Repco Traveller

A ten speed? Yep, that’s 7 more gears than you really need mate! – me.

If you are around my age and you had a ten speed bike as a kid, chances are it was a Repco. Repco bikes were, at one time, the top selling bicycle in Australia during the ’80’s. There’s something about vintage bikes that I really like. Is it the chrome? Is it the funky paint jobs, or just the simplicity? Who knows, it’s likely all of them and more.
Recently I was at the Green Shed (Canberra’s dump shop) and a mate spotted a blue Repco Traveller in pretty good nick. It was all in one piece, had a bit of surface rust and a drive train that looked like it hadn’t been cared for in a very long time. So, $35.00 later I had a new project.
Sadly, I didn’t take many “before” pictures, it would have provided for a bit of comparison.

Original condition, complete with foam rubber handle bar grips!

The drive train, despite being gummed up, was in good mechanical condition.

So I sat on it for a while and pondered just selling it as is and seeing if I could flip it with minimal effort. I got a couple of stupid offers from Gumtree so I pulled the ad and set about doing a full tear-down and overhaul. I’d seen a few YouTube vids about restoring old bikes so I knew where to start and what tools I’d need.

The finished product.

In the end I was very fortunate that nothing mechanical needed replacing. I installed new cables and new handlebar tape – that was it. Of course all of the bearings needed re-greasing, but all of the races were fine and the bearings themselves were also in good condition.

Squeaky clean

In the end I probably spent around 20 hours stripping, cleaning, reconditioning and assembling. Being the first bike I’ve restored, I reckon it’s come up nicely. I’ve certainly got a hankering to do more and I’ve got my sights set on an Apollo Eclipse that I picked up recently that really needs a bit of TLC.

I was hoping to see a sticker saying “Made in Australia” but I guess even at this stage we were importing bikes.

I had a lot of fun restoring this bike. It proved to be very rewarding.

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