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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Cross posted on bike forums but wanted to get your opinions as well.

I wanted to ask this when I bought it but I kept forgetting.


Its purely cosmetic but I was curious nonetheless.


The portions of the frame that are black have this weird discoloration going on. When i touch the questioned areas, it feels smooth like the other areas so Im assuming its not damage.


I attached some photos. Is this a defect on the fuji frame and should I get it warrantied or is this normal? Or the surprise choice is, it somehow got discolored from weather conditions. That seems unlikely given the material (CF) though. Thoughts?


https://i62.tinypic.com/x4ol4z.jpg
https://i58.tinypic.com/xauycl.jpg
https://i60.tinypic.com/dpjt5i.jpg

im really hoping there is another way to get rid of these marks instead of paying 400+ for a paint job.

These "stains" make the bike look pretty ugly.
 

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Forever a Student
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Scott Foil 30 920G 58cm Repaired Frame | eBay

That is what raw unidirectional carbon fiber looks like.

Most bikes put a cosmetic layer over the top with a weave pattern.

I personally love the look of your bike and those "stains" are nothing of the sort.

In fact, Pinarello is dropping their 12k finish layers in lower models in favor of the raw unidirectional finish. It's catching on in popularity.

Brands like BMC make most of their stuff like that where the entire bike looks like that.
 

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Nam-myoho-renge-kyo...
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These "stains" make the bike look pretty ugly.
I'm in agreement with you OP. My totally subjective opinion, is — next to the stunning, stylish, exquisitely-finished paintwork of the rest of the frame, those "rude carbon stains make the bike's overall look, pretty ugly — in my opinion.

But I will concede this — There's no accounting for taste.
 

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It's the actual unfinished carbon fiber materials. As others have stated, the weave we see is a cosmetic carbon lair on top of the structural material. My Fuji is all structural carbon without any weaved overlay.
 

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Nam-myoho-renge-kyo...
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These "stains" make the bike look pretty ugly.
Having taken a more zoomed-in look at your pix, OP, what I'm seeing looks like something more than the typical 3K Weave Pattern look

I speak as an owner of a bike with a glossy-finished 3K weaved carbon frame. Since buying that particular bike almost a decade ago, I've now outgrown the novelty of that particular flavor of finish for carbon frames. But even after almost 10 years as a commuter, the finish of that bike is as flawless and unscuffed as the first day I bought it.

What I'm seeing in your pix, OP, looks like some O.C.D. weight weenie took a brillo pad to those specific areas only — prior to the gloss finish being applied. Or it even looks a little like some kind of condensation got underneath the clear coat somehow — and caused some kind of anomaly.

Whatever it is — it don't look right for my taste.

Speaking of taste. Somebody else in another thread brought up a good point a few weeks ago — and I paraphrase — Some guys think that a matte doo-doo brown raw primer or a U.S. Navy battleship matte gray primer makes their car look "Bad-A$$". Far be it for me to begrudge them their choice of color. No matter how sucky I think it looks ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Here are some updated photos in better light. Truly miffed on what this could be. The link that mmsrepbike posted seems to CLOSEST to my bike but the splotches still look different.

When compared to mr645's photo, his questions areas always seems as if it was designed that way with the thin light colored lines. Mine though are pretty random and follow no specific design cues.

https://i59.tinypic.com/1g3oro.jpg
https://i62.tinypic.com/2s94t9y.jpg
https://i60.tinypic.com/1jfwz.jpg
https://i58.tinypic.com/fop3kn.jpg
https://i61.tinypic.com/211np53.jpg

The following pics are from a friends SL1 Comp. His bike uses C4 carbon compared to my C7 but not sure if that makes a difference.

As you can see, the black portions on his frame has a 12k pattern. His carbon fork also has this pattern. My fork on the other hand follows the google images of "raw UD" with the vertical lines. It doesnt have the same splotches as my frame which makes this more puzzling.

https://i60.tinypic.com/xcsqvq.jpg
https://i59.tinypic.com/2lnwn13.jpg
https://i57.tinypic.com/rtjdco.jpg
https://i61.tinypic.com/hrcug5.jpg
 

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Nam-myoho-renge-kyo...
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Thanks for uploading more pix OP.

