[CR] WAS "sympathetic restoration" - NOW Restoration / Repaint

Example: Production Builders:Cinelli

From: "R.S. Broderick" <rsb000@hotmail.com>
To: <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Date: Sun, 19 Jul 2009 09:08:47 -0500
Thread-index: AcoIXqymKYC1d6W5RXa/kyziS0G+5wAG2sbg
In-Reply-To: <F0519851-62ED-4189-8781-E6B78F4EC99A@optonline.net>
Subject: [CR] WAS "sympathetic restoration" - NOW Restoration / Repaint


...usually, but not necessarily always - it is a topic with definite shades of gray to be found along the spectrum from black to white.

For example, does the term "repainted" itself apply to the whole bike? What about those circumstances where only a portion of the bicycle in question has been repainted (...for example the fork or perhaps the top tube) while leaving the remainder in its original finish? My own 1971 Gitane Super Corsa would clearly fall into this category given that I have had the front fork repainted and all of its various components have been replaced with like originals over time. The frame itself, however, retains much of its original paint (...although I suppose that one might argue that I have through the years performed enough brush touch-up work to call even that claim into question). I can easily see where one might construe this bicycle to have been "restored", although I am of the personal opinion that the term "refurbished original" is more appropriate.

Furthermore, I would suggest that it may well be quite legitimate to call a bicycle "restored" albeit not repainted in those circumstances where the object in question was stripped bare, the frameset and its original paint refinished (...i.e. cut with rubbing and/or polishing compound, touch-up paint applied, new decals affixed, finish polished and waxed), and then all new or completely restored components thereafter affixed. This is exactly what I did with my Pino Morroni given that the paint on the frameset itself was in outstanding original condition. Again, I am of the opinion that this bicycle falls into the category of having been "restored" even though its paint is original. This is because very few of the components which came on it remain (...only those which were Pino specific items such as the bottom bracket assembly, stem, headset spacers, etc.) while the remainder are essentially NOS apropos a 1983 build date and in almost all cases decidedly different than as originally equipped (...for those who might find my actions offensive, please know that I set aside every last nut and bolt that was original and have full intention of retaining same in conjunction with the bicycle).

Looking past the simplicity of the original question you posed in an attempt to perhaps divine just where this thread is heading, I am going to assume that you are nobly attempting to make some determination as to judging classification and/or criteria or provide input for future bicycle display events. Let me state right up front that my own experiences in the world of automobile Concours d'Elegance lead me to the firm conclusion that one will NEVER be able to satisfy ALL of those who might wish to participate in such events - no matter how hard you might try. It is, however in my humble opinion, rather simple to set up "reasonable" guidelines which all but the most extreme will find to be an agreeable compromise. To a large extent, the very definition of such arbitrary categories will and should be dependent upon the venue itself. This is to say that a small and informal gathering of enthusiasts are not likely to appreciate a rigorous code of standards being inflicted upon their beloved machines. However, as the size, scope, and diversity of the entrants increases, assuming that any judging at all is to be done, so too does the need to clearly define classifications that allow for consideration of like objects to the exclusion of those which bear little or no direct relation by dint of vintage, intent, construction methodology, etc.

I would posit the following somewhat arbitrary "loose guidelines" to consider when attempting to define and describe vintage cycling categories which are to be judged:

1) Original - original is original is original is original - no fully repainted framesets and any repainting that has occurred should constitute less than twenty percent of the total surface area - touch up paint is fine - all componentry should be as originally specified by the manufacturer or constructeur (...baseline or optional) or consistent with contemporary norms in those instances where the bicycle in question was sold as a "frameset only" - sorry, no allowance for "...but that is the way that the LBS originally sold the bike to me - if you could not get it directly from the builder that way, tough luck ... AND ... the onus is upon the entrant to prove that any "non-standard" equipment was a legitimate option upon same being questioned by a judge).

