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26 votes
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Why are aluminum frames painted at all?

Not only does aluminum oxidize, it can completely decompose. It is not just some surface film, the structural integrity can be broken and the part can become fragile. This is well known by climbers ...
Vladimir F Героям слава's user avatar
15 votes

Bike fell down on rocks, how to fix handle scratches

I would wrap the bar-end in bartape - same stuff used on road bikes/drop bars. This will hide the damage, limit the same thing happening again, provide you some more cushion to your hands, and lets ...
Criggie's user avatar
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13 votes

Why are aluminum frames painted at all?

The other answers (to date) explain the very good engineering reasons to paint aluminum. However, cosmetics is a huge part of bike sales, especially the upsell and 'this year's model' game. Many ...
mattnz's user avatar
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12 votes
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Areas to mask when painting a bike

First up - consider buying a bike in the colour you want. That will be the easiest/cheapest solution. Anything with threads (internal or external) and anywhere that has flat machined surfaces for ...
Criggie's user avatar
  • 127k
12 votes

Why are aluminum frames painted at all?

Adding to Michael's comment, it should also be noted that aluminum, in fact, oxidizes as any other metal, with the notable difference that its oxides create a film that prevents the aluminum ...
Enrico Pascatti's user avatar
10 votes

Removing spray paint to reveal frame's factory paint job

Here is the best-case scenario: the finish you applied is a single-component lacquer or enamel of some type which dries purely by evaporation of the solvents, not by a chemical reaction. No "hardener"...
Kaz's user avatar
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9 votes
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When to add decals

I would put them on before the clear coat. That way the clear coat helps to protect the decals as well as the paint.
CardMechanic's user avatar
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9 votes
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Is it safe to strip paint + polish an aluminum handlebar or seatpost? Will this affect their diameter?

Yes - removing the coating will remove some small amount off the dimension. However, it may not be enough to matter. It really depends on how aggressively you apply the wire wheel. So instead, ...
Criggie's user avatar
  • 127k
7 votes

My bike after a new spray paint, gets scratched easily

Been there, done it all. I've been airbrushing and painting cars, motorcycles, helicopters, helmets, zippy lighters... and just about anything since I was a kid. I could always draw like I invented it,...
Ian's user avatar
  • 71
6 votes

How to repaint a Carbon bike frame?

Although I appreciate the word of caution that the others are providing it is a simple process to paint carbon. I've done it 3 times now at home. Sand just enough to get through the clearcoat of the ...
moreseun's user avatar
6 votes
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What type of paint to use for a bike frame

Basically any paint that could be used on a car will work on a steel bike frame. The better the paint the more robust it will be. Two-part epoxy based paints or powder coating are probably your best ...
Argenti Apparatus's user avatar
6 votes

Bike fell down on rocks, how to fix handle scratches

Some careful sandpaper use will get rid of the scratches. For the areas which used to be black, some nail polish or similar paint will do. It will be harder to color match what used to be the logo and ...
MaplePanda's user avatar
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6 votes

What color can I spray on top my green bike?

If you don't do the preparation work, your paint will fail in short order regardless of colour. The old saying about Preparation being 99% of the work is absolutely true. New Paint will not stick to ...
Criggie's user avatar
  • 127k
6 votes

Scratch or crack in alloy headtube?

Not an expert, and diagnosing things from photos is notoriously hard. First photo shows a crack in line with the side of a weld, which is where the weld would part company with the base metal if it ...
Criggie's user avatar
  • 127k
5 votes
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How do I fix scratches that go into an aluminium frame?

My road bike is aluminium and I got a couple of scratches from a car rack too. Fortunately, rust is not a significant problem. Your options are Leave it, and admire the battle scars. Hide it with ...
Criggie's user avatar
  • 127k
5 votes
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Painting Chromoly Steel

As mikes indicated, the chemicals in your top coat reactivated your primer coat, much like if you were to write something in sharpie, it is dry to the touch, but if you were to wipe alcohol over it it ...
Nate W's user avatar
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5 votes

Removing spray paint to reveal frame's factory paint job

After using this YouTube tip for removing paint from my car (paint rubbed on the bodywork from a parking scrape), I thought I'd try it on the bike I bought - and it worked a treat! I really believe ...
Dominic 's user avatar
5 votes

Damaged paint on fork dropouts (magnesium) – is it dangerous?

It probably won't peel further (you can apply whatever paint you want around the edges if you want), but the issue is just cosmetic. My suggestion is just to ignore it and move on with life.
Batman's user avatar
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5 votes
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Is is safe to use WD40 as a matte paint protector for a carbon bike?

There's not really a generic answer as not all finishes will react the same way to a given chemical, especially over time with repeated application. WD-40 has a bunch of naptha, which generally ...
Nathan Knutson's user avatar
5 votes

Are most bikes' paint jobs not as durable as they used to be?

Price. A combo undercoat/primer, a top coat, and a lacquer/transparent would be the norm. In the 80s, a nice bike might have had 10 very thin spray coats with multiple clear coats on top, most of ...
Criggie's user avatar
  • 127k
5 votes
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Best places to put protective clear stickers

Here are a few places you may want to consider Right chain stay where the chain knocks against it. Bottom of the down tube where rocks might get flung from your tires. Around the headtube, check if ...
Kibbee's user avatar
  • 21.8k
5 votes

What type of paint to use for a bike frame

Car paints will work fine, and car primers. There is one brand of paint that comes in rattle-cans and is specifically marketed for repainting bikes. You could get a powdercoating shop to lay down a ...
Adam Rice's user avatar
  • 30.1k
5 votes
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Is it okay to use acrylic paint on hydraulic shimano brake levers?

Painting a bike properly is about 2% slapping on the paint. The vast bulk of the work is the preparation and is easily overlooked. But if you skip the prep, your paint job will fail quickly. Any ...
Criggie's user avatar
  • 127k
5 votes
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Worried about chip in carbon road bike frame

The damaged area initially appears large and shallow and within the clearcoat only but there are clearly scratches into the first layer of resin. We can't see any trace of loose fibres yet, or they'...
Criggie's user avatar
  • 127k
5 votes
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How to remove deep scratches from Shimano Dura-Ace crank?

One problem is that the crankset is anodized black. Strictly speaking, anodization is when we use electric current to change the thickness of the oxide layer at the surface of a metal like aluminum. ...
Weiwen Ng's user avatar
  • 32.8k
4 votes
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How do I degloss my shiny bike?

If you really want to paint it, you can try to wetsand it to remove the clear coat, and then refinish it with some matt finish clear coat. This is a risky move if you're not experienced with painting ...
mtdp's user avatar
  • 301
4 votes
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painting a machined rim

I've had many sets of painted rims. All of them were painted by a professional whose day job was cars. I have no idea what the prep and such involved was, but all of them looked great until I ...
Deleted User's user avatar
4 votes

Cracks in paint on aluminum frame

I believe the cracks are just in the paint, not the alloy. Only the white paint is cracked, not the black, the cracks are evenly spaced and run in all directions rather than the single direction a ...
Argenti Apparatus's user avatar
4 votes

Paintjobs Colors

Just as an FYI Testors model paint is a good option. I have used it on my bike and was able to match every color on my Trek (Dnister Black - Testors Graphite Black Metallic, Viper Red - Testors Gloss ...
Tude Productions's user avatar
4 votes

Paint bicycle keeping stickers

To repaint metal, you'll have to strip the current coating. This means you'll have to remove the stickers as well. It is unreasonable to attempt to reuse them, just as it would be silly (or at least ...
Grigory Rechistov's user avatar

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