I'm trying to determine the best coating or combination of coatings for bicycles that I'm refurbishing. Along with other elements of making these bikes weatherproof (full chaincases, fenders, water shedding, internal gears and brakes, maybe rod driven brake levers, etc.) I'm trying to determine how I can make frames and parts last outside in northern midwestern (USA) conditions for as long as possible. It must be able to handle:
- Frequent freeze-thaw, sometimes multiple times per day
- Temperatures as low as -50F, as high as 120F
- Highly saline water slush and sand thrown up on roads
- Rubbing on main tubes against bike parking racks
- UV Protection
Some sources I've read state that powder coated parts tend to chip and instantly rust from flexes or small impacts. Others, such as Eastwood's own video show show that if properly applied, powder coating can handle impacts much better, although this does not speak to the resistance to UV, nor if the test shown included an acid bath or any other priming agents for the metals. Additionally, I do not know how strong a factor the quality of bonding may be from lower voltage powder coating guns that are available to non-professionals.
Historically, I know that bicycle frames would use baked on enamels, which have been phased out for painting processes which do not require as much industrial equipment to plate, bake, and wash parts. Could this be as good or better than baked on powder coats? As a motivated bicycle enthusiast, I'm willing to make or buy any single bike-sized piece of equipment to turn frames and parts into the most bulletproof version of themselves that they can be, so that maintenance and manufacturing turnover can be lessened.
So, with only durability and outdoor longevity in mind (not aesthetics, color-matching, price, or availability), what coating system is best for bicycles?