and effort to restore one of his machines. It looks fabulous. Your concerns about keeping the bicycle as original as possible is appreciated; but I guess, when you think about it, Dad built his bicycles from parts that he had available to him, or from sourcing parts from his broad range of suppliers; many of them as personal friends from his professional cycling days. He also made his own frames when required. So, to make a point, you should be able to replace some parts without too much concern as Dads bikes weren't "production line" products. They were all unique and different in various aspects of construction. It is wonderful to know that one of dads (new/old or old/new) machines is still "earning a living" on its fiftieth birthday. Would love to see a photo of it under the Christmas tree. Remember, that is where many of Dads bicycles started their life; Your bicycle may have started its original life under a Christmas tree also......cheers.

Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of it under the tree, but there are some aditional pictures of the finished bike below.

Let's hope she's good for another 50.

If you've taken the time to read to the bottom of this page I hope that you have found it interesting. Please follow the link to read a bit more about Ted Easton the champion cyclist too.

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