Powder coated frame

Hi,
I’m looking at getting an aluminium road bike powdercoated. It is a winter bike, I really dislike the current colour of it. I’m choosing powder coating as it is a fairly cheap and durable option.

Has anyone had a road bike frame powdercoated? Were you happy with the end result? Any suggestions on colour, as it will just be a single colour? I leaning toward a Matt grey/black. Or something sparkly like the Aspero.

Would love to see some pictures of what you did.

Thanks
GG

My powdercoated bike started flaking near the dropouts - I was totally sold on the “durability” but after everything, I’m not sure it’s more durable than paint and a good clearcoat on top. Maybe it’s durable in different ways - but I prefer a few scuffs and scratches to flakes coming off…

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Like @Peter says, powder coating can flake, that’s my experience too - but there are powder coaters who specialise in bike frames, and you’d expect them to be able to get better adhesion than a generalist. If the thought of a flake coming off at the dropouts doesn’t mortify you, powder coating is certainly cheap and much less work for you.

I prefer to paint my frames with a rattle can, and I have had really good results. Its more effort - you have to strip the frame or at least sand it smooth, then put on a couple of colour layers and preferably a clear-coat.
I have also tried the spray.bike paints, and they are very easy/cheap and give good results too. Here’s a Peugeot I did with automotive paint.

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Plus 1 on the flaking experience with powder coat. However that’s not down to the powder coat that is down to the surface passivation of the Al failing. Happened with the paint too. Seems to let go first at the welds. May need to look at some treatments before repainting or coating.

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Have you got a picture of the paint flaking? Give Me an idea of what to expect😬 My bike has a black carbon fork, so I will leave that as is.

I looked at this for a 1980 531 framed bike. However I backed away from powder coating for three reasons

  1. Everything I read suggested that the precursor is a blasting process that can do a fair bit of damage to the surface if not done sensitively by someone used to cleaning the paint off a bicycle frame, and the grit/beads get in everywhere. (That is probably worse with the softer aluminium.) There might be suppliers/ services that are more sensitive to the specific needs. I could not find them.

  2. My experience of powercoating is that it is a thick surface and prone to cracking when bolts are tightened up on it. So that backs up the experience of others, with cracking and chipping around the drop outs. It is a thicker surface than cellulose or enamal paints.

  3. actually it was not that much cheaper than a proper frame painter doing a single colour.

Personally, I think a proper bike painter, or a DIY rattle can is best, but either way you need to prepare the surface well. Painting quality and durability is down to good surface preparation. Obviously it depends on your budget, intentions with the bike and the finish you are after. Even for a winter bike I would go for a nice finish done properly by a frame painter. the price differential is not that much more, as a fraction of the overall work involved.

Just my 2 penneth worth. Here is a good article on the subject of different paint types for bikes, preparation and powder coating compared with other finishes. https://www.sheldonbrown.com/paint-prep.html

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I powdercoated a POS schwinn frame back in 2012, and have had zero issues with flaking or anything. It was my primary bike on the road for 6 years and thousands of miles, and then became my indoor bike. It’s all in the prep and the process. I got a local shop to make me some decals so I could make a super kludgy replica of the Olympic cervelo S3 frames :grinning:

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That Peugeot looks awesome.

Anyone ever vinyl wrap their bike or parts of it to change the look? Seems like a less permanent solution, cheap and doable if you took your time.

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Thank you kindly for the reply’s.
I might need to have a chat to the local powdercoater and ask for their experiences with doing Bike frames.
I also guess there is no harm in prepping a bit of the bike and spraying. If I’m not happy with it, I’ll go the powdercoat route.

Thanks again!

See what it costs to get someone to paint it right. It might be a whole lot cheaper than you think especially if you only want like one color and are willing to handle the disassembly yourself…honestly, if you call around automotive/motorcycle shops and just need them to paint it, it might work out cheaper than getting the spray, clearcoat, sandpaper, and all the little extras you’d need to do a decent one-off job…

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A few thoughts in no order. Locally a LBS does custom jobs in the $4-800 CDN range which is what I was quoted. I thought that was pretty steep for a refresh of the clear coat.

Spray.bike is rattle cans specifically for bikes and looks like decent stuff.

Sometimes local body shops offer paint services other than vehicles and should be able to show a gallery of jobs,

I’ve seen one guy Reddit fixed gear that wrapped his low end fixed gear bike and it looked pretty good. It was lipstick on a pig and he got annoying by rewrapping and flooding the sub with pictures on a weekly basis, but the wrap jobs looked decent enough.

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I have an Al road bike powder coated black with white panels. A couple chips around the dropouts but has held up better than wet paint typically does. Powder has been durable and still looks good after ten years of heavy sweat on trainer and some racing.

Would like to try Cerakote someday. Some sort of desert camo on a mtn bike.

For a fun project… strip the frame, polish it up and rattle can clearcoat. DIY

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