post # 2 from a new guy... Thanks to Paul Williams for bringing up a question very much in my mind, too. I have nothing so interesting (or difficult) as his 49 Carpenter but in my current crop (hardly a "collection") I have a 74 Garlatti (Bike bo om Italian (Campy Valentino low end & Shimano cogs I switched out, adding a Regina Oro 5-speed) from Parma that I got NOS for probably too much, b ut it's a nice ride & a very nice white & blue), a 72 (+/-) PX-10 frame ( for which I am collecting parts), and inbound is an early to mid 70s Carl ton frame (sky blue & wihite). I have rediscovered I LIKE tinkering with the mechanics, as I did when I was a kid, so rebuilding is as much fun as the riding I also rediscovered . A new bike just doesn't let you tinker the same way -- you don't need t o. I also have w 1958 Triumph TR-3A ... so anyone else out there who know s British sports cars knows the disease of which I speak. They came with tools kits because the HAD to... Anyway, I've already had to weave back and forth across the line Paul pos its. I tell myself I'm rehabilitating the bike - making it period-ish but ridable. Sometimes rideable is a matter of safety (avoiding Sheldon Brow n's AVA "stem of death"; sometimes the correct original part is not (yet) available (or the one you saw was being ransomed rather than sold...); a nd sometimes it's changing cottered cranks for contemporaneous square tap ers becuase that century I did when the cotter developed flop 30 miles in played hell with the left IT band by the time I finished. That said, I haven't reassembled the PX-10 yet because: I didn't use my o ld 3ttt stem and Mafac bars because I found a Phillipe-Atax set; I'm wait ing for a pair of Mafac Competition brakes to arrive so I won't use the R acers I already have; and I'm feeling twitchy about how much of the paint nicks to touch up and whether or not to replace the fork 531 decals with two I got from Greg Softley. I know a repainting question can start a re ligious war among restoration groups -- but for me the idea of touch up i s on the edge of that line Paul posits. Covering chips protects the steel and is appropriate to what we'd have done in 1972 if this were our bike. I have no problem with touch up where it has worn away under frame clamp s - and will again. But I wonder if the nicks need to be original paint, or color matched to what it has become now (scene at local paint store; " Hey, Harry! Gimme a hand holding this dang thing still!") My goals are to rescue some of the history and craft, to enjoy doing it ( it's supposed to BE the therapy, not creat a new obsession that requires therapy!), and to ride the bikes. I'm currently planning to use this PX-1 0 on a Montreal-Sherbrooke-Boston ride June 2008. The Montreal-Sherbrooke -Pittsburg, NH, is on a whim; it will link up with a Pittsburg to Portsmo uth, NH, leg which is an annual charity ride for MDA I do, the Trans NH B ike Ride organized by NH firefighters. It's 3 days & ~~ 250 miles. Day on e is a century from the NH-Canadian border to Littleton, NH. Day 2 takes us to Laconia, and day 3 is a pretty leisurely 60 miles or so to Portsmou th. The planned extension from Portsmouth to Boston is just because... It would make more sense to ride my Specialized Allez pro -- but riding a retro adds to the weird factor that keeps life a bit more interesting. I n fact -- though off topic -- if anyone is interested in more info about the ride or wants to join me for a good cause and a weird ride, contact m e off list. So, my take on Paul's question - get close to old parts; keep the 'rehabi litation' vice 'restoration' balance and be willing to keep it (at some l evel) a work in progress waiting for just the right parts. If you really have to ask if it's worth it to get that particular part, THAT by itself is telling you something. To reflect on another's comment about car resto rations, remember that with his net worth Jay Leno doesn't worry about pr ice too much when he needs a part ... I worry. Finally -- (now, don't throw anyting heavy ...) it's a bike. Ride it.