I recently scored a free 1974 Deelite Apollo 10 speed. As far as I can tell, it has all original parts, but most of the stickers have faded out and there are a few places where the paint has failed completely on the tubes.

As a project bike, would you consider stripping and painting the frame, or simply replace what needs done (tires, bar tape) and ride it as is?

    • thayerOP
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      13 days ago

      Hah, true enough! I knew of course that this was the only right answer, but still enjoy hearing what other folks would do in such situations.

    • Spoodle@beehaw.org
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      13 days ago

      👆This. It’s not going to affect this particular bike’s value too much in either direction. If you think the paint prep is worth the effort then go for it!

      From a practical standpoint, you might want to consider at least cleaning up any exposed steel and applying a little clear coat.

      • thayerOP
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        13 days ago

        For sure, I’ve already started scrubbing the rust away from the chrome using aluminum foil and I’m genuinely impressed by how well that works. The rims and fenders were badly peppered with rust and now look almost new.

  • blackbrook@mander.xyz
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    13 days ago

    Well if you think you’ll have occasion to leave it locked up places, it might be an advantage for it to look old and beat up.

    • thayerOP
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      13 days ago

      Oddly enough, I grabbed it for that very reason but once I got it home and had a good look at things I realized it was quite a nice bike with all original parts made in Japan and Switzerland.

  • Bob Smith@sopuli.xyz
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    13 days ago

    My take: Ride as is if you can stand it, but there’s no wrong answer.

    I powder-coated a Motobecane of similar age and I don’t regret it. The original paint job with hand-painted details must have been great, but decades of sun, rain, and neglect obliterated it. Restoration would have been starting over from scratch so I sandblasted and turned it into an electric blue beast of burden.

    Somebody else can restore the original paint job 50 years from now. I’m just keeping the frame safe for them until they’re done being born and growing up somewhere. It’ll be waiting for them when they’re ready.

    • potate
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      13 days ago

      Cheap powdercoating is one of my favourite things about steel frames. I can get a frame sand blasted and powdercoated for $150CAD. I ride my bike until the paint is damaged and I’m starting to get a bit of rust in spots- then pick a wild new colour, get some decals made and just like that I have a brand new looking bike.

      • Bob Smith@sopuli.xyz
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        13 days ago

        That multicolor combo is amazing! Makes me wish I had more separate parts to paint when I coated mine.

        • potate
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          13 days ago

          Thanks! I was going for a vintage Yeti vibe.

      • thayerOP
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        13 days ago

        Looks great! I’d probably opt for a rattle can job since I’m already putting at least $200 into new tires, bar tape, cables, and a seat. Just debating whether a rattle can is worth it over keeping it old school…leaning towards a cleanup and clear coat for now.

  • psud@aussie.zone
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    13 days ago

    You probably need to at least touch up the bare metal, to prevent or stop rust

  • Swordgeek
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    12 days ago

    Of course you can do what you want to do - leave it, strip and paint it, touch it up, turn it fuchsia…

    But for me the real question on mucking with vs. carefully restoring (or leaving as is) comes down to whether I’d call it “vintage” or just plain “old.”

    • pearable@lemmy.ml
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      13 days ago

      I like old mountain bikes and more modern bikes with thicker tires. I find it improves the riding experience a good bit. Regardless, the bike you have, and ride, is the best bike

    • Lemmeenym@lemm.ee
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      13 days ago

      It will be a little heavier. For the average rider it won’t make much difference.

    • niucllos@lemm.ee
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      11 days ago

      The brakes are probably worse, depending on the bike and how nice a bike you’d compare it to could be quite a bit worse. If you’re just riding casually and have foresight it’s not going to make or break it though. Oh, and modern shifters are a lot easier, but again not going to be life changing unless you’re riding a ton, especially on uneven terrain

  • plactagonic@sopuli.xyz
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    13 days ago

    I just looked at how much the coating costs (100 - 500$) in my location. Some can restore it with stickers… but it adds to the cost. I have access to few old Favorit frames (old ČSSR bike maker), you are lucky to get 100$ for bike in perfect condition.

    So go for it, I wanted to make some beater bike (for commuting) and I consider using it.

  • geegaw@lemmy.world
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    13 days ago

    Might seem a bit out there, but color matched paint is so easy these days. Even if it’s faded, they can match that. You could just touch up the worn areas and try to leave as much original as you wanted. I’m kind of a traditionalists with old mechanical things though, so maybe this is bananas.

    • thayerOP
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      13 days ago

      I’m kind of a traditionalists with old mechanical things though, so maybe this is bananas.

      Me too, so that’s probably where I’ll end up.

  • Annoyed_🦀 🏅@monyet.cc
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    13 days ago

    I recently repaint my old bmx and give it a fresh look before replacing stuff. I’d say it’s worth painting it since you’re stripping it apart to replace stuff anyway.

  • MadBob@feddit.nl
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    12 days ago

    I bought a vintage racer in 2018 with the intention of fixing it up, repainting it, etc, as it had clearly rusty parts and exposed steel, and I ended up not bothering for one reason or another, but it was every bit as zippy and manoeuvrable when I had an accident on it last year that meant I had to chuck it in the tip. I shouldn’t brag or whatever but I remember this little speed counter thing saying I was breaking the limit a few minutes before the crash.