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  1. #1
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    Paint Jobs on Carbon Fiber Frames Wear Out Faster?

    Hey guys,

    I have heard a few people mention that "Carbon Fiber doesn't age well" meaning that, the clearcoat, paint, etc. starts going dull a lot quicker than on a metal, aluminum, or ti frame... What do you guys think?

  2. #2
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    Paint is paint. It is going to dull at the same rate regardless of the substrate it is used on. However I have found (as with fiberglass cars) that the paint will crack and flake off over time because the frame tubes flex slightly. I found this especially true with my Trek 5200 OCLV. The frame is bonded together so everywhere that there is a bond the paint was cracking and flaking off. Carbon fiber itself ages well, but the paint on top doesn't. It just gives you a good excuse to repaint it, or strip it down to carbon and clear coat it for a stealth look!
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  3. #3
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    Issues with carbon depend on the type of resin used, what they laid down to seal the pores before painting, etc. lots of variables. But, I'd assume that most manufacturers know how to do a proper paint job on carbon.

  4. #4
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    Paint on carbon frames might be thinner than on steel. I think manufacturers try to balance out the cost/durability/weight triumvirate when it comes to bikes, and paint is no different. If you're worried about the paint being less durable, get some of the crankskin or frameskin film and slather your bike with it.

    I covered my Trek Top Fuel 110, a bike with notoriously thin paint, with crankskin film and rode it for about two years. When I pulled the film off to sell, the bike looked very close to brand-new. I am convinced that this, plus the high-end components I had on it, was the reason I was able to sell my 26er for such a decent price and in a relatively short amount of time.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Paint Jobs on Carbon Fiber Frames Wear Out Faster?-3.-img_4775-medium-.jpg  

    Paint Jobs on Carbon Fiber Frames Wear Out Faster?-4.-img_4821-medium-.jpg  

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  5. #5
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    Based on all the research, I think Carbon Fiber Bikes are only for people who really really need them. Average riders like myself don't have any use for them, I would just be taking a lot of doubts by buying one. I was really close to dropping $2,165 for a 2011 Marin Team CXR, model that never sold, it has been in the floor for a little over 2 years now. I just went ahead and ordered the Nail Trail, which is the exact same frame but in a 6061 Alloy, which is almost 2 pounds heavier.. (nothing)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axobreil View Post
    Based on all the research, I think Carbon Fiber Bikes are only for people who really really need them. Average riders like myself don't have any use for them, I would just be taking a lot of doubts by buying one. I was really close to dropping $2,165 for a 2011 Marin Team CXR, model that never sold, it has been in the floor for a little over 2 years now. I just went ahead and ordered the Nail Trail, which is the exact same frame but in a 6061 Alloy, which is almost 2 pounds heavier.. (nothing)
    Everyone has to decide for themselves what frame material is best for their needs. But it is pretty clear that carbon fiber is the future, even for average riders. When I first started riding in the 80s, aluminum was considered an expensive, exotic and fragile material that was just for racers. Now even Walmart bikes are made of aluminum.
    2012 On One Whippet 650b
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    2014 On One Dirty Disco
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    1987 Haro RS1

  7. #7
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    Nothing wrong with CF ... But a big problem if the wrong paint is applied, including primer, or the prep is bad.

    A hard drying paint will crack and flake, due to the substrate being flexible, and having expansion/contraction characteristics that are in conflict with what might be chosen to cover it.

    Look at a Corvette body ... No flaking or cracks on those, due to proper paint choice.

    I envision the worst being laquer, and the best being a poly-based paint.

  8. #8
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    All I did was install an adapter for the rear brake and I cracked the paint on the tabs of my Blur LTc. I used a torque wrench and as soon as I snugged up the bolts, red paint flaked right off. At that moment, I kind of missed my anodized Blur. Two years and barely a blemish.

  9. #9
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    I've got a CF trek hardtail that's over 10 years old, the paint hasn't chipped or cracked. It sees commuter and rail trail duty these days but it was my main ride for many years through mud, snow, you name it, it wasn't babied. Don't blame the frame material as the culprit, blame the manufacturer for poor prep or cutting corners for whatever reason or neglect by the end user.

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