PAINT MY BIKE, RESTORING MEM­O­RIES

CRE­AT­ING DREAMS AT PAINT MY BIKE

Australian Mountain Bike - - Contents - WORDS AND IM­AGES: MIKE BLEWITT

Paint My Bike are known for high qual­ity frame re­pairs and paint­ing, but it’s not un­til you work on a pro­ject with them that you see their pur­suit of per­fec­tion.

“Just send it to Paint My Bike, they can fix that.”

Have you heard some­one say that be­fore? Whether it’s for a scratch, a dam­aged swing arm or main tube, or even for a new paint job, chances are some­one you know has had their bike – or part of it – re­stored at the Paint My Bike work­shop in Sal­is­bury, south east Queens­land, which was set up by Gary McDon­ald, and re­cently brought into the FE Sports fam­ily.

As moun­tain bik­ers we’ve come to ex­pect a lot. Our bikes should be light, long travel, strong, stiff and good value. With en­gi­neers and de­sign teams push­ing the lim­its of what is pos­si­ble with ma­te­ri­als, be they an al­loy, ti­ta­nium or car­bon fi­bre, things can go wrong. And maybe its your own lim­its that have been ex­ceeded caus­ing some frame da­m­age, even just to the paint. We have all seen the hor­ror sto­ries on so­cial me­dia, of bikes with bro­ken main tubes, head tubes torn off, smashed swing arms, or the clas­sic road bike into the car­port roof move. And while not ev­ery­thing can be sal­vaged, Paint My Bike have built a rep­u­ta­tion for get­ting dam­aged bikes on the road or trail again, and breath­ing a new life into a rid­ers’ pride and joy.

It is easy to think car­bon bikes can’t be re­paired, that they are a part of a throw­away cul­ture along with out­dated mo­bile phones and a pen­chant for take­away cof­fee cups. But it is re­fresh­ing to know ex­actly what is pos­si­ble for both frame and paint re­pair. Some­thing that I have long been cu­ri­ous

about with my own dam­aged frame shelved for a re­pair ‘one day’.

Sasha Har­vey is the man­ager at Paint My Bike, and is show­ing me around the of­fice and work­shop when I’ve gone in with my bro­ken dream to get re­paired and painted. I’ve come in with my older full-sus­pen­sion frame, which has cracked around the press fit bot­tom bracket shell, un­der com­pres­sion. The tech­ni­cian takes a look, and gives it a nod that it shouldn’t be a prob­lem.

“Our com­pos­ite tech­ni­cian’s qual­i­fi­ca­tions are way be­yond what we of­fer” Sasha states when I ask what sort of re­pair might be too hard. “We have to work within the con­straints of re­pair as op­posed to de­sign and pro­duc­tion. Technology has changed since we started and cer­tain parts of frames can be un­re­pairable, es­pe­cially around drop outs.” This sit­u­a­tion seems like a sim­ple one, to my sur­prise.

My case of drop­ping a frame in for re­pair and paint is pretty stan­dard for Sasha and their team. They have two de­sign­ers work­ing on paint jobs and de­sign, plus a team of painters, and have a steady work flow all year. As their par­ent com­pany im­ports 3T, Eddy Mer­ckx and Ri­d­ley there is a wide range of work be­ing un­der­taken in the work­shop, es­pe­cially with the Custom Ri­d­ley Pure­line pro­gram, which of­fers custom paint jobs on new bikes.

“Peo­ple drop their bikes or get chips or dings – that sort of work comes in all the time,” says Sasha. Paint My Bike has be­come well-known for that, but with two cre­atives on staff their abil­ity for custom de­sign projects is well and truly ex­pand­ing. “We spe­cialise in car­bon

re­pairs and paint­ing. Car­bon re­pair and paint back to orig­i­nal is our bread and but­ter. But we also get peo­ple who have their bike in for car­bon re­pair and think ‘Hey, how much to get my ma­chine that I love to a dream paint scheme?’. Also, after a cou­ple of years some peo­ple love their bike but they have seen what we’ve done on so­cial me­dia or else­where and want to see what we can do.”

“The ca­pa­bil­i­ties of our graphic de­sign­ers is only lim­ited by your imag­i­na­tion. We can do air­brush­ing or sim­ple paint schemes, or a full de­sign ser­vice. We’ve worked on this a lit­tle more with hav­ing cre­atives on staff.” A quick walk through the work­shop shows frames that are in var­i­ous phases of re­pair or paint­ing. There are even old frames that have been used to trial paint schemes, with re­ally out there colours like gold chrome, or candy pink. Some projects have needed a spe­cial touch and the ded­i­cated painters make sure they get the paint lay­er­ing process just right be­fore start­ing on a rider’s pride and joy.

One of the rea­sons Paint My Bike is so well-known is thanks to how well they back their ser­vice.

Noth­ing goes out the door with­out the whole team be­ing thor­oughly happy with the level of work that has been car­ried out. And they stand by that.

“We are a fully in­sured re­pairer in terms of pub­lic li­a­bil­ity. All of our staff in each area of ex­per­tise are qual­i­fied in what they do. In the case of our com­pos­ite tech­ni­cian do­ing car­bon re­pairs, he’s the only one do­ing the in­spect­ing and re­pairs. We don’t have cus­tomer ser­vice or painters do­ing re­pairs. Like­wise the painters are not do­ing cus­tomer ser­vice – we have high stan­dards and spe­cialise. Duty of care and safety of the cus­tomer comes first.”

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