Saturday, 29 September 2012

I think I'll call it painted

I have been obsessing a bit about the paint job on this bike, and I don't know why. It's a rattle-can job, and so can only be so good and so durable. I want it to look nice, and I like the way the design has come out, but really, it's never going to be as durable as a professional baked-on job. I just don't want to spend £300 on a Mercian or Argos job at the moment. That being said, I like the way it has come out.

First, the overall scheme is nice. I didn't plan it quite this way, but the copper-over-pearlescent white works well, and the dark green pinstriping on the downtube paved the way for other bits.

The frame details themselves continue to delight me. The seat cluster is my favorite part, I think.

The head tube and fork intersection looks very nice, if I do say so:

I am especially pleased that the laser-printed decals came out so well. I realize I didn't go with the traditional 'Viking' script, which has always struck me as goofy. Since I've converted the 700c frame to 650B wheels, though, this is hardly a full restoration, so I feel some liberty with the graphics is in order. The more nordic-looking typeface I chose for the downtube ('Viking medium') is really great, though, and in dark green with a copper outline picked up the stripes on the seat tube, which paved the way for further details (to be shown later):

I have obviously started to hang parts on the frame to see how things fit, and so far it's all buttah. The sole cause for concern was the fit of the Gilles Berthoud stainless steel front mudguard (50mm), but after actually sliding it in there, I found that by simply squeezing it just a wee bit, I could set it in the fork just above the tyre without any trouble at all. The trick will be mounting it to the fork: the little dongly thing that bolts into the steerer tube via the brake bolt is too short for the job, so I have to create some sort of extension to reach down to the mudguard. A tube threaded on the inside should do the trick; I think I have the tap to do it as well, so this week's project is booked.