The Secret To A Custom Bike Bling Without New Paint | GCN Tech Show Ep.91
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The Secret To A Custom Bike Bling Without New Paint | GCN Tech Show Ep.91

– [Ollie] Welcome to the GCN Tech Show. I’m flying solo. Again. Jon was last seen entering a bike museum, and hasn’t been seen since. I hope he’s okay. Anyhow, on this week’s
show, we have got some hot new carbon wheel tech, the Bike Vault, your upgrades, and our main talking point, which is how you can customize bike
frames without breaking the bank or invalidating your warranty. Let’s do it. (electronic music) (metal clanking) We’ll begin the show with
our main talking point. Now regular viewers will
know that myself and Jon love custom paint jobs. They can look amazing. But there are a couple downsides. Firstly, they can cost a lot of money, and secondly, they can
invalidate your warranty on your bike. Now, admittedly, they do
neither of those things if you get a custom paint
job, say for example, through Orbea’s MyO custom paint program, but many of you will have
an existing bike that you might be wanting to custom paint, or you might want a bike
from a brand that doesn’t offer a custom paint service. In which case, what if I
told you there was a way that you can have an exquisite,
pulchritudinous paint job? (light, upbeat music) A custom paint job that
is both cheaper and won’t invalidate your warranty.
Well, the feature could be a vinyl wrap. Now if you’re into customizing
cars, as some of you may be, then you will be familiar
with vinyl wrapping. If you’re not, it’s a process
that is very popular with cars and involves covering
the individual body panels in a special sheet of vinyl
wrap that’s cut to size, and then heat-shrunk onto those panels. Using this kind of process,
you can have pretty much any kind of finish you want,
so an example would be the Bahrain Merida McLaren
570S that we saw at the Giro d’Italia, which had
had a wrap applied to it to give it the team colors
of the Bahrain team. And if you’ve seen a
matte black boy racer car with an antisocial exhaust
cruising around your local neighborhood, then that
too probably has a wrap on it. We mentioned this process is
a potential way of customizing bikes before on a previous
tech show, and then we realized that there was potential
hurdles and challenges that would need to be overcome. So when you’re wrapping a car,
it’s easy to hide the joins and the seams of the wrap inside the body panels out of view. But wrapping a bike is
presumably much harder because the shapes are more
complicated than most car body panels. And there’s also little
details, such as, you know cable stops sticking out, and
mounts where derailleurs go, things like that. But it would be very difficult
to wrap in a neat way, using sort of conventional
techniques you’d use on a car. There’s also the added weight of the wrap. Now on a car this makes
negligible amounts of difference, but on a lightweight bike,
adding, well, 400 grams could be hugely significant. However, I’ve done some
searching on the Internet (typing) and I found that there are
people who are starting to vinyl-wrap bikes. One such example is Velowraps,
who are based in California in the States. Check this out. That is a custom-wrapped
specialized Venge with this spectacular mirrored finish. I think it looks absolutely amazing. And according to Velowraps,
that kind of finish does add weight, but significantly
less than a conventional paint job, if you were to
add mirrored paint like that, then that can add a lot of weight. I mean, you’d be typically
looking at 300 to 400 grams for a finish like that. And according to Velowraps,
the fork adds about 20 grams of that finish on the fork
and 75 to 150 grams on the rest of the frame, which I’d
say is competitive for a finish like that. Now, of course, there are
those super light, mega vapor coat-style paint jobs that
we’ve spoken about before, like Sunweb we’re using at
the Tour de France that only add a few grams. Mark
Cavendish’s had them before on his bikes. They’re almost prohibitively expensive. They cost thousands and
thousands of pounds. And as mentioned, wrapping
has the advantage of not invalidating your warranty.
The existing can just remain untouched underneath and
as an added bonus, the wrap can actually go some ways to protect that paint job underneath. So if you were to come to sell the bike, or if you wanted to honor your warranty, you can just remove the wrap
