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If you could restore a bike to look NOS

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Dave Stromberger

I'm Afraid I Can't Let You Do That
System Administrator
Most collectors these days prefer original paint and patina, rather than a restoration. The "pros" for originals have been discussed before, so lets not get into that here... but what is it about the restored bike that is undesirable? Some people flat out won't even consider a restored bike... it has cooties! Let's hear your thoughts... what is it about restored bikes that you don't like? What if you could restore a bike to where it looks NOS, rather than restored? Would you like it then?
 

Dave Stromberger

I'm Afraid I Can't Let You Do That
System Administrator
Isn't that already the goal of a restoration? To look New (OS) again? Looking old is what I like. Some originals look too nice in my opinion. A complete original in 5-7 condition is my sweet spot.
I don't think NOS is the goal, typcially. The goal is "like new, or better". If you have a restored part next to an identical mint NOS part, you can always tell which is which.
 

1817cent

Riding my 41 Super Deluxe Autocycle
I usually ride my bikes and would be concerned about the paint durability on a restored bike, NOS, not so much. I also like a 80 year old bike to look its age and carefully cared for and used. The history is lost in a restoration in my opinion.
 

SJ_BIKER

Riding a 41 Super Deluxe
I was just thinking about thinking about this in this particular morning. I think one of the major cons is if you plan on reselling it later my version of restored today is different than when I was 24 years of age. Anyone that collects anything and has learned a thing or 2 about their craft will be able to spot a fake or reproduction. Add to that in the bike hobby you can get a real original Chicago made frame Schwinn for instance and build it with nothing but new reproduction parts and call it restored when in reality a restored Schwinn panther for example would have special fasteners bolts in a particular metal finish with some parts chrome others not, single stage paint, hand laid pinstripes, correct factory offered colors, correct seat with proper top material, decals need to be laid down in the general areas, needs correct pedals, correct combination of bright work, and two tone paint layouts in which they were done and they did have drips from the factory...it's hard to do and if the bike hobby had a grading system much like sports cards do a lot of bikes would never pass or even be looked at. So I think it all depends. Maybe most who scoff at the idea know too much or are too scared, or cautious to even try to see what's real or not....that's why I enjoy the hunt now because some bikes do have NOS parts or near NOS parts. Some I suspect just simply don't want to take a chance. Or simply it maybe that once they are restored the fun is over or why risk being the first one to get a chip or scuff on it. Which I get to.
 

markivpedalpusher

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Moderator
My issue with restoring a bike to look NOS is, at that point it can be nearly impossible to know what parts are real or reproduced. Original parts vs. reproduction = a huge value swing.

Original patina can almost always distinguish original parts vs. reproduction parts. That said some parts are made so well and patina’ed so well it’s getting harder and harder !! At some point those parts will be considered “original”

That said, I have restored 1 bike that was almost unobtainable for me. It was a fun experience to do it at least 1 time and I’d recommend everyone trying it at least once !!
 

Dave Stromberger

I'm Afraid I Can't Let You Do That
System Administrator
Here's a thought.... some of you may be aware of how nutty Corvette collectors can get about restorations. There's even the National Corvette Restorers Society, with guidelines for restoration and judging. They are incredibly obsessed with detail. You need to have the correct amount of gloss on the paint, not just overall but in the right spots! The lower portions of the body and the door jambs must be somewhat dull, while the rest can be polished. There has to be the correct amount of overspray from the body color onto the chassis, etc. They want the car to look like it just rolled off the assembly line, with zero miles on it. What if we took the same approach to restoring bicycles?
 
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