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Old 11-19-07, 03:18 PM   #1
rschulze
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Bad form?

Although I would not like to ride a classic bike now, I think the developments over the last 20 years have been great, I think a lot of the artistry has left cycling. The engraved handlebars, the real leather, wood filled tubular rims, old campy super record....

Would it be considered bad form to restore a beautifully lugged bike just to hang on a wall and never ride?
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Old 11-19-07, 03:20 PM   #2
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Nope, You could always ride it one sunday a month, once you restore it you will want to. Trust us.
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Old 11-19-07, 03:58 PM   #3
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Although I would not like to ride a classic bike now, I think the developments over the last 20 years have been great, I think a lot of the artistry has left cycling. The engraved handlebars, the real leather, wood filled tubular rims, old campy super record....

Would it be considered bad form to restore a beautifully lugged bike just to hang on a wall and never ride?

It's your bike...but eventually someone else will ride it. So, why not get the pleasure out of it yourself?

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Old 11-19-07, 04:15 PM   #4
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Personally, if I want to hang something on the wall or stare at something on the floor, I'll buy some art. A bike, except for Duchamp's fork/wheel on a stool, is not art.

Why not ride it? Are they so horrid when compared to a modern bike? I have a new bike and an old one but they are still bikes and there isn't much of a difference.

Edit: And don't get me started on restoration/preservation. Restoring a perfectly good original bike so it has a shiny paint job would be worse than hanging it on a wall. This Gloria is a perfect example. If the next owner restored it to look like new, I'd find them and beat them with the front rim.



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Old 11-19-07, 04:38 PM   #5
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Edit: And don't get me started on restoration/preservation. Restoring a perfectly good original bike so it has a shiny paint job would be worse than hanging it on a wall. This Gloria is a perfect example. If the next owner restored it to look like new, I'd find them and beat them with the front rim.
Hell, that's pretty much near perfect - needs some polishing on the headlugs though. Doesn't even appear to need a bit of Scratch X to bring out the gloss in the paint - there's already a nice shine on it.

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Old 11-19-07, 06:40 PM   #6
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Sometimes I feel like my two Schwinn breezes are decoration. But I'm still waiting for the person/people I trust enough to give them to.
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Old 11-20-07, 10:20 AM   #7
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Saw that Gloria on ebay yesterday, gorgeous as is. Wish I could afford it!
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Old 11-20-07, 11:50 AM   #8
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Personally, if I want to hang something on the wall or stare at something on the floor, I'll buy some art. A bike, except for Duchamp's fork/wheel on a stool, is not art.

Why not ride it? Are they so horrid when compared to a modern bike? I have a new bike and an old one but they are still bikes and there isn't much of a difference.

Edit: And don't get me started on restoration/preservation. Restoring a perfectly good original bike so it has a shiny paint job would be worse than hanging it on a wall. This Gloria is a perfect example. If the next owner restored it to look like new, I'd find them and beat them with the front rim.


I guess I don't understand why. I can see the appeal of leaving it as is, but I can also see the value in making it as it was.
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Old 11-20-07, 12:14 PM   #9
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I guess I don't understand why. I can see the appeal of leaving it as is, but I can also see the value in making it as it was.
It has all to do with the collector's market, and what the people vote for with their $$$. Something that's rare, and in half-decent original condition is almost always going to command a large premium that a repaint just isn't going to. Of course, if you're getting the bicycle without consideration of what it might re-sell for (which some of us can honestly say is the case with their own bikes), there's no one stopping you from repainting such a bike (although there are some painters who will advise you not to to ease their conscience before they will go ahead and do it.

That said, I don't know of anyone who would object to cleaning up the weathering on the chrome - which accounts for an awful lot of this bike's "old and tired" appearance. The paint actually looks astoundingly good given the bike's age.
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Old 11-20-07, 12:17 PM   #10
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Although I would not like to ride a classic bike now, I think the developments over the last 20 years have been great, I think a lot of the artistry has left cycling. The engraved handlebars, the real leather, wood filled tubular rims, old campy super record....

Would it be considered bad form to restore a beautifully lugged bike just to hang on a wall and never ride?
I have a 20 year old bike hanging from a beam in my office. Of course I'll have to take it down when it's time to ride home ;-)

It actually does look kind of nice there and leaving a bike hang there all winter as "art" while I leave my winter commuter on the floor is something I've thought about. It would help solve the problem of how to fit all our bikes/trailers/tag-alongs and our second car in the garage during the winter.

If you buy a bike you're free to do what you want with it but I'm more impressed by restored things that are actually used, -be it cars, boats, or bikes.
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Old 11-20-07, 12:21 PM   #11
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It has all to do with the collector's market, and what the people vote for with their $$$. Something that's rare, and in half-decent original condition is almost always going to command a large premium that a repaint just isn't going to. Of course, if you're getting the bicycle without consideration of what it might re-sell for (which some of us can honestly say is the case with their own bikes), there's no one stopping you from repainting such a bike (although there are some painters who will advise you not to to ease their conscience before they will go ahead and do it.

