This is a topic that's been discussed here in the past, and at length, but most of that information is out of date.
I've got a bike that probably warrants powdercoating. It's a mid 80s Specialized Stumpjumper Sport, and it's mostly original and entirely cool. I'm fine with patina, and have touched up paint on our other vintage steel bikes, but on this the original orange paint is quite worn from hard use. For example the inside of the chainstay is largely worn away to bare metal and rusty. I've got everything off the frame, a friend is truing the wheels and has helped me straighten it out, chase the threads, etc, so if I'm going to put it together 100% as best I can, seems to make sense to have the paint nice.
Searches for powder coaters here on the chainlink yield lots of hits, but most of them are quite old and the bulk refer to UV Metal Arts, which has apparently not been in business for years--a pity as that work looked excellent. A couple of other firms mentioned here are also gone.
Options that are still around are Heritage and Coating Specialties. In fact it may be that the former sends their pc work out to the latter---I am pretty sure that they don't do it in-house. Though possibly their prep work adds value, and they're far more convenient to me.
Any other powder coaters I should be considering?
Blue City Cycles; they basically took over for UV.
They have done two frames for me and the results are fantastic.
You can find industrial powder coaters that will do it for less but you end up having to chase threads, ream and fae stuff they don't mask well compromising the powder coat. It's worth the cost.
Heritage farms it out and I have seen and heard not great stuff about the results including frame damage.
Thanks, Doug! Blue City didn't come up in my searches at all. I will bring the frame over there and see what they say. It's been chased and faced, so the less work we have to do after the pc the better.
Let us know what they say!
i've had three frames done through Heritage. Pretty basic jobs, i have no complaints. The colour choices aren't the widest. My touring bike is a dark blue & looks pretty good after about 3 years of steady use. Another frame was done in a canary yellow- that was a bit less than perfect- but yellow pigments in general tend to be a bit "thin" looking. When the third frame was done, i got a very apologetic call about dents in the frame- i assured then that they did NOT cause them- the dents been filled with Bondo by an earlier repainter, and only appeared when the old paint was stripped.
The colour choices are limited, and rather industrial- no "flamboyant" or flashy finishes, but the price was low, turnover reasonably fast, and the masking of threads, etc, was adequate. i'd probably use them again if i needed a frame repainted.
Blue City is a cool shop! I took the frame down there and they were happy to see it, apparently the guys are fans of vintage MTBs. I talked with the very guy (sorry, blanking on his name) who does the work, and he described in detail how he preps the frames, with silicone plugs for threaded parts, and treats them afterward including any chasing needed. I was impressed and would have loved to leave the frame with them, but that work comes with a price of $225. That's not unreasonable at all considering what you get, but it's more than this frame is worth, to me, at this point. And with my friend's help, we have the chasing covered. So...I'm going to research further. I also may sell some bike related stuff and go with Blue City after all--but don't tell my wife!
If you don't mind heading up to Zion, J & J Powdercoating does excellent work. His name is Joe and his shop is open on Saturdays from 9am - 12pm. he's done many frames for me and friends. He powdercoats anything, and always does a great job... and will talk your ear off about past jobs. http://jandjpowdercoating.ezlocal.com/
Thanks Ernesto! I'll give him a call. You know the frame I'm talking about, and I'm still on the fence about PCing it vs going down to bare metal, priming and rattle-canning the worst places, touching up the others. I haven't painted any frames I've had yet but this one is rougher, and manually touching it up would take many hours. Interior is perfectly clean though!
You bet! I want to see the final outcome.
Are there bare metal spots? Clan them up with WD40, let them dry, and apply spray on varnish to protect them.
So how'd this project finally turn out? What color? Details, details!
Got the bike back, and it looks good! As it turned out, color RAL 2011, at least from the supplier J&J uses, is a pretty good match for the original orange. (RAL 2008, which is more commonly stocked and is a Harley Davidson color, is more an orangey-red than an orange.) All the threaded parts were plugged and the brake bosses were taped. As I put the bike together I may touch up the areas right around the bosses where the tape left a tiny bit exposed. Not bad for $100.
That's so nice! Can't wait to see the whole thing!
Wow, this turned out great! You'd do it again? Please let us know how it wears.... chip, rust and such. It's a lot glossier than I thought it would be.