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  1. #1
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    Getting rid of glossy finish on steel frame

    hey guys,

    i just got a surly long haul trucker...but it's too shiny for my liking...

    if i sand it down with 120 grit (not to the metal, but just scratching the paint), then even it out with steel wool 0000... and just leave it at that... would this make the frame vulnerable to rust?

    do you guys recommend putting some kind of coating on it?

    -chulho

  2. #2
    Lotus Monomaniac Snydermann's Avatar
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    Just use the steel wool to dull the finish. Or spray it with a satin finish.
    Always searching for Lotus literature and memorabilia for use at www.VintageLOTUSbicycles.com, can you help?

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    120 grit is way too coarse. Just use the steel wool as Snydermann noted. Even with just the steel wool you will probably rub off all of the decals as Surly doen't clearcoat over them.

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    tried using just the steel wool, but it's not coarse enough...

    i guess i'm looking for that grey-color.

    120 grit is too coarse for...?

    apart from aesthetics, would using 120 grit require additional finish? or will leaving it without the finish make it vulnerable to rust?

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    Lotus Monomaniac Snydermann's Avatar
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    Try a coarser steel wool or a Scotch-Bright pad. 120 grit will scratch the hell out of your finish. I might try 600 grit, wet, but do it in an inconspicuous spot first.
    Always searching for Lotus literature and memorabilia for use at www.VintageLOTUSbicycles.com, can you help?

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    spray it with matte sealer example http://www.krylon.com/products/matte_finish/ this will dull the clear coat

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    ok, but let's say i like the "scratch the hell out of the finish" look.... but it's not scratching enough to show metal...

    would that leave the frame vulnerable to rust?

  8. #8
    Ghost Ryding 24/7 Ghost Ryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by math is fun View Post
    spray it with matte sealer example http://www.krylon.com/products/matte_finish/ this will dull the clear coat
    I tried that stuff on a rack I painted gloss black, & it looked really bad.
    Maybe I sprayed it on too thick, but I ended up spraying gloss on top & just sanding it down it bit.
    I'm tempted to try it on a raw frame, but am afraid of the outcome.

    Anyone else have experience with this product?

  9. #9
    AEO
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    it's surprisingly easy to scratch the finish too much with 120grit and it doesn't give a matt look, it just looks scratched to hell.
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
    http://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/arti...ger-photos.htm

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    AEO
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    alternatively, try polishing compound, which is about 10,000 grit, with a buffing wheel.
    That's supposed to make any clear coat look dull.

    I recall polishing compound does not cooperate with clear coats and is meant more for metals.
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
    http://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/arti...ger-photos.htm

  11. #11
    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    it's surprisingly easy to scratch the finish too much with 120grit and it doesn't give a matt look, it just looks scratched to hell.
    +1

    120 grit is WAY too coarse. It won't give you a matte finish, it will just looked scratched and really stupid. If you want a matte finish try sanding with something much finer, maybe 1000+ grit.

    In any case, you seem to be pretty set on ruining your paint. So do what you want. I'll never understand people who want to take the glossy finish off something...
    Why "derailer" is the correct way to spell the gear-change mechanism: sheldonbrown.com/derailer.html

  12. #12
    Senior Member dstrong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chulho View Post
    ok, but let's say i like the "scratch the hell out of the finish" look.... but it's not scratching enough to show metal...

    would that leave the frame vulnerable to rust?
    You'd probably like this paint job that Barry McGee did for Lance. That's a flatbar Trek Madone. All the blemishes are painted on. I saw this bike at Mellow Johnny's a few weeks ago. It pretty cool.






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  13. #13
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Rust added to a Carbon frame..

    I bet if the OP rode in a couple sandstorms , that would do ..

    or tear it down , do the frame saver job inside the tubes,
    and a rattle can overspray on the outside.. ,
    surface prep for paint: the 0000 steel wool maybe ? more 0's the finer it is .

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    lots of good advice- thanks!

    it's a brand new bike and it's way too shiny for my liking. i'm going to travel by bike- going from san francisco, ca to ushuaia, argentina in a few months.

    the whole purpose of this was to make the bicycle look NOT OLD but rather, NOT SPANKING NEW- i don't want it to attract too much attention in cities, etc. and yeah- i'll be locking it up when necessary.

    so i sanded it yesterday and not to the metal, and to be honest, it looks pretty awesome!! and ok- i need to put a finish on it to protect it (this was the information i was seeking originally).

    i'll try the matte finish you guys recommended- on top of what i have now.

    here are some photos (just sanded with grit 120...used it gently without too much pressure...and when the sandpaper got fine from use, just kept using it to even things out)...no matte finish yet.

    before sanding, the frame was as glossy as the fenders. and yeah, it's not 100% even, but in my book it looks great. (well, the uneven spots on the photos actually don't exist...it's just quality of the photos... it's 95% evened out)

    this is surly's long haul trucker complete 2011 glossy black after sanding

    wall.jpgbike.jpg
    Last edited by chulho; 08-25-11 at 11:16 PM. Reason: duplicate attachments

