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Bike clearcoating in Northern Virginia?(18 posts)

Bike clearcoating in Northern Virginia?Humma Hah
Jun 18, 2002 3:47 PM
The '74 Paramount frame arrived. The seat tube is seriously bent, but that's because it was manufactured that way, a rare model. The paint has a couple of minor dings, the decals and copious chrome are perfect, and I think I'm gonna keep it. And RIDE it. Unless someone can convince me that touching up the paint and clearcoating this rare vintage bike is a crime against the Cycling Gods, that's my plan.

My LBS says he thinks there's an outfit called Hot Tubes locally that does it: the only Hot Tubes I could find is a custom cycle builder in New England.

Anybody know of a shop that's competent to clearcoat a bicycle frame in the Northern Virginia area?
re: Bike clearcoating in Northern Virginia?Humma Hah
Jun 18, 2002 3:58 PM
The parts below weigh in at 3.668 kg. The only straight tube on my silver '71 Schwinn cruiser is the seat tube, so this '74 Schwinn is the perfect stablemate for it.

http://gallery.consumerreview.com/webcrossing/images/silverpar1(1).jpg
re: Bike clearcoating in Northern Virginia?Romani
Jun 18, 2002 4:09 PM
Check out City Bikes in D.C.: http://www.citybikes.com
re: Bike clearcoating in Northern Virginia?Romani
Jun 18, 2002 4:11 PM
To be more precise: http://www.citybikes.com/framepainting.htm
Thanks -- just e-mailed them (nm)Humma Hah
Jun 18, 2002 4:40 PM
nm
Cool bikepmf1
Jun 19, 2002 4:33 AM
By the looks of that head tube, you must be a tall guy. Do you have some vintage components to put on it as well? I saw a guy on the W&OD riding a bike of about that age last year. As I got closer and checked out the strange looking components, I saw they were Dura Ace. Probably one of the first years it was made.
Just average height ...Humma Hah
Jun 19, 2002 7:18 AM
The bike's frame size is "56 cm", a size I've tried and found comfortable and which the usual formulae say is about right for my inseam. The bike may look long and lean, but its a pretty average size.

Nearly every other Paramount I've ever seen "in the flesh" has been HUGE ... 62 cm and the like. I could never even get a leg over those monsters.

