Inside the Mosaic Finish Department
Look good, feel good, ride good. Apologies to the great Deon Sanders, but his famous quote really does apply to bikes, especially handmade bikes.
An exceptional amount of craft goes into the process of building every Mosaic frame. It’s only right that we devote the same effort to the finish process. No matter if your Mosaic has a classic raw finish or a jaw-dropping paint scheme, it looks as good as it rides.
Here’s a walk through the Mosaic finish department to explain how we go from a raw titanium frame to a bike that turns heads on the daily.
Off the top, we have to be clear that we do all of our paint and finish work in house, right here in Boulder, Colorado. This gives our team complete control of the process. It also lets you personalize your frame as much as you like. We have five proven finish options that always look good. And any of those layouts can be painted with hundreds of different color combinations.
Is there a car paint color that catches your eye? We can match it. Want a painted stem or seatpost to set off the build? We do that too. Pearl glitter, color shift, and other options are also on the table.
After you’ve settled on your paint scheme, the raw frame is prepped with one of two media blast machines in our shop. The titanium frames will get either an etched, brushed, or satin finish, depending on the plan. Our raw frames rely on a combination of those finishes, such as an etched logo on a satin frame. If the frame is going to be painted, it needs a fully etched finish to ensure the paint adheres to the frame. Along the way, we also sand any carbon fiber components for paint.
Most of our painted frames have sections of raw frame at the bottom bracket and along the chain stays and seat stays. Naturally, we mask off that portion of the frame before going to paint. That titanium will eventually get a satin finish.
Time for the fun part. Just like you’d do to paint a wall in your house, we begin with a layer of primer. Then, there’s a multi-step process to paint the frame. Often, the first layer of paint is the color used for the Mosaic logo. Then, the logo is masked off, and the background color is applied. It’s far easier to mask the logo’s letters than it is to do an inverse mask.
Once the paint is applied, the frame goes through color sanding to prep it for clear coat. We apply two layers of clear coat and sand after the first to ensure the finish is perfectly glossy and smooth. The frame is baked in a specialized oven to cure the clear coat.
Finally, the frame is given a three-step buffing process to make it shine, and we perform a final quality control check.
Thanks to an efficient process of batching frames through the prep, prime, and paint steps of the process, we can usually finish a frame in 1 week. With two painters in the booth, things can be pretty efficient!
Making Your Mosaic Your Mosaic
As we mentioned at the beginning, whether you opt for a Made to Order frame or a Batch Built frame, you can go as far as you want in personalizing the paint and finish. And of course, this applies to any kind of Mosaic frame — road, gravel, mountain, and more.
Need a little more inspiration? Stay tuned for a re-launch of our standard color line, as well as the extended line of premium colors. Check out the fresh hues below and start your dream build this spring.
Words: Spencer Powlison
Photos: Mark Currie & Aaron Barcheck