Like other types of powder coating, the bicycle powder coating process happens in three major steps: preparation of the metal, the application of the powder, and the curing process. The most important step in bicycle powder coating may be the preparation process; all lubes, grease, dirt, grime, and other materials must be cleaned entirely off the frame before the powder coating can be properly applied. If the bike is used, this job may take quite a while and should be done with a citrus degreaser that can remove tough grease and lube. Without this step, bicycle powder coating cannot be done properly.
All the components of the bicycle must be removed for powder coating. This makes cleaning lubes and grease off the frame much easier, and it prevents other parts of the bicycle from getting powder coated along with the frame. Once the bike is stripped down and cleaned, the next step in the bicycle powder coating process is the coating itself. One should be sure the frame is properly grounded to allow the positively-charged powder coating to adhere to the metal. If the frame is not grounded properly, the coating may not stick and the process cannot be completed correctly.
When curing, the frame must be heated to the proper temperature for the proper amount of time. If the person doing the bicycle powder coating is new to the process, he or she should be sure to research the requirements for the type of metal and the size of the piece. Consult a professional powder coating service for more information on properly curing. The curing must be done right to allow the powder that has adhered to the frame to flow and set properly. This will ensure a clean, even coat that is attractive and durable.
Once the bicycle powder coating process is complete, a few things must be done before reassembling the bicycle. The powder coating will have adhered to all surfaces of the frame that was exposed to the spray, which means the head tube of the bicycle as well as the bottom bracket tube will have powder coating in them. The powder coating must be removed from the insides of these areas so the bottom bracket and headset can be properly installed. A facing and chasing tool can be used to cut out the excess powder coat; the threads of the bottom bracket shell must be both chased and faced, while the head tube needs to be faced only.