MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

SITE INDEX   FINDING   BICYCLES   WORK SHOP   TRADING   WHAT'S NEW?

MY "TEN SPEEDS"  

ART WORK - INTRO

REPLACING ART WORK

RECORDING ORIGINAL ART

ACQUIRING BICYCLE ART

HOME-MADE BICYCLE ART

CREATING BICYCLE ART 

ROAD BICYCLE ART WORK - INTRODUCTION

Hundreds of vintage road bicycles have found their way into The Old Shed since I started collecting and riding old road bicycles.  And, after considering all of the bicycles found, it occurred to me that not one has showed up wearing original paint but void of art work.  A 1971 Atala Professional and a mid seventies CCM Tour du Canada arrived almost documentation free, but even they had something indicating they were made by someone, or somewhere or out of something special.  Had it not been for the headbadge on the Atala, I would not have been able to determine the bicycle's make.  And if it were not for the original bill of sale for the Tour du Canada, its pedigree would also remain a mystery forever.

One bicycle however, my Peugeot PX10, would have been impossible to identify had I not learned from the owner that the bicycle was a sixties something PX10.  There was little paint left on the bicycle, let alone any art work of any kind.  Not one speck of art remained.

Most vintage road bicycles, "as found" in original condition, have been identifiable, thanks to the art work included with the bicycle.  Art work, in addition to decorative efforts, serves to document who made the bicycle, where it was made and what it is made of.  "As found" original art can be painted directly on the painted surface as was often the case when pin striping was the task at hand.  However, documentation art, the "who, where and what" stuff, was usually applied in the form of decals, transfers and stickers.  It was rare that the "who, where and what" information would have been painted on.

The information offered on this early seventies English Falcon is pretty complete.  The art work clearly indicates that the bicycle is a Falcon, and a Falcon Special to be more exact.  The bicycle, according to the included art work, was made in England the the frame and fork material is Reynolds 531 Plain Gauge Tubing.  That is a lot of critical information to throw away with a repainting.  So, if you do choose to repaint, it might be a good idea to at least include this information with the new coat of paint.  And that's where the need for store bought or home made art work comes into the picture, if you will pardon the play on words.

The question, of course, is so what?  If the original paint is faded or scratched or chipped and the art work is in a similar state of repair, why not just redo the paint and art?  Good question and certainly worth exploring.

If a bicycle cannot be proved to be made by some one, some where and from something, then it is just a bicycle.  It is not a Bianchi, or a Peugeot, or a Carlton.  It is not Italian, or English or French.  It could be made out of anything.  There will be no way to decide, if the bicycle in question is collectable, or high end, or valuable.  Unless it can be proved that a bicycle has value, then it is simply an old bicycle and of little monetary value.

At the time of this writing, well known brands of vintage road bicycles are the most valuable, with few exceptions.  All models and vintages of Bianchi, Peugeot and Raleigh are all sought after regardless of quality levels.  And, do not automatically believe that brand name dictates quality.  Other big names, or should I say better know names include Bottecchia, Carlton, Schwinn, Fuji and a many others too numerous to mention in a single thought, are also sought after based on brand.  But that is changing.

A couple of years ago, rare and little know vintage road bicycles were on minimal value, often selling so that the buyer could acquire the Campagnolo components as a grouppo and at a bargain price.  Today, those same rare, and all but unheard of bicycles, are being accepted into the vintage bicycle community, as valuable items and prices are rising rapidly.

This information is intended to point to one irrefutable fact.  Bicycle art work has its important place, not only in the world of cosmetics, but also in the world of information and credibility.  Destroy original art work at your own risk.  But, do not do so until you have, at least, recorded what the original art looked like, and where it was located on the frame set.

NEXT - REPLACING ORIGINAL ART WORK

 

 

 

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