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Powder coating an old frame

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Powder coating an old frame

Old 04-29-12, 09:12 AM
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bikemig 
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Powder coating an old frame

I have two older bikes that need a new paint job: a Trek 720 (full Reynolds 531 touring bike) and a 1993 Bridgestone X0-2. I know that some folks on this list think repainting vintage bikes ought to be a crime; so if that is what you think, flame away, . The 2 frames are very sound; they both belonged to my dad and he liked keeping a lock wrapped around the seatpost which just chewed away the paint. So they badly need a paint job.

My question is what should I look for and look out for in getting them painted. I was thinking of asking a local company that does powder painting to do the bikes. Bad idea? Are there companies that specialize in bike painting I should look into? I am not inclined to pay a fortune to have someone redo the frames so that they look original; the frames are just not that good.

Edit: by the way, is power coating the way to go? The last bike I had painted, I had done with an imron dupont paint job so I'm not up to speed on this.

If I go with a local company that does power coating, I figure they have little or no experience with bikes. What do I need to watch out for? What is the best way to mask the threads so they don't get painted? Thanks in advance for any advice on this.
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Old 04-29-12, 09:46 AM
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If it is just the seatpost area which has been damaged you may not have to repaint the entire frame. Perhaps masking off, sanding, priming and painting the affected area in a contrasting color would be sufficient.

If you repaint the whole frame you will need to totally strip down the bike and reassemble it afterwards. You may or may not want to go through this.

You should really only consider a vendor who has experience with the special needs of bike frames as regards masking. You really don't want to have the hassle of cleaning up all of the clogged threads on the bike after a botched masking job.
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Old 04-29-12, 10:08 AM
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i've had three older bikes powdercoated by a local company and all turned out well. they did all the masking, i didn't give them any special instructions. i live in central california, and there are lot's of powdercoating companies around here.

as you suspect, it's important for the powder coating company to have experience powdercoating bicycles. it doesn't hurt to be cautious, so you might mention what needs to be masked off. i actually had one outfit paint the bike the wrong color. they offered to repaint it, but the color wasn't all that bad, so i said forgitaboutit.

i paid between 80 and 150 dollars for frame and fork.

BTW, one of mine is a 710 too (79).

Last edited by hueyhoolihan; 04-29-12 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 04-29-12, 11:51 AM
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If they are Powder coating Agricultural and Industrial stuff ,
they may be used to working with thick steel,
bike frame tubes of the nicer bikes are thin wall tubing..
and sandblasting is an abrasive ..
so if they lay on the blaster, it may be doing some damage.


Imron is a pretty durable liquid paint too ..

Last edited by fietsbob; 04-29-12 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 04-29-12, 12:14 PM
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Do you have a company in mind that is experienced in doing this? Yeah, I've repainted the bad surfaces and maybe I'll just keep up with that. It doesn't look that great but what the heck, it keeps the rust off. Breaking down a bike is not a problem.
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Old 04-29-12, 02:29 PM
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Powdercoat is awesome, but it doesnt quite live up to the "indestructable" reputation it seems to have online. That being said, find a local coater who has some experience with coating bicycles, as others have mentioned. I've found single stage with a clear to be most durable; stuff with metal flakes and all has chipped/peeled earlier on me in the past. Others may have different experiences.

The one "issue" with powdercoat on lugged frames is that the powder is thick, and some complain that it obscures intricate lugwork. For me, a bike is primarily a tool, so i don't worry about that too much. Just something to be aware of.

If you got no one local, this guy is cheap and comes highly recommended by folks on ratrodbikes:

http://www.ideal-coatings.com/ Prices are really good, but the shipping knocks the savings down a bit...

hth
-rob
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