Coloured Carbon: the next big thing?

Prodrive-developed material set to appear on supercars. Bikes next?

REMEMBER the nineties when carbon fibre became all the rage? Fifteen years ago the trend for carbon (or fake carbon) huggers, end cans, frame protectors and pretty much anything else that could be made of the stuff was unavoidable. To the point that over the last few years the attitude has switched from “Ooooh, that looks expensive and exotic” to “Oh. More carbon. How passé. Pass the titanium, please.”

But now Prodrive (the lot behind various racing and rally cars, but also some behind-the-scenes tech development on bikes) have created a new process infuse colours into carbon fibre, and as a result it might have something of a renaissance.

The firm says a “European manufacturer of luxury cars” is already on board, and it’s expecting the material to turn up on everything from boats to aircraft after that.

Prodrive’s composites manager Ian Handscombe said: “We’ve validated the technique with samples in really gorgeous, deep shades of maroon and British Racing Green under a glass-like lacquer. It’s a substantial step beyond conventional carbon trim finishes, offering something very special for exclusive vehicle options and other luxury products.”

We’d be surprised if we don’t see this stuff on at least a few modified bikes within the next year or so. Surely it won’t be long before an exhaust or hugger manufacturer is knocking on Prodrive’s door. Would you want this on your bike?