Re: [CR]Restoration/conservation : example 3 (Peugeot)

(Example: Framebuilding:Tubing:Falck)

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Date: Thu, 17 Jul 2008 08:22:50 -0700
From: "Jan Heine" <>
Subject: Re: [CR]Restoration/conservation : example 3 (Peugeot)

>I really think both approaches are needed : the vast majority of bikes shou
>ld be kept "alive" and ridden, but not repainted unless what is left is bey
>ond conservation (or there are already a mass of identical bikes in better
>condition available, cf Colnagos). A minority of bikes, the "ultra-rare", b
>ikes with a history, bikes in fabulous "patina" condition, should be left "
>as found"; and not ridden.

I agree with your sentiment regarding "ultra-rare" bikes, but I would include original Colnagos, Masis, etc. from 30 years ago in that status. There aren't many unmolested ones left, and many bike enthusiasts can go years without seeing one, if ever. To me, the original ones provide a nice antidote to the restored ones, as you can really see "how they made them back then."

I agree that the borderline where restoration becomes justifiable should be drawn differently based on rarity. If you have something that is rare enough that you can't think of another one anywhere in the world, then it should be left original as long as even a shred of original paint remains. If it's a PX-10 that has lost a lot of paint and looks terrible, you can repaint without too much worry. But if your PX-10 has just a few scratches, and otherwise is all original, I'd keep it as is.

There are lots of bikes that need restoration, because they already have been repainted at some point, and no original paint is left. Those are good candidates for riders who want a bike that is "as good as new." In my opinion, the biggest problem with restorations is that they rarely turn out to be authentic. When I had to get three frames repainted, I worked with a local car restorer, because I could be on-site and check on the progress, and because I felt that he understood what I wanted in a less glossy, thinner coat of paint than you usually find on modern American bikes.

Starting with the Winter 08 issue, we'll run a series on restoration projects, looking at the challenges involved and how they were overcome.

Of course, then there are those who prefer "better than new" - which opens yet another can of worms. In the car arena, Pebble Beach is well-known, and ridiculed by some. At least, at Pebble Beach, they now try for historical accuracy. I once was a judge at a local bicycle "Concours d'Elegance", and one participant was very upset that his wonderfully repainted candy-apple-red 1970s Schwinn Paramount, complete with new aero rims, red-and-yellow clincher tires and yellow cork tape, did not win a ribbon. We gave the ribbon in his class to an all-original De Rosa from the 1980s, complete with leather handlebar covering, whose original paint was much less shiny... (Of course, the best of show was an absolute atrocity of a prototype REI city bike with no fenders, no lights, no racks, but a "blacked-out" "stealth" paint scheme, so perhaps the Paramount owner had a point.)

Jan Heine
Bicycle Quarterly
140 Lakeside Ave #C
Seattle WA 98122