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Old 08-18-12, 07:46 PM   #1
SingleSpeeDemon
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1974 Zeus Criterium Restoration

I was given this Zeus Criterium by a friend who used to race this bike back in the 70's. It's been hanging in his garage for over 25 years and in need of a full makeover. Originally, I was hoping to clean, lube and polish everything and let the patina shine through, but it didn't take long until I realized that the finish was too far gone.



Some of my thoughts revolve around restoring the bike to its full 10-speed glory, but I may also go with a fixed/single-speed set-up, with the Rivendell Quickbeam as my inspiration.

http://youtu.be/TTf0_MKplQE
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Last edited by SingleSpeeDemon; 08-18-12 at 07:51 PM.
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Old 08-18-12, 07:57 PM   #2
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Mine was in similar condition when I got it. Hopefully your headset is in good condition, mine wasn't and I ended up getting a Velo Orange french threaded headset which fit perfectly.
What size is your seatpost? Mine is 26.2mm, the tubing on mine is Reynolds "A" type - a lesser grade than 531 apparently.
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Old 08-18-12, 07:58 PM   #3
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Here is a mess of pictures I took. The wheels are off of a bike that was in my garage; the original wheels have sew-ups that were badly dry-rotted and the glue has turned to dust.

https://plus.google.com/photos/10722...CN23x7vkw8-fCA
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Old 08-18-12, 08:05 PM   #4
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Mine was in similar condition when I got it. Hopefully your headset is in good condition, mine wasn't and I ended up getting a Velo Orange french threaded headset which fit perfectly.
What size is your seatpost? Mine is 26.2mm, the tubing on mine is Reynolds "A" type - a lesser grade than 531 apparently.
The headset feels okay, but I won't know for sure until I can examine it. If not, I don't mind going with the Velo Orange components; I think they look better than the original. I never heard of Reynolds "A" type until I began doing my Zeus research. Yes, my frame is 531, but I am not sure if that is just the main tubes only. It's not something I could tell. The seatpost is 26.4.

Also I am curious as to why there are so many different versions of this frame. Some have cable guides brazed on, mine doesn't. Some have concave seatstay caps, mine are flat. Many of the Zeus frames look similar, but the details are different.
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Old 08-19-12, 06:14 AM   #5
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Well, no matter what you do with her, it's going to be alot of work! To bad your friend didn't take alittle better care of her.

Just my 2 cents, but I would love to see that bike be rebuilt to it's original glory. I love those original Zeus parts. Also, it does have some racing pedigree and history to it, and that frame is really nice to. Not to mention, you just don't see to many of these around...

Good luck and keep us posted!
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Old 08-19-12, 06:27 AM   #6
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Well, it will be a lot of work and, the chrome on the stays looks shot. Too bad. But it might clean up OK. Looks like most of it is just grime. I'm particularly intrigued by that tire saver mounted on the fork crown...upside down. Interesting old bike. I hope you just clean it up and replace the original components when done.
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Old 08-19-12, 07:00 AM   #7
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I agree too bad about the finish esp the chrome. Maybe a powdercoat to keep the budget low? then you could do like a blue with white 'socks' to mimic the chrome, just a thought. It certainly would look good with all the OEM stuff scrubbed clean and put back on w/ a few replacement parts for the severly rusted bolts and other bits.

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Old 08-19-12, 09:55 AM   #8
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Powdercoat could be a simple solution... the decals are on ebay, thankfully.
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Old 08-19-12, 11:40 AM   #9
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Maybe a powdercoat to keep the budget low? then you could do like a blue with white 'socks' to mimic the chrome, just a thought.
I like the idea. I am planning to do a candy powdercoat with a metallic silver beneath. Maybe I could have the "faux chrome" become the silver and mask the candy to just the colored areas. Hmmm.

I am also entertaining doing the head tube and seatpost with contrasting panels (this would be paint) like I did on this old Zullo I resurrected.





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File Type: jpg Zullo Before and After.jpg (57.1 KB, 24 views)
File Type: jpg zullo.jpg (69.6 KB, 35 views)
File Type: jpg Zullo Blue.JPG (58.7 KB, 21 views)

Last edited by SingleSpeeDemon; 08-19-12 at 11:46 AM. Reason: Photos
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Old 08-19-12, 11:48 AM   #10
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Powdercoat could be a simple solution... the decals are on ebay, thankfully.
I'm not sure if I will go with decals or mask and spray my own Zeus branding. Decals are definitely cheaper!
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Old 08-19-12, 04:09 PM   #11
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Also I am curious as to why there are so many different versions of this frame. Some have cable guides brazed on, mine doesn't. Some have concave seatstay caps, mine are flat. Many of the Zeus frames look similar, but the details are different.
IIRC, Zeus did not build their frames in house but rather contracted out to various small builders, each with a slightly different final product.
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Old 08-19-12, 04:13 PM   #12
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IIRC, Zeus did not build their frames in house but rather contracted out to various small builders, each with a slightly different final product.
They also sold the same frame with different components as various different models. Maybe some braze-ons were an upgrade.
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Old 08-19-12, 04:15 PM   #13
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Wow, that Zullo is a beauty!

You obviously know your way around restoring classic rides, so this Zeus shouldn't present as much of a challenge to you as it would to us mere mortals! So with your skills, some elbow grease and available decals, this bike should go together and look nice and original when it's finished. (You may have noticed, I'm leaning towards originality for this beauty)
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Old 08-20-12, 09:54 AM   #14
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Wow, that Zullo is a beauty!

You obviously know your way around restoring classic rides, so this Zeus shouldn't present as much of a challenge to you as it would to us mere mortals! So with your skills, some elbow grease and available decals, this bike should go together and look nice and original when it's finished. (You may have noticed, I'm leaning towards originality for this beauty)
Thanks for the compliments, the Zeus is in much better shape, but the Zullo was a gorgeous piece of workmanship and was worth the effort (though my wife might disagree). As for skills, I think it is more persistence than actual skill. It takes a lot of trial and error to get it just right.

On this project, I bounce back and forth from keeping it looking original to doing something totally different. Last night, I was contemplating a clear coat over the raw steel and painting on my own "decals" using silver, pearl white and blue or red candy. Of course, going original is sure win.
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Old 08-21-12, 04:38 PM   #15
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Oh, one of mine.
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Old 08-21-12, 05:49 PM   #16
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Oh, one of mine.
Wow. Just beautiful...what can I say?

I've actually considered a similar colour scheme for this Zeus. Don't be too upset if I end up copying yours a little.
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