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  1. #1
    Senior Member TromboneAl's Avatar
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    Decision: Touch up, Powdercoat or New Bike

    I really like my 20 year old Bottecchia, but I feel like I'm losing the war against rust. I can

    1. Continue to touch up rust spots
    2. Have the whole thing powdercoated
    3. Buy an aluminum or CF bike



    Any thoughts?
    My Book: Drive, Ride, Repeat: The Mostly-True Account of a Cross-Country Car and Bicycle Adventure

  2. #2
    Junior Member HFWR's Avatar
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    You should see my bike, Al... ;-)

  3. #3
    Legs; OK! Lungs; not! bobthib's Avatar
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    I pick 1 and 3!
    BT
    '09 Motobecane Immortal Pro, with lollipops
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    "Oh, to be 60 again!"

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  4. #4
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Depends on whether the Bottechia is worth putting money into. They used to be good bikes but went downhill a good few years ago. Powdercoat would be worth it if the bike is good enough and you can put it back into original spec- but is it worth it?

    Now N+1 is always worthwhile but after so many years on a steel frame you will have to choose carefully. Lots of test rides- looking and spec sheets and choosing the colour. Depends on the Snow and weather but should take about 2 weeks if you pull your finger out.

    Or just walk into the LBS and say- "Have you got that one in my size." Impulse buys are good if you fall in love with the bike on first date.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  5. #5
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    After 20 years, you owe it to yourself to get a new one.
    George

  6. #6
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    I don't see any rust...........but buying a new bike would help stimulate the economy. It's your patriotic duty.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  7. #7
    tsl
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    Do you still love the bike after 20 years? If so, I would go 2 and 4, where 4 is, "Buy a new steel bike". You'll need something to ride while while the old bike is refinished, so get the new one first.

    Spectrum Powderworks is the best in the business. They can make your bike look like new, even replicating the original graphics, if you like. They charge a fair rate for that level of detail. Or you could save a few bucks and go with a new and different look.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  8. #8
    Senior Member TromboneAl's Avatar
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    Do you still love the bike after 20 years?
    Definitely yes, but I've never ridden an aluminum or carbon fiber bike. My bike weighs about 25 pounds, so I can't help wonder what it would be like to ride a 17 pound bike.
    My Book: Drive, Ride, Repeat: The Mostly-True Account of a Cross-Country Car and Bicycle Adventure

  9. #9
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Go get yourself a new carbon wonderbike. Keep the old bike around, and if you are still interested, get it repainted or powdercoated.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  10. #10
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    Why mess around with Cf go for titanium!

  11. #11
    Senior Member kr32's Avatar
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    Put your bike in front of the pole for the next picture or better yet get the pole out of the picture, prop on a stick or rock or something.

    Cool place for a bike ride too, nice backdrop.

    I would do #2

  12. #12
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    #1 I always touch up frames, unless they are in really bad shape. You save the original decals and keep the original paint as well (except for the small touchups). I use a rust converter product as a primer, works great.

  13. #13
    Senior Member TromboneAl's Avatar
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    By coincidence, two aluminum bikes have just appeared on the local Craigslist:

    http://humboldt.craigslist.org/bik/1595548530.html

    http://humboldt.craigslist.org/bik/1592335004.html
    My Book: Drive, Ride, Repeat: The Mostly-True Account of a Cross-Country Car and Bicycle Adventure

  14. #14
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    I wouldn't go for the first one- the Trek- Unless you are colour blind like the previous owner. That bar tape has to be the worst colour coordination I have seen yet
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  15. #15
    Council of the Elders billydonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobthib View Post
    I pick 1 and 3!
    My thoughts exactly. I think in the long run you might regret losing the "patina" if you stripped and refinished ole reliable.

    There is a time to resign oneself
    to old age and infirmity. You first.
    My Cycling Blogspot

  16. #16
    www.ocrebels.com Rick@OCRR's Avatar
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    I'd say get it powder coated if you can get authentic replacement decals and the bike (frame/fork) is otherwise road worthy, which it sounds like it is.

    Okay, I have a soft spot in my heart for old bikes, esp. Italian ones (even though I'm not the least Italian), and maybe more so since Bottecchia is a brand Greg Lemond used to win one of his Tour de France's ('89).

    All that said, and esp. once it's a done deal, you can still buy a new bike even if it's steel and Italian again.

    Rick / OCRR

  17. #17
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
    I really like my 20 year old Bottecchia, but I feel like I'm losing the war against rust. I can

    1. Continue to touch up rust spots
    2. Have the whole thing powdercoated
    3. Buy an aluminum or CF bike



    Any thoughts?
    It depends on what you want, there are two schools of thought.

    1) You want to restore the bike to like new original condition.
    2) You want to refurbish the bike to get a functional rider for another 10-15 years.

    In the first case, it can be tough, and very expensive, some parts can be worn and need replacing and they can be hard to get and that makes them expensive. You probably want another bike as a functional rider though.

    In the second case, it depends on how much work you can do yourself, and how much you need to get done by a shop. Painting should be done by a shop, that knows what they are doing. If you can do the component removal and installation yourself, that can make the project worth it.

    Start by taking the bike to a sign shop, see if they can reproduce the decals. I would remove all the components, take the frame to a frame builder for analysis, if it passes inspection, take it to a paint specialist, for stripping, prep and painting. If there are any adjustments needed to the frame, like those extra water bottle mounts you always wanted, the frame builder can put those on for you. Inspect all components for problems, you may need to replace a few things. Replacement decals should go to the shop doing the painting, for installation, they will know how to do it. Install your components, use new tires/tubes, cables and housings, new brake pads, and new tape. You now have a brand new 20 year old bicycle. I would get a new one as an everyday bike though, use this one for special occasions.

  18. #18
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    If it was me I'd consider how much I loved the bike versus how interested I was in having a new one. I love old bikes, especially if I have an emotional attachment to one - if we've "been through the wars together." But I absolutely love my new bike. Bike technology has improved a ton in 20 years. If it was me and I had unlimited funds I'd powdercoat the old one to make it look beautiful, and keep it around. But I'd definitely buy a new bike. You've gotta try the new stuff. If I had limited funds I'd leave the old one alone, except to do routine maintenance to keep it running smooth, and I'd buy a new bike. I'd keep the old one, if only because it would be worth more to me in sentimental value than I could get for it. I could let friends and relatives use it occasionally.

  19. #19
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Wow, going through the same painful decision... only my bike was custom built... in the '80s. It fits me like a well worn shoe.

    As far as overhauling it, over time I have replaced just about everything... so it all still functions well. (just like grandpa's old ax, which we still have... 2 heads and 3 handles later)

    I have other bikes, but old blue fits and feels just right... the others are special purpose... you know, fat tires, or off road, or skinny tires for fast rides... but nothing fits and feels like old blue.

    What do you think... powder coat?

    So if they powder coat, can I still get the lugs a different color or what?
    Last edited by genec; 02-12-10 at 06:42 PM.

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