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Strip to bare chrome or leave it.

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View Poll Results: Well Strip it or not?
Strip it
15.00%
Leave it be
85.00%
Voters: 40. You may not vote on this poll

Strip to bare chrome or leave it.

Old 04-13-20, 07:43 AM
  #1  
bwilli88 
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Strip to bare chrome or leave it.

I have this 81 Centurion Pro-Tour and the paint has a bunch of scratches and rubs. Reading the Love for Chrome bikes thread I would like to take this bike back to the USA and it will become a zero bike back at my House in Lancaster, PA.
centurion build (2) by Bwilli88, on Flickr
I already have a Chrome Centurion Pro-Tour in Lancaster but it is an 83 with Cantilevers. I really prefer the stud mounted Centerpulls.
I would like to set it up 3x10 like it is here with a half-step + granny.
It would be very much like my existing 83 in PA.
IMG_20180514_165851694 by Bwilli88, on Flickr

What say you BikeForums, Strip it or leave it be.
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Old 04-13-20, 09:04 AM
  #2  
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I like the red
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Old 04-13-20, 09:21 AM
  #3  
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The chrome under the paint will probably not be that good, and it will probably be inconsistent.
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Old 04-13-20, 09:46 AM
  #4  
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Leave it be, unless the paint job gets totally wrecked at some point. It's a great color and the pin striping is really nice.

I built-up a 79 frame I obtained, which had a fair share of chips and scratches. It has gotten more over the years.

I just keep touching it up. Model Master Burgundy Red Metallic is a pretty close match.

The paint job is prone to scratching because its on top of the polished chrome.

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Old 04-13-20, 10:23 AM
  #5  
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I am also of the mind to leave it be. I've always liked that red, and vintage Centurion pin striping is such a classy differentiator from other vintage Japanese steeds (and others) of its time. You could post close of photos of the areas that have made you consider stripping to chrome--the bike looks great from this far away, but I understand that many bikes can (I've owned a few). Thankfully you already have a chrome one, so that may be able to satiate your desire for (more) chrome for the time being.
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Old 04-13-20, 10:36 AM
  #6  
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Schwalbe Marathons are only 'good' for commuters.

to heck with the paint/chrome choice, i vote real road tires for reduced weight and increased feel.
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Old 04-13-20, 12:17 PM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by RiddleOfSteel View Post
vintage Centurion pin striping is such a classy differentiator from other vintage Japanese steeds
I'm pretty happy with my current collection of bikes, but if a clean 79 Pro-Tour in my size showed up it would be a hard thing to pass up, for that exact reason.

They are just so classy.
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Old 04-13-20, 03:37 PM
  #8  
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Original color scheme is one of the best. I vote to leave as be and perhaps do a little touch up.
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Old 04-13-20, 04:01 PM
  #9  
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I would leave it as well. I did my ItalVega and removed quite a bit of paint because of rust. I used fine steel wool and feathered it out with places that the chrome shows through. I think it looks great. No glider is right the chrome under the paint is not polished , otherwise the paint wouldn’t stick. Joe. joesvintageroadbikes.wordpress
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Old 04-13-20, 05:02 PM
  #10  
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It's so hard- right now you look at every single chip- you see the chrome gleaming out- you think you know exactly where EVERY SINGLE CHIP is by memory.

The thing is- it's not as bad as you think it is. But that chrome underneath tells you otherwise.

I vote for not stripping it.
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Old 04-13-20, 05:20 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
Schwalbe Marathons are only 'good' for commuters.

to heck with the paint/chrome choice, i vote real road tires for reduced weight and increased feel.
Agreed. Keep the paint, since the chrome may be matte finish under the paint areas and not be polished

Heavy tires on a bike are like trying to run a Marathon in combat boots. I briefly had a Vittoria Randonneur in 700 x 28 on the rear of my Miyata 710 (the only 28 tire the LBS had - at $60! -- almost twice normal mail-order pricing). Sluggish ride.

