MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

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PAINT OR NOT - INTRO

VALUE OF ORIGINAL

WHEN TO PAINT?

COSMETIC REPAIR COSTS

TO PAINT ??? - SUMMARY

 

 

 

 

 

 

COSMETIC REPAIR COST REALITIES

Make no mistake about it, repainting a bicycle frame and fork set costs money!  Even the home done rattle-can spray job will set the average person back at least fifty dollars, plus a dozen or more hours of labour, effort and probably discomfort.  A professional job will drive that cost into the hundreds.

The home paint job is always the least expensive way to go, when full cosmetic repair is deemed necessary.  At a minimum, the list of materials needed will include: sand paper and/or paint stripper, spot filler (perhaps), masking tape, primer, undercoat (perhaps), color coat and even a final clear coat .  Additionally, unless the work can be preformed out of doors, a facility must be available to complete the task.

This sixties something Legnano Gran Premio and this highly sought after Peugeot PX10, both experienced full cosmetic repair and at the home done level.  The Legnano was painted with spray bombs, while the Peugeot received a brushed on coat of paint.  Both were treated to new art, purchased on-line from different suppliers and each paint/art job exceeded $100 in costs, not to mention the many hours of effort invested to complete each task.

Put another way, it is unlikely that full cosmetic repair will occur for under a hundred bucks, and the results will be less than wonderful.  True, the appearance might be all that it could be, but durability will become an issue, unless the paint is applied, cured and/or dried properly.  That said, the home paint job is still the least expensive way to go.

A second, relatively inexpensive, way to achieve full cosmetic repair is through a new process called powder coating.  Having a bicycle frame set powder coated will not cost nearly as much as a professional paint job, and the result will look very good, while being incredibly durable.  However, powder coating does have one serious draw back, the evidence of which is easily seen on this mid seventies Marinoni.

Powder coating is thick and tends to hide detail.  Bicycles frame detail is something that is best left visible, in most vintage bicycle enthusiast's opinions.  Though beautiful to behold, the very early Marinoni has lost much of its frame set detail.  The lug work is no longer crisp and fine.  Rather, the edges are rounded or smoothed .  The powder coat is thick and it shows.  What does not show is the complete loss of the serial number, if one even exists.

At the time of this writing, a decent powder coating will run the customer close to a hundred dollars and that is not including the cost of art.  Art, if it is available and it was not in the case of the Marinoni, will set the buyer back another fifty or sixty dollars, and probably more.  Art, if available might not be accurate in design or appearance.  And home made art will suffer from the same quality issues as the home done paint job.  Durability will become an issue, unless the home fabricated art is made properly.

Finally, the professional paint job.  For the person with the cash, this is the way to go.  But the cash had better be in plentiful supply, since a professional paint job can cost up to a full thousand dollars and more.

So, to sum up paint and art costs, be prepared to pay between $100 and $1000 for the job, knowing that doing so just might lower the value of the bicycle.  Keep also in mind that it can always be repainted, if the results are not to one's liking.  And repainted again and again, a hundred times if necessary, until the end product is just what the owner wanted.  However, it can only be original once!

This absolutely lovely old Proctor, now wearing Proctor-Townsend colors and void of any tubing decal, set the owner back close to $500 when he had the bicycle professionally repainted, a dozen or more years ago.  And what did he get for his money?  A pretty bike, falsely described to anyone viewing it and still subject to being damaged, no matter how careful the new owner might be.

Keep in mind also, that full cosmetic repair might necessitate chrome repair as well as component replacement.  And both of those could well run the bicycle owner into another thousand dollar outlay, and probably more.

And there is one hidden cost that is rarely considered?  What happens if the new paint or art gets scratched or chipped.  It is not unusual to invest considerable cash, time and effort to produce near perfect cosmetics, only to realize that riding the bicycle becomes somewhat impractical.  Who would want to put that first blemish into a paint job that required so much to achieve?  And that first blemish will probably present itself, the minute the front or rear wheel is clamped into the drops...

NEXT - TO PAINT OR NOT - SUMMARY

 

 

 

 

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