During the mid '80s, Schwinn made two full-on touring bicycles: the Voyageur and the Voyageur SP. As its name suggests, the SP model was constructed of high-end Columbus SP (and SL) tubing. It also generally featured a few more braze-ons and better componentry than the regular Voyageur model.
This '85 Voyageur SP frameset I received through a trade. It came to me in rough aesthetic condition: the paint had succumbed to some mysterious ailment whereby it had chipped off in dozens and dozens of tiny spots to reveal the white primer beneath. In effect, it looked like someone had ridden the bike through a puddle of white paint. In addition, the paint on the chromed fork had contracted a similar strain of leprosy and it was rapidly chipping away in larger chunks. Since the worst of it was on the fork crown, I initially tried just stripping the paint there by masking the rest and spraying on a light coat of aircraft stripper. Unfortunately, the stripper penetrated the masking tape and I ended up having to take all the paint off the fork. Fortunately, the chrome was in good shape and it came out nicely anyway. For the rest of the frame, I went with touch-up paint. This was a tedious process with mixed results. In certain lighting, the end product looked fine, but in bright light the color difference became more pronounced. Were I to do it over, I'd probably opt for a fresh powdercoat. That is, I've decided that touch-up paint on an old bike is the precise equivalent of a facelift for an aging spinster: not quite convincing and vaguely pathetic. On the other hand, a powder coat is more like a visit to a day spa and a new outfit off the clearance rack at Macy's: rejuvenating and tasteful if not quite lavish.