2) Refurbished - framesets here may or may not have been fully repainted - but in any event, the bicycle can no longer be considered "original" by any reasonable standard - the primary distinction of this category would be that the individual componentry, while roughly contemporary to the original date of manufacture for the frameset (...plus or minus three to five years, say) might well not be that which was originally specified by the builder (...think Motobecane Grand Jubile with a full Campy Record group, or a Raleigh Team 753 outfitted with SunTour Superbe Pro).

3) Restored - the expectation here is that in all likelihood the frameset WILL have been completely repainted and detailed, although it need not be a requisite for consideration into this category - again, the preponderance of componentry should be as originally specified by the manufacturer or constructeur (...baseline or optional) or consistent with contemporary norms in those instances where the bicycle in question was sold as a "frameset only" - however, greater latitude and license ought be allowed with respect to individual flourishes that may appear (...custom paint infill, individual parts stripped of their original anodizing and polished to high luster, existence of complimentary pantograph components, etc.).

4) Altered - anything goes - certainly most (...although not all - think of a Hi-E Cosmopolitan or a Peugeot PY-10/CP) of the true vintage race rigs would fit into this category (...where the rider / mechanic has generously modified their bike to extract maximum performance) - moreover, this category would also encompass those "home brew" machines where the owner has seen fit to adapt their bicycle to their specific needs and/or tastes (...brifters on a Masi Gran Criterium, a Mondia employing a Campy 10s drivetrain, a 45 speed touring Takara having a triple crankset in conjunction with a five speed internal rear hub supplemented with three fixed cogs of differing size which are shifted using a rear derailleur).

Is there a bit of overlap to be found in the aforementioned delineation of classifications? You betcha - and I am of the opinion that a bicycle owner them self ought be given latitude to select their preferred category where such overlap does occur (...with the clear understanding that a Head Judge has full discretion to amend such self-identification "on the field" when the selection is found to be clearly out of bounds). Of course, it may well also be appropriate to break at least some if not all of the aforementioned categories into further discrete sub-sets based upon the size and field of entries - by production date range, or intent (...touring versus racing), or manner of construction (...steel versus aluminum versus composite), to name but a few examples.

Finally, there is yet another strategy which may be employed to differentiate the serious show bike zealots from the more casual enthusiasts who still wish to compete in a less demanding environment (...and one could argue that this bifurcated approach also provides a meaningful "training ground" for those who might eventually seek a more stringently defined competitive venue). Designate one or more "people's choice" award categories where entrants themselves, or those who are simply spectators, or even a combination thereof, may cast ballots in recognition of their favorite bicycle (...in this way, everyone gets to use their own highly subjective standard of judgment). You can easily use this "people's choice" methodology to supplement one or more formal "judged" classification(s), even allowing for complete overlap should you see fit.

Let the debate begin....

Robert "judge not lest ye be judged" Broderick ...the "Frozen Flatlands" of South Dakota Sioux Falls, USA

-----Original Message----- From: classicrendezvous-bounces@bikelist.org [mailto:classicrendezvous-bounces@bikelist.org] On Behalf Of James Swan Sent: Sunday, July 19, 2009 5:50 AM To: Marc Winnikoff Cc: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org Subject: Re: [CR] Ciclo Locomotiva - "sympathetic restoration"?

On Jul 18, 2009, at 11:57 PM, Marc Winnikoff wrote:
> I am
> going to embark on a sympathetic restoration, not a rebuild/repaint.

Hi Marc,

I apologize for hijacking your thread, but IMHO it's for a good cause. I like your use of the phrase "sympathetic restoration".

I was asked to be a judge this year at the Brooklyn Bike Jumble and also at Le Cirque. In both cases I was vested with the responsibility to give awards for "Best Restored".

I'd like to take a poll. Who thinks that the term "restored" means the bike has been repainted?

No debate about the relative merits please: just answer the question. Thanks.

Jamie Swan Northport, NY, USA http://www.jamieswan.net