Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

Paint repair on a vintage trek?

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Paint repair on a vintage trek?

Old 06-30-15, 07:07 PM
Senior Member
Thread Starter
Bugstomper2000's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Richardson, Texas
Posts: 120

Bikes: 1989 Trek 1200

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Paint repair on a vintage trek?

Unfortunately, the paint on my bike is starting to chip, and I already have a few metal spots. I asked on another thread if I should touch up the paint and clear coat the bike, and the general emphasis seemed to be that I should leave the metal showing, and cover the spots with clear nail polish. Apparently touching up paint damages vintage bike value? Truthfully I don't think I'll ever get rid of this bike and the spots kinda bother me. What should I do?
Bugstomper2000 is offline  
Old 06-30-15, 07:16 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: SoCal
Posts: 6,517
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 276 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 3 Posts
It's your bike. If you don't care about originality or resale, look intonation getting powder coated a new color. Otherwise touch up the scratches with nail polish so they don't rust
rms13 is offline  
Old 06-30-15, 07:18 PM
Senior Member
rpenmanparker's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 28,682

Bikes: 1990 Romic Reynolds 531 custom build, Merlin Works CR Ti custom build, super light Workswell 066 custom build

Mentioned: 106 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6556 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 56 Times in 35 Posts
If you can afford it, have the bike repainted and fitted with replica decals. That's what I do every 10 years or so.

Originally Posted by LAJ View Post
No matter where I go, here I am...
rpenmanparker is offline  
Old 06-30-15, 07:20 PM
bbattle's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Rocket City, No'ala
Posts: 12,754

Bikes: 2014 Trek Domane 5.2, 1985 Pinarello Treviso, 1990 Gardin Shred, 2006 Bianchi San Jose

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 60 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 13 Times in 6 Posts
I'd start a thread in the Classic and Vintage forum about this bike. They can tell you if the bike would be better off repainted or left alone.

I've built up some old bikes and never hesitated to repaint them. They weren't worth thousands of dollars; I was not diminishing the value of the bikes. One bike, A 1987 Fuso, needed a new downtube and I would not have found that out the easy way if I hadn't sent the frame off to be professionally repainted.

Given that you don't want to ever sell the bike, I'd have it repainted in whatever paint scheme you could imagine. Decals can be easily obtained; there are a couple of decal makers known to the Classic and Vintage crowd that also sell on eBay.
Bicycle Pictures
bbattle is offline  
Old 06-30-15, 07:26 PM
Should Be More Popular
datlas's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Malvern, PA (20 miles West of Philly)
Posts: 38,879

Bikes: 1986 Alpine (steel road bike), 2009 Ti Habenero, 2013 Specialized Roubaix

Mentioned: 530 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18609 Post(s)
Liked 5,490 Times in 2,698 Posts
It's a tool not a jewel. Ride it and don't worry about paint chips. Yeah it may rust up a bit in another 10 or 20 years but do you honestly think you will be riding it then??
Originally Posted by rjones28 View Post
Addiction is all about class.
datlas is offline  
Old 07-01-15, 09:56 AM
Fresh Garbage
hairnet's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 13,198

Bikes: N+1

Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 350 Post(s)
Liked 25 Times in 17 Posts
I don't think vintage Treks have a whole lot of "vintage value" over other brands but they had nice styling. Have it powder coated if the chips really bother you.

I powder coated this Univega. Came out pretty nice

Last edited by hairnet; 07-01-15 at 09:59 AM.
hairnet is offline  
Old 07-01-15, 10:41 AM
Senior Member
Kopsis's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: St. Pete, Florida
Posts: 1,258
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 83 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I wouldn't hesitate to touch up if the chips are few if I could find a good color match. But my idea of "touch up" is to apply multiple layers of paint to the chip in order to build it up to slightly higher than the original paint. Then wet sand it flush and polish back to the original finish. With a good paint match and proper technique, the touch up should be nearly impossible to see. There should be no need to clear coat the entire frame. The process is time consuming, so if the chips number much more than a dozen I'd probably just leave them.
Kopsis is offline  
Old 07-01-15, 01:46 PM
bres dad
Senior Member
bres dad's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Indiana
Posts: 350

Bikes: '84 Paramount, '89 Schwinn 754, '13 Specialized RockHopper, Trek Domane 4.3

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I've had some luck using Teslor's model paint on many of my bikes. My wife has a blue '85 Trek 400. I used some Teslor's to touch up a few spots and it was almost dead on. There is some information about repainting & touching up vintage Treks here if you scroll down far enough:

Refurbish or Upgrade Old Steel Road Bicycles bikes, refurbishing, upgrading

Beyond that, +1 on posting in the vintage forum
bres dad is offline  
Related Topics
Thread Starter
Last Post
Classic & Vintage
02-15-18 08:38 AM
Classic and Vintage Bicycles: Whats it Worth? Appraisals.
11-29-13 07:38 AM
Bicycle Mechanics
07-07-12 03:43 AM
Classic & Vintage
12-12-10 05:36 PM
Classic & Vintage
02-27-10 09:34 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.