Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

Canopus Epsilon Restoration

Notices
Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

Canopus Epsilon Restoration

Old 11-05-11, 05:19 PM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Southern Colorado
Posts: 163
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Canopus Epsilon Restoration

I am making a thread for the restoration of a Canopus Epsilon I just bought.

I found a bike advertised on CL that I did not recognize, it was a Canopus. I tried to look up information on the internet and here, but I found virtually nothing. The only thing I found here was a post from over two years ago by someone who indicated that their family was the ones who built Canopus framesets in Columbia, South America.

https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...hern-Virginia?

I contacted the individual and they were a wealth of information. This is some of the information they sent me.

The Canopus brand was built by Canopus Industries in Bogota, Colombia. Colombia has long been a hotbed of world-class competitive cycling, and has for many years had a well-known reputation for high-quality frameset construction.
Canopus built various different types of road bikes. The Epsilon/X was our premiere frameset, built with either Reynolds 653 or Columbus Max alloy tubing. Lugs were usually microcast Cinelli. There was also Epsilon, built with either Columbus SL/SP or SLX tubing, Delta/X and Delta, built with Columbus Aelle tubing, and finally Omicron track framesets. All framesets were hand crafted in the Bogota frameshop.

He also told me that the shop ran for about 10 years in the 80s and 90s, making about 600 framesets a year. I would dare say that these are incredibly rare frames.

The frame I have is an Canopus Epsilon, 54cm, my exact size. The PO was really nice, sending tons of pictures and I picked it up on the way home from Utah yesterday.

The frame seems sweet, Columbus SL tubes, Columbus dropouts, and gorgeous Cinelli lugs. The paint is rough and I need to figure out what I can/should do. I really want to get the bike looking good, but I want to save the art work.

Here is the bike as I bought it. Came with all Shimano 600 tri-color, including dual pivot brakes. I plan on keeping the components as it, I like indexed downtube Shimano.



I tore it down to the frame as I contemplate my next steps. Based on information from RobbieTunes, I may go to an auto paint store and have them try and give me something that matches as close as possible and then repaint around the Canopus art work and replace the Columbus art.

















Preynmantis is offline  
Old 11-06-11, 07:42 AM
  #2  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Southern Colorado
Posts: 163
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I was able to get information on the bike from the individual whose family made the framesets.

The serial number indicates that your frameset was built in 1987, and was built towards the end of the year. The master brazer's name was Hernan Vargas. He was with the company for about the first four years. The company started building framesets in 1984 and finally ceased operations in 1996. So your frameset was built when the company was only three years old. The color of your frameset was called "Anthurium Red" (anthuriums are large tropical flowers) and the grey decals were the very first style of decoration we did.

As far as the geometry of the bike: the size of your bike is 55 cmts. from center of bottom bracket to top of top tube. The standard Canopus geometry for a 55 size frame has a 73.5 degree angle in the seat tube and a 72.5 degree angle for the head tube. But I must say that we also built specially-sized framesets requested by specific customers, so your frameset may not follow the standard Canopus geometry.

Lucky me, a 55 cm frame is "my size".

Since I have been horrible about documenting in the past, I will try and make this my first well documented step by step project.

The first area to address was a small area of rust on the left seat stay.

On closer inspection, it was mostly surface rust and I decided to hit it with 400 grit paper. I also started to see how well I could blend in the paint damage since I am not thinking I will be taking the whole frame down to bare metal.

Before




After


Last edited by Preynmantis; 11-06-11 at 07:58 AM.
Preynmantis is offline  
Old 11-12-11, 07:34 PM
  #3  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Southern Colorado
Posts: 163
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Well, I conquered a major roadblock today for my restoration. Though I should change the title of this, since I am leaning away from restoring the finish as it sits. I am leaning towards getting the frame powdered in yellow and the fork in black. I will then do all of the artwork in black as well.

The roadblock I encountered was what to do about the decals/artwork. As seen above, I have to do something about the rear triangle and I hate doing things halfway. So, if I redo the entire frame, then I have to redo the artwork. Since almost nobody has even heard of Canopus bikes, finding pre-made graphics is impossible. Remaking the decals can be done, but it is not cheap, and I am... cheap.

