I’ve done many service calls for old bikes that have been sitting in a garage for years and years. I’m sure many people look at these dirty bikes with flat tires and some rust on the chain and think it’s just not worth saving, simply because thats’s what many ask.
Today I worked on a Miyata Street Runner that was from about 1984 and had been in a garage for a very long time. The red paint was dulled under all the dust and numerous cobwebs. Nevertheless, the corrosion wasn’t too bad with mainly surface rust on the handlebars and minor other parts. The owner simply wanted a bike to ride in the neighborhood and on paths.
I could tell this bike would clean up great. The simple thumb shifters rarely have issues, and the Shimano 6-speed derailleurs once freed of gunk and thoroughly lubricated started moving smooth again. The wide profile cantilever brakes had brass pivot bushings and once cleaned up worked quite smooth. In this case the tires weren’t original but were still in good shape; however, note that tires are often a part that needs replacement on old bikes.
Once the service was done my final test ride found a smooth riding and clean shifting bike perfect for the intended use. In the end this bike with just my standard tune-up and not a single replacement part went from dirt colored and tired looking to bright red and happy. So if you have an older bike siting in the garage and you want to get riding again, it may be an excellent candidate to get back in working order.