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Re-finishing a new-ish bike....

Old 04-28-20, 07:37 PM
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pbass
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Re-finishing a new-ish bike....

My main ride is a 2019 Kona Rove ST (so, all steel--frame and fork), The only thing I don't love about the bike is the color, decals, etc. It's OK, but a little blingy for my taste---I prefer more utilitarian looking finishes, even raw steel--for example, check out this guy's Midnight Special: https://bikepacking.com/news/readers...night-special/

How much might it cost to get a steel bike refinished/painted differently? What are the main considerations--does it compromise the bike(rust, etc)? Is it ultimately, worth it, or is it better left original? Resale is not a concern--this one's a keeper as far as the ride's concerned. Any opinions appreciated.
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Old 04-28-20, 07:47 PM
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Take it to a powder coater, and pay $150, or a professional painter and pay $500 plus, your choice. Bike will be the same, just look better to you. Personally I wouldn’t be satisfied with anything less.
Tim
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Old 04-28-20, 07:56 PM
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Clear coating a bare frame seems to be a mixed bag. There are internet claims of it lasting and tons more claiming it is short lived before rust creeps in under the clear coat.
The Surly you linked has to be clear coated, based on the condition of the raw finish and then shade of brass around the brazeons.

google powdercoaters in your area, call 5 or 6, and get quotes. At most it'll take texting a couple pictures of the fraem so they see the size of the tubes.
go onto prismatic colors before calling, pick out a color you like, and include that in the text/email so the powdercoater knows what's involved in creating the color you want.
Powdercoating will include frame prep(sandblast), powder, and coating.

I have an old road frame and fork being coated right now for $125 which includes the cost of the powder.

There may be a little extra cost if they need to remove your paint. Ask first and if you don't want to pay that cost, then just buy $12 worth of stripper, spray the frame, and strip the paint yourself.


You or a shop will have to tear the bike down to the frame and fork too..
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Old 04-28-20, 07:57 PM
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If yours is the green I saw by looking up on net then I love the color! Green screams nature. But color is by the eye of the beholder. The Surly in the story is beautiful also. If that is what calls you go with a paint job. Price is on how deep on a pro job you want to go or how brave you are doing it yourself.
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Old 04-28-20, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by hillyman View Post
If yours is the green I saw by looking up on net then I love the color! Green screams nature. But color is by the eye of the beholder. The Surly in thes is beautiful also. If that is what calls you go with a paint job. Price is on how deep a pro job you want to go or how brave you are doing it yourself.
It IS a nice color, and honestly it doesn't bug me THAT much (obviously since I bought it!) but ultimately I like those less sparkly colors better, and less/smaller logos/decals. As I say more....raw, utilitarian, etc. I have a baby poop brown Cross Check and I like that finish better.
I dunno, the bike is still so new, I guess I should wait--might still be growing on me. Y'know when it looks its best to me is when it's totally dirty
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Old 04-28-20, 08:45 PM
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It's all personal preference but I think the green with the copper accents is pretty damn sweet. And certainly less subdued than the big brands.
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Old 04-28-20, 11:06 PM
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Clear-coating an unpainted frame ... as @mstateglfr notes, seems to work great on the internet, but never in real life. it is almost impossible to get all the air out of the paint booth---the bike would need to be stripped, sanded, heated, then electro-statically powder-coated in clear In A Vacuum, because any O2 at all would lead to rust blooms under the finish.

I have seen it done and I have tired it myself .... clear-coated steel is probably my favorite finish, along with brushed Ti (which i don't own.) My suggestion would be to find a metallic gray as close as possible to raw steel and go with that.

For stripping, get some rubber gloves, a steel dish scrubber, and some Citra-Solv. But try not to get it on your skin. Then clean up the frame with sandpaper in increasingly fine grits. It doesn't have to be super-smooth or shiny .... you just want to make sure any scratches are blended it. The paint will take care of sanding marks.

Post pics when done.
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Old 04-29-20, 03:47 AM
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Originally Posted by pbass View Post
My main ride is a 2019 Kona Rove ST (so, all steel--frame and fork), The only thing I don't love about the bike is the color, decals, etc. It's OK, but a little blingy for my taste---I prefer more utilitarian looking finishes, even raw steel--for example, check out this guy's Midnight Special: https://bikepacking.com/news/readers...night-special/

How much might it cost to get a steel bike refinished/painted differently? What are the main considerations--does it compromise the bike(rust, etc)? Is it ultimately, worth it, or is it better left original? Resale is not a concern--this one's a keeper as far as the ride's concerned. Any opinions appreciated.
powder coating is cheap bombproof.
paint cost more but many options.
guy jn nj the color factory is great affordable...
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Old 04-29-20, 07:35 AM
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If you like the raw steel look consider gun bluing and clear over it. A good paint job is expensive can go upwards of $1000. Powder coating is probably the best bang for buck, but make sure you find a good one. I had a frame powder coated and after getting home to assemble I noticed some parts where the color was kind of thin in the hard to reach places.
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Old 04-30-20, 05:41 AM
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From what I can gather a powderdcoated bike can have the disadvantage that water can get in under the powderdcoat and rust it from underneath, but are more resilient against abrasions and scratches. I've read they can do undercoating so the rust issue may not be an issue anymore and it's only an issue for steel bikes.

