"Detailing" a matte carbon finish frame

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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by boidos

Hi all, I have seen threads along this topic before, but cant seem to find a consensus.
I have a MTBK Colnago EPS 2011 with the matte nude carbon finish.

The finish is a little dull after a few years. After I give it a good clean, I am looking for a product to give it a bit of protection and to restore some of the deep black colour from out of the shop. I understand that you cannot use anything designed for gloss frames.

I have heard recommendations for both Protect-All bike shine as well as 303 Aerospace Protectant.

Does anyone have any experience with these products, or tips for "detailing" a matte nude carbon finish frame?

by Weenie

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by prendrefeu

Exp001 || Other projects in the works.

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by boidos

great, thanks!

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by carbonLORD

303 is the only product that makes your matte finish frame a semi gloss finish for a few days and is easily removed with Windex. Do not use that though. Just saying if you do, it can be washed off without messing up the matte finish.

I mainly use Water or Windex in all honesty but rubbing alcohol where any grease or spots might be present and it works fine for both my MTBK C59 and Project Black S-WORKS Venge.

Sometimes I will use diluted dish soap like Dawn but usually after a wet ride.

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by HakeemT

What are your options if you actually want to get rid of the matte carbon finish, other than stripping and re-painting?

I'm having an awfully hard time keeping the white matte finish of my frame 'white'; the only thing that really works is white gas / naphtha (shellite here in Australia). It was much easier keeping my previous gloss white frame clean.
Is there any kind of wax / solvent, like 303, that is (at least) semi-permanent?

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by digibud

your white gas probably has removed any protective coating. I would never use a solvent as strong as gas on a bike. 99% isopropyl alcohol would do a good job cleaning but would not strip the outer layer of wax, but it's probably too late for that. I doubt that anything you apply is going to be very permanent. To gain any permanence you need to bond a chemical and with a matte finish I'm not sure what you would want to bond to it. I'll be curious to follow this. My only recommendation is to stop using gas immediately unless you get some solid confirmation that it isn't hurting anything. It's a pretty strong solvent.

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by csf

All you need for superb matt finish is Nanolex /cleaner, shampoo, sealant) or Chemical Guys (Matt QD and shampoo, finish you will received using this products will be better than new one from shop :thumbup:

You can find all line on http://www.nanolex.de/en/home or buy it from distributors.

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by HakeemT

White gas is a bit of a generic name for a naphtha-like solvent. It's not 'gas' as in 'fuel'.
The stuff I use contains hydrocarbons 5 to 7, sort of on the medium scale of 'lightness' I suppose, but it does evaporate quickly and it certainly doesn't strip any paint (I've been using it to clean my bikes since forever and haven't had any issues with it).

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by aarw

I've never owned a matt carbon frame until now, all my previous frames have had a gloss finish and have polished up beautifully after regular washing. I've just taken ownership of a Canyon CF SLX frameset, and while I’m just in the process of building it up I've been looking at the best way to wash and clean it to ensure I retain the matt finish.
I see there are a few matt specific cleaning and protection products - Morgan Blue and Red Ant – which receive mixed feedback.

Folk on here are pretty fussy about their steeds – what do you find is the best way to clean and protect your matt carbon frames?


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by Frankie13

I have an Ultimate CF and use mostly just plain water on a wet rack to wipe down. If it is really sweaty I use a little dish soap as well. Works perfect and you really don't need to buy any extra stuff.

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by em3


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by aaric

Baby wipes.

A little bit of dawn dish soap for grease spots.

If that fails, magic eraser.

If its real bad (such as deeper scratches into the top coat), real fine sand paper and furniture polish (ie: Pledge).

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by showdown

All of my Colnagos have had a matte finish and I know what you mean about them looking dry or dull after a clean.

My preferred method of cleaning is diluted dish soap all over the bike with diluted citrus degreaser to clean off the really greasy parts such as the chainstay... After the bike is totally clean and dry I take a rag and spray it down with Armor All and wipe the bike down completely with that. It adds a bit of depth to the matte finish without making it glossy. In addition it protects a bit and keeps it looking good for a while.


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by NiFTY

I have a "satin" semi matte finish frame and I use aero 303. Looks fantastic, also makes it really easy to clean.
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