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Powdercoat rules!(17 posts)

Powdercoat rules!mike mcmahon
Jun 4, 2001 7:39 PM
My new bike was powdercoated. After three months and about 2000 miles, it still looks like the day I received it. My previous bike had nicks and scratches within the first two weeks. With the new bike, I've done things that I was sure were going to result in a big nick or a horrendous scratch: nothing was there. The knock on powdercoat has been that it resulted in a somewhat "industrial" look; that is, that the colors were somewhat drab. The powdercoat on my frame is a beautiful blue and I can't imagine any paint that would look better. Even if a slight amount of luster is lost with powdercoat, it seems well worth that small price for the durability. IMHO, if you have a finish choice on your next bike (or when re-finishing your current bike) you should give some serious consideration to powdercoat.
powder questionsbianchi boy
Jun 4, 2001 8:29 PM

I am thinking about getting my old Bianchi frame repainted, with some braze-ons added (second set of water bottle bosses and pump peg), and have been looking at Spectrum Powderworks in Colorado. Do you know who painted your frame and what it cost? I'm trying to find out if I need to have the braze-ons added first, or if the painter can do that as well. I would like to match the existing Celeste green on my bike as closely as possible. My old paint is actually in very good shape, despite the reputation of Italian paint jobs, considering the bike is 16 years old. But I can't add the braze-ons without screwing up the paint, so I figured I might as well have the whole frame redone.
Fewer choices in powdercoat colors ...Humma Hah
Jun 4, 2001 8:37 PM
... there are a couple of esthetic advantages to paint. The color can be customized, you can do airbrush fades and other fancy stuff, glittery effects, better metallics.

But for sheer toughness, powdercoat is wonderful. Better for the environment, too (no VOC emissions).

Mine was done by CyclArt (north county San Diego), very pricy, known around the world, cost you at least $360, but they're very good and do decal restorations. I had the cash and was not in a mood to mess around. They do have a website which, I think, lists available powdercoat colors. You could log on and see if Celeste is available, then have the work done elsewhere.

Shopping around, you can probably get it done in any major city for something around $150, maybe even a little less. Lots of folks do it to motorcycle frames, and it is routinely used on aircraft frames for fabric-covered planes.
Fewer choices in powdercoat colors ...Andy M-S
Jun 5, 2001 11:04 AM
You can do some pretty cool stuff in Powdercoat--everything that you mentioned, in fact. Check out No affiliation, other than being a very satisfied customer.
Strong Framesmike mcmahon
Jun 4, 2001 8:48 PM
My bike was powdercoated by the manufacturer. As I understand it, Carl Strong has an "in-house" guy who does his powdercoating. I don't know the cost of having an existing frame powdercoated, but assuming it's about the same or not much more than traditional paint, it's money well spent in my opinion. There are lots of places out there (including auto painting facilities) that specialize in powdercoat. Good luck.
powder questionsHank
Jun 4, 2001 10:47 PM
powder coating is very cool (had a Bontrager Race that was powder coated) but in your case I'd maybe try to find a shop that does restoration work (and Spectrum might have experience with this) and I'd also try to keep the original paint. It's not like you have a '69 Road Runner or anything, but original paint (with all the decals) is always cooler than new paint in my opinion. I guess it depends what you want. But my first nice road bike was a Bianchi - circa 1983 - and those bikes had cool paint jobs (seems like they screwed up Celeste after that with weird clear coats and stuff). So check around. There might be someone who could add the water bottle braze ons (I'd bail on the pump peg myself - those new Silca mini pumps will get you home) and then touch up the paint in a convincing manner (I've had this done on a bike, too - though I had some of the original paint). I have a bike that was painted by D & D twelve years ago that still looks new. I couldn't find them on Google, but I think Bernie Mikkelsen uses them and you can contact him here:

You also might want to contact Bianchi (they have an office in the East Bay - near SF).

