Re: [CR] 1949 Dawes recent acquisition

(Example: Framebuilders:Alex Singer)

Date: Mon, 26 Apr 2010 10:50:29 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Thomas Adams" <>
In-Reply-To: <>
Subject: Re: [CR] 1949 Dawes recent acquisition

Dear Jeff:

Welcome to the list.  You are jumping in at the deep end by asking about the philosophical and financial considerations in painting an old frame, especially a Dawes.  Fortunately, yours has already been repainted, so most of the passionate debate about removing an original finish can be avoided. 

I would think the general consensus is that having already been refinished, the frame is now a blank canvas for you to express yourself.  Color would be a matter of taste with yours being the only one that really matters.  If you did a wild multi colour fade with stenciled designs, you might raise some eyebrows but most on the list try to live and let live.  And when a paint color is hated by one block, there will be an equal size block who loves it.  Financially, I don't know if there's any method of painting a bike that gives a financial benefit.  Most old bikes sell for less than the cost of a decent paint job, so paint if you want to, but don't expect to increase the value of the bike more than the cost of the paint.

The only philosophical issue that might be raised is making structural changes to the frame.  If this was a rare small production number frame, I can see an argument to leave the metal work untouched, so the frame can be put back to original if desired.  I had a beautiful old Ephgrave once that someone had "updated" with down tube shifter bosses, and  Campy short drop outs, totally "inappropriate" for a 50's bike. 

But Dawes bikes were made in large numbers, so I suspect you could do a fair bit without stomping on any toes.  I wouldn't make it into a 130mm rear STI bike, but you must 1st please yourself. 

Finally, if you want to dive deep into the CR experience, June 4-6 in Leesburg VA is the Cirque du Cyclisme, which to old bike geeks is our annual reunion/convention.  A great time.  You can spend the whole weekend eyeballing rare and lovely bikes, as well as getting some great riding in.  I highly recommend it.

Tom Adams
Manhattan, KS USA

--- On Mon, 4/26/10, wrote:

From: <> Subject: [CR] 1949 Dawes recent acquisition To: Date: Monday, April 26, 2010, 12:25 PM

   I am brand new to this board and have been looking for quite some time a site that caters to the vintage lightweights. I was referred here by a friend and the format to a site like this is all new to me. I am 37 years old and have always loved the style and uniqueness of the early bikes or anything vintage for that matter! I guess I was born in the wrong era. I have no desire to own a modern bike as I few they just don't have the allure that a quality vintage bike. I don't know exactly how to put it into words though. I am not interested in attempting high dollar restorations as that just doesn't fit into my budget. I am looking more into cleaning up and salvaging as much of the original parts as possible and putting a bike together I can actually ride and enjoy without worrying about scratching up some rare NOS parts.    I came here because this Saturday I picked up what I believe to be a 1949 Dawes at a yard sale. It may be a 1950 but I am just going by the date on the Sturmey Archer hub. It is in ROUGH shape but mostly complete and original. It was repainted at one time long ago as all of that paint is lacquer checked. I haven't had time to disassemble it yet to see what the original color is. It is missing one pedal cap, the original seat and brake levers. I don't know much about these bikes so it may be missing more.  This bike was very cheap and the cheapest bike I have every purchased.   I am looking for some opinions on what would be the best route to go with this bike. Since it has been repainted  I am sure it could be very expensive to completely restore to original. It is a beautiful frame set and I just wonder if it would be considered wrong to just have a nice coat of paint in a color that appeals to me put on it. I have been on some other sites relating to different style bikes and it seems to be an open debate on what to do. I have always felt that if you repaint something that doesn't have original paint it shouldn't hurt the value. After all if down the road it is sold the new owner could always restore to original.   I am looking forward to getting to know some members here and gaining some knowledge.
Jeff McDonald
Glendale Arizona