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Powdercoat issues - arg!(11 posts)

Powdercoat issues - arg!t0adman
Jul 7, 2003 7:09 AM
Wondering if what I'm seeing on my new Lemond Zurich is in fact the degredation of the powdercoat. Since I haven't had a new (to me) bike in ages, I'm not sure. Is the powdercoat the very thin, clear layer of protective film over the top of the paint? If so, is there a way to do small patches? For some reason the powdercoat on my Zurich seems very fragile and has already started to flake off in places. It also seems to be less protective than the actual paint and just about any abrasion makes it crack/flake off. Is this normal? Can it be patched? Any suggestions appreciated.
re: Powdercoat issues - arg!Mel Erickson
Jul 7, 2003 8:14 AM
I don't believe LeMonds are powder coated. I believe they use paint. The layer you see peeling off is probably the clearcoat. Peeling clearcoat on a new frame is not normal. Take it back to where you bought it for warrantee. LeMond is usually pretty good on warantee issues. Patching may be possible but I'd only try it if it's out of warantee. The best way to "patch" a cracking and peeling clearcoat is to remove it entirely and respray a new coat. However, it's up to LeMond to decide what to do on a frame under warrantee. Definitely take it in and good luck, it's a nice bike.
okay, sounds like it's clear coat....t0adman
Jul 7, 2003 8:58 AM
Can it be fixed with patches? I bought the bike barely used from the original owner and I'm not clear whether the warranty extends to me. If it doesn't, does anyone know a way to patch areas of damaged clear coat? AAAAarrrrrrg!!!
You may be out of luckMel Erickson
Jul 7, 2003 9:42 AM
on the warantee. Tough to tell if the clearcoat can be patched or not. From your description it sounds like it's a spreading cancer, especially if a bump causes more clearcoat to crack. I would opt for removing the clearcoat and recoating the whole frame. My experience with patches has been they'll fail if what's under them is not sound and prepared properly. A local body shop that does custom painting would be a good bet to have it analyzed. Hey, it's just painted steel and they do that every day. I suggest a shop that does custom work because they're more experienced with different paints, applications, etc. than your run of the mill body shop. If you've got a builder near you have him suggest a painter. I like to use local people who can see the frame before advising. Plus you can talk to them face to face.
okay, sounds like it's clear coat....russw19
Jul 7, 2003 10:44 AM
It's the clearcoat. Lemonds are not powdercoated. You have 2 options at this point. One is to lie if you are asked about being the original owner. Take it up to the local dealer and show them the frame. Never mention that you are not the original owner and hope they don't ask you either. But if they bring it up, you can tell the truth or lie and say you are the original owner and you bought it out of state. Either way you choose, it's your choice, but I wouldn't be the first to touch on that issue. Let the shop bring it up if it's a concern of theirs.

Second option is to take it to an autobody paint shop. Let them sand off the original clearcoat and then reapply it. If you do this, you may as well have them put on 3 coats of clear to keep it from happening again. Patching it is not a good option... think of it this way... if the finish is bad in some spots now, it's probably going to be bad in other spots later... strip the whole clearcoat off and reapply it from scratch.

Russ
How disappointing! Do I run any risk?t0adman
Jul 7, 2003 11:31 AM
Thanks for the great feedback guys. It's so frustrating considering the bike is a year old and has about 300 miles on it.

Do I risk early demise if I don't take action and just let the clearcoat just degrade as it will? What if I use some bike polish? Suggestions?
No significant riskMel Erickson
Jul 7, 2003 1:09 PM
The clearcoat does two things. It protects the paint, essentially another layer of clear paint, and it makes your bike shiny (gives it some depth). I would have new clearcoat put on but it's not like your paintjob will start to deteriorate without it. Plenty of frames have been painted without clearcoat and hold up just fine. Wax will help protect the finish but it won't stop the clearcoat from cracking and peeling. You can use almost any kind of wax you want. Auto wax is good. I use Pledge, doesn't last real long but easy to apply as often as you like.
Cancer sucks....Lone Gunman
Jul 7, 2003 8:23 PM
And that is what your frame has. Here is the problem...That crack in the clear is probably a crack also in the paint. Moisture gets under the clear and paint and then a little river of rust appears. You clean it up or pick at it and the paint will release. The cracks on my '99 Lemond first appeared in the bb area and then anywhere a component attached to the frame, also bottle bosses. Also at the braze ons for cable guides. I kept repairing and water kept getting under the paint. I called Trek...SOL, too late but we will repaint for $200+shipping I believe. I asked about powdercoating, "sorry it will void your warranty". My quick release paint peeled off like cheap tape. I was able to obtain a set of Lemond decals through Trek, had the frame powdercoated, some spray painting, decals applied and cleared for a tough finish stunning unique frame. $300+.
Show us pleaset0adman
Jul 7, 2003 9:49 PM
Not exactly the story I was hoping to hear. Sorry you had such a pain with your Lemond. I guess I'll take as many preventive measures as I can and hope for the best.

Can you post a pic of your "tough finish stunning unique frame"? I'm dying to see it. (Also, what exactly is a powdercoat and why does it void your warranty?)
Show us pleasegeeker
Jul 8, 2003 5:00 AM
"what exactly is a powdercoat and why does it void your warranty?"

I just had a frame powdercoated. It's a method popular in auto/motorcycle applications. The frame is stripped, and paint particles are applied using electrostatic charge (stripped surface is essential for this). Then the frame+paint is heated so that the paint finish becomes shiny.

Powdercoating is environmentally "cleaner" than regular paint (no volatile sprays). Powdercoat finish is very tough; it'd never exhibit the behavior of your Lemond finish. The powdercoating part itself is quite cheap, but stripping can be a PITA. I'm happy with the results.

Not sure why it voids the warranty. Probably Trek/Lemond doesn't want to implicitly cover possible blunders in stripping/painting. I wouldn't be surprised if they also voided warranties on frames repainted (outside their factory) by other methods.
The heat, man, the heatLone Gunman
Jul 8, 2003 4:19 PM
Trek was afraid of putting an 853 frame in a 350 degree oven, plus I think they wanted to get me for another paint job. Voided warranty? After 12000 miles over 4 years, what warranty was left? I did not have much choice, it was a question of how much was it going to cost to repair. The frame works well for me and riding style. Since someone else explained the PC process, the stuff is very hard to remove, even sandblasting is difficult. Sorry don't have a pic of the frame, but the back half is CocaCola red, the decals are black Lemond panel style, the fork and front half of the frame is bright yellow and then cleared 3 coats. Red Vittoria tires, red tape, may alternate with yellow tires and tape. Wanted to go with keylime green and black panels, but the colors were limited by quantity a supplier would sell to PCer(wanted to sell 50gal drum, several hundred $$$) vs. a 5 lb container. So I compromised and went with red and yellow.