Tuesday, July 28, 2020

RacerX Bike Maintenance Tutorial Edition 1: Bike Painting!!

So since not too many of us have been doing any rad rides, other than shredding Willowdale of course, the RacerX site has been hurting for content.  I thought I'd do a post showing how I repainted the rear triangle of one of my mountain bikes.  It was a fun project that only required hex wrenches, sand paper, masking tape and a bike specific spray paint called SprayBike.  It came out really well, and I'm tempted to do my cyclocross bike as the paint on that has seen better days.

The backstory:  My Trek Fuel EX was my first mountain bike, which I got about 4 years ago, and since it was my first MTB, it has been crashed a bunch and the paint of the rear triangle has definitely seen better days.  For some reason, my old MTB/CX shoes allowed a ton of float and my heels could rub on the seat and chain stays and over time a ton of paint had come off, to the point it was down to bare metal in some spots.



The non-drive side looked just as bad
First step was to disassemble, I wasn't planning on doing the whole bike, and it gave me the opportunity to clean and lube the linkage.  Turns out it needed a few bearing replaced as well, so I killed a few birds with one stone



A few shots of what I was dealing with after disassembly
Step 2 was surface prep.  Anyone who's done any painting knows that your prep work will largely dictate how your job comes out.  So I started with some 80 grit sandpaper to the spots that were especially bad to strip off the paint.  In some spots I had to go all the way to the metal.  I then wet sanded the entire thing with 300 grit paper.  This was probably the most time consuming part of the project, but also probably the most important for a good finish.  I think if I were doing a carbon frame I wouldn't use the 80 grit, probably only something like the 300 or finer.


Post sanding

Next was priming.  SprayBike makes a specific primer, but due to COVID they did not have any in stock and apparently it is made in Greece.  So they advised me to use Rustoleum metal primer which worked fine.  I will say though, the Rustoleum is an inferior product to the the SprayBike (which is essentially a very high quality spray paint).  The primer dripped and ran in spots requiring some touch up sanding.

I initially ordered a silver/grey color of paint but the color match with the rest of the frame was terrible.  However, I was super impressed with how easy the SprayBike was to use.  No drips, runs, etc.  If you've ever used spray paint you know how drippy it can be.  So the first color "Marleyborne" would act as a second coat of primer.  I then ordered a can of a shade of blue that looked like it would match the accents on the front triangle.  This second can fortunately hit the spot.


The blue was a great match for my bike, the tarp, and my Park Tools stand

So I won't bore you with the details of the reassembly but here is the finished product:



Should have took a close up, but the finish is great.  My only concern is if the finish is going to hold up.  They make a clear coat as well, but that wasn't available.  I took a ride today where it got wet and muddy and so far so good.  The stuff is about $18 a can and they charge you quite a bit to ship it, but a can is enough to do a whole frame according to the company.  Some people have done some pretty cool designs with it, check out the website at:  https///spraybike.us  

Hope everyone enjoyed that, it was a fun little project and I don't have any super gnarly rides to report on...stay safe out there, hopefully we can have a RacerX social outside sometime soon.

-Jeff