Tandem Cycling - Framesaver does it work and is it worth applying?
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01-01-08, 02:45 PM
As I sit in my family room one eye watching a football game the other eye looking at the 8 inches of snow we got to start the new year I started pondering about our much anticipated new tandem. Should we have the LBS or Da Vinci apply framesaver to our new tandem. We live in Michigan and only ride in the rain when we are caught off-guard. We do not plan to buy another bike in many years, so should we have framesaver applied to our new ride. I never heard of a bike rusting, but what the heck, now is the time to do it before we get it out on the road. I look forward to your replies.
Before, I forget Happy New Year to everyone and thank you for the great advice over the last year. May you New Year be safe and prosperous.
01-01-08, 03:13 PM
Should we have the LBS or Da Vinci apply framesaver to our new tandem.
Does it work? Sort of...
Is it worth applying? Maybe...
I'll share my thoughts, but I'd suggest asking the folks at daVinci for a recommendation.
My thoughts, frame saver isn't a bad idea, but to be effective what ever you use -- JP Weigle's stuff, Boeshield T9, or any one of a number of other products that will flow into and stick on to your steel frame's tubes -- must be reapplied on a regular basis, e.g., each year or so depending on your climate and if you ride your bike in wet conditions.
Because of how it's used, it does tend to be something of a placebo for most folks who go to the trouble of having the unseen, insides of the tubing on new steel frames coated with the stuff but who aren't aware of or don't bother to reapply. As for rusting out, I'd say that the likelihood of a rust-through has actually gotten higher over the years as the tubing used to build bikes and tandems has gotten to be much more thin that it once was. In other words, while it's pretty clear that a 75 lb Schwinn Town & Country tandem from the 50's will never rust through, I'm not sure the same would be true for an air-hardened, superlight alloy steel frame produced today if it were ridden on wet roads treated with salt and parked in an unconditioned shed, garage, or storage building where temperature changes could cause condensation to occur within the frame.
My personal practice???
Our '98 Erickson is steel and has never been treated and I will occasionally find surface rust in the seat tubes which I clean out each year during it's annual overhaul. Getting into the other frame tubes is nearly impossible so I've never messed around with treating it. My '98 Erickson single bike, on the other hand, does get retreated with Boeshield T-9 every couple years because I have access to the main tubes via the head and seat tubes and bottom bracket.
Our '02 Erickson travel tandem was steel and it received a coat of JP Weigle at the builder's shop because being a take-a-part, it's easy to do. I would periodically re-coat the sticky residue of the original JP Weigle stuff with Boeshield T-9 during the annual overhaul.
01-01-08, 09:29 PM
Lived in your neck o' the woods back in the 1970s (Utica, MI) and owned 2 steel tandems there. Never an issue with rust. Rode when it was 20 degrees and dry out (avoid those salted/wet winter roads) and did a few times have icicle hanging off the rear derailleur.
If we got caught in the rain, always wiped down the bike. Kept bike inside an unheated garage, so there was chance of moisture inside tubes, however never even had surface rust. A good coat of paste car wax will help bike lookin' good.
We kept our bikes for at least 50,000 miles, so this is a long term assessment.
If it makes you feel better, give a shot of Boeshield or whatever, inside tubes that are reachable.
Take heart, Michigan is famous for its 'January thaw' so keep cycling gear handy!
Pedal on TWOgether into 2008!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
Regarding corrosion, although modern tubesets are thinner, the alloying elements used to make a high strength alloy take steel towards the composition of stainless. Thus rust through is much less common than it used to be on mild steel bikes.
In the UK road salt is used for about 3 months of the year and my SLX and Excell tubed steel bikes have only suffered very minor surface rust over 15 years. That said I don't ride them much now. The only way I think people will ride the same bike regularly for 15 years is if you're commuting or buy a bike second hand.
That said if you lived by the sea or you're really worried about it a bit of inner tube over the seat tube clamp or mudguards will keep all water out.
I recently put two of Bullfrog's volatile corrosion inhibitor pads inside the seatpost of one of my bikes. Doubtful I will ever be able to tell the difference, but volatile corrosion inhibitors should get to every nook and cranny inside the frame better than a liquid.
Daubert -Cromwell (http://www.cromwell-phoenix.com/default.asp)
ZRust products (http://www.amosadvantage.com/scottonline/productgroup.asp?category=CISSUP&part_no=&Tab=s)
Corrosion Technologies (http://www.corrosionx.com/) (variety of products)
Bullfrog (http://www.bull-frog.com/) Vapor phase Corrosion Inhibitors
From my experience it works quite well, especially protecting the BB shell.
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