Frame Color Question

This is kind of directed towards UDC and Nimbus frames but it could apply to any manufacturer: Chrome is a really tough finish, there’s no question about that, but I’ve been wanting to switch out the chrome on my Muni to a powder coated olive drab. It would be a big production to have the chrome removed and sending it out to be painted would be a pretty big production so I am wondering if there are enough other people that would think that an olive drab frame would look good along with the knobby tires and black seat post, etc. Maybe if this would be a popular color, frame manufacturers would consider offering this color option. Ya, I bet if I called UDC it wouldn’t be much of a trick to get an bare Muni frame or have it custom powder coated but it seems like it may be a good finish option for them to offer for other frames too. Thank you.

sounds cool, and that would be a huge project to get all the chrome off to bare metal

And pretty expensive too if it had to be done by sending it to a plating company to strip the chrome off of it. I’m going to call on Monday to see if it’s possible to get a bare frame or if they can get it powder coated in another color. Forest green would be cool too. Thank you.

yea plating would cost alot for a uni frame …good luck

Or “unplating” to be able to paint… How about this: because people have different tastes. A manufacturer pulls a certain percentage of frames of the line before painting or plating. Then hooks up with a good paint shop, and offers their standard finishes, but also a line of custom colors with a wide range of different color schemes. A good paint shop does small powder coating jobs. Maybe the majority of people are satisfied with what colors are currently available on different frames.

No biggy, if there isn’t much a response to this idea, that’s cool. I’m just thinking if people want to see more choices, and if there’s enough interest maybe some of the companies building unis may want to try offering either unpainted bare frames or go as far as hooking up with a paint shop and offing more variety. Thank you.

If you knew what you here doing you could ‘reverse plate’ it. But you would have to know the correct chemicals to do it.

Couldnt you just powdercoat over the chrome? I’m pretty sure I’ve been told thats what Bedford does.

yes yes, reverse plating sounds a lot better than “unplating”. The chemicals used are pretty scary but there are a bunch of plating companies out there that do stuff… It would be worth it to check around. The only experience I had with powder coating over chrome was when I shortened the springs on my chooper/rat bike to slam it and then powder coated them black. The powder coating is ok, but it scratches off way too easily. The nice thing is that maybe it’s possible to buy frames from different companies that are unfinished, and that would make things easier. I’m crossing my fingers that UDC will say I can buy some raw frames so I can send them to the pant shop and do a bunch at once. Maybe some Nimbus trials frames to start with.

Painting chrome

Well, Buying unfinished frames isn’t an option, but I found good instructions for prepping chrome for painting:

  1. Rough it up by lightly sandblasting. Fine grit emery cloth would probably work.
  2. Follow that with a two part zinc phosphate primer such as Dupont #615 and
  3. Follow that with a urethane primer, followed by the finish painting.

Chrome can be stripped chemically but that isn’t a safe option for

Portions of the chrome could be left intact to make interesting patterns… Shades of the old Husqvarna gas tanks.

I’m pretty sure those frames are manufactured in Taiwan or somewhere in Asia. That means large batches and probably no chance for custom orders unless they’re in large numbers as well, which pretty much un-customizes them.

For products being made in smaller numbers and/or by people you can get in direct contact with, it should be much easier to arrange for custom jobs.

Yup, you’re right. They ship the Nimbus frames by the case from those far away lands, and there isn’t really any way to pick them up any other way than finished one at a time. Since it never hurts to “chase windmills” once in a while, plan B is to track down the actual manufacturer of Nimbus frames. I like them because it’s easy to see that the quality of fabrication is top notch and they are relatively inexpensive. It’s conceivable that the actual factory is contracted by other firms to build frames and I’m hoping that it would be possible to buy these styles of frames unpainted or sans chrome by the case through a broker. maybe it’s a dumb idea, but it wouldn’t be the first time. I figger since I already have product liability insurance, a registered business etc, along with a friend that’s a great wheel builder and fabricator that wants to build a paint room in his maintenance garage, there’s a slim chance we could buy components at wholesale and offer small numbers of custom unis. Never hurts to try.

i’ev been look into heat shrinking mine or geting it rubberized both would be much easyer and tougher than powder

Could always get it coated with Line-X. They use it on truck beds.

Am I missing something here? They sell a powdercoated black frame - fairly straightforward to get the existing paint on one of those stripped and repainted if you want a custom paint job - almost certainly a lot cheaper that way than trying to get an unpainted one.


Why are we resurrecting a post thats been inactive for almost 4 years?