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Saving original paint jobs

Old 04-07-11, 08:33 PM
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Saving original paint jobs

there was another thread where there was some fairly harsh criticism of the OP's choice to repaint his frame. I deleted that discussion. Here's a request not to be harshly critical in other people's build threads in the future, thanks.

I'm starting this thread to see if we can discuss this subject without someone to beat up on.

I am definitely on the side of not repainting, but there are some bikes that cry out for it, and some bikes are not so valuable that a repaint isn't acceptable to me. The people who sent messages on ebay to my boss about repainting his POS semi-vintage Cannondale are just nuts in my book, but so are the people that get their 1960 Rene Herse powdercoated. As far as I know, there are no "preservationists" that can take your valuable old bike and restore it without repainting. This can be a real issue for people that want to ride their bikes.
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Old 04-07-11, 08:53 PM
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Old 04-07-11, 08:56 PM
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The thing I dont get about the OP thread is that he probably spent a good sum for an lowly Aelle strait gauge bike with a pristine and interesting paint job. I ams sure he could have bought a much nicer, lighter vintage frame with a beat-up paint job if he knew he wanted to do a re-paint in the first place and wound up with a much nicer end result.
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Old 04-07-11, 09:03 PM
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I think we have to understand that with any "collectible" bike - we are only the custodians of them for a time.

Eventually, they WILL all go to new owners, so this needs to be weighed in the decision to modify a bike.

Rarity, historical importance - and of course condition all enter into it, but the wise custodian does not decrease the value of his possession for the next owner.
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Old 04-07-11, 09:07 PM
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Dang, sorry I missed the original thread. Probably gonna be repainting ye olde Pinarello soon. I've already stripped the downtube in preparation for testing out paints from the local auto paint shop. The downtube already had a huge gash in the paint from downtown parking incident. Not sure how picky I'll be about the match but I'm sure I'll be stoked when she has fresh paint.

I've already rattlecanned two kids bikes for practice. I'll likely do a couple more frames before I get a can from the paint shop and hit my Pinarello up.
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Old 04-07-11, 09:14 PM
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My new to me Colnago is a repaint, I have no problem with it at all if the condition was poor to begin with.
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Old 04-07-11, 09:17 PM
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Ok, I can agree with that. Respecting differences and everything

Originally Posted by unterhausen
there was another thread where there was some fairly harsh criticism of the OP's choice to repaint his frame. I deleted that discussion. Here's a request not to be harshly critical in other people's build threads in the future, thanks.

I'm starting this thread to see if we can discuss this subject without someone to beat up on.

I am definitely on the side of not repainting, but there are some bikes that cry out for it, and some bikes are not so valuable that a repaint isn't acceptable to me. The people who sent messages on ebay to my boss about repainting his POS semi-vintage Cannondale are just nuts in my book, but so are the people that get their 1960 Rene Herse powdercoated. As far as I know, there are no "preservationists" that can take your valuable old bike and restore it without repainting. This can be a real issue for people that want to ride their bikes.
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Old 04-07-11, 09:40 PM
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I do have a bike, or had a bike if the fellow ever pays me, that made me really consider this matter.

It was this Casati Gold Line S.



When I found her, she was being used as a single speed commuter, and had been secured daily by a heavy non-coated motorcycle chain.

This chain caused a fair amount of damage to the paint on the stays.

What would you folks have done with this bike?

A) Absolutely nothing and rebuilt her.

or,

B) A total repaint.

or,

C) Try for a color match and just re-shoot the stays.




Please keep in mind this is/was a beautiful framset with some very nice features and details.
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Old 04-07-11, 09:46 PM
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I would strongly prefer original finish and preserve it even if it is pretty ratty on the bikes I build or that go through my hands. But there are times when I think a repaint is called for in the name of preservation. I for instance just picked up a Gitane Super Corsa. There was pretty heavy corrosion and rust under the paint. On top of that the paint was heavily faded in some areas and the decals were in very bad shape. I felt that to deal with the corrosion I had to strip and repaint, which is what I am doing. It all depends on the rarity of the bike and just how bad the finish is.
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Old 04-07-11, 09:46 PM
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I would be touching up that Casati, particularly if most of the damage is to the stays. The color and decals are just too nice to lose. I've touched up quite a few stays on bikes.
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Old 04-07-11, 09:49 PM
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I might try to have the paint air brushed and touched up, we have guys at the dealership that do that on cars who are quite good at color matching and making chips gone. If it did not come out well I might do a repaint.
I have a Somec that is going to get a full replate after some small chain stay dents are repaired (the fork plating is toast) I am on the fence but leaning toward full chrome over a restoration of the chromovelato finish it has now. I think each bike frame is a unique case, and what brings enjoyment to the rider is what is most important.
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Old 04-07-11, 10:06 PM
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I've heard this tired old saw so many times that I can barely stand it. I love bikes, I love original finishes. Bikes are not Guttenberg Bibles, we don't pass them onto future generations. We OWN them and they need to be ridden hard and put away wet.

