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  1. #1
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    Re-Powder Coating a Vintage MTB for touring - WHAT COLOR?!?

    OK, so the title says it all!

    I have a 1990 Schwinn High Plains with the cool black-and-silver web paint design (very nice....when in like-new condition). Unfortunately, there are more than a few large coating chips and the decals are, in places, very scuffed/gouged.

    As a result of the bikes less-than-ideal condition, I'm considering stripping the frame/forks and having it powder-coated (as I attempt to update components).

    Currently, here's how the bike appears:


    The back rack is black (a nice Topeak "Super Tourist DX Disc") and I'd like to mount a Surly "Nice" front rack (which is also black). One day I'd like to upgrade the Topeak rack with the Surly "Nice" back rack (which also is black), the fenders are black, my as yet un-installed Nashbar touring bar is black, the outer bar wrap will be Nashbar's black/white/gray marble. I'll also replace the front chain-rings so the nifty gold-colored "bio-pace" decal will go away as well (the bio-pace is just weird...). That's a whole lotta black-paint on a bicycle!

    BTW, I really like how the black/silver web and the yellow/gold Schwinn decal looks, but the combo is pretty well destroyed and needs a fresh look.

    Sooooo, what color would you have the frame/forks powder-coated given the color of the current components/planned upgrades?

    Incidentally, I like the high-viz tape stuff, but otherwise not too fond of neon colors.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by PolarBear007 View Post
    Unfortunately, there are more than a few large coating chips and the decals are, in places, very scuffed/gouged.
    That qualifies as perfect for touring in my book! The last thing I'd want to do is make my bike a more attractive target for thieves...

  3. #3
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Touch up the nicks . and call it good .. or its your bike What is your favorite color?

  4. #4
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    I am partial to red and yellow...

    Aaron

    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
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  5. #5
    Touring Enthusiast
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    That qualifies as perfect for touring in my book! The last thing I'd want to do is make my bike a more attractive target for thieves...
    I've lived in some highly "thief populated" locales in the world so everything is *thoroughly* locked/barred/welded in place if I'm going to be out of sight for a minute. It is challenging at times, but through all the years and while my cars have been broken into, none of my personal belongings were stolen - take it with you, guard it or else loose it....

    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Touch up the nicks . and call it good .. or its your bike What is your favorite color?
    Awww c'mon now - that'd be too easy now wouldn't it?!?

    While I like deep, dark green's and blue's I'm not sure they're what I'm looking for on a touring bike.... but I'm not otherwise sure what I'd like hence the question

  6. #6
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    http://www.prismaticpowders.com/

    These guys have the best colors.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    I am partial to red and yellow...

    Aaron

    That is very nice Aaron! I've just seen some yellow fenders and they are pretty nifty. Thinking of the Stratego game I play with my kids, Red and Yellow/Gold and Blue/Silver are nice combinations.

    I also am planning on Ortleib panniers and like the yellow/black ones (though the blue/black ones could look pretty nice with the right powder coating....).
    Last edited by PolarBear007; 01-06-14 at 08:37 PM.

  8. #8
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    My Bike friday came in a nice metallic anthracite .. my last tourer was Gloss Black

    a flat black was done on my last project,

    a front rack modification on my Steel Brompton bag rack

    a dark black with a color patina is nice ..

  9. #9
    Senior Member alan s's Avatar
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    I'd go for chrome plating. Motorcycle shop should be able to point you in the right direction

  10. #10
    <riding now> BigAura's Avatar
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    I like dark colors for my touring bikes because I do a lot of stealth camping. I have Hi-Vis pannier covers for riding and then stash them when camping. Even in public camp grounds its better if your bike can blend in. Personally I'd recommend a forest green color.

  11. #11
    Touring Enthusiast
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    My Bike friday came in a nice metallic anthracite .. my last tourer was Gloss Black

    a flat black was done on my last project,

    a front rack modification on my Steel Brompton bag rack

    a dark black with a color patina is nice ..
    Thanks fietsbob - I'm seeing a trend in your color choices - black in one flavor or another!?!

    I must ask, what is a "color patina" I'm familiar with developing a patina in unfinished steel (like kitchen knives for example), but not sure what/how that is expressed in a powder coat...

    Quote Originally Posted by alan s View Post
    I'd go for chrome plating. Motorcycle shop should be able to point you in the right direction
    A complete chrome frame would be quite high-vis - especially for the driver! I'd have to don sun-screen on every ride to avoid sunburn!

    Quote Originally Posted by BigAura View Post
    I like dark colors for my touring bikes because I do a lot of stealth camping. I have Hi-Vis pannier covers for riding and then stash them when camping. Even in public camp grounds its better if your bike can blend in. Personally I'd recommend a forest green color.
    I generally prefer dark colors as well, though I spotted a nice blue on the "Prismatic Powders" site:
    http://www.prismaticpowders.com/colors/P-4239B/

    It seems to be a nice color and I think would agree favorably with the accessories my bike already has (and those I'm planning on) which are black. It would also accommodate additional accessories which could be plain, bare metal (like SS bottle cages or similar).

    Opinions?

  12. #12
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    PolarBear,

    Here's my variation on the theme you describe. My only complaint with black is that it always looks dirty when touring. Meanwhile, I like your plans for the rebuild. The Surly racks have been excellent. Very "nice" racks indeed.

