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Old 11-15-10, 04:39 PM   #1
kjc9640
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Thoughts on powder coating a bike frame...

I am thinking about getting my bike powder coated. Has anybody had any experience with it?
Do you prefer it over paint?
Any colors to avoid?
Can they do 2 or 3 colors that fade into each other?
Does any one have photos of there bike that has been PC that you can post?
Cost?
Anything of importance that I should be aware of?
Anything that I should look for that will determine the creditability of the person doing the job?

Thanks...
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Old 11-15-10, 04:43 PM   #2
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I like powder coating...but it's not an option for carbon. I assume you have a steel or aluminum frame? It's much more durable but I don't think you can blend or fade the colors.
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Old 11-15-10, 05:12 PM   #3
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I like a pretty bike but damn it the prettier the bike the more a thief will want it. Rats!!
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Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 11-15-10, 10:46 PM   #4
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PC is durable, really hard to chip, but the finish isn't as smooth or glossy as paint. Around here, at least, the shops advertise a wide color selection, but when you show up, they tend to have 200 shades of gray, plus safety orange and day-glo green. Last time I got an estimate (a year ago?) I think it was $125 if I took in the frame and fork with everything removed. that price included stripping, shot-peening (or whatever they do for prep), masking and application of the stuff.
It's worth calling around to find a shop that's done it before. I tried three. the first two just said, "Sure, we can do it," but the third asked intelligent bike-specific questions, like would i remove the BB fixed cup and whether the frame was lugged.
As it turned out, I had to buy a new water heater and put off the bike (it's a singlespeed I just rat around on in bad weather). But over the winter, I'm going to go for it.
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Old 11-15-10, 10:47 PM   #5
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I had my steel Gunnar Sport frame powdercoated a nice very-dark metallic green.

Make sure you take it to a powdercoater that is used to working with high quality bike frames. When I did mine I first took it to a guy who did a crappy job and then pitched a fit when I wasn't happy with it.

I had to take it to another shop that had to carefully chemical strip the crappy first pc off and then they redid the pc. They did a very nice job.

If you have a thinwalled steel or aluminum frame you may need to discuss with the shop the need to chemically strip the original paint off, instead of simply blasting it off.

I have another frame I want to get pc, but I haven't decided on a color yet!
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Old 11-15-10, 10:51 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Velo Dog View Post
PC is durable, really hard to chip, but the finish isn't as smooth or glossy as paint. Around here, at least, the shops advertise a wide color selection, but when you show up, they tend to have 200 shades of gray, plus safety orange and day-glo green.
My Gunnar's pc looks like a beautiful glossy paint job, but is very durable. The shop I went to has a full variety of colors in numerous shades and grades of metallics.
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Old 11-15-10, 11:50 PM   #7
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Hi, you'd also need to pay attention to the thickness or build-up of the powdercoating as it can fill threads and other critical areas, and affect the fit of parts.
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Old 11-15-10, 11:52 PM   #8
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bike friday folders are powder coated at the factory.

if i can find celeste powder, my bianchi may be refinished in this fashion.
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Old 11-15-10, 11:59 PM   #9
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Before:



After:








I just called around all the places in Seattle; found a place that was experienced, convenient, and reasonably priced. They can all pretty much get you any color you want, there are several big manufacturers of color and finishes and I think any established place can get you any color you want.

Mine was about $150 for stripping, powder coating; mine included a $20 or $30 upcharge because they had to special-order the color I wanted (which is a super nice metallic copper/red/brown; the pictures don't do it justice).

There is a place in Colorado (?) called Spectrum Powderworks (?) that is supposed to be top-notch, but I think plenty of people have had good luck w/their local places.

Last edited by BengeBoy; 11-16-10 at 12:02 AM.
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Old 11-16-10, 01:08 AM   #10
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In addition to previous comments about pc, if you do go down that path, see if you can have them do 2 or 3 coats because I've seen single coat jobs that suffer from "pinholing" due to escaping gasses. I had a frame done with 2 coats, I think, and it still has a pinhole that's noticeable if you know where to look. Otherwise the color is outstanding (it's sort of a Gios blue), and it's supposed to be tougher than paint. You'll also want to remove the crown race and fixed cup before sending it off. I think I paid maybe $280 or so for the pc, but I also had some frame repair work done, so I don't know what the exact breakdown was.

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Old 11-16-10, 08:22 AM   #11
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I am starting to form a list of questions to ask the person that will do my bike. Thanks to those who contributed and i welcome any other suggestions.
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Old 11-16-10, 09:16 AM   #12
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There is a place in Colorado (?) called Spectrum Powderworks (?) that is supposed to be top-notch, but I think plenty of people have had good luck w/their local places.
https://spectrumpowderworks.ipower.c...ctrumindex.php

Colorado Springs, and the pictures on their website are really impressive.
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Old 11-16-10, 09:45 AM   #13
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My Rans bikes are power coated and look great. My Stratus that I have now is blue and silver.
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Old 11-16-10, 11:41 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjc9640 View Post
I am starting to form a list of questions to ask the person that will do my bike. Thanks to those who contributed and i welcome any other suggestions.
The only thing I would say to watch out for is to make sure that when they are doing the work that they carefully cover up all the holes and openings in the frame. Also, they should know to cover up any threaded eyelets (e.g., fender eyelets) so they don't get coated. My place did a great job but they forgot to cover up two fender eyelets, and I ended up having to clean them out.

Also make sure you are using a coating that it is intended for outdoor use.

This is the place I used - they have good info on their site, and links to several of the major providers who provide the powder (Tiger, Cardinal, etc.)

http://www.seattlepowdercoat.com/colors__textures

The biggest advantage to powder coating IMHO is durability and cost; much cheaper than a high quality paint job.

Disadvantages:
- an inexperienced powder coater can put on too thick of a coating, will cover up details in a lugged frame if that's what you're working with
- I've read that they are hard to strip and re-coat, if you ever want to do that
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Old 11-16-10, 12:23 PM   #15
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I had a frame powdercoated by a guy who does motorcycle and hot rod parts. It came out pretty well, although there's a few places where it's thicker than I prefer. He did a single-color base coat followed by a clear coat with iridescent flakes. It looks particularly nice in full sun.




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Old 11-16-10, 02:44 PM   #16
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Lots of good info here, thanks to everyone that took time to reply.
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Old 11-16-10, 03:14 PM   #17
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I have a utility bike which started life as a Bianchi San Remo touring bike. It needed a frame repair, and after the repair I had it powdercoated in gloss black. The finish came out nice, and still looks pretty good (a few years later), but my primary motivation for the finish was something durable and it is that.
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Old 11-16-10, 05:40 PM   #18
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OOOOOOO! I ilke!!
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I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 11-16-10, 10:15 PM   #19
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Hi, you'd also need to pay attention to the thickness or build-up of the powdercoating as it can fill threads and other critical areas, and affect the fit of parts.

This is one of the reasons I suggested choosing a shop that's done a lot of bikes. The place that seemed knowledgeable (mentioned in my other post) asked me about water bottle braze-ons, those little bolts that locate the hub on a bike with horizontal dropouts and other bikey stuff. The other two were just, "Sure, bring it in. We'll coat that sucker."
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