The Ereliukas project is one of the most complex we have done so far. It is a massive restoration that included cutting parts of the frame, welding, lots of primer and hand sanding.
The bicycle is a very old Lithuanian model that used to be in production in the 50s and 60s and in Bulgaria happens to be a rare thing. Parts are incredibly hard to find and if you have something important broken, then you have two options – buy a bicycle with a similar mechanics or order this part to a turner. In both cases you have to be patient because waiting is part of the game 🙂
And to get a good idea how hard the task was, just check out the pictures we took of the bicycle, when it arrived in our workshop in Sofia.
Just to give you some extra idea, not only there were an extra saddle and a stand welded to the frame, but the chainwheel was welded to the axle as well (a common way to fix broken carvings in Eastern Europe :).
Both hubs were broken, rust was everywhere and there wasn’t much of the chrome coating left.
The owner of the bike was a patient and devoted man though. This allowed us to work on this project much longer. In the process we bought another bicycle with similar mechanics, just to be able to fix part of the problems.
It took us a few weeks to make the frame look like new and meters of sandpaper. The colour of the bike is similar to the original and the difference you see in the pictures is due to the different light on the pictures. The overall idea was to restore the bicycle in original form, not to modernize it in any way. This is why we used the old wheels, old handlebar, old seat post, etc.
The stickers are the same size as the original but they are drawn and printed by us.
Assembling the bicycle was a very hard task. Everything that could go wrong, went wrong. But in the end we managed to get on the bike and ride it. Is it like new? Well, we have no idea how it was like new 🙂 But it works and it works really good.