Hey Charles and list,
There is a wide variety of elitism and snobbery in cycling and on the list, and I think this is where powdercoating has received a bad name on this forum and others alike. It seems to me, it really depends on what you are painting. If it is a certain special frame (rare, collectible, or held in high regard), then perhaps it should have a proper paint job done by a professional.
However, the majority of bikes being ridden day to day are not necessarily rare or collectible and a powdercoat is a cost effective way to freshen the look of the frame. Through my research/experiences, I am aware of some drawbacks to powdercoating.
First, a bike frame is not an easy thing to paint and many powdercoaters have not ever painted one.
Another issue I have heard is that powdercoating it too good of a 'sealant' and can trap in moister which causes rusting from the inside out. This is something I have heard from painters, and may be an issue; however, it seems like there are more factors then just the paint in this situation.
I frequently have read that powdercoating is too thick, and can cover up good lug work, etc. Quite true. However, I have equally heard compliments about pro painters jobs being "sooooo, fantastically deep." I think this may pertain to good clear coating by a pro; however, I sense some elitist inconsistencies.
In my experiences, I have been pleased with some powdercoated frames. I received a frame from Chicago that was matte black (no clear coating), and it was well done. Matte black shows many inconsistencies and I had quite a few bike nuts comment on how well it was done. It was even, not too thick, and clean all around. Of course, any pro bike painter would have negative things to say, but it is a daily rider and not rare, but looks fantastic.
If you are going to go with a powdercoat, look for someone who is experienced with painting bikes, and be careful when having it sandblasted. It may be good for you to get rid of the old paint yourself with a chemical treatment. Ask them to go easy with the application, and do not expect perfection like the many artists on this list could deliver. Lets face it, it is 100-200 dollar paint job and you get what you pay.
Overall, I like powdercoating because it is cost effective and durable, and when done well it looks fantastic. I am sure there will be lots of naysayers, but it is really up to you. If powdercoating is such a bad paint type, then why would it be used for so many other applications. When it comes down to it, the problems may be the powedercoaters and the not the powdercoating, which can be the same for any paint type.
Just my 2 cents, Jeremy Robillard Portland, Oregon USA.
On Wed, Apr 23, 2008 at 10:02 AM, Charles Hobbs <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Two recent threads lead me to this question. Why the disdain for
> powdercoat? I agree that the black and white job on the Willier was
> but is there something fundamentally bad about powdercoating, or just
> botched efforts? On a classic, original paint is always best, and
> type restoration second. But I have seen some decent powdercoats that
> an affordable option for many bikes.
> Charles Hobbs
> Fort Morgan Colordo