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Old 03-18-09, 08:24 AM   #1
Business810
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Protecting my frame

A few months back I posted this thread about a bike I found on the local c-list: Ranson?







I still don't know much about the make (Ranson), but it is a nice 531 frame with a 600 Arabesque group. My plan is to polish the heck out of the Arabesque parts, lace up some new tubular wheels, and go with a honey or brown leather saddle and perhaps some VO elkhide bar covers.

My question surrounds what to do with the frame. The paint has a lot of oxidation, but there is very little visible rust. I think I will avoid repainting it if possible because it is a pretty unique frame. So, what would you do to protect the finish? Polish? Wax? Take it to a bodyshop and get fresh clearcoat? Framesaver? All or none of the above?
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Old 03-18-09, 08:43 AM   #2
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Try rubbing compound first, you may be surprised.
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Old 03-18-09, 08:44 AM   #3
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Opinions vary, but mine is that given how long the frame has lasted, how much protection does it really need? Keeping it clean helps, moisture can build up in dirt. Conversely, greasy dirt actually excludes moisture.

I wouldn't repaint that frame. If you had it apart, I'd consider giving it an oxalic acid soak for good measure, dry it off really well, squirt some wd40 in the tubes, might as well wax it then, a lot easier to do than with all the parts on. A lot of wax will have a light abrasive and may help a bit with oxidation. You can get a little more aggressive with different grades of rubbing/polishing compound, I'd proceed slowly/carefully with that,though, experiment on low visibility spots. Don't want to rub off the paint, which is easy to do inadvertently on high points, like lug corners/points.

Others may advise differently, and that doesn't mean anyone is wrong or right. But I'll bet most would agree that this bike is a long way from needing a repaint. It is amazing just what a good cleaning can accomplish. It won't be perfect, but there is nothing wrong with patina.

Very cool frame with the long point lugs, cutouts, etc.
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Old 03-18-09, 08:47 AM   #4
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Start with the least involved first and work your way up if you need. First wash the dirt off, I like to use car soap and I never use dish soap. Then maybe a mild polish and some wax. I would bet that will be enough, if not consider what you are left with what your options are. That bike does look really coo.
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Old 03-18-09, 09:32 AM   #5
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Thanks for the suggestions! I have cleaned the frame very thoroughly since those photos were taken, so I will probably try a mild polish/rubbing compound (in an inconspicuous spot) followed by some wax. I'll also probably user Framesaver internally.

Conveniently, I need to go to the store tonight to pick up metal polish for all the shiny bits, so I'll see what kinds of wax and rubbing compound I can find, too...
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Old 03-18-09, 10:40 AM   #6
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I would recommend the lightest polishing compound as opposed to rubbing compound. I've found
the rubbing compounds available at auto parts stores to be too abrasive and strips more than
just the dirt off. Someone suggested something like the Mr. Clean magic sponge ( not sure thats
the right name) as an alternative when cleaning a bike. I haven't tried this yet so I can't say for
sure if it will work and/or harm the finish.
Framesaver internally is always a good thing.

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Old 03-18-09, 10:52 AM   #7
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I am cleaning up an old frame like you are doing. I'd recommend simply using a soft dish pad sponge with water and dishsoap. The dish soap will cut down the oils and grease. Make sure it gets really wet. I was a bit too abrasive with an old shop rag and removed some decals/paint. I'll post some before and after photos soon.
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Old 03-18-09, 11:13 AM   #8
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Rubbing compound is too harsh. The decals will be removed. A lighter polishing compound will restore the paint. As for washing, use Dawn dish detergent initially. It will strip any wax on the frame for polishing. After polishing, follow up with a high quality car wax to protect the paint. Future washes should be automotive soap to preserve the wax, no more Dawn detergent.
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