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Advice for 1st restore

Old 02-11-21, 08:43 PM
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patnoe
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Advice for 1st restore

I have a bike that is not particularly valuable, but has sentimental value as it is the first bike I bought with my own money when I was 17 years old in 1976, and because I rode it from Boston to Seattle area in 1983. It is SR Gran Course. The deraileurs are okay, but the paint job is sad. Questions are 1) what is best method to sand off rust?, 2) would you try to preserve markings somehow or repaint them on?, 3) what kind and type of paint is good? Any other advice?




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Old 02-11-21, 09:13 PM
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It may not hold much monetary value but the time, sweat and wrenching you put in to get it back on the road will skyrocket the sentimental value.

I'll leave it to the experts for the rust.

Oh and welcome to the forums
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Old 02-11-21, 09:22 PM
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Howdy, do you want to do it yourself or are you looking to pay someone to do the work?
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Old 02-11-21, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Rage View Post
Howdy, do you want to do it yourself or are you looking to pay someone to do the work?
I was planning to do it myself
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Old 02-11-21, 10:34 PM
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I am by no means an expert but I have stripped and repainted more’n a couple bikes. Just took two late eighties rockhoppers and an old Fuji valite frame down to bare metal and am about to prime.

I like to use citristrip to get the paint off. It’s supposed to be non-toxic with no hazardous fumes. You can find it pretty easily, I think. Can probably order it from Amazon or something. I just get it at Home Depot.

Anyway, I like to do this part outdoors but being as citristip is non-toxic and it’s winter and all, I guess you can do it wherever you like. But I really prefer outdoors.
Also please use eyewear and gloves.
Coat the bare frame in a film of the citristrip then put it in a black trash bag. If it’s sunny and warm out, you can put the frame in the bag out in the sun during the day. That will get it nice and toasty. Heat will speed the process.

You can skip that part but it really helps a lot.

In two or three days with some heat, take the bike out of the bag and inspect the frame. The paint should be reduced to a jelly-like consistency which you can easily scrape off.

If no heat is applied, I usually leave the frame in the bag for a week.

You may need to repeat this process more than once to get all the nooks and crannies but it’s pretty tootin’ effective.

Also, expect to see that rust on the bike in the paint-jelly. It’ll be pretty gross. You can take some of that rust off beforehand but I generally don’t bother unless it’s really bad.

Once the paint is gone, let the frame sit for a day or two. Depending on how carefully you removed the paint, there may or may not be a powdery residue once the frame is completely dry. Doesn’t matter because we’re gonna sand the frame next.
I go from rough to medium to fine grit. You may need a wire brush to get into all the nooks. I only need to do that one out of every three frames, tho. Also depends on the paint they used. The paint on early generation specialized bikes will clean off pretty easily.

Lemme know how the paint removal goes and we’ll get into painting after?
HMU with any questions.
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Old 02-11-21, 11:14 PM
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I wouldn't paint it. When I was 19, I painted my UO-8. But I was 19 and it was 1978. I wasn't sentimental about anything. I wanted a blue bike. Try an OA bath first. Wax and polish. Then put on new tires, cables, bar tape and stuff.


Before a bath

After
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Old 02-11-21, 11:16 PM
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restore

my advice is to take it all apart and have it powder coated........if you dont know what that is ...google it and read about it.......it will coast about the same as paint stripper... sand paper... primer ...paint ...top coat .......and the powder coat will be perfect.........polish up all the components and regrease everything while its getting coated.........you cant save the frame markings but you can get new decals that are east to install .......it will be better than new.............if you want to do it yourself you have to sand all the rusty spots down to shinny metal.....cant leave any rust.......prime it .....paint it.....put on decals......then clear coat........lacquer or enamel will work but most spray can paint is to soft and will chip up fast.......you must use automotive paint....its much harder
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Old 02-12-21, 01:42 AM
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In all honesty, a $100 bill at a powder coater for a complete strip, blasting, phosphoric acid passivation & powdercoat application is so worth it. Between a few cans of primer, a few cans of paint, a jug of stripper, a few packs of sandpaper of various grits, etc...not to mention time, effort, & mess involved, you're in at least the hundred bucks the powder coater would've cost & he'll offer a more durable, wear resistant, longer lasting coating & passivation/rust resistance inside & out to boot!

Other than a headbadge, what decals do you need to clutter it with? Most bike look better clean anyway.

But if you've absolutely gotta have it painted, PPG automotive paint is durable & good looking enough. A body shop has all the skills & expertise with clean booths/air hoods/application, etc... if you don't wanna do it yourself...IME It'll still cost at least double the powder coat option to just get it painted & you still gotta do the prep work unless you want the hourly rate.