I'm sure others will disagree with my anomaly theory. And that's cool. It's only a theory.

Irregardless of whether what I'm seeing in your pix is "intentional" or anomalous — the bottom line is does what you're seeing (OP) appeal to your tastes or not?

That's really nobody's call but yours OP.

One good thing about it is — the sucky look of the carbon finish sorta works with your username ;)

On a serious note though now — the painted parts of your bike look stunning in my opinion OP.
 

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As you can see, the black portions on his frame has a 12k pattern. His carbon fork also has this pattern. My fork on the other hand follows the google images of "raw UD" with the vertical lines. It doesnt have the same splotches as my frame which makes this more puzzling.
I promise you there is nothing puzzling going on.
I also promise you that your bike is completely normal.



Check out this brand new 10,000 dollar or so BMC bike. Look at all familiar?

BMC doesn't even bother to put a clear coat over the raw carbon like your bike has, they just leave it raw. This is how the vast majority of all BMC bikes look, they don't mess around with weaved patterns anymore, no need, they're only cosmetic. Spend some time googling the new BMC bikes and take a close look.

And like I said, Pinarello is also dropping the weaved pattern on their lower end bikes.


It's understandable that you don't like the look of it, but I promise you it's 100% normal, and not only normal the majority of people I know prefer that look.

There is no pattern, no direction, no rhyme or reason to the markings.

Think of it like this: Take a bunch of layers of carbon where each layer in only 1mm thick and then sand it. Some layers get sanded off completely in areas when others don't. Also there's pieces layed over one another at odd angles and then sanded. What is left is what you see, random beautiful raw carbon.

Hopefully you can learn to love it for what it is. After staring at weaved patterns for over a decade it's nice to see parts made that look like this. You can count me in the camp that heavily prefers this look to anything weaved. 1k weave is okay but I can't stand anything any bigger personally. I think your friend's bike is ugly and yours is pretty.
 

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Nam-myoho-renge-kyo...
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Thanks for sharing that MMsRepBike.

That $10,000 "beautiful nude carbon" look, puts me in the mind of a nude emperor ;)

But hey! I'm sure we can agree on one thing at least. There's no accounting for taste. Right?
 

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Scott Foil 30 920G 58cm Repaired Frame | eBay

That is what raw unidirectional carbon fiber looks like.

Most bikes put a cosmetic layer over the top with a weave pattern.

I personally love the look of your bike and those "stains" are nothing of the sort.

In fact, Pinarello is dropping their 12k finish layers in lower models in favor of the raw unidirectional finish. It's catching on in popularity.

Brands like BMC make most of their stuff like that where the entire bike looks like that.
While his finish is normal for Unidirectional carbon the woven finish of other frame is not a decorative or cosmetic layer.

The fibers are woven perpendicular to each other and form a sock like tube before the resins are added and the product is cured in an oven. Unidirectional is exactly the opposite in that the fibers are parallel and the layup of the pieces in the mold at varying angles ultimately gives it the strength.

To the OP thats the bike you bought, if you don't like it you should have looked at it more closely in the store but there is nothing wrong with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
While his finish is normal for Unidirectional carbon the woven finish of other frame is not a decorative or cosmetic layer.

The fibers are woven perpendicular to each other and form a sock like tube before the resins are added and the product is cured in an oven. Unidirectional is exactly the opposite in that the fibers are parallel and the layup of the pieces in the mold at varying angles ultimately gives it the strength.

To the OP thats the bike you bought, if you don't like it you should have looked at it more closely in the store but there is nothing wrong with it.
Hey ewitz,

Thank you for your response. Really helpful.

Wanted to clarify something though.

Are you saying that the marks/"stains" are normal for the bike? If so great!

I just wanted to see if this was a defect or not. If this is how it originally came then I have no issues. Again, Im not the original owner so I have no idea if it came like this originally.

@mmsbikerep
Thanks for your indepth reply as well. Def makes me feel better if its true ! :D
 

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I just wanted to see if this was a defect or not. If this is how it originally came then I have no issues. Again, Im not the original owner so I have no idea if it came like this originally.

