DRF aka Thrifty Bill
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: The NC Mountains
Bikes: 86 Katakura Silk, 87 Prologue, 87 Cimarron, 14 frame school custom, 73 Paramount
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
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Until you have experience treating and salvaging frames, its really safer to just assume the frame is toast. And there is so much rust you cannot see until you tear the bike down. And then it is too late to pass on a "deal".
My solution is simple: I value such bikes at the value of the components: wheels, cranks, derailleurs, seat post, handlebar, stem, pedals, levers,seat, brakes. At the right price, a junk frame with nice components can be a good/great buy. I just bought a Trek 1400 yesterday, frame is toast. But I bought it for the RX100 drivetrain including brifters, plus the wheels.
I picked up a Kona Cinder Cone (originally $900 MTB) at the Goodwill Clearance Center last year for $5. The frame was definitely toast (long gash/crack) plus lots of rust. But underneath that was a nice set of Deore LX wheels, derailleurs, shifters, crankset, seat post, fork and handlebars. To get to the clearance center, it means this bike sat in a G/W store for weeks with no interest. People need to look past the obvious and notice the gold.
On steel frame bikes, again, until I totally tear them down, I do not know if a rusty frame is salvagable or not. I have salvaged several, and tossed several more. I make my buying decision on such a distressed bike assuming the frame will not be salvaged.
I consider the possible salvage of the frame to be a bonus. I treat all rust with oxalic, there are plenty of threads on that topic including one by me so I will not rehash it here.
Here's a before and after treatment of a Trek 950, bottom bracket area.
Last edited by wrk101; 06-27-09 at 11:24 AM.
Reason: added pics