Ti frames offer interesting and different finishing options. In the past I’ve done frames in both brushed (shiny) and blasted (matt satin) finishes.
Satin is much cheaper than brushed. You blast the frame and it smooths the surface to one neutral finish. Brushing costs a lot more. Because a guy has to go all over the frame and get a consistent brushed polish all over it. Lynskey can do mirror polishing too. But it takes one guy about two days to do it. And it’d scratch up on a mountainbike.
I like industrial finishes. The Japanese call it Wabi-Sabi.
I got into this wabi-sabi stuff particularly from following the creations of motorcycle designer Shinya Kimura. He does ace work. And loves bare, just-worked finishes. I love it too.
So I have been working with Lynskey on a new finish. I wanted frames straight off their welding tables. With all the marks still on them. They were unhappy about that. People often over-analyse Ti frames, and they weren’t happy about them going out super-raw.
We’ve reached a compromise on the finish, or rather lack of finish. Ragley frames will be “scrappy brushed” – just to remove welding debris – rather than brush polished or media blasted. Gives a totally individual raw industrial finish which will age wonderfully, polish as your knees rub it, be easy to buff big scratches out of (which you can’t do on a satin).
We’ll have some ace stickers which are going to look punchy and poppy and cool against the raw finished Ti. And if you want to sit there for a while with a pan scourer and some furniture polish, you can do it to your hearts content.
Of course, if you’re one of those people who is going to go down the “I’ve paid all that money for a frame I want it to look beautiful”, you’ll be getting the idea that this isn’t the model for you.