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Discussion Starter #1
So I'm thinking about powder coating my wheels. I know I need to remove the tires (duh) and the bearings from the wheels. What tools do I need to do this, and is it possible without buying any specialized equipment? Any help from someone who's done this is appreciated. Thanks
 

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i did mine last year, except "I" didnt actually do anything. I took it into a shop and told them to break it down for me. They removed the wheels and stored my bike for a week and half, while i had them getting powdercoated all for something like a hundred dollars. Sounds kinda expensive, but i recommend it considering I didnt screw with balancing or anything or pressing the bearings out. If you wanna make up for the cost youll spend on this, try getting them powdercoated at a place that doesnt necessarily specialize in wheels and usually the price will be alot cheaper, theyre just wheels, and im guessing your getting em one color, kinda hard to screw up for someone whose been powdercoating for awhile.
 

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Removing the bearings is a lot easier if you use the right tool for the job. You'll be less likely to damage the bearings, too. I used a heat gun to get the wheels nice and toasty, then a bearing-puller to finish the job.

On some bikes, the spacer has a notch so you can fit a drift in from the other side to knock the bearing out, but I didn't see anything like that on my '02.
 

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(SNIP)...while i had them getting powdercoated all for something like a hundred dollars. Sounds kinda expensive, (SNIP) If you wanna make up for the cost youll spend on this, try getting them powdercoated at a place that doesnt necessarily specialize in wheels and usually the price will be alot cheaper, theyre just wheels, and im guessing your getting em one color, kinda hard to screw up for someone whose been powdercoating for awhile.
If you mean $100 for coating both wheels - that's cheap.

Most wheels (single stage, no clear) are in the $75 each range from a good custom coater. Proper prep (media blasting, chemical conversion coat) is key to getting the desired durability from powder coating.

"Cheap" shops will most likely do 2 things differently. First, not stripping the wheel before coating. Usually this is a bad idea. Stock cycle wheels may or may not be powder coated, some are painted. Coating over a weak finish will give you problems later, especially when changing tires. But hey - it's quick and cheap, and looks just fine for a while.

Second, running it through a conveyor line. A conveyor line moves the parts through a stationary system that usually includes a washer, dryer, coating area, and oven. Many different size and weight parts may be run through together. The problem is that the speed of the line is set, and not adjusted individually for each part. This is a problem in the cure stage (oven). Wheels will take a lot longer than something like steel shelving or small thin brackets to come up to proper cure temp, and powder needs a specific time at its cure temp to fully cure. Expect problems with durability when powder is "under-cured". Again, you can't tell proper cure by looking, so it looks just fine for a while...

It takes careful monitoring of part temp and proper cure time to get good results that last. Custom coaters use a "batch oven", not a converor system, to have control of proper cure.

Best thing to do is get it done right by someone familiar with custom coating.


Jay
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for all the advice. I'll be sure to look into everything you all suggested when it comes time. Definitely don't want to pay too much, but I definitely want a quality job.
 
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