MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

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MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

PAINT OR NOT - INTRO

VALUE OF ORIGINAL

WHEN TO PAINT?

COSMETIC REPAIR COSTS

TO PAINT ??? - SUMMARY

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE VALUE OF ORIGINAL!

Were someone capable of painting an exact, virtually identical, copy of the Mona Lisa, would the copied picture have the same monetary value as the original?  Or, how about if 1000, virtually identical, copies were made?  Would each one be worth a kazillion dollars?  Of course not.  Only the original one would lay claim to that great value.

Though certainly not on the same scale, so it is with vintage bicycles, particularly vintage road bicycles.  The original finish has value, simply because it can only be original once!  Even repainted and perfectly matched, the bicycle will no longer be original.  It will just be a repainted bicycle, and one that can be repainted, again and again, a thousand times, or a million for that matter.  Suddenly, it becomes self evidently obvious that, sometimes, repainting a bicycle causes value to be negatively impacted.

Repainting a vintage bicycle can, and usually will, disrupt credibility.  Consider the drop dead gorgeous yellow and blue Proctor-Townsend, pictured at the beginning of this page.  What a lovely bicycle!  Problem is, the bike is not a Proctor-Townsend!  Rather, it is an earlier Proctor, repainted and decaled with Proctor-Townsend art.  Had this not been reported by the original owner, the bicycle's pedigree would have been lost in time, forever to be mistaken as something it it not.  And, in this case, that something would be lesser than the reality it disguises.  Such lack of credibility can be a far reaching issue.

Many bicycle frame and fork sets, road bicycles at least, are made from special, often times exotic, materials which are then coupled with exotic structures.  For example Reynolds 531 molybdenum tubing is an exotic material, as is Columbus Special, a chrome molybdenum material.  Though both are steel alloys, it is the alloy part that adds strength.  The stronger a material is, the less of it is needed to attain similar or greater strength, all other things being equal.  Of course, less material equals less weight.

So what?  Who really cares what a bicycle's frame set is made of?  Who cares how heavy a frame set is?  In a nutshell, just about anyone who knows little, or lots, about vintage road bicycles and their make-up.  A non-exotic tube set is worth considerably less than an exotic one.  An exotic tube structure is worth considerably more than a standard structure.  It is the bicycle's art work, revealed in the form or a tubing decal, that helps the viewer to understand what kind of material and structure has gone into the fabrication of the bicycle's frame.

Tubing decals almost always accompany the tubing, on a vintage road bicycle.  The decals do not always denote exotic this or that, but they always point to something.  A bicycle that does not sport the decal, is usually made of very standard tubing or even pipe, with pipe being the least desirable material sought after.  And, make no mistake about it, you will never see a bicycle, vintage or new, sporting a decal indicating that the frame is made of pipe!

So, once a bicycle is repainted, how does one know what kind and structure of tubing was used to fabricate the frame?  The point is, the viewer does not know unless he, or she, is capable of determining type through years of study, practice, and experience.  A very valuable and useful piece of information will be lost, upon repainting the bicycle and this is very undesirable to collectors and/or vintage bicycle enthusiasts.

What about the rest of the art?  Is it available and if so, for how much $$$?  At the time of this writing, reproduction vintage bicycle art is available, for many makes and models of bicycles, but the reproductions (key word) are not necessarily available for all.  To that add that what is available can be poorly made.  Additionally, the decals can be expensive.

So, in short, a repainted bicycle is one that has lost its credibility, in the vintage Velo world!  And, with loss of credibility, comes reduction in value - most of the time.  To that, add that it will cost plenty to repaint a bicycle, and a heck of a lot more to have a professional shop paint it for you.

Make no mistake about it.  Once painted, you cannot go back and unpaint the bike.  You have bought the farm, lock stock and barrel.  So, the trick becomes knowing when to paint, or touch up, or just clean/wax and then leave it alone.

NEXT - WHEN TO PAINT???

 

 

 

 

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