Frequently Asked Questions

What is powder coating?

 Powder coating is a highly durable dry (no solvent) electrostatic process for coating metal objects. A polarized electric charge is applied to the frame. The vinyl powder is charged with the opposite polarity. When the powder is sprayed on the frame the electric charges cause the powder to cling to the frame. Once the frame has been evenly coated it is baked in a 400-degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes. This causes the vinyl powder to melt and fuse to the surface of the frame.

Will media blasting hurt my frame?

 No. Media blasting is a safe and effective way to remove all the rust and paint from a frame. We use only enough pressure to remove the paint but not affect the frame in any way. On thin walled tubing, we will use Crushed Glass media for a less abrasive treatment. 

Will the baking process hurt my frame?

 No. There are some metals such as Scandium, and frame construction methods such as bonding, that are not suited for baking, the vast majority of aluminum and steel frames are perfectly fine to powder coat. The temperature of the curing process is usually around 350-400 degrees for a short 10-15-minute time frame. This is far less heat than was used to produce the frame originally.

Can you powder coat carbon fiber parts or frames?

 Powder coating is an electrostatic process followed by a baking cycle.   Carbon fiber does not conduct electricity, and does not stand up to oven temperatures.  However we have often liquid painted carbon forks to match the powder coated frame. This process is generally around $80.00. 

Will the powder coating fill in the rust pitting on my frame?

That is a definite "Maybe".  If the pitting is deep it will still show. Minor pitting will usually fill in nicely. 

Can you remove a dent in my frame?

Quite often, yes. Some minor dings can be massaged out, it really depends on the extent of the damage. We also use high-temperature fillers or silver brazing to smooth out the imperfections.  Please send us a picture of the issue for a good assessment. 

Can you save my Head badge?

Yes, we can usually salvage most metal head badges. Plastic and decal type badges do not fair so well. We do safely remove most steel or aluminum badges and then reattach them after the coating process is complete. 

Can you save my decals?

No, the media blasting process removes all decals, paint, oxidation, grease and other materials. Powder coating must be applied to bare metal. 

We do have an ever growing list of reputable replica decal manufacturers on our Resource Links page.

Can you put clear coat over my decals?

On standard decals we professionally apply an automotive grade clear coat to the frame to help preserve the decals.
If available, purchase decals designed for clear coat application.  

Can you save the chrome plating on my frame or fork?

Yes, good quality chrome can be preserved.  In most cases the chrome can be masked off and protected for both the media blasting and powder coating processes. 

Not all "Chrome" is created equal. On some bikes, particularly vintage European models, if the chrome is pitted it will most likely flake off in the oven.  In these instances we offer a mock chrome powder coat that has the appearance of chrome without the expense of re-plating and polishing.

What are my color choices?

There are hundreds of colors from which to choose.  These include a broad variety of special effects such as candies, metallics, iridescents and pearlescents. 

Customers make their selection from online suppliers.  A list of reputable vendors is shown on our Resource Links page.

Customers purchase direct from the manufacturer and have the powder shipped to our location. 

Due to the vast array of choices we do not inventory any colors other than black, white and a clear top coat. 

How much powder should I purchase?

A standard frame and fork requires 1 pound of powder per color or clear coat.  Tandem bikes require three pounds of powder.  Much of this ends up as “blow by” and does not affect the overall weight of the frame.   

Is powder coating durable?

Powder coating resists cracking and peeling.  It is extremely abrasion, corrosion, and chemical resistant. The durability of powder coating matches or exceeds the characteristics of conventional solvent-based paints. Powder coating is quite common in the automotive industry.
 

Should I have my parts sandblasted before bringing them to you?

Independent blasting often results in less than desirable results. 

Once a part has been media blasted  any humidity or hand perspiration may cause your frame to begin oxidizing. This surface rust may compromise the adhesion of the powder. 

Also, most blasters use common silica sand at up to 250 p.s.i.  This has caused irreparable damage to the surface of the tubing and undesirable textures.  We vary the media based on your frame materials at pressures ranging from 60 to 150 p.s.i.

I want to hand sand or use paint stripper to remove the original paint. Is that Okay?

We have received dozens of frames that were stripped by the owner.  None have ever been clean enough for the powder coating process.  We recommend that you save yourself the time, effort and expense by letting us professionally media blast your frame. 

Chemically stripping a frame is a hazardous process requiring serious personal protection from the corrosive solvents.  Stripped frames must still be media blasted to insure the removal of residual chemicals
 

Is powder coating environmentally friendly?

Unlike solvent-based wet paint systems, powder coating is an environmentally friendly process. Since the process does not use solvents what so ever VOC emission problems are eliminated. 

A local shop powder coated my bike and I'm disappointed with the result. Can you fix it?

Sadly, this is an all too common question.  Yes, we've stripped and re-powder coated many frames for customers who were unhappy with the result of a local vendor unaccustomed to the nuances of coating a bicycle. 

Stripping off powder coat is a rather labor intensive process. We are experienced at performing this task.  It does not harm your frame in any way. 

Generally it requires an additional 25.00 to the normal stripping price to have the powder coat material removed. 

How long will you need my bike?

Generally speaking, our backlog of projects runs 2 to 3 weeks for standard strip and coat services.  Additional services, such as custom graphics, urethane clear coat, mechanical work, frame modifications, procurement of replacement parts, all require additional time to the project.

Full restorations, from complete disassembly to reassembly are a minimum of 6 weeks.

Do I need to take my bike completely apart or will you do it?

We are a full service business. We will do as much, or as little, of the disassembly as you want. We have all the tools needed to take apart both new and vintage bicycles  Please see our rate guide for pricing. 

Is return shipping included in the price?

Shipping is a separate cost. Typically the return shipping of a frame and fork is $20 to $25. 

Can you remove / add / change cable guides, braze-ons, shifter bosses, etc?

Yes, we are capable of most frame modifications involving small braze on parts.  We also remove derailleur hangers for fixed gear and single speed conversions, reshaping the drop out to resemble the opposite side of the frame.  Pricing available on request.