Prepping for powder coat

Prepping the frame and fork for powder coat:

Unboxing the frame and fork is an exciting time. Take some time to look the frame over for  damage. Remove all of the protective shipping material (foam, tape, cardboard and plastic protective items). Save the shipping materials so if you ever have to box your bicycle you’ll already have the necessary items.

IMG_0676   IMG_0682

Read the introductory letter from Surly. It’s pretty sincere about thanking you for “spending your hard earned money with them”.

Take a minute and record the frame serial number onto the welcome letter. Also, consider making a paperwork file for this build because every component will come with paperwork.

As far as prepping the frame goes. Your powder coat guy will be responsible for the majority of work. Typically they will remove the decals, remove the head tube badge and sand blast the original paint off. The important thing is that you want to inform the powder coat guy that he is to only paint where the original paint is installed. You don’t want him filling the threaded holes with paint. He should be able to tape-off the areas where paint is not desirable. Additionally, you will want to leave the fasteners in the smaller threaded holes so paint will not get in them. I normally back the screws a few turns out so the paint will adhere to the face of the threaded hole.


As for the bottom bracket area (large threaded hole/tube), direct the painter to tape off this area and prevent paint from adhering to the interior threads.


At this time, go ahead and remove the front derailleur guide (black plastic piece) from the bottom bracket tube. Store this for later reassembly.


Remove the seat post clamp and store for later assembly.


Take a look at the fork and instruct the painter to not paint any of the black area shown below. This is important because after powder coating we will be installing a bearing race onto that raised step and we want it to be the original size (not built up with paint).


Notes for Powder Coat businesses:

Call around and find a powder coater who is familiar with painting bicycle frames. Expect to pay around $100 for basic colors (black or white) and around $130 for a custom color. Expect a couple weeks for turn around. These guys normally cycle through colors each week and it takes a little time to get your frame into the cycle.


Proceed to Frame Cleanup following powder coating



  • Peter

    Great post. I’m currently awaiting delivery of my blue Surly Disc Trucker and can’t wait to get started on my custom building, starting with prepping it for the powder coaters. How did you go about re-applying the decals? I wasn’t sure if they went underneath a layer of clear spray or something,

    Thanks again.

    • Chris Garrison

      Hi Peter, Glad to hear you a building a Surly. I recently built a blue frame up for a friend, it came out awesome!
      If you are getting it powder coated, you can purchase decals from Surly to replace. You apply them over top of the powder coat and no clear coat is required. If you look closely, I did my own decals. I picked a font I liked and had a local sign maker cut them out of vinyl. It adds to the custom look. Additionally, I had a friend with a laser machine a front badge that I designed. I sell them on eBay if you are interested. They are located under “Bike Badge” on my website.
      Happy touring,

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