You know a lot of people on bf seem to be asking about where to get their frame painted, or how to paint it themselves. Before that ever happens though the bike has to be stripped of its current paint, and prepped for new paint/finish. It seems that quite a few members have had custom paint jobs, and many have performed them on their own bikes.
Tons of focus for a lot of us cyclists out their seems to be on not only the quality of our ride, but how we feel when we are on our bikes. Itís true that the quality of the parts used to upgrade a bike are a huge part, if not all of how a bike rides.
A big, and sometimes bigger focus for us as riders seems to be on the appearance of our bikes, and through that, ourselves (yes I laugh at myself on that one). But really in the end all that matters is that we like our bikes, and we like to work on them and ride them.
I was looking at that scraper bike video, and thinking of a friend of mine when i was still in high school. He was always digging on bikes, blades, skateboards and whatever. He would spend time customizing these various modes of transport, mainly out of boredom, but also because he just plain liked to. I only wish that (oh yes this next part kills me) things like camera phones had been around, so that i could of recorded some of the zany stuff he did.
I watched him customize bikes, skateboards, roller blades and other things (non transport related). At the time i didn't think about what we were doing as much as i thought about the stack of playboys we had discovered in his dads office. A lot of the things done to customize these rides was downright foolish (once bought a new brand name deck, and sanded and repainted it until it broke from use), and did little if nothing for performance. At the same time i watched him take beater bikes, and strip em down and make them something unique. There were times where i helped him take something that was already excellent, considered top brands of the time, and totally make it unrecognizable. Would you buy a cinelli and strip the paint off it to give it shaky can paint job with homemade stencils? Maybe, probably not. I donít think he ever got his hands on a cinelli, but that is not the point. I watched him "destroy" perfectly good brand name gear and make it something unique. Now most of the time it was beater second or third hand stuff, but even when he got something nice for Christmas or a birthday, it wasnít long till it wasnít recognizable.
In a time where we have flash driven websites, able to deliver and image of a bike in any color combo you can imagine (yes, go to hell republic bikes) it seems that we rely heavily on finding something to fit the bill for our customization needs already available. We take pride on choosing parts that are functional, aesthetically pleasing, and have something of a pedigree in the bicycle world.
This said, i have a 1988 Bridgestone rb-2 single speed conversion that i love. I have done everything i can (well except the conversion, but come on, biopace?! to keep the bike original and pretty. I recently thought of selling it, because I canít stand to change out some of the components to make it a better fit, even though it has been an excellent ride that has seen more miles than years. I took a close look at the bike, and noticed every blemish I have added to it since it came into my possession, and for a minute, actually thought of how much certain paint scratches, bar tape tears, and parts replacement have devalued the bike. Then it hit me that the bike was, and has been a complete joy to ride. Its extreme, but I am now considering turning what some consider to be a cult bike, into an art bike. Something to be changed up on a whim. Not necessarily in performance, as it already performs, but just in looks.
Now I can guess that I need to sand it, repaint, and top coat the sucker. But what actually goes into it? Do I need to take it all apart, even the fork from the frame? Are there certain parts of the bike I should be real careful of not messing with? Well whatever I will soon be remaking this bike into something unique, just for fun.
I am not necessarily looking for help on my bike. I am more curious about things that you all have done to your bikes, that are unique only to you. Iíve seen some sticker bikes, I wanna see more. I have seen custom paintjobs, from auto garage quality paintjobs, to shaky can touch ups. Even throwing some crap baseball cards in your spokes is still, despite some of the hype, pretty unique.
I would like to see anything you have found/did that is custom, whether you did it yourself, have a friend (i know, right?), or just found it online and thought it was cool. Also if you did something yourself, how did you do it? What was the process? I donít care how simple it was, whether it is just simply you touching up some scratched paint, zip tying something to your bike, or if you did something that was completely
Thanks for reading my novella.