@mmsbikerep
Thanks for your indepth reply as well. Def makes me feel better if its true ! :D
I assure you it's true. I've been selling bikes like this for 8 years now, I work in a shop. We sell those BMC's and Pinarello's and such I talk about. Certainly not a defect. You're welcome.

Edit:

Looked your bike up:
High end performance
A super-light carbon bike which is a proven race winner, the Fuji SL-1 Comp LE 2011 Road Bike features C-4 carbon with UD carbon, 1 1/8" Integrated head tube frame. Throw a carbon fiber fork and Shimano 105 components into the mix, and you have a race-ready road bike without the pro-level price tag.


That confirms it right there. UD carbon. When you see UD carbon written for a description, that is what you get. It will never look the same, even on bikes that are the same bike, size, brand, everything. Each UD carbon bike is unique in it's markings.
 

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Kinda funny that this thread has so many replies. I was the first one to respond, and I fully answered the question, at least as far as assuring the OP his bike was not defective.

But I can understand the distaste for the raw carbon look. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of the nude carbon look, though my last bike was nude carbon with painted white accents (a Cannondale Synapse Hi-Mod). Didn't bother me too much, either. My current bike is painted, but it wasn't the paint scheme or lack thereof that caused me to purchase a new bike. I do like the painted look better, though.

A big reason many manufacturers are forgoing the extra cosmetic layer or even paint is to save weight. That way they can say they make a sub-1,000 gram frame (990 gram frame with paint would end up over 1,000 grams.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Haha thats true jwiffle, you were the first to answer my question. It never hurts to get some supporting answers though ;)

While i wont go out and proclaim how i love nude carbon (if thats what my bike has), I don't mind it. My absolute biggest concern was whether the marks on my bike were abnormal and resulted from the original owners damage or whether it somehow discolored by itself. If the bike came like that out the factory and thats how it was made then geez, its an acquired taste, i have no qualm about it but if thats the result of some sort of defect then yeah, thats a bit irritating.

And before someone says "you could just tell yourself it came like that instead of being a defect", i tried it. Doesn't work haha. I needed to know for sure what it was a defect or if it was made like that on purpose.
 

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Nam-myoho-renge-kyo...
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A big reason many manufacturers are forgoing the extra cosmetic layer or even paint is to save weight. That way they can say they make a sub-1,000 gram frame (990 gram frame with paint would end up over 1,000 grams.)

Maybe I'm just cynical. But I can't help but think that an even bigger reason is it improves The Bottom Line.

Think about it. They can take the same frame — minus, what? say a $400 paint job — then turn around and sell it for $N more than last year's painted model — which they manage to convince us is "oh so passé dahling". The trick is, they hypnotize us into thinking that we love that nude carbon look — to get us knocking each other over to buy the latest, coolest thing.

That's how I see it anyway. But I'm a critical thinker so you'll have to forgive me.
 

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Maybe I'm just cynical. But I can't help but think that an even bigger reason is it improves The Bottom Line.

Think about it. They can take the same frame — minus, what? say a $400 paint job — then turn around and sell it for $N more than last year's painted model — which they manage to convince us is "oh so passé dahling". The trick is, they hypnotize us into thinking that we love that nude carbon look — to get us knocking each other over to buy the latest, coolest thing.

That's how I see it anyway. But I'm a critical thinker so you'll have to forgive me.
use less paint, or better yet use no paint, leave it nude ugly. Then have your marketing guys market it as lightweight, high performance, and the mass will buy into it. Apparently there is an affinity to ugliness in society. Look around you and you will see this a lot. For example, uglyass rat-rod cars are seen as handsome beautiful classics. In 5 years, your Fuji too will be a classic.
 

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use less paint, or better yet use no paint, leave it nude ugly. Then have your marketing guys market it as lightweight, high performance, and the mass will buy into it. Apparently there is an affinity to ugliness in society. Look around you and you will see this a lot. For example, uglyass rat-rod cars are seen as handsome beautiful classics. In 5 years, your Fuji too will be a classic.
Look no further than the auto industry. Just check out Ferrari and their Scuderia line. Or check out Porsche or ... Strip the car down to nothing and sell it for double the cost.

Lightweight is a massive marketing tool.
 
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