01 May 2011

Brompton Stickers and Paint

As I mentioned in my rather long and rambling initial thoughts, the orange paint on my Brompton doesn’t seem to be very hard wearing. Looking over the bike recently I noticed that the front brake cable had already managed to rub through the paint on the fork and was getting close to doing the same on the main frame tube.

Coupled with the paint chips I reported on initially I decided it was time to get some touch up paint and see what it could do. So I bought some matt Brompton paint from SJS cycles. As the cable rubbing was only going to get worse with time I also bought some protective stickers at the same time (I found it surprisingly hard to find bicycle stickers that weren’t either branded or reflective).

Before painting I cleaned the chipped and worn areas with a little white spirits. Applying the paint was fairly easy, there is a small brush in the lid (like a nail varnish brush). The only thing to be careful is to wipe the excess paint off the brush before starting.

The paint dries fairly quickly, and, once dried, is a fairly good colour match (at least on my frame) but not identical. You can see the colour difference here, along with the fact that it’s doing a better (but not perfect) job of standing up to the pressure on the inside of the joint.

Once the paint was dry I applied protective stickers wherever there were signs of rubbing. As some areas only had light marks so I didn’t re-paint them but still stickered them. The main areas were where the cables touch the frame and forks and where the front wheel hooks over the rear triangle when folding.

With my new brake levers there were also signs of wear where the cables rub on the other side of the front fork when the handlebars are folded. Finally I stuck one sticker under the chain to protect the frame from all the grease that comes off there.

I’m fairly pleased with the results. The stickers are fairly thick and so should provide good protection - as long as they stay put. So far one has slipped out of position but I do at least have plenty of spares in the original pack.