Paint costs more because there is more work involved.

I've seen powdercoated and painted bikes side by side outside and I wouldn't automatically be able to tell which is which from a casual glance as they both have a decent shine if you like a good clearcoat. You can get a translucant powdercoat so you have frame protection and being able to see the raw frame.

I've been thinking about getting my bike repainted and I'd want to have it done by someone who has more experience painting bike frames and I'd want to see their previous work. I think price is less the issue, unfortunately if you pay cheap you get bad. The color of the OPs bike is pretty nice, not sure about the gold though. I'd rather pay more for a paint job that is going to last a good while.
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Old 04-30-20, 05:59 AM
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I have used this stuff on bare polished steel frames (2). It's professional quality 2 part clear paint. The steel will rust slightly if you leave the bike in the rain, or ride it in the rain without drying it off. So there's some extra care involved. However, if your frame only has TIG welds and no interesting brazing to look at, there's no point in a clear coat, silver gray will will be more durable, less maintenance, and look identical.
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Old 04-30-20, 07:11 AM
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I've both DIY garage repaints and sending off to a powder coater. The DIY took 3 weeks from start (bare frame) to finish. Taking off the old decals, and three sets of differing sandpaper to get the frame smooth. Cleaned the frame, base primer, two light coats of color, applied repo decals and clear over all of it. I did some work, stepped away and picked it back up and obviously waiting for paint to dry.

The second one I sent off the frame to a powdercoater that had experience with bike frames to all the appropriate bits were masked off. Dropped off one weekend and picked up the following weekend. I believe it cost between $150-200 at the powdercoater: media blast and one color powdercoat but that was over 10 years ago so prices may have gone up. The DIY is probably gonna be about the same based on the cost of the supplies.

Either way, if you're gonna keep the bike or you just really like it, it's a good way to make it your own and a bit custom. If I were to do it again, I'd definitely let a powdercoater have a go.
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Old 04-30-20, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by wsteve464 View Post
If you like the raw steel look consider gun bluing and clear over it. A good paint job is expensive can go upwards of $1000. Powder coating is probably the best bang for buck, but make sure you find a good one. I had a frame powder coated and after getting home to assemble I noticed some parts where the color was kind of thin in the hard to reach places.
This is an intriguing idea. I have cold blued my childhood Stevens 311 and it turned out really nicely. But you have to follow the steps. The Birchwood Casey "perma-blue" kit has everything that you'll need.

Remove all paint and sand smooth. Apply the Birchwood Casey products (stripper, cleaner, multiple step cold blue) per the instructions, and then spray a 2K clear coat. It'll be interesting to see how the joints come out. The whole thing would be less and $75. Why not try?
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Old 04-30-20, 09:18 AM
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Never mind, I didn’t realize you had the green one, I wouldn’t touch that frame, it’s beautiful as it is, just ride it. It will grow on you.
Tim
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Old 04-30-20, 09:42 AM
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or just strip it and let it rust and call it patina. Do the same thing a lot of the old car guys do that like that look, bunch of different option to protect it and slow the rust. It isn't like the frame won't last for a very very long time with some surface rust on it.
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Old 04-30-20, 11:45 AM
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Thanks for all the ideas, folks. Maybe I should sit tight and see if it continues to grow on me for a while longer. Heck, it's only a year old. I do like the green OK, it's the big gold logos that I don't love, but they're not THAT obvious (especially when the bike is dirty which it often is--I ride this thing like a mountain bike. The money I'd spend getting a proper refinish I could certainly spend on other gear!
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Old 04-30-20, 02:28 PM
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From my experience; I bought a custom 853 Harry Havnoonian cyclocross frameset and had them send it to me raw with just decals in the box, dropped it off at a local powder coater in Schenectady NY where for 50.00 they powder coated it, don't know that they did anything special with the frame before powder coating. I had the frame for 7 years and during that time it never rusted, it did see a lot of cross racing, wet, cold and neglect. Could see all the bronze brazing around the joints and lugs on the fork which all looked cool to me. Issues might happen depending on the frame material, like a real cheap steel frame fastest, 4130 a little quicker and some of the newer steels the slowest. I did make from a fairly cool looking bike.
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Old 05-01-20, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
This is an intriguing idea. I have cold blued my childhood Stevens 311 and it turned out really nicely. But you have to follow the steps. The Birchwood Casey "perma-blue" kit has everything that you'll need.

Remove all paint and sand smooth. Apply the Birchwood Casey products (stripper, cleaner, multiple step cold blue) per the instructions, and then spray a 2K clear coat. It'll be interesting to see how the joints come out. The whole thing would be less and $75. Why not try?
I thought I had seen a bike done with this way recently.

Turned out nicely.

Show us your gravel/cross bike...
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