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What Do You Prefer - "As Found" or "Restored"..?

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What Do You Prefer - "As Found" or "Restored"..?

Old 06-28-21, 03:36 PM
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randyjawa 
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What Do You Prefer - "As Found" or "Restored"..?

Oops - please move this to Classic and Vintage (old age, gotta not love it)

I was just looking at a listing on Bike Forums For Sale and paid attention to a nice old Bianchi at a decent price. I actually considered tossing my hat into the ring and, suddenly, an epiphany...

I really do not want a lovely ready to go restored bike. I love doing the work myself! Now don't get me wrong, I do not dislike my Marinoni which came to me looking just like this, although I did add handlebar tape and new/larger tires, not to mention my SPD pedals. Other than that, the bike is "as found" and I love riding it...

As found...


Last ride...


The old Torpado that I restored came to me in "as found" condition and a condition that could only be called "poor"...


But the restoration process, which set me back a few hundred bucks, was great! To put it mildly, I totally prefer my Torpado when compared to the Marinoni...


My Rabeneick came to me as a frame/fork set and, once again, it is a much favored bicycle, perhaps my favorite in my little collection. Again, it consumed several hundred dollars to restore but I was totally absorbed by the rewarding experience...



All that said, how do you guys and gals feel about "as found" compared to restored it myself?

I should add, that when I used to sell a lot on Ebay, I consistently got more for a frame/fork set than I did for a complete bike. Not sure that that is the case anymore, though.
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Old 06-28-21, 03:54 PM
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I go both ways. Why limit yourself.
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Old 06-28-21, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by iab View Post
I go both ways. Why limit yourself.
Same here. I have four Schwinns that are mostly original, at least to the extent as received, and then I have two Schwinns that I modified.
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Old 06-28-21, 08:29 PM
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I love restoring a bike, then I get tired of doing that and love finding a bike that needs nothing, then I decide I love restoring a bike, then I get tired of that…and so on.
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Old 06-28-21, 11:51 PM
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Resprays and RUST!

Paint can hide a multitude of sins!

I only have maybe 2 bikes in my collection that I've acquired as resprays. The rest (N = Don't Ask) are in decent to excellent condition.

I HATE RUST!
I worked in a steel for a while in the 60's. I can smell rust, I can taste rust!

That said, I only have one bike in the herd with any rust and that's a 1971 Raleigh Competition that I bought as a gravel grinder. It's got an area under the drive side top tube with severe surface rust.



From 10 feet away it's not visible.... if you squint your eyes! hahaha The ride and handling make up for the rust.



Getting back to the topic, about 60% of my bikes I got as bare frames and built them up with either original or period correct or with components that I like for their performance.

My favorite rides have some patina. I don't worry about them getting dirty or scratched whereas the pretty ones never get ridden.

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Old 06-29-21, 02:15 PM
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I like patina. Probably a carry-over from all the carshows growing up in the Rustbelt. Cosmetically crunchy, but mechanically far from original. That's my MO.

That being said, I have a few bikes that are just too nice for me to ride. On any given ride, I may cut through gravel, single-track, railroad beds, or even city streets to make loops in my area. Some of my vintage 70s and 80s road bikes are just too well preserved for some of my tomfoolery.
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Old 06-29-21, 02:52 PM
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I'll take em however they come, price, want, need, proximity and many other factors, etc. swirling in the mix.

I often apply the "Pa*****o" rubric, going round and round with myself a few times to see if one or more of the more important factors pile up to trip the buy "trigger".



Looks like the sensor didn't like the Japanese slot machine reference.

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Old 06-29-21, 03:42 PM
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I like 'As Found', because I buy them for the project as much as to have them to ride after. But I want to have as many original bits as possible, even if I end up not using all of them. The Lotus Classique I just finished up had original everything, right down to the bar tape and tires, from when it was new in 1982. Every original piece I removed, apart from disposables like cable housing, has gone into a box to keep in case I sell it. I replaced the seatpost with one long enough for me, and the saddle with one that wasn't designed by Torquemada, but I kept them, too.
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Old 06-29-21, 04:09 PM
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I should have elaborated more on my deal. I really do like as found when they are truly needing a complete overhaul with deep clean to unearth a gem.

I don't want anyone to have been into it soon at all before I get my hands on it.
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Old 06-29-21, 05:03 PM
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I like "as found" in original paint and decals. I dislike repainted bicycle frames, even when the work is done well. I prefer the remnants of original decals to replacement decals.
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Old 06-29-21, 05:11 PM
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Why is this in the sales thread??
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Old 06-29-21, 11:58 PM
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There are 50 shades of gray in that vague, expectation-laden term "restored."

