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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 06-12-09, 06:37 PM   #1
PMK
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Polished vs Painted

Our Co-Mo is an aluminum framed Roadster. We got it used and as such did not get to choose the paint scheme.

While I don't mind the color / paint scheme, I am constantly drawn towards awe seeing some of the polished tandems.

I've never seen or heard mention of Co-Motions being offered as polished aluminum. So is it a blunder to strip and buff the oem paint which is in very good condition with only a couple of scratches, or should I leave well enough alone and enjoy their quality finish.

Has anyone ever owned or seen an Easton tubed 7005 bike polished?

Any thoughts.

PK
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Old 06-12-09, 07:32 PM   #2
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The problem with clear anodized aluminum frames is the need to hand-pick tubesets that are devoid of birthmarks and other normal blems and, well, care and feeding to keep the finish looking good as sweat and other climatic conditions begin to work on the finish.

This is one of the reasons that aluminum tandem frames are usually painted or anodized in such a way that the blemishes are either covered or highlighted as part of the finish. Our first Ventana had a translucent, candy apple red finish that allowed all of the birth marks to show through and it was way cool. Santana used a finish process early on that gave rise to their Blueberry and Raspberry Swirl anodized finishes to deal with aluminum tubing birthmarks. In fact, I had my heart set on a Raspberry Swirl Sovereign as our first tandem and was dissuade by my dealer when he offered up a Royal Plum Arriva that fit us to a tee.

Less I digress, it's a crap-shoot to assume that any aluminum frame that started out with an opaque finish will look right stripped of it's finish.
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Old 06-12-09, 07:57 PM   #3
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We have the blueberry swirl and its been one of the best features of the bike.
We get a lot of comments on the nice "paint job".
Its extremely durable, you have to look hard to see a scratch on it.
The only problem is the color has faded in some areas.
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Old 06-12-09, 08:39 PM   #4
regomatic
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I forget what you called your color scheme - some kind of top to bottom fade if I recall. I think it's pretty rare, as I've not noticed another one like it & and it's very sharp in your colors. I wouldn't change it until you beat it up enough that you needed a full repaint.

When we first started riding tandems I think I recall seeing a couple of Santana's with clear coat over Aluminum finish. They looked okay but not nearly as styling as your bike. Any nicks in the clear coat will cause the same oxidation on your Al frame as it would with paint, especially riding in the salt air that you encounter a lot on A1A.
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Old 06-13-09, 09:53 AM   #5
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Years ago I had friends with a clear coated over bare aluminum Santana and the sweat on the frame left spots that did not look good. In the early 90s Trek built a frame that was partially polished aluminum and it was difficult to keep clean and looking good. I would stick with paint.
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Old 06-13-09, 10:38 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies guys.

TG brings up the point of pristine tubes for a polished finish. I agree and this has been a big reason I asked and did not jump in yet. Years ago I did some race bikes for close friends. Their sponsorship necessitated a color change of the frames. Brand new high end aluminum frames were paint removed only to find small dents that had been filled then painted over. Nothing structurally bad, just cosmetic. This is one fear of paint removing the Co-Mo in hopes of a mirror polished finished.

Reg, the color como is a metallic cranberry with a vertical fade of metatallic pewter. Basically looking at the bike from front or top it's cranberry, looking from the back or from the bottom it's pewter. As I mentioned, I don't mind it but wish it were a tad more vibrant. You are correct it is unique.

Good point about riding along the ocean and corrosion. I do have a Turner mtb that is all mirror polished and it's not to bad to keep shiny. Just not sure how easy a 7005 Co-Mo aluminum frame will polish up and stay nice.

Each time I go through photos and see this Cannondale shining I just wonder. FWIW, the other two photos show the Cranberry / Pewter scheme.

Thanks
PK
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Old 06-14-09, 06:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PMK View Post
Thanks for the replies guys.

Good point about riding along the ocean and corrosion. I do have a Turner mtb that is all mirror polished and it's not to bad to keep shiny. Just not sure how easy a 7005 Co-Mo aluminum frame will polish up and stay nice.

Each time I go through photos and see this Cannondale shining I just wonder. FWIW, the other two photos show the Cranberry / Pewter scheme.
PK
Cannondale tandems are made of 6061 aluminum, which is much more corrosion-resistant than 7005. I hope that your Turner also 6061. 7005 is susceptible to "stress-corrosion cracking" when not anodized or coated with paint. You might want to contact the company, but I suspect that polishing your CoMo will void the frame warranty.

Regards,
Dave
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Old 06-14-09, 08:28 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by bikeriderdave View Post
Cannondale tandems are made of 6061 aluminum, which is much more corrosion-resistant than 7005. I hope that your Turner also 6061. 7005 is susceptible to "stress-corrosion cracking" when not anodized or coated with paint. You might want to contact the company, but I suspect that polishing your CoMo will void the frame warranty.

Regards,
Dave

Thanks for the reply Dave.

I was aware of the Dale being 6061, not sure on the Turner, but I could call and find out.

Since we are the second owners of this Co-Mo we have no warranty.

As an aerospace guy, I've been around 7000 series aluminum, but never seen it brightly polished.

I'm sitting on the fence about this and having had a few days to consider the replies here. I think the next move will be a call to Easton and get their opinion.

Thanks
PK
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