We decided on the finish of the Selene. We will paint it.
We consulted with engineers far and wide, in aircraft construction industry as well since they are the largest users of aluminium alloys, and the entire finishing choice is a lot more complicated than it appears.
Anodizing is an obvious choice for finishing off aluminium products, but it is completely unsuitable for a high quality product like Selene because virtually all types of anodizing have a disastrous impact on fatigue life. Anodizing can reduce the fatigue life of alloy components 10 fold. Yes, that is absolutely correct. This means that instead of the lifetime warranty, we’d only be able to offer a 2 year warranty and that is not acceptable to us. There are some specialist anodizing types that do not have this dire effect, but we need to do a lot more research and work very close with an anodizing provider to get this to happen.
Our bike manufacturing friends also mentioned something else that is important, anodizing the 7005 alloy is very tricky, that is why you see mostly black anodized 7005 alloy parts. Black Selene is not an option.
So, simple anodizing is out based on its really awful impact on frame reliability and usable lifetime, and finding a colour that works on 7005 alloy with this specialist method will take some experimentation. We may offer this finish for the future releases once we have perfected it. There is one other option, but it has never been done on a bike frame, meaning that we will have to find a way to do it 🙂
Painting the Selene, while not the original choice, is actually a very good option. As I mentioned previously, shot peening is a fantastic surface preparation method for painting. It improves paint adhesion and luster.
What this means is that the paint will not chip very easily since it is going to be very firmly attached to the alloy, and that the paint quality will be excellent.
I’ll share the design as soon as it is done.