carbon road frame custom paint shop in the uk?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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phatphuk
Posts: 75
Joined: Sat Dec 22, 2012 5:39 pm

by phatphuk

hello forum,

i assume some of you, after building your bikes, take it a step further and pretty-up your light-weight masterpieces with a nice paint job. so i started writing this post, to ask if anybody here could recommend a carbon bike paint shop in the uk.

i'm in the process of buying a carbon road bike frame from china. i also ordered a custom paint job done for the frame, from the same supplier.

because their lead time is so frickin long, i started thinking: why don't i just buy a raw carbon frame from them, and have my paint job done here in the uk where i live. so, instead of cancelling the paint job option with my chinese guy right away, i figured it'd be smarter to first make sure i could even find a paint shop in the uk that would|could do the design i want.

this is a list of the the shops i've dug up so far (a few i've contacted & ruled out already):

shandcycles.com
argoscycles.com
graphicshack.co.uk
cyclefit.co.uk
carboncyclerepairs.co.uk
bikeart.co.uk
merciancycles.co.uk
daveyatescycles.co.uk
on-one.co.uk

while they all do ok paint jobs, from what i can see in their galleries|portfolios, none of them blew me away. i'm not into air-brush paint jobs on road bikes. sorry.

i became so frustrated by the dearth of carbon bike frame painters in the uk, i simply resigned myself to the long wait i would have to endure from my chinese guy. with that, i started to see it from this logical point of view: if the chinese frame suppliers' paint work can nail the colors and designs and decals of pinarello, cervelo and all the rest, then surely they will nail my custom design too! hopefully, it will be worth the wait.

and when i eventually read AreaMZ's post on the topic of frame painting, that cinched my decision to stick with my chinese guy.

nevertheless, if anybody here could share with me pictures of their carbon road bike frame, custom painted by a uk bicycle paint shop, i could still be convinced to "buy british".

i gotta give my decision to my frame supplier in two days (jan 14, 2013). so please reply soon, if you can.

thanks in advance for your replies (especially if you're sharing custom paint job photos).

artray
Posts: 1365
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 2:08 pm

by artray

Sorry I have no photos as my bike is now nude carbon . But I did get my Trek 5900 superlight sprayed at argos a few years back as the waiting time at Trek was months . Trek recommended Argos and they got all the exact decals and colours . Perfect .

Beancouter
Posts: 384
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:04 pm

by Beancouter

If you take a look at the wynilla site

Beancouter
Posts: 384
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:04 pm

by Beancouter

Sorry, fat fingers (!), Wyndymilla use a custom paint shop in Surrey. Not sure how keen they would be in sharing contacts of their suppliers. The work is stunning though.

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phatphuk
Posts: 75
Joined: Sat Dec 22, 2012 5:39 pm

by phatphuk

Beancouter wrote:...Wyndymilla...


thanks Beancouter. i emailed themob@wyndymilla.com on jan 6. still no reply. there's them & a few others i've also emailed, but forgot to put on my list. in fact, i'm starting to be convinced that i've already either contacted or already dismissed most uk bicycle paint shops that typically turn up in a google search on the subject.

for most shops i've googled, going by just their galleries | portfolios, they seem to either only (or mostly) do steel frames (w/only one powder-coated color) or they specialize in airbrush type stuff. or they specialize in really "busy" paint schemes with what i call "teen appeal". i'm way past my teens, i'm afraid :-(

i'm sure all of the shops in the uk are competent enough to do what i need them to do (in other words, to "follow my design brief", to use the jargon). however, aesthetically, what i've seen as samples of most of the shops i've considered so far, none of the paint jobs i've seen have blown me away. their work looks "competent". but i'm after "outstanding"!

aesthetically, my ideal paint shop would have somehing like this in their gallery | portfolio of their past work.


Image

i emphasize, somehing like , 'cause of course i don't expect them to have exactly that specific paint scheme in their portfolio (unless they've done stuff for cube). but i've yet to see any examples with this kind of clear finish:

Image

now, that's what i'm talking 'bout!

incidentally, if i recall correctly, wyndmilla turned up as the topmost search hit on google. i even complimented them on their search engine optimization prowess in my jan 6 email to them.

thanks just the same for the recommendation, though.

Beancouter
Posts: 384
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:04 pm

by Beancouter

Remembered the paint shop - Altamura; Link below is to some of their pictures. http://www.altamura.co.uk/gallery/cool- ... allery=120. I have a feeling that they now use someone else that works solely for them. I contacted these guys as I wanted my cervelo resprayed - ended up with a new frame but intend to get that one done at some point.

In terms of your requirements, given what I have seen them do, there should be no limitations.

