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Alchemy Custom Paint: Dreams to Reality

Joel Smith

For over a decade, Alchemy has built a reputation on hand-building carbon and titanium dream bikes in Denver, Colorado.  And while Alchemy continues to receive accolades for crafting carbon bikes in the US, our painting capabilities make us one of the most unique and sought-after bike designers in the world.

An Idea

At Alchemy, we excel in turning our clients’ visions into reality.

The first step to create your custom painted bike is an idea: what do you want your new bike to look like? You can provide examples from other bikes, cars (see Porsche below), or even your favorite T-shirt.

We take it from there and generate a paint mock, which is a representation of your idea on paper.

Paint Mocks

If you’ve been following our Bike of the Week posts on social media, you know Alchemy is highly skilled in creating unique and one-off paint designs.

To do this, we start by discussing the customer’s paint idea, and using this discussion to create a paint-mock (see example below). The paint mock is your idea in paper form, used as a talking point to either confirm or make modifications to a design.


Alchemy has been using PPG automotive paints since the company began painting bikes, and we do so for multiple reasons.

For one, PPG is known for making some of the highest-quality, most-durable paints in the market. Secondly, because there are so many stock paint colors available, the options are pretty limitless. PPG is also capable of custom mixing colors to match components or a specific color you had in mind.

Our Process

If you look closely at an Alchemy frame, you might wonder how we are able to make the decals so thin, seamless, and entirely integrated.

That’s because those aren’t decals. Alchemy logos are actually painted on using a process of masking, painting, and sanding to reduce edges.

This is something important for you to know when you dream of your paint design. While this process works well for larger logos and more rounded edges, smaller, more intricate designs are sometimes difficult to accomplish.

The Wait

True art doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, and with all Alchemy custom-painted road bikes, there is a wait. Our current lead times are 60 days.

Each Alchemy custom painted road frame has about 40 to 50 hours of time invested. The upside is the finished product when completed: a beautiful, unique piece of rolling art.

To find out more about our custom road bike painting process, email Joel at joel@alchemybicycles.com




Alchemy’s Joel Smith has been riding mountain bikes for over 35 years. Starting out in the dirt on a converted Laguna-brand cruiser in the mid-1980s, his immediate love of the sport turned into a lifelong career. Smith raced both XC and DH in the 1990s (in the now defunct NORBA National Series) and has worked on nearly every aspect of bike development over his nearly 30-year long career.

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