I have an old Huffy from my uncle that he bought at around the 90s and I'm thinking of restoring it and maybe upgrade some of the parts. But Huffy doesn't seem to have any much information for bikes over 10yrs old. Here's a photo of the bike.

Obviously, I need to strip the paint of rust that's accumulated and clean it. But I'd like to know what I can do to see if any current generation parts I could use. I'm planning to convert this into a commuter or maybe a road bike (not to be raced). I would guess that I need to replace the whole drivetrain. Maybe fit in 700c wheels or something similar? Brakes need replacing as well, since it used old caliper brakes, I'm guessing that I can use some modern brakes? I suppose the headtube needs some work as well. Basically, I'm only planning to keep the frame and the fork.

Hoping somebody could help.

  • Unless you have a very very good reason, I wouldn't put much or any money into a BSO like that. The proposed upgrades would probably cost you more than a 80s-90s specialized hardrock + tires (or similar) that would make a way better commuter.
    – Batman
    Feb 9, 2017 at 15:40
  • Actually, I want to do it because I wanted to learn more about the other parts of the bike that I haven't touched on. Plus I thought it would save me some cash of not buying a modern road bike. But thanks for the brutal honesty! By the way, what's a BSO?
    – Gerald
    Feb 10, 2017 at 3:34
  • In this case, your bike is a BSO because it has plastic brake levers, pressed-steel caliper brakes, and an ashtabula one-piece crank. The wheels may be steel, can't tell in that photo. You can totally ride it, but don't burn money on it. Instead, save your money for the bike you want. In a couple of months of riding that will give you a better idea of what you do and don't want.
    – Criggie
    Feb 10, 2017 at 4:59
  • A BSO is a "bicycle-shaped-object", a cheap bike sold at a department store rather than a bicycle shop, as defined here.
    – rclocher3
    Feb 13, 2017 at 0:55

1 Answer 1


If you really want to use that bike, the best thing to do is fit the cheapest components that will make it go (and stop), clean off the worst of the rust and use car touch-up paint to cover the bare spots. You might want more than the cheapest of the cheap for brake pads, especially if the rims are chromed steel and you're not in a desert. Unfortunately before you can really test anything you'll need tubes and tyres.

Then you've got an ugly bike that's good for not getting stolen, and won't lose value because it hasn't got any (not even all the value of the components you fitted new). That also makes it good for leaving out in all weathers, though it won't last forever. If you've got spares from another bike, it's much more worthwhile. I ride an early 90s bike only a little better than this for a few miles a day, and lock it in not the best places, so I assume it will get stolen/vandalised. Despite having spare new tyres to fit, I spent almost as much on essential components as you could spend on the cheapest bike in a cheap bike shop, and what I ended up with was only a little better (mostly tougher). When you've run it into the ground, save the components you fitted for use on the next bike, and recycle the rest.

If you've got major rust, espcially on anything critical, walk away.

One of the worst money pits on a bike is trying to change the wheel size, with only a few exceptions.

This may sound harsh but it's the only way to avoid throwing good money after bad.

  • This may come across as even more negative than I meant it to so here's another way of looking at it: if you've got a basic level of mechanical skill and bike tools or the willingness to buy them, you can learn a lot - maybe even enough to cover the costs by not having to pay someone else to fix your better bike in the future.
    – Chris H
    Feb 9, 2017 at 18:47
  • Thanks for admitting the negative side of the comment. But I really appreciate your honesty. Yeah, I'll probably walk away from this.
    – Gerald
    Feb 10, 2017 at 5:41
  • 1
    On the other hand, if you bought a better old bike and decided to take it apart and put it back together to the extent your tools allow, you'd probably learn as much and come out ahead on cash.
    – Batman
    Feb 10, 2017 at 9:59
  • @Batman quite possibly. It partly depends whether you want a bike for use or sale.
    – Chris H
    Feb 10, 2017 at 11:37

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