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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 03-23-09, 02:45 PM   #1
DISPENCER
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keeping a bare metal frame

so i recently stripped the paint off of my old KHS Gran Sport road bike. i was originally going to rattle can paint it but my first attempt at painting it failed. i re-stripped the paint but i am realizing i really like the bare metal look and want to keep it. anyone know of any good techniques for keeping the bare metal but without it rusting up? i heard that clear coating it doesn't work because the clearcoat chips off in about a week. i heard one technique works is using a metal polish like Mother's Mag and Aluminum Polish and just apply it monthly. i also heard from a guy in a bike shop that heating up the frame with a torch and then rubbing peanut oil on it also works. has anyone used either of these methods with any long term success?
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Old 03-23-09, 02:46 PM   #2
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so i recently stripped the paint off of my old KHS Gran Sport road bike. i was originally going to rattle can paint it but my first attempt at painting it failed. i re-stripped the paint but i am realizing i really like the bare metal look and want to keep it. anyone know of any good techniques for keeping the bare metal but without it rusting up? i heard that clear coating it doesn't work because the clearcoat chips off in about a week. i heard one technique works is using a metal polish like Mother's Mag and Aluminum Polish and just apply it monthly. i also heard from a guy in a bike shop that heating up the frame with a torch and then rubbing peanut oil on it also works. has anyone used either of these methods with any long term success?
I've heard of waxing to keep corrosion down.
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Old 03-23-09, 11:33 PM   #3
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i also heard from a guy in a bike shop that heating up the frame with a torch and then rubbing peanut oil on it also works.
That is similar to seasoning cast iron, except that you need to burn off the excess oil or everything and anything will stick to it (dust, dirt, etc...) and it will be greasy. Too high of heat and the oil will burn and you will get black streaks and the frame will smell like burnt gasoline. If you have access to a deck/pizza oven which can be set to below 400F, it would be an interesting experiment, so long as the frame isn't lugged. Get a "Pepperoni" downtube decal or pizza wheel disc and you'll be carving a slice of life on your 2 wheeled knife in no time once the frame cools off.

I have had the same problems with clearcoat and polyurethane. Everbrite specializes in clearcoating and they say their product holds up on door kickplates, boat and car parts and such but I have not tried it. I used black plasti-dip after giving up on clearcoating and it is the best rattle-can I have come across and they make a clear version. It is like rubber cemet or clear latex when it dries. It is flexible and doesn't chip. At $5 a can it is worth a shot. Get some automotive 2000+ sand paper and the metal will shine nicely, though it is hard to polish the BB and seat lugs/welds.
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Old 03-24-09, 12:02 AM   #4
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awesome. i'll try the plati dip. where did you find the clear spray? and how many coats did you do?
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Old 03-24-09, 08:49 AM   #5
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i also heard from a guy in a bike shop that heating up the frame with a torch and then rubbing peanut oil on it also works. has anyone used either of these methods with any long term success?
I wouldn't do that with an Al frame. Aluminum likes to move around when it get's hot and bad things happen to Al at lower temperatures than with steel. Thin butted tubing + heat = sounds bad.
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Old 03-24-09, 12:16 PM   #6
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This question involves an aluminum frame?

Don't do anything.

Aluminum, like titanium, forms an instant oxide coat that protects it from further corrosion.

However, if the original post had referred to a steel frame, another option exists.

Gunsmiths who refinish very expensive firearms sometimes use a process called "browning."

This process involves a daily wipedown with a lightly oiled cloth soaked in water and then wrung out as completely as possible.

One would need to keep the bike disassembled during this process for about three weeks, and rub it down thoroughly and conscientiously at least once per day.

Depending on the steel composition, it will, over time turn either a uniform soft grey, or it will turn a wheat-gold-brown; again, depending on the steel composition.

Once the color has stabilized, the steel will resist further corrosion with an ocassional wipe down of a damp oily cloth.

=====

The above said, I visited the United Bicycle Institute in Ashland, Oregon a few years back, and one of the instructors had built an old school track bike for the street, and had finished the frame with nickel plating.

Nickel plating does not have the hardness of chrome, and nor does it have the brite shininess of chrome.

Rather, nickel turns a soft, lustrous, glowing steel grey that looks very much like freshly stripped and scrubbed steel.

I think nickel plating costs about the same as powdercoating; and less than real chrome plating, which involves three coats, 1) copper, 2) nickel, and 3) chrome.

I think nickel has about the same resistance to scratching and damage as does powdercoating.
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Old 03-24-09, 01:15 PM   #7
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clearcoat, properly applied is fine. there is clearcoat over any good modern bike finish, and it holds up fine.

rattle cans will not work well. to do a good job you need access to a good spray system (using compressed air and a spray gun) and a curing mechanism.

any good car body shop should be able to do it cheap for you.
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Old 03-24-09, 01:58 PM   #8
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The problem with clear over bare metal is that the clear has nothing to bite to.On a normal paint job it's primer over sanded metal,base coat over primer and clear over base.The primer is formulated to adhere to metal and has a porous surface that the base coat can cling to.The base also has a porous surface(kind like flat paint),giving the clear something to adhere to.
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Old 03-24-09, 02:00 PM   #9
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i rawed my frame out. rattle can clear coat from an auto store has held up just fine for about 2 years. still goin strong.
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Old 03-24-09, 02:13 PM   #10
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the frame is just a Tange chro-mo frame, everything is just brazed on
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Old 03-24-09, 09:20 PM   #11
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Got the Plasti-dip at the Home Despot. Best to call and see if they have it since clear is not their top selling color. Or you can get it from an online source. If you don't have automotive or 1000+ sandpaper, varying grades of steel wool will get a decent polish before spraying. Use a mask or something. You'll know why when your snot is black. Use the clear coat like cologne. Spray lightly and walk away. Repeat.
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Old 03-24-09, 09:37 PM   #12
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There is also clear powder coat. Its probably the most expensive route but will work better than anything else suggested so far.
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Old 03-24-09, 11:33 PM   #13
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spray it with wd40 and clean it like that. it should stick and keep it from rusting
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Old 03-25-09, 03:23 AM   #14
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steel doesn't always powdercoat so well, you need to coat it with another plating metal first usually.
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Old 03-25-09, 07:10 AM   #15
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you need to coat it with another plating metal first usually.
No you dont.
Ive known plenty of people who had frames powder coated and they held up for years and years.
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