Re: [CR]to restore or not, and how? the endlessly debatable question

(Example: Component Manufacturers:Avocet)

In-Reply-To: <>
From: "Gary Dellarossa" <>
Subject: Re: [CR]to restore or not, and how? the endlessly debatable question
Date: Mon, 21 Jul 2008 15:32:52 +0000

I agree that we really do have two very different hobbies/passions/philosophies here. My hobby/passion is to find old shabby framesets; repair, rechrome, repaint, redecal, and research them, and find period correct (but not necessarily catalog spec) components with which to outfit them. “Restoration” means “to return to original state,” but also “to make representation of supposed original state” (Oxford). This second definition is similar to what I do, but because I may take liberties vis-a-vis “catalog spec” (for production bikes), what I do might be better termed “re-creation” since I am creating something more from scratch that may, or often may not, have precisely existed “back in the day.”

For example, the1961 Cinelli Riviera that I displayed this year at Cirque had a Campagnolo rod-operated front derailleur WITH a full length chain guard. Certainly there are examples of chainguards from the 60's designed to be used with front derailleurs, but it is questionable (unlikely, though not impossible) whether or not one would actually have seen this precise combination in 1961. I am not sure what to call it - a restoration, a recreation, or maybe just a fantasy! Nonetheless, I think the bike turned out well, and it was very well received at Cirque. I don’t pretend that it is original, other than the fact that the components are period correct. It is most certainly NOT a “museum” bike. And that’s fine with me, because collecting and preserving museum pieces, while a fine and rewarding and necessary pastime in its own right, is not my hobby.

Gary DellaRossa, had fun at Larz, Toronto, Canada.

>From: Mike Schmidt <>
>To: "" <>
>CC: Classic Rendezvous <>
>Subject: Re: [CR]to restore or not, and how? the endlessly debatable
>Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2008 10:36:12 -0400
>I don't think there is any right answer, we just have two philosophies.
>That 1963 chrome Herse I bought from the March family has crappy chrome
>but I wrestle with a decision to re chrome or not.
>If a frame is in danger, then preservation is a must.....ATMO!
>Mike Schmidt
>Stirling, New Jersey
>Sent from my 3G iPhone
>On Jul 18, 2008, at 9:27 AM, Thomas Adams <> wrote:
>>Dear List:
>>All of this, of course, has been debated several times, again and again
>>this list, live at Cirques and Velo Rendezvous-es, and at other meetings.
>> The disagreement (mild) I have with the preservationists (thou shalt
>>not touch that original finish) is that concentrating on the paint finish
>>to such a degree distorts the purpose and function of the paint itself
>>the bike as a whole. The bike is a tool, and the paint's functional pur
>>pose is to keep it from rusting. Once that functional aspect is compromi
>>sed, the owner is fully justified in renewing the protective finish. Pai
>>nt is a consumable item like tires and brake lever hoods: when they wear
>>out, get new stuff.
>>Will the new paint be the same as the old paint? No. Why should it?
>> That's not what paint is for. No builder intends a bike's finish to
>>be eternal. If he did, he'd powder coat it. (Or blue it, maybe, in th
>>e old days.)
>>And then this focus on the surface finish tends to emphasize what is to m
>>e the least important aspect of a collectible bike. What's importa
>>nt about a bike is how well it's designed to accomplish it's goal, how we
>>ll it fits the rider, how well it's assembled and how the builder worked
>>on the lugs. The paint finish is a very distant 5th, or even 6th or 7th
>>once we consider parts selection and rider modification to suit his visio
>>n. These are the soul of the bike. It's still there unchanged even if
>>resprayed in Imron metallic.
>>Now, contrariwise, on the other hand, and playing devil's advocate, I do
>>ve to look at old bikes that show their battle scars, where paint has fad
>>ed, bar tape has frayed and saddles are well scuffed. I've got a '50's H
>>oldsworth Sirocco I showed this year at Cirque that I probably won't
>>even though most of the paint had faded and the top tube has transformed
>>om the original green to a sandy brown. But the bike doesn't have signif
>>icant rust issues. If it did, ooh, I don't know.
>>The closest analogy I can make, as it seems to me, would be like owning a
>>collectible knife or tool with a cutting edge, and then refusing to
>>pen it after it grew dull on the grounds that it would alter the tool
>>the way it came from the original maker. That's not what the original
>>intent was for this item.