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    Senior Member catonec's Avatar
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    ^^^^^ thats a pretty serious stack of spacers on your steerer tube. you know that may be a safety concern, right? fork manufacturers have a recommended spec for that limit.
    2010 Kestrel RT900SL, 800k carbon, chorus/record, speedplay, zonda
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by catonec View Post
    ^^^^^ thats a pretty serious stack of spacers on your steerer tube. you know that may be a safety concern, right? fork manufacturers have a recommended spec for that limit.
    no, i didn't know that. can you explain a bit?

    the shop guy who assembled the bike recommended he leave the cut like that so i can have more room to adjust the height.

    right now i was feeling like i wanted to raise it more to the top so i can be in a more upright position...

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    Quote Originally Posted by chulho View Post
    no, i didn't know that. can you explain a bit?
    The higher the steerer tube, the more leverage it'll create. The more leverage, the greater the bending force. The greater the force, the more risk of the steerer breaking.
    Whether it's actually critical or not I couldn't say, seems to me that quill stems ran such, or more extensions in use for years w/o any particular issues. Nevertheless, this is another design, and may have other safety margins.

    Having a stack of spacers on top isn't an issue for the fork, but should you ever be thrown against the stem/bar, it leaves you with a sharper-than-necessary protrusion to land on.

    Quote Originally Posted by chulho View Post
    the shop guy who assembled the bike recommended he leave the cut like that so i can have more room to adjust the height....
    As the saying goes: measure twice, cut once. But it isn't intended for indefinite adjustability. Find what you like, then cut to height.

    Quote Originally Posted by chulho View Post
    right now i was feeling like i wanted to raise it more to the top so i can be in a more upright position...
    Really? Most reasonably regular riders have no problem riding with (top of) bars level with the saddle - which it looks like you have.

    If you're not comfortable with that, then I wonder what's going on. How much riding have you done previously? how old are you? any other reason for reduced function in back/torso? Maybe a trekking bar would suit you better than a drop bar.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by dabac View Post
    The higher the steerer tube, the more leverage it'll create. The more leverage, the greater the bending force. The greater the force, the more risk of the steerer breaking.
    Whether it's actually critical or not I couldn't say, seems to me that quill stems ran such, or more extensions in use for years w/o any particular issues. Nevertheless, this is another design, and may have other safety margins.

    Having a stack of spacers on top isn't an issue for the fork, but should you ever be thrown against the stem/bar, it leaves you with a sharper-than-necessary protrusion to land on.



    As the saying goes: measure twice, cut once. But it isn't intended for indefinite adjustability. Find what you like, then cut to height.



    Really? Most reasonably regular riders have no problem riding with (top of) bars level with the saddle - which it looks like you have.

    If you're not comfortable with that, then I wonder what's going on. How much riding have you done previously? how old are you? any other reason for reduced function in back/torso? Maybe a trekking bar would suit you better than a drop bar.

    makes sense. well, i adjusted the seat to how it feels best, then just made steering the same height. there's 4 spacers being used right now and i wouldn't feel comfortable using less... looks like i'll just have to risk the extra stress on the fork.

    i'm not a "cyclist". i've ridden maybe 200 miles total in my entire life. 50 miles two weeks ago. 50 miles 4 years ago. another 100 miles maybe from ages 5 to 9. most of those miles from "costco" and "E.T." bike.

    i'm 33, 5"9, 140 pounds, so on the thin side. i'm in good shape from rock climbing and freediving... and i can safely say i'm more flexible than average. no problems with hips, back, etc.

    the bar height isn't "uncomfortable"... but after about 30 miles of riding two weeks ago, i felt some discomforting pressure on my hands... like i was leaning on it too much. friends said to use core...and that if i don't get it, it'll come. but i also read that for touring, a lot of people prefer more upright position- where the bar is higher than the saddle.

    i also noticed people use gloves, but i'd want to ride without them if i can.

    i was going to raise the bar up and see how that feels. the thing about not locking your shoulders but slightly bending your elbow... don't really get that yet. maybe that's the problem....

    thanks for noticing these little things!! much appreciated!!

    oh...and i thought about trekking bar, or those looped ones on REI's novara safari bike. but there are plenty of people who tour the world with dropped bars, so i figured i can work with drop bar as well.
    Last edited by chulho; 08-26-11 at 02:10 AM.

