Overhaulin’ your ride!

Shayne Dowling’s best mate was looking a little worse for wear – he and Big Orange had done a lot of mileage together and it was time to look at a few options…

Big Orange… a bright orange, 2011 carbon Santa Cruz Tallboy, which I had bought second hand, the frame had taken a hammering. I had heard that the guys at BMC in Woodstock, Cape Town offered an overhaul option and that Jared was a master at pimping your ride. So Big Orange and I moseyed on over to see what we could do about a facelift.


I sat down with Jared and his wife Mel, and after Jared had told me about the process and given me a min of meer timeline – Mel took me through the all important colour, logos, style and look process. Doing a bike makeover is really cool because you have so many options and Jared, being the master that he is, doesn’t just order sticker and plak them over the new basecoat – oh no – he uses stencils and good old airbrush skills to get your baby looking as good as new – in fact as in my case, possibly even better!

Stage 1:

Stage 1

Now that Jared had my wish list and Mel and I had agreed on the style of logos, as well as my (any) personalised customisation, Jared got to work in earnest. The first step was to strip the bike completely. This showed just how much of a hammering these bikes take and also revealed how much attention the frame needed. With obvious passion and glint in his eye Jared then began to strip all the old laquer, stickers and paint. This would also reveal any cracks or serious dings in the carbon frame – all are completely repairable. After sanding, filling of minor chips and scratches and more sanding, the frame is covered in a primer making ready for the first layer of paint.

Stage 2:

Stage 2

The planned artwork is prepared and now stencils are cut. Jared then begins to lay down the primary colour or colours onto the frame. Once dry; masking and positioning of the stencils is done. Position of the logos and customised artwork is laid out and the real art begins. No stickers are used and Jared paints and airbrushes all the logos and decals onto the frame. Besides the brand names, Jared is also well known for taking clients drawings and turning them into a work of art on their beloved bicycles.

Stage 3:’

Stage 3

With the paint dry all the stencils are removed. All the artwork is inspected carefully for any imperfections – if anything is not up to Jared high standards, he starts again. Nothing but perfection is accepted. At this stage the owner is called in to approve the artwork, this is the last chance saloon, and once this is given the bike is given its clear coats. 2k Automotive clear is applied in multiple layers, to not only make it look great, but to also give the bike the paintwork and protection it needs when it hits the trails again. The clear coat is baked in the oven at 60̊ C, once hardened, Jared gives it its final inspection and flattens and polishes out any bumps or blemishes. The final stage is to re-assemble the bike, ensuring all the parts fit back perfectly. The entire exercise takes approximately 3 weeks.

Before and after

Big Orange’s make over was a true work of art and love. Jared takes pride in every frame he does. Remember all of them and talks of them like they are his children.  It is like having a brand new bike. I upgraded my groupset and it WAS a new bike. All this and it cost me less than an entry level hardtail! It certainly opens up a whole new life and set of options for your old frame or that second hand carbon frame you been eyeing out. My ride has just been pimped and I’m digging it!


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