Monday, April 4, 2011

Paint Removal Talk After an Honorable Mention

So after saying hello to people whose blogs I'd been following and informing them I'd started my own, I was given an honorable mention by Justine Valinotti, the author of Mid-Life Cycling blog. First, thanks. Second, some of the people who follow your blog, might not necessarily be the ones to jump on mine just yet. Their comments seemed a little concerned about bike choice and I think it's due to partly due to the highly modern look of the bike, therefore I will discuss how the paint is going to be removed safely so a new paint job can take place (even though it might be some time down the road)

In terms of the bikes current paint, the carbon fiber "look" on the carbon fiber seatpost and fork will probably remain, keeping a little of it's modern flare. From a distance it will look like black, up closer like carbon fiber. However, the red (which I'm not a fan of red at all) on the frame will be stripped and not by your ordinary chemical stripper. Inevitably, when chemicals are put on things, most of the time it will cause damage to other parts you don't wish to damage/remove, eat through materials, etc. It's probably toxic, you'd have to watch it like a hawk and would eat through carbon fiber epoxy in an instant.

Solution: leave it to the Canadians. They developed a non-toxic, environmentally friendly, won't eat through carbon fiber, doesn't need heat to function, removes paint simply by setting and waiting... rather than paint stripper and scrubbing. The product is called Carbo-Lift and can be ordered straight from their website. Fair warning though, it is pricey. The smallest amount you can buy is a half liter (500 mL) and should be enough to take care of a complete frame at $40. Yes, $40. If you're repainting carbon fiber this is entirely worth it since there really isn't much of an alternative other than turning it over to a bike shop. If you were paying attention to past posts you'll remember my frame is aluminum, but rather than paying for paint stripper, inhaling toxic fumes, sanding like crazy and hopefully removing paint from every nook and cranny after inhaling all that paint dust - I'd buy this, not to mention it won't damage the metal if it's not damaging carbon fiber. I'm not a hippie, but at the same time, I understand that this is probably more environmentally friendly as well as healthy to be around and saves me a lot of hard work, time and potential trouble. Plus after watching the following video it's really cool.

Before the video, if you're interested in what color the red will be replaced with, I'm not entirely sure. Three potential colors are a darker forest green, a dark blue or silver. Re-lettering is a serious possibility so people can still identify the bike (also in a custom cursive font). I'd shift the S-Works on the crossbar further back and add "Custom" after so people get the point. The colors of the text are too plentiful to describe, but will be discussed when a primary frame color is decided (Green+Cream, Blue+Silver, Silver+Black;etc). In the meantime, enjoy:


  1. What about abt the lugs? will it work as well on lugs?

    Pudgy Peddler

  2. Direct from the Carbolift site, what it works on:

    "Carbon fibre, Kevlar, s-glass, fibre glass, Titanium, Aluminum, Steel, and plastic automotive bumpers."

    As long as you're trying to pull the paint or the clear coat off of these materials, it should do the job. It works better at room temperature and will also work down to 2 degrees C, but much MUCH slower at this temperature. Obviously if you've got time, this isn't a problem. If it is, bring it indoors, it doesn't put off any gases and is non-toxic, and it'll work at regular speed. Hope that addresses the question?

  3. Abner: If I'm not mistaken, his bicycle doesn't have lugs. But I don't think that, for removing the paint, it should matter whether or not the bike has lugs. It's only on whatever details are applied, with or after the paint job, that the lugs or lack thereof is relevant.

  4. It's also possible his lugs are painted and he wants to change the color?


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