Framebuilders - What's wrong with chrome?
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03-27-09, 04:18 PM
I am about to buy a new 631 steel frame (Bob Jackson World Tour). I want to get a full chrome treatment, just for looks.
First, would this make the frame weaker, or brittle? A couple folks advised me not to chrome for this reason. I would be using the bike for loaded touring, and brevets, and I am a clyde (@215).
Second, does chrome require (or defy) maintenance in the long run? I would be willing to wax it often, but is that enough? Are there special ways to keep chrome looking good, or will it give out no matter what you do? thanks
03-27-09, 06:21 PM
The problem is not so much chrome as it is poorly done chrome. Done properly, chrome can be an attractive and durable finish. Done poorly, it can ruin your frame.
Bob Jackson has been in the bicycle business for many decades. I suspect they use a high quality plater familiar with doing bicycle frames.
03-27-09, 06:31 PM
What he said.
Apparently chroming a frame is fairly difficult, with lots of difficult spots and weird electrical fields. A lot of folks have taken their frames down to the local "do it all" chrome shop and received back frames with bare spots and flaking. Moreover, the various solutions have to be completely removed and/or neutralized if the chrome is to last, and if you do not want the underlying steel to suffer.
Jackson must surely have figured all this out. A properly done chrome job will look great for decades with no harm to the steel.
03-27-09, 07:31 PM
...A properly done chrome job will look great for decades with no harm to the steel.
Thanks, guys. That's what I was hoping to hear.
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