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What d'ya reckon, chrome?(14 posts)

What d'ya reckon, chrome?hayaku
May 4, 2002 5:50 AM
I'm getting a custom frame built and was thinking about what colour to get it painted. I thought chrome might be original. There are some smart people on this board, so I've got a couple of questions. Anyone know how much extra a chrome finish would weigh? How durable would it be? Or are there any better alternatives?

re: What d'ya reckon, chrome?Nessism
May 4, 2002 7:00 AM
There aren't many builders/painters that want to mess with chrome these days, and the ones that will are fairly expensive. For example, Cycle Art charges $375 to chrome the complete rear stays and rear drop outs (September 1993 price sheet). From what I've heard and read, most of the regular chromers don't like bikes because it is a real pain to get all the solution rinsed from inside the tubes. There is also the expense of the polishing. It's one thing to polish the rear stays and/or a fork, but an entire frame is much more labor extensive. As far as weight goes, I'm not sure how much, but it does add more weight than paint alone.

thinking about it - it doesn't make sense but....Spirito
May 4, 2002 9:19 AM
i couldn't lust after a frame without it such is my love for its look and finish.

it does protect the frame better and i know its heavy - how heavy im not sure but as the world gets more wheight weenie-ised we rarley see it nowadays.

also as paints are better and less likely to chip and expose bare steel to dreaded rust it becomes a less necessary finish than it once was.

but in my mind a chrome fork and at least part of the rear stays is compulsory as thats how i like y bikes to look. i do have one frame that is chrome on th fork and most of the rear chainstays with the rest being nickel plated 9shiny but not as presplendent) but thats how they used to make em.

i have heard that good chroming is a rare thing and is expensive. a cheap chrome job is a real false economy
and will fall apart and leave a mess and offer no protection against the elements.

if ya gonna do it - fork over the bucks otherwise a good paint job is far cheaper and may make more sense if wieght is an issue.
Polished tijtolleson
May 4, 2002 1:26 PM
What is the story on Litespeed's "polished ti?" it is very chrome-like in looks, and I've not seen any other ti builder offer that finish... they all seem to market either paint or the beadblast/brushed ti look.

What does LS do to that frame that makes it chrome-like? And could the same thing be done to steel or al?
Polished tiNessism
May 4, 2002 5:32 PM
Titanium can be polished as can aluminum. The actual polishing of Ti is a LOT more work however. The nice thing is that Ti will not corrode whereas aluminum will quickly develop a surface oxide layer - gray coating.

My understanding is that Litespeed polishes the tubes before welding which is much easier than polishing afterwards. This way only with weld areas need to be dressed up later.

Steel can be polished to a shinny surface but it will rust quickly afterward. Clear coat finishes can be used but they don't last very long by themselves. Paint is the way to go with steel.

Electro polishniteschaos
May 4, 2002 4:55 PM
go to altavista and start looking for companies that due electropolishing (also known as "inverse plating"). It is where they take the frame and put it in a solution and instead of plating the frame, they reverse the charge and remove the top layer of surface. I've seen this used in the aerospace feild and it is not labor intensive so you could expect to see lower prices. I guess all you'd have to do after that process is clearcoat your frame. You'd get the polished look without all the labor involved with chrome plating.
Interesting process...Leisure
May 5, 2002 1:39 AM
Ask about just how much material would be removed. Initially lighter might seem better, but make sure it's not too much. I could imagine going for it.
Then there's the simple option:Leisure
May 5, 2002 1:51 AM
Clearcoat. Yeah, it's comparatively low tech, but it may be easier to get done outright. Rocky Mountain uses this on their Instinct mtb. Half the frame is powdercoated in black, transitioning to naked aluminum via mapleleaf patterns, and then the entire frame is covered in clearcoat. It looks REAL sharp, and the bastards only started doing it the year AFTER I purchased mine. ;-(
some chrome = all chromeC-40
May 5, 2002 5:18 AM
Most people don't realize it, but frames with chrome lugs and rear triangle are completely chrome plated, then painted. The painted areas just aren't polished. I've stripped the paint from this type of frame, so I know this is the case.

I wouldn't recommend this route. After owning a polished Litespeed Ultimate, I learned that polished frames are a real pain to keep up. Every fingerprint shows. Chrome's fine for the rear triangle, lugs and fork, but not the main triangle.
sorry baby- Wrong....they're not always all chrome NmSpirito
May 5, 2002 9:26 AM
Spirito is correctDave Hickey
May 5, 2002 11:23 AM
When I stipped the paint off Gitane Tour De France, Just the seat and chain stays were partially chromed. The exposed part was chrome. Every thing else was bare metal. The exception was the fork. The entire fork was chromed even though just the bottom half was exposed.
Yah.Sintesi at home
May 5, 2002 5:32 PM
Don't know about the custom scenario but my chrome stayed bike reveals nothing but pain when I've scratched it.
some chrome = all chrome - sometimesDMoore
May 5, 2002 6:25 PM
There have been a few builders (Italian, mostly) who make a big deal of the fact their entire frame is chromed, then painted. On a translucent paint job ("kandy kolors") it results in a pretty striking finish.

It is not, however, the norm. Most bike frames that have chrome trim are chromed in only those places, and painted elsewhere.
After examining my bike.Sintesi at home
May 5, 2002 6:47 PM
The stays are fully chromed and only painted partially. The lugged construction obviously means that the rest of the frame does not have to be chromed. Perhaps C-40 is correct in the sense that the tube must be fully chromed before painting but not necessarily the entire bike (i.e. all tube sets.).