Painting a carbon frame

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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raggi
Posts: 44
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:43 pm

by raggi

Hi,

Thinking about getting a ready-to-paint Open U.P. as my next build and have some questions about having it painted.

Where I live we don't really have any specialised bike painters, can a car painter do just as good a job? Do I have to worry about the weight of the paint?

If I fail to get it painted, will it harm the frame in the long run riding it unpainted?

Any usual gotcha's I need to worry about?

MrMojo
Posts: 92
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 2:24 pm
Location: UK

by MrMojo

I personally would prefer to use someone who specialises in painting bike frames. Can you not box up and Mail the frame to someone? If you're in the uk there are some excellent frame painters out there, I used Cromaworks in Sheffield recently to do a Colnago C40 to my custom design.
2018 Cipollini NK1K
2017 Colnago C60
2008 Colnago Extreme C
2005 Colnago C50
2002 Colnago C40 Mapei
2001 Colnago C40

by Weenie


raggi
Posts: 44
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:43 pm

by raggi

MrMojo wrote:Can you not box up and Mail the frame to someone?


Sure, I could, but I live in Iceland, so mailing the frame after it's been mailed to me would require significant time, as well as increasing the risk of it being damaged in transport way too much.

Also, taken from their site: "we can operate without needing to bake frames due to predominately using modern water based automotive paints". Surely that means a car painter could do that as well? :)

ed325
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2017 2:24 pm

by ed325

A car body shop should be able to spray a bike for you or leave it carbon with a clear coat for protection.

bremerradkurier
Posts: 252
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 4:18 pm

by bremerradkurier

Motorcycle painters might be worth a check as well.

thumper88
Posts: 146
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 7:27 pm

by thumper88

ed325 wrote:A car body shop should be able to spray a bike for you or leave it carbon with a clear coat for protection.


Modern paints don't really need a clear coat, that's more for aesthetics... that deeper, wetter look.... or to add metal flake (which reduces longevity the most) ....a clear coat over a color would add unnecessary weight.
The clear coats (with. UV protectant) ARE crucial for any carbon frame that won't be painted a color... that naked or matte carbon MUST have UV protection.
But if you paint it a color or colors with modern high-end paint -- and I'm thinking a nice two-part linear polyurethane, for example -- there is no need for additional coatings for UV or longevity. In fact, the clear coat is often what fails first on a car, you have probably noticed.
And these LPU type paints have huge longevity now and don't need waxing (in fact, its a bad idea as it abrades away the top smooth, element-protecting part of the paint and REDUCES longevity.

One issue, though, is weight. Paint can be pretty heavy and people who paint cars don't really have to worry about that. Talk through what you want with them, which is to ghost on an initial tack coat as lightly as they can, then after than apply the minimum number of coats it takes to properly cover and color the frame.
You do NOT want that extra insurance coat I tend to shoot on my own vehicles.
That bike will spend its days inside and the paint really won't be subject to the elements etc.

Read a technical article once on an alloy 40-foot yacht mast that they wanted to get weight out of and they stripped off ALL the paint and ghosted on the lightest, thinnest coat of white they could and saved several pounds...

joeyb1000
Posts: 114
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2016 8:37 pm

by joeyb1000

Paint is paint. The only thing unique about carbon is the base sealer . An auto body shop can do it, but it's not going to be worthwhile to tie up their spray booth. A motorcycle painter will be better -- more used to small items and specialty work.
Carbon doesn't corrode. So, you can ride it as is, but might need a UV protector.

(My family has been running an auto body shop for 63 years)

AJS914
Posts: 2049
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm

by AJS914

Is UV protection on a carbon frame more so that the resin doesn't yellow over time? Or, can it really break down because of the sun?

Some of the super weight weenies here have stripped their frames and then protected them with 303 Aerospace Protectant.

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euan
Posts: 1499
Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 11:20 am

by euan

thumper88 wrote:But if you paint it a color or colors with modern high-end paint -- and I'm thinking a nice two-part linear polyurethane, for example -- there is no need for additional coatings for UV or longevity. In fact, the clear coat is often what fails first on a car, you have probably noticed.


Graphics tho?
"Step forward the climber and all those who worship at the altar of lightness" - R. Millar

raggi
Posts: 44
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:43 pm

by raggi

Awesome, thanks for the responses! I'll try and look for an auto body shop that's willing to work with me. :-)

eaglejackson
Posts: 257
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2014 5:26 am
Location: PNW

by eaglejackson

My wife got an Open UP and got it painted. She didn't like the available colors (orange and brown). We took it to a bike paint shop though I would imagine an auto paint place would work too. The paint used is auto paint.

thumper88
Posts: 146
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 7:27 pm

by thumper88

euan wrote:
thumper88 wrote:But if you paint it a color or colors with modern high-end paint -- and I'm thinking a nice two-part linear polyurethane, for example -- there is no need for additional coatings for UV or longevity. In fact, the clear coat is often what fails first on a car, you have probably noticed.


Graphics tho?



That is an art form.. best simple option is decals. I like a no-graphics frame myself, but it prob hurts resale. resale is impacted by any aftermarket paint job tho, graphics or no, as the buyer will thinking you're hiding something....or even if they don't they figure the next buyer will.

by Weenie


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