That said, I don't know of anyone who would object to cleaning up the weathering on the chrome - which accounts for an awful lot of this bike's "old and tired" appearance. The paint actually looks astoundingly good given the bike's age.
I agree that the finish on this bike looks pretty good, but I would clean and shine it up. If the finish were really bad, would the same objections still apply?
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Old 11-20-07, 12:32 PM   #12
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I agree that the finish on this bike looks pretty good, but I would clean and shine it up. If the finish were really bad, would the same objections still apply?
I'm sure there would be a point at which everyone would agree that a repaint would be a better idea, but there is a broad range of condition where there would be disagreement. By the way, I don't think that anyone beyond a very tiny minority would object to cleaning and shining either. There are various opinions about touch-ups, and of course to stripping the bike down and having it completely repainted. Of course, if the frame had already been repainted, the general consensus is that you're relieved of the burden of the weighty decision.
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Old 11-20-07, 01:16 PM   #13
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I agree that the finish on this bike looks pretty good, but I would clean and shine it up. If the finish were really bad, would the same objections still apply?
As Zorro has said, really bad can be subjective, but for me, I'd say if over 50% of the original paint was gone, I would consider painting again to protect the bare metal. More than likely, I would preserve the original paint by going around it or painting clear over the bare parts. I tend to be the exception. And for the record, I am not against cleaning.

My question is, if you don't like the paint, why did you buy it in the first place? If you want a shiny new bike, buy a shiny new bike. And don't give me the "bringing it back to its old glory" line, things change with time, it makes them more interesting and again, if you want new, buy one in better condition. Also, 99 times out of a 100, when some one "brings it back to its old glory", it is better than original and that is just plain bullsh!t.

It is only original once.
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Old 11-20-07, 01:30 PM   #14
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Case in point, when I bought my Raleigh Professional frame, it had already been repainted - and quite horridly at that (see thumbnails).

I felt no compunction whatsoever about repainting it. If I had any talent at it, I would have had it on the road this year, but, alas, I don't. Stay tuned to see what this beauty looks like now (which I'll promptly post when it returns from the great, great, Dr. Deltron.)
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Old 11-20-07, 02:06 PM   #15
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As Zorro has said, really bad can be subjective, but for me, I'd say if over 50% of the original paint was gone, I would consider painting again to protect the bare metal. More than likely, I would preserve the original paint by going around it or painting clear over the bare parts. I tend to be the exception. And for the record, I am not against cleaning.

My question is, if you don't like the paint, why did you buy it in the first place? If you want a shiny new bike, buy a shiny new bike. And don't give me the "bringing it back to its old glory" line, things change with time, it makes them more interesting and again, if you want new, buy one in better condition. Also, 99 times out of a 100, when some one "brings it back to its old glory", it is better than original and that is just plain bullsh!t.

It is only original once.
I appreciate and understand your viewpoint.

For me it's all theoretical anyway since I probably wouldn't buy a bike like that (not that it doesn't appeal to me). But if I were to, I might buy it for its potential rather than its current state. Buying one in better condition may not be an option because it would likely cost more money.

It gets back to what I like about old stuff. I live in an old house too. I'm not going to put vinyl siding on it, but I did replace the old galvanized pipe with copper, and of course I paint it as I see fit. I enjoy the restoration part of it, of making the old functional again. I also want it to look good. That doesn't mean I rip out anything that has a cosmetic flaw and I'm not after perfection.

I know a guy who basically tore apart his whole house. Ripped off the plaster, threw out all the old moldings, etc. Not for me.
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Old 11-20-07, 02:13 PM   #16
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All of my bikes are currently hanging on the wall as art. When I feel like riding one of them, I take it down and ride it.

As for restoring/repainting, I've had two frames repainted: the Colnago & the Eddy Merckx. Both frames were well-used by the time I got them and badly in need of repainting. I chose to repaint the Colnago a different color than it was originally. The original paint scheme was classic Italian blue. I had it painted white with a blue pearl clear coat. I'm not sorry I had it repainted, because I had no attachment to the previous color. I also wanted to differentiate it from when it belonged to the previous owner, since he lived in the area. The Eddy Merckx had been crashed and repaired, and prior to the crash had been raced professionally. It was seriously showing wear. I had it repainted in the same paint scheme (7-Eleven team colors), and obtained decals directly from Eddy Merckx (the company, not the man).



I'd love to get it repainted again, since there are flaws with the paint job that bug the hell out of me. If I ever do that, I'll try to get the additional decals to match the way the bike was when I first got it (the Wolber decals on the seat stays, Columbus decals on the fronts of the fork blades, 7-ELEVEN TEAM decal on the top tube, and either Tommy MATUSH or my name on the other side of the top tube).

The only change I had made to the Eddy Merckx (other than leaving off decals) was to have the cable guides on the top tube removed, and cable housing stops brazed onto the side of the top tube.

