Anodized Paint Experiences

FOADFOAD Posts: 318
edited March 2009 in Road buying advice
I am interested in buying the Cube Agree in Anodized Black finish but am a little worried about the resilience of the finish.

Does anyone have any experience of anodized finished that can persuade me it will be tough (a few threads on the MTB forums suggest Cube's anodized black isn't the best).

Thanks.

Posts

  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    FWIW anodising isn't a paint finish but a chemical process which reacts with the aluminium alloy to create a hard, coloured oxide coating. Like any finish, it can be scratched, so really depends on what you plan to use it for. The reason that it is generally avoided by manufacturers is that it is more expensive and frame prep is more exacting - you can hide all manner of nasties under a thick coat of paint!
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  • FOADFOAD Posts: 318
    Thanks for the reply.

    So I shouldn't be put off by this finish as it is in fatc better and more hard wearing?
  • ShezzerShezzer Posts: 229
    I have an 07 Cervelo Soloist which has a grey anodised frame. It's bullet proof!! I managed to spill some yellow energy drink on it last year, didn't clean it off straight away and it looked as if it had stained for good. No amount of rubbing would budge it. A friend of mine actually used a scouring pad to clean it off for me ... and it didn't leave a single mark on the frame!! :D

    With all other things being equal, if I had a choice between an anodised or non-anodised frame, I'd go anodised.
  • FOADFOAD Posts: 318
    Thanks for the advice...
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,340
    FOAD wrote:
    Thanks for the reply.

    So I shouldn't be put off by this finish as it is in fatc better and more hard wearing?

    Yes, it is "better" than paint. In my line of work I deal with lots and lots of handrail and guardrail. A lot of it is fairly fancy and anodized aluminum is ofter used. Produces a really good looking, tough, weather proof, finish. Colors are limited though. And it is expensive.

    Dennis Noward
  • FOADFOAD Posts: 318
    JUst been into mydealer, and he tells me that the anodized finished is great but an absolute censored to clean! Put me righ off tbh.
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,340
    FOAD wrote:
    JUst been into mydealer, and he tells me that the anodized finished is great but an absolute censored to clean! Put me righ off tbh.

    Hard to clean? Not sure where he got that idea. Lots of crank sets and chain rings are anodized and they clean up nicely. Same thing for some rims. Lots of car wheels are anodized. I'd call his judgement into question on this one.

    Dennis Noward
  • FOADFOAD Posts: 318
    He was saying on the basis that the finish has a light grain to it, dirt can get ingrained into it meaning a real hard scrub is needed to get it off after a while. I can see where he is coming from but like you say there is plenty to contradict his view.
  • ShezzerShezzer Posts: 229
    I've only had experience of one anodised bike so can't comment on them generically, but mine has not been a problem to keep clean. It's reassuring to know you can give it a right good scrubbing without doing damage.
  • I'd suspect that the term 'Anodized Black' finish might be marketing speak for 'painted to look anodized' - from your dealer's description I'm visualising a sort of matt finish like Marin used to use in the 90s?

    Genuine anodizing involves electrically forcing a uniform hard layer of oxide on the aluminium surface which then has a dye added to seal the porous oxide layer (more or less, I'm a DT teacher not an anodizing specialist) - the resulting surface can be very hard, scratchable with sharp tools eg a scriber, but very good at resisting day-to-day wear - the sort a bike receives anyway. It's not a cheap or easy process though, so it's expensive and normally AFAIK only found on expensive frames.

    An anodized surface is smooth and easy to clean, no question there.

    Lots of things give their mundane (essentially paint) finishes fancy names - look hom many things now have 'Titanium finish' in the description but aren't actually made of the substance named. Must be a Trades Description Act loophole?
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  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,340
    I'd suspect that the term 'Anodized Black' finish might be marketing speak for 'painted to look anodized' -

    Now, that's a damn good point and worth inquiring about. I wouldn't doubt that this is a possiblity.

    Dennis Noward
  • FOADFOAD Posts: 318
    To quote Cube's website -

    Andosied Finish - The colour of our aluminium frames with Eloxal finish is reached by anodising (a chemical process). After this treatment the aluminium is 1000 times more scratch-resistant than without.

    However, on the Agree Alu for instance although the colour is called Black Anodised, it doesn't carry the logo to the right hand side on their site, but instead has "Laser Design Finish".
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