and the paint is underneath. I was so excited by
this, I emailed Velowraps and asked them to send us some pictures. So take a look at some of
other examples of things that they’ve done and can be achieved. So first off, we’ve got
this really cool-looking Cervelo P3 time trial bike, and exciting thing for me on
this bike is that they not just wrapped the frame, they’ve
also wrapped the wheels, so you’ve that head G3
tri-spoke at the front and that’s been wrapped in
these Team USA colors, but it really shows what can be achieved. This also is brilliant Franco bike here which has this kind of track…call that kind of paint job, unicorn blood. I think it looks amazing,
and it’s really nice how that’s been also done on the
head wheel of the front there. But there’s loads of
options that can be done, and in terms of doing little
details, they also send a picture showing how they’ve wrapped around a small external
cable housing guide as well, which is really cool. So, what about the price? Well, I’d look on Velowrap’s
website and they quote a price of $500 for a frame and fork, with a short turnaround
time of around two weeks. So while I have seen custom
paint for less than that, I’ve never seen these kind of finishes for that kind of price. Normally, a mirrored silver
finish is really expensive and hard to achieve with normal paint. So that’s really cool. But let us know what you
think about wrapping bikes. Would you consider
having your bike wrapped rather than custom painted? Do you think this is the future
of customizing road bikes and do you think we should
get Jon to give it a go, to add to his bike,
customization Palmares? Let us know in the comments. This week we’ve got an
exciting giveaway for you. Five very lucky winners will
each receive a brand new Hammerhead Karoo GPS bike computer. To enter, it’s really simple. You just click on the link
in the description down below and you’ll be in with a chance. We’ll announce the winners in
a future, as yet undisclosed GCN Tech show. And in the meantime, if you’d
like to find out more about the Karoo and what it
can do…that rhymes… Well, you can’t do, ’cause
I’ve made a video all about it. (metal clanking) It’s time now for Hot Tech. What’s this? Breaking news. It appears that Jon
Cannings has been located. He appears to be at the
World Championships in Harrogate, Yorkshire. – [Jon] Ollie, sorry I can’t
be with you again this week, but the good news is, my friend, is that on I’m here in
Harrogate in North Yorkshire. And once there’s loads of
bike riders kicking about, there is also quite a bit
of tech for me to look at. So one other thing which
I’m most interested and came to check out
is the brand of Cadex, which I know you’ve already
looked at and I’ve seen some of their prototype products, but I’ve never seen any
of their finished items. So I’m going to go in there,
have a good old rummage around with these grubby
hands, and I’ll report back to you all exactly what I found. See you soon. (gentle xylophone music) – [Ollie] Thanks, Jon. To be honest, I’m just glad
that he’s finally turned up safe and sound. Anyway, hot wheel tech now.
Hunt have just launched some new wheels. They’re called the Hunt
36 UD carbon spokes. As the name suggests,
they’re 36 millimeters deep with a full filament-wound
carbon fiber rim that’s also tubeless ready. And they have carbon spokes. Now the cool thing about
these is that Hunt reckons that makes them 31% stiffer
than if they were built up the same, but with steel spokes. The carbon spokes and
filament-round rim also helps make them very light, too. They claim to be just 1,295 grams a pair, which is really light. And they also have ceramic
speed bearings in there, too, for that added bit of bling. Nice. Now, while on the topic of
carbon wheels, Specialized has just extended the warranty
of its Roval wheel sets. The warranty is now
lifetime on Roval wheels for the original purchaser slash owner, which I think’s great and if you buy a set secondhand,
then subsequent owners receive a two-year warranty, which I think that’s really cool. And there’s also a two-year, well, not-your-fault
crash replacement policy as well for riders in the USA. Hot Outrageous Piece of
Brilliantly Carbon Custom Lightweight Bike Tech of the Week now. Check this out. While I was surfing the
Internet late at night, I came across this from Hopp
Carbon Parts DE in Germany. It is a carbon-fiber battery cover for a Quarq power meter and it weighs just 2.5 grams. Look at that. Wowzers. I mean, it’s hill climb season right now. Every gram counts,
