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 

ACQUIRING VINTAGE ROAD BICYCLE ART WORK

When it comes to acquiring vintage art for your old lightweight road bicycle, you have a few choices.  The first, of course, is to forget it and go with no art.  The second is to have a professional paint the bicycle for you.  And part of the professional painter's task would be to find or produce the art work and then install it.  The pro's results will probably be stunning but it will cost hundreds to get stunned.  And finally, as a third choice, you can paint the bicycle yourself, figuring out how to acquire and/or fabricate appropriate art work for the project on your own.

I cannot afford to hire a professional bicycle painter to restore my bicycles' cosmetics for me, though I do love the incredible quality that some of the better pros can produce.  With that in mind, the only option left to a guy like me is to paint the bike myself.  As for the art, it can be purchased or fabricated.  More than likely, the art applied to a vintage bicycle will be a combination of purchased and home made.

Purchasing appropriate art, be it new old stock or after market issue, is a simple matter of knowing what you need and how to apply it.  Of course, the actual finding might take some time and applying the art, particularly the new old stock stuff, is not necessarily a risk free procedure.  But purchasing good quality after market bicycle art is probably the best way to go from both quality and "user friendly" points of view.  Be prepared for a bit of a shock, though.  After market art is getting to be pretty expensive, much the same as everything else that is vintage road bicycle related.

At the moment there are few people that I know of who are making vintage road bicycle transfers, decals or stickers.  And those companies that are offering such a product are charging a pretty penny for their wares.  As time passes, others will see that there is a niche market for vintage road bicycle decals.  When that happens, prices will drop and variety will increase.  Perhaps even quality will see an improvement also.

It is, however, quite likely that you will not be able to find all of the art that is original to your bicycle.  With this in mind, you once again have options.  Have the art you want professionally fabricated or make it yourself.  Once again, getting a professional involved costs money but not as much as you might expect.  At least one decal/sticker manufacturer will accept your design and produce a sheet of high quality art for a reasonable fee.  The original design will, however, become his property.

So, for those of us who haven't experienced the Prince part of the "Prince and the Pauper" yet, home made decals become the choice of the day.  Once again, a small warning before proceeding.  Home made vintage road bicycle art will probably not be of lesser quality when compared to some of the after market choices offered today.  That said, home made art work can look pretty good and even stand the test of time if properly applied.

However, it is quite unlikely that all of a bicycle's art work need be home made.  Though it might well be impossible to find store bought decals for a 1975 CCM Tour du Canada, the Reynolds tubing decal is most likely only a few clicks and a PayPal payment away.  The same is true for "Made in Italy" and Columbus Tubing art.  The point is, look to see what is available before feeling forced to fabricate.  There is pretty good reason for this.

Most printer ink, these days, is pretty good stuff, but it just might blur slightly, when clear coated.  And, home made art must be clear coated, even before it is applied to the bicycle.  With this in mind, decals with small text, such as a tubing decal, are better purchased as opposed to home made.  And, fortunately, most of the small detail decals needed for many bicycles are readily available as after market items.

But. for the art work that is not store bought available, you will be on your own.  Pay the pro or do it yourself.  I do it myself...

NEXT - HOME MADE BICYCLE ART WORK

 

 

 

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