General Cycling Discussion - what kind of clear-coat over bare aluminum?
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I'm restoring an aluminum frame and want to partially clear coat over part of the bare aluminum. Can someone suggest a brand that will stick to aluminum?
10-30-03, 03:02 PM
First off, why do you want to clear coat it? Aluminum doesn't rust, the only thing you can actually do to it is scratch it if you or your bike goes down. Now with that in mind, you should be able to clean the scratch up with a good polishing compound.
10-30-03, 03:41 PM
I polished a Cannondale a few years ago and boy did it look nice. For about a week. Thats all it took for the frame to start to get a light coating of corrosion. No amount of waxing kept it away for long. It required weekly polishing. It wasn't worth the upkeep. I tried a few types of clear coat but it was difficult to get a nice, clear smooth finish. I just left it as it was and once it got a light coating it never went past that. If you could polish it up to component standards it might not do it but that in itself would take forever by hand. I still have that frame hanging from the rafters and it still looks the same as it did when I put it up. No further corrosion. Good luck!
I had a bare alum mtn bike one time and it was awful trying to keep the corrosion off of it. That's why I want to clear coat this somehow. I was planning on painting it but after I got it stripped it looks kinda cool, but I know it will tarnish in a few days if I don't coat it with something. Plus it would be nice to have a little extra protection on the chainstays...
10-30-03, 05:18 PM
Go to an automotive paint store and ask them for a recomendation. On the cheap go for a clear polyurethane in a spray can.
10-30-03, 07:44 PM
Poly probably won't adhere to aluminum. Find an AUDI dealer and ask them to recommend a shop that is certified to work on the A8, which has an aluminum skin. That shop will know what to do.
10-30-03, 08:59 PM
As with most all metals, just a clear coat creates a problem. Like things like paint, you will more than likely have to prime the metal to get any kind of uniformity to the job, on top of getting it to stay attached to the metal itself. Now with that in mind you will more than likely have to prime your frame, thus losing the look you are looking for. I would say clean it after every ride before and after. I'm pretty sure I know what residue you are talking about, avoid touching parts that you don't need to and it will keep things like finger print marks and hand print marks off your frame. And find a good wax that is going to last a while.
10-31-03, 03:20 AM
I do not know why poly would not adhere with proper prep. Another possibility would be a conversion coating like clear alodine but you will need to find an aircraft shop to get that and some of them will give the metal a gold tint.
10-31-03, 04:54 AM
Try this Eastwood Diamond Clear Metal Aerosol 12 oz
I ended up buying the "Dupli-Color" brand of clear coat that the Auto Zone dude said should work. I think Wal-Mart sells this stuff too. It seems to have made a good bond, but only a few rides will tell for sure. Man this thing sure is purty and shiny, looks almost like pewter. It did make the frame noticably heavier though. I'm building this one up as a trainer so weight is not all that critical, but for weight weenies it might be better to leave the frame completely bare...
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