Only time will tell if this one will really fit. I'm looking to rig it for plenty of adjustment in the seat and bar areas.
re: Bike clearcoating in Northern Virginia?Romani
Jun 18, 2002 4:00 PM
I've since moved out of the area, so I've lost track of who's around. My suggestion would be to contact Jim Strang of Spokes, Etc. He should know of any frame painters in the area. The guy who repainted my bike in No. VA about 7 years ago, unfortunately, is no longer in business.
re: Bike clearcoating in Northern Virginia?NeedSpeed
Jun 18, 2002 4:11 PM
I agree with Romandi. Jim at Spokes is a great guy and he'll probably know of a place that repaints bike frames. I would also recommend calling around large motorcycle shops or motorcycling detailing shops. They are used to "bike geometry" and if one doesn't do it, can probably also refer you to a shop that does. You shouldn't waste your time with auto detailing shops. A guy at a detailing shop in Shirlington listened to my question about painting my name and an American flag on my top tube before telling me "we don't do that anymore" and when we did, we charged $900 a frame. Yeah, right. Probably not many cyclists took him up on that one, which is probably WHY they no longer paint bikes.
I wouldn't do it... Time to Retirejose_Tex_mex
Jun 18, 2002 5:10 PM
I am no expert on bicycles but I do watch the Antique Road Show! They always comment on how most pieces would have been better off in their original condition rather than having them restored.
If I were you I would hang this frame on the wall and talk about it - definitely not ride it in any serious manner.
Anything you do to it will not only cost money but devalue it as well. Sounds like a lose -lose situation.
I am with you about the paint but not about riding it.MB1
Jun 18, 2002 5:18 PM
Bicycles are tools. Use 'em.
I kind of agree...jose_Tex_mex
Jun 18, 2002 5:24 PM
In my arsenal of bikes I have a 5 spd Schwinn, 6 Speed Bianchi, a 7 speed LeMond, 8 speed GT, and 9 speed Trek. Thus, I make use out of the old school bikes. We even have old school bike day in Central Park once a month - down tube shifters a must, chrome crowns optional.
You know how fast you can wreck on a bike. God forbid, this frame would probably be like a magnet to the idiot drivers out there.
All that said, there cannot be too many of these frames out there. I would probably build it up (they get less scratches when built) and restore to original. However, other than exercising "it" any serious riding would be out of the question.
"Antiques" are meant to be usedms
Jun 18, 2002 5:22 PM
Although I know nothing about old bikes, I do know a lot about American antiques (the kind of stuff that is on Antiques Roadshow). If you have a museum quality piece, I would agree with the "experts," keep it in its unrefinished stated and never use it. But, the reason that people like me live with antiques (or people like HH buy old bikes) is that we derive an intrinsic joy from using and being around old things. Whatever devaluation comes from using or repairing most antiques is made up by the joy of using them. As long as you know the tradeoff, there is nothing wrong with making an old piece useable.
Get a nice satin clearcoat that won't...Lone Gunman
Jun 18, 2002 6:52 PM
ruin the decals or yellow with age, build it up and ride it till the day you die, you can't take it with you. Or hang it on the wall and charge admission to the public (which really could probably give a tinkers flip about what you have been fortunate enough to buy). Now honestly, which do YOU think you would enjoy more? Worrying about devaluation means your intent is to make money off your dream bike, we all know your intent was to buy and ride.
'74 versus real antique ...Humma Hah
Jun 19, 2002 5:37 AM
I inherited my father's mahogany bombe chest-on-chest. It is a beautiful piece, built over 200 years ago in Boston. In original condition, it would be worth over a quarter of a million bucks. It was modified. It is now worth less than a tenth of that.

If I had a Wright Van Cleve, it would be in a museum. An 1890 Pierce with original paint and parts, it would hang on my wall. A 1938 Paramount, I'd ride it only in parades and handle it with kid gloves. But there were a LOT of bikes built in the '70's, and this is one of 'em, although a pretty nice one.

My point is, if I'm gonna ride it, I want to protect the paint the best way I can. The cruiser is 3 years its senior, lost its original paint when young, was powdercoated, decals restored, and clearcoated last year, and I'm impressed: the clearcoat has protected it perfectly.
'74 versus real antique ...Lone Gunman
Jun 19, 2002 7:05 AM
Exactly my point. Talking about something less than 30 YO. I pulled a falling apart armoire out of my parents basement a few years ago. It had been my grandfathers from around 1918 or older, anyway something you would see in the wild west in my opinion. The thing fit together like a puzzle but the glue was letting go and at some point someone put shellac on it. Looked like they painted it with mollases and threw dirt at it and let it dry. I stripped it all down and sanded each part and put tougue oil on it. It was made of mahogany and came out a beautiful natural red wood color. People said I ruined it by stripping and sanding and gluing etc. "How much you selling it for?" "Selling?" "It is staying with me till I die."

My concern about the decals is I put some clear fingernail polish on a spot on my Lemond as a ding protection. The decal crinkled up from the polish, looks horrible. So the correct clear is imperative.
Why don't you call/e-mail Richard Schwinn at Waterford.MB1
Jun 19, 2002 9:04 AM
I think they repaint bikes. At least he might be able to give you the straight scoop on the paint.

Check the Waterford or Gunnar web sites.

Me, I'd just ride that thing right now! Never could wait to open those christmas gifts.
The BB would scrape on the pavement ...Humma Hah
Jun 19, 2002 9:13 AM
... If it doesn't take me a month to find parts for it, I'm either throwing money at it or slapping junk on it. Three months would be a better estimate. I figure it would be easier to take care of clearcoating it now, while its just a frame.

I've got all the packing materials, but if the DC outfit mentioned above is really any good, I can hand carry it in. They use Imron, do bikes with decals routinely, their prices are less than half what I paid to have HH powdercoated, etc.