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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 06-18-09, 03:05 PM   #1
aLeev
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Clear coat + bare steel w/o primer...bad idea??

i was wondering if anyone has knowledge of how long (approximately) clear coat will hold up on bare steel. i need to replace my fork and i was given a new one that is a garish color. i was planning on just getting it stripped down to the bare metal and clear coated, because trying to match the color of my frame would be difficult and i don't really see a point in it.

the "bike painter" i contacted seemed really hesitant of carrying out the aforementioned request for reasons of a) questionable durability and b) apparently it is difficult or wasteful to mix up a batch of clear coat to apply to just a fork (i'm not being snide about either of his reasonings; i know nothing on the subject of painting).

advice/suggestions??
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Old 06-18-09, 03:08 PM   #2
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In my experience painting raw metal, you really need to sand and prime to get the paint to stick in general. On a bike, this would be even more important, since it needs to be durable.

Why not just use primer? It's worth the extra time, effort, and money.

If you do it right, it'll last as long as any other paint job.
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Old 06-18-09, 03:10 PM   #3
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It's likely to be disappointing. Clear will not adhere well without a layer of primer, and the steel itself will quickly start to rust under the clear.
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Old 06-18-09, 03:39 PM   #4
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The searching I did previously seemed to say it wasn't going to go well.
Powder coat is available in clear and should be able to prevent rust, also.
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Old 06-18-09, 03:45 PM   #5
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clear coat would prevent rust too as long as the metal is prepped correctly


i would polish it up a little bit first

clean it

then clear


your biggest issue will be getting the paint to cure properly as you'll need to use some heat...oven would be nice

look it up on the internet for more specific instructions
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Old 06-18-09, 03:54 PM   #6
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The searching I did previously seemed to say it wasn't going to go well.
Powder coat is available in clear and should be able to prevent rust, also.
+1 ... if you are really concerned about it, just go the powdercoat route.
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Old 06-18-09, 04:03 PM   #7
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Why not just pain/powdercoat it black. it'll give the carbon look w/o the expense. win. win.
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Old 06-18-09, 04:30 PM   #8
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whoa whoever said polish it up first, don't listen to that.

Polishing it is going to make it smooth and shiney, the last thing you want for any application of paint, clear, or primer.

Im not sure how it will hold up, but I would say sand it very well so the clear has what to hold onto. Wipe everything down VERY well, use some alcohol or some solvent so there is no moisture, oils, contaminents, and then maybe give it a try. If its clean under the clear it shouldn't rust. Durability on the other hand, I can't comment on that.
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Old 06-19-09, 11:48 AM   #9
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clear coat would prevent rust too as long as the metal is prepped correctly


i would polish it up a little bit first

clean it

then clear


your biggest issue will be getting the paint to cure properly as you'll need to use some heat...oven would be nice

look it up on the internet for more specific instructions

i found that i can take it to an autobody shop, where they will strip it, clear coat and bake it. apparently, the baking step is key to the clear coat holding up and therefore preventing rust.

i got a good recommendation for a shop in south philly. thanks for all the advice.
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Old 06-19-09, 11:50 AM   #10
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also, as much as i'm into diy and the internet, i felt like this was worth it to take to a professional. i don't wanna mess with rust, and many people agreed that doing it myself may be detrimental.
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Old 06-19-09, 11:52 AM   #11
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You can try spray on appliance enamel. Appliance enamel is epoxy and I think it is usually sold as clear or white. This stuff is tough.

i guess ask a painter first.
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Old 06-19-09, 11:56 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by devilshaircut View Post

Why not just use primer? It's worth the extra time, effort, and money.

If you do it right, it'll last as long as any other paint job.
the thing is, i know it can be done without primer. it's all looks, i know, but i really don't want a primer-colored fork.
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Old 06-19-09, 12:04 PM   #13
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Why not just use primer? It's worth the extra time, effort, and money.

If you do it right, it'll last as long as any other paint job.

Nope.

Primer will seal to a point, but moisture will get in and cause rust.

Use primer, then a flat/matte paint for proper effect.
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Old 06-19-09, 12:11 PM   #14
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I didn't mean only use primer, I meant why not just use primer before painting.

Obviously primer alone is not sufficient. Otherwise it would be called paint.
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