So, I sat down and figured out how to do that today. For anyone who wants to see how I did that, here is the tutorial I did. https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...9#post13486189

If anyone comes on this later and needs vector graphics for a Canopus bike to restore, contact me and I will give you what I made. If all goes as planned, the frame will go to the powder coater next week.
Preynmantis is offline  
Old 11-13-11, 02:02 AM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
GrayJay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: EagleRiver AK
Posts: 1,303
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 27 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 59 Times in 32 Posts
Around 1993 I bought a (new) quattro assi frame from William Lewis Imports that he had built to spec by canopus, mine has many detail similarities with your frame. Story was that canopus also built some of the Greg Lemond brand steel bikes.
GrayJay is offline  
Old 11-13-11, 05:46 AM
  #5  
Banned.
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 27,297
Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 378 Post(s)
Liked 1,407 Times in 908 Posts
This is nice. I've always wanted to restore a bike and not get dirty. I'll be watching, learning, and enjoying.
RobbieTunes is offline  
Old 11-13-11, 09:24 AM
  #6  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Southern Colorado
Posts: 163
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by GrayJay
Around 1993 I bought a (new) quattro assi frame from William Lewis Imports that he had built to spec by canopus, mine has many detail similarities with your frame. Story was that canopus also built some of the Greg Lemond brand steel bikes.
It sure seems like they made nice frames, it is too bad they went away. This project is my small part in trying to make sure that a part of bicycling history endures. It won't be a museum restoration, but it will proudly wear Canopus artwork.

Originally Posted by RobbieTunes
This is nice. I've always wanted to restore a bike and not get dirty. I'll be watching, learning, and enjoying.
For the record, I have been pestering Robbie for 2 weeks about this bike. From pre-purchase advice to numerous questions, he has been my mentor on this. They broke the mold after he was made.
Preynmantis is offline  
Old 11-19-11, 04:02 PM
  #7  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Southern Colorado
Posts: 163
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Good progress this week, I spent the last day stripping the frame and it goes in next week for powder coating and I found a local guy who will make painting stencils to paint on the artwork.







Preynmantis is offline  
Old 11-19-11, 04:42 PM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
GrayJay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: EagleRiver AK
Posts: 1,303
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 27 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 59 Times in 32 Posts
Coming along very nice!
If you have not already found it, there is a fantastic blog dedicated to the often tragic columbian bike racing scene. I am pretty sure there is discussion somewhere in the blog archives about canopus. Regardless, the blog is entirely worthy of a few well spent hours of reading, it is well researched and has some amazing pictures and stories.
https://www.cyclinginquisition.com/
GrayJay is offline  
Old 11-19-11, 05:07 PM
  #9  
likes to ride an old bike
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Madison
Posts: 673
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Those joints look pretty; much less sloppy than my barely-preboom Italian bike.

I also think it's awesome that you're going to get the graphics airbrushed on instead of repop decals. Can't wait to see pictures!
MrEss is offline  
Old 11-19-11, 10:34 PM
  #10  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Southern Colorado
Posts: 163
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by GrayJay
Coming along very nice!
If you have not already found it, there is a fantastic blog dedicated to the often tragic columbian bike racing scene. I am pretty sure there is discussion somewhere in the blog archives about canopus. Regardless, the blog is entirely worthy of a few well spent hours of reading, it is well researched and has some amazing pictures and stories.
https://www.cyclinginquisition.com/
Thank you for the site, I will make sure I sit down and read it.

Originally Posted by MrEss
Those joints look pretty; much less sloppy than my barely-preboom Italian bike.

I also think it's awesome that you're going to get the graphics airbrushed on instead of repop decals. Can't wait to see pictures!
I do have the advantage of wanting to make my graphics one color, so the painting of them is much easier.

I agree that the craftsmanship is quite nice. Interestingly enough, I even know the name of the frame builder.

The serial number indicates that your frameset was built in 1987, and was built towards the end of the year. The master brazer's name was Hernan Vargas. He was with the company for about the first four years.
Preynmantis is offline  
Old 11-19-11, 11:18 PM
  #11  
Banned.
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 27,297
Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 378 Post(s)
Liked 1,407 Times in 908 Posts
Classic, just classic.

You just can't, or wouldn't, do this with lots of other bikes.
This one is a gem.
RobbieTunes is offline  
Old 11-20-11, 02:45 PM
  #12  
Senior Member
 
bobbycorno's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2,543
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 6 Posts
Nice shots of the "naked" frame, and very nice metalwork. I'd be interested to see a shot of the inside of the bottom bracket, showing the tube sockets. For me, that's the top indicator of how well a frame is made. For instance, all of my Eisentrauts have had cleaner brazing inside the bb, where few if any will ever see it, than most frames have on the OUTSIDE!

