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Killing the Brand

Old 06-18-13, 08:54 PM
  #1  
hamiltonian
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Killing the Brand

I've been having some thoughts lately of powdercoating (matte black) and refurbishing (with new Campy) some of my classic bikes: a 1985 Bridgestone 600, an 80's F. Moser I never managed to identify exactly, and a Bianchi (probably early 90's) that I intend to buy tomorrow.

I think this would kill resale value, but I don't intend to resell them.

The Bianchi in particular I'd want to anonymize, since I'll get it (in pieces, with an immaculate frame) for $200-300, and I don't want people to think it's an expensive bike. I don't care that it's Bianchi--I just want Columbus tubing to hang some Campy Athena on.

So is it a horrible thing to kill the brand on classic bikes? Am I nuts for wanting to anonymize my bikes?
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Old 06-18-13, 08:58 PM
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yes.

/end
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Old 06-18-13, 09:05 PM
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Yes, again
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Old 06-18-13, 09:06 PM
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what they said.. might as well have a Surly
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Old 06-18-13, 09:10 PM
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I'd say just ride your bikes. Certain bikes for certain purposes/parts of town, sure. I get that. But I don't understand why you'd need more than one 'anonymous' bike, or why it would need to be black. Around here, matte black draws more attention than it avoids.
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Old 06-18-13, 09:14 PM
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I hope you've been drinking tonight.
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Old 06-18-13, 10:04 PM
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I had my 1986 (I think; I bought it new about 1990) Bridgestone T500 powdercoated some years ago. The reason was that it needed it, not to make it anonymous. Even though I wish I had some decals for it, restoration is out of the question. I just want to ride it.

So I say, go ahead; do what you like.
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Old 06-18-13, 11:41 PM
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To me (and probably only me) the greater sin is parting out an older bike. The cost of authentically reassembling a C&V bike starting from a bare frame is usually prohibitive, and all too often forces the builder to compromise on authenticity, quality, or both. Making do with wrong parts is a fact of life; we do it because we must. Why, then, is it so scandalous to use powder coating? It looks good, it's durable, and costs less than a so-so professional paint job from an auto body shop or bike painter.
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Old 06-19-13, 12:26 AM
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Originally Posted by toytech View Post
what they said.. might as well have a Surly
I disagree. Surlys cost buttloads of money. A $2-300 Bianchi, while it may well be a better bike, is cheaper.

Do whatever you want. Although I must say, if I ever got hold of anything with an "immaculate frame" I sure as hell wouldn't paint it grey. I'd leave it immaculate.
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Old 06-19-13, 12:29 AM
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Originally Posted by hamiltonian View Post
I don't care that it's Bianchi--I just want Columbus tubing
read this out loud to yourself
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Old 06-19-13, 01:07 AM
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Spray with Plastidip. It'll give you a matte finish and you can peel it off later. The bike is original only once.
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Old 06-19-13, 01:51 AM
  #12  
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You could also turn the handlebars upside down and put a raccoon tail on the six pack rack in back
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Old 06-19-13, 02:59 AM
  #13  
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Whatever you say now, there will come a time when you want to sell them.

Powdercoat will reduce the actual value more than the perceived value and will actually encourage some thieves who will think the bike's current owner (you) doesn't appreciate what he has.
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Old 06-19-13, 05:02 AM
  #14  
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I've powdercoated three bikes so far, and a fourth is in the planning stages. In all cases, there's been a reason:

The first was my GT Tachyon:

Before:



After:



The reason should be pretty obvious - thanks to the "it was probably stolen at one time" rattlecan job, the frame was a wreck. The color used is the original color, now if I could just find somebody who would make the reproduction decals.

The other two were customs: The first was a 1999 Trek 2000T in the same shape as the Tachyon, which I turned into a replica Mavic neutral support bike.



The other was the No Dead Kittens bike (recently sold) which was my personal fixie. Based on a 1986 Centurion Accordo in rather battered condition:



The upcoming one is a Trek 1200 which was stored badly enough that moisture has peeled the paint off of sections of the aluminum frame (just photographed it last night, haven't uploaded the pictures yet). I've already got the proper decals on the shelf, it's being restored to original.

The usual rule of thumb is that you only repaint/powder coat a frame as an absolute last resort - and with the understanding that you're killing the value, the patina, the soul and the history of the bike. Obviously, in this group such actions are never thought of very well. We're into the history of the bike as much as we are into the riding. In my examples, there's two common threads. Either the bike is being restored to original condition (or at least as close to original condition as I'm able to do), or, it's a bottom of the line bike that's been turned into something deliberately custom. Anything higher than 'gas pipe' gets returned to original.

