Maintaining Matt Finish Frames

Increasingly popular in recent years is the painted matt finish, or indeed the unclacquered carbon fibre frame.   To maintain the finish for a long period, and to prevent it from becoming shiny, (i.e. less matt), the procedure and products needed for cleaning are slightly different.  Here at Crankalicious we've developed some products perfect for these frame types, and so this guide will share exactly why, and how, to prepare your matt frame.

Before we get into the detail of how, let's first understand exactly what causes a frame to appear matt, and why that's important.

Matt Finish Frame

Now let's consider what causes a frame to be shiny (i.e. highly reflective of light).  In contrast to the matt frame's rough surface in the picture above, a shiny frame's is very flat.   This causes light to reflect far more easily on the surface of the frame.

Shiny Frame

You can see that the way to maintaining a matt appearance is by ensuring the surface stays rough - i.e. all of those small lumps and bumps remain, so light does not get reflected.

Many products on the market leave behind some trace, and over time this will fill in those small lumps and bumps on your matt frame.  As this happens, your matt frame will become shiny.   

Don't use a polish

Any product on the market which uses the word "polish" will contain an abrasive.  When your shiny frame gets a scratch, the only way to remove the appearance of that scratch is to reduce its depth and round off the edges, or hopefully remove it entirely by taking away enough material.   We are only talking a few microns (1/1000 of a mm) in some cases - hence a light, hand applied polish will work.  For more information on scratch removal, please see our separate guide.

This effect of "flattening" to remove the appearance of scratches is not what a matt frame needs.  You will turn your matt frame into a shiny one. 

How to clean

For a very dirty bike, rinse with a low-pressure hose to remove the majority of mud and grit.  (Do not use a jet wash - you'll force mud in, and grease out, of the important bits!).  Once rinsed, use Mud Honey - a foaming bucket wash - along with our Madam Palm microfibre wash mitt - to clean the bike fully.  Rinse again with a low-pressure hose.  If there is still some stubborn dirt, use Pineapple Express for targetted cleaning. 

Dry using our Soak Star drying towel.

Finally, to ensure no products remain on your frame, and to remove any traces of dirt, fingerprints, water spots or contaminants, use Carboniferous; our specially developed matt detailing spray, along with Fur Rouge - our lovely and soft detailing cloth.

When your bike is not particularly dirty, or you want to quickly spruce up before a ride, you can just use a quick spray of Carboniferous to make your matt frame look as perfect as possible.

Carboniferous matt detailing spray

This short video shows how Carboniferous is designed to flash away after use, ensuring there is nothing left on your frame that could impede the finish.  Don't use the wrong product; we also show how much of an impact that could have.

For any questions or queries about detailing or cleaning matt frames, please feel free to contact us.