But in any case, it's always a treat to see an "unknown" brand like this.

SP
Bend, OR
bobbycorno is offline  
Old 11-20-11, 03:24 PM
  #13  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Southern Colorado
Posts: 163
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by bobbycorno
I'd be interested to see a shot of the inside of the bottom bracket, showing the tube sockets. For me, that's the top indicator of how well a frame is made.

SP
Bend, OR
Ask and ye shall receive...

I am not sure I have much frame of reference, but these look a bit sloppy. I know I need to treat the rust, I will do that when it returns from the powder coater.



Preynmantis is offline  
Old 02-29-12, 07:11 PM
  #14  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Southern Colorado
Posts: 163
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Finally got around to getting it powder coated. I am leaving the main tubes and fork crown yellow and the rear triangle and fork legs I'll paint black. The graphics will be all black.



Look how well Fizik yellow wrap matches the color....mmmmm....


Preynmantis is offline  
Old 02-29-12, 07:28 PM
  #15  
Senior Member
 
Ed in Toronto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 418
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Beautiful paint job.
Ed in Toronto is offline  
Old 02-29-12, 08:00 PM
  #16  
Banned.
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 27,297
Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 378 Post(s)
Liked 1,407 Times in 908 Posts
I think a real nice indexed shiny bling group will be nice.
Do you plan on using those levers?
RobbieTunes is offline  
Old 02-29-12, 08:28 PM
  #17  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Southern Colorado
Posts: 163
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Ed in Toronto
Beautiful paint job.

Powder coating

Originally Posted by RobbieTunes
I think a real nice indexed shiny bling group will be nice.
Do you plan on using those levers?
I am torn on that. The Tektros are really nice levers, but I am not sure I want to use them over the Chorus levers.

At this point, I am looking the 3T Evol stem with some black Cinelli Eubios bars, the setup you see was just removed intact from the Semi Pro.
Preynmantis is offline  
Old 02-29-12, 08:33 PM
  #18  
Banned.
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 27,297
Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 378 Post(s)
Liked 1,407 Times in 908 Posts
Perhaps there are black hoods for some Chorus levers?
RobbieTunes is offline  
Old 02-29-12, 08:55 PM
  #19  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Southern Colorado
Posts: 163
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Goodness knows I'll try.

Tracking a pair on the 'bay now.
Preynmantis is offline  
Old 03-02-12, 03:33 PM
  #20  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Southern Colorado
Posts: 163
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
First coat of paint on. Still deciding on leaving the rear bridge yellow or painting black.

Preynmantis is offline  
Old 03-02-12, 04:21 PM
  #21  
WNG
Spin Forest! Spin!
 
WNG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Arrid Zone-a
Posts: 5,964

Bikes: I used to have many. And I Will again.

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 10 Times in 9 Posts
Turning out very nice! I vote to keep yellow. Matches the yellow fork crown contrast.
WNG is offline  
Old 05-02-12, 05:07 PM
  #22  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Southern Colorado
Posts: 163
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Made some progress finally. Been working on more paint layers and smoothing out the PC, but the overall look had not changed.

Got the graphics/decals made and applied. Decided on cut vinyl that I will clear over.

I still have the Columbus SL and Campagnolo stickers to apply.



Preynmantis is offline  
Old 05-03-12, 03:45 PM
  #23  
Banned.
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 27,297
Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 378 Post(s)
Liked 1,407 Times in 908 Posts
Dead blame bleach bone tight right Awesome.

The Canopus is a straight-forward workhorse of a bike, as are many of the higher end bikes from South America.
There, a fine bike is used, passed down, and used, and passed down, etc. No frills, just a clean hammer.

From a country that produces great climbers, this reminds me of one you'd find if you were touring Columbia, and came upon a seasoned pro, getting ready for a serious competition, one in which he'll wash, lube, and adjust this fine frame and race it, again, and again.

This is the working frame of unpaved roads, water from strangers, and carry your own SAG.
RobbieTunes is offline  
Old 05-03-12, 04:00 PM
  #24  
Member
 
Simplyhere's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Upstate South Carolina
Posts: 22
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Agreed...that is gorgeous, and what a great job you're doing. Will follow this thread intently. Well done.
Simplyhere is offline  
Old 05-05-12, 02:42 PM
  #25  
Banned.
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 27,297
Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 378 Post(s)
Liked 1,407 Times in 908 Posts
I'll bet South America is a great untapped resource for great bikes.
They have the traditions, the stars, the terrain, the craftsmen, and events.
RobbieTunes is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.