Thai’s Malvern Star “Flite” Full Restoration
This is a pretty amazing restoration when you look at the before and after pictures. Like all my other projects the emphasis was on quality, though some consessions had to be made to keep this build within its small budget. Most parts are alloy and most parts are Shimano. This was a full restoration meaning the bike was pulled apart and built back up again piece by piece. Almost every part has been replaced, rather than simply reconditioned. Everything including the gears and brakes are perfectly tuned and adjusted.
The bike was a nice find. Nothing special, fortunately it wasnt rusty, it was just dirty and needed a good clean (see below). Hiding below all that dirt was a beautiful dark charcoal (not quite black) glittery coat of paint. It was made out of heavy, gaspipe, high tensile steel labelled as “Dynaloy” by Malvern Star. I was surprised how heavy it was, I could barely lift it onto my bike rack. So from the very beginning it was clear that this bike needed to be lightened.
I got rid of the original brakes, shifters, stem, cranks, tyres, cables, chain and derailleurs. Most were original generic brands and made of heavy chrome steel.
Smooth shifting, quality derailleurs, make or break a bike for me. I replaced the original Shimano Tourney parallelogram derailleur ($5 piece of junk really, yet every vintage bike on ebay has them…), with a low end Shimano Slant Parallelogram derailleur. This design was original copied by Shimano off Suntours patented design which shifted the smoothest in its time, and the design is still being used today. The change was dramatic despite being a low end model, and I dont think I would ever build a bike without a slant parallelogram derailleur, unless of course it was made by Campagnolo. The cherry on top was a new silver chain.
The cranks were replaced by lighter SR Custom alloy cranks and the brakes were upgraded to alloy shimano race brakes. Still low-end stuff Shimano stuff, but still markedly lighter and better in quality than the original generic junk.
The finishing touches included gold luglining and white cloth tape around the handlebars. This bike is delightful and within a tight budget. The upgraded parts and finishing touches make this bike both quality and individual.