So, what to do now? The paint is a little flaky and there is some rust as well. The magenta has discoloured badly with sunlight, rust and wear to a dull red-brown in places, especially on the guards. The blue has been chipped quite badly in areas too.
I initially thought that the silver paint was added later by an owner, but now think that it was factory applied under the magenta, to give it the original metallic brilliance, and its re-appearance is because of wearing away of the top coat :
And what about the magenta? Would it be possible to restore a little of this colour without destroying the bike’s overall character, or have it looking amateurish ?
Also with the pin lining, I will keep it of course – but should I try restoring it where it has almost vanished? Hmmm…
While thinking over such things I re-assembled the wheel hubs and tightened all the front spokes 1/4 turn each. I will check for any wobbles later. I’ve used fine steel wool and rust converter very gently on the rims, while taking care not to remove any paint. The painted and lined rims are an important part of the look and implied age of this bike, and seem in good structural condition at least.
The “poor person’s re-chrome” is to remove or neutralise the rust, then wipe over the area of lost plating with silver sheen paint on a rag or brush – the silver adheres to the dull metal but wipes off the remaining shiny chrome, then the whole thing can be clear coated leaving the old chrome but unifying the surface appearance. Well, it works for me. I don’t want a factory finish, rather to have the bike looking as if the care had been consistent over the years and the surface had simply aged gracefully without neglect. The silver can be rubbed back when dry, if considered overdone.
Here are the head badge and cranks before clear coating :
I have decided to use the original right pedal and fit the unused left one from the old Malvern Star just to get the bike running, and only worry about matching them later. These old pedals are wonderful in the way they can be fully stripped down and overhauled. Most of today’s pedals are made to be thrown away rather than serviced – even including the ones on my 2011 Gazelle.
They seem to spin so freely, as if inherently of a better quality, and are easily overhauled as well.