I've barely had enough time lately to keep one eye on the fun and games happening on the "list". Much has been discussed that I could comment on but too late now. I sort of have an "inside view" of the bicycle paint trade. There is one thing I would like to present just for the benifit in understanding about what frame restoration and painting is.
The bike paint and restoration "industry" is very small in comparison to the industry as a whole. What transpires in the realm of decals and reproduction and "rights" is basically small potatos in the scheme of the world. Vintage lightweight frame restoration is really only of interest to a small number of people; most of which are on this list or will be eventually. The beauty of the "vintage bike game" is that bikes are pretty easy and relatively inexpensive to fix and restore. Most, if not everything (except for chrome plating) can be done by any industrious hobbiest with a minimum of tools and equiptment. By using "sub-contractors" even the basic hobbiest can accomplish professional quality results. For those who prefer to spend their money as opposed to their time; many talented and professional outfits can undertake the overwhealming majority of restorations that will come up. There are now quite a few sources for all sorts of decals. Customers can even provide the painter with the decals neccessary at times because things sell over the internet to any buyer. All painters in the bike painting trade have access to a large selection of quality reproduction decals. Painting is simple enough that a good touch with the spray gun is almost all it takes to successfully refinish a worthy classic or modern bike frame. Each painter has a "speciality" and a "personality" since most repaint operations are small shops or one person situations. For the super rare thing that no decals exist for, one has the option to go to the specialized company and have them made for your project. Cyclart has been providing this service that no small paint outfit could possibly afford to do. I'm sure everyone appreciates Jims' vision and his willingness to provide these services to our hobby. It is not an easy business to be in regardless of what size ones' operation is nor what they specialize in. Cyclart is a unique business. Every painter is a "unique business" because each restorer thinks and operates differently. The trick for the consumer is to find the right painter for each job. I have found that I have to limit what sort of paint and restoration work I take on for a number of reasons. Work comes in faster than I can complete jobs. For one person to handle every job from start to finish takes time. I do my best to not advertise or seek work to do but still this problem persists. Fortunately what I get are large numbers of your "basic classics" like Masi, Cinelli, Colnago, Pogliaghi, Bianchi, DeRosa, Hetchins, and Rene Herse. The majority of frames here are usually those. All of which decals are available for most of the time. I also seem to attract jobs that involve frame repairs that are delicate or "exotic" in some way. Like myself, every "small Painter" in the US has special interests and talents. Peter Weigle, Ed Litton, Joe Bell, Doug Fattic, Mary Pfeiffer and dozens more all over the country can aid listmembers with their projects. Look around and find the best person for your particular needs.
One can always inquire on the list if there are questions as to how to do a restorative operation. The list exists to provide answers to questions related to our interests.
I regret being so removed from the "action" lately; but work must be done. Since there aren't any tiny elves that get up in the night and do it for me; I having to bust my hump to make progress here.
Happy Holiday season everyone! Maybe I can get some work done while everyone else is busting up the Mall.
La Mesa, CA