This was a interesting project. Jaime, a friend of mine, contacted me about rebuilding a bike for herself. She was impressed with some of the work we have done in the past and was really excited to have a rebuild of her own. After getting Jaime’s specifications set, I had two frames that she could choose from. A red hybrid/road Univega frame and a maroon Spaulding Blade. The bike was to be rebuilt to be trail friendly so thats why we initially thought of the Univega seen below:
After showing her the frame she was less than thrilled. After probing a bit, I understood that she wanted a frame with more of a traditional geometry. The Spaulding would have been the next option but I quickly remembered we had a frame that had recently been powdercoated at J&J Powdercoating in Zion, Il. The frame was initially brought there to be powdercoated copper for a project that was cancelled. After explaining what the color of the frame would look like, Jaime was on board and the next step was to make the trip up to Zion to retrieve the frame. When we finally did, we realized that the color was not copper at all, but actually a very mute brown almost resembling woman’s makeup foundation:
We were a bit confused because we were expecting a metallic copper color but I guess my father told the powdercoater to “get it as close to copper as possible”…which is not copper at all. If we wanted an actual copper color it would have cost us extra but it would have been copper, not that. The actual job was extremely well done though, but it just wasnt copper. There really was no flaws aside from the simple misunderstanding, on our end. We contacted the powdercoater who understood the issue and offered to shoot the frame black for $30, which we have yet been able to jump on.
I went ahead and showed Jaime the frame and she obviously didnt like it, which was understandable. She was expecting copper, like me, and that frame obviously wasnt. I felt bad for psyching her up for a freshly powdercoated frame and not being able to provide one, so I bought a World Sport that was in her size that was in dire need attention. Here it is:
Conveniently enough, I saw an ad on Craigslist for a couple of powdercoaters out of Crystal Lake who were willing to do bicycle frames. I spoke with Chris, one of the owners there and got to know a bit more about their operation. It worked out well because rather than driving an hour to Zion I was able to head up to Crystal Lake and more importantly, Jaime could come along and select a color. Jaime, her boyfriend Ryan, and I met up at Contagious Customs where met Chris & Chris, the owners. Jaime was able to select a color which was great and saved me from selecting the wrong color option. We left the frame there and it was ready a few days after.
By that time, we had all the components for her bike gathered and it was just a matter of assembling the bike. I made the trip out and was very impressed with the finished product:
You cant really tell but there is quite a bit of sparkle action going on and this color looks stunning under the sun.
When we finally brought the frame home and as I was hand tightening the bottom bracket cup, I noticed the cups werent staying in place. I soon realized that the threading was painted over. There was quite a bit of overspray. I was upset because I wanted to get the build situated and to Jaime but had to deal with this issue. It undoubtedly happened because the area wasnt masked properly, allowing paint to leak in. The brown World we had powdercoated at J&J did not have that problem. I had to take the frame to The Bicycle Garage, a LBS and had the oversprayed area re-threaded. After that, the cups were secure and the we wrapped the bike up quickly. Here she is:
The bike looks wonderful put together. It definitely puts a smile on your face.
We used another one of Pancho’s cool reupholstered saddles, matching cork wrap, and a mix of Japanese components. The gears shift like water and the bike rides elegantly.
Jaime was extremely pleased when I brought her and Ryan the bike. Im just glad she got something she really wanted and didnt have to settle with the Univega or something she was just content with.
This build really got me excited for more powdercoated/custom builds this year. Great build to kick start spring.