Materials and Finishes
Madrax means quality bicycle parking that meets your vision—and with over 40 finishes and color combinations available, we are sure that we have something to meet your aesthetic and project needs.
Materials & Finishes
Learn about the materials & finishes that Madrax and Thomas Steele offer for their hand-crafted Bike Rack and Site Furnishing products. We discuss the differences between different materials and finish types, as well as when you should use certain finishes and what warranties are associated with each.
Galvanized (-G): Rack is hot-dipped galvanized after fabrication for a utility finish.
Withstanding the elements with little to no maintenance, our galvanized products are durable and weather to a battleship grey. For this finish, the product will have vent holes that will allow draining after a hot-dip in the molten zinc tank. A galvanized product is an economical choice that resists rust. This finish comes with a 5-year warranty.
Stainless Steel (-S): Rack shall be polished to a Satin #4 finish, a rich, mirror-like finish.
Crafted from stainless steel and polished to a rich, mirror-like Satin #4 finish, these racks are a highly durable and attractive option that will last through decades of use. As one of our more resilient finishes, Stainless Steel is perfect for products used in salty ocean air and other tough environmental conditions. Products come with a 5-year warranty.
Electro Polished Stainless Steel (-ES): Rack is electro polished.
Much like our Stainless Steel finish, Electro Polished Stainless lends decades of durability to your rack. To achieve this sleek and polished look, our Electro Polished Stainless Steel finished racks are dipped into an acid bath that removes a small layer of metal and adds a high level of shine. This product is complete with a 5-year warranty.
Black Vinyl Cushion Coating: Rack is dipped with a plastisol coating after fabrication.
For the devoted bicyclist, Black Vinyl Cushion Coating is an easy way to protect the integrity of bicycles. Racks are dipped in plastisol to achieve a 1/8th inch rubbery finish. This added cushion protects high-quality bicycles from dents and scratches. The default color for this finish is black. Other colors are available upon request. Cushion Coated products have a 1-year warranty.
Powder Coat Finishes
For a smooth finish and a refined appearance, select one of our Powder Coats for your product. To ensure powder coat adhesion, the steel for this finish must be free of any scale, paint, varnish, or rust. Substrate preparation prior to powder coating will include a chemical wash and rinse followed by an iron phosphate treatment. See available colors* below.
Super TGIC Powder Coat (-P)
Available in 16 vibrant shades*, Super TGIC coated products will stain significantly less from UV light than other finishes, keeping your rack’s custom color vivid longer. Rack is powder coated after fabrication with a 5-6mm thick electrostatically applied super polyester powder coating. This finish has a 1-year warranty.
Thermoplastic Powder Coat
Protect bicycles from dents and scratches with this lightly cushioned thermoplastic finish. Rack is powder coated after fabrication with thermoplastic polyethylene coating, giving the product a slightly soft and protective quality. Thermoplastic Powder Coated products are backed by a 1-year warranty. Limited color selection available*.
Powder Coated Stainless Steel (-PS)
Constructed with stainless steel, Powder Coated Stainless Steel racks are highly durable due to the anti-corrosive property of the steel used in construction. Racks are polished and then coated with an electrostatically applied super TGIC polyester powder. These products come with a 5-year warranty due to the durable steel they are constructed with.
Powder Coat Colors
Standard Hardshell Powder Coat™ colors are shown. Contact us at 608-849-1080 or at [email protected] for additional available custom finishes.
*Due to variations in monitors, colors shown may not be an exact match. Please request color samples from Madrax for accurate color comparisons.
Hot-Dipped Galvanized Steel
Galvanizing HDG, or Hot-Dipped Galvanized steel is a common finish used in the realm of bicycle parking. The "hot-dipped" refers to the finish applied to the steel structure as it is completely submerged in a molten zinc bath. Before this bath occurs, the steel goes through a surface preparation consisting of three steps: degreasing/caustic cleaning in a hot alkaline solution, pickling in a hydrochloric or sulfuric acid to remove surface rust, and fluxing in a zinc ammonium chloride solution to remove oxides and prevent oxidation prior to being dipped in the molten zinc.
As the molten zinc bath begins the actual "galvanizing step" the steel is submerged in a bath of 815-850 degrees Fahrenheit. The zinc then reacts with the iron in the steel forming "a series of metallurgically bonded zinc-iron alloy layers… As the steel is withdrawn slowly from the galvanizing bath, excess zinc is removed by draining, vibrating, and/or centrifuging. The metallurgical reaction will continue after the articles are withdrawn from the bath, as long as it remains near bath temperature." The description of the process itself helps to explain why galvanized bicycle racks appear the way that they do. Since the racks are completely submerged in the molten zinc, "breathe holes" are put into the bent steel tubing to prevent the steel from exploding under the extremely hot pressure this also allows air to escape and the molten zinc to completely fill the inside of the rack- adding interior protection to the steel to prevent corrosion from the inside out. Additionally, when the zinc is draining from the steel it has an easier escape; zinc particles can "bead" on the steel creating zinc "chunks" and some sharp particles that are sanded off at our facility. It can also create a ripple effect where some of the steel appears smooth, and other parts appear rough.
Overtime, the galvanizing will oxidize and all become a uniform ashy-grey color. The American Galvanizers Association has this to say about the appearance of galvanized steel: "The steel chemistry is the primary determinant of galvanized coating thickness and appearance. Continuously cast steel produced by the steel companies has a wide variety of chemistries, thus the different coating appearances."