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Vintage steel bike colors (what do you think looks best)

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Vintage steel bike colors (what do you think looks best)

Old 03-06-24, 06:31 AM
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Provençal yellow is an often overlooked but appropriate color for a French bike (in my opinion)….
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Old 03-06-24, 12:43 PM
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To get back to the original point of the thread, classic/exemplar paint for a particular manufacturer:
Holdsworth: blue panels on an orange base
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Old 03-06-24, 05:26 PM
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I like my yellow Masi

1984 Gran Criterium
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Old 03-06-24, 05:36 PM
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There’s an interesting periwinkle blue, I believe, Colnago frame color I vividly remember, back in Atlanta, in the late ‘70s, or very early ‘81.

I have held onto that beautiful, vibrant color ever since, and often come back to it in my mind whenever I see a Colnago. This thread certainly reminded me of that!

Anyway, I wonder if anyone was aware of that particular Colnago and that color scheme. I’m quite certain it was a factory paint, and I have yet to see it out in the wild again, after that singular sighting. Sure would like to see it again, and maybe even learn which model it was.
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Old 03-06-24, 07:02 PM
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I've always wanted a Pro or Team Miyata...

Lovely blue and gold.

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Old 03-06-24, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Robvolz
Certain vintage cars look best in a couple of colors, and stupid in others, Example, Alfa spider in red = good. Alfa spider in black, not so much. Some are based on their racing teams, some I based on the catalogues they produced.

When I think vintage (pre 1980's) steel, some are obvious, like Bianchi and celeste. Help fill in this list, and feel free to debate

Bianchi = Celeste
Raleigh = Blue mink/silver
Legnano = pistacchio green
Frejus = light lime green
Colnago = burgundy
Cinelli = champagne gold
Masi = white/red
Olmo: = white/blue
DeRosa =
Merckx =
Etc etc etc
My Alfa spider was black!!! I think it does depend on year...later 70s early 80s in black was ok (in the USA). I just saw a 73 in green go by when I was on my bicycle (wow I could smell that spica). Green is not the best, I'd take black over it.


To stay on topic:

Holdsworth= orange.

Last edited by jetboy; 03-06-24 at 08:26 PM.
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Old 03-07-24, 07:00 AM
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Austro Daimler Ultima-Superleicht. Gold and regular chrome.
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Old 03-09-24, 06:08 AM
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Zeus, mine in silver and an older one in green, gifted to my son.

1980 Zeus Chrono (Zeus Criterium DR)

1970's Zeus Competition (SunTour Superbe Pro DR)
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Old 03-09-24, 06:48 AM
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Another vote for mid 70's Motobecane Red, like on my 75 GJ Mixte,



And for Blue, another vote for early 80's Miyata's with Gold trim,

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Old 03-09-24, 07:17 AM
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Hands down:


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Old 03-09-24, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by jdawginsc


Austro Daimler Ultima-Superleicht. Gold and regular chrome.
I love chrome on classics and nice paint that helps shows the beautiful metals like cromovelato paint jobs.
I recently restored a c80 Pinarello Treviso that was originally a medium titanium color and looked like dirty gray with the paint wear and rust area. Here is the finished product and as you may notice, I dont do professional work (photos and paint) but its not too bad for an amateur doing it inexpensive.


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Old 03-09-24, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Robvolz
Frejus = light lime green
No. Grey and red, or grigio-rosso. The shades have changed over the years, but grey and red. Even advertised it.





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Old 03-09-24, 08:40 AM
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Rob mentioned a burgundy Colnago:
Illustrative pic of my new new project, just arrived yesterday. Immediately removed that

ugly splash tape
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Old 03-09-24, 09:08 AM
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So many great colors!
It is hard to photograph a color the way you see it in a given light.
It surprises me how I often don't even pay attention to the color of bike until it is either torn down to the frame or finally assembled.
One of the colors I was on the fence with for years was Celeste from Bianchi. I Couldn't decide if I liked it or not. I think what won me over is deciding to accept it as it is, unique. Yes there are some shades that don't really pop for me Consequently I didn't really pay attention event when the color was accepted. Part of that was so many have unicrown forks and the other is the lack of chrome in general. Also, the wide range of models available confused me with which was near or at the top of the line for a given year. There is no question about the legacy, which also plays a part, not to mention the price of higher end models with chrome.
For many of you this will be a repeat picture, again, of the one and only acquisition of a Bianchi. It is far from perfect and does have some "damage" but it is good enough for me and with a little care in color selection, the first impression works well. I have yet to find a decent background for a good pic but here is the bike.
PXL_20230127_132501638 on Flickr

