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  1. #1
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    Custom paint, airbrushing and graphics questions.

    I think this is the place to ask these questions.....

    I am a custom painter and airbrush artist. I paint motorcycles, guitars, helmets, goalie masks, cars etc.

    Over the last few months, I have been told that I should start looking into the bike world. So here I am.

    I want to know the type of person that would want, or need this service. The sort of work they would want. Or any ideas that people might want.

    I was thinking of getting back into the bike world, having been away from it since the 70's. I was a pro rider then, (more about that later) LOL!

    So, I was thinking of maybe painting my own bike to show it off, but think it may b better to sponser someone that rides a lot. Any comments?

    I rode bikes for a living in the early 70's... I was a telegram boy in the centre of London. UK. Jeez I rode a lot then!

    Anyway, any input or advice would be greatly recieved.

    Thanks in advance,

    jeff

  2. #2
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    I don't think there would really be much in it for you. Racers would not be interested, they will have a team or sponsored bike. There is a market for classic and vintage restoration but that requires lots of research and C&V folks can be very picky. Maybe the bmx or fixed gear guys but they will be younger and not want to spend much.

  3. #3
    Warning:Annoying to jerks RaleighSport's Avatar
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    Well if some how magically you washed up in the bay area of California I'd be happy to volunteer my bike as a billboard of your skill.
    “Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.”


    ― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emerson in His Journals

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
    I don't think there would really be much in it for you. Racers would not be interested, they will have a team or sponsored bike. There is a market for classic and vintage restoration but that requires lots of research and C&V folks can be very picky. Maybe the bmx or fixed gear guys but they will be younger and not want to spend much.
    Well I know the BMX market is a no go... I tried that a while ago. And that is with good connections in the BMX field. My son is a BMX pro rider.
    I bought him a brand new "We the people frame" Stripped it, painted it. His first time out with it at joyride, the frame failed. He landed a backflip and the frame cracked. This is pretty normal for the serious BMX riders... One of the reasons they do not have custom painted frames. They are too hard on them.

    I have done work with Cervelo in the past, and am waiting for some more input from them.
    You say the C&V guys are picky? Everyone that I work for is picky. If they were not, they would not be in the market for custom work.
    Last edited by JaybeeArtworks; 10-09-12 at 08:32 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by RaleighSport View Post
    Well if some how magically you washed up in the bay area of California I'd be happy to volunteer my bike as a billboard of your skill.
    Well thanks for that, but I think maybe I should use someone local. We do have a lot of riders round here. The Horseshoe Valley event is even televised each year. And that is right where I live.

  6. #6
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Pick up a couple bikes, and go nuts painting them. Ride them in local events. When someone asks you, tell them you painted the bike. If someone asks you to paint their bike, say "yes". Do the first couple for cheap (don't do it for free- people like to pay for something that's worth it). Let them spread the word.

    From the Cyclart site:
    Jeff Wills

    All my bikes.

  7. #7
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    This might sound dumb - but suggest you contact some of the guys that do CF repairs. The customer has already decided the repair is worth paying for, and in most cases there's a paint scheme to match ...... seamlessly. May not tap all your creative skills but the guys would certainly expect a perfect job and be willing to pay for it.

  8. #8
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Paint your own is the first step. Don't be shy. Make the bike an eye catcher. Maybe choose a tandem or an unusual trike, recumbent or well-built tall bike, something that will get notice at 20 feet, and your paint job will take them right down to inches away. Make sure everything about the bike is quality. Maybe the local hipsters might be interested. If you could incorporate some special detailing, say scroll work between the tubes, 3D cherubs around the frame or something wild like that.

    Get involved in the local bicycling scene. Let all the LBSs know that you are available. See if there are any frame builders in your area. Join all the bike clubs and advocacy organizations. Take your bike(s) on all the big local rides. Offer them to local celebrities and politicians to be seen on during the rides. Enter bicycles in the local holiday parades.

    Contact local papers and TV stations with the idea that custom painted bikes are the new wave as upscale bicycle commuters want people to know they ride for love, not because they are poor. I don't see why you couldn't donate custom paint jobs to local racers. They don't have to be roadies, bmx riders might want just as much flash. Talk to local gallery owners and see if you can arrange to display your bikes.



    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  9. #9
    SE Wis dedhed's Avatar
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    It's tough to compete with the cost of powdercoat for most jobs. I looked into getting a frame sprayed and powdercoating won hands down.
    '68 Raleigh Sprite, '02 Raleigh C500, '84 Raleigh Gran Prix, '91 Trek 400

  10. #10
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
    It's tough to compete with the cost of powdercoat for most jobs. I looked into getting a frame sprayed and powdercoating won hands down.
    I suspect that the OP is not looking to do utilitarian frame coloring like that. I suspect that he is into customizing the bike with excellent art.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  11. #11
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    Totally correct. You will not get the effect / artwork I offer from a powder coat finish.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    I'd love to do that. I'd love to have a custom painted bike frame.

    Unfortunately, I'm cursed with the dreaded tri-fecta: I lack the talent and skill required to do it myself and I lack the money to pay somebody else to do it for me.

  13. #13
    Nobody Special Rekless1's Avatar
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    I think this is a very very limited market.

    I'd never repaint a high end frame with warranty always on the mind and I'd never pay to paint a team frame.

    Collector bikes are either original or 'restored', rarely custom.

    That leaves the (largest) middle market who probably spent total on the bike what a custom paint job would cost. Heck , the bulk of that market won't even by local just to save a few bucks. The "chopper" bike fad was probably your ticket from a few years ago but I think that's run its course by now.

    I'd only custom paint like maybe my dream bike (whatever that is) and it would probably hang on the wall and never see the road. And I'm not sure how many would tie up thousands in a bike only to do that.

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