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In Blue America
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 99 Lemond Zurich with a red-on-white paint job. I will never have a white frame, again! I have babied this thing, yet every minor scratch or abrasion turns up as a red gash, probably because Lemond sprayed a soft white overcoat over a steel frame that was already red. And cleaning the thing? Every grease stain gets smeared all over and has to be buffed off. I'm now obsessive about cleaing, but the ease with which this bike gets completely grungy looking annoys me. For the same reason my wife won't buy a black car (you can tell when it's dirty), I will not have a bike that is painted white. I liked the classic look of this bike when I bought it years ago, but I have slowly realized why no one else goes with a white frame.
 

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100% Atkins free
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LeMond (Trek) painting is lousy. I have a yellow over pearl white Serotta that is gorgeous. I wax it so the dirt is easier to remove. I'd get a white frame again from Serotta or Sachs or another high-ender. And when (and if) I repaint my dark burgundy De Bernardi, it's going to be a red over white Joe Bell paint job!
 

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Don't blame the color, blame the painter

TypeOne said:
I have a 99 Lemond Zurich with a red-on-white paint job. I will never have a white frame, again! I have babied this thing, yet every minor scratch or abrasion turns up as a red gash, probably because Lemond sprayed a soft white overcoat over a steel frame that was already red. And cleaning the thing? Every grease stain gets smeared all over and has to be buffed off. I'm now obsessive about cleaing, but the ease with which this bike gets completely grungy looking annoys me. For the same reason my wife won't buy a black car (you can tell when it's dirty), I will not have a bike that is painted white. I liked the classic look of this bike when I bought it years ago, but I have slowly realized why no one else goes with a white frame.
"No one else goes with a white paint job?" Au contraire. I've had a Richard Sachs with Joe Bell paint since 1998, over 20,000 miles on it. It's pearl white with red head tube and seat tube panel, the classic Faema paint job and Richard's 25th anniversary paint. It actually looks quite similar to the red/white LeMond paint job. The paint is unscratched to this day, showing wear only at the dropouts. I don't clean any bike very often, but all it takes me is 5 minutes with an old t-shirt and bottle of diluted 409, and the bike looks new again. I have much more trouble keeping the handlebar tape (red cork) clean than I do the bike itself.

So I guess my observation is that you shouldn't blame the color; blame the paint job. I don't know what you've been using to clean the bike, but there are lots of products that won't "smear the grease" all over the paint.
 

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100% Atkins free
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Simple Green or any orange cleaner work fine for non-grease smearing cleanup, too.

I am jealous of your Richard Sachs, by the way.
 

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I think the Ritchey frames look cool in white. I don't know why, but they get my attention whenever I see one. It's that retro feel, perhaps.
 

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GeoCyclist
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Back in 1996 I had a White Trek 4500 (bought it used). I thought the paint job was pretty good considering I was the third or fourth owner of the frame, and the frame had been raced. I also had a red and white Cdale that had a pretty good paint job.
 

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In Blue America
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436 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Paint

So I guess my observation is that you shouldn't blame the color; blame the paint job. I don't know what you've been using to clean the bike, but there are lots of products that won't "smear the grease" all over the paint.


Yeah, I use Simple Green. Hearing from people here and from talking to a guy at LBS I realized Trek/Lemond has a history of bad paint jobs. Yes, I like the classic "Peugeot-look" of the white bike but I see so few of them on the road.
 

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I don't know about the newer Trek paint jobs, but they use to paint bikes real well if mine is any example. Mine is red, which is the fastest color to fade, and I rode it in sunny southern California since 84, it has over 135,000 miles and the paint is not faded at all. Sure there are some minor scratches that I kept touched up but that's it. Only in the last 2 years has the yellow decals started to fade. I've used a non-abrasive car wax from Mequire's since it was new and applied it about every 6 months, maybe that's why there's no fade-maybe that's why the decal's faded; I'll never know since I can't go back and start over by not using any wax to see what happens.
 