What you're suggesting doing to that Bianchi is foolish and, in some of my more passionate moments, bordering on criminal. At the risk of sounding insulting, are you sure your name isn't Drew?

And, as to why the passion on the subject? Vintage bicycles, like vintage anything, are a very finite resource. Once trashed, the odds of it being brought back to something that appears to be original is very slim. If anything, once the vintage object is modified to something no longer original, the odds of it eventually being discarded into the trash increases - a lot. And while an 80's bicycle doesn't seem to be something rare enough to worry about, wait another 50 years. Just as a example, how common are pre-bike boom road bikes today?
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Old 06-19-13, 05:09 AM
  #15  
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Do what you please.

As for resale, in ten years they will be worth less. I have no idea the amount but for funsies, let's say $1000. Will you get $100/year (that's 10 tickets to the movies) of enjoyment out of the bikes?

Yes you can wring your hands about getting every last nickel. Or, you don't.
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Old 06-19-13, 05:10 AM
  #16  
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It's your bike. Do what you want with it.
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Old 06-19-13, 05:27 AM
  #17  
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These are things to consider when trying to decide - Should I Paint My Bike?

Try to understand that destruction is involved. You can't go back and, for what it is worth, paint will do nothing to improve ride quality.

I do, however, know how the OP feels. It is so tempting to paint a bike. I face the temptation all the time. However, I know that doing so will cost me money and cause the bicycle to drop dramatically in value. When I look at it that way, it seems stupid (not calling anyone stupid), to me, to paint, unless the original finish is so shot that paint is needed for protection, not just to please winkin and blinkin.
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Old 06-19-13, 05:42 AM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by Veloh View Post
Spray with Plastidip. It'll give you a matte finish and you can peel it off later. The bike is original only once.
I was going to say the same thing. A friend blacked out her chrome wheels with it and it looks great. There are lots of videos online of entire cars sprayed with it. If you get tired of it, you just peel it off. No harm is done to the original paint.
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Old 06-19-13, 05:46 AM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by toytech View Post
what they said.. might as well have a Surly
Eeeewww?
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Old 06-19-13, 06:11 AM
  #20  
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Mistake.
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Old 06-19-13, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
"I know that doing so will cost me money and cause the bicycle to drop dramatically in value.
I have considered powercoating many times, and this too is also what stops me every time. A basic powdercoat job costs more than what I normally spend on a complete bike.
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Old 06-19-13, 06:33 AM
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I agree you can paint/powder if you want but then trying to prove what brand the bike is at selling time can be difficult.

I am not familiar with Bridgestones but I don't think the 600 was an upperend model right? go for it.

The Moser? Not a very sought after bike but a good solid brand. If the finish if really bad go for it.

The Bianchi..... possibly early '90s, just a Columbus frame? A Columbus Bianchi for $200-300 is a good deal but perhaps before you ruin any value the bike/frame has perhaps you should find out what you really have. Is it a run of the mill late '80s frame with Formula tubing? Or maybe one of the nice early '90s SBX frames or even a somewhat sought after TSX or EL OS frame?

If you want anonymity for your bikes buy some of the converted fixies that already had their identity stolen. You might pay $200 for a Columbus SLX frame that is really Tange Infinity but who care it is anonymous.
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Old 06-19-13, 06:43 AM
  #23  
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I think if you hang new Campy Athena on a powder-coated Bianchi it will still look like an expensive bike. That being said, I say go for it. Powder-coating is super durable and looks good when done right. As Bianchigirll said above you could just pick up another SL or SLX frame and powdercoat that.
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Old 06-19-13, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by sykerocker View Post
The reason should be pretty obvious - thanks to the "it was probably stolen at one time" rattlecan job, the frame was a wreck.
it could also be a "no way am i going to ride a pink bike" paint job..
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Old 06-19-13, 07:06 AM
  #25  
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I don't intend to resell them.
ever? in your whole life?

an immaculate frame for $200-300
you're going to spend another $100 to destroy a 20-30 year old immaculate original paint job?

I don't want people to think it's an expensive bike.
but you're going to put campy on it?


I would not repaint/powder coat an "immaculate" paint job if the primary reason were to deter thieves. an opportunistic thief is going to take whatever is easy to steal, and a "pro" thief isn't going to waste their time with old steel road bikes. There's also already plenty of "anonymous" bikes out there.. you don't think thieves know how to identify value of bikes besides looking at brand names?

Last edited by frantik; 06-19-13 at 07:14 AM.
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