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Poll: Refinishing options

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View Poll Results: Which bike should get pampered
Paint the Bianchi
16
32.00%
Powder coat the Bianchi
7
14.00%
Paint the Serotta
5
10.00%
Powder coat the Serotta
3
6.00%
Re-chrome and paint the Raleigh
13
26.00%
Buy another bike (obviously)
6
12.00%
Voters: 50. You may not vote on this poll

Poll: Refinishing options

Old 02-02-21, 08:22 PM
  #1  
Andy_K 
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Poll: Refinishing options

Warning (and a request): This thread concerns a first world problem. If that makes you grumpy, post pictures of cats rather than complaints.

Now then.... It's bonus time, I've got a bit of spending money available, but the garage is full(ish), so I thought maybe I'd upgrade an existing bike. Trouble is, which one?

Here are the candidates. They all look good in pictures from a distance, but they've got problems.

1) 1989 Bianchi Giro



The paint isn't original. It's kind of a cool color, but I would really prefer a "true" celeste (noting that such a thing does not exist in the singular sense).

The problems are like this:





2) 1990 (ish) Serotta Colorado LT



I have reason to believe this ridiculous paint scheme is original. It's either very cool or hideous, depending on your point of view. I lean toward very cool most days. To borrow a Yehuda Moon joke, the only climb I'm likely to win is Col d'Stone Creamery, so it's kind of embarrassing for me to ride this in public, but I'm OK with that. The problems are like this:





3) 1969 Raleigh Competition



I'm overly fond of this one, not least because 1969 is the year I was born. It's also my oldest bike. The paint is mostly original, but with some rattle can Rustoleum where I had bottle cage bosses and mid-fork rack mounts brazed on. I don't have pictures of the blemishes, but besides the spray paint (which actually looks very good) the chrome is flaking on the chain stays. The original decals have almost entirely faded to black.




So, the applicable rules are:

1. It's only original once.
2. Bianchis should be celeste.
3. Rule 16
4. N+1 is always the answer
5. S-1 is really always the answer
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Old 02-02-21, 08:32 PM
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The Raleigh, because you know you want to.

Also because the Serotta should be left intact on general principle, and the Bianchi seems destined to be the also-ran in this poll.
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Old 02-02-21, 08:32 PM
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Assuming the Bianchi is SLX, dump a bunch of money into it. You will not be disappointed. Bonus if you have it painted in House of Kolor Hot Pink Pearl like mine.
Then we can go twinsies in Virginia Hunt Country.

Forget the Serotta LT. Have had two of those framesets, hated both of them.

Keep the Raleigh as is, it is what it is and no shame about it.
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Old 02-02-21, 08:33 PM
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Aggressive Gugificazione/Dilbertage must occur before painting anything.
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Old 02-02-21, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Fahrenheit531 View Post
The Raleigh, because you know you want to.
Yeah, I kind of do, but that's far and away the most expensive option. It'll happen eventually, which is why I didn't include a powder coat option for that one. When it gets painted, it'll be a gem.


Originally Posted by rccardr View Post
Assuming the Bianchi is SLX, dump a bunch of money into it. You will not be disappointed. Bonus if you have it painted in House of Kolor Hot Pink Pearl like mine.
Then we can go twinsies in Virginia Hunt Country.
I'm afraid I'm going to have to pass on the Hot Pink. We'll have to settle for being close cousins. It is SLX though, and I've enjoyed it so far. My only complaint is that it doesn't like 30mm tires -- true 28s only.

Originally Posted by rccardr View Post
Forget the Serotta LT. Have had two of those framesets, hated both of them.
This one is restricted to even skinnier tires than the Bianchi. I don't hate the way it rides. Since upgrading it to a 10-speed Campy gruppo I even kind of like it as long as I'm not riding on chipseal.

Originally Posted by rccardr View Post
Keep the Raleigh as is, it is what it is and no shame about it.
Yeah, I never mix shame and bikes. If anything it's advanced deterioration is a point in its favor. That said, I think this one has a lot of potential if I clean it up. Plus, it will take fat tires.