Originally Posted by auchencrow
I think we have to understand that with any "collectible" bike - we are only the custodians of them for a time.

Eventually, they WILL all go to new owners, so this needs to be weighed in the decision to modify a bike.

Rarity, historical importance - and of course condition all enter into it, but the wise custodian does not decrease the value of his possession for the next owner.
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Old 04-07-11, 10:08 PM
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I have had lots of bikes like this. Clean, polish, adjust, ride, repeat.

Originally Posted by gomango
I do have a bike, or had a bike if the fellow ever pays me, that made me really consider this matter.

It was this Casati Gold Line S.



When I found her, she was being used as a single speed commuter, and had been secured daily by a heavy non-coated motorcycle chain.

This chain caused a fair amount of damage to the paint on the stays.

What would you folks have done with this bike?

A) Absolutely nothing and rebuilt her.

or,

B) A total repaint.

or,

C) Try for a color match and just re-shoot the stays.




Please keep in mind this is/was a beautiful framset with some very nice features and details.
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Old 04-07-11, 10:12 PM
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The paint on my kool lemon Paramount has definitely seen better days, and I have tried to touch up all of the worst spots where there is a half inch diameter or more of bare metal in at least 10 conspicuous spots , but I ride the hell out of it. A repaint will definitely be needed in the next 5 years for the overall health of the frame, but its going to be a warmer yellow with some metal flake in it that will absolutely shimmer when it hits the sunlight on a cool morning ride. I will get new decals from Waterford, but at 650 a pop for a repaint , that will never happen. I am not going to give a damn about criticism when I get it done because its going to be beautiful. Perhaps repaints aren't always necessary but we all have our reasons and if it makes us enjoy our machine more or enhance our experience in any way possible then it cannot be the worst thing to do.
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Old 04-07-11, 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by gomango
I do have a bike, or had a bike if the fellow ever pays me, that made me really consider this matter.

It was this Casati Gold Line S.



When I found her, she was being used as a single speed commuter, and had been secured daily by a heavy non-coated motorcycle chain.

This chain caused a fair amount of damage to the paint on the stays.

What would you folks have done with this bike?

A) Absolutely nothing and rebuilt her.

or,

B) A total repaint.

or,

C) Try for a color match and just re-shoot the stays.




Please keep in mind this is/was a beautiful framset with some very nice features and details.

I had a similar problem with my 2002 Mercian frame. It had a TON of rust and paint damage and I thought about repainting it since the frame is nice. Instead I cleaned up all of the rust and used a combination of rust converter, boiled linseed oil and clear nail polish to protect all of the many bare spots.

The fork crown and blades were the worst:


The backs of the seat stays were bare too. Keep in mind, this is only a 2002 model!!!
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Old 04-07-11, 10:32 PM
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This is such an "it depends..." question. Do you prefer originality or aesthetics? In general, I consider repainting a frame part of its long-term maintainance. If you can avoid it, so much the better, but if it really needs it, then repaint. Very rare or valuable frames are in a different category, but they're a small percentage of the total.
I don't have any truly "collectable" bikes, so with these I come down on the side of aesthetics:
My 1975 Motobecane Grand Jubile was all scraped and scratched to hell, and looked tired and beat. That's not it's supposed to look! It was meant to be a beautiful and elegant machine. I repainted it.
The original finish on my Olmo was in very good condition, but it still looked like crap-- a dull gray done with low-quality paint, on a mid-range frame. What's so sacred about that? Repainted! Looks great now and I ride it a lot more too.
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Old 04-07-11, 10:50 PM
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I am just waiting for the weather to turn nice. I have 4 frames ready to walnut shell blast and then off to the paint booth. New decals from gts753 (eBay). I like using stock VW colors, I guess because they are easy for me to get.
You look at the Bold Yellows, Oranges and Greens of '70's Bottecchias and think back to the VW Bugs with the same colors.
Maybe it's because of my car background but I have never thought twice about repainting a bike, just like I would a fender on my Jetta.
Speaking of painting....has anybody done any soda - blasting?
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Old 04-08-11, 05:41 AM
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Originally Posted by vjp
I've heard this tired old saw so many times that I can barely stand it. I love bikes, I love original finishes. Bikes are not Guttenberg Bibles, we don't pass them onto future generations. We OWN them and they need to be ridden hard and put away wet.
And I've heard this tired old saw many times. It is full of false bravado and machismo, in my opinion. Sure, they're just bikes. And we own them and thus can do anything we want with them, but to continue the rather poorly chosen analogy, a literal interpretation might indicate the owner of a horse who may not be deserving of the animal. We may not intentionally pass the bikes we own down to future generations but they will surely outlive us if cared for properly.
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Old 04-08-11, 05:51 AM
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Originally Posted by rootboy
And I've heard this tired old saw many times. It is full of false bravado and machismo, in my opinion. Sure, they're just bikes. And we own them and thus can do anything we want with them, but to continue the rather poorly chosen analogy, a literal interpretation might indicate the owner of a horse who may not be deserving of the animal. We may not intentionally pass the bikes we own down to future generations but they will surely outlive us if cared for properly.
I ride the daylights out of a few of mine.

