What is your experience with matt coated compared to gloss coated carbon frames in terms of susceptibility to dirt? Can you give any recommendations on care? At present I’m highly interested in the Specialized Tarmac SL4 (Pro); and for me as a rather fussy cyclist the coating option is an issue of major importance.
Reply by Dirk Zedler, TOUR technology expert and bicycle expert
Lacquer coatings of carbon frames cannot at all cope with powder-coated or anodized aluminium frames. The latter are more durable, require less maintenance and are more solid in use. The reason: Carbon frames are wet painted and dried at only moderate temperatures. But also the lacquers of carbon frames clearly differ from one another.
Frames with a thin and clear lacquer coating come off well, whereas white frames are sensitive. Often very bright lacquer coatings crack during use due to the thick coating of lacquer. The best option for matt finish frames is black. Bright colours very quickly obtain a dirty appearance. Cleaning takes a lot of time, any abrasive and intensive cleaning method is out of the question. The normally recommendable treatment with hard wax can lead to a fat, shiny appearance.
You must bear in mind that from a matt lacquer coating, in contrast to a glossy finish, even minor scratches cannot be removed by polishing. This remains always visible. The spot will be shiny subsequently. To rather fussy cyclists I therefore advise against matt lacquer coatings.