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Old 01-04-13, 01:08 PM   #1
Ancient Mariner 
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Mid-80's Celo Europa

I hope to take advantage of the collective wisdom here in the C&V forum.

I was talking to the LBS on the phone on Wednesday, and he told me there was a bike listed on Craigslist that I should buy, that if I didn't want it, he'd buy it from me. With at least three other projects out in the garage, I wasn't too anxious to get one more, but figured I'd do it just in case it was a real jewel. The assurance that he would buy it made me a little more careless than I probably should have been otherwise.

It's a potentially nice bike, but obviously has been owned by someone who didn't take very good care of it. It has all early Shimano 105 components, DT shifters, and even has a non-working Campy pump. I don't think the chain has ever been lubed, and the bike has obviously received some rough handling and neglect over the years. There are lots of bad paint chips and scrapes, and there is some rust, although it appears to be just on the surface where metal has been exposed. The worst rust is at the top of the seat tube. I don't see any dents, and it all appears to be straight. I have not begun taking it apart yet, but was able to loosen the stem, so at least know I'll be able to get it out.....always a concern on older bikes.

I took a boatload of photos and showed them to my friend at the LBS, and he more or less let me know it was going to be my problem. He based his initial enthusiasm on a poor-quality craigslist photo, and was thinking he could just clean it up and flip it. It's going to take a lot more work than that, and that brings me to my question.....

Paint or not? If I do paint it (or have it painted) should I go with the current color----pearl white? Since it will no longer be original, should I just paint it in a color that I like (like red, for example)? Should I sell off the components? Or should I just clean up the rust as best I can and ride a bike that looks like it has the measles?

I know there is no way I'll make out financially, especially if I have it professionally repainted, but I do like the bike, and the frame was built by Colnago, so it's definitely not junk at its heart.

I'll post photos when I get to my other computer.

Thanks for your thoughts. I respect the level of knowledge in this crowd.
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Old 01-04-13, 01:56 PM   #2
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First, clean it up to rideable condition. Second, ride it enough to determine if it is a keeper. If so, you can start considering resprays, upgrading parts, etc. If not, sell it for what you can get and don't sink more money into it. The economics of putting money into keepers and flippers is very different (to state the obvious).

Third, go punch your LBS guy in the nose (figuratively, not literally). Not cool to say he'd take it off your hands if you decide you dojn't want it then back out. It was a dumb thing to say, sight unseen, but he said it and you relied on it. As a law school exercise, you showed "detrimental reliance" and should be able to enforce his promise to buy. As a practical matter, that ain't happening unless you feel like going the small claims court route, but that still may not work and it tends to end friendships.
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Old 01-04-13, 02:22 PM   #3
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No comments really w/o images. Celo Europa was a brand imported my Marcel Calborn (Calbourn?) allegedly via Colnago's builders and with Ernesto's blessing.
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Old 01-04-13, 04:24 PM   #4
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This is a few of them. The one shot that I can't locate is the bottom of the bottom bracket where the s/n is. It's quite rusty, although I'm making good progress at cleaning that up.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg CE000.jpg (100.9 KB, 72 views)
File Type: jpg CE007.jpg (81.9 KB, 52 views)
File Type: jpg CE006.jpg (79.9 KB, 52 views)
File Type: jpg CE005.jpg (84.3 KB, 61 views)
File Type: jpg CE004.jpg (84.3 KB, 55 views)
File Type: jpg CE003.jpg (84.6 KB, 48 views)
File Type: jpg CE002.jpg (77.9 KB, 53 views)
File Type: jpg CE001.jpg (83.7 KB, 55 views)
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Old 01-04-13, 04:35 PM   #5
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I have nothing to add but this scan from my archives:

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Old 01-04-13, 04:40 PM   #6
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Thanks. That is interesting.
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Old 01-04-13, 06:44 PM   #7
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Doesn't need a repaint. A OA bath should take care of that rust. Maybe a little paint touch up around the seat lug.
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Old 01-04-13, 07:08 PM   #8
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Not a Colnago built bike obviously. Either the rear wheel is bent or the rear triangle is out of whack....
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Old 01-04-13, 08:48 PM   #9
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That IS interesting, if it did not have CELO formed on the seat stay top eyes, I would have thought that someone placed Celo transfers on a Japanese bike.
I would not bother repainting it, just arrest the rust as mentioned previously.
The saddle looks whacked, it might be possible to align it but the cover is compromised, the handlebar tape problem is minor in the scheme of things.
The guy from the bike shop probably thought it was one of the Colnago sourced bikes too from the initial CL images. DiabloScott's archive really is definitive of what Marcel was doing, but not the Japanese importation.
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Old 01-04-13, 09:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by repechage View Post
That IS interesting, if it did not have CELO formed on the seat stay top eyes, I would have thought that someone placed Celo transfers on a Japanese bike.
I would not bother repainting it, just arrest the rust as mentioned previously.
I'm in the process of going over the frame and treating the rust where I can see it. Based on the suggestion made a couple times already, I'll put it back together and see whether I really want to do more. I'm satisfied the rust does not constitute a structural threat to the frame, but it looks bad. I'm finding real interesting corrosion where I wouldn't normally expect it, like on the seatpostfor example. I cleaned it up, but it's seriously pitted. It's aluminum, right? I didn't realize that happened.

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Old 01-04-13, 10:49 PM   #11
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I have never seen any Celo Europa that was NOT made by the Colnago concern (whether shop/builder or contractor) but you seem to have found one from Japan.
You might risk the wrath (or the dismissal) of Marcel and give him a call about the story behind this one...worst case: he'll hang up on you.
Steel rusts, aluminum corrodes...that style post with the milled grooves allows a lot of moisture to drip into the seat tube and work its magic on both metals.
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Old 01-04-13, 11:28 PM   #12
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I occasionally get over to Orange County. I think I'll just drop in at his shop in Laguna Hills, and see what I can find out. It should prove interesting.

Fortunately for this bike, it will never be ridden in the rain, and it will live out it's days in an arid desert climate, at least as long as I own it. Rust is relatively uncommon here, and it requires an exceptional degree of abuse to get a bike into this condition. I'll never know how it happened, but I would not be surprised if this bike lived somewhere else. For sure there was no effort made to maintain it properly. While taking it apart, I was dismayed by how little oil/grease there was on the moving parts, especially the chain. Paint notwithstanding, it will clean up nicely. It certainly was a sad-looking ride when I started working on it, however.
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Old 11-22-13, 06:03 PM   #13
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Would be interested to hear what you found out about the frame. I have exactly the same bike that I got usd many years ago. I just checked and by frame does not have the made in Japan sticker. I do like the quality of this Steel frame. When I got it it had Shimano 600 throughout.
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Old 11-22-13, 07:26 PM   #14
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Punch him the nose literally.
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