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How to custom paint a bike

stu_kawagoe

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Jun 23, 2018
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I’ve been trying to learn tidy up the paint job on my bike recently and this popped up on my YouTube. I’m not in love with the design but the workmanship/attention to detail is outstanding. Looks to be a Japanese dude who makes his bones spraying motorbikes. Anyway, enjoy...

 

Gunjira

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Oct 2, 2009
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What does custom paint even mean? If it doesn’t happen at the factory, pretty much all bikes are custom painted. Unless the frame builders look to establish a certain image or doesn’t like to deal with pesky customers. There are some excellent paintshops in Japan. Cook might be the best and is chosen by top builders such as Equilibrium.
Once it’s your spot in the order queue, working with Chino-San was very constructive. Check them out:
https://www.instagram.com/COOKPAINTWORKS/#
 

stu_kawagoe

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Jun 23, 2018
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What does custom paint even mean? If it doesn’t happen at the factory, pretty much all bikes are custom painted. Unless the frame builders look to establish a certain image or doesn’t like to deal with pesky customers. There are some excellent paintshops in Japan. Cook might be the best and is chosen by top builders such as Equilibrium.
Once it’s your spot in the order queue, working with Chino-San was very constructive. Check them out:
https://www.instagram.com/COOKPAINTWORKS/#
I always thought custom painting just meant you choose what you want and they do it for you. I’m not in the market to get a custom paint job right now. I just thought it was interesting to share what this Japanese guy did. It’s also interesting that his background is in motorbike fuel tanks.

At the moment, I’m mainly interested in cleaning my frame and polishing out the scratches and touching up some of the paint chips, which is an interesting process to learn about. I’m making mistakes but my bike is no oil painting so it’s nice learning on the job. Eventually I’ll strip all the paint off and get the bike painted professionally😀

Incidentally, I did look at Cook Paintworks. Seems very similar to Above Bike but from what I remember the prices are a little higher and the wait list is a little longer! I’m sure the quality is top-notch tho. Other than those two, however, I haven’t found any other places doing frames in Saitama - I may well just be looking in the wrong place.

Edit - I do see now what you mean about the title. Kind of a mind bender that I didn’t really think about when I was copying it from the YouTube vid (translation issue perhaps). Best not to think too hard about it😆
 
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stu_kawagoe

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Jun 23, 2018
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I noticed the new Dogma has a red/black fade in Team Ineos colors and it reminded me of this video. The guy achieves a very similar effect (and gives a short explanation of how he does it) with a Dogma but using Rapha Cycling Club colors. Kind of nice.
 

OreoCookie

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Dec 2, 2017
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The boss of our team has had his Spec Venge S-Works painted. It cost him between 200,00-250,00 ¥, and I am not sure whether this includes the design work. That’s more than I paid for my last bike. But I gotta say, the bike looks like it is his. Let’s see how long it takes for him to get his second bike painted (a Shimano demo bike he got for a good price, basically a Canyon Aeroad Disc painted in all-white).
 

stu_kawagoe

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Jun 23, 2018
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It cost him between 200,00-250,00 ¥, and I am not sure whether this includes the design work.

It would be interesting to know how they came up with that price. I can only imagine the amount of detailing (and labour hours) that went into it.
 

OreoCookie

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Dec 2, 2017
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It would be interesting to know how they came up with that price. I can only imagine the amount of detailing (and labour hours) that went into it.
The paint job is crazy: it is not something where one color blends into another but rather a collage of all sorts of different things, including his motto (which is in French, he lived in Paris for three years) and the obligatory Michelin Man (to represent his star).
 

OneForTheRoad

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Jan 3, 2021
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Does anyone knows if the cookpaint works is still open? Most of the links on their website is returning 404 and their SNS accounts haven’t been updated in ages.

Or is there any other bike painting shop in Tokyo or surrounding area? I’m considering buying a used frame, but only if I could get it repainted.
 

Trek DJ

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Jan 27, 2009
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I am pretty sure Cook is still open. He is probably busy enough with backorders to not really need a public facing website. If its a 1-2 person shop, trying to manage SNS/social media can be a huge time suck. I see they have an IG account, but last update was quite a while ago.

I believe he did my friends Moots. While its a shame to paint a Ti bike (rear triangle is still raw) the paintwork is impeccable.

IMG_1010.JPG
 

OreoCookie

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Dec 2, 2017
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I don't want to hijack the thread, but does anyone know whether it is feasible to fix bubbles below the paint? I ordered my new road bike during the bike shortage and my LBS organized a RTP frame for me. One perk is that they were able to paint my frame in a custom color.

There is a cable port behind the steerer tube, and three bubbles have formed. My LBS basically said “仕方がない。” (Well, they could pop the bubbles, sand it down, put primer no it, but then it wouldn't look nice.)

IMG_0496.jpeg

One of the bubbles, the one in the middle, has gotten about as big as the others. Now I know the culprit is corrosion from sweat. But it is a bike, and sweat is simply a fact of life. (Although I apparently have very corrosive sweat, I almost killed my last Shimano mechanical STI levers, and my Force levers need to be replaced, too, as the motion sensor has short circuited 😅)
 

OneForTheRoad

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Jan 3, 2021
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As an update, "Above Bike" doesn't do painting on bikes that are not purchased from them. What a bummer.
So, it seems that the only option in the whole Kanto area is the cook paint works, which is knid of weird. (I only know another shop in Kobe)

If someone has talent for bike painting, it seems that there is a huge demand for it and a market to be explored.

Thanks @Trek DJ ! That is reassuring.

In the meantime, I found this other shop https://www.abovebike.com/. It seems they mostly do custom builds, but their IG account also says they do custom paintings.
I will give them a call if I decide to proceed with this project.
 

Trek DJ

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Jan 27, 2009
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@Oreo, You can have those repainted, a skilled painter should be able to do it relatively easily.
They will need to sand down a bit around the bubbles to the base coat/then carbon, and repainted over that.
The difficult thing will be making sure it matches well when repainted in that area.

For something like that I would take it to an auto repair shop...even an RC car painter etc could do the work with some time/TLC and an airbrush.
My previous company would pay ~25,000-30,000 I would estimate for small repairs like that to a local bodyshop repair guy.
 

OreoCookie

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I got to pick the Pantone color when I selected my paint job. Not sure if I have that lying around somewhere. At the time I paid 25,000 ¥ for the paint job (yellow + clear coated carbon and some black paint for the wheel arch).

I like your idea to ask an RC car painter, I'm passing an RC shop on one of my loops and I might ask the people in the store. Thanks for your suggestion!
 

microcord

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Aug 28, 2012
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Not many years ago, Above Bike repainted a frame that I'd bought off Yahoo Auction. At that time, there was no mention of "Normally we only do this for frames that we've sold". NB wherever you go the basic price is likely to be palatable; but if, like me, you go for one or two enticing extras, the price will soon shoot up. Also, the paintwork will be delicate.

I'm now interested in powdercoating. Famously, this is much more robust than regular painting, even if it's not so pretty. But just recently I was reading -- sorry, I forget where -- that car body shops' powdercoating skills don't translate well to powdercoating of narrow tubes.
 

Chuck

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Feb 7, 2011
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I took my old Panasonic in for a paint job at Above Bike Store last year. No luck. Didn't give a reason, but they look seriously booked up. Cool shop though.
 
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