There is something about bare carbon that everyone just loves. It is interesting, usually when someone is keen on striping their carbon bike they always expect to see a twill weave and are disappointed if it is uni-directional. I think the uni-directional can look great. Check the BMC below, I think that looks terrific.
Not that twill looks half bad either, this Calfee has been stripped and then prepped and clear coated ready for new decals and paint.
The biggest issue with stripping carbon is cost, if your frame is mainly carbon with a few colours and decals cost to strip will be about $200. If it is fully painted cost can go to $600 and beyond just to get the paint off. We usually sand it off by hand, it can take hours. A good way to save some cash and still get the look is doing like we did on this Pinarello below, it is a combo of paint and carbon and we have just stripped the parts that are required to be carbon.
The other issues we hear is people want us to strip thepaint off their frame is to save weight. Each layer of paint on your frame will weigh no more than 60 grams, some bike are painted several times before leaving the factory. The absolute most you could save would be 200 grams. But it is more likely to be less than 100.
This can give you a bit of an idea how much the paint weighs. Let’s assume the paint we use has an SG of 1. So one litre equals one KG, and let me assure you it is quite a lot less.
When we paint your frame we use about 200 ml of colour, most of that goes to our spray booth filters as overspray, as round tubes are quite inefficient to spray paint, transfer efficiency will be less than 50%. So we are down to 100gms. Next the solid content of the paint varies from about 20% – 45% depending on what it is, so most of it is solvent and is lost. Down to well under 50 grams. Again we find if we do before and after weighing of a frame we paint, we add about 80 grams of weight in total. I just don’t think it is good value to strip the frame of paint to save weight. If your frame is not stripped it is well sanded, so about half of it will be gone anyway.