What constitutes "restored?" Many consider "restored" to be anything brought back to a "like new" state, thus, within that expectation is "repainted and rechromed." Yet, "restored" could also apply to an all-original object that has been cleaned, polished, and removed of years of grime, yet still carries an otherwise untouched original finish and patina of a varying degree.

Would that object be "restored" or "refurbished?" As a personal preference, I prefer the latter in regards to the term and the non-destructive approach to originality, but I would hazard a guess that not everyone will agree with that. Plus there's the chances of a very rough outlier that does warrant a repaint when all else simply can't bring it to a palatable state.

That said, here's a perfect example to throw the expectations of the term restoration into a tailspin: This 1952 Raleigh Sports has been completely disassembled, straightened, polished, repacked, reassembled, and OA-bathed (parts only, not frame). The aim is obviously to get it to look it's absolute best, but it still carries patina - the rims especially - and the frameset isn't perfect either. Just the same, I'd argue that any attempt to reach originality with this same bike through a "complete restoration" (e.g., rechrome/repaint for absolute perfection) would entirely ruin it by virtue of achieving results that don't look original.

So Is it "restored" or not?

BEFORE:


AFTER (in progress):


-Kurt
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Old 06-30-21, 01:16 AM
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Refurbnished... One Man's Dream, Another's Nitemare!

Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
There are 50 shades of gray in that vague, expectation-laden term "restored."

What constitutes "restored?" Many consider "restored" to be anything brought back to a "like new" state, thus, within that expectation is "repainted and rechromed." Yet, "restored" could also apply to an all-original object that has been cleaned, polished, and removed of years of grime, yet still carries an otherwise untouched original finish and patina of a varying degree.

-Kurt
Kurt,

eBay Listing Description: "Raleigh Competition , early 70's Reynolds 531, Upgraded & Rebuilt!"

I took the seller at their word and further descriptions that "EVERYTHING" had been gone over and "REBUILT". I figured I could go over a few things, make some component changes and it would be ready to ride in CA L'Eroica and gravel grinding. WRONG!



The only things that I didn't have to rebuild or replace to get the bike rideable were the wheels/hubs and the cartridge BB!

For example: Alloy seatpost



All of the cables and housing had to be replaced plus the headset, the FD, the FW, the RD had to be rebuilt, and so on.

Finished bike - everything works like new and the ride and handling are great.



So much for Upgraded & Rebuilt!

To be fair, the seller sent me a substantial refund and I have a bike that does what I bought it for.

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Old 06-30-21, 06:22 AM
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I don't think I've ever purchased a bike that didn't need a total rebuild except a trek 7.1 hybrid. I guess that's not C&V. I don't ride them until I have gone over every nut and bolt and turned them to my satisfaction.
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Old 06-30-21, 06:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Narhay View Post
I don't think I've ever purchased a bike that didn't need a total rebuild except a trek 7.1 hybrid. I guess that's not C&V. I don't ride them until I have gone over every nut and bolt and turned them to my satisfaction.
I rebuild the bikes I buy as well. You never know what work, if any, was done by the PO.
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Old 06-30-21, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by verktyg View Post
Kurt,

eBay Listing Description: "Raleigh Competition , early 70's Reynolds 531, Upgraded & Rebuilt!"

I took the seller at their word...
eBay descriptions don't apply here. Second only to the land of Craigslist and OfferUp hyperbole and outright dishonesty.

Mistake #2 is taking any seller at their word.

-Kurt
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Old 06-30-21, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by clubman View Post
Why is this in the sales thread??
I’m guessing Randy has created NFTs for those images. Watch out—the bill is in the mail!
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Old 06-30-21, 07:49 AM
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I think I'm with Randy. I prefer a "good" as found bike, but it all depends on what I found. A basket with some, but not all the original components along with a frame and fork taken down to bare metal can become a rare beauty but it will take a lot of time and effort to get there. Don
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Old 06-30-21, 07:57 AM
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To me bikes are tools. I ride 'em,. I like to buy frames and build them to ride. I like old steel, because it is pretty. But, I don't restore. If there are paint chips, the most I'll do is touch-up work.
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Old 06-30-21, 07:59 AM
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My name may give away my opinion BUT if a bike, like my ~1955 Bianchi, is missing half of its paint that is the tipping point. Strip it down for a refinish. Since a freshly refinished frame looks terrible with rusty components I may as well go full tilt and make everything is shiny.

If a bike has a patina, not massive corrosion, all of the mechanical bits will get some loving which usually means lube/grease, new bearings, new cables, new tires/tubes, new chain and anything else that makes it safe and functional. If it is cosmetically challenged but structurally sound, I’m fine with that.

Finally, if there is stuff I think is in poor taste (i.e. Planet Bike fenders or camo bar wrap) I toss it.