Doing it yourself prep, paint & all makes the cost at least comparable to powder, but a good air compressor & HVLP applicator still costs money at Harbor Freight...

Powder coat is the easiest, cheapest, most durable, & hassle free option, but so much is up to the skill of the applicator for quality results. Find a powder coater that specializes or frequently handles bicycles. If they specialize in deck railings, & pic-nik tables...run the other way!

Word of mouth among your local cycle group should guide your decision.

Last edited by base2; 02-12-21 at 01:49 AM.
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Old 02-12-21, 08:35 AM
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All very good comments here. If you want to do it all by yourself after any method of prep, I would go with epoxy primer in rattle can. ON my lastest painting I did just that used epoxy primer and PPG paints and clear coat. I spent about $250 on primer, 3 colors paint, and clear.

In fact I just got the decals in for said project.
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Old 02-12-21, 09:29 AM
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$250 sounds about right for me too. And that’s DIY.
Twice that for a good pro job.
S’why I originally started doing them on my own. That and I had access to equipment, supplies and studio space from my art school days.
I miss studio space for projects like these lol.
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Old 02-12-21, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by homelessjoe View Post
my advice is to take it all apart and have it powder coated........if you dont know what that is ...google it and read about it.......it will coast about the same as paint stripper... sand paper... primer ...paint ...top coat .......and the powder coat will be perfect.........polish up all the components and regrease everything while its getting coated.........you cant save the frame markings but you can get new decals that are east to install .......it will be better than new.............if you want to do it yourself you have to sand all the rusty spots down to shinny metal.....cant leave any rust.......prime it .....paint it.....put on decals......then clear coat........lacquer or enamel will work but most spray can paint is to soft and will chip up fast.......you must use automotive paint....its much harder
Originally Posted by base2 View Post
In all honesty, a $100 bill at a powder coater for a complete strip, blasting, phosphoric acid passivation & powdercoat application is so worth it. Between a few cans of primer, a few cans of paint, a jug of stripper, a few packs of sandpaper of various grits, etc...not to mention time, effort, & mess involved, you're in at least the hundred bucks the powder coater would've cost & he'll offer a more durable, wear resistant, longer lasting coating & passivation/rust resistance inside & out to boot!

Other than a headbadge, what decals do you need to clutter it with? Most bike look better clean anyway.

But if you've absolutely gotta have it painted, PPG automotive paint is durable & good looking enough. A body shop has all the skills & expertise with clean booths/air hoods/application, etc... if you don't wanna do it yourself...IME It'll still cost at least double the powder coat option to just get it painted & you still gotta do the prep work unless you want the hourly rate.

Doing it yourself prep, paint & all makes the cost at least comparable to powder, but a good air compressor & HVLP applicator still costs money at Harbor Freight...

Powder coat is the easiest, cheapest, most durable, & hassle free option, but so much is up to the skill of the applicator for quality results. Find a powder coater that specializes or frequently handles bicycles. If they specialize in deck railings, & pic-nik tables...run the other way!

Word of mouth among your local cycle group should guide your decision.
+ 1 on this. This bike is an old friend and deserves a new paint job after that many years of service.
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Old 02-12-21, 09:43 AM
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Forgot to mention, that $250 includes an interior anti-rust treatment.
Something to keep in mind, whichever way you decide to go.
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Old 02-12-21, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by patnoe View Post
I have a bike that is not particularly valuable, but has sentimental value as it is the first bike I bought with my own money when I was 17 years old in 1976, and because I rode it from Boston to Seattle area in 1983.
If I had a bike that I had done a 3300 mile ride on, it would be "worth it" to me even if that meant gold plating the frame and a full Campy NR gruppo.
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Old 02-12-21, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by base2 View Post
In all honesty, a $100 bill at a powder coater for a complete strip, blasting, phosphoric acid passivation & powdercoat application is so worth it. Between a few cans of primer, a few cans of paint, a jug of stripper, a few packs of sandpaper of various grits, etc...not to mention time, effort, & mess involved, you're in at least the hundred bucks the powder coater would've cost & he'll offer a more durable, wear resistant, longer lasting coating & passivation/rust resistance inside & out to boot!
+1 this. A home-done rattlecan paint job is unlikely to be durable. A decent home-done paint job with decent frame prep and paint equipment will likely exceed the cost of a professional powdercoat job. Powdercoat is more durable and less environmentally toxic than wet paint, and will include stripping and rust removal, which is a tedious and messy job to do yourself.
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Old 02-12-21, 11:50 AM
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Like others say powder coating is the bee's knee's. It's cheap, it looks amazing, and it's durable. I don't think there is a single negative to powder coating. I would take good pictures of the decals with a ruler as there are guys who make them. Normally I'm all about the citric acid or oxidic bath for removing rust. But finding a tub big enough might be a headache. In the past I've used a product called rust check and a brass wire brush.
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Old 02-12-21, 12:11 PM
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.
...here is a link to another forum, where I did an extensive photo documentation of a pretty thorough restoration I did last year on a frame with a lot of rust. If you have any questions about what's going on at any special stage, feel free to PM me. A lot of the stuff I had to do on that one, you won't need to do. That whole forum on projects has a wealth off information about how other people are derustificating and painting their project bikes.

