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Rust on frame... do I care?

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Rust on frame... do I care?

Old 03-13-13, 11:10 PM
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Dux89
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Rust on frame... do I care?

Hi vintage bike people! I'm new to the game. Wanted a steel bike as a commuter, so I bought a '77 Nishiki Competition. It's got great components and nice wheels... but there is rust on the top tube. I really don't know much about steel. Is the rust in this first picture a cosmetic issue or a structural one? If the former... I don't really care. If the latter, how big a deal is it?

Second image of actual rust on the quick release levers for color/lighting comparison. Third image is the full bike.





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Old 03-13-13, 11:21 PM
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You got yourself a nice bike there. The rust on the TT does not look like it could cause any grave concern, but still, you should take some measure to arrest it. Touch-up, if you can find (or create your own match with some Testors modeling enamel), or at the least, apply some clear nail-polish to seal it and forget it.
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Old 03-14-13, 12:51 AM
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overhaul the skewers by taking them apart, dropping the rusted bits in a jar of naval jelly rust remover for increments of 5 minutes until gone (you can scrub them too), and reassemble with fresh grease.
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Old 03-14-13, 01:07 AM
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+1 for naval jelly. It's great for spot treating a frame.
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Old 03-14-13, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by eschlwc View Post
overhaul the skewers by taking them apart, dropping the rusted bits in a jar of naval jelly rust remover for increments of 5 minutes until gone (you can scrub them too), and reassemble with fresh grease.
I can do this, but should I be racing to get it done, or, again, is it more of a cosmetic problem?
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Old 03-14-13, 08:34 AM
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thats defintely cosmetic, you should treat it tho, it won't go away and it will probably get worse, then you will have bigger problems, and that bike is worth the work...
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Old 03-14-13, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by GordoTrek View Post
thats defintely cosmetic, you should treat it tho, it won't go away and it will probably get worse, then you will have bigger problems, and that bike is worth the work...
I just realized that previous posters were referring to the skewers, when I am really wondering about the frame. Are you referring to the top tube rust as cosmetic, or the second pic?

Also, I will take care of it, I guess my original question should have been more of: should I take care of this before I ride/not ride at all, or is that not a problem I need to worry about before I at least start riding?
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Old 03-14-13, 09:37 AM
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I think they were recommending that you take care of both. You can ride it, but take care of it to prevent it from getting real bad. And wax it when you are done as well (including the skewer levers, etc.)
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Old 03-14-13, 01:19 PM
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it's a really nice looking bike. japanese? i'd scrub the frame rust, add some nail polish or model paint, and treat rust on all the components. if i may be so bold, i'd also move the cage down below the downtube decal and remove the dork disk. most shops will remove a freewheel for you for free, especially if you hand them the proper removal tool.
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Old 03-14-13, 01:24 PM
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Is that a dent on the top tube on that closeup? Sure looks like a dent to me, but maybe its the reflection on the paint itself.

Dealing with rust has been covered at least 1000 times. If you have the patience, google can quickly get you a couple of thousand opinions. Left exposed, rust just continues to get worse. Myself, treating rust is the first thing I do on an old bike.
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Old 03-14-13, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
Is that a dent on the top tube on that closeup? Sure looks like a dent to me, but maybe its the reflection on the paint itself.

Dealing with rust has been covered at least 1000 times. If you have the patience, google can quickly get you a couple of thousand opinions. Left exposed, rust just continues to get worse. Myself, treating rust is the first thing I do on an old bike.
Alright maybe I wasn't clear enough in the original question but I wasn't specifically asking about how to "deal" with it, remove it, etc. I've seen countless threads with rust removal advice. What I haven't gotten much definitive info on is whether those people asking to remove it are doing so because it's unsightly or because it's going to ruin the thing. I do plan on dealing with it, but my question is exactly: from these pictures, does it appear that the frame is dangerous to ride on because it has that rust?
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Old 03-14-13, 07:23 PM
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Dangerous to ride? Heck no.
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Old 03-14-13, 08:32 PM
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I'd use a rust converter on the patches like you showed. Rust converter can be had at any hardware store. All it does is convert the rust to a stable compound/primer that can be then painted if you really want. I would also consider taking the frame to a shop that will do a thorough job of applying a framesaver type compound to the inside of the tubes. I'm assuming that you would actually like to keep the frame for more than 6 months. Such a nice frame, that you appear to really be fond of, will be preserved for your grand-children if you preserve it thus.
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Old 03-14-13, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by anixi View Post
I'd use a rust converter on the patches like you showed. Rust converter can be had at any hardware store. All it does is convert the rust to a stable compound/primer that can be then painted if you really want. I would also consider taking the frame to a shop that will do a thorough job of applying a framesaver type compound to the inside of the tubes. I'm assuming that you would actually like to keep the frame for more than 6 months. Such a nice frame, that you appear to really be fond of, will be preserved for your grand-children if you preserve it thus.
I am extremely fond of it, I just don't know a damn thing about how bad rust is. The way some people I've met talk about it, it's as if seeing rust is seeing a crack in a frame and I should stay away.
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Old 03-14-13, 11:34 PM
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That's what we call Patina here. Enjoy....
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Old 03-15-13, 03:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Dux89 View Post
I am extremely fond of it, I just don't know a damn thing about how bad rust is. The way some people I've met talk about it, it's as if seeing rust is seeing a crack in a frame and I should stay away.
from what i see, it's no big deal and you will be able to ride for years to come without doing anything. but you can do a few simple things to improve the cosmetic condition and also ensure the frame rust doesn't ever become an issue. I'd just go with phosphoric acid-based rust remover (such as naval jelly) and/or a brass wire brush, but as others have said you can find tons of info on rust removal in this forum
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Old 03-15-13, 03:57 AM
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your'e good dude
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Old 03-15-13, 07:03 AM
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Dux89
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Originally Posted by frantik View Post
from what i see, it's no big deal and you will be able to ride for years to come without doing anything. but you can do a few simple things to improve the cosmetic condition and also ensure the frame rust doesn't ever become an issue. I'd just go with phosphoric acid-based rust remover (such as naval jelly) and/or a brass wire brush, but as others have said you can find tons of info on rust removal in this forum
Awesome. Thank you and thanks to others!
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