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I'm restoring the first adult bike I owned.

It has about 30 years and was made by a brand that no longer exists, which makes it some sort of a semi-relic :)

My problem is that the brand stickers at the frame, are very scratched and I plan to paint the frame and so probably they will have to be removed...

I've read that when restoring an old bike the stickers are important, and I think this is a matter of "are the stickers that important in this particular bike?".

In other words, should I keep the stickers and try to restore the rest of the frame the best that I can, or just remove them and do a proper restore?

To be honest, this bike's value isn't that much, even with its semi-relic status, I'm just afraid of making the mistake of taking the stickers and find out that it was best to leave them on. This combined to my urge to take a lot of pictures in high-quality to preserve a record of how it looked before the restoration, and then work on it stripped from any sticker, with a proper paint job and all.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

If you feel the bike has no significant resale value, then why not just do what would produce the results YOU would like the most?

But if you really want to preserve the stickers, but want to avoid the trouble and less than ideal paint job due to masking them, I'm guessing it would be possible to photograph (and PhotoShop) them (or find matching images on the web) and then reproduce them somehow with a reasonably waterproof printing scheme.

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The problem with this is the loss of the original items in the bike. I can reproduce the stickers and you made good suggestions, the problem is if that's a good or bad idea, since the original items can increase the value of the bike. I suppose in this case I may be a bit nit-picking since probably the bike has more value to me than to others and honestly I just want to get rid of the stickers and change the look entirely, but I fear this may be a mistake? –  jackJoe Jun 9 '11 at 15:10
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I'm a little confused. You say the bike isn't really worth anything. Restoring it should be for your own satisfaction, not to hike up the resale value by a few shillings. If the bike is "worth something" then you should consult a dealer in antique bikes to pick your course of action. –  Daniel R Hicks Jun 9 '11 at 20:11

Why don't you see how well you do at recreating the sticker set/finding it on ebay THEN decide on your restoration strategy?

@Daniel's answer applies. Get them made up in Photoshop, certainly go for the better paint job first, particularly if restoration is the dream. Clearcoat over the stickers is a nice feature too.

Most UK frame restorers/painters have no problem at all in getting replacement stickers, even if they are not identical your mates will not spot that, they will just see 'wow' paint finish.

Ask around, there are a surprising amount of decals in warehouses and workshops. Here is a starter:

http://www.yellowjersey.org/vindecal.html

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Those are also good suggestions! but is it ok to get rid of the original parts of the bike? could it make it lose value? (as I said at Daniel's post, probably this bike hasn't that much value, but I don't wan't to regret taking them out and finding I should have kept it). –  jackJoe Jun 9 '11 at 15:12
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Some parts have to be replaced - anything with rubber for starters. Therefore it is not possible to have a bike truly in original condition, no matter how you restore it. Personally I think you should restore with sympathetic parts and not slap on something that will look awful. But then, will anyone but you (or I) notice that the bolts on those Weinmann sidepulls are not the original ones? In the bigger scheme of things, unless your bike was ridden by some Tour de France winner, it is not going to worth $$$ anyway :-( –  ʍǝɥʇɐɯ Jun 9 '11 at 15:19

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