The Spanish brand has added a pure carbon finish to four of its mountain bike models.
Many industrial designers believe carbon-fibre is best presented in its fabricated state, without a layer of paint.
Carbon-fibre doesn’t have the same corrosive risk as metal, other than some galvanic corrosion, if you sweat like crazy, directly onto aluminium bottle cage placement screws.
That means a painted surface layer is mostly cosmetic on carbon-fibre mountain bikes, providing at best, a bit of scratch protection.
If you are not given to the vividness of a specific colourway, the appeal of a raw carbon-fibre frame is real. For those riders who value the glimmer and texture of exposed carbon, Orbea now offers some of its premium models with this option.
Exposing the carbon art
The Spanish cycling brand has launched an array of new mountain bikes in 2020 and most of those are now available unpainted.
Much as a painted frame, with its specific colourway, acts as a distinguishing feature at the trailhead, Orbea is marketing this raw carbon finish at purists who want something different in appearance.
Any bike in raw carbon-fibre projects an undiluted essence of futurism, in terms of material choice and construction technique, elements often underappreciated when covered by a lacquer of paint.
It is lighter, too
There is inarguable fashion appeal having a raw carbon-fibre Orbea frame, that will kaleidoscope light on your ride and have immense posing cachet.
There is a marginal weight saving with the raw frame option, too. Orbea claims an 80-100g weight reduction. On something like the ultra-lightweight Alma XC hardtail, those missing grams will make a difference, although they are a marginal issue on the Rise e-bike.
Raw carbon-fibre is beautiful, but scratches can be visibly nasty. You would be best advised to invest in a quality clear adhesive layer of protection, properly applied, for your raw carbon Orbea.