Originally Posted by scarlson View Post
Aggressive Gugificazione/Dilbertage must occur before painting anything.
I can't think of anything the Bianchi or Serotta need (though I'm sure @gugie could come up with something). The Raleigh has already had a bit of Gugificazione. I'm trying not to wear out my welcome in Mark's work queue. Maybe that's a good argument for putting this one off a few years.
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Old 02-02-21, 09:07 PM
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Hmm, not sure of how much bonus we're talking, but could be an opportunity to have S&S couplers installed, plus a repaint, and make it your travel bike. For that purpose, I'd probably go with the Bianchi.
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Old 02-02-21, 10:14 PM
  #7  
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That Raleigh looks more dignified "all dinged up" than the others can manage - if you both are '69 vintage, I say that's the one to keep original so the two of you can age together.

If it were a mid-70s black Competition GS, refinish it all you want, but for a pretty mass-produced bike this one looks way more special than any other I've seen.
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Old 02-02-21, 10:34 PM
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please don't mess with the Serotta
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Old 02-02-21, 10:46 PM
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Old 02-02-21, 11:04 PM
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garage only full-ish?
N+1, bro.
you know that.
it's like wine tasting.

Maybe you need to sample
more vintage Italian.


Pinarello was a ‘late comer’, ......and only so many get house privileges at one time.

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Old 02-02-21, 11:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
it's like wine tasting
You know how they have spittoons at wine tastings so you can taste a lot of wines without getting sloppy drunk? I prefer not to do that. I have the same problem with bikes. I can't seem to let them go, especially the Italians.
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Old 02-02-21, 11:44 PM
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Originally Posted by droppedandlost View Post
please don't mess with the Serotta
I go back and forth on this. Usually I agree with you. But other times I think this bike isn't old enough to be as ratty as it is and the polka dots don't go well with beausage.
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Old 02-03-21, 12:07 AM
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Lotsa 57cm fish in the sea...
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Old 02-03-21, 12:19 AM
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I voted paint the Bianchi. I was tempted to say paint the Serotta because it looks like it has the measles (I had them as a kid - 104* fever - no fun at all), but in the end, rccardr's logic prevailed.

Whatever you decide, it sounds like you'll be launched o a fun project.

As with all my posts, my opinion is worth exactly what you are paying for it.
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Old 02-03-21, 12:29 AM
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Man, this is a toughie. I do like that hue of green-blue, especially in cromovelato form. The Serotta polka dots is a bit inane. Unique and original, for sure, but not attractive to me. Best leave it original like "custom graphics" (aka sponge painted or air brushed) Cannondales of yore. The Raleigh has earned its (wear) stripes. I remember seeing it as a frameset when you first got it. Not pristine, just like the brazing during its construction (if I read everyone's anecdotes correctly).

I like celeste. The non-originality of the paint on the Bianchi makes it easy to change color. How much you like it determines powder coat or paint. The Raleigh would need re-chroming and then powder coating and painting. We know that's not cheap. How in love with the ride, handling, and features are you? It seems down to the Bianchi and Raleigh. Assuming you have a dialed in celeste color choice in powder coat, that's the easiest, cheapest, and quickest solution to the "which finish do I upgrade?" conundrum.

As @gugie mentioned, there are many 57cm fish in the sea, as opposed to 65cm+ fish in the sea. I am by no means downplaying or disrespecting your premise. I like a pretty bike that's fun to ride as the next guy. I've been working my brain over a possible Minnesota-located 1985 Trek 670 (labeled a 660), 1 of 100 in 25.5" that year. Ditch the semi-scraped up faux celeste in favor of a powder coated candy red metallic. A $700-750 frameset after PC and decals, and that's only if I like how it rides. Talk about a long shot proposition. But hey, I want my fit, my tall-enough frame, and my long-trail geometry, and custom is, at present, the next/only way to get it otherwise.