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angel of the morning
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so .....

white is cool and sooo sexy. what next - no pretty women because other men are always hitting on them, no porsche 'coz it aint practical, will get stolen and insurance is ridiculous, no travelling to many beautiful places in the world because they don't speak english???

my last 3 frame's have all been white (and it just happened that way).

pearl white merckx with red panels

followed by

a white gios with blue panels

followed by my current ride

a pearl white DeRosa which im gonna be buried with.

yeah they show dirt, nicks and scratches easy but it's white and isn't that common a color as it once was for bikes. heck, it isn't as hard as some colors to find touch paint for. signs of wear is something ive always been proud of and i always dowse them with weigle's framesaver on the inside. if you wash'n'wax your bike it wont rust on the outside - it's the inside that counts. i value originality and whilst there are plenty of great refinishers it is only original once. i never buy a fresh repaint as its always hard to tell what sort of mileage it has had and if there has ever been any repairs.


i always buy a bike if its just looks cool - many make this decision based on scientific formula's. me - i just either have to have it or i don't care. ive seen plenty lemond's like yours and they are tasty - i have often thought the paint job isnt the best that i have seen applied but they were a mass produced and reasonably affordable ride.

enjoy it, ride it and you'll always have a story for all the scratches just like war wounds as it is a bicycle after all. if it gets haggard keep it as a rain bike or townie and save your pennies for a new frameset.

in saying that our bikes are like our lives and they all tell their own story of the roads they have travelled. the most expensive used bike i have ACTUALLY seen sold was beat up, scratched and grazed and most of the paint and chrome had flaked off - $8,000+ to someone was a lot more than a beater to another !!!!

ciao
 

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mmmmm, white carbon fiber.... I'm not sure where I saw it (interbike photos?) but someone is making products (not a full frameset) out of white carbon fiber. How 'bout that for a modern cassical look. I'm not sure about bikes, but in the auto industry white is used on the cars who's body is less than perfect since it reduces the appearance of small blemishes so; never a white car, never a white bike!
 

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eminence grease
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not my experience

I'm riding a Y2K Colnago MxL in their AD20 scheme (white with blue accents) and after many thousands of miles it looks brand new. I clean it with soap and water if it gets dirty, I treat it respectfully when stored and it shines like its first day out of the box.

White doesn't bother me.
 

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Unlabeled
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White paint great on $500 Fuji, solvents not so great

My steel Fuji Finest is half white. The quality of the paint job is amazing for a $500 bike. Black road grime, bugs, worms, tar, and grease wipe right off the great clear coat.

One issue with paint jobs is environmental regulations. Bikes made in Asia are painted using solvents that cannot be used economically in the U.S. I suspect that the Fuji has a nice paint job at the cost of the environment .
 

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White Frame

TypeOne said:
I have a 99 Lemond Zurich with a red-on-white paint job. I will never have a white frame, again! I have babied this thing, yet every minor scratch or abrasion turns up as a red gash, probably because Lemond sprayed a soft white overcoat over a steel frame that was already red. And cleaning the thing? Every grease stain gets smeared all over and has to be buffed off. I'm now obsessive about cleaing, but the ease with which this bike gets completely grungy looking annoys me. For the same reason my wife won't buy a black car (you can tell when it's dirty), I will not have a bike that is painted white. I liked the classic look of this bike when I bought it years ago, but I have slowly realized why no one else goes with a white frame.
My bestest bike has a white and blue frame and I really like it. I know it's a ball-ache when it get scratched, but I thought that the idea was to ride the bike rather than just oggle it when it's hung up in your garage.
 

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cruisin
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Spirito, can we see the DeRosa. I could use a little enlightenment today.
 

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The 99 Zurich paint job was cr**p

I had a '99 Zurich with the white paint job - the paint peeled almost as soon as you looked at it. It finally broke last year with only 25,000 miles on it. At least I got a new frame and fork for my trouble - I chose the red '03 Maillot Juane color scheme for my replacement frame. The paint job seems to be holding up a bit better than the previous one, so far the paint job has only abraded in a couple of places where I would have expected it to.

I looked at more than 5 of the '99 Zurich's which had underspray in either the headtube or under the bottom bracket before settling on my original one. It still didn't do me any good :-(

I do like the ride of Lemond's though, and they back up their warranty, so don't let a bad paint job put you off completely.

TypeOne said:
I have a 99 Lemond Zurich with a red-on-white paint job. I will never have a white frame, again! I have babied this thing, yet every minor scratch or abrasion turns up as a red gash, probably because Lemond sprayed a soft white overcoat over a steel frame that was already red. And cleaning the thing? Every grease stain gets smeared all over and has to be buffed off. I'm now obsessive about cleaing, but the ease with which this bike gets completely grungy looking annoys me. For the same reason my wife won't buy a black car (you can tell when it's dirty), I will not have a bike that is painted white. I liked the classic look of this bike when I bought it years ago, but I have slowly realized why no one else goes with a white frame.
 
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