    Ted
    overhauled2013.jpg
    Ted
    Veg Cyclist

  13. #13
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I must ask, what is a "color patina" I'm familiar with developing a patina in unfinished steel (like kitchen knives for example), but not sure what/how that is expressed in a powder coat...
    You have to ask your powder coater .. 50 years ago I used a transparent 'candy apple' type rattle can touchup color
    over black undercoat rather than the gold or silver that would reflect thru the color top coat.
    so it was a sheen of color over black..

  14. #14
    Senior Member LuckySailor's Avatar
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    My new tourer is yellow with a pearlescent added to glimmmer. However, I'm not sold on powdercoating. It really depends on who does it. My tractor the finish is a superb orange. My trailer on the other hand is black and the powder coating literally is falling off! So when I had the tourer painted, it was done by an old school body guy and paint guy. So I am certain that the finish will be as good as it going to get.

  15. #15
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    I would also suggest caution with who you get to do the job. I had my frame powder coated by a motorbike shop, and they sprayed paint into the bottom bracket housing. I had to get the threads recut before I could reinstall my parts. Very annoying.

  16. #16
    Touring Enthusiast
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    Some great advice here!!!!

    I'll definitely contract with someone with *extensive* experience with bicycles...

    I've contacted a couple folks here in Colorado (though not the uber-popular one here in the Springs - methinks they value themselves a smidge too highly....) and both seemed very pleasant. Their work is superb, their prices are not astronomical and they have extensive experience with bicycles - all around wins. Oh and both had speedy turn-around times (like max., 10 business days).

    I like the color I linked to above in post #11 and as a side bonus I happen to have a couple dry-bags around that will coordinate nicely as supplement to Ortlieb the panniers I'm planning on. They will work dandy for bulkier things I'd not put in the panniers, but on top of the rack.

    Thanks everyone!

  17. #17
    Si Senior dbg's Avatar
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    trek850.jpg

    Just a vote for a lighter color. I tried this color on a rebuild of a 1988 Trek 850 while searching for a "signature" color for all my work. It's like the truckaccino from Surly.
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScruffyChimp View Post
    I would also suggest caution with who you get to do the job. I had my frame powder coated by a motorbike shop, and they sprayed paint into the bottom bracket housing. I had to get the threads recut before I could reinstall my parts. Very annoying.
    It's pretty common to have to chase the threads on a bike after repainting, even by a high-quality paint shop. For the OP, you should plan to do that when you get your bike back (or have your LBS do it if you don't have the tools). Sometimes you may even need to lightly face the BB shell to trim off extra paint thickness so your BB cups will go on straight. If your bike is being painted by a framebuilder or other shop that specializes in bikes, they will probably do this for you as part of the overall paint job. Ask.

  19. #19
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    Oh, and to the original question, I'm about to get my older Co-Motion 26" touring bike (MTB conversion) repainted, and I think I'm going to go with silver, mainly because it's very easy to touch up and match.

  20. #20
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    I'm partial to puce. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puce

  21. #21
    Touring Enthusiast
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    Quote Originally Posted by VeloVeg View Post
    PolarBear,

    Here's my variation on the theme you describe. My only complaint with black is that it always looks dirty when touring. Meanwhile, I like your plans for the rebuild. The Surly racks have been excellent. Very "nice" racks indeed.

    Ted
    overhauled2013.jpg
    WOW! That is a really sweet touring cycle - I like the all the bottle cages and especially the racks - it definitely has a "nothin' but business" look to it!

    Was this a re-build or a 'new-off-the-shelf' bike?

    Thanks for the info on the black paint always looking dirty - maybe that's one of the things bugging me about mine...
    Last edited by PolarBear007; 01-08-14 at 01:26 PM.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbg View Post
    trek850.jpg

    Just a vote for a lighter color. I tried this color on a rebuild of a 1988 Trek 850 while searching for a "signature" color for all my work. It's like the truckaccino from Surly.
    She looks like a nice, light-weight touring rig! The color is definitely not one of the more common flavors!

    Quote Originally Posted by briwasson View Post
    Oh, and to the original question, I'm about to get my older Co-Motion 26" touring bike (MTB conversion) repainted, and I think I'm going to go with silver, mainly because it's very easy to touch up and match.
    The 'touch-up' part of your idea is pretty smart - just a spray away from back to new looking. Since this bike is a bit special for me, I'd like to have something nice done for it (not that rattle-can paint can't be nice, just not possible by me!).

    Quote Originally Posted by lhendrick View Post
    The puce sure is a nice, rich color. I bet it would look really nice with something like a "sheen" or a pearlescent coating.

  23. #23
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    FWIW there is 'Halo' a Powdercoat that reflects light.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by PolarBear007 View Post

    The 'touch-up' part of your idea is pretty smart - just a spray away from back to new looking. Since this bike is a bit special for me, I'd like to have something nice done for it (not that rattle-can paint can't be nice, just not possible by me!).
    I was thinking more along the lines of being able to easily touch-up with a small detail brush and some Testors or other silver paint, not a rattle can :-) This will be on a Co-Motion S&S Reynolds 531 frame, so I don't want to get too ghetto on it!

  25. #25
    Bikeable headwind15's Avatar
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    If you do decide on the powder coat , i would recommend considering a few more braze-ons (I don't know if you intend to use front low rider type racks ever?) more water bottle cage mounts? etc... On color, I believe that you should choose a color that you like, because ultimately you are the one that is going to get stuck with it. For instance, what if i told you that you should go with pink, you get the point. I am against black, because assuming you will not be re decaling, it will have that black stolen rattle can look about it. Brian

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