Are carbon bikes just too shiny!?

YIMan
YIMan Posts: 576
edited January 2013 in Road general
I had a browse round a local bike shop (Leisure Lakes) on the way home today. I'm thinking about a new road bike later this year and wanted to see a few bikes in the flesh.

They had a good selection of Trek, Specialized, Focus, Cube, Cannondale, Wilier carbon bikes on show.

I was struck by how few of them I actually liked the look of....the Cannondale were probably the best of the main brands but the best looking road bikes in the shop, to my eyes, were two titanium Van Nicholas'. The best looking MTB was a purple (yes, purple) Orange 5 - I'm biased on this one though.

Most of the carbon bikes just seemed too shiny, too garish and almost "plasticcy" to me with some very odd shaped tubes.

Is it just me? Do they look better with a coat of dirt on to take the gloss off?
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Comments

  • I love to keep my carbon bike shiney as a new penny.
    Tail end Charlie

    The above post may contain traces of sarcasm or/and bullsh*t.
  • smidsy
    smidsy Posts: 5,273
    They are plasticcy and do have odd shaped tubes, thats what people lust after these days you know.

    Take my Basso as an example the top tube and down tube have a '4 leaf clover' cross section.

    The beauty of carbon IS that you can pretty much create any shape you want. This is used to good effect to keep the weight down but the stiffness etc up in the areas that it needs to be.
    Yellow is the new Black.
  • YIMan
    YIMan Posts: 576
    Yeah I guess I was a bit struck by how what looks like a nice-looking bike on a website image can actually look markedly different in the flesh when you see all the intricacies of it.
  • smidsy
    smidsy Posts: 5,273
    It is realy hard to capture in photos

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/77946148@N ... otostream/

    Even these do not give an accurate depiction of how the lines change in reality.
    Yellow is the new Black.
  • YIMan
    YIMan Posts: 576
    That looks good to me in the photos - not too shiny nor too irregularly shaped.
  • smidsy
    smidsy Posts: 5,273
    YIMan wrote:
    That looks good to me in the photos - not too shiny nor too irregularly shaped.

    I never was a David Bailey.
    Yellow is the new Black.
  • no doubt carbon looks good and rides good , but many carbon owners i know are constantly in fear of rain and dirt. my mate spent £1600 on a cube argree in june and has ridden it twice !!!
  • smidsy
    smidsy Posts: 5,273
    That's nothing. I've just spent £3k on the Basso and not ridden it at all!!!!
    Yellow is the new Black.
  • Bozman
    Bozman Posts: 2,518
    edited January 2013
    I've got a Focus Izalco frame that looks like a dull pile of shite after riding it through the winter, it's chipped here and there but it's still a top frame.
    For sale in March!!! Size small... 54cm TT
  • lotus49
    lotus49 Posts: 763
    stelfc2005 wrote:
    no doubt carbon looks good and rides good , but many carbon owners i know are constantly in fear of rain and dirt. my mate spent £1600 on a cube argree in june and has ridden it twice !!!

    I have to say that carbon may be a great material for making road bikes out of but I think that many modern carbon bikes are absolute munters and I don't recall seeing any that I thought were pretty.

    I have returned to cycling after 30 years being a lazy driver so perhaps my age has an influence on my taste but looking at pictures on this forum, almost all the bikes that I looked at and thought "that looks lovely" were old steel bikes. If I get fit enough to deserve a carbon bike I dare say I shall buy one but I won't be buying it on the basis of looks.

    Here is a nice example of a lovely steel bike (with some Belgian bloke on it).



    Call me an old codger, but that's cool.
  • roypsb
    roypsb Posts: 309
    My carbon Wilier looks fantastic. Very shiny black when clean but almost continuously filthy at the moment.

    Don't have a problem riding it through the winter. I didn't buy it for it to look pretty in the garage!
  • Grill
    Grill Posts: 5,610
    My Foil is Matte Black. 40 grams lighter than the painted frame and I wouldn't have it any other way.
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • ShutUpLegs
    ShutUpLegs Posts: 3,522
    YIMan wrote:
    The best looking MTB was a purple (yes, purple) Orange 5 - I'm biased on this one though.

    Yeah, purple is all the rage
  • Strith
    Strith Posts: 541
    Bit of wet n' dry will take the shine off. Stealth black was all the rage last season, guess shiny is the finish for 2013.
  • MattC59
    MattC59 Posts: 5,408
    Matt titanium, it's the way forward !
    Science adjusts it’s beliefs based on what’s observed.
    Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved
  • pauldavid
    pauldavid Posts: 392
    smidsy wrote:
    They are plasticcy and do have odd shaped tubes, thats what people lust after these days you know.

    Take my Basso as an example the top tube and down tube have a '4 leaf clover' cross section.

    The beauty of carbon IS that you can pretty much create any shape you want. This is used to good effect to keep the weight down but the stiffness etc up in the areas that it needs to be.

