Powder Coating vs. Painting

As Project Regina continues, I’m now faced with a conundrum. In my efforts to build the bike of my dreams, one of the things I’m planning to do is have her painted in a lovely matte blue, pretty much the same colour as the Pinnacle Arkose 2 women’s bike that I have the hots for, purely for aesthetic reasons.

I figured powder coating was the way forward, because it’s cheap and it gives pretty good results. Plus I know of a few Bristol cyclists who have recommended a place near where I live. I popped in there to chat about possible options and I’ve been left with more questions than answers.

Powder coating involves exposing the frame and forks to extremely high temperatures, and if I go ahead with my plan to replace the aluminium forks with carbon ones, that means I need to look at painting options as well. Also, with powder coating I’m limited to the RAL palette available at the workshop, and while there was one that was fairly similar to the blue I’m after, it wasn’t spot on and there’s no flexibility to customise it.

I spoke to the guy at the paint shop on the same complex, and he’s able to mix custom colours. He can also add my Orange graphics back in, and once he showed me an example of their work, I was in love. If I’m going to build the bike of my dreams, I want it done well. But this is extremely costly.

So my current options are:

  1. Have the frame powder coated and the carbon forks painted, and hope the colours match (budget-friendly but risky)
  2. Have the whole frame painted and awesome graphics work added (very expensive but looks amazing)
  3. Don’t swap the forks for carbon, and have the whole thing powder coated (cheapest option but means bumpier rides)

Oh… what to do?


3 Replies to “Powder Coating vs. Painting”

  1. A good paint job will definitely cost you. I had my Trek 5200 painted at the bike shop and it only cost me $400 (the whole bike is CF).

    If I was in your spot, and knowing what I do about steel and aluminum forks, a carbon fork would be a must. Period, end of story. You can fix a lot of “bumpy” with 25 or 28 mm tires and lower air pressure though.

    Perhaps this might help: I got lucky with my Venge, the paint job is AWESOME. Every time I walk by that bike, I’m happy I bought it. Every time I ride it, I feel lucky to own it. Looks have a lot to do with my enjoyment of that bike.

    My suggestion would be this: Make it so every time you walk by it, you’re like “Aw yeah, $240 worth of pudding.”

    It’s worth every penny.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oven baking powder coat is around the 200C mark which isn’t hot enough to undo the frames heat treatment. I would suggest keeping the alloy forks. If/when you buy the carbon forks take the bike to a paint shop where they can scan the colour of the powder coat result directly from the frame, to custom mix the small amount of paint for the fork to match perfectly.

    When asked why you have no decals say you are between sponsors! This will also bevery likely drop the thief interest in the bike considerably.


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