And also in the running is one of my favorites to ride, another repeat pic, with a color that is hard to argue with, Ferrari red.
De Rosa in Riding configuraton on Flickr

Then there are blues
Iconic Colnago early '80s
1983 Colnago Superissimo on Flickr

And early '70s Bottechia
73Bott14on Flickr

And finally, the departed (wrecked) Le Champion with a really unique paint of the early '70s that goes so well with bright Al parts.
1972 Motobecane Le Champion 24", on Flickr
2008-06-07 15.40.51 on Flickr
2008-06-07 15.42.52 on Flickr
2008-06-15 00.30.48 on Flickr
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Old 03-09-24, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Cissell
There’s an interesting periwinkle blue, I believe, Colnago frame color I vividly remember, back in Atlanta, in the late ‘70s, or very early ‘81.

I have held onto that beautiful, vibrant color ever since, and often come back to it in my mind whenever I see a Colnago. This thread certainly reminded me of that!

Anyway, I wonder if anyone was aware of that particular Colnago and that color scheme. I’m quite certain it was a factory paint, and I have yet to see it out in the wild again, after that singular sighting. Sure would like to see it again, and maybe even learn which model it was.
there’s a gentleman from the Sacramento region who has a playing cards Colnago in that beautiful blue color

He does post here often. Maybe he’ll pipe up
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Old 03-09-24, 10:22 AM
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I like looking at the old catalogs and pamphlets that were available in the era.

That’s why discovered early 70s Derosa and a metallic lavender.

In color for this bike



Graphics just pop
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Old 03-10-24, 12:57 AM
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A Colnago needs to be "Saronni Red" with white panels.

Last edited by mhespenheide; 03-10-24 at 10:36 AM.
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Old 03-10-24, 02:22 AM
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anything black and purple with chrome stays

or without chrome stays
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Old 03-30-24, 07:35 PM
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how's about Cromovelato rosso

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Old 03-30-24, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by SJX426
So many great colors!
It is hard to photograph a color the way you see it in a given light.
It surprises me how I often don't even pay attention to the color of bike until it is either torn down to the frame or finally assembled.
One of the colors I was on the fence with for years was Celeste from Bianchi. I Couldn't decide if I liked it or not. I think what won me over is deciding to accept it as it is, unique. Yes there are some shades that don't really pop for me Consequently I didn't really pay attention event when the color was accepted. Part of that was so many have unicrown forks and the other is the lack of chrome in general. Also, the wide range of models available confused me with which was near or at the top of the line for a given year. There is no question about the legacy, which also plays a part, not to mention the price of higher end models with chrome.
For many of you this will be a repeat picture, again, of the one and only acquisition of a Bianchi. It is far from perfect and does have some "damage" but it is good enough for me and with a little care in color selection, the first impression works well. I have yet to find a decent background for a good pic but here is the bike.
This is my absolute favorite paint scheme for Bianchi. The red decals just set the Celeste off to perfection.

for my part, I'd like to share an early 70s Paramount P13 that I acquired recently. It was in sad shape! The paint may have been original but it was so poorly maintained and touched up that I had it reworked. As I got it (and look closely at all the bodges . . . ):



and as refinished, using a non-Schwinn color. The white decals needed a bold background, so I chose this deep Gios blue.

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Old 03-31-24, 01:00 PM
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Gitane -Blue
Peugeot - Pearl White
Bottecchia - Red
Pinarello - Red or Blue
Raleigh -Yellow/Red/Black
Colnago - Red
Masi - Red
De Rosa - Red
Gios Torino - Blue
Guerciotti -Red
Ciocc - Metallic Dark Green
Bianchi - Cesleste
Medici - Red
Falcon - Gold

Last edited by Chombi1; 03-31-24 at 01:07 PM.
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Old 03-31-24, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Chombi1
Gitane -Blue
Peugeot - Pearl White
Bottecchia - Red
Pinarello - Red or Blue
Raleigh -Yellow/Red/Black
Colnago - Red
Masi - Red
De Rosa - Red
Gios Torino - Blue
Guerciotti -Red
Ciocc - Metallic Dark Green
Bianchi - Cesleste
Medici - Red
Falcon - Gold
reel back to the Carlsbad facility and Milano and Masi did not do red. Orange Red was what the tear sheet for Carlsbad called it.
kind of a Salmon color.
it was revamped to a darker, more intense color in the mid 1980’s, a few other colors were revised also.

Last edited by repechage; 03-31-24 at 01:31 PM.
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Old 03-31-24, 01:21 PM
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Raleigh white and lagoon blue
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Old 03-31-24, 01:52 PM
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Original in great condition.
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