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Where to buy vintage decals?

Old 12-09-20, 06:13 AM
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heiwaz
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Where to buy vintage decals?

Hello, I am restoring a vintage frame, and want to put decals like original, please can you tell where to buy decals with a good quality?
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Old 12-09-20, 06:21 AM
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Velocals is a good source. Ebay is another. I recently picked up Witcomb decals from a UK vendor. There are a number of potential sources.
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Old 12-09-20, 07:54 AM
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GTS753 / Cyclomondo (Greg Softley) (Aus)
Velocals (US)
HLloyd (UK)
Gus Salmon (US)
BicycleDecals.net (UK)
When evaluating options (type, thickness), one thing you'll need to consider is whether or not the decals are going under a clear coat.
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Old 12-09-20, 08:18 AM
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Home

^^^^ sssink.com is the link above

Look under the bicycle restoration tab for a catalog. Huge selection. Kind of under the radar, but I got a lead from somewhere and found my otherwise impossibly obscure Heron decals here. Mine went on a powder coat with clear coat frame and the guy who did it told me he was impressed with the quality.
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Old 12-09-20, 09:35 AM
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Decals

H Lloyds UK is great . Their website has the images as well. Specify if you want the traditional water ones for the purist but be careful modern clear coat and wax attacks them. You need old school finishing products. But the vinyl ones are great and are bombproof.
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Old 12-09-20, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by heiwaz View Post
Hello, I am restoring a vintage frame, and want to put decals like original, please can you tell where to buy decals with a good quality?
As mentioned above be aware that there are two kinds of "decals". The modern "decals" are actually vinyl stickers, which are easy to apply, and they have a significant thickness to them. If you try to clear coat over them there will be a noticeable bump-raised area on the stickers. Traditional decals where much thinner and much harder to find and to apply but they can be clear coated with no raised area.

Gus Salmon makes real traditional decals when the other sources make vinyl stickers.
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Old 12-09-20, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Spaghetti Legs View Post
Home

^^^^ sssink.com is the link above

Look under the bicycle restoration tab for a catalog. Huge selection. Kind of under the radar, but I got a lead from somewhere and found my otherwise impossibly obscure Heron decals here. Mine went on a powder coat with clear coat frame and the guy who did it told me he was impressed with the quality.
Are their minimum quantities smaller now? Last time I talked to them (quite awhile ago) they really weren't working with anyone but professionals/businesses and their min quantities were pretty big and expensive.
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Old 12-09-20, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by BlueDevil63 View Post
Are their minimum quantities smaller now? Last time I talked to them (quite awhile ago) they really weren't working with anyone but professionals/businesses and their min quantities were pretty big and expensive.
I guess probably not. My set were 3 pairs of downtube decals for somewhere around $45 shipped. It was kind of fortuitous as the powder coater burned one set to test with the powder and clear coat. I was happy to pay it as the Waterford factory offered $100 + shipping for a set.
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Old 12-09-20, 01:22 PM
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i've had great results with the Velocals decals. I've used them on multiple bikes - 3Rensho, Zunow, Mercier.
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Old 12-09-20, 01:33 PM
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I have used Cyclomundo a couple times. First rate operation. Don't be put off by Greg Softly being in Australia - he delivers promptly, and his products look great.

And yes, technically, what he sells are stickers and not decals. Why you should or should not care is nicely summarized above. But I can tell you that any idiot can install Greg's product because I are one and I done it.

This is not a diss on the others listed above, it's just that I have not had the pleasure of doing business with them.
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Old 12-09-20, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Spaghetti Legs View Post
I guess probably not. My set were 3 pairs of downtube decals for somewhere around $45 shipped. It was kind of fortuitous as the powder coater burned one set to test with the powder and clear coat. I was happy to pay it as the Waterford factory offered $100 + shipping for a set.
Actually that is not bad.
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Old 12-10-20, 01:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Mike_Kelly View Post
As mentioned above be aware that there are two kinds of "decals". The modern "decals" are actually vinyl stickers, which are easy to apply, and they have a significant thickness to them. If you try to clear coat over them there will be a noticeable bump-raised area on the stickers. Traditional decals where much thinner and much harder to find and to apply but they can be clear coated with no raised area.