The others get only occasional use, so yes, you are right, they will outlast me.

I rarely abuse bikes though. All of them are maintained to a very high level.

This refinishing question though has me in a quandry at times.
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Old 04-08-11, 05:57 AM
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To me paint is merely cosmetic. You don't see any classic aircraft out there with their original paint jobs on them. It just doesn't happen. Nobody cries about it because it just isn't possible to preserve.

That said, if one is going to repaint one might as well do it in such a way that is an improvement cosmetically and protects the structure of the bike beneath the finish (which is the purpose of paint in the first place.)

I have no problem with powdercoat although it isn't the prettiest or the most period-correct finish. It does a good job at protecting the frame with a durable and handsome modern look.

It's always a balancing act between something that is usable and preserving the value. Often a new finish will look better, work better, be more functional but devalue a true collector. So it'll cost you money. But at least you can ride it and it will protect the bike from the weather. If you want a bike to collect and keep inside its whole life like a wall-hanging that deteriorating but valuable piece of history will be worth more for your grandchildren if/when they go to sell it.

But I'm not a big fan of the "we don't own these bikes, only caretakers" concept. I've got some strong opinions on the concepts of private property and if someone wants to take a torch to a valuable artifact they own and turn it into slag I guess that is their money even though I'll mourn its passage and think the guy is a Drew. But it still is his right to do whatever he wishes and in the end it is his money and his property.

Whatever makes you happy and fits in your budget. It's a free world (or sort of still as long as that lasts.)
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Old 04-08-11, 06:07 AM
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Ok, so, was my repaint in this case a mortal sin? My Fuji Opus IV....old, yellowing 22 year old white pearl paint. Chipped up fairly bad.

So I find a NOS decal set and have the frame repainted, in a white pearl that is as close as we could figure to the original color (hard to tell what that actually was)...

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Old 04-08-11, 06:27 AM
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Originally Posted by khatfull
Ok, so, was my repaint in this case a mortal sin?
No comment. It's a done deal. I really don't see the point in second guessing you, or anyone, after the fact. The only problem I have with that Opus IV is that, as a bare frame, you can't ride it. I trust you've remedied this shortcoming by now?

This thread seems a good place to discuss the Raleigh Record Ace I recently picked up. 1948 frame, black, original decals and original paint, some of it preserved and some of it really quite terrible. Decals are problematic since this bike came in like five different colors, and the decals were different for each. Lloyds cycles has the correct decals (reproduction I presume) in some colors but not black. Quite a bit of rust, which seems mostly superficial. I waxed it thoroughly but I fear a complete repaint may be necessary.

I'll be finding more photos... but here's a start.

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Old 04-08-11, 06:28 AM
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I, too, wrestle with the do I or don't I need to paint this one, or that? And the problem stares me in the face - today!

I have waited all winter (Canadian winter, for those who don't know, is a serious time), for a decent day to take my freshly built up Bottecchia Pro out for a test ride. I wanted to be sure of ride quality before spending tons of time, energy and even some cash, in restoring the bicycle. However...

The paint is not that bad but the art is nonexistent. When I say the paint is not that bad, I mean in most places. In a couple of places, the paint has been scraped off. And there are lots of little paint chips, here and there. Do I paint or do I not repaint. I will decide today, since the bike rode like an Italian champion, yesterday.

My plan is to do the bike jet black, hand painted of course, with red cloth bar tape, new hoods, and red toe clip straps (for show mostly). The decal set, from Cyclomondo, is already sitting on the shelf beside me.

So, here ya go. All opinions, no matter how opinionated, will be accepted with a smile and gratitude.

Paint or don't paint - I am undecided but chances are, by the end of the day, the Bottecchia will be on its way to darker (pardon the literal and figurative pun) days...

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Old 04-08-11, 06:29 AM
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I don't consider it a "sin" to re-paint a bike and I too am not hung up on the concept of purposely care taking an item with a future owner or generation in mind. Bikes are utilitarian objects. They were made to be ridden, of course. As has been said before, it depends a lot on what bike we're talking about. It's a philosophical dilemma rife with different opinions on just which bikes should be preserved as-is and which shouldn't be and thus, will never generate a consensus of any kind.
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Old 04-08-11, 06:29 AM
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submitted for your discussion
1983/4 Pogliaghi Pista, owned by Australian Olympic rider.
sent to me in this condition. What would you do with it?
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pog1.jpg (82.7 KB, 130 views)
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