Framebuilders - Metallic or Flamboyant hardiness?
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I searched for this but couldn't come up with a clear answer...
I'm about to order a new frame (a Bob Jackson World Tour). There are two colors which would be fine, one "metallic", the other "flamboyant".
Is there any advantage of the one over the other for hardiness... I'll be doing fully loaded touring, so the bike will get knocked about a bit and put in planes, busses etc. It's not important to me that it stays "pristine" but would the paint job make a difference?
Or would "enamel" be even better?
12-30-09, 08:27 AM
The paints used in the UK are traditionally different than the ones used here in the States. A British "flamboyant" is what we call a "candy". This is when translucent top coats get there sparkle effect from the glitters in the undercoat (which is often silver but can be other colors for different effects). A metallic color has the glitter in the color coat itself. What this means in terms of hardness is that the flamboyant paint has more layers that have a greater chance of separating if they are struck by something like a sharp rock. There isn't usually a lot of difference but there is some difference. A standard enamel is just paint without the silver flakes that would turn it into a metallic color so there would be no difference in hardness between the two.
The paint Americans use are typically polyurethane (or urethane) enamels that harden by chemical action when mixed with an activator. The "stove enamels" that were the traditional paints used in England harden by heating them in ovens (stoves) after spraying. Bob Jackson used to entirely use stove enamels years ago when I was learning to build frames about 15 miles away at Ellis Briggs. I don't know if they have now incorporated polyurethane enamel paints into their options.
Stove enamels were a tough paint and not necessarily more likely to chip than modern paints. I've seen many classic frames whose paint jobs have endured well over time.
In the States a candy paint job is more fragile. House of Kolor is a common supplier of glamour paints and sometimes gets a bad rap as not being durable. Often this is because the painter did not follow an exact time line of when different coats needed to be applied. If for example he waited too long between coats they won't adhere as well together.
Wow! thank you so much for your reply Doug... exactly the information I was looking for :)
Might aswell throw another out there... I'll be ordering the frame "blind" but do the paints have some kind of "standard colour numbering" so I could check it out here if BJ told me which number it was? Sort of like the Pantone thing in printing... It's hard to get the right impression from the photos on their webpage.
12-30-09, 12:10 PM
powdercoating would be best option for toughness, but i don't know if they offer that at bob jackson
12-30-09, 12:17 PM
Unfortunately the only way to tell the real effect of paint colors is by looking at them in person. As a matter of fact when looking at some candy colors or pearls, it is very important what kind of light you are in. Natural sunlight (with the sun shinning on it. Cloudy daylight doesn’t show depth and sparkles the same way) is the best followed by incandescent light. Halogen lights work too. Florescent lighting gives a completely different effect. A candy color will look all washed out without any sparkle if seen under those conditions. The roundness of a tube makes the way light reflects off of it different than looking at chips on a color chart. This also reminds me that color charts often don’t match a real paint job either – especially reds. They are lighter in real life.
Most builder/painters keep a section of painted tubes as samples of what to choose. I’ve got many right here by my desk. That way one can see what is different about a pearl vs. a metallic. I think I remember such a group at Jackson's.
If you know what kind of paint is being used, you can go to a auto paint supply store that sells that paint and look at their color charts to get some idea of what to choose. For example somebody in the bigger cities will be selling House of Kolor paints and you can ask to see their charts. They will be amused/annoyed by your explanation of why you want to do this and you don’t want to buy anything from them.
Thanks for your replies once again! :)
Colours are always a problem if you can't see them in real life... maybe I'll just go for "Orange enamel" rather than "Amber flamboyant" or "Apricot metallic"... don't think I could go wrong with that :D
Happy New Year everyone!
12-31-09, 07:14 AM
The only thing I'd add to your last comment is that customers will almost always pick a flam over a metallic (by 75% to 25% I'd guess) and a metallic over a standard color. However, it is much easier to touch up a solid color and very difficult to do any kind of paint repair on a candy if it gets chipped. Of course this isn't a group decision, only you have to like your choice. And it doesn't have to be just one color, Bob Jackson has multi color options.
I started off planning on going over to england to be fitted for a BJ custom frame, but realised the off-the-peg frame will do just fine, so in the spirit of keeping it simple and easy I'm thinking the solid colour will be most "predictable", and, as you pointed out Doug, easier to touch up. Repairability, and even replaceability (are those real words?) are in my opinion important aspects...
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