Specialized calls the paint job on my new-to-me bicycle “red flake tint carbon” and it looks amazing. Basically they spray red and silver metallic flake over the carbon fiber, then lay down the decals, and then clear coat over everything. It’s hard to capture in photos but it person it has a great depth to it and makes the badging seem like an integral part of the frame rather than something just tacked on. It looks and feels expensive - as it should considering the original sticker was a Benjamin short of 5 grand. This metallic flake over carbon with stickers under the clear coat is something I’d like to see more on sports cars. I think it would work especially well on vehicles with exposed carbon interiors.

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Oddly the “Handmade in Taiwan” is just stuck on the outside and already starting to peel while the fact badge is under the clear coat. Maybe they sold these in mainland China and changed/removed it for political reasons there?

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Anyway, I did buy this thing to ride not stare at in my garage. Went out to the end of the mesa I live on yesterday morning. Hazy skies are due to particulate in the air blowing in from wildfires in eastern Arizona. After a couple rides I’m starting to get a good feel for the bike. Very stable at speed and rides incredibly smoothly with pretty much no vibrations coming through. It does need a lot more handlebar input at low speeds than I’m used to so that will take some brain recalibration. I’m also scraping the pedals on rocks quite a bit. I’m still trying to figure out if that can be fixed by adjusting my riding style or if I to try some different pedals. The Eagle GX drivetrain has really surprised me in a good way. Shifts are nearly as good as the Shimano XT on my other bike and it works evenly through all 12 speeds. Having 30x50 is great. It basically climbs over anything. Brakes need bled I think. The pull isn’t really even between the front and rear. Overall, I’m happy so far - especially for under $3k. Time to shut up and do more riding!

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