Re: [CR]Rebuild/ restoration: Where do YOU draw the line?


Example: Production Builders:Tonard

Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2007 09:42:05 -0800 (PST)
From: dave martinez <dmart84815@yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [CR]Rebuild/ restoration: Where do YOU draw the line?
To: "Dr. Paul Williams" <castell5@sympatico.ca>
In-Reply-To: <033201c824db$241c6ea0$0300a8c0@ourlaptop>
cc: CR List <ClassicRendezvous@bikelist.org>

Hello Paul,

I grappled with that very question when embarking on the restoration of a 1952 Cinelli frame. First off I was dealing with a broken heart, the fish that got away. Two missed opportunities of owning an original 1952 Cinelli.... sigh! I justifed the cost of retubing, chrome, paint and correct decals with the fact that there are very few early 50s Cinelli road bikes out there. Besides, I really like Cinellis

Karsten Rebien (remember him?) gave me- for the cost of shipping from Germany two 50s Cinelli frames and a curious mix of grimy old components. The most desireable was a 1952 Cinelli that had a bent top tube and down tube. A catalog reprint was also included which listed the specifications for the Cinellis as well as illustrations of professional quality components of the day. This proved to be quite a valuable resource. I was lucky in another respect, many of the parts for the restoration came from my early explorations of the legendary American Cyclery basement.

It all came together about 5 years later. A 1952 Cinelli Mod B with a new lease on life. Built up with components that were availible during the period that this bike was on the road. The only relatively new (1960?) part is the Campag cottered spinde.... it was too cool, had to use it on this bike.

Regards, David Martinez Fremont Ca US of A

"Dr. Paul Williams" <castell5@sympatico.ca> wrote: As I continue my enjoyable but increasingly costly rebuild of a 49 Carpenter I have been struck by a dilemma which must face many who pursue our hobby: how far does one take a restoration/ rebuild and where does one draw the line?

A recent comment by a well-known former listmember, that essentially only a wanker would buy an old frameset in need of painting and rebuilding - when it is often more cost effective to buy a complete bike, perhaps resonates with truth. When faced with laying out the equivalent of another two-weeks of grocery money for a ratty old handlebar mounted bottle cage with a set of bottles (or maybe not) which are more than likely unusable - or at least, perhaps not overly healthy - how far is it worth going?

How far is it worth going to ensure that parts are absolutely period correct - to the year and, in the case of some parts, to the exact month? And will they still be functional? After all isn't this a bike to be ridden?

I do not have the bottles or the cage(s), but I do have the nicely chromed headlamp and am currently looking for a suitable matching bracket. Yet, I haven't a clue whether I can get the right batteries to run the lamp! Is a fitted lamp which does not work little more than a pretention? And how about the temptation to fit a period cyclometer, a time-trial bell, and a stopwatch!! But, isn't that what would have been fitted on these bikes at the time, I ask myself?! Will they come up on ebay again? How scarce are such items becoming? Will they make the finished product any better? Will their absence really affect that finished product or, even more so, its ride?

Wanker maybe, but having a hell of a time on the hunt for those often elusive parts which will bring this old machine back to life. My ebay watch list is full and I may never get that Coloral bottle and cage but it is fun to dream.

Where do YOU draw the line?

Paul Williams
Ottawa, ON, Canada