Painter gives bicycle frames the woodgrain look
By Ben Coxworth
July 20, 2011
Whether it's the Renovo/Audi duo lineup, the just-announced Lagamorph, or one of the various bamboo creations, wooden-framed bikes (or in the case of bamboo, "wooden"-framed) are becoming more and more popular. While this is partly because of the ride characteristics and eco-friendliness of sustainably-harvested wood, let's be honest - it's mostly because they look nice. Unfortunately, they also tend to be pricey, with a single complete bike costing several thousand dollars. Well, if it's just the aesthetic of wood that you want, now you have an alternative ... New Zealand's Rob Pollock will give your frame a hand-painted woodgrain finish, for just US$1,500.
Rob has worked in automobile panel painting and repairing for over 40 years, and in that time applied faux wood finishes to numerous cars. A few years ago, his son Aaron suggested that he try woodgraining a bike. The successful result sparked the genesis of his current business, Rob's Woodgrain Bike Frames.
In a typical scenario, the process starts with Pollock receiving a frame and fork from a customer. He then strips off the old paint, and sprays on a light-colored base coat. Using a handheld brush, he then overlays the actual one-of-a-kind woodgrain pattern in a darker color. That is then covered with a tinted clear coat, along with a protective epoxy coating. It usually takes between seven and 10 days for him to do one frame.
The video below shows how Rob goes about his craft.