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I have a Specialized Stumpjumper Comp FSR from 2009. My previous bike was a mean-looking matte black Cannondale Jekyll 1000 with a Lefty fork. Now I've got this vanilla, grey boring looking bike that I love to ride but is so boring to look at.

How can I make this Stumpjumper cooler looking? The only thing I've done thus far is get some cool new grips and that helps a little. Other ideas for parts to replace? Has anyone had experience with paint jobs? Any other ideas? ;) I'm willing to put some money into this.

Basically, I'm looking tips based on what other people have done to make their mountain bikes look cooler — more eye-catching.

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Can you make this question more specific? A more specific title would help (although the one you have now is hilarious, but inappropriate for a stack Exchange site.) "How do I make my bike look cooler?" "How to make my mountain bike more distinctive?" – Neil Fein Oct 11 '10 at 20:35
While I personally like the "pimp my ride" reference in your title, you're likely to get more responses if you don't use a cultural reference from MTV circa 2004-2007... Many people won't get the reference, and some may even find the phrase offensive. – freiheit Oct 11 '10 at 20:42
@freiheit - are you saying cyclists are un-hip? :) – Neil Fein Oct 12 '10 at 2:05
Better title, more specific. Thanks! – Neil Fein Oct 12 '10 at 16:40
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Let's create something of a (price) ordered list:

It all depends on what kind of look you are hoping to achieve. I would suggest if the bike is a neutral color like yours, you try to find a detail color from, say, a decal, and replicate that in various places over the bike by hunting down the parts that match.

This process is an endless rabbit hole, after which you realize you would have been better off building your own.

You can even go the best function route, which may end up looking inconsistent to the uninitiated, but you'll know it looks good :)

Almost Free

  • Valve caps
  • Clean and Polish!


  • Grips, check
  • Brake discs
  • Brake pads (caliper brakes)
  • Colored bolts (but be careful - because they are normally aluminium and significantly weaker)
  • Handlebar end caps
  • Different color chain
  • Handlebars


  • Tyres
  • Saddle with Shiny bits or Brooks, according to preference
  • Cranks and rings, shiny, anodised or matt, machined or forged
  • Frame repaint (strip, sand blast, powdercoat or automotive paint, sealer/clearcoat)


  • All the parts have to be made of Titanium and/or Carbon Fiber

I'm sure there's plenty more that I've just forgotten.

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I've had a couple of frames stripped and powder coated, but I've not really done anything fancy with them. The cost was around $150 locally for a nice glossy red and a deep black. I assume that if you wanted fades or gradients that the cost could be significantly higher.

I've never tried an out of state company, but there are several online like PowderCoat Studio that will have you ship your frame to them and they will coat it for you and ship it back in about 2-3 weeks.

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A cool paint job looks great, but if you ride at night, nobody can see it. Reflective tape can be an inexpensive way to decorate a bike, and it's pretty cool-looking:

There's a lot you can do with spoke lights for a truly "illuminating" experience.

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