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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Repainting a carbon fiber frame ?

    I wouldn't attempt to do this myself, but
    -Is it easy to find a shop that would do this (repaint a carbon fiber frame)?
    - How expensive would this be?
    -Could a new coat of paint be placed directly over the old paint with no special preparation work to the frame?
    -Could new decals be acquired from the manufacturer? The old one would obviously be painted over.

    Thanks for any insight into this strange request

    Ken

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    painting ove the frame

    I'm sure that you could easily paint with almost any process short of powder coating (because of the heat involved) if you wanted to paint over the existing top coat. You may be adding a certian amount of weight which you may or may not want to do. For that reason I'm thinking it would be best to send to the manufacturer. As far as decals go, some manufacturers will sell you decals, and some you can buy on eBay. You would want to research this before any project.
    That's my input. I have repainted several frames.

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Anything special about painting over carbon fiber versus any other material?
    Ken

    My Bike:
    Kuoto Kharma 08
    Claimed frame weight: 1260g (16.5 lbs)
    Frame: Kuota carbon fiber
    Frame sizes: L/55
    Fork: Kuota
    Component group: Shimano 105
    Cranks: Shimano 105
    Wheels: American Classic 420
    Tyres: Michelin Pro Race
    Saddle: Sella Italia
    Seat post: Kuota
    Handlebar: Kuota carbon
    Stem: Kuota Pro Carbon
    Headset: Integrated

  4. #4
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    "I'm sure that you could easily paint with almost any process short of powder coating (because of the heat involved)"

    They may be able to powdercoat a carbon frame regardless of the heat and the reason I say this is that the way a frame is made is that the components of the frame are made by laying up these subassemblies and curing them in an autoclave which applies both heat and pressure then they are fabricated together into a complete frame. The resins used are designed to cure at high temporature so that the final product is stable up to the temp they were cured at. The trick is to find out what temp they were cured at. I agree that painting is probably the best way to go but it may not be the only way.

  5. #5
    Defender of Freedom...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sefie
    I wouldn't attempt to do this myself, but
    -Is it easy to find a shop that would do this (repaint a carbon fiber frame)?
    - How expensive would this be?
    -Could a new coat of paint be placed directly over the old paint with no special preparation work to the frame?
    -Could new decals be acquired from the manufacturer? The old one would obviously be painted over.

    Thanks for any insight into this strange request

    Ken
    Almost any bicycle painter (Calfee, Ruegamer, Airglow, Specrum, Joe's Bicycle painting,etc..) will be able to not only paint but either reproduce or aquire factory logos for you. Most will also design custom logos if you choose. As for weight, the few who I've spoken with charge extra prep to remove the old finish down to the nude carbon. It has to be done by hand so it can add up to $150 to the final refinish cost. Many will just go don to a reasonable level so that the old decals can be removed. That's been my experience...
    It never gets easier. You just go faster. Greg LeMond

  6. #6
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    You could also check with a few local motorcycle shops. Any painter who does motorcycles should be able to do decent work on a bike frame. You will need to sand it with a fine grit sandpaper to give the new paint a good surface to stick to. Also, you should sand the decals so the old decals don't leave a raised portion under the new paint. Some of the local print shops may be able to cut some custom vinyl decals for you, though they will only be single color, with no borders. The nice thing about this option is that you can choose from dozens of lettering styles for a unique look.

  7. #7
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    thanks for the feedback, but should a carbon fiber frame really be sanded?
    Ken

    My Bike:
    Kuoto Kharma 08
    Claimed frame weight: 1260g (16.5 lbs)
    Frame: Kuota carbon fiber
    Frame sizes: L/55
    Fork: Kuota
    Component group: Shimano 105
    Cranks: Shimano 105
    Wheels: American Classic 420
    Tyres: Michelin Pro Race
    Saddle: Sella Italia
    Seat post: Kuota
    Handlebar: Kuota carbon
    Stem: Kuota Pro Carbon
    Headset: Integrated

  8. #8
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eisentraut
    "I'm sure that you could easily paint with almost any process short of powder coating (because of the heat involved)"

    They may be able to powdercoat a carbon frame regardless of the heat and the reason I say this is that the way a frame is made is that the components of the frame are made by laying up these subassemblies and curing them in an autoclave which applies both heat and pressure then they are fabricated together into a complete frame. The resins used are designed to cure at high temporature so that the final product is stable up to the temp they were cured at. The trick is to find out what temp they were cured at. I agree that painting is probably the best way to go but it may not be the only way.
    Once the CF is cured it is definitely not supposed to be brought back to the curing
    tempurature, since the resins have been cured via the original process and any
    additional high (350 degree) exposure could only weaken the structure. Or to put
    it another way, not with my frame you don't!
    All I said was that our son, the apple of our three eyes, Martha being a cyclops, our son is a beanbag, and you get testy!

  9. #9
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sefie
    thanks for the feedback, but should a carbon fiber frame really be sanded?
    The key here is not to sand the carbon fiber, but rather to sand the paint. If you have a frame that has a decorative carbon fiber weave look and then clear coat, you would want to just roughen up the clear coat, prime and then paint. My understanding is that the fancy looking carbon weave is just cosmetic, but I would still be careful not to disturb it.

  10. #10
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    No question, thats why I said that painting is pprobably the best way to go.

  11. #11
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    I have a Cannondale Six 13 frame and want to change the color. The top tube and down tube are carbon, the head tube and rear triangle are aluminum. Does any one know of a shop where I can take this to get refinished? I live in Orange County CA.

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