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Old 10-16-08, 05:00 PM   #1
cudak888 
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Mystery metal under Klein paint

I recently acquired a beat 'n stripped Klein frameset (thanks The Sprinter!) in trade for some work on his other road machine, and found an odd metal shield of sorts on the outside of the chainstays, and the inside of the lower section of the stays (below the brake bridge to the dropouts only).

First, obligatory photo of the frame:



Mystery metal:



Between this plate and the aluminum frame is a layer of bondo blending the two - a thin layer of bondo also caresses every aluminum joint around the main triangle, even though the actual joints are smooth as silk. Can't figure out the latter.

As for this mysterious metal - it won't respond to sandpaper, and it seems reasonably smooth to the touch as well, despite its appearance. Anyone have an insight into what this is? I have no clue at all.

P.S.: Bad pic, but it has through-the-dropout rear derailer cable routing:



Take care,

-Kurt
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Old 10-16-08, 05:33 PM   #2
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Kurt,

That looks a lot like the sort of reinforcing mesh you use under Bondo. The thin filler material might be glazing putty which is used to produce a smooth surface over filler. I had a '77 Chevy truck, so I got really familiar with that stuff.

I am surprised that Klein used it under the paint. Do you think that the frame might have re-painted at some time?
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Old 10-16-08, 05:34 PM   #3
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Can you call up/e-mail Klein, perhaps send them pics of the frame, and ask?
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Old 10-16-08, 05:42 PM   #4
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Can you call up/e-mail Klein, perhaps send them pics of the frame, and ask?
Trek bought Klein some years ago and killed the brand this year, so there really isn;t anyone to email.
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Old 10-16-08, 06:14 PM   #5
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Unless someone knows how to get in touch with Gary Klein.

Steve, the gold-colored substance in the photo is beneath the pink substance. I'm quite sure that the filler is Bondo - has the same texture and consistency.

As to whether the paint is original or not: Underneath a couple coats of spraybomb jobs appears to be a rather thick, quality black paint job which I would assume to be original. No reason why it should not, for this one coat is definitely not from a spray can.

-Kurt
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Old 10-16-08, 06:20 PM   #6
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From what I learned many years ago, NEVER strip a Klein frame!!
Or even sand through the original paint.
What I was told was that there was a "special" treatment that did not cotton well to being disturbed.
I was told to merely scuff the existing paint and primer & paint from there.
I was also told that no matter how careful I was, if I repainted a Klein, the warranty went bye-bye.
That, and there would be "structural" damage to the frame if the treatments were disturbed.

With clients approval, I painted the frame after a light scuff, so I've never actually seen a stripped Klein frame. Thanks for the "insight" Kurt, but I'd be kind of afraid to ride that frame now.

Wall art or Sunday rider, maybe.

Cannondales and other welded aluminum frames, no problems.

Just my two pesos.
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Old 10-16-08, 06:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Deltron View Post
What I was told was that there was a "special" treatment that did not cotton well to being disturbed.
I was told to merely scuff the existing paint and primer & paint from there.
I was also told that no matter how careful I was, if I repainted a Klein, the warranty went bye-bye.
That, and there would be "structural" damage to the frame if the treatments were disturbed.
Interesting...except I'd like to have heard Klein back up this death warrant with some fact as to why this is the case. After all - it is an aluminum frame as any other aluminum frame would be made.

I'll put a hypothesis based on nothing else then an educated guess that this unexplained paranoia mighty be related to fears of this section delaminating from the main tubing. Sound plausible?

So far, it is stuck tight to the frame - the only chemical stripper I've used is Ace Hardware's spray-on variety. No problems...yet.

That said, if unless someone can definitely prove what this reasoning is based on (or whether something definite pops up), I'm going to take my chances. Someone has to be the guinea pig for finding out, eh?

-Kurt
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Old 10-16-08, 07:32 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
Unless someone knows how to get in touch with Gary Klein.

Steve, the gold-colored substance in the photo is beneath the pink substance. I'm quite sure that the filler is Bondo - has the same texture and consistency.

As to whether the paint is original or not: Underneath a couple coats of spraybomb jobs appears to be a rather thick, quality black paint job which I would assume to be original. No reason why it should not, for this one coat is definitely not from a spray can.

-Kurt
Kurt,

So you're wondering about the gold colored metal? I wonder is that could be spots from welding. Or maybe a side effect of the heat treatment.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure the glazing putty I mentioned is essentially thinned polyester filler (Bondo). It has a very fine consistency that can be sanded very smooth. And it is usually pink.

Good luck finding Klein. I understand he used to frequent Waterloo, but probably not lately.

Steve
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Old 10-16-08, 07:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Deltron View Post
From what I learned many years ago, NEVER strip a Klein frame!!
Or even sand through the original paint.
What I was told was that there was a "special" treatment that did not cotton well to being disturbed.
I was told to merely scuff the existing paint and primer & paint from there.
I was also told that no matter how careful I was, if I repainted a Klein, the warranty went bye-bye.
That, and there would be "structural" damage to the frame if the treatments were disturbed.

With clients approval, I painted the frame after a light scuff, so I've never actually seen a stripped Klein frame. Thanks for the "insight" Kurt, but I'd be kind of afraid to ride that frame now.

