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Ricardo Sport Bike Restoration

I wanted to restore a bicycle for my wife. I don’t really know why this Ricardo Sport had such an attraction. It probably had something to do with the sorry state it was in.

What did I get myself into

When you find a bicycle with the handlebar hanging loose at the side of the frame, you know you’re in deep when deciding to restore it. And so it was.

I have no idea why the handlebars were hanging loose. But the headlight was gone. So maybe somebody removed the handlebars to get to the light.

I wanted to restore this bike. I had a beautiful steel frame, some very nice details, and I felt sorry for the state it was in. And I wanted to restore a bike for my wife and this was going to be the one.


Where to start. The biggest issue is always rust. Any bolt will be seized, and you’re very lucky with cranks, bottom brackets and removing bolts without breaking them in half.


It was broken. I found a similar looking saddle at a local thrift store. It was an upgrade since the new saddle was from Dutch brand Lepper and leather.

Chain Cover

The chain cover had a tear in the vinyl. I was willing to repair it, but when I tried to remove it, it fell completely apart.

I’d already bought a replacement, but decided to go for a much classier looking chain guard. From Belgian Ebay 2dehands.be. It was expensive but new and the cherry on top of this vintage bicycle.


Both brakes needed new cables and housing. They seemed bent, one more than the other. However, after I removed all the rust on the bolts and cleaned them up, I installed them and they seemed to be operating fine.

I reused the brake pads. The brake areas we’re irregularly wore down because of the the thin rim. But because these exact brake pads we’re very expensive, I sanded them down and reused them, which turned out to be a solid choice.


The front light was missing and the rear light was in really bad shape. When I tried to remove it from the fender, the bolt was so rusted it turned the entire screw in the plastic housing of the taillight forcing me to saw it off instead. The plastic housing was thin and cracked in several places. I cut a piece of plastic in the shape of the housing and glued it underneath it. I primed and painted it white. If you have enough distance it looks like new.

I bought a vintage headlight from the ’50s from bikestoremember.nl. It was beat up but beautiful with a glass in front and a big bulb. And the black matched the frame.

When attached to the wheel dynamo, the original lighting cables and both lights still worked. A small miracle.

Gears and shifter

The original Sturmey Archer 3-speed shifter had a broken cable. It works with a pulley system. Very neat but one of the pulleys was broken as well. The cable stop was also cracked beyond repair. This system is very delicate and its no wonder it didn’t survive several decades.

I didn’t replace the shifter at first, only the cable and one of the pulleys. However, tuning the shifter turned out to be a nightmare. I could get it in first and second gear. In second and third. But never in all three. No matter what I tried it wouldn’t catch. I finally decided the shifter was too worn. And a new one fix the issue.

I only gave the Sturmey Archer Hub a couple drops of oil.


The entire bike was rusted. It used to be that the rear part of your fender needed to be white. And obviously the white get’s damaged and rusted as the years pass.

The parts that connect the fenders to the hubs we’re also severely damaged and bent. I bent them back into shape and painted them and the white rear end. That was after I sawed off the nut of the taillight.


I removed all of the rust on the rims and put some new tires on them (Schwalbe Delta Cruiser).

Bottom Bracket

I did a complete bottom bracket overhaul. The bottom bracket was in good shape.


In general I cleaned the entire bike. But with this one I went a step further and polished the entire frame.

This bike doesn’t have any plastic decals. The decals are rather printed on the frame. So I couldn’t polish over the branding since this would remove them (I tested it). However, I did manage to restore some of the old paint’s luster.


The rear carrier was rusted, bent, damaged and the paint was in a pretty bad state overall. I decided to spray it since I wouldn’t lose any decals.

The rear reflector was bent and broken and the carrier straps we’re dried out because of their age. I replaced the carrier straps and have since replaced the reflector.

Ricardo Sport Repair Costs

ShifterSturmey Archer SLS3C 3-speed classic shifter€15
Chain GuardSt. Christophe€25
Chain Guard ClampHorn R58€2.37
TiresSchwalbe Delta Cruiser (2x)€21.90
Dress GuardHesling 26 inch 53 cm. smoke€4.90
Dress Guard Clampsclamps (2x)€0.60
Carrier StrapsBibia€4.90
Mud FlapBibia Classic€2.75
PedalsUnion 685 Tour€10
Sturmey Archer Cable Guide Pulley Wheel€6
Shifter cable and housing
Brake calbe and housing(2x)

Ricardo Sport Specifications

Ricardo Sport
Rear HubSturmey Archer AW 3-speed
ShifterSturmey Archer SLS3C 3-speed classic shifter
BrakesAltenburger Brilliant
Chain GuardSt. Christophe
TiresSchwalbe Delta Cruiser
Dress GuardHesling 26 inch 53 cm. smoke with clamps
Carrier StrapsBibia
Mud FlapBibia Classic
PedalsUnion 685 Tour
PumpZefal with valve adapter hose

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