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Old 12-29-07, 05:45 PM   #1
QTipConnoisseur
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Powder Coating Woes!

So I recently got my Iro Mark V frame powdercoated by Leons Powder Coating Inc in Oakland. I guess the bike got jostled around in the trunk, since the paint got chipped on the headtube! However, I put it in quite carefully, and drive pretty smoothly. On top of that, the paint around the headtube didn't look so pro. I was under the impression that powder coating was quite durable... but the chipping was quite big.
Here's the part that chipped:


Now, I'm not sure how powder coating is done, but I see two layers here. I had asked them previously to sandblast the frame, which was originally black, and then paint it... did they simply paint over the existing paint? As you can see, there is a layer of black something... did they cheap out?
And here's the unprofessional looking headtube edge:


I'm going to bring this in on Monday, the soonest they're open, should I be going in to berate them for trying to skimp, or ask them how to patch up a mistake that I made?

Last edited by QTipConnoisseur; 12-29-07 at 06:13 PM. Reason: pictures too big...
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Old 12-29-07, 05:49 PM   #2
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Holy smokes! Redo your post and resize your photos!
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Old 12-29-07, 05:50 PM   #3
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Two suggestions:

1. Use lower resolution picture files. These are too big to be displayed properly.

2. Go back to the powder coater and see if the chips can be repaired.
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Old 12-29-07, 05:57 PM   #4
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Oops, sorry for the huge images, i'm on 1920x1200... cropped them.
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Old 12-29-07, 06:00 PM   #5
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Without a slightly more zoomed out picture it's tough to make out what we're looking at.
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Old 12-29-07, 06:14 PM   #6
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Without a slightly more zoomed out picture it's tough to make out what we're looking at.
Added a resized version of the original picture for you.
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Old 12-29-07, 06:38 PM   #7
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PC will only stick to bare metal, so there is really no way they could skip the step of removing all previous paint.

Nevertheless, it does not look good. Is it possible that they did not bake it properly? It is pretty durable, and it should take a bit of violence to get a chip like that.

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Old 12-29-07, 06:39 PM   #8
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I've had my frame powdercoated as well - it doesn't look anything like yours when it's chipped. It doesn't peel off like that and I see none of the original paint (blasted). My powdercoat was red on blasted neon so it would've been quite noticeable if they didn't do it.

The black is ... interesting to say the least. Someone with more experience with powdercoating should render an opinion.
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Old 12-29-07, 06:52 PM   #9
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My understanding is that they would have needed to have a bare metal base and then have it washed with a phosphate coating to allow proper adhesion and then bake it at the proper temperature for the proper time. It looks like they did not do that.
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Old 12-30-07, 01:30 AM   #10
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Yes you have a valid issue. I operate a powder coat system in our plant. It certainly appears that they painted over the original black color.

Contrary to a previous poster you CAN powder coat over existing paint. The issue is that the cured powder will not adhere to surface with any durability, hence the chipping. IF they blasted the frame there would be no traces of black around the edges and chip marks.

Chipping in large areas like what are pictured are a result of either a poor prep job of the surface, baking the powder for longer then needed (brittle) or they simply shot powder over existing paint.
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Old 12-30-07, 01:38 AM   #11
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My understanding is that they would have needed to have a bare metal base and then have it washed with a phosphate coating to allow proper adhesion and then bake it at the proper temperature for the proper time.
+1!
Although I don't do powdercoating, I have watched it being applied.
I suppose that it's physically possible to get the powder onto the frame over the original PAINT, but I would guess that after baking, it chips like in the pictures.

I have never seen properly applied powdercoat EVER chip like that!

Another suspicious item...in the very large picture of the chip, on the right side where the chip is darkest, there appears to be the capitol letter C in outline block lettering.
What is that letter C from??? Why is it visible in the chip? What was originally ON the headtube?

Maybe they DID powdercoat over the old paint!!

(note to self; do not use Leons in Oakland. Too near to MSwantak anyway)
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Old 12-30-07, 11:32 AM   #12
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+1!
Another suspicious item...in the very large picture of the chip, on the right side where the chip is darkest, there appears to be the capitol letter C in outline block lettering.
What is that letter C from??? Why is it visible in the chip? What was originally ON the headtube?
Dr. Deltron, I had no idea what it was at first, but I think it may be where the old Iro head badge graphics were! I don't have a picture for comparison, so I can't be sure, but this would be solid proof that they simply painted right over.

Oh, how would I get the headset off? I was so excited that the painting was done that I went straight to my LBS to have my headset pressed...then noticed the chips afterwards... is it safe to remove it? How?

Thanks everyone for the help! I'm going to see if I can get my money back, as well as find a more reputable powder coating shop in my area... anyone have suggestions?
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Old 12-30-07, 12:25 PM   #13
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Are you sure this is powdercoat?
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Old 12-30-07, 09:50 PM   #14
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Are you sure this is powdercoat?
Hmmmm....good point!

The chips around the end of the headtubes look like PC chips, kinda thickish stuff.

But now the original story has expanded some...

Did the LBS cause the chip? And did they do the facing of the headtube?

Seems both the powdercoater AND the LBS are going to owe you!
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Old 12-31-07, 12:45 AM   #15
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Hmmmm....good point!

The chips around the end of the headtubes look like PC chips, kinda thickish stuff.

But now the original story has expanded some...

Did the LBS cause the chip? And did they do the facing of the headtube?

Seems both the powdercoater AND the LBS are going to owe you!
Heh, no, I saw the chip and thought to myself, "I'll worry later." Now I'm worrying. But jeez, not removing the original paint takes some nerves, not even using a powder coat takes even more! We'll see tomorrow...
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Old 03-25-08, 11:51 AM   #16
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Heh, no, I saw the chip and thought to myself, "I'll worry later." Now I'm worrying. But jeez, not removing the original paint takes some nerves, not even using a powder coat takes even more! We'll see tomorrow...

Bump...

What was the eventual outcome?
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Old 03-25-08, 12:57 PM   #17
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Seems both the powdercoater AND the LBS are going to owe you!
Or neither one will owe you. They can both make a case that it was the other's fault. And certainly you should not have allowed the lbs to install your headset cups if you noticed the chipping beforehand.

That being said, I agree with the previous post that said a proper powder coat job should not be chipping like that.
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