Wall art or Sunday rider, maybe.

Cannondales and other welded aluminum frames, no problems.

Just my two pesos.
Good info, Dr. D.

I do not understand why you could not repaint a Klein. At least the early frames were TIG welded aluminum that was heat treated. I assume the Cannondales were also heat treated.

Steve
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Old 10-16-08, 08:06 PM   #10
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Browsing around Klein's patents suggests possible Boron fiber reinforcements or something similar:

Quote:
Boron fiber reinforcements have been used heretofore on chainstays, seatstays, and fork blades. They serve two important functions. First, the fiber pattern is oriented to stiffen these tubes against lateral deflection. This is most beneficial on the stays and fork blades where lateral stiffness is critical (typically weak points in overall frame side to side stiffness). The second advantage is that boron composites absorb high frequency shock many times better than conventional structural materials. Consequently, it effectively helps the forks and stays dampen road shock for an exceptionally smooth ride and thus, boron reinforced aluminum tubing can be used to advantage in the present invention.


stan
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Old 10-16-08, 08:06 PM   #11
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Kurt,

So you're wondering about the gold colored metal? I wonder is that could be spots from welding. Or maybe a side effect of the heat treatment.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure the glazing putty I mentioned is essentially thinned polyester filler (Bondo). It has a very fine consistency that can be sanded very smooth. And it is usually pink.

Good luck finding Klein. I understand he used to frequent Waterloo, but probably not lately.

Steve
I'm not concerned as much about the gold colored metal as I am about the supposed deathwish of stripping one of these things. The rough edge piece is what I'm truly curious about though; the gold colored section only adds further curiosity to it. You can't braze on aluminum, far as I know...

At this point, it would likely be a waste of time to contact Klein himself. Might as well just primer this thing, put it together, ride the hell out of it, and find out if all hell breaks loose or not. If not, then I'll break out the Preval sprayer for a one-time use with auto paint and catylist (gloss black - this thing deserves to get the '80s Knight Rider-esque treatment).

Take care,

-Kurt
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Old 10-16-08, 09:02 PM   #12
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You can't braze on aluminum, far as I know...
I was refering to BONDED aluminum frames when I mentioned Jasco. NEVER Jasco a bonded frame!

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At this point, it would likely be a waste of time to contact Klein himself. Might as well just primer this thing, put it together, ride the hell out of it, and find out if all hell breaks loose or not.
You're THERE now, so might as well.

BTW, I got my info from Klein, back in '94ish. Never made much sense to me, but it's what the factory said, so I had to take that into account when painting someone else's frame.

Good luck & have your estate post the outcome.
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Old 10-16-08, 09:11 PM   #13
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Must be there to reinforce the lightweight tubes, and to prevent heel rub from wearing a hole through them or something. They probably considered it a trade secret, so they tried to scare people into not stripping the paint and exposing it.
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Old 10-16-08, 09:13 PM   #14
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I am completely confused now. I have a Klein Pinnacle MTB, so I have some stake in this discussion.

-Kleins are not welded? Huh? Am I just misunderstanding several of you?
-Does anyone have any idea if this weird bondo/borat fiber/magic coating under the paint stuff is only on some models and years? Somehow I prefer to think my Klein is just beautifully shaped aluminum.

jim
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Old 10-16-08, 09:20 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by family_belly View Post
Browsing around Klein's patents suggests possible Boron fiber reinforcements or something similar.
That sounds about right - I'll put a bet that these are said boron reinforcements.

I'll go with Torchy's theory - used to scare off any widespread exposition of it. Probably also to prevent cheap painters from sandblasting it.

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Good luck & have your estate post the outcome.
Funny, funny. Care to make an actual bet? I say those boron thingamabobs will hold up.

-Kurt
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Old 10-16-08, 09:23 PM   #16
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yes, it's boron. It really would be fairly dangerous to sandblast it. It has nasty properties.
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Old 10-16-08, 10:07 PM   #17
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Interesting about the boron fiber reinforcements. I have a good friend with a Klein, and he says the ride quality is more forgiving than you would expect from an all aluminum frame. I wonder if those boron reinforcements (assuming his bike has them) are the reason-
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Old 10-16-08, 10:07 PM   #18
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The boron tape was added to the Stage and Super to make them stiffer. They used thinner tubing, so without the boron expect some flex. If you can save it, do. Those were pricey frames, in part because of the tape. And as unterhausen says, don't breathe the stuff...
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Old 10-17-08, 12:46 AM   #19
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I'll go with Torchy's theory - used to scare off any widespread exposition of it. Probably also to prevent cheap painters from sandblasting it.
+1!

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Funny, funny. Care to make an actual bet? I say those boron thingamabobs will hold up.
Sorry Kurt, I was just trying to be funny.

More of my twisted, morbid "humor".

If all my "gambling" funds weren't going to my latest speeding ticket, I'd bet that your frame will be just fine.
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Old 10-17-08, 12:50 AM   #20
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-Kleins are not welded? Huh? Am I just misunderstanding several of you?
Sorry. My bad. YES, Kleins ARE welded, but as per above, don't Jasco or blast the frame.
Also don't Jasco BONDED aluminum (or carbon fiber) frames.
I've done the latter and it aint pretty!
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