good luck
I think I'd agree with Hank on thatmike mcmahon
Jun 4, 2001 11:06 PM
If restoring a vintage bike, I'd probably skip the powder coat and keep the current paint. If the current paint is beyond salvation, go with something as close to the original as possible: noxious fumes, destruction of the ozone layer, and all. However, I would part company with Hank on the pump peg. Get the pp and the Silca frame to keep that 80s look intact and save yourself some time and effort in the event of a flat. 80s Bianchis are nice rides. Good luck and have fun.
powder questionsbianchi boy
Jun 5, 2001 6:56 AM
I'd like the pump peg because I have a matching Celeste Silca pump. It currently fits along the seat tube, but I couldn't mount it there anymore if I added another water bottle cage, which I really want. The pump will fit under the top tube, but would fall off real easily without a pump peg. I have talked to people who have had Bianchis painted using Spectrum Powderworks and they apparently can match the Celeste pretty closely. I've noticed the color varies somewhat from bike to bike anyway, but I'm not too picky. I just want something that will last if I spend all the money getting it redone.
powder questionsHank
Jun 5, 2001 11:21 AM
I like Silca pumps (with Campy heads) but find that when mounted horizontally under the top tube they rattle over rough pavement (I have one mounted behind the seat tube on my cross bike no problems). I ride 700 x 25 tires and don't get many flats, so the mini pump works fine for me. (of course I have my Silca track pump at home)
You are correct, sir ...Humma Hah
Jun 4, 2001 8:29 PM
... had mine done late January, rode it thru two centuries, some off-road, a couple of mud rides, dragged it across the US in the back of a pickup truck with a load of junk packed around it. Not a scratch. I've put on less miles than you, a little over a thousand.

Somebody at work did manage to drop something heavy on the top tube and gouged off a bit of one decal -- I touched that up with a pinstriping kit and re-clearcoated. Only the decal was damaged, the powdercoat was still perfect.
www.spectrumpowderworks.comMike P.
Jun 5, 2001 5:23 AM
I think this guys do a lot with powdercoat finish; check out the pictures. I have been looking around and will most likely have my Mtn bike refinished there.

WARNING!keith m.
Jun 5, 2001 7:24 AM
I've said it before and I'll say it again, when I was road racing motorcycles, I had a set of aluminum wheels powdercoated and they warped. Not much, but enough to ruin them. Powdercoat is electrostaticly applied and then your bike is "cooked". I would make sure you all double check the frame alignment after doing this.
Mine's straight as an arrowmike mcmahon
Jun 5, 2001 12:01 PM
I've never heard of anyone having problems with frame alignment that was in any way related to powdercoating. I recently read a fairly lengthy debate about the pros and cons (mostly pros) of powdercoating on the Framebuilders Archive and don't recall the alignment issue coming up.
Jun 5, 2001 5:25 PM
Not sure of the temps, but if hot enough, it will probably affect the ultimate strength and longevity of the frame. Worth checking, before blind purchase.
Weight of Paint?MikeC
Jun 5, 2001 3:09 PM
I have a buddy who says that the paint on a frame weighs a lot more than you'd think...but he isn't able to tell me how much "I'd think." Does anyone really know?
Weight of Paint?mike mcmahon
Jun 5, 2001 5:06 PM
I remember reading somewhere that powdercoat adds approximately 4-5 ounces to a frame. However, I'm not sure this was a reliable source and, if so, how the weight of powdercoat compares to paint. I've read that a powdercoat adds slightly more weight than paint.
re: Powdercoat rules!Big D
Jun 6, 2001 7:58 AM
I was just talking to a friend of mine, Ronny Lindsey, who owns Airglow, Inc., and he was telling me about a new powdercoating that has all the colors as regular paints and actually weighs less conventinal paints. I actually doesn't weigh less, you apply less. (I think he said 2 mils. vs. 5 mils on a regular painted frame.) He is very excited about this new product because he can now refinish a bike and it will reduce weight instead of gaining. You may want to call him to get the full scoop. His number is listed on their websight