especially when you consider that the normal aluminum
Quarq battery cover weighs about four grams. Anyhow, more Hot Tech next week. (screwdriver drilling) (cha-ching) It’s now time for Screw
Riding Upgrades, Buy Upgrades, where you submit pictures,
videos, evidence, Claymation animations, cave paintings, of your upgrades that
you’ve made to your bikes and equipment for a chance
to win the ultimate prize, the GCN Camelback Eddie water bottle. (water bottle slams) Now last week was a battle between James with his restoration…look beautiful and William with his Ibex. Now the winner was James, with 83% wallop. (crowd cheers)
That was quite a comprehensive victory by James, but
both were great upgrades. Balls in the post. This week, we have got
Chris from South Dakota, which is part of America,
often described as having a flat accent, almost accentless, although I do know
someone from South Dakota, who says “car-mel”
instead of caramel. Weird. Anyhow, Chris accidentally
drove into his garage with this Giant Defy 1 attached. He damaged the steerer
and needed a new fork. Now the replacement fork didn’t
match the rest of his bike, so Chris decided to take executive action. Chris got his Dremel
out. Enough was enough. He upgraded the Shimano
105 on his Giant Defy to Ultegra Di2. To do this, he Dremeled his
frame internally to root or rout the Di2 wires
and also remove the now redundant external cable stops. Nice. He also dismantled the
bike and had it sandblasted and repainted with a
matte black powder coat… Well, powder coated rather than painted. Chris then added his own
custom decals and giant logos. I mean, look at this. Absolutely superb. And I really like the
contrast of the gloss logos that you’ve put on there, or decals on the matte powder coat. That’s really classy, really nice. I like that. Up against Chris from South Dakota is Michele from Bologna in Italy. And he’s actually on the San Luca climb, which you may remember
was Stage 1 of this year’s Giro d’Italia. There was a time traveler up there. Lloydy did a preview on it
and we were both there. Nice. Now Michele needed a bike for
his 40-kilometer daily commute and also for winter training. I don’t think he needs any winter training if he barely commutes
40 kilometers. (sighs) Anyway, he found this
beautiful Columbus frame at a garage, or garage sale, if
you’re Chris from South Dakota. Michele sundered the frame
and painted it himself with a green metallic
paint and he did this white splatter gradient finish on there. I mean, I’ve seen finishes like that at Red Hook Crit, and also Dr. Bobby at Colorbound Studios in Bristol
has done finishes like that. But to say you’ve done that
yourself and you’re not even a custom painter, I’m impressed by that. That’s really cool. And then he added some
bomb-roof Mavic open pro rims, 28 millimeter Continental
Gatorskins, which are bomb-proof tires ideal for
winter training and commuting. And he put a Rival slash
Apex group-set on there, finished it with a steel quill stem and he polished the fork as well. He’s also done his
own…this is impressive… SRAM decals and also a
Columbus rainbow logo on the seat tube as well. That is a stunner. Great work. Now Michele does say that
his OCD alarm is currently being set off by his bar tape. He’s annoyed that it’s
not quite the same shade as the SRAM logo that he’s put on there and he asks for our advice. So, guys, be nice, but let
rip in the comments section about Michele’s bar tape. Personally, I’d go for black tape. You can’t go wrong with
black tape and it’ll match your saddle. There you go. Anyway, both are great upgrades
and I’m really impressed to see you both doing custom
paint finishes on your bikes and doing that yourself. And also the little stickers and details. That’s amazing. I think it’s going to be close this week, but it’s not up to me. You guys decide. You vote up there. (metal clanking) It’s now time for the
Bike Vault, the moment you’ve all been waiting for,
where you submit pictures or I don’t know, videos
if you want of your bikes, and we judge them to be
either nice or super nice. If they’re super nice,
then they get submitted into the Bike Vault for
eternity and we signal that by ringing the bell. Jon (blows out air)
normally rings the bell, but he’s not here this week. Just grab the bell. This is the bell. Okay, let’s begin. First up this week we have got Olivier. That’s the French version of my name. Olivier is in Ontario,
