Bicycle Mechanics - Rusting of a Steel Frame.
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09-24-11, 08:12 PM
I'm debating on picking up the Giant Cypress ST soon. I know you are suppose to keep them (Steel) dry. Some rain may be inevitable for it. Getting caught in rain on the way back home commuting. Taking in on the hitch bike rack to a vacation a couple of states away getting caught in the storm, maybe it raining while there, etc... So it will likely be subject to some rain without an easy or necessarily quick way to dry it. How fast does it corrode?
09-24-11, 08:17 PM
...into every life a little rust must fall ...
a scientific analysis first has to set some scales to measure by ,
Lacking the how much? in hours/ miles/ inches of rain, can only be answered by ...
09-24-11, 08:29 PM
Don't worry about it. Bike manufactures have figured out how to make steel bikes without major rust issues. If you want, you can spray frame saver or WD40 into the tubes. It takes a long time for an actual problem to occur.
This bike is probably 40 years old, and has seen many years of winter commuting. It's still just fine, I'm actually going to use it for SS cyclocross.
Folks have been riding steel bikes in the rain all over the world for about a century. Yes rust can be a problem, but not a serious one, because paint so effectively prevents it.
You might want to go an extra mile in terms of rust protection by spraying the inside with a light oil sealant, like Boeshield, LPS-1, or even WD-40. You can also buy JP Weigle framesaver which is made specifically for protecting the innards of steel bike frames from rust.
In my experience, paint does a great job on the outside, and internal rust was ever a problem except on bikes ridden in the winter where the cold caused condensation on the inside, so I only oiled bikes used in the winter.
BTW- your steel car spends lots more time out in the weather under much harsher conditions, and lasts 10-15 years before rust becomes a serious issue.
In short ---- don't sweat it.
09-24-11, 08:37 PM
Steel frames, particularly the older or less expensive ones with relatively thick tubing walls will last a long time even if subject to a fair bit of rain and wet conditions. It is possible to rust out a steel bike frame but it takes a lot of time and concerted effort and neglect.
That said, there are inexpensive ways to protect them even from harsh conditions. A commercial product known as "Frame Saver" is available in many bike shops. It's an aerosol can containing a rust inhibitor treated wax in a solvent. You spray into the interior of the frame's tubes and stays and it dries to a waxy film that protects against almost all corrosion. You really have to strip the frame to do the job properly but it's a one-time treatment. I've used it on all of my steel bikes and I have a 1983 Trek 400 that was my rain bike for five years and the frame has no rust at all.
Others coat the frame tube's interior with linseed oil or even motor oil for rust protection but Frame Saver is the easiest to use and the cost is quite low. Amsoil HDMP is exactly the same product as Frame Saver and it available in many auto parts shops since it is sold as a motorcycle chain lube and car body undercoating. The benefit of HDMP is you get a bigger can for less money.
09-24-11, 08:41 PM
It sounds like for all practical purposes to be a non issue. Thanks for the help.
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