Since my intention with all of the frames I bought was to build them up and ride them, I was only concerned with making them look good to me. And since I've owned the Colnago since 1989, and the Eddy Merckx since 1993, I can honestly say that future value did not play a part in my decision to purchase. I have no intention of ever selling them.
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Old 11-20-07, 02:21 PM   #17
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question for the OP, why wouldn't you want to ride a classic bike?
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Old 11-20-07, 02:34 PM   #18
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I would do a repaint and refinish as I'd like. Since my bike has some minor flaws, some sundulling and needs the chrome and wheels polished - I'm looking at House of Kolor (the custom auto paint makers) to match the original maroon/burgundy and gold decals and detailing. I'd like to put some gold flake into the paint to match the gold decals and paint those in a pearl or shimmer, and polish up the engraving and such on the horns. But then again, I live in South Texas, am hispanic and love giving keeping the original and giving a little flavor to it.
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Old 11-20-07, 03:16 PM   #19
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I appreciate and understand your viewpoint.

For me it's all theoretical anyway since I probably wouldn't buy a bike like that (not that it doesn't appeal to me). But if I were to, I might buy it for its potential rather than its current state. Buying one in better condition may not be an option because it would likely cost more money.

It gets back to what I like about old stuff. I live in an old house too. I'm not going to put vinyl siding on it, but I did replace the old galvanized pipe with copper, and of course I paint it as I see fit. I enjoy the restoration part of it, of making the old functional again. I also want it to look good. That doesn't mean I rip out anything that has a cosmetic flaw and I'm not after perfection.

I know a guy who basically tore apart his whole house. Ripped off the plaster, threw out all the old moldings, etc. Not for me.
As I said, you can see from the replies so far, I tend to be the exception. I also agree again with Zorro, if some one in the past repainted the original, it is fair game.

I also don't mind if you alter the original to fix a functional flaw (ie, new top tube because the original cracked). It is a utilitarian object, once again, it is not art.

I understand potential when it is cleaning the bike and doing the necessary maintenance to make a smooth ride. I even understand upgrades as long as they can be reversed. What I don't get is wanting to change the original. If you don't like it in the first place, have the patience to wait for something you do want instead of ruining it for some one else. Chips, scratches and dings are inevitable, and all old bikes will have them, I don't understand why that is a bad thing.

I'll write it one more time, it is original only once.
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Old 11-20-07, 03:23 PM   #20
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Hey, that old Gloria looks magical - especially the way the rear wheel floats off the ground!
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Old 11-20-07, 03:26 PM   #21
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where can I get one of those wall mounted top tube hanger things!
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Old 11-20-07, 03:51 PM   #22
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where can I get one of those wall mounted top tube hanger things!
not exactly the same but here's a link to Nashbar's version:
http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...torage%20Racks
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Old 11-20-07, 04:31 PM   #23
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"This here is a classic bike with pedigree and documented provenance--can you tell us a bit about it?"

"Well, I found it in a yardsale for $20 and rode it for a couple years as a commuter. But then someone told me it was a wonderful bike, so I took some steel wool to it before hitting it with some Rustoleum to protect it a bit from the elements."

"OK, well if this were in mint condition with original paint, you could easily get $100,000 for it at the right auction..."

"WOAH!"

"...and even in the ratty, used condition--basically stored after it was used to win the TDF--you found it, you would still be looking at $80,000 or so..."

"SWEET!"

"But since you cleaned off the patina and paint-bombed it, it is now worth about $5."

"...uh..."

"Thanks for stopping by this week's Antique Bicycle Roadshow!"

"...b-b-but..."

Are you a collector or a rider? If you are a collector, don't repaint. If you are a rider, paint to your heart's content... just don't tell a collector what you did.

"Oh, this Bass Boat Blue vintage Colnago? I bought it that way..."
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Old 11-20-07, 04:38 PM   #24
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not exactly the same but here's a link to Nashbar's version:
http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...torage%20Racks
You can put your helmet on it of your trophy!

Seriously, I really like the looks of the one in the picture. I do plan on showing Corky at least once (and riding it on a semi-regular basis) once it is finished. Just don't tell the judges that the brake hoods are reproductions.
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Old 11-20-07, 05:57 PM   #25
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As I said, you can see from the replies so far, I tend to be the exception. I also agree again with Zorro, if some one in the past repainted the original, it is fair game.

I also don't mind if you alter the original to fix a functional flaw (ie, new top tube because the original cracked). It is a utilitarian object, once again, it is not art.

I understand potential when it is cleaning the bike and doing the necessary maintenance to make a smooth ride. I even understand upgrades as long as they can be reversed. What I don't get is wanting to change the original. If you don't like it in the first place, have the patience to wait for something you do want instead of ruining it for some one else. Chips, scratches and dings are inevitable, and all old bikes will have them, I don't understand why that is a bad thing.

I'll write it one more time, it is original only once.
I think we're differing only in degrees. I don't mind chips and scratches as long as they don't mar the overall appearance of the bike. If they're not jumping out at me like giant scars when I'm standing far enough away to take in the whole bike then I don't care.

Just curious. How would you feel if a 3 year old accidentally knocked that Gloria over and added a few more chips and dings?;-)

The way I look at is this. We're both altering the natural aging process, -you by attempting to stop it, -me by rolling it back some. In my mind if it's OK to fix mechanical problems, then it should be OK to fix costmetic ones. However, I also understand the desire to leave the evidence of the bike's passage through time.
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