Gloss vs. Matte – Discuss

thegreatdivide
thegreatdivide Posts: 5,803
edited November 2013 in Road general
Surely a frame with a gloss finish and a liberal polish of Mr Sheen is going to save you a few watts over one of those ten to the dozen matte black things? Tell me it must be so!

And while we’re talking aero – a rider with a shaved head under their helmet must save at least 0.0004 watts over a rider with a full barnet?

Comments

  • diamonddog
    diamonddog Posts: 3,426
    I refuse to shave my head just for that tiny gain. :shock:
  • wipe your frame down with Turtle Wax ICE and not only does it help you keep the bike clean - it also makes it extra smooth shaving 0.0003watts off.
  • lawrences
    lawrences Posts: 1,011
    Surface layer will have no effect on aero dynamics as there is always a trapped boundary layer of air between the surface and the airflow.

    Only if the surface finish on your bike protrudes out of this layer (which it won't on matte or gloss) then it will have any effect upon aerodynamic drag.

    So it comes down to matte looks cool and gloss can be cleaned without accidentally polishing it.
  • bigpikle
    bigpikle Posts: 1,690
    matt paint wont suddenly become shiny - doesnt work on matt bike or car finishes. I use the same wax on my matt finish bike as my uber polished car and it doesnt suddenly become shiny!
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  • mfin
    mfin Posts: 6,729
    Bigpikle wrote:
    matt paint wont suddenly become shiny - doesnt work on matt bike or car finishes. I use the same wax on my matt finish bike as my uber polished car and it doesnt suddenly become shiny!

    Yes it does, have seen it quite a few times... from people cleaning in such away that drags the dirt around.
  • mfin wrote:
    Bigpikle wrote:
    matt paint wont suddenly become shiny - doesnt work on matt bike or car finishes. I use the same wax on my matt finish bike as my uber polished car and it doesnt suddenly become shiny!

    Yes it does, have seen it quite a few times... from people cleaning in such away that drags the dirt around.

    Which is why you need to wash the dirt off before applying wax or sealant! A pure automotive wax contains no abrasives, unlike a polish, which does. Don't get the two confused.
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    mfin wrote:
    Bigpikle wrote:
    matt paint wont suddenly become shiny - doesnt work on matt bike or car finishes. I use the same wax on my matt finish bike as my uber polished car and it doesnt suddenly become shiny!

    Yes it does, have seen it quite a few times... from people cleaning in such away that drags the dirt around.

    Not just the cleaning - you can see it on the side of top tubes where occasional rubbing from pedalling legs has polished the surface. Matt finishes are a truly terrible idea IMO!
    Faster than a tent.......
  • I've got a matt Scott CR1. Love the bike, hate the finish. It seems to show marks much more than a gloss finish and is harder to clean. Also, when I've spent ages cleaning a bike I like to be rewarded with something nice and shiny.
  • MattC59
    MattC59 Posts: 5,408
    A matte finish is faster.

    Sharks and golf balls are a prime example; they have a textured surface (which is all a matte finish is, it's just on a smaller scale) which allows a boundary layer of fluid to form. The friction between a boundary layer and the fluid is lower than the friction between the surface and the fluid flow.

    Fluid dynamics 101.

    Lawrences, you got it the wrong way around.

    Sensible stuff aside. Gloss is fastest, red gloss, preferably with stripes. Obviously 'go faster stripes' will also make a matte bike faster. Satin would be a better finish, as it combines the properties of both.

    I can confirm that my Satin finished Ti frame, along with 50mm wheels has increased my average speeds by at least 8.2 mph :D
    Science adjusts it’s beliefs based on what’s observed.
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  • lawrences
    lawrences Posts: 1,011
    MattC59 wrote:
    A matte finish is faster.

    Sharks and golf balls are a prime example; they have a textured surface (which is all a matte finish is, it's just on a smaller scale) which allows a boundary layer of fluid to form. The friction between a boundary layer and the fluid is lower than the friction between the surface and the fluid flow.

    Fluid dynamics 101.

    Lawrences, you got it the wrong way around.

    Sensible stuff aside. Gloss is fastest, red gloss, preferably with stripes. Obviously 'go faster stripes' will also make a matte bike faster. Satin would be a better finish, as it combines the properties of both.

    I can confirm that my Satin finished Ti frame, along with 50mm wheels has increased my average speeds by at least 8.2 mph :D

    uhm not quite, Golf balls have a heavily dimpled surface (many magnitudes greater than a paint finish, which makes them quite irrelevant to the topic) to induce turbulent flow which will stay attached to the rear side of the ball much better. This means there is a lower separation force on the rear side of the ball since a laminar flow becomes unattached and creates an area of low pressure behind the object.

    A matte finish is on such a small scale it will not protrude outside of the boundary layer therefore will have no effect on drag forces.

    fluids 102.

    Red is faster.
  • You're all wrong, Matte is faster, better, sexier, cooler and any other superlatives you want to throw at it!!

    I know that's true, 'cos my bike's got Matte paint!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    :)
    Scott CR1 Pro (Build in progress!!)
    Giant Defy 3