Canada. Great sweet corn in Ontario, Canada if you ever visit. He’s got these Giant Propel SL0. That is a stunner, and
he’s done everything. He’s taken these bottles
off, crank in 3:00 position, wheel valve stems lined
up, no excess steerer above the steerer tube. His bike’s clean, Biggle Smalls. Oh, no saddlebag, nice
background, you can clearly see the bike. That lake looks amazing. Do you know what? Textbook,
textbook, textbook Bike Vault. (mumbles) Um, Super Nice. (rings bell weakly) Right, let’s see what’s next. Greg has his BMC Team Machine and he says the location is Tranquility
Base on the moon. Yeah, now I think there’s a
few problems with this one. Firstly, the crank is not
quite in the 3:00 position. It’s sort of in the 20
past three position and he’s not in Biggie Smalls and he’s also not got any pedals on his bike or
aligned his valve stems. Nice. (upbeat music) Nice try. Next time, we have Arneau,
who’s in the Netherlands doing a mountain bike trail and he has his Canyon Grail
SL Di2, but he’s customized the wheels on there. I’ve got Canyon Grail,
bloomin’ love that bike. It’s so much fun and I like yours too. You’ve got bigger tires
on than I’ve got on mine and I’m amazed at how clean
it is, especially soon since you’re doing a mountain bike trail. But that looks great. And you’ve changed the
saddle on there as well. Well, let’s have a look. Right, Biggie Small, tick. It’s clean, tick. You’ve removed your accessories, tick. Valve stems, sort of aligned. I mean… (blows air) I think I’ve been a bit
harsh in the Bike Vault the last few weeks. I really like that bike. I think that is a Super Nice. I’ll ring the bell. (bell ringing) There we go. Next up, we have Maric,
with his S-Works Tarmac SL6. He’s in Slovakia in
Sturovo. I’m sure that’s not how it’s pronounced. Sorry, Maric. Let’s have a look at his bike. There you go. Bloody hell,
there’s a lot of people been watching the video on
how to get in the Bike Vault. I sense Maric’s won,
he’s lined up his wheels, he’s got a gold chain on there. (sighs) I mean, he’s done a good job there. Looks like a nice city as
well in the background. That’s a really nice Tarmac
SL2, classic Tarmac there. That style of Tarmac frame
is that one that just won every Grand Tour with
Vincenzo Nibali and Contador and all those guys. Nice. You know what? I think it’s a Super Nice. (bell ringing) Next up, we’ve got Jason
in Pangbourne in the UK, who’s taken a picture
of his Trek Madone SLR, brand new bike in red.
Weirdly, in front of a load of Lambourghinis. Pangbourne
Lambourghini dealership. Why would anyone do that? I mean, why he has he
cluttered up the background of the photo with weird
green Lambourghini Hurricane Spider, just don’t understand
why anyone would… What a weird place to take
a picture of your bike, and these shadows in shot. Nice, anyway, finally this
week with we’ve got Vaughn. Oh my, wow. Oh, my days. Oh my days. (sighs) That would appear to be the
concrete spillway of the Maitai Dam, constructed by
Nelson City council in 1986 in New Zealand. Well, the Maitai Dam in
New Zealand was of course first constructed in
1984, finished in 1987. A total cost of 9.7 million
New Zealand dollars. It has a height of 36
meters and the length of the crest of the top is 140 meters. The fill volume of the dam is
272,000 cubic meters of water. Nice volume. But that in particular is
the stunning and exquisitely designed concrete spillway,
which impressively has a flow capacity of 125
cumecs, that of course being cubic meters per second, which corresponds roughly to of course, a hundred-year flood event. Should events larger than this occur, then an unlined auxiliary channel
does exist in those events. But absolutely superb piece
of hydro-engineering there. I’m sure you’ll agree. Super Nice. (bell ringing) More Bike Vault next week. That’s it for this week.
It’s the end of the show. I hope you’ve enjoyed
it, and if you appreciate our content and you’d like
to support the channel, then you can do so by subscribing and also clicking the bell icon down
below to get notifications. It really does help and also
if you’d like a GCN hoodie like this one I’m wearing.
This is the navy blue one. This is my favorite with
the white logo. Classic. Then you can get them in the GCN shop too. And to watch the video
on why I chose rim brakes and not disc brakes was a
deliberate choice, then you can do so by clicking down here. Bye.

