Looking After Titanium
There are some wonderful bike frames being made in titanium; let's discuss how best to look after them.
Your frame can be finished in one of 2 ways;
1) Lacquered titanium. The brushed metal surface is coated with a clear coat (lacquer) to protect it. In exactly the same way as your car has a clear coat lacquer over the top of the colour, some titanium frames are coated in the same way.
2) Brushed metal finish. The surface is bare titanium - typically it is brushed to a matt, "rough" finish. This gives it the non-reflective look. If you were to polish it completely, it would be shiny like a mirror - and really difficult to maintain well.
How to tell the difference?
If you can feel a tiny roughness as you run your nail along the frame finish (it will be very slight), then this is brushed bare finish. It has no lacquer. Bikes such as Litespeed ( https://litespeed.com/ ) or J.Laverack (https://www.jlaverack.co.uk/) have this finish.
If the finish is incredibly smooth to the touch; this will be lacquered (clear coat) over the top of the titanium.
To be absolutely sure, it's best to check with the frame manufacturer. Why? Well using the wrong products could damage the finish.
Here's how to look after each...
1) Lacquered titanium;
The process is exactly the same as a painted frame covered in lacquer. For more information on scratch removal, maintaining (and improving) the finish, along with protecting it afterwards, visit our detailed guide at crankalicious.com/scratch-removal
2) Brushed finish
Treat your bike like it has a matt painted finish. Do not use any polishing (abrasive) media on it. More information in our guide on matt bikes here; crankalicious.com/matt