    Having just got out of the bath and applied my moisturiser my face is a little shiny and I also have a odd shaped tube (slight kink to the right)

    However, I am absolutely not made of carbon and I have not given my tube a silly foreign name like "Basso", I just refer to it as little paul :)
  • The only shiny bike i have is my Bianchi which is a Aluminium basically. It is a lovely lipstick red frame & looks stunning. Red frames are meant to be shiny though aren't they? My other two bikes, Spesh Roubaix & Canyon Ultimate CF, are understated black & look quite ninja, & i like it that way! Actually they are both partially matte effect so have minimal shine anyway. However, i would agree that most carbon frames are very shiny & bling & ting, but thats what the kids & mamils want isn't it? If i was to buy another bike now (which i won't be), i would go titanium. I think they look the sweetest frames out there & are just the right mix of subtle understatement & shinyness.
  • ShutUpLegs wrote:
    YIMan wrote:
    The best looking MTB was a purple (yes, purple) Orange 5 - I'm biased on this one though.

    Yeah, purple is all the rage

    With Prince :lol:
  • jordan_217
    jordan_217 Posts: 2,580
    MattC59 wrote:
    Matt titanium, it's the way forward !

    Jog on. Mirror polished Ti is where it's at. :wink:
    “Training is like fighting with a gorilla. You don’t stop when you’re tired. You stop when the gorilla is tired.”
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    smidsy wrote:
    The beauty of carbon IS that you can pretty much create any shape you want. This is used to good effect to keep the weight down but the stiffness etc up in the areas that it needs to be.

    But most of the time it is just used to make interesting shapes to justify some daft pseudo technical text printed on the frame!
    Faster than a tent.......
  • jordan_217
    jordan_217 Posts: 2,580
    Rolf F wrote:
    smidsy wrote:
    The beauty of carbon IS that you can pretty much create any shape you want. This is used to good effect to keep the weight down but the stiffness etc up in the areas that it needs to be.

    But most of the time it is just used to make interesting shapes to justify some daft pseudo technical text printed on the frame!

    What are you trying to say Rolf, that Carbon Unified Nano Technology is just a marketing ploy?
    “Training is like fighting with a gorilla. You don’t stop when you’re tired. You stop when the gorilla is tired.”
  • i have a pinarello fp quattro carbon i think it looks beautifull although others will disagree.its all down to personal taste.i think all young riders would go for carbon before alu .the price of carbon frames falling all the time and im sure carbon frames will soon be the norm on even the cheapest of bikes
  • lotus49
    lotus49 Posts: 763
    Rolf F wrote:
    smidsy wrote:
    The beauty of carbon IS that you can pretty much create any shape you want. This is used to good effect to keep the weight down but the stiffness etc up in the areas that it needs to be.

    But most of the time it is just used to make interesting shapes to justify some daft pseudo technical text printed on the frame!

    Absolutely spot on.

    I wouldn't disagree that carbon is an excellent material for making bike frames from but I cannot believe that the daft pseudo technical claims justify the wide price differences.

    I have known a couple of wealthy hi-fi buffs in my time. They spent the most ludicrous amounts of money buying things like pure silver cables at £2,000 a metre and justified it saying the music sounded warmer or some such nonsense. Needless to say, none of the perceived difference was actually measurable using proper equipment but they didn't let that put them off.

    We aren't quite there with cycling but I have yet to see any evidence that anyone is measurably faster on a £10k bike than a £2k one. If anyone has seen any such evidence, I would be genuinely interested to be pointed in its direction.
  • blackpoolkev
    blackpoolkev Posts: 474
    edited January 2013
    Grill wrote:
    My Foil is Matte Black.

    Scott Matte Black does it for me.
    My CR1-SL:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/16440121@N06/8003911777/
  • MattC59
    MattC59 Posts: 5,408
    jordan_217 wrote:
    MattC59 wrote:
    Matt titanium, it's the way forward !

    Jog on. Mirror polished Ti is where it's at. :wink:

    Well, I've got both :P :wink:
    Science adjusts it’s beliefs based on what’s observed.
    Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved
  • YIMan wrote:
    I had a browse round a local bike shop (Leisure Lakes) on the way home today. I'm thinking about a new road bike later this year and wanted to see a few bikes in the flesh.

    They had a good selection of Trek, Specialized, Focus, Cube, Cannondale, Wilier carbon bikes on show.

    I was struck by how few of them I actually liked the look of....the Cannondale were probably the best of the main brands but the best looking road bikes in the shop, to my eyes, were two titanium Van Nicholas'. The best looking MTB was a purple (yes, purple) Orange 5 - I'm biased on this one though.

    Most of the carbon bikes just seemed too shiny, too garish and almost "plasticcy" to me with some very odd shaped tubes.

    Is it just me? Do they look better with a coat of dirt on to take the gloss off?

    My bike is carbon and has matt paint.


    Figure that one out
  • YIMan
    YIMan Posts: 576
    Ok...I've figured it out....I didn't see a matt carbon bike in the shop but the 30 I did see were all shiny.
  • sungod
    sungod Posts: 16,552
    "too shiny", surely not possible
    jordan_217 wrote:
    MattC59 wrote:
    Matt titanium, it's the way forward !

    Jog on. Mirror polished Ti is where it's at. :wink:

    or polished stainless steel

    mmm, steel
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • Parlee. All the pros of carbon, but fairly "normal", looking tubes. :wink:
  • YIMan
    YIMan Posts: 576
    Parlee. All the pros of carbon, but fairly "normal", looking tubes. :wink:

    Agreed, I saw a lovely looking Parlee on (I think) one of the Rapha videos.

    This one....I think:

    parlee-side-lo2.jpg