Beancouter
Posts: 384
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:04 pm

by Beancouter

Sorry reread my post, my point was that I don't think WM use them anymore.

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stephen@fibre-lyte
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by stephen@fibre-lyte

@phatphuk, what do you call a 'busy' paint scheme? For me, the Cube that you've said that you like (which I quite like too incidentally) is a 'busy' paint scheme.

For all the paint on our carbon fibre frame repairs we use a very good painter www.shelbyart.co.uk He is an airbrush artist by trade but also a very good general painter and is currently doing full frame paint designs for production bikes. I can't recommend his work highly enough, to the point where I want to have my own frame custom painted by him at some point this year, hopefully as a show bike.

Polocini
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Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2012 5:50 pm

by Polocini

Hi, a friend of mine runs a company based in Bury called 'Atlantic Boulevard' he has been around for years and is absolutely brilliant. I haven't been in to see him for ages but I live visiting as he's always working on loads of interesting stuff. He's not cheap but you get exactly what you pay for.

Cheers
AL

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phatphuk
Posts: 75
Joined: Sat Dec 22, 2012 5:39 pm

by phatphuk

Beancouter wrote:...the paint shop - Altamura...


thank you Beancouter. i just fired an email off to altamura. we'll see if they reply.



stephen@fibre-lyte wrote:...we use a very good painter...



and thank you stephen@fibre-lyte! shelbyart have genuinely blown me away! their work really is outstanding! i seriously want them to paint my frame! i'm betting they will either be too busy to do my frame or too expensive ;-) fingers crossed!

stephen@fibre-lyte wrote:...what do you call a 'busy' paint scheme?...



i wouldn't want to offend anybody, so i won't post any specific images of what i mean by "busy". but to _me_ "busy" is when there are loads of different graphic elements AND none of them are _visually_ related to each other AND the overall effect is that the visual design just doesn't "read well" (to use visual designer's lingo).

i also used a very specific qualfier: "teen appeal". by, which, i mean: a paint scheme that a 15 y.o. stoner skate boarder would come up with (no offence, all you 15 y.o. stoners reading this ;-))

granted; the cube design meets _one_ of those criteria. it does have a few different elements. but they work beautifully together (IMO) and "read" consistently - as one design - (as opposed to reading as dozens of disparate elements, amateurishly thrown together).

if i was the art director for that shot of the cube bike, i'd lose the wheels and go for some without any decals.

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phatphuk
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Joined: Sat Dec 22, 2012 5:39 pm

by phatphuk

Polocini wrote:...a company based in Bury called 'Atlantic Boulevard'...


cheers Polocini. i've added Atlantic Boulevard to the list.


stephen@fibre-lyte wrote:...our carbon fibre frame repairs...


stephen@fibre-lyte that stumpjumper head tube repair is remarkable! nice work!

with any luck, i'll never need your services. but i've bookmarked your site, just in case ;-)

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stephen@fibre-lyte
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by stephen@fibre-lyte

You'll be surprised at Shelbys prices, he's very reasonable. He's a one man band and just charges based on an hourly rate on the work he does but his hourly rate is very low and I mean very. Simply put, he's an honest man who just wants to earn a living doing what he loves. He is usually busy but as long as you don't mind waiting a few weeks there shouldn't be a problem

Glad you like the repair :wink:

We actually need some better photos than the ones on the website as the logo looks very odd and yet they were taken by a pro. In reality, the logo looked exactly like the original.

andyindo
Posts: 395
Joined: Tue May 12, 2009 10:03 am

by andyindo

+1 on both Stephen and Shelbyart. I'd recommend them 100% and prices were very reasonable.

stephen@fibre-lyte wrote:You'll be surprised at Shelbys prices, he's very reasonable. He's a one man band and just charges based on an hourly rate on the work he does but his hourly rate is very low and I mean very. Simply put, he's an honest man who just wants to earn a living doing what he loves. He is usually busy but as long as you don't mind waiting a few weeks there shouldn't be a problem

Glad you like the repair :wink:

We actually need some better photos than the ones on the website as the logo looks very odd and yet they were taken by a pro. In reality, the logo looked exactly like the original.

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monty dog
Posts: 127
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2004 7:48 pm

by monty dog

I've had 2 frames refinished by Atlantic Boulevard - both top notch. He has plenty of finishing carbon frames - he was repainting some frames for Trek when I first visited.

There's also Colourtech in Dartford.

Don't be surprised that your paintjob will be more expensive than the frame!
Just ride

CrazyErrol
Posts: 366
Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:30 pm

by CrazyErrol

Have a negative for Atlantic boulevard. Messed me around and cost me money.

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