I later equipped it with Vittoria Rubino Pro Techs also in 28mm - that were less than half the weight. 280g vs almost 600g for the Randonneurs! Totally different feel - and still have flat protection!
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Old 04-13-20, 06:10 PM
  #12  
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I love that color and the decals are mostly all there and the pin-striping is noticeable even from a distance. As someone said this really sets it apart from most Japanese paint jobs of the time. This could look much worse and I'd still say it probably looks good. Definitely leave it. That's definitely what I consider good paint just with a smidge of patina. Looks great.
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Old 04-14-20, 08:21 AM
  #13  
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Take it off.....take it all off!

Red bikes with chipped paint are dime a dozen, but all chrome is rare and really pops - you will be noticed.
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Old 04-14-20, 01:03 PM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by Vintage_Cyclist View Post
Leave it be, unless the paint job gets totally wrecked at some point. It's a great color and the pin striping is really nice.

I built-up a 79 frame I obtained, which had a fair share of chips and scratches. It has gotten more over the years.

I just keep touching it up. Model Master Burgundy Red Metallic is a pretty close match.

The paint job is prone to scratching because its on top of the polished chrome.

Could you provide a closeup or two showing your touch ups? I’m sure the OP would appreciate them, and I’m intrigued as a possible paint match for my similar deep red over full chrome Marinoni.

While the paint doesn’t adhere as well to chrome, it’s nice to know that scratches doesn’t expose bare steel.

And I vote for keep it as-is, maybe with touch ups. That Centurion deep red with the gold pinstriping and chrome lugs is sooo striking.
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Old 04-14-20, 01:42 PM
  #15  
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Another vote to leave it as is.

As has been pointed out, it is highly unlikely that the frame was prepped for shiny chrome anywhere but the lugs, dropouts and other show faces. IOW it is going to be fairly rough underneath that paint, almost certainly. The paint looks pretty good as is anyhow. Besides that between paint and chrome, the frame is fairly well protected from rust.

I could see stripping and repainting the painted portions a different color or something, but I like the vintage paint and pinstriping as is.
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Old 04-14-20, 03:46 PM
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I voted to strip it just because I am curious and I think you are, too. But, it looks great like it is.
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Old 04-14-20, 11:02 PM
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Leave it be. I own an all-chromed Bottecchia that was stripped (not by me) and the chrome that was under the original paint just ain't all that. "Matte Chrome" would be a good way to describe it. Hopefully, those matte sections will still be a good base for a clear PC sorta chromovelato finish I have planned for it when I'm not starving anymore.
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Old 04-15-20, 05:16 AM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
The chrome under the paint will probably not be that good, and it will probably be inconsistent.
I agree. Bikes that were intended to be painted, with the chrome being done for protection for the frame only, tend to be of poor finish quality with scratches in the steel that look unsightly. They were depending on the paint to fill in those scratches afterwards, so it wasn't imperative to have extremely smooth finishes on the bare steel before chroming. In addition, the chrome was thin, not triple plated.
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Old 04-15-20, 05:52 AM
  #19  
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As mentioned, exposed chromed areas have to be highly polished before chroming. Paint hides defects better so it’s highly possible that the frame under the painted areas may not have been polished much before chroming.
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Old 04-15-20, 01:49 PM
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Need a third choice.

Strip and refinish clear urethane with a tinge of color tint.
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Old 04-15-20, 04:02 PM
  #21  
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before I stripped the frame I would try a clear coat over the existing paint. If it was originally a lacquer job a lacquer clear would probably make many of the small scratches disappear It will disolve the paint underneath and blend into it. . If it is enamel , Rustoleum makes an automotive clear spray can which I have used successfully many times . The trick is to strip everything off the frame, clean it meticulously , rub out with white polishing compound to remove ground in dirt and scuffs, wear rubber gloves so your greasy fingers never touch the paint. Heat the can under a hot water tap to get the contents blood temp then spray carefully and let dry in the sun for as long as you can. 1-2 wks preferably.
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Old 04-15-20, 06:54 PM
  #22  
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I voted strip it to chrome out of curiosity. I have heard many times that the chrome under paint is not as nice as the chrome that shows. Do they rough up the chrome that is going to be painted over or do just not polish it as much as the stuff that shows? Would it be possible to polish it after stripping? I don't have one to strip but I am curious.
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