Re: [CR] Restoration and Over-Restoration (repaint)

(Example: Production Builders:Frejus)

Date: Thu, 12 Nov 2009 09:33:43 -0800
From: <>
To: Kevin Kruger <>
In-Reply-To: <>
Cc: classic rendezvous <>
Subject: Re: [CR] Restoration and Over-Restoration (repaint)

Hi Kevin, I appreciate your response. There is a clear difference between "original" and "restored". In the old car biz, over-restoration is often criticized, but the critic's motivation (a need to show off his own expertise & knowledge of arcana e.g.) may make this an overused complaint. On old American cars it is kind of silly to go for the 88 coats of hand-rubbed lacquer, but most high quality restorations, even those that go to great lengths to reproduce the texture of factory paint, the quality-control marks under the hood, etc. look better than the originals on the showroom floor did. Vintage bikes are a little different, in that there is a clear value to the patina of age and use they wear. When restoring a bike that has no patina at all, it seems to me not worth it to try to "dumb down" the finish to match that on an unrestored frame. First, it is very difficult given the modern materials & techniques used today, to reproduce imperfections created by production methods in use 30+ years ago. Second, it is hard to distinguish between flaws, especially in color & texture, which were present when the bike was new and those which developed through exposure and age. Third, if fine bikes are anything like fine cars, there was some significant variation in finish quality from unit to unit, reflecting different skill levels of the painters, changes to materials, equipment & techniques, humidity, etc.

I think a much more sensible approach to painting in particular & restoration in general is to avoid anomalies like weird colors or inappropriate pinstriping & lug lining, and to use components whose age and manufacture match those on the bike when it was new.

As a man who obviously appreciates bicycle aesthetics (I am still blown away by your collection!), don't be too down on bikes which are displayed and not ridden. Museum pieces have their value to us restorers, as well as to the public. I'm sure you've been to the AACA museum near you, and seen the Indian motorcycle with 250 pounds of nickel-plated bling, as well as a Brooks saddle. Thing is awesome!

Michael Shiffer
EuroMeccanica, Inc.
114 Pearl Street
Mount Vernon, NY 10550
(914) 668-1300

--- On Thu, 11/12/09, Kevin Kruger wrote:

> From: Kevin Kruger <>

\r?\n> Subject: Restoration and Over-Restoration (repaint)

\r?\n> To:,

\r?\n> Date: Thursday, November 12, 2009, 10:58 AM

\r?\n> Michael and others.

\r?\n> Per the Cinelli resoration, "I've (Michael

\r?\n> Shiffer) planned the restoration of my basket-case Cinelli

\r?\n> as if I was

\r?\n> restoring a show car- great paint".


\r?\n> I am very happy to see the excellent steps Michael has

\r?\n> already taken to restore the Cinelli he purchased on eBay

\r?\n> (replaced the missing chainstay brace and filled in the

\r?\n> gaping rectangular BB hole (great job by the folks at

\r?\n> Bilenky plus a superfast job!!!).


\r?\n> In my opinion, too many collectors over restore both bikes

\r?\n> and cars by putting on better paint than the piece ever

\r?\n> would have originally had. Most Cinelli's I ever looked

\r?\n> at had far from perfect show paint jobs, as they were

\r?\n> intended to be ridden, raced, or in other words, put to good

\r?\n> riding use as they were intended. I recall seeing another

\r?\n> Cinelli at Cirque that had a beautiful, and I mean beautiful

\r?\n> perfect paint

\r?\n> job, but it would have never left the Cinelli shop looking

\r?\n> that pretty!


\r?\n> To each his or her own, but spending a ton of money to

\r?\n> repaint a bike with a paint job that it would have never

\r?\n> originally had is something I clearly can't comprehend.


\r?\n> After all, they are just bicycles, meant to be ridden, not

\r?\n> hung on a wall.


\r?\n> Don't get crazy on me now!


\r?\n> Regards,

\r?\n> Kevin Kruger - Grantville, PA