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My last bike had both metal (tank) and plastic (fenders etc.) parts painted the same color. It was factory paint, however over the years the paint on the plastic parts started to fade while the tank pretty much stayed the same. I was wondering if some of the guys with older bikes have noticed this and if anyone has any suggestions to help keep this from happening. I would like to ride my bike to work everyday but that would mean leaving it out in the sun most of the time. I would consider a cover but I don't want to lug a heavy one with me every time I ride. Thanks for any advice. I really love my bike and plan to keep if for a long time so I want to keep it looking as good as it does now for as long a possible.
 

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i've noticed the same thing .... particularly on cars. the
plastic always fades first, but i don't know the mechanism.
as for covers, i have two very nice but cheap nylon
covers (don't put them on until the hot bits can be
easily touched!) which can be folded up quite small and
weigh just a few ounces. when i ride to work i always
stuff one in the bottom of the pack. keeps the bird poop
off as well. one of them is 'nelson rigg' and i forget the
brand of the other. for light weight, remember to get
the nylon.
 

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Carbon fiber fenders will solve that problem....

and look cool as well. ;)

It might depend on the color as well. Red paint tends to fade faster than other colors on cars.
 

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They put additives in paint when it goes on plastic, these do have an effect. You can buff and polish, then clear and that will help a lot. I take it your bikes must sit outside in the sun a lot.
 

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for super light weight and small size you could try using one of those 'space blankets' (like large, flexible foil) available at hiking stores which would reflect most of the light. they sell for a few dollars i think, but the challenge would be divising a good tie down method.
 
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