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Old 06-24-05, 02:20 AM   #1
womble
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Touring on steel in the wet.

I've only ever toured on an aluminium bike, and as such have never had to worry about it getting wet. As I've only toured in fairly wet environments (the UK and Patagonia), this has been a good thing.

Is it different touring with a steel bike? If you were touring for several months through a wet environment and camping in tents most of the time, would rust be a serious problem that you'd have to face? And if so, what do you do about it?
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Old 06-24-05, 02:59 AM   #2
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There is no problem using steel in the wet. Just take some std precaustions:
Use framesaver on the inside.
Use car wax on the outside.
Ensure all metal-metal contacts are greased.
You may want to have a drain hole drilled into the bottom bracket shell.
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Old 06-24-05, 03:31 AM   #3
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I'd worry more about the drivetrain components than the frame.
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Old 06-24-05, 07:14 AM   #4
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I've heard linseed oil, available in most hardware stores and big box stores, makes a great frame saver. If you google linseed oil and framesaver I'm sure you'll come up with lots of comments on how to apply it etc.
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Old 06-26-05, 10:37 PM   #5
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I am not particularly concerned about touring with my steel frame. But I don't tour on roads subject to salt over ice, which then might become a factor.

Keep the frame polished with a wax, make sure the small holes on the chain and seat stays and forks (which are there for release of gasses during welding) are keep clear to allow water to evaporate, and if you are really concerned about water build-up in the bottom bracket -- tip the bike upside down occasionally and drain the water out of the seat tube, or have a hole drilled and tapped for a 5mm shortie bolt that you can undo occasionally to drain out the water.

I also use a short length of innertube to cover the bottom headtube bearing on my bikes without fenders/mudguards. In fact, fenders/mudguards can do a lot to keep the road grit from working its way into your chains, sprockets, chainrings and bottom bracket, as well as the headset bottom bearing.

Covering your bike at night will help. If you use an alloy quill stem in a steel steerer tube, grease the quill and stem and reinstall (that will stop the lot seizing together) and do the same with your seat post -- grease it. Aluminium alloys and steel can tend to "weld" together as the aluminium oxidises.

Touch up chips with clear nailpolish or a colour close to that part of the frame. Avoid hanging metallic items such as locks so they clang against the frame and chip the paintwork down to the metal.

Having said all that I have seen steel frames 20 or 30 years that look very poorly on the surface but are still quite good inside the tubes. But there is that salt-on-the-roads proviso again.
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Old 07-01-05, 10:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frith
I've heard linseed oil, available in most hardware stores and big box stores, makes a great frame saver. If you google linseed oil and framesaver I'm sure you'll come up with lots of comments on how to apply it etc.
Yep! Did this on my most recent bike - though I only have 100 miles on it so far mostly in dry weather.

Boiled Linseed oil - used as a wood finish normally. Apply to the inside of CrMo frame tubing using a plant misting sprayer. (the type you turn the nozzle to change from jet to spray). Don't over-do it or it'll be leaking out of your frame for weeks. You just need a light coat, then rotate the frame to all angles to ensure everything's covered - then drain out any excess.

It dries to the consistency of a brick of parmesan cheese. (hard, plasticy)

NOTE: this is designed as a physical moisture barrier. The other option is to chemically alter the surface using other products. I choose Linseed because Frame-Saver wasn't available to me, it was inexpensive, non-toxic, easy to apply and I'd heard good things about it.

I'll submit a long term report on the frame as I put more miles on it. (it's a folding bike so the inside of the tubes are easy to inspect.)

BTW: my last bike was a CrMo tourer. I didn't put anything in it's tubes and when I inspected it after over a decade of use - ridden hard, put away wet, rode all year on salt-encrusted, snow covered roads - there was little to no rust - just some light "rust dust."

I really don't think CrMo has much of a problem with rust for the most part. The sprays just add a level of insurance.

Chris

Last edited by af895; 10-15-05 at 06:47 PM.
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