This 1977 Yé-Yé Esmalina Stell Bike came to us to be completely restored after a few messages exchanged with Mark – a Portuguese-descendant American who discovered the bicycle of his late grandfather, last year, on a trip to his home land (at Batalha – Portugal).
The whole process was challenging!
We never met personally with Mark or anyone in his family. The bike came to us through a carrier, and the whole process took place via emails exchange, photographs and WhatsApp.
The intention was to stay as close as possible to the original bike.
In short, from the original bicycle the only parts that remained were the frame, chain guards, mudguards and saddle. This one, we made sure we could recover, because we thought that the original grandfather’s saddle would give the personal touch and tribute most needed.
The painting was a real challenge too! There aren’t many professionals working in this area in Portugal, and we had the ambition that it should be really identical to the original, from the color tone to the painted graphics: logos, names, marks and stripes! We could not abbreviate with solid coated paint or logos and stripes in decalc vinyl…
And the painting turned out absolutely special! The 3 layered paint seems mild when in the shade but gains a whole new dimension, full of sparkles and reflections, when exposed to the sun!
All other graphics were hand-painted with the utmost detail.
As for components and accessories, the most functional and structuring ones should be good and reliable and the remaining ones should be current replicas used originally on the bike.
Therefore, here is a summary:
- Headset – VeloOrange Grand Cru 1”
- Stem – VeloOrange Grand Cru
- HandleBar – VeloOrange Milan
- Brake levers – VeloOrange City
- Brakes – Dia-Compe
- Brake cables – VeloOrange
- Crankset – Rodagira
- Bottom Bracket – TANGE 103
- Cable Housing Clamps – Dia-Compe
- Lighting – Miller vintage kit
- similar to the original – Grips , Pedals, Mudguard Stays, Horn, Rear Rack, Reflector, Air Pump
In the end, the bike had to be dismantled, completely protected and sent to the United States, so that finally the legacy of Grandfather “António Cordeiro” could get to his grandson and great-grandson.
We can say that it was the most complex and time-consuming projects we have had to date, but each setback and problems that came up were well worth the effort, after feeling Mark’s enthusiasm through the whole process and we receiving his heartfelt thanks in the end.
Learn more about our Restoration Process.
«When I first found my late grandfather’s bicycle underneath a tarp in his barn, I knew I wanted to restore it but had no idea where to start. Fortunately I found Happy Bicycle!
Miguel and Helga can tell you about the many challenges they faced– transporting the bike, finding the appropriate parts, contracting a talented frame painter. Despite all the obstacles, they did not take any shortcuts. They communicated with me through every step of the process (all through email and chat in English). It was nice to be involved in the decision process so I felt like I had some hand in this very sentimental restoration. Helga and Miguel treated the bicycle with much attention and care– as if it was their own family’s heirloom.
The bike now hangs on a wall at my home waiting for my son to grow up and ride it. In the meantime, it is a heartwarming reminder of my childhood summers spent in Portugal riding with my grandfather. Thanks again for all the time and effort you guys spent on this project. Best of luck Happy Bicycle!»
– Mark P. –