Tuesday, November 4, 2008

As seen at the velodrome

Clear anodized frame. The owner said that it was faster than paint.  True?  Cant say.  It may be lighter than paint because it only adds some oxygen atoms to the frame but it doesn't make the frame invisible to the wind (read about transparent aluminum for more on that).  This guy must be concerned with wind resistance and not weight though, as he's chosen a heavy disc wheel for the back.  An anodized frame has the same cross section as a painted frame, but a different surface finish.  NASA points out that skin friction (the component of aerodynamic drag contributed by surface finish) gets better as the surface gets smoother.  Therefore, a polished painted surface will be faster on a track bike than a rough anodized surface so don't let anyone tell you that anodizing makes something faster, there are other factors involved.

It does look mighty sweet though, and should be cheaper since all it takes is a big tank and an egg timer (and much less precision work than painting).  Bonus points - it is probably more durable than paint (and might be a good choice for a mountain bike like the hard-anodized Maverick).

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