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The Brutally Handsome
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm planning to have my Bontrager repainted but before I get too involved I have a few questions:

First, were Santa Cruz Bontragers originally powdercoated or wet-painted? I thought they were powdercoated but the bicycle painter I spoke with said it was likely a wet-paint and that powdercoat cost more to remove because he would have to melt if off.

Second, if the frame has been powdercoated and I do not wish to pay an additional fee, is there a good way to remove the paint? In the past, I have had good luck with Jasco stripper but it's pretty nasty stuff. Any other effect method?

Third, there seems to be a nice coat of rust inside the tubes and in various places on the outside of the frame. Nothing seems concerning but I would like to clean it up and have decided to try an oxalic acid bath. I'm currently testing it with the bb shell of an old ritchey frame and after only a couple hours the superficial outside rust seems to be coming right off, but the rust inside the tubes seems to be more difficult. I guess I'm wondering if I should just focus on removing the external rust or is it worth working on cleaning the inside of the tubes as well?

Sorry for all the questions, hopefully some of you have been through this process enough times to have some advice. Thanks!
 

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Yep, definitely powder coated. And that frame looks really small, and appears to be missing a top tube and dropouts. :(
 

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i had my Bonty Race stripped of its original powdercoat and then re-powdered a sparkly orange (with clear powder on top). Came out beautifully. The old powdercoat finish is just blasted off with sand-blasting or similar; any powder place will do that. I can't recall exactly what the job cost me, but I want to say in the neighborhood of ~$200 or so, maybe less. They did the fork, too.

 

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I made them myself using a vinyl cutting machine I have. The letters are actually cut-outs, showing the paint underneath. Simple way to get a second "color" into the decal.

If you need an original set of decals (in any colorway you want), you can get exact replacements from user "gil_m' over on retrobike.
 

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Stokeless Asshat
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You do not use heat to remove powder coating. You use a media blaster with the correct size media
Plus you take it to a painter that has plenty of experience with bikes. Do your research first. Get recommendations from shops, builders ect. During blasting it's not only possible but probable they will ruin your frame if they don't know what they're doing. I had a frame done by a local hot rod shop that was blasted so hard the headset cups and seat post just drop right in now.
 

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You do not use heat to remove powder coating. You use a media blaster with the correct size media
I wouldn't use blast media or heat at to remove the powder coat from thin wall steel bicycle tubes. I had Tim Sanner of Sanner Cycles re-powder coat my Bontrager Race when he was still building in California. He and S&S powder coating both use an environmentally friendly solvent that dissolves the powder coat, leaving the tubes undamaged.

Tim is a super nice guy and would likely tell you what secret sauce he used:

Sanner Cycles
 

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i had my Bonty Race stripped of its original powdercoat and then re-powdered a sparkly orange (with clear powder on top). Came out beautifully. The old powdercoat finish is just blasted off with sand-blasting or similar; any powder place will do that. I can't recall exactly what the job cost me, but I want to say in the neighborhood of ~$200 or so, maybe less. They did the fork, too.

Looks great - I had mine stripped and re-powdercoated a while back, and just picked up some decals - Any tips on applying them?
 

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Looks great - I had mine stripped and re-powdercoated a while back, and just picked up some decals - Any tips on applying them?
I just marked the centerline of the frame tubes with a fine sharpie and drew a length of line about where the ends of the decals would be. I used the lines as a guide to place the ends of the decals on the lines. That's basically about it. Your decals should have come with a carrier sheet on top of the actual decals so you can apply them and rub them down once they are in place.
 

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Dumpster Diver
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Maas Bros. in California. They do/did many local frame builder's powdering such as Sycip, Ventana, Steelman, Kelly and Rock Lobster to name a few. They can either blast or dip depending on what you'd like. The dipping method removes rust as well and after you get your frame back, you can use frame saver in the tubes.

I've removed many powdercoats using Jasco.
 

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The Brutally Handsome
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
What color are you looking to go with?
I want to keep the rasta theme, so I would like to match the original dark green as closely as possible. I also need it to match the trim on the replacement decals I have. I hope that's not too tall an order.

On a related note, I will need to rebuild the wheels, and was thinking about using these old vantage comp rims. They are practically new, any reason I shouldn't use them?
 

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I have a 91 OR and the original finish is definitely powder coat. I have considered getting mine re-powder-coated but the riveted and bonded alloy top-tube cable guides present an issue in getting this done. Even if you get the old finish off with no ill affect, the new powder coat has to be baked-on with a pretty high temp and I am thinking this would not be a good thing for the bonded bits. Anyone have any specific experience with re-finishing the older OR frames?
 

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I have a 91 OR and the original finish is definitely powder coat. I have considered getting mine re-powder-coated but the riveted and bonded alloy top-tube cable guides present an issue in getting this done. Even if you get the old finish off with no ill affect, the new powder coat has to be baked-on with a pretty high temp and I am thinking this would not be a good thing for the bonded bits. Anyone have any specific experience with re-finishing the older OR frames?
Oops. just noticed that you were talking about cable tube guides and not water bottle cage bosses. I'm just going to leave this up as a resource inc are anyone needs help with the water bottle bosses on regular Races and Racelites...

They are called rivets and are actually riveted in with a special tool, not chemically bonded. The heat necessary to cure the powder coat will not affect the bond. The rivets are anodized black, not painted, so if your are really anal about the restore, you could drill the rivnuts out prior to the powdercoating process and then reinstall new ones with the specialty tool after the process is complete

I decided it was not worth the effort and just had them painted along with the frame (which is part of the reason I chose black as the powder coat color...that and it makes the bike look slimmer;))
 
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