OPEN’s Ready To Paint (RTP) range of gravel frames have been extremely popular for us and for good reason. Customizing the finish of our bikes has always been something we do a lot of and OPEN made it way easier. All RTP means is that the frames come totally bare from the factory and like it says, ready to paint. This makes it easier for the painter and due to that, less expensive as they don’t have to strip away the old finish. If you’ve followed along with our builds in the past two years you’ll see a good number of custom painted OPEN bikes in varying finishes. From simple one color finishes with no logos to quite intricate paint schemes (wait until you see the Swiss-themed bike that we’ll be showcasing in the next few weeks!).
When it comes to the more detailed finishes we put our trust in the folks at Velocolour, based in Toronto, Canada. While there are definitely some amazing painters closer to us we’ve found Velocolour to be the best in the game right now. From the design phase to the finish the frames they’ve painted for us have been unique, beautiful and durable. They’re worth a follow on Instagram and they also make some really nice cycling accessories which can be found here.
For this entry, we’re going to focus on a new paint scheme that we’ve designed with them and made exclusively to work on OPEN’s U.P. and UPPER frames. Our goal was to create a design that the cyclist can use as a base and will work with a countless array of colors. We wanted to keep it easy as we’ve seen from our years of doing this that trying to decide on a unique finish can be a daunting task for some as there are limitless directions you can go andsecond-guessingg usually comes into play. With the goal of keeping it simple it works like this:
- If you like the way these bikes look and you want to do one for your new U.P. or UPPER we pick your favorite color which is usually the base color (where the red is on the rendering shown).
- Then, we pick the secondary color, where the white is on the same rendering.
- Lastly, we choose a corresponding accent color that brings the whole package to life!
- We send the color combinations to Velocolour who will make a rendering in order to make sure the the colors actually look good together. Some colors work well together and some just don’t, this process helps make sure we are headed in the right direction.
- The cyclist signs off and we’re on our way!
- We send a new OPEN RTP frame directly to Velocolour who at this point have been notified so that the frame can get intothe queue which cuts down on lead times.
- We get the frame back and build it up.
- You hit the trails.
The fun part when picking the colors is matching the paint to some of the parts we’ll be using, usually a set of Chris King hubs and or a headset. This goes a long way to making the bike look thought out and finished. The other fun part is then getting it dirty. I know, it may seem weird painting a bike that is going to be getting into the rough stuff, and for some they just can’t fathom it, and that is great, but for us, the finish makes it so much more than just a tool, or another just another bike on the trail. If you’re the type to sit in the garage staring at your rig, you know what we’re talking about. Also, the finish is pretty tough, so it’ll take a real beating and the higher the quality of the paint work, the longer it keeps looking that way. A finish from Velocolour lasts much longer than the finish on a stock bike.
In the near future, we’ll be working on a simpler and less expensive finish as well. More of a solid one color with some accents that pop, but for now, take a look at three of the first ones we’ve done. If having one of the hottest looking gravel bikes around sounds interesting, give us a call and we’ll help you get it going!