How a bicycle looks really matters. I visited Argos Racing Cycles, Bristol to find out more about what makes a frame beautiful...
Established in 1974, four amazing workers make the difference. Mark manages the customer facing role (massive), Gary, son of Arthur ('Ar' of Argos) is the framebuilder and assesses every frame before it goes through to the finishing stage, Craig 'preps' every frame and Martin performs all the processes involved in the actual finish.
The process of painting a frame involves initial assessment and alterations if necessary. The frame is cleaned - any impurities are removed, old decals are scorched off with propane if necessary and then 'shot' blasted with a light grain 'shot'. The frames are then hung up ready for painting as seen above.
The undercoat is applied using a hand held spray gun in a ventilated booth and the frame has its first 'bake'. The wet colour is then applied using the spray gun technique and the frame returns to the oven for a second 'bake'. Finally, the decals etc are fitted and fixed under a final layer of lacquer and left to dry. All this takes place in an sealed area that's dust free.
At Argos Racing, every frame matters. Accommodating a customer's wishes is paramount. The team are perfectionists and it was a pleasure to see them in action. Thank you for showing me around - it was a privilege to meet you.