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So I have a LeMond Buenos Aires, about 10 years old, with a steel frame. The paint is getting kind of ragged under the top tube and it has a few chips here and there, so I'm thinking of getting it re-done. Questions for the accumulated wisdom of the forum:

1. Would you go with powdercoating vs. regular painting? There's a place about 50 miles away that does powdercoating of bike frames and their gallery of bikes looks pretty good, but I'm curious about anyone's experiences in this area.

2. What do you think about decals? I like the LeMond logos on the bike and would like to restore it to original condition, but there don't appear to be decals available that match, at least not that I've been able to find. Would you go to the trouble of trying to match original spec, or just go with a color scheme you like and not worry about the decals?
 

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So I have a LeMond Buenos Aires, about 10 years old, with a steel frame. The paint is getting kind of ragged under the top tube and it has a few chips here and there, so I'm thinking of getting it re-done. Questions for the accumulated wisdom of the forum:

1. Would you go with powdercoating vs. regular painting? There's a place about 50 miles away that does powdercoating of bike frames and their gallery of bikes looks pretty good, but I'm curious about anyone's experiences in this area.

2. What do you think about decals? I like the LeMond logos on the bike and would like to restore it to original condition, but there don't appear to be decals available that match, at least not that I've been able to find. Would you go to the trouble of trying to match original spec, or just go with a color scheme you like and not worry about the decals?
I just got my favorite road bike of 25 years powdercoat painted last summer. I can assure you that the finish appears to be much more durable than any auto paint covering available on today's market. There are many colors and finishes available to you, should you decide to go the route of powdercoat paints.

I had mine painted gloss black and I absolutely love it!

... Looks brand spanking new! :thumbsup:
 

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You should be able to find replacement decals or stickers. Have you looked on eBay or done a Google search?

Powder-coating would be your cheapest option and very durable, but if applied too thickly won't look as nice as regular paint. I would probably opt for powder coat if I could find someone experienced at painting bicycles with a range of available colors, unless you are aiming for a perfect "restoration."
 

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oh hell yeah! stripped my 2011 giant of its ghastly original paint job and stickers, powder-coated it, applied tasteful decals and now it's gem.

key is to get the right guy to do the job.
 

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Resident Curmudgeon
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Well, I'll be the opposition here. I think powder coating is a very durable finish, probably better than any paint I can think of. There are 2 reasons I don't like it.
1. I've never seen a powder coat that looks as good as a painted surface. PC just doesn't have the shine & depth of a good paint job.
2. I don't know this for sure, but I think a PC frame has to be painted the same color, at least I've never seen one with more than one color on the frame.
 

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Recycle King
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If you can't find any original decals online, try buying a sheet of decal paper. Then take a photo of your decal, scan it and upload onto your computer. Do some touch up and print it onto the decal sheet and cut it out. A friend of mine did that for his Mongoose TI mt bike frame. Turned out really professionally looking.
 

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Cranky Old Bastard
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I've done some research and checked into the home powder kits.

You can shoot multiple colors by taping and re-baking. They make masking tape that resists the heat.
You can control how thick it is applied and use thin coats and multiple bakes when the thickness is important.

They make clear and translucent colors that look amazing over polished or brushed metals.

This could be done at home if you had an oven big enough to hold the frame. For smaller parts people normally buy a cheap electric kitchen stove and put it in the garage (nasty fumes).

I don't know if I would print decals at home because ink-jet ink used to fade over time. Have they improved it?
But many sign companies can duplicate the decals with computer printing or vinyl cutting.
 

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Recycle King
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I don't know if I would print decals at home because ink-jet ink used to fade over time. Have they improved it?
But many sign companies can duplicate the decals with computer printing or vinyl cutting.
My friend printed on laser jet printer, thus fading wasn't a problem.
 

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Powder coat looks like powder coat. It does not look like a fine paint job. It may be thicker but that does not mean it won't chip and scratch. Good paint jobs look the best. Just like cars, nobody powder coats their car.
If you print a decal on your printer it's not the same as a real decal for the printing is ontop of the glossy finish. It won't last.
 

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Recycle King
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Eh, you clear coat it after you stick your decal on the color paint. Nobody said stick the decals on top of the paint job and call it good.
 

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Descender
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Im in Colorado Springs - home to Spectrum Powder coating - not affiliated in any way. They primarly do bikes, saw a lot of thier work, it was quite nice for PC - not as distinct as wet paint but still nice

They can do multiple colors - I took in an old Colnago Master Olympic in decor paint scheme - they were going to duplicate - probably 7 different colors in that paint shceme.
Ended up not getting the bike reworked at all - but this was a good option.
 

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I drag race, and I can tell you there are plenty of folks that powder coat their body panels.

Powder has come a long way. Candy colors, metal flake (appears that way), clear, satin, flat.... Powder, generally speaking can look as good as paint if the right shop does the job.

Powder gets a bad name because in the last 10 years or so everybody and their brother bought some equipment and called themselves a powder coat shop.

The chassis, dash, wheels, and trim are powder coated on my car below. The body is paint, but there are several that are powdered out there.

As for decals, take them to a graphics shop and they can be duplicated.... I used to do that while in college, and it is pretty amazing how far vinyl printers have came.











 

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I drag race, and I can tell you there are plenty of folks that powder coat their body panels.

Powder has come a long way. Candy colors, metal flake (appears that way), clear, satin, flat.... Powder, generally speaking can look as good as paint if the right shop does the job.

Powder gets a bad name because in the last 10 years or so everybody and their brother bought some equipment and called themselves a powder coat shop.

The chassis, dash, wheels, and trim are powder coated on my car below. The body is paint, but there are several that are powdered out there.

As for decals, take them to a graphics shop and they can be duplicated.... I used to do that while in college, and it is pretty amazing how far vinyl printers have came.












WOW!!!!

I guess that says it all!

...Anymore naysayers out there, concerning PC right now? :rolleyes:

Right! I didn't think so! :D

Thanks Gamez! :thumbsup:
 

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I poweder coated my 99 Lemond Buenos Aires ...

5 years ago. My old yellow paint job was chipping and I got sick of the color. It's still holding up good on the Reynolds 853 frame. I had metalic flake added. It's hard to take pics of it but when the sun catches it, it sparkles nicely. :) Just make sure you use some JP Weigle frame saver after it's down if you do it.









5
WOW!!!!

I guess that says it all!

...Anymore naysayers out there, concerning PC right now? :rolleyes:

Right! I didn't think so! :D

Thanks Gamez! :thumbsup:
 

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maybe look into ceramic coating? i know a lot of the superbike guys are doing it on they're exahusts. lots of colors, more than you would think. i would look into it.

if you want to see pics google ducati ceramic exhaust..
 

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maybe look into ceramic coating? i know a lot of the superbike guys are doing it on they're exahusts. lots of colors, more than you would think. i would look into it.

if you want to see pics google ducati ceramic exhaust..
Ceramic coating has no use on a bicycle frame. The whole point is heat insulation/isolation. Often used on headers and exhaust. It makes sense that colors have been developed for the exposed-exhausts of motorcycles, but that doesn't mean it's useful for bicycles.
 
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