If you’re looking for something to watch this weekend, Lucas has rounded up a selection of his favorite YouTube channels that feature a wealth of knowledge and inspiration for rebuilding old bikes. Find six YouTubers who beautifully restore ’80s and ’90s bikes and get them back on the trail here…
As I’ve been going ever deeper down the rabbit hole of restoring old bikes and rebuilding parts from the 1980s and ’90s at home, I find myself returning to a handful of YouTube channels for inspiration and information. Over the last couple of years, I’ve come to appreciate the unique styles and perspectives of a small group of YouTubers who offer a precious resource to anyone looking for ideas or insight for rebuilding a garage sale find or hand-me-down bike, all with their signature style. You can find a quick roundup of my current favorite channels and a sample video from each one below.
Based in Utah, Oldshovel is probably the best-established bike restorer of the bunch, and his videos can sometimes attract hundreds of thousands to a million or more views. I can’t imagine how many bike rebuilds he has inspired over the years, and I appreciate that he typically mixes in a closing message about the value of keeping old bikes on the road. Oldshovel’s channel is a treasure trove of all makes and models of bikes, all lovingly restored and exceptionally well shot and edited.
Auckland, New Zealand’s Toasty Rides manages to find an amazing array of old bikes, and his videos are full of useful tips and tricks for restoring old bikes. He’s not the least bit afraid to get his hands dirty and often finds innovative solutions to get the job done. Watching his videos always gives me the confidence to give things a try myself, knowing it’ll probably work out.
As my favorite of the bunch, I love Gary’s Projects from Melbourne, Australia, and his low-key, unpretentious delivery style. He’s one of the most thorough in terms of the time he takes to show the process of rebuilding individual components, and just when you think he’s about to wrap up a video, he usually goes back in to clean up or service one last part. One of the things I enjoy most about Gary’s videos is his closing ride at the end of each one, where his passion for the simple joy of riding something he fixed up shines through.
Cowboy Tomi from Seattle is an incredibly talented and creative YouTuber who makes repainting and rebuilding old bikes look almost effortless. There are some stunning restored bikes coming out of his workshop, and it’s often hard to believe you’re seeing the same bike at the beginning and end of his videos.
Though he only has a handful of them on his channel to date, Eric Marth’s videos are created with painstaking attention to detail that sets them apart from almost anything else I’ve seen. I stumbled upon his debut Rivendell Sam Hillborne build video about a year ago and have eagerly awaited new videos since. His most recent video features a one-of-a-kind 1985 Bridgestone MB-2 rebuild, and if it doesn’t get you feeling eager to go tinker with an old bike in the garage, I don’t know what will.
I’m the least familiar with New Zealand-based Waveywheelies, but I quite recently discovered his channel and have been impressed by the quality of what I’ve seen so far. His videos skew a little more toward fixed-gear bikes than the other channels in this list, but there are some great commuters and mountain bikes mixed in. Funnily enough, when watching the video below, I stumbled upon a comment from a friend of mine, Julian, saying this was actually his old bike!
Who are your favorite folks sharing bike rebuild videos on YouTube? Please add them to the conversation below!
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