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Computer generated decals- how do the colors hold up?(7 posts)

Computer generated decals- how do the colors hold up?Auriaprottu
Dec 11, 2002 9:25 PM
I'm trying to repaint a bicycle (myself), and I don't want to have custom decals made, as it would be cost prohibitive- the bike's not worth all that much. Does anyone here have experience with computer generated decals? Do they fade more than professionally created ones? I'd like to use bright yellow/black, if that matters. Thanks in advance.
The problem with computer generated decals is.Dave Hickey
Dec 12, 2002 6:39 AM
The ink is not very opaque. If your frame is a dark color, you can see the frame color through the decals. They sell white or silver backed decals but that will limit your design because you have to cut out each decal. I've had good luck with vinyl transfers made at a sign shop. I had some LOOK frame logos made that cost about $25.00. I took a .jpg image the sign shop and they cut the logo's out of a very thin vinyl.
The problem with computer generated decals is.Auriaprottu
Dec 12, 2002 9:05 AM
How was the adhesive quality of the vinyl transfers? $25.00 is certainly reasonable.
Excellent quality..Dave Hickey
Dec 12, 2002 9:36 AM
I've had no problems with them coming off. I had better luck with a local sign company. The national chains,ie.. FastSigns, wanted a $100 set up fee and 2 weeks to produce. The local company did it in an afternnon and charged my $25.00.
I'm interested in learning more alsoNessism
Dec 12, 2002 7:55 AM
I've heard of a special type of printer called an "Alph's printer" or something to this effect. It can print on decal film and the colors are said to hold up fairly well.

I've painted graphics on a frame before using a homemade stencil with good results. The steps were as follows:

- Make full size lettering sample printed on paper. You can enlarge or shrink the design using a paper copier. I made my stencil to wrap around the tube so I could paint both sides of the downtube at the same time.

- Once you are happy with the lettering, make a photocopy onto transparency acetate film.

- Using an xacto, cut out the lettering. Takes a while but it's not too bad assuming you don't have too many round letters.

- Roll the acetate film into a circle shape covered with paper and heat up using a heat gun or hair dryer. The idea is to get the film to take a semi-round shape.

- Unwrap the film and spray the backside with 3M repositionable spray adhesive. Let dry before applying to frame.

- Press stencils firmly onto frame making sure edges are fully adhered down.

- Paint lettering ASAP since the stencil will likely lift off slightly. Let paint dry a while before trying to take off stencil. If stencil sticks too hard, use heat gun to soften the glue. If you're careful, the stencil can be reused.

This whole process is a bit of a pain but it does work quite well.

Good luck.
another option is Monocote.........Dave Hickey
Dec 12, 2002 9:48 AM
Radio controlled airplanes are covered with a film called Monocote. Hobby stores sell trim pieces that are adhesive backed. They come in a rainbow of colors and cost about $8.00 for a 36" x 6" piece. Of course, you have to cut out your design but if your design is simple, it's not a problem. These red stripes on my seat tube and the chainstay protector are Monocote.
another way to go?roadcyclist
Dec 14, 2002 1:52 AM
I've never tried it (yet) but check out Also, please post your results after you're done (what you did, how it worked out).