Behind the Scenes: Painting Bryn Atkinson's Wild-Looking 'Snake Bike'


We first saw Bryn Atkinson's custom painted Norco Range last summer at Crankworx Whistler, where the 'Snake Bike' was attracting all sorts of curious onlookers. The wild paint job was done by Tony Baumann, who's based out of Bellingham, Washington, where he operates 'Made Rad by Tony.' The project took nearly 90 hours from start to finish, with a good portion of that time spent painstakingly picking out each scale from sheets of vinyl. Once the base paint job was applied, multiple layers of clearcoat were sprayed on to lock everything into place and to give the bike a slick, glossy finish.

Bryn was present for much of the process to document the creation of this one-of-a-kind bike – his photographs and captions below show just how much time and effort were involved.

- Mike Kazimer

Day 1. Job's on.
A good clean up and an intense sanding job got things rolling. The 'Snake Bike' started as a brand new Range29 frame, and although it may seem easy starting with a new frame, it's all the original decals that create little imperfections that would show up on a smooth finished surface. For that reason, a good sand job is key.

Patience.. Yeah this man's got lots of it. There were over 40 of these individual 4"x9" sheets, hand weeding each and every scale..

Once the template scales were all laid down over the black base coat, Tony went through with a blade to cut out any overlapping vinyl or imperfections that didn't look like a scale.

The drip bucket from a few other MadeRad projects.
Inspiration comes in many forms..

Every single scale got some form of a highlight.
Layering in the RED.
Fun fact: The Aussie native Red Belly Black Snake is seventh on the list of the country's most venomous snakes. It can also stay underwater for over 20 minutes...

Next was removing all that vinyl templating..
Every last bit..

All that leftover adhesive had to be peeled off too, without damaging the fresh paint just laid down.
A moment of complete focus. Final inspection before the clear coat goes on.
Clear, and lots of it. Laid down thick for a slippery, smooth look. And some added protection.

The details.
Bryn Atkinson's "Red Belly Black Snake" inspired Norco Range. Who wants to see it ridden?
Check out more of Tony's work at www.maderad.com and @tonybaumann
MENTIONS: @norcobicycles, @shimano, @foxfactory, @Maxxis