Bicycle Mechanics - To paint, or not to paint...
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I've been tearing the Gitane apart and cleaning it, and the cleaner it gets, the more I realize the paint is shot. The frame is not bent or beat up, but the paint is scratched up pretty bad.
SO...for those of you who have been keeping up with this saga, what would you do? The only thing I have against having it painted is that I would lose the decals. I have found a few places that could recreate the decals, but I am afraid to even ask what that would cost (I am pretty sure it's more than I would want to spend).
I realize that ultimately it is a matter of opinion, but I am curious what some of you think. Keep the original paint and decals (even though both are chewed up pretty good), or be a man and have it painted?
If it matters, I don't anticipate selling it- so does originality really matter anyway?
03-02-02, 01:22 PM
Its a really nice bike, but its not a rare collectors item. If you can keep the original paint, then thats good. If you go for a respray, then I would suggest a classic enamel paint
Have a look at oldroads.com for some better advice on vintage bike care.
Would you repaint the bike yourself or have it done for you?
03-02-02, 03:13 PM
The truth is that there are probably some sources for decals out there. One source may be Gitane itself (http://www.gitane.fr/) or a vintage bike/components outfit lie Harris Cyclery (http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/hub.html), Vintage Velos (http://www.vintagevelos.com/) or VeloStuff (http://www.velostuf.com/) [there are others]. It wouldn't hurt to do a quick inventory of the decals on the bike and ask around if anyone has them.
Another thing to consider is that, if the decals aren't covered by a finish, they may be removable. You wouldn't be the first person who had a nice vintage bike to restore who wanted a paint job done. It may be worth asking a frame painter if they can do this.
Which brings me to the ast point... If you decide a repaint is necessary/desirable, have it done by an expert. There are frame painters out there who'll do the deed for $50-75. Don't do it yourself unless you want to make a botch of it.
I agree with the others. You need a spray booth, drying oven, etc. to create a first-class paint job. The first owner's homebrew refinish was the reason my 1959 Capo was a $20 yard sale find instead of the valuable collectible it could have been. If you can economically get your frame to and from San Diego County, I recommend Cyclart because I can attest to the Cunninghams' integrity and the quality of their work.
If I go with new paint, it would definitely be done by a professional. I am kind of leaning that way at this point. Thanks for your input.
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