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Old 10-09-08, 10:52 PM   #1
swif
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Getting ready to overhaul my bike. Tips?

I bought my Torpado about a month ago, and I am planning on doing some (mostly cosmetic) upgrades and general overhaul. I've never really cleaned an entire bike before, so if you guys could give me some tips, I'd be grateful! I'm trying to put together a list of things I'll need to fix 'er up nice and purty. As a reward, I shall supply pictures of the finished product.

I have all the tools necessary to strip my entire bike down to the frame already, so that's not an issue. My first question deals with rust and paint touch-up. I've done some searching on the topic, and most people suggest oxalic acid. So once I get the stuff, how do I apply it to just portions of my frame? Or is this really only used for components? Here are some pictures of some of the rust I'm trying to get off my bike:

http://s96.photobucket.com/albums/l1...t=IMG_1945.jpg
http://s96.photobucket.com/albums/l1...t=IMG_1954.jpg
http://s96.photobucket.com/albums/l1...t=IMG_1976.jpg
http://s96.photobucket.com/albums/l1...t=IMG_1941.jpg

You can see around the lugs some rusting that I want to get in check. (The bottom bracket is the worst. Not bad, but worse.) So I plan on removing this rust, then getting an automotive touch-up paint matched to my current one. Then I'm going to wax the frame. Also, can I use oxalic acid on any components, such as my rear cassette and brakes? Will it hurt aluminum? Chrome? What kind of a container can I put it in?

I'm going to clean up my chrome fork and rear chainstay with some chrome product (Mother's?)

I'm also replacing my brake housings. Do I just look for 5mm brake cable housings, like Jagwire?

I guess most of my confusion is how to clean up and preserve my frame. I plan on taking pictures and documenting the process for people to see in the future.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 10-10-08, 07:19 AM   #2
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If I had a really rusty frame, with the potential for internal rust as well, I would dip entire frame in oxalic acid bath, such as in one of those little plastic "kiddy" pools. Just enough to cover frame. Leave in for 3 days or so, then remove, treat same way with "base" material to neutralize acid, then treat inside frame tubes with FrameSaver. The one thing you need to try to do is get the inside of frame tubes really dry prior to treatment with FrameSaver. From my experience with reynolds 531 frame material, the oxalic acid will eat out the rust, leaving a clean "pit" if the rust had gone into the metal. I presume the same happens inside the frame. If you just want to treat areas of the bike (head tube lugs, BB, etc, you can rig something up where just that part of bike is suspended in the solution. Oxalic acid is chrome's friend, should do nothing but make it more shiny, but aluminum can be another story, and things like zinc coated nuts/bolts with actually get dull in oxalic acid.
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Old 10-10-08, 08:28 AM   #3
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Your bike is in really good condition, I'd go easy on the 'fix 'er up nice and purty', since it
already is.
Personally I'd just buff off the rust spots with something like brass wool, try to
match the color of the frame as close as possible ( nail polish?) and touch it up.
I have frames with much worse surface rust and that has worked for me in the past.
+1 on the Frame saver, that's a must for any frame I get, especially if it's torn down.

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Old 10-10-08, 08:48 AM   #4
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I agree with Lotek. His assessment is spot on. I use a brass brush on a Dremel to knock rust off. Don't touch the chrome with anything stronger than Simichrome or some other metal/chrome cleaner.
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Old 10-10-08, 09:31 AM   #5
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Very pretty bike. I don't think your rust problems are anywhere near severe enough to warrant a full-on oxalic bath. The aluminum parts will polish up great with your metal polish of choice. I use Simichrome, but there are others that work just as well. I would use the same polish on the chromed parts.

Are you overhauling the bearings? If so, I recommend replacing the bearing balls with Grade 25. And be sure the hub bearings are neither too tight nor too loose.
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Old 10-10-08, 10:36 AM   #6
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Unless the frame has significant internal rust, I don't think it is worth an oxalic soak. You need to pull the seat and seat post, look down the seat tube (internally) with a flashlight and inspect for rust. Thats usually a common area for it to occur. Sometimes bikes look great from the outside like yours, but have serious rust issues. Othertimes, they can look a little rough on the outside, but not have any internal rust. Here's a before and after of the bb area of my Trek 950. I wish I had a before on the entire bike, as it looked pretty decent/fine on the outside.




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Old 10-10-08, 11:50 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by spider-man View Post
I use Simichrome, but there are others that work just as well. I would use the same polish on the chromed parts.

Are you overhauling the bearings? If so, I recommend replacing the bearing balls with Grade 25. And be sure the hub bearings are neither too tight nor too loose.
Does Simichrome remove light rust from chrome? And wear can I pick up new bearing balls?
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Old 10-10-08, 12:33 PM   #8
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you should be able to get new bearings at LBS, they'll have the sizes you need.
Simichrome will remove some surface rust on chrome. Be really careful on the chrome as
you might start the whole thing peeling off, you don't want to end up worse than when
you started.

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Old 10-10-08, 09:53 PM   #9
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Your Torpado looks great to me; don't start with oxalic acid. That's a very fine looking bike.

If you're replacing the cables, consider using Campagnolo cables rather than Jagwire. I think that they're a bit larger in diameter, and on my Super Record brakes, the Jagwires work fine now, but they were a bear to tighten into the cable clamps at the calipers -- which have grooves that are just a hair large for the smaller diameter cables. In reefing on one of the clamp bolts, I broke a caliper arm (moment of inattention) which was a big pain. It took forever to find a replacement at a cost I would pay; would have been much cheaper to fork out the extra for Campy cables in the first place. The Jagwires are great cables, I'm not knocking them, but if you do use them, be very careful.

You can keep riding if you overhaul one component every couple days for awhile. Trouble with the full overhaul is that it's difficult to remember all the things you need to get, to keep momentum going and get the job done quickly, unless you do it all the time.

As someone who's seen a lot of rust in his time, and spent countless hours trying to fight it (on things other than bikes), I suspect that Framesaver is of limited value, and may even contribute to rust formation. Just an opinion; people who believe in it are welcome to theirs as well.

Last edited by Charles Wahl; 10-10-08 at 09:59 PM.
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Old 10-11-08, 05:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lotek View Post
Your bike is in really good condition, I'd go easy on the 'fix 'er up nice and purty', since it
already is.
Personally I'd just buff off the rust spots with something like brass wool, try to
match the color of the frame as close as possible ( nail polish?) and touch it up.
I have frames with much worse surface rust and that has worked for me in the past.
+1 on the Frame saver, that's a must for any frame I get, especially if it's torn down.

Marty
+1, Your bike looks in superb condition. An oxalic acid bath seems overkill for the tiny paint chips on the lugs & tubes. gently & carefully scrape away any rust in the chips with a tiny blade (hobby knife/scalpel?), treat if still rusty with a car rust treatment applied with a small artist's brush - only treat any remaining rust traces - and touch - in with a similar brush with matching paint or nail varnish. Or leave it as it is!
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