I’m thinking of getting some bits on my Ti race bike finished in Cerakote. I have seen more small makers are starting to use it like No.22. Has anybody got a bike finished in it? How durable is the finish in real world use?
I’ve found it to be remarkably resistant to chipping (from impact, for example), but more susceptible to scuffing than I’d expected.
My most recent experience was on an Alchemy Rogue I reviewed a few months ago. There are some pictures there of the housing rub: Alchemy Rogue gravel bike review: Modern geometry with boutique appeal - CyclingTips
I work for a small builder and we use Cerakote on some bikes. It’s effectively as durable as high-quality paint (raw Ti is much harder). One noticeable benefit, however, is the dirt & mud shedding properties. Cerakote is less sticky than normal paint.
It looks great on the n22 frame and there are many examples of nice results.
It’s no secret that the product is used a lot in the weapon industry and so far so good.
Having a color named “Nra blue” is one step too far in my book though, and I don’t see myself suporting that in any way.
Thanks for the first hand observation James. I’m not getting the frame done so cable rub shouldn’t be an issue. I was planning to get my Ti bottle cages done so I wonder if the motion of taking out bottle cages will cause the finish to wear over time?
My guess is it would, but it might be worth asking Drew at Engin Cycles as I know he has a lot of experience with Cerakote.
Same here on the scuffing resistance. Silca titanium cages in Cerakote red to match some red bits on my Moots. Looks fantastic and the hand feel is silky smooth. One mildly wet, mildly gravelly ride scuffed the Cerakote off the bottle touch points on the inside of the cages. The spots are small and not noticeable at all with bottles in the cages, but I see them when cages are empty. The hype on Cerakote would lead you to believe it’s indestructible, but I don’t think there’s a finish out there that could withstand the constant “sandpapering” action of a gritty bottle on any surface, even pavement. That being said I like the thinness and feel and color selection. I’m considering a custom downtube logo and truly matching up all the small bits - collar, bar plugs, axle ends, cages, and such. For parts that see little to no rubbing or scuffing it’s a viable alternative to paint and anodizing.
I think you’ve absolutely nailed it: the key is setting a reasonable expectation for how durable Cerakote (or any finish) is going to be.
From No. 22’s perspective, we’ve been experimenting with Cerakote for several years and are only now rolling it out in “production” finishes. It’s a very tough, durable finish compared to most conventional paints, and so I think the expectation that Cerakote will hold up better to general wear and tear than wet paint is accurate.
No finish is indestructible, though, Cerakote most definitely included. If there’s a bag strapped to a top tube and that bike is ridden in gritty, dusty gravel it is pretty shocking how aggressive of a sandpaper that creates, and any finish (even raw titanium) will abrade really quickly.
Bottom line: Cerakote will hold up better than almost any other finish, but a bit of care and protection is still required to keep the frame looking good.