I'll put a vote in for PC'ing the Bianchi.
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Old 02-03-21, 12:44 AM
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I wouldn’t dump a bunch of money into either the Raleigh or the Bianchi. Send the Serotta off to Joe Bell or Spectrum and get it a nice wet pain job.
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Old 02-03-21, 03:23 AM
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I have a Raleigh Competition and I love riding that bike. It is a later version GS and I upgraded the RD to Nuovo Record but left everything else stock. Mine is cherry but that doesn’t make it ride better. The other two I can’t comment because I’ve never ridden them.
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Old 02-03-21, 03:45 AM
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I voted to redo the Raleigh, Sell the other two and spend that on the Raleigh.
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Old 02-03-21, 05:59 AM
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I didn't vote, but would lean toward doing something with the Bianchi.
I like the paint on the Serotta, and it looks like it would be fairly easy to touch up.
The comment about the Raleigh aging gracefully rings true for me. From here, it looks like it has character, whereas the Bianchi looks scraped up. Maybe in person that wouldn't hold true.
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Old 02-03-21, 07:55 AM
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I say leave them all as is. Ride them each XXX(XXX) miles and then re-acess the situation. Or just keep riding.

That said if you’re set on a project do the Raleigh. Do it up like it’s a forever bike, and maybe one day it will be.

PS: I quite like the color of the Bianchi.
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Old 02-03-21, 08:15 AM
  #21  
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If after painting, you wouldn't select the Serrota more often than you do now, skip that one. The Raleigh is as nice now as it will ever be. If you don't have a Celeste Bianchi, make one. If you do already have a Celeste Bianchi, look elsewhere for a project.
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Old 02-03-21, 08:21 AM
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Off the Hook:
A mechanic that did work on Serrotta's called them Ser-Rottas. Only because, he found that the inside of the tubes were rusted beyond belief. He went into great detail what a PITA it was to rid the rust. He was also the best bike mechanic that ever worked on my bikes in my 45 yeas of riding. Guy knew his *****, esp w/ regards to Campy...

Leave the Black one
Repaint the Bianchi
Lose the Serrotta
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Old 02-03-21, 08:28 AM
  #23  
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Bianchi with paint is my vote.

On coatings, powder allows for 'invisible cancer' situations, at least paint bubbles to let you know there's a problem underneath. Paint is thinner and just looks more natural at the lugs, whereas powder requires a certain skill and experience.

Bianchi because it's not original anyway, it's begging to be Celeste, it's the best bang-for-buck of the lot, and it's pretty banged up. That Serotta is one of a kind, and the damage I see - deep chips - can actually be corrected with a skilled hand, I just had to do it on my 4-wheel contraption and it turned out great. The Raleigh, chroming is expensive and chrome these days just isn't as resilient. Removing the old flaking chrome is extremely expensive and ... why is the chrome flaking?

However, if I had a #2 option and money was limitless, I'd tell you just to go full-chrome on the Raleigh, or go full chrome and give it a chromovelato smoke finish for retro-modern appeal.
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Old 02-03-21, 08:30 AM
  #24  
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I'm offering a different perspective.

Once upon a time I owned a 1954 Hetchin's Magnum Opus with "vibrant stays". It rode just fine, and lots of folks thought it was really special, but I seldom rode it. Why? Well, because I felt pretentious and overly self-conscious when I rode it. I decided to find it a new home because the aspects of that bike that caused me to feel that way weren't things that I could address.

This experience makes me empathize with how you seem to feel about the Serotta. What you have going in your favor is that you can change it without ruining the bicycle. If you're self-conscious to the point where it inhibits you riding it, but you also are concerned about preserving "originality" to the point where you can't bear to paint it, then you have a problem that could only be truly resolved by selling it on. Since you seem open to considering to paint it, I'm thinking that this should be the answer.

Pick a scheme that speaks to you and go for it. My preference would be to paint it, but if powder coating works better for you, go with that.
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Old 02-03-21, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
You know how they have spittoons at wine tastings so you can taste a lot of wines without getting sloppy drunk? I prefer not to do that. I have the same problem with bikes. I can't seem to let them go, especially the Italians.
Spittoons? I wouldn't know.
Just call me Mr. Getting Sloppy!
Bici ubriaco!

Last edited by Wildwood; 02-03-21 at 08:48 AM.
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