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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 08-05-08, 10:16 AM   #1
riddei
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Evil Rust!

This past spring, I dusted off a bike that I've abused though neglect for the past couple of decades and started using it as a daily commuter. This bike has moved with me many times but sadly has sat more than its been ridden until this year.

I try and use it as my *good* weather bike. I have a modern aluminum bike that I ride when it's raining and will ride through the winter months.

So, even though I've only ridden the old Bianchi in nice weather, it is now showing signs of rust. The first place I've noticed rust is on the front cable mount on the top tube. This is basically below my chin, and is being hit by sweat off my face.

Now I'm noticing that the lugs at the bottom bracket are showing signs of surface rust. The bike has little monetary value (early 80's Japanese Bianchi), but has significant sentimental value to me because I have owned it since I was a teenager (now pushing 40).

So my question is, do I not throw any money into the bike and just keep it as clean as possible (clean and oil the rusty areas)?

Or do I strip it down over the winter, media blast it, powder coat it, and rebuild it?

Here is a pic of the old girl:
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Old 08-05-08, 12:02 PM   #2
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A plastic tub, baking soda, and a battery charger will safely remove rust through electrolysis. Details here.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsUKRyXbFe4
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Old 08-06-08, 07:34 AM   #3
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A plastic tub, baking soda, and a battery charger will safely remove rust through electrolysis. Details here.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsUKRyXbFe4
Thanks for the link! I'd need a huge "plastic tub" to fit my bike into. For now, I'm just going to enjoy the bike for what it is, a quarter of a century old mid-range bike. As it stands, I would need to point out the surface rust to any casual observer. If it gets worse over time, I'll contemplate stripping and powder coating.

What I've learned is... sweat is pretty caustic to old Ishiwata steel.
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Old 08-06-08, 08:17 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by riddei View Post
Thanks for the link! I'd need a huge "plastic tub" to fit my bike into. For now, I'm just going to enjoy the bike for what it is, a quarter of a century old mid-range bike. As it stands, I would need to point out the surface rust to any casual observer. If it gets worse over time, I'll contemplate stripping and powder coating.

What I've learned is... sweat is pretty caustic to old Ishiwata steel.
You don't need to put the entire bike in a tub, just small sections. I've taken old plastic containers carefully cutting holes and plumbers putty to seal it up around difficult areas. The rust is sucked off without damage to the paint allowing you to touch up a spot here and there instead of resorting to a full blown paint job. This also allows you to keep the original decals and stickers intact. Here is a photo of my old 1990's Specialized CrossRoads I found in a thrift store for $5 and restored.
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Old 08-06-08, 08:22 AM   #5
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You don't need to put the entire bike in a tub, just small sections. I've taken old plastic containers carefully cutting holes and plumbers putty to seal it up around difficult areas. The rust is sucked off without damage to the paint allowing you to touch up a spot here and there instead of resorting to a full blown paint job. This also allows you to keep the original decals and stickers intact...
Kewl! Thanks for the further clarification! Nice bike, I've seen you post it before.
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Old 01-22-09, 11:24 AM   #6
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Update:

I decided that I wanted to strip the old bike down and fully protect it with Powder-coat. It has taken a long time at the powder-coat place (shipped to him before Christmas). He just sent me a picture. I think it will look much better in the sun, but here it is. I'm going to build it back up with modern components (105's, bar end shifters). If anyone is interested I'll continue to post pictures of the winter-build.

I can't wait to get the frame back!

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Old 01-22-09, 03:03 PM   #7
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i love the orange paint job! just curious, what did it cost you?
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Old 01-22-09, 07:43 PM   #8
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$105 which includes shipping back to me. I payed to ship it to the shop. Long Beach Custom Fabrication & Powder-coating http://lbcustomfab.com/. They are in Plymouth, MA. They advertise in our local Craigslist pretty frequently.

Also, I went to ship the frame and fork at the UPS Store, and was quoted over $90. I walked out, and went to the FedEx/Kinko's and shipped it overnight for $16!!!
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Old 01-22-09, 07:55 PM   #9
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Beauty!
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Old 01-22-09, 08:07 PM   #10
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Yeah, I'd never take anything to the UPS store. I've never seen such markups on anything before. I box stuff myself and ship it at the depot or via USPS for smaller stuff.

Should look nice, keep us up to date!
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Old 01-22-09, 09:00 PM   #11
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Looks great. Did the price include stripping off the old paint? I have a 90's neon green Haro mountain bike frame that I want to redo for my daughter in a more earthy tone.
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