For something like yours, I would probably just sand the rusty spots and strip the remaining paint and decals. Then prime (the epoxy stuff is good, but like 20 bucks a can, and you need to be carefull about ventilation or using it outside, and with a respirator rated for the stuff, which (the respirator), you can buy at Home Depot (the deluxe one>>>slightly more money). I often use just an old school self etching primer (also available at Home Depot).

I rarely disagree with John Thompson, but the advances in paint technology that have resulted in 2 part urethane paints, that you mix by puncturing a small chamber within the can, have made automotive quality finishes available to the common man. You don't need a spray rig, and one can of Spraymax clear glamour over your color coat and decals provides a very durable paint surface, once it's fully cured. It's quite remarkable stuff, and almost as durable as powdercoat. But it is a lot more work than a $100 powdercoat job.

I would definitely check out the frame and fork alignment, before you start the painting process, and correct anything that needs it. AS well, you might want to consider any updates in gearing, some of which might require a different spacing in the rear. It's nice you still have a bike that means something to you, personally. Most of mine have been stolen over the years.

For the SR decal, if you can't find one online from one of the many people making and selling repro bike stickers (Google it), there are services that will do a custom one off, if you design it on their Font application. That's what I ended up doing on that Follis. Good luck.
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Old 02-12-21, 12:12 PM
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If you are going to ride it regularly in your climate, Id go with powder coating. You may be able to get replacement decals for it. Most of my regular riders are PCed. With special ones I keep the original paint.
Enjoy the project.
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Old 02-12-21, 12:34 PM
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Damn! You folks are a fountain of good information. Glad I asked.
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Old 02-12-21, 12:37 PM
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How far do you want to go with it?

Refreshing the paint -- whether with paint or powder -- will just be a reminder of how shabby all the 45 year old componentry now looks against a fresh frame

Were it mine and it had sentimental value, i'd roll up my sleeves and be prepared to go all the way . The downside is you now have a bike with $1200 worth of labor and parts in that'll have a $250 resale value --- the upside is - its your bike to do darn well what you please with it

But im not just seeing a repaint, -- im looking at polishing any of the major components that will take a polish (stem, bars, crankset, hubs ) -- replacing the rims and re-lacing with new spokes - re-build the brakes and polish those at the same time, -- replace all consumables (tires, cables, housing, any worn or pitted bearings , etc etc )



The other way to go is to clean the bike thoroughly - remove all surface rust and apply a protectant to keep it from popping up again - then also replace all consumables, regrease everything and replace pitted bearing surfaces --- but you dont have to replace every single component that has a "character flaw" . This will still be a $250 project, but you will have a completely refreshed bicycle that is ready for another couple of decades


This is my example of a bike i had to go "all the way" on. It was a race bike from the 90's and was rode hard and put away wet. The frame had dents, - paint was worse than yours because although newer. Italian paint has historically had issues

Wheels - what wheels? It was a race bike so i used whatever wheelset was needed for that weekends event -- when my first gen ergopower shifters broke, i dismantled them and took the shifter mechanism out because i liked the big hoods and brake levers, but decided to just run DT shifters. The headset was indexed, - somehow a Shimano cartridge bottom bracket had made it into the frame along with a Campy drive side crankarm and a shimano left crankarm, (wrongBB taper for Campy) , and the brakes were a shabby looking set of Campy something or others with the barrel adjusters missing -- plus the stem was cracked at the handlebar mount bolt and the bars were gouged to the point that i wouldnt trust a 98 lb kid on them, much less a 225 lb sprinter

Basically, --- an old race bike with a budget Columbus tubeset (Aelle) and everything else about it ran through the mill ---- but there were so many memories with that bike, i had to bring it back from the dead

Paint, decals and frame repair were $450 , then the only component salvageable from the original bike was the seatpost --- so i sourced the rest of the components either from a few sellers on this forum, or on ebay, -- everything was either NOS or very lightly used . I have no idea how much the final tally came up to, but i was left with a bike that would have been my dream build in 1995, and although i know it cost a lot, -- the total is still much less than a modern entry level Shimano 105 machine would cost off the showroom

Totally worth it -- although i know this bike would likely only be worth about 5 or $600 max in a resale (if that -- if i were to sell it, id source other wheels and brakes and sell those separately)


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Old 02-12-21, 12:48 PM
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Bellissimo!
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Old 02-12-21, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by tiger1964 View Post
If I had a bike that I had done a 3300 mile ride on, it would be "worth it" to me even if that meant gold plating the frame and a full Campy NR gruppo.
It was actually a little over 4000 miles because my two friends and I had never been to the east coast so we rode from Boston to New York to Philadelphia then to Washington D.C. before heading west. Before that trip I had also used that bike to go from Seattle (actually Bremerton) to the Idaho/Montana border and back, and also a round trip from Bremerton to Tillamook, OR.

