We’ve all seen eye-catching vinyl wrapping on trucks and busses. But vinyl wrapping a frameset is the brainchild of triathlete, coach, and entrepreneur Richie Caiazza. He wanted his bike to stand out from all the others on the transition rack. A vinyl wrap emblazoned with his own design seemed like the perfect solution. He was right! And when fellow triathletes saw his bike, they wanted Richie to customize their frames, too. Thus, Bicycle Makeover was born. Bicycle Makeover is a new and practical way to make your bike uniquely you- your frame is the canvas-and imagination is the limit.
PBE Do you have background/education in design?
RC I basically learned by doing. I’m a mechanic by trade, and I worked mainly on diesel trucks. Everything I have designed has been self taught. I have learned through YouTube videos and trial and error on how to use Photoshop and Illustrator. It’s been a long and slow process, and I still have a tremendous amount to learn.
PBE Vinyl wrapping seems like a really specialized skill, how did you learn how to do that?
RC Much like learning the computer programs, learning how to vinyl wrap ANYTHING has proven to be challenging and time consuming. A bicycle frame has its own unique set of challenges. You’re basically trying to cover a round tube with a flat object. The math just doesn’t add up. Everyone told me it couldn’t be done, but I had no choice but to make it so.
PBE How many grams in weight does a wrap add?
RC A frame and fork adds between 50-70 grams, where a paint job can add from 250 grams and up. Plus, since the vinyl wrap is removable, it doesn’t void your frame’s warranty, and actually provides protection against chips, cracks and other damage.
PBE How long does a wrap last (under normal use and with proper care)?
RC Under normal conditions, you can expect a properly cared for wrap to last the life of the bike. If a seam comes up, and it’s addressed quickly, there will not be any peeling. In the field, I’ve seen the typical life span be between 3-5 years before the color begins to fade.
PBE What’s your favorite part of your business?
RC My favorite part of the business is when a customer gets their bike and the reactions that other people have to them. The get attention wherever they go. So, it’s a lot of fun to see how people love them.
PBE How did you choose your location or did it choose you?
RC My father owns another truck parts shop, and I operate out of the offices in one of the locations of that business.
PBE Do you still do coaching?
RC I do still coach, just not nearly the amount of clients that I once did. I really enjoy coaching, and watching the athletes progress from a novice to a competitive force in triathlon.
PBE What’s your favorite training and/or destination ride?
RC Anywhere the road takes me. I enjoy riding by myself. It gives me time to reflect on what I have to do, and to challenge myself to get better against me, and not anyone else. I feel that these alone rides have given me an edge when I compete.