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    What's up with the front mudguard, looks to be fitted the wrong way around?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimc101 View Post
    What's up with the front mudguard, looks to be fitted the wrong way around?
    haaaaaaaaaaa! yup. thanks. sanding took like 5 hours into wee hours of the morning. plus beer when assembling it back. that's my excuse.

    thanks! haha

  21. #21
    Senior Member catonec's Avatar
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    as debac stated it is theoretically possible to bend your steer tube to the point of breakage. perhaps the warning Im thinking of is for carbon steer tubes only < 2 inches. to compensate for this stems are available with very steep angles so you bars sit up high. adjustable stems are also an option.
    2010 Kestrel RT900SL, 800k carbon, chorus/record, speedplay, zonda
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    Quote Originally Posted by chulho View Post
    ...i'm not a "cyclist". i've ridden maybe 200 miles total in my entire life. 50 miles two weeks ago. 50 miles 4 years ago. another 100 miles maybe from ages 5 to 9. most of those miles from "costco" and "E.T." bike.
    Well, there's your problem then. Getting acclimatized to serious riding takes some time. Even though I had a solid history of MTB-ing, I kept tweaking the position of the bar for about a year when I took up bike commuting daily. Now I reckon it's about time for slightly longer/lower stem again.

    Quote Originally Posted by chulho View Post
    ..i'm 33, 5"9, 140 pounds, so on the thin side.
    That'll be an advantage.

    Quote Originally Posted by chulho View Post
    ... i'm in good shape from rock climbing and freediving....
    Unfortunately, that will only take you so far. Sure, it's a lot better than if you were a couch potato, but our bodies adapt to what we ask of them. And there's not a lot of carry-over between those and cycling.

    Quote Originally Posted by chulho View Post
    the bar height isn't "uncomfortable"... but after about 30 miles of riding two weeks ago, i felt some discomforting pressure on my hands... like i was leaning on it too much.....
    The biomechanics of cycling is that you're expected to lean forward to provide leverage for pushing down on the pedals. Basically, if your hands are feeling pressure, you're not pedalling hard enough. But hey, we've all been there. It's a combo of bike fit and personal fitness.

    Quote Originally Posted by chulho View Post
    .. friends said to use core....
    Well, they're half right. If you do a decent amount of climbing, I'd imagine that you have enough strength in your torso, but it won't do squat unless you have stamina enough in your leg muscles to keep yourself suspended by your pedalling.

    Quote Originally Posted by chulho View Post
    ......and that if i don't get it, it'll come. .
    It will, but there's no telling how you'll perceive the time between now and then. Some will breeze right through, some will struggle a lot, some "never" get through and'll resort to converting their bikes to flat bar configuration. You should try to log some serious miles before setting off on your big journey.

    Quote Originally Posted by chulho View Post
    ....i also read that for touring, a lot of people prefer more upright position- where the bar is higher than the saddle..
    I'm sure there are people like that, and I'm not arguing with their choice. But I'd still say that bar-over-saddle is a minority among people who log plenty of miles daily.

    Quote Originally Posted by chulho View Post
    ...i also noticed people use gloves, but i'd want to ride without them if i can..
    Gloves do a couple of different things, they provide a bit of extra padding, they give a safer grip when sweaty or wet from rain. And should you have a minor crash they protect you from punching gravel 1/2" into the palms of your hands. But it happens that I leave mine off too.

    Quote Originally Posted by chulho View Post
    ...i was going to raise the bar up and see how that feels.
    Obviously you can try that. As long as you're familiar with how to set headset preload, you can tinker around to your heart's content. But what you really need is hours in the saddle.

    Quote Originally Posted by chulho View Post
    ... the thing about not locking your shoulders but slightly bending your elbow... don't really get that yet. maybe that's the problem.....
    See higher up. You can try it on a stationary bike. Get on, with upper body upright. Arms by your side, ignore the bar. Pedal at low resistance, notice that all works fine. Now increase resistance. You'll find your head/chest going forward to allow you to remain in the saddle. Increase resistance even more. Eventually you'll reach for the bar for balance. Arms are for steering and support, but shouldn't be carrying that much weight.

    Quote Originally Posted by chulho View Post
    ...oh...and i thought about trekking bar, or those looped ones on REI's novara safari bike. but there are plenty of people who tour the world with dropped bars, so i figured i can work with drop bar as well.
    One of the advantages of the drop bar is the variety of hand positions offered - assuming the rider can use them. Someone who's otherwise challenged to get into the drops may do better with a trekking bar. But yeah, if you have the mobility for it, drops are probably the most versatile.

  23. #23
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    The bike has a 1-1/8" steel steerer. There is absolutely no problem with that stack of spacers. All of the height warnings are based on carbon steerers.

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    thanks for all the suggestions and info-

    i'm definitely going to try a stationary bike and see how pedaling hard affects my body position.

    and you're right- my legs (quads) aren't very strong yet. when i was pedaling 30 miles trying to keep up with my friends on carbon bikes, i couldn't maintain speed over 14 mph where there was a slight incline... whereas they were easily cruising at 17mph.

    after the clearcoat, i'll start logging more miles on the bike.

    thanks again for all the great advice! ha, and i simply asked if i need to use finish after sanding...

    great forum!

  25. #25
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    The bike has a 1-1/8" steel steerer. There is absolutely no problem with that stack of spacers......
    +10000000. The steerer tube is made of chromoly steel on that LHT, you can stack all the spacers you want on there. We usually don't cut the steerer tubes on LHT's at all, the customer usually wants the versatility on these bikes.

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