One of my favorite memories of that cross country trip was near the end. I broke a rear axle in eastern WA on the 4th of July just a couple of days from being home (undoubtedly from having 40 lbs or so of crappy camping gear on the bike), but the bike was still rideable. We were heading up Steven's Pass when I spotted a couple of bikers about a half mile ahead. I took off to catch them because I wanted to get information about local bike shops. They were drafting on nice bikes, but I caught them and rode along side them asking about bike shops. I could tell they were annoyed that I was riding next to them on my semi-crappy bike loaded with gear while they were drafting on their nice bikes, but hey, I was just 24 years old and had been riding 60-100 a day for a couple months. Crazy part of that story is that they told me about a bike shop in Leavenworth. We got there around 6pm on the 4th of July. They were open and had the axle I needed!
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Old 02-12-21, 02:09 PM
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your bike your choice is my mantra

first assuming you are going to go through all the mechanicals., clean,lube and adjust hubs, bottom bracket, headset, pedals New housings and cables, brake pads, tires, rimtape (velox), tubes and bar tape. maybe new seat?

from there is it your choice in aesthetics:

Do you want to keep the original color, feel and show the patina of a bike well used? if so then treat the rust with oxaclic acid and wax or clear coat
do you want it to feel new? then paint or powder coat

understand to paint is a ton of work and more expense than you think, even if you are not doing automotive paint, but IMHO the durability is not there if not using auto paint.

steps to paint base on my doing a 2 bikes
get really good mask as first step $60 or so
strip the frame of all old paint (chemical stripper is the best approach)
sand the frame to get rid of rust
tack wipe frame
wipe frame with paint prep
only touch frame with gloves after this
mask where you don't want paint
acid etch primer coat
sandable primer coat
sand
tack cloth wipe
second sandable primer coat if needed to fill in more depression
tack cloth wipe
2-3 thin color coats
2-3 clear coats

wipe frame with paint prep and only touch
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Old 02-12-21, 04:42 PM
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I consider this a candidate for learning the ropes in a figure of speech.
First budget-
tires, at least one new shift and one new brake cable, possibly housing, check chain, probably new rim strips, brake blocks.
Bar tape.
then review your tools.
buy? or Bike co-op?
Plenty of good advice before my post.
This should not be considered a positive cash flow adventure.
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Old 02-12-21, 07:41 PM
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About $10 for a half pint of Rustoleum, a 1/2" art brush and a qt of paint thinner.



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Old 02-13-21, 04:50 AM
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Vintage Schwinn
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Hey, patnoe, ---when you do get it painted the way that you would like, You Should Get A Nice Decal Made To Affix To The Bike Frame That Commemorates Your BOSTON to SEATTLE ride in 1983!!

That is just too cool for it not to be a storytelling-historical marker on the repainted frame!

That is way cooler than say something that anyone can buy.
For example, it's like the difference between some guy that bought a Vox amp used on stage by The Beatles at Convention Hall in Philly 9-2-64...........really that is no big deal compared to say Jackie De Shannon and the other artists that opened the shows on that 1964 Beatles tour. Yeah, there is no comparison, those performers that actually played as support acts, opening shows have something worthwhile to brag about, while that guy that just purchased some memorabilia-equipment outbidding thousands of others, ...Not So Much!
Your Boston-Seattle 1983 RIDE is definitely something special and well worth bragging about. You should definitely place a worthy historical marker decal on the frame where it is highly visible and yet looks classy. Heck, you can probably get some decal making specialist, or local trophy shop/ print-sign shop etc to make a nice mylar decal or waterslide decal or vinyl decal that states some thing like:
Elwood Bluesmann Jr.
pedalled this bicycle
from BOSTON to SEATTLE
JUNE 28th - JULY 31, 1983
and what a ride it was !!!!
This bicycle shall forever be
known as "Blues Image"
....Ride Captain Ride.....


Yeah, that was kinda corny and stupid but you can think of something worthy for your inscription.
Make the DECAL look at least as good as some of the old Bicycle Dealer Decals and at least as good or better than the best License Decals.

Have fun with it.

The Boston to Seattle thing is really something to be proud of.
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