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Old 05-23-12, 05:48 AM   #1
sevenmag
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To paint or not to paint.

I have 75 Motobecane Grand Touring, I've been through all the components, scrubbed and polished everything that can be scrubbed and polished. The last 2 things I need which are bar tape and a saddle are on order so that will be done in a week or so. I've actually been taking it out for some short rides and it's great, I love the thing. Also there are a few little things I'll be cleaning up soon but it might take me some time to find them.

My problem is with some rust around the butting. It's purely cosmetic, nothing serious at all and there's not that much of it. I'd love to repaint but I seriously doubt anyone in my area could do the lettering which is paint and not decals. I have some clear rust conversion primer that I used on my old jeep and dries invisible. I might just put that on the problem areas and leave it.

Any advice is welcome, I'm torn on what to do here.

Oh, and I'm thinking of putting in bar end shifters.
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Last edited by sevenmag; 05-23-12 at 05:06 PM. Reason: Adding pics.
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Old 05-23-12, 06:15 AM   #2
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You, and a lot of people, just like you, wonder if it is a good idea to paint a vintage bicycle. In answer to that question, I published a feature article on MY "TEN SPEEDS". That article is titled; Should I Paint My Bicycle?

Have a look through that and then decide for yourself. Based on your brief description, I would reconsider the notion to paint. It might be a very bad idea, in your case.

With that in mind, it would be wise to share some pictures, here, regarding your concern. Perhaps a little bit of pin striping will serve as a way to tidy up the areas.
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Old 05-23-12, 06:34 AM   #3
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Small localized spots of rust for me get rust converter, then topped with touch up paint.
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Old 05-23-12, 07:48 AM   #4
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You, and a lot of people, just like you, wonder if it is a good idea to paint a vintage bicycle. In answer to that question, I published a feature article on MY "TEN SPEEDS". That article is titled; Should I Paint My Bicycle?

Have a look through that and then decide for yourself. Based on your brief description, I would reconsider the notion to paint. It might be a very bad idea, in your case.

With that in mind, it would be wise to share some pictures, here, regarding your concern. Perhaps a little bit of pin striping will serve as a way to tidy up the areas.
That is a really helpful article; thanks for posting this.
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Old 05-23-12, 08:00 AM   #5
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Doesn't sound like it warrants a repaint to me. It's only original once, and on a bike of any collector value, the original paint is worth more. The bike I rode last night probably has more issues.

And how's Mobile these days? Lived in apts at the corner of Airport and McGregor some 20 years ago.
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Old 05-23-12, 08:09 AM   #6
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Small localized spots of rust for me get rust converter, then topped with touch up paint.
+1



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Old 05-23-12, 11:58 AM   #7
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Doesn't sound like it warrants a repaint to me. It's only original once, and on a bike of any collector value, the original paint is worth more. The bike I rode last night probably has more issues.

And how's Mobile these days? Lived in apts at the corner of Airport and McGregor some 20 years ago.
Thing are pretty good here and that area has not changed much at all. Just more urban sprawl west and north.


Thanks for the Link to that article. I'll read it when I get home tonight but It certainly looks like some conversion primer and a little touch up if I can match the color. If not, clear conversion only.
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Old 05-23-12, 01:48 PM   #8
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Thing are pretty good here and that area has not changed much at all. Just more urban sprawl west and north.


Thanks for the Link to that article. I'll read it when I get home tonight but It certainly looks like some conversion primer and a little touch up if I can match the color. If not, clear conversion only.
Unfortunately, all the converter I have used turns black. That's great on a black bike, not so hot on the pearl white bike I just finished.
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Old 05-23-12, 05:07 PM   #9
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Ok, I added some pics in the OP. Hope that helps some.
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Old 05-24-12, 07:18 AM   #10
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I understand the theoretical case for keeping the paint original. However, judging from your photos, I'd say your bike is beyond a pleasing "patina" and well on its way to "derelict." While the Motobecane is a nice old bike, there is nothing to distinguish it from millions of similar bikes of its vintage, so its potential as a collector's item is limited. The nice thing about such a bike is that you don't have to worry about preserving it as it has obviously already seen more than its share of neglect. If it were mine, and I really liked the bike, I would strip it down and take the frame to an autobody shop for a quality paint job in my favorite color. You can finish the cosmetics yourself with decals and, while waiting for the paint to be done, you can clean and polish the brightwork ready for reassembly.
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Old 05-24-12, 02:21 PM   #11
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I understand the theoretical case for keeping the paint original. However, judging from your photos, I'd say your bike is beyond a pleasing "patina" and well on its way to "derelict." While the Motobecane is a nice old bike, there is nothing to distinguish it from millions of similar bikes of its vintage, so its potential as a collector's item is limited.
+1 To that. High ten steel frame (low end), plus quite a bit of rust = do what you want. Myself, for the price of a quality paint job, I can find a nicer frame with good paint.
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Old 05-24-12, 08:53 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the help, I think what I'll do with it since I do enjoy the bike and it was given to me by a long time and very close friend is continue on with little shiny things like a new head set and such. Get the rust cleaned off the top tube and high parts of the seat stays and start thinking about colors. I may mask off the down tube and seat tube, then find a color that will work well with what's there and make a sharp 2 tone affair out of it. The lettering on the seat tube is all there and for some odd reason I'm attached to it. I also like the 2 bold stripes around the seat tube with their gold accents so I'd prefer to find a way to keep that as well.

Might have to get the wife involved with color choices since I'm beyond inept at that sort of thing.



I'm new to all this but I find it enjoyable. When I got the bike it was completely unridable but I slowly nursed it back to health. It's at least mechanically sound now and rides great. With a few more touch ups it'll be nice to look at again.
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