To paint or not to paint (the lugs on this Colnago)
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  1. #1
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    Reputation: Einstruzende's Avatar
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    To paint or not to paint (the lugs on this Colnago)

    Pictured here is my latest acquisition...


    It's pretty beat up. Since I have three other bikes, I was going to have this red one refinished.

    I'm thinking of having the chrome bits painted, as it appears to be substantially more expensive to have the chrome repaired (its rubbing off in several spots).

    What do you all think? Ok to paint the lugs? Purely from an aesthetic point of view.

    Second question, would it be in poor taste to have it painted in the style of that red & white Bottechia i've seen around here? (Top and down tubes in red, head and seat tube in white)

  2. #2

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    let's see now ....

    Quote Originally Posted by Einstruzende
    Pictured here is my latest acquisition...


    It's pretty beat up. Since I have three other bikes, I was going to have this red one refinished.

    I'm thinking of having the chrome bits painted, as it appears to be substantially more expensive to have the chrome repaired (its rubbing off in several spots).
    I'd leave them as they are. If you paint them whatever is exposed or starting to lift the chrome from beneath is gonna cook it anyway. To neutralize that means stripping the chrome off which I think may be harmful if done properly or at least singe it with heat then dremel scrub it off which may or may not work well. Best to slather as much rust treatment like PQR over the exposed chrome faults and soldier on with a coat of clear over ther top of the chrome left as is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Einstruzende

    What do you all think? Ok to paint the lugs? Purely from an aesthetic point of view.
    Purely easthetics? I think it looks great as is and represents the builder and the style in true fashion. In fact, given that it's now less available than ever I'd be preserving, showing and leaving chrome intact. It's a signature and many of the best or top tier colango's feature this and many oif us punters expect to see the chrome pimp bits too. Otherwise it would be like Sophia Loren with an A cup bust or like an E Type Jag with 22 inch chrome rims or like a Wedding with No booze. It's just not the done thing.


    Quote Originally Posted by Einstruzende

    Second question, would it be in poor taste to have it painted in the style of that red & white Bottechia i've seen around here? (Top and down tubes in red, head and seat tube in white)
    No way. A Bottechia is a Bottechia, buy one of them as well but leave the Colnago the way it is and as Tullio had them constructed and finished. In fact, it looks great from here and I'd suggest passing it to a good apinter and having the flaws retouched whilst leaving the rest as original as possible.

    Plenty people are now starting to value originality above the value of a perfect restoration and respray. It's only ever original once and once that is gone it's irreversable. Also, patina is to be heralded and to me is a sign of beauty and richness. The money you'll spend on repainting it could well buy another classic frame.

    Sure it's your posession and whilst I hope you live a long and happy life you may only be the custodian of the frame. While it's in your hands it's almost a duty if you will to keep it correct for both history and the next owner. If it was a lame colour i could understand you wishing to make it more a classic profile or style but it's red ... red colnago's is about as good as it gets.

    Also keep in mind, that were i offered a freshly refinished frame i would first ask a) is it original? b) was it stolen ? c) was it crashed and if so who rebuilt it and how much is new? I never think it was repainted because it the paint didn't look so fresh because quite simply that means Im buying a frame that was either treated hard or neglected. Who'd want a frame like that?

    I know it's nice to have a gleaming perfect bike but in reality most of the frames we love are old and any pictures we see of them on the web don't really show their true flavour if they are used as intended. It's OK - your bike looks hot, will last a lot longer than many of us realize, and if you are asking for opinions i'd strongly suggest to leave it as is. Touch up the sore spots, treat the insides with JP Weigle's Frame Saver, keep it clean and it will be handed down to little Einstruzende's and they'll see youve ridden it and will be glad the signs of life are visible and left for them to enjoy it's flavour & style.

    Seriously, what you have is about as good as it gets. We are all guilty of fussing too much over our bikes. They are simple, elegant yet very strong machines and if they should brake or fall apart from use then that is poetry too. I'll bet very few of us have ridden a bike that hard.



    peace etc
    "I'm so postmodern ... " Spirito

  3. #3
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    What size is it?

    I thnik you should leave it (or repaint it) as it is. I'd cill for a fire engine red Italian steel bike (with chrome lugs even!!!). Unfortuneately I'm stuck with my red & white Bottecchia. Sigh. Too many bikes. Not enough $ or time. Etc.
    You'd think we were here for something other than fun. - Ishmael

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaeP
    I thnik you should leave it (or repaint it) as it is. I'd cill for a fire engine red Italian steel bike (with chrome lugs even!!!). Unfortuneately I'm stuck with my red & white Bottecchia. Sigh. Too many bikes. Not enough $ or time. Etc.
    Size 57. I've decided to keep it original, and to touch up the beat up areas. And yes, your bike is the one I was going to copy

    This frame is my third Colnago, hence the reason I was thinking about doing something different with it. How many chrome lugged bikes does one need?

  5. #5

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    as many and he can get (afford). Id keep the lugs chrome. painting them is like painting over a fine piece of artwork, which is what I consider my Master Pui. I think that with a bike like that, the original paint should stay as well. Its not like your dealing with a schwinn. Its a good looking frame.

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