I had been looking for an old De Rosa off and on, then this surreptitiously showed up on CL a few months ago. It was an hour's drive in the mountains, I could hardly wait until I got there the same evening. The seller was a nice lady, the bike belonged to her deceased husband. We had a nice talk about the bike's history, she was happy that I planned to ride it in the same mountains she and her husband rode years earlier.
In the few hours it had been on CL, she was already getting inquiries from as far as London. I bought it for what I think is a fair price, definitely not a steal.
The previous owner bought it at Talbot's in Redwood City, she fondly remembered eating rice and beans for months after paying for the hefty price tag back then (which she recalled to be about $1000!). The original color was apparently orange, but was repainted in the '80s. Made me sad hearing that the PO was tired of the color, as Molteni orange is my favorite color. The aero levers were installed recently, the bike shop could not fix or replace the mounting ring of the original NR levers, which I also received. I don't know if there is chrome under the paint in the fork crown.
So, I intend to refurbish this bike once the rain season starts. I need some suggestions:
- I am thinking of waxing and applying decals. The paint looks presentable, and I intend to ride this bike. Any reason to go with something other than Cyclomondo?
- All the pantographed parts need to refreshed with paint. Do I use some kind of paint stripper, or just paint over the existing paint?
- What is a good paint to use? I have never done this before. I am thinking of going to a hobby store with the decal and matching it to the yellow.
- The shift levers are bent. I will try to straighten them between blocks of wood in a vise, but I am not sure if they will last. They are nicely cut out, maybe I will try reproducing it with another set of levers.
- The wheels are first gen Phil Wood hubs laced to unmarked clinchers, look like Rigida. They are practical, but I am also considering a set of Nisi tubulars I have.
- The levers have a lot of scrapes at the outside tips, obvious signs of use and minor crashes. I can't decide whether I should polish or keep as-is. They are milled and pantographed with faded paint.
- Needless to say, the seat has to go. I am thinking either Brooks or Cinelli Unicanitor.
The pictures are as found, after a wash to get most of the dirt off.