About Roger Trantham

Read All Posts By Roger Trantham

100 thoughts on “The Secret To A Custom Bike Bling Without New Paint | GCN Tech Show Ep.91

  1. Can’t believe I sent you guys some #bikey stickers to cover the Apple logos on your laptops 3 weeks ago and in the last week both the GCN show and now the Tech show have covered up the laptop logos… with GCN stickers?!? #cheeky

  2. ***UK B12***

    B12 ampules available in UK from

    Injection supplies from

    Please watch this:

    and visit for the best website on B12. Trust me, you won't regret it.

    Hey Harley, I want to share some information here for UK people.

    Firstly, and this is for everyone, not just UK: The biggest mistake you can make is assume you are not effected, and put faith into your doctor's word about the validity of the serum test (your blood B12 level). You need to understand that there is a massive amount of unawareness about B12 deficiency (recognizing symptoms, diagnosing deficiency, and treatment), and your doctor's unawareness can cost your irreversible loss of cognitive function and neurological damage. Do you want to have the mental speed/memory of a 90 yo at 25? then ignore B12.

    Living with a B12 deficiency is like trying to win a TT with a massive piece of plaster board mounted on your bike, facing the wind. I.e, a no-win situation. Every aspect of your life suffers when you are effected.

    On top of the invalidity of the serum B12 test in diagnosing a B12 deficiency, in the UK, the reference range for serum B12 is very low, much lower than other places. So your serum B12 might be considered ''within range'' in the UK, whereas it might be dangerously low, and considered so, elsewhere. You could be on the low end and getting worse, and this will be ignored by your GP.

    Your GP won't prescribe you injections unless you have developed B12 related anemia, a late-stage manifestation of B12 deficiency. Neurological damage will be long in the making before any anemia develops, and it might be too late to reverse by then. Even of you are prescribed injections, the frequency is fixed to once every 3 months for no good reason (cost cutting, mostly in time, as they cost pennies), which is unsuitable for so many people, and not adequate for building stores after a deficiency.

    Try to get a blood test out of your GP before taking ANY B12 supplement, just to see where your serum level is, as it can be falsely elevated very easily and give a false image of what is really going on. Once you have had your test, request a copy (your are entitled to it). Your doctor might be reluctant to talk about your numbers with you (as mine was), and just say ''you're in range'' if you inquire, which is why it's important to have a copy (to be able to look at other things too.

    Once you have your results, you may or may not have a low serum B12, but this is basically irrelevant, as your symptoms are king at the end of the day, not some irrelevant serum level on a piece of paper. The bottom line is, you need to obtain B12 ampules from abroad (Germany is great) and buy some syringes and needles and give yourself the injections intramuscularly. This is the bit that will put most people off, but the price of not doing it is everything. Your long term health will be irreversibly screwed, simple as that.

    There are few psychological barriers you must overcome to be able to do it. First you need to be skeptical about your doctor's word, as chances are, with a little reading, you will know more about B12 than most GP's. Then you need to overcome all the negativity associated with an injection. It's easy to think ''it must be my diet (vegan or otherwise), if I eat better it will fix itself, I shouldn't have to resort to such a crazy action as injecting myself just to get a vitamin!'', but you need to get such thoughts out of your head. Delaying injections in hope of some magical improvements from diet is a fool's errand, as B12 absorption is complicated and effected by so many things, you will not be able to get nearly enough through diet (or pills, sprays or whatever) to build up your stores quickly enough to prevent irreversible damage. NO WAY. ZILCH.

    Injections are painless, and pretty much risk free if you are not a moron. Clean the area, have the right medication, and stick it into your muscle (vastus lateralis of thigh is a good spot for self-injections). You will laugh at yourself the moment the needle enters you for the first time, maybe even feel embarrassed for overthinking such a trivial procedure.

  3. Ollie actually rang the bike vault bell 4 times!!!
    RIP Lambo and who knew he would recognize a dam spillway!

    He must be in a better mood that they added more light to his face! I approve.

    But where is the link to win the bike computer?

  4. Hi,
    First of all love the show and keep up the good work!
    But why bother having a bell, if not to ring it properly?
    Also Oli you used to be the most fun one of the crew, where is energy gone?
    12 hours in and there is no entering the content anymore???

  5. First there was the GCN show, then came GCN Tech, /w Jon and Ollie. Even if Jon's absence, you bring a lot of entertainment to our virtual – on-demand lives. Keep up the great content and laughs.

  6. Tha main issue that comes to my mind with vinyl wrapping is that you cannot see, in case of failure (I know I'm a little bit paranoic, but I'm very unlucky) a crack can be hidden under vinyl.