My 2 cents…
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Old 06-30-21, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
There are 50 shades of gray in that vague, expectation-laden term "restored."

What constitutes "restored?" Many consider "restored" to be anything brought back to a "like new" state, thus, within that expectation is "repainted and rechromed." Yet, "restored" could also apply to an all-original object that has been cleaned, polished, and removed of years of grime, yet still carries an otherwise untouched original finish and patina of a varying degree.

Would that object be "restored" or "refurbished?" As a personal preference, I prefer the latter in regards to the term and the non-destructive approach to originality, but I would hazard a guess that not everyone will agree with that. Plus there's the chances of a very rough outlier that does warrant a repaint when all else simply can't bring it to a palatable state.

That said, here's a perfect example to throw the expectations of the term restoration into a tailspin: This 1952 Raleigh Sports has been completely disassembled, straightened, polished, repacked, reassembled, and OA-bathed (parts only, not frame). The aim is obviously to get it to look it's absolute best, but it still carries patina - the rims especially - and the frameset isn't perfect either. Just the same, I'd argue that any attempt to reach originality with this same bike through a "complete restoration" (e.g., rechrome/repaint for absolute perfection) would entirely ruin it by virtue of achieving results that don't look original.

So Is it "restored" or not?

BEFORE:


AFTER (in progress):


-Kurt
Recently Serviced.
but where are the pedals?
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Old 06-30-21, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
Recently Serviced.
"Recently serviced?" I interpret that as "went to the bike shop, got a tune up." This ain't it.

I don't know of any bike shop that'll disassemble a 68 year old bike, spend hours cleaning oxidation off, put it back together again, and call it "recently serviced." If that were the case, we'd be out of a hobby

Originally Posted by repechage View Post
but where are the pedals?
Note "AFTER: (in progress)."

-Kurt
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Old 06-30-21, 09:01 AM
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I used to take 'em however I found them, but that has changed.

If I can determine that the bike is all original and pretty much unmolested, I would probably buy it. Take it apart, change out bearings, check the races, add new grease, replace consumables, good to go.

"Restored" and "refurbished" seems to be open to very broad interpretation, as has already been discussed. It seems to me that bike "mechanics," or at least those who think of themselves as mechanics, are often pragmatists: if it works, or at least appears to work, go with it. Case in point: the Liberia I recently purchased had a replacement seat post, probably a generic Kalloy, which was cut down so that the portion that indicated the size was gone. Re-inserting the seat post (with grease this time!) was leaving fine aluminum shavings at the opening, to me indicating that it was probably the wrong size. I emailed the seller and asked him about the seat post size, to which he replied:

The seatposts I often use are a modern product with a simple, vintage look, but come rather long so that they work in mountain bikes and road frames with a sloping top tube. I will cut them down a few inches, and I guess I lopped off the info for which you were looking, sorry.

I started collecting parts for this build back in November, and I was working on a few different bikes back then, so I'm not sure which order was what diameter. I seem to remember installing an old 27.2 post in the Liberia so that I could work on the bicycle until the new post arrived, but I'm not positive.
Hmmm. I don't know about you, but I'm thinking a 1973 Liberia (French bike!) with three tubes of Reynolds 531 does NOT use a 27.2mm seat post! This is from a guy that bills himself as a "professional bike restorer/refurbisher/mechanic." If that's even the size he used, which he is unsure of! Also, the headset was loose!

I'm a horrible mechanic, so the closer to OEM, the better. I can work with that, as long as the seat post and stem are not seized up.

I tell you, sometimes it's enough to make me want to just go out and buy a new bike, except I hate the new stuff. Which is why my next bike will probably be a new "modern classic," probably custom built.
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Old 06-30-21, 11:24 AM
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I am aligned with the way randyjawa described it: part of the enjoyment of the hobby is the hands on work one does, and a bike that comes to you perfect (either new or beautifully maintained) is still fun but somehow not quite as fun as taking something less than stellar and doing work to bring it to some level of "okness". I had one bike that had been cosmetically ruined so felt no problem in stripping and repainting, and I learned tons about the process. Another was cosmetically challenged and I left it alone for quite some time before realizing the challenges were bothering me, so it also got the full strip and repaint/redecal treatment. However most of the other bikes I have are either in "as found state" (but still completely gone over for tires/cables/lubricants etc) or minimally upgraded (new rims, component swaps etc). I really enjoy doing the work (and trying to do it well) and then riding the result.....more than solely the riding.
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Old 06-30-21, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Narhay View Post
I don't think I've ever purchased a bike that didn't need a total rebuild...
I have, on probably more than one occasion. But you never know that until you disassemble everything. I remember one bike's Record hubs we're absolutely perfect with beautiful Campy grease inside. After I rebuilt both, I was thinking, was this made better off?
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