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Old 01-09-12, 08:00 PM   #1
MetinUz
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My new winter project: 1973 De Rosa

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.






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Old 01-09-12, 08:11 PM   #2
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The seller was a nice lady, the bike belonged to his deceased husband.
Huh?

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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.
You may not find a pre-made yellow that matches, but you might. I ended up mixing Testor's model paint (red, yellow, white) to match the decals on my Peugeot CPX-10 to fill the seat post milling. I'm sure DD will chime in with something more helpful

I also took some advice from Ray Dobbins' site, particularly his entry on the Molteni Merckx.
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Old 01-09-12, 08:17 PM   #3
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Huh?
Oops, fixed that. I need to re-read after edits.

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You may not find a pre-made yellow that matches, but you might. I ended up mixing Testor's model paint (red, yellow, white) to match the decals on my Peugeot CPX-10 to fill the seat post milling. I'm sure DD will chime in with something more helpful

I also took some advice from Ray Dobbins' site, particularly his entry on the Molteni Merckx.
More than an exact match, I wonder about the application technique. For example, consider the heart cutout. I can use masking tape and razor blade to mask the outline. Or I can fill with a fine brush or toothpick, or I can just apply the paint and wipe the borders clean. Is there a preferred technique?

For finer details like the seatpost panto, it seems to me I would have to apply more paint than needed, then wipe it with a clean rag, maybe damp with paint thinner (or water, if water based paint).
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Old 01-09-12, 08:30 PM   #4
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A good technique is to just paint without worrying too much about the edges, then cleaning up with thinner. At least for seat posts, stems, etc, where you're painting on an unpainted surface. Toothpicks are a good bet for fine lettering.

I would think you could do similarly on your frame and fork, but I'm not sure how the paint would react to thinner? Someone else may know better. Wouldn't want to mess up such a nice frame!
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Old 01-09-12, 08:33 PM   #5
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Congratulations o your De Rosa, I could just admire it, day after day, after day..... :-) Just beautiful!

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Old 01-09-12, 08:59 PM   #6
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Killer De Rosa with some cool and rare parts, hope you will give it a proper resto.

For the fills use One Shot sign-painters enamel. A quarter pint is about $10 but it is much better than hobby paint and will hold up to the elements. Buy a small lettering brush at an art supply store, again a bit over ten bucks but worth it. With a good brush you will not get brush marks and it will be easier to stay in the lines. Lay in your paint, let it sit up for an hour, then dab a little thinner on a lint free rag and lightly wipe the top of the lettering or any overage. Only wipe once in one direction then use a clean spot of the rag. I use two coats, especially with yellow.
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Old 01-09-12, 10:38 PM   #7
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Thanks Otis. Would you recommend stripping the paint, e.g. on the seatpost flutes? Should I worry that the paint stripper could damage the anodizing?
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Old 01-09-12, 10:45 PM   #8
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Thanks Otis. Would you recommend stripping the paint, e.g. on the seatpost flutes? Should I worry that the paint stripper could damage the anodizing?
I would not strip the original paint. Just level it down with some 0000 steel wool. It will act as a primer.
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Old 01-09-12, 10:54 PM   #9
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Beautiful bike, you must be thrilled. I'm sure it's going to be a show piece when you're done restoring it.

Any more details about the crank set? Looks like Campy cranks but what about the outer chain ring?

Do you have a close up picture of the crank set?
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Old 01-09-12, 10:55 PM   #10
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Is that saddle intended for climbers, those who sit back and push into pedals? Interesting design...
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Old 01-09-12, 11:05 PM   #11
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I'll put in my .02 on the infill paint issue

What I have always done with good results is use Goof-Off - even on the frame. It's very quick acting on the new infill paint, but not strong enough to go through the established clearcoat/paint given the small amount it will take to remove any new paint. As Otis points out, lightly using a lint-free cloth will give best results, then clean up any remaining residue with denatured alcohol. I also +1 on toothpicks and/or a fine artist's brush.