    Bar tape?! No no no!! My friend use a TAGLIATELLONE instead (you can also use it in case of bonking)

  7. Ollie fuc*ing destroys at Bike Vault adjudication. Especially love his burns when lads try and pull a fast one on him. NOT TODAY MATE!

  8. Today's video is an absolute shame for the channel! The link is not indicated in the description, the photo quality is terrible, it's a shame GCN! 👎👎

  9. Most of your accents, though exaggerated, are pretty good. Your N. Dakota, American accent could use some work. Your German accent is my favorite, btw 😅

  10. Ollie, have you looked into Plastidip? it's very DIY friendly and essentially a sprayable vinyl wrap. Easy to deal with complex shapes.

  11. I don't get this. As usual you're talking about 'weight', but that only really matters if you're an actual racer. They're bikes are supplied in race fit, as in sponsor. The average bike enthusiast doesn't give a toss about grams, and why should they? My 8.5 kg bike has 2 bottle cages hence 2 bottles. That adds about 1.2 kg to my bike. Whoopie! Still speeds me down the road in style.

  12. Paint invalidating warranties! funniest thing I've heard this hour! 🤣🤣
    See how Velo wraps have done it by not actually "Wrapping" the frame, only placing them on a single plane, because it's impossible! They're "Stickers" not wraps
    Plastidip is the best way to go, you can literally peel that paint off when required over your original paint.

  13. #askgcntech If I designed you a mechanically automated bell ringer would you build/use it?
    Actually can't be bothered … someone else do it!

  14. Ollie, Ollie, Ollie. Shall we get you a smaller, more dignified bell to ring?
    I love the show. Your doing a great job! Carry On!

  15. I believe that for bike photos, drive-side crank at 3 o’clock or parallel with chainstay are equally appropriate. However, anything else is simply inattention to detail and wrong.

  16. your South Dakota accent sounds more like a California valley girl….the kind you find in a mall and uses "like" in every other word in a sentence.

  17. Hi , i know is alway about chancess, but please try to pic me for the give away these time, i really need help to upgraid my ride. i know i'll regret these message 😉 but i never win anything, if i win it will be no only an upgraid on byke but on psicological way . 🙂 🙂 😉

  18. Black tape's a good shout. Black tape, black saddle, black tyres, silver rims? fuck yes. The boy's a timebomb. Also both of yous, what are these?? JPEGs for ANTS?!!

  19. GOOD GOD WHAT IS WITH THE IMAGE QUALITY THIS WEEK?! It's like i'm looking at a bunch of very realistic LEGO sculptures! Also 20:22 was fucking gold.

  20. @Michele: how about Lizard Skin black/grey camo bar tape? Great bike though, even 1x on a vintage frame really works. Looks really neat and cool! 👌

  21. Ollie… I was sitting there wondering why you had adopted this weird voice while describing that bike close to that slip way in Nelson, and then it dawned on me that, THAT was YOUR version of a Kiwi accent (or Nu Zild to be technically correct). Could I please suggest, unless you actually know what that accent sounds like, just stay with the vague approximation of RP which given your northern origins, you do passably well.

  22. I think i missed why Ollie doesn't like the bell for Super Nice. He is creative in his reasoning to get out of ringing it though 🙂

  23. Loving the accents Ollie. Hillarious and SPOT ON! You could actually earn a living doing impressions. Just be REAL CAREFUL you imitate WHITE MEN ONLY! NO MINORITIES! NO WOMEN! Otherwise the Liberal SJW's will demand you get Fired. Serious Dude … No Joking around here. I live in California USA and the Virtue Signaling has gone so far Left here, ANY Slip of the tongue gets you canned from Work. It's like 1984 over here!

  24. I've been thinking about that finish and sure, for a trailer queen, which is a car people saying for a classic which is hauled to events. And maybe vinyl wrap for a daily driver if it is durable enough for the typical bumps and bruises. Now, about the Bike Vault, I like that Ollie toys with the bell, burning no more than one watt to ring it. Make you own kind of music, ring your own kind of bell, and work on your accent in California and South Dakota. Maybe even host the show from Rapid City.

  25. Yes, I, for one, would like to see a detailed video on this wrap.
    Now, about that word pulchru, pullcroo, oh, never mind.

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