Check out our quick, arty Spray.Bike paint job

We get down ’n’ dirty with clever new aerosol cans

Bristol is famous for many things – cider, West Country accents and a soaring suspension bridge to name just a few. But graffiti is arguably one of its biggest cultural exports in recent years. So when BikeRadar was sent a box of aerosol cans from new outfit Spray.Bike, we decided to have some fun with them on an old bike frame and see if we could match the street art on our doorstep.

The new cans promise ‘No drips. No dribble. No fuss’ – and they certainly deliver just that. After two years in the making, and a collaboration with Brick Lanes Bikes, they’re now available for £7.95 per 400ml can in an incredible range of colours, including over 24 solid matte shades and six fluoro colours.

Related: Volvo LifePaint review

'Do you want some?'
'Do you want some?'

“A couple of years ago I had a bike I was working on in my shop, it was an old green Batavus and it had this nasty scratch on one of the chainstays,” says creator Gareth Williams Jones. “I went into a local craft shop with the idea of maybe finding a little pot of something, when i saw the exact colour match, in an aerosol can - got it and took it back to the shop and gave it a go! I’d forgotten how crappy metal / car paint is, and it sprayed as this dribbly mess.”

Undeterred, Gareth called up the company that made the paint, and that’s where his Spray.Bike concept took root. Two years and a ton of ideas, development and testing later, he managed to create a cutting-edge modern acrylic compound that mimics the style and effect of a matte powder coat.

It’s all made in Europe: the pigments come from the UK and Italy, and the mixing and canning is done in Greece. According to Gareth, his toughest hurdle was making sure it doesn’t dribble, run or streak. The final Spray.Bike product is a powder at room temperature, as it’s only liquid during the first moments of leaving the can.

Spray.Bike will be exhibiting at the London Bike Show's Innovation Lab on February 11-14th, sponsored by BikeRadar, where you can see some of the bike industry's latest cutting-edge products.

We've got a 10% discount off advanced adult tickets – just enter the code 'BR1620' when registering at www.thelondonbikeshow.co.uk.

Spray cans at the ready

We were sent four colours to play with: black, racing green, celeste and fluorescent yellow. After borrowing a frame from a friendly nearby secondhand bike dealer (thanks Blackbeard Bicycles), and finding someone on the BikeRadar team with design skills to match, we were ready to go. Watch the video below to see how we got on…

Spray bike experiment

And what was the verdict of Kim Fox, our talented designer? 

“I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to use, the consistency of the coverage and the quick drying time. It really is as simple as following the instructions on the tin.

“The matte finish is lovely, and I was impressed with the vibrancy of the fluoro yellow. The colour range available is quite extensive and I can imagine that with more time on our hands, I could’ve created something more complex, very easily.” 

Our finished frame. isn't she beautiful?
Our finished frame. isn't she beautiful?

There we have it then: we’d definitely recommend these to anyone, of any level, looking for a fun and easy way to add personality to their bike. We’re smitten with Kim’s creation, and don’t want to give it back.

Some more inspiration

In case you weren’t already feeling inspired by our efforts, here are some more pics that were sent to us of other Spray.Bike projects:

Stencilling gives this BMX an incredible snake skin effect
Stencilling gives this BMX an incredible snake skin effect

Can you guess the famous frame builder?
Can you guess the famous frame builder?

Another fluoro design sent to us by the spray.bike team
Another fluoro design sent to us by the spray.bike team

Where to buy

Spray.Bike is already being sold by independent bike shops – including Brixton Lane Bikes, of course, as well as online with Amazon.co.uk. For a full list of independent retailers head here.

Price is £7.95 for all 400ml cans, or £4.95 for all 200ml cans. A 400ml can should easily cover a frame and fork, with some to spare for touch-ups.

Spray.Bike will be exhibiting at the London Bike Show's Innovation Lab on February 11-14th, sponsored by BikeRadar, where you can see some of the bike industry's latest cutting-edge products.

We've got a 10% discount off advanced adult tickets – just enter the code 'BR1620' when registering at www.thelondonbikeshow.co.uk.

Jamie Beach

Deputy Editor, UK
Jamie's been addicted to bikes from the moment his stabilisers came off. Earliest cycling memory is the chipboard-ramp-on-bricks, but happiest one is bombing down a Mallorcan mountain pass that seemed it might never end. Always on the hunt for the perfect rain jacket, a keen collector of hats.
  • Discipline: Road, gravel
  • Preferred Terrain: Big mountains with long climbs, equally long and fast descents, the chance to get above the treeline.
  • Current Bikes: Genesis Croix de Fer, Kona Cindercone
  • Dream Bike: BMC TeamMachine SLR01
  • Beer of Choice: Augustiner
  • Location: Bath, Somerset, UK

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