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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 11-19-05, 06:21 PM   #1
Lobalobo
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With help from this site, and with an hour or two every other weekend, I finally completed a build-up of a single-speed mountain bike. Everything seems to work fine (though the Singleator does not inspire long term confidence) except that a new issue occurred to me. To keep the bike relatively cheap, I bought from Ebay an unpainted aluminum frame from Derby overstock. Even though I put good parts on the frame, I know you get what you pay for and so don't expect miracles from the bike long term. But the frame is not only unpainted, it appears to be entirely untreated (has a matte grayish/silver) finish. I think it looks fine and would prefer to do absolutely nothing to it, but wonder whether it will corrode. And if it will, I wonder what I should do. Should I wax it? If so, what kind of wax? Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-19-05, 06:26 PM   #2
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There are alum mag polishes that include a wax base for protecting the finish for automobile wheels. I know Mothers makes one, as does Turtle Wax. There have been a fair number other threads on this topic and a quick search will likely give you enough information to make a fairly informed decision on the right course of action.
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Old 11-19-05, 07:59 PM   #3
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Aluminum does not oxidize easily like steel. But you are correct, eventually it will oxidize and pit. However, the early pitting is easy to remove and, if addressed early, will not leave a mark. It doesn't take much to insulate an aluminum surface and prevent oxidation. Any car wax will act as a sealer and stop oxidation.
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Old 11-19-05, 09:03 PM   #4
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car polish also works well, wirh periodic reapplication (which will also shine it up!). maybe a final shine with a lightly oiled rag also helps. i use this on parts that for one reason or another are bare (i.e., i stripped off the obnoxious black anodizing or have sanded the finish on old, oxidized stuff).
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Old 11-19-05, 09:35 PM   #5
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I ran a stripped aluminum MTB for 8 years. No problem. Never waxed it or gave it any love. It was a bonded Trek 8000. Just a great bike.

My current road bike is a stripped Taiwan cheapo Scattante. No problems. No worries.

-Z
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Old 11-19-05, 10:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hujev
car polish also works well, wirh periodic reapplication (which will also shine it up!). maybe a final shine with a lightly oiled rag also helps. i use this on parts that for one reason or another are bare (i.e., i stripped off the obnoxious black anodizing or have sanded the finish on old, oxidized stuff).
I didn't mention wiping with lubricants such as oil because it attracts dirt. Many bikers would object to wiping with an oiled rag. But your are correct, oil or grease inhibit oxidation very effectively. I coat my seat posts with oil or grease, not just the section in the tube, the entire post.
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Old 11-20-05, 06:21 AM   #7
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Thanks to all who responded.
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