Gus Salmon makes real traditional decals when the other sources make vinyl stickers.
I was looking his page and seems to be good quality, water transfer decals.
But I don't know what is the best option, if clear coat after apply decals or not to clear coated. I think originals decals of all vintage bicycles aren't clear coated
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Old 12-10-20, 05:40 AM
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This topic comes up pretty frequently. Maybe it should be pinned?

I have some of Greg Softley's decals for my Atala Super Pro I've not gotten around to using (the Atala really needs new chrome), but they seem easier to apply than water slide decals. The downtube decals on my ItalVega are water slide from Gus Salmon. I hadn't applied water slide decals since my childhood days building models. Took me a couple tries to get right, but they look great (so far - not clear coated).
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Old 12-10-20, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by heiwaz View Post
I was looking his page and seems to be good quality, water transfer decals.
But I don't know what is the best option, if clear coat after apply decals or not to clear coated. I think originals decals of all vintage bicycles aren't clear coated
Ckear coating protects the decals from scratching off. Water-slide or Varnish decals are much more delicate than the vinyl stickers. But many more decals are available cheaply as vinyl stickers. Also DIYlettering.com will make you vinyl stickers from your artwork to order.

Good Luck and have fun
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Old 12-10-20, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by heiwaz View Post
I was looking his page and seems to be good quality, water transfer decals.
But I don't know what is the best option, if clear coat after apply decals or not to clear coated. I think originals decals of all vintage bicycles aren't clear coated
If you don't clear coat over your decals they won't last - especially the delicate water ones. Normally three layers of undercoat, three layers of paint, apply decals and then three coats of clear coat. If using the delicate water ones be careful as modern clear coat and wax can dissolve them.
Decals on powder coat are not recommended but then a lugged bike should not be powder coated as powder coating can't cope with the right-angle where the leading edges of the lugs and the frame tubes meet - the PC is very thin at that union and cracks when the frame flexes.
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Old 12-10-20, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Mike_Kelly View Post
Ckear coating protects the decals from scratching off. Water-slide or Varnish decals are much more delicate than the vinyl stickers. But many more decals are available cheaply as vinyl stickers. Also DIYlettering.com will make you vinyl stickers from your artwork to order.
Originally Posted by Johno59 View Post
If you don't clear coat over your decals they won't last - especially the delicate water ones. Normally three layers of undercoat, three layers of paint, apply decals and then three coats of clear coat. If using the delicate water ones be careful as modern clear coat and wax can dissolve them.
Decals on powder coat are not recommended but then a lugged bike should not be powder coated as powder coating can't cope with the right-angle where the leading edges of the lugs and the frame tubes meet - the PC is very thin at that union and cracks when the frame flexes.
OK, as someone with frames freshly powder coated and decals on the way -- if one does clear coat, especially on powder coat but also in general... how? Is this spray-bombed at home, or taken to a professional? If at home, what product is used? And coat the whole frame or mask off and spray only the decals?