As for removing the paint from the alloy components: Goof-Off will not remove the anodizing, nor even hurt the alloy of the non-anodized parts (such as the seatpost). Wipe off the old paint quickly and efficiently with a semi-soaked lint-free cloth. I just removed some orange infill paint from the flutes of a SR seatpost - came off in minutes, and that was paint that had been there for 9 years. You don't have to be anywhere near as careful doing it on parts - just the frame.

For the deeper, more intricate stuff - like the hearts on the chainring - employ a toothbrush and Goof-Off. Works like a charm.

And BTW, if you plan on riding that stunner, pull the chainring and set it aside. That's gold

A fantastic bike you've got there; the lugwork is magnificent and you've just got to admire the fact that it's been very well taken care of for all these years. A great bike for a makeover, but not too much of a makeover

I'm looking forward to seeing pics of this with new decals and infill paint.

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Old 01-09-12, 11:06 PM   #12
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Is that saddle intended for climbers, those who sit back and push into pedals? Interesting design...
Yup - that'll pull a pretty penny on the 'Bay...

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Old 01-09-12, 11:09 PM   #13
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Any more details about the crank set? Looks like Campy cranks but what about the outer chain ring?

Do you have a close up picture of the crank set?
To my only slightly educated eye looks like Campy Nuovo Record cranks with De Rosa panto-ing. Nice!
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Old 01-10-12, 12:23 AM   #14
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Is that saddle intended for climbers, those who sit back and push into pedals? Interesting design...
The saddle is a Concor Sprint, apparently banned by UCI. It's intended to provide back support for seated sprints or time trials. Not my cup of tea, would be happy to swap for a Brooks Pro or Unicanitor if anyone is interested...

http://velosniper.blogspot.com/2008/...upercorsa.html

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Old 01-10-12, 12:28 AM   #15
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And BTW, if you plan on riding that stunner, pull the chainring and set it aside. That's gold
I would probably ride it just a few hundred miles a year, and most of my rides are either climbing a steep hill in the small ring, or coasting down the other side. I suspect the previous owner was the same, as there is not much wear on the chainring.
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Old 01-10-12, 12:43 AM   #16
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^ Good deal - it's worth preserving if you can find another user ring. BTW, if you're looking for an NR brake lever handlebar clamp, PM me.

I can help you out there

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Old 01-10-12, 12:52 AM   #17
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DD, thanks for the offer. I have a couple of spare clamps, not to mention a set of NR levers scratched to hell. I rolled my eyes when I heard the bike shop could not fix the lever. OTOH, I may call on you in reproducing the shift lever drillium if my straightening effort fails.
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Old 01-10-12, 01:06 AM   #18
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I may call on you in reproducing the shift lever drillium if my straightening effort fails.
You do that - it's not a terribly involved drilling exercise.

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Old 01-10-12, 02:41 AM   #19
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wow, super nice... what did you end up paying for it? or would you rather not say?

shame it was repainted though, but at least it looks like the respray was decent. yellow infill on the lug cutouts and fork crown will really break up all that blue, and finding some period decals is a must! looks like they laid the paint on thick at the seat stay caps though, so you probably won't be able to infill that?

looks like you can chop a couple inches on the cable routing too, but i'd go with a set of NR brake levers, non aero to keep it period. early 70's derosa with pantographing... that's really fabulous man.
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Old 01-10-12, 06:53 AM   #20
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Love it!
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Old 01-10-12, 07:29 AM   #21
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Cool bike. And I'm particularly grateful to be a fly-on-the-wall for these great tips from Otis and D. Dude.
That's a true classic, MetinUz.
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Old 01-10-12, 07:37 AM   #22
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Cool bike. And I'm particularly grateful to be a fly-on-the-wall for these great tips from Otis and D. Dude.
That's a true classic, MetinUz.
+1

These gems are out there folks.

Patience, knowledge, diligence, a little luck, and some cash waiting to burn a hole in your pocket.

That's what it takes.
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Old 01-10-12, 12:13 PM   #23
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Awesome bike with fantastic pantographing. Like the hearts on the chainring! Good luck on resto and keep us posted on progress!
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