Custom Finish: The Process

Working with riders to build and design their dream bike is a hands-on process for the team at SAGE. We pride ourselves on building bikes with the utmost attention to detail and no detail is too small to be overlooked.

One of our favorite parts of building a custom bike is the frame finish and bringing riders dreams to life. Translating inspiration into a finished product is a hands-on, involved process, from ideation to the first pedal strokes.      

The Foundation:

Beautiful bikes don’t just happen, it takes a team to bring them together. The beginning of this process starts with a conversation. Most riders looking to get on a custom SAGE already have an idea or motivation for what they want their bike to look like. For others it is a little less defined, so we tease out the details in during this collaborative process. Once the general guidelines have been established the design team brings the idea to life.


Once the general parameters of the design have been set and the concept established, our designer steps in to bring the bike to life. Colors are selected that reflect the customer’s desires for the final product, while the personalized design elements are put into place.

For SAGE rider, Jacob Rathe, the design of his new Barlow pays homage to his home in the Pacific Northwest. The colors and tree on the Doug Fir Flag, or Cascadia Flag, set the foundation of the design. Jacob was born and bred in the Pacific NW and currently lives in Portland, OR., which served as the inspiration for the final design and personal touches for his new Barlow.


The first steps of the finishing process include masking of the frame and a thorough cleaning to prep it for cerakote. This is a tedious, detail-oriented process and the work up front pays off with a huge return when finishing the frame.

Once all of the masking has been completed, it’s on to prepping the titanium. The exposed areas of the frame are blasted to the remove contaminants and clean it before spraying.


For Jacob’s Cascadia frame, NRA Blue, Storm Trooper White, and Squatch Green were the Cerakote colors of choice while leaving the Douglas Fir as raw titanium featured on the flag. Cerakote is an ultra-durable, chip and scratch resistant finish, that can be applied with great detail as seen in the Douglas fir or in broad swaths of color such as the aforementioned colors.

With the frame fully masked and cleaned it is moved to the next step: spraying the cerakote.

Finish trim:

Every bike has a story and this case the Cascadia frame has been brought to life through collaboration and the skilled touch of Titanium Finishing. Once the frame comes back from paint it is handed off to be trimmed out in the rider’s desired build.

Our bikes are meant to be beautiful works of art, but when it comes down to it, a SAGE is meant to be ridden! Jacob has raced his Barlow to many podiums over the years in some of the biggest gravel races in the country, and with his new paint scheme he will fly even faster than before.