Wow, I've read quite a few archived topics on decals here in recent months; I've read all kinds of discussion for-and-against clear coating, but this is the first I've heard of "powder coating can't cope with the right-angle where the leading edges of the lugs and the frame tubes meet". I'd think the vast majority of C&V bikes here are lugged, plenty of bikes PC"ed here, you'd think one would read of this contraindication frequently. I am probably unlikely to scrape off over seven hundred dollars of coating at this point.
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Old 12-10-20, 11:19 AM
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I have used vinyl stickers on many projects and I have, as stated, bikes with perfect stickers 12 years later with no clear coat. Partly it depends on how fine the lines are in your stickers. IF they are bold letters they will survive fine without a clearcoat if they are delicate thin lines maybe they would be easier to scratch.
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Old 12-10-20, 11:40 AM
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Get the vinyl ones, as someone said above they are tougher, cheaper and much more varied. One thing I was always mystified by was on PC 'd frames was the deep rust that was under the PC near the tubes going into the BB. The PC looked great but it had delaminated away from the metal and water had got between the underside of the PC and the frame. It didn't matter if a factory job or a professional job. Being in Europe this meant salty water from winter gritting was trapped under there hence the bad rust going unnoticed. A professional painter explained why this happens regards the inability of the PC to sufficiently bridge the base of the right-angle where the lug and the frame tubing meet.
A solution would be to regularly wax your frame to seal any cracks and thus preventing water ingress. Obviously a filed tube frame has a smoother join but the three steel bikes I had PC'd still rusted badly in this area - lugged or filed. Waxing is something I do now but didn't BITD.
Getting PC off is extremely tough going so go with regular waxing in winter and you won't have a problem. The wax will protect your decals as well and make everything shine.
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Old 12-11-20, 01:30 AM
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Be forewarned that if you choose to use NOS (new old stock) waterslide decals on your restoration project, that you might have to buy/source several because really old NOS waterslide decals may self-destruct and become useless as you try to wet and apply them. You simply cannot rely on them, as you can with most all fresh New Reproduction waterslide decals. You might get lucky and get one to work, but you may have to try 3 or 4 ancient NOS waterslide decals before you find one that does not self-destruct. There is no way to really determine which one might work. If they are old NOS, it really is a bit of a crapshoot. This runs across all marque & brands.
How old is too old? I really don't know, but if they are old, you might have problems, where you might need more than one to get one that might work.

As others have mentioned, most all of the major bicycle decal set reproducers out on Ebay with good ratings do produce a quality product at a very reasonable price.
There are some that produce otherwise excellent decals except that the color(s) and fine details and clarity within some are not exactly correct in the detail, and/or minor size differences of width of lines or script and/or color and sheen. Some Peugeot decal sets from a certain U.K. based reproducer are among the most accurate and have the best accuracy and details, yet are among the lowest overall total cost. Don't automatically assume that the USA based reproducers are the best sources because you just might find that for many marques/brands, that several of the U.K. based reproducers do a much better reproduction decal. You'll also be happy to find that the U.K. sources are not only better than most USA sources but are far less expensive in total cost including shipping. For vintage Chicago Schwinn bicycles, there is one USA source that is officially licensed to make reproduction waterslide decals, and decal sets. He is by far the best in the Schwinn decals and though he has most of the late fifties to 1980 decals, he does not have many of the decals before 1957. There are some CABERS that are experts that essentially painstakingly make their own correct reproductions of ancient decals and sometimes offer to produce others for sale to other fellow CABERS. Occasionally you might see something on the Bay but on really old and obscure bicycles, you typically see the new owners of these ancient rides usually keep that particular bicycle in original condition with a worn/beat-up looking patina rather than something repainted and re-decalled that looks showroom new. This is why you might have to be lucky and catch someone while they are making the repro for their own project and get them to run some extras for you. You can also connect with others that have shown/displayed their restorations with their own reproduction decal(s) on them, as maybe they can help or guide you on how to do it yourself, if nothing is readily available for that ancient model bike.
Remember, you can do your project bicycle any way that you want. If you want to place a vintage COLNAGO decal set on a current Walmart/Target bike that you've removed the badging & decals............Do it! Give it the "upgrade". Whatever makes you happy. What about taking an old Sears Free Spirit ten speed and repaint it and then rebadge/decal it with your favorite Eddy Merckx decal set. There are so many good looking reproduced bicycle decals and decal sets that you can mix and match if you want. Look at the 1963 FAVORIT decal set, as it has a multi-color design that looks like the old LIFESAVERS candy roll wrapper. Peugeot has so many great decals, as does BIANCHI and very old British marques and so many others from before 1985. Have fun. It is your bicycle. Even if you want to put a JC Higgins or Murray decals on your SPECIALIZED or BIANCHI bicycle and remove the factory badging & decals, you can if you want, but be forewarned that you'll ruin it's resale value. How about a SPECIALIZED with with the badge & decals removed and/or repaint and then a combination of the BMA-6 repro decal and some version of WESTERN FLYER decal and headbadge and the EDDY MERCKX repro decals on the downtube? Other than ruining the resale value, it might be fun if you're gonna keep it and ride it.
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