Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > General Cycling Discussion
Reload this Page >

Polishing and waxing bike frame

Notices
General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

Polishing and waxing bike frame

Old 09-09-23, 07:15 PM
  #1  
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2022
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Polishing and waxing bike frame

Should an aluminum bike frame be waxed or polished like a steel frame bike? Steel will rust if you do not polish but what about aluminum? You really waxing or polishing the paint, correct?
JD4ever is offline  
Old 09-09-23, 07:36 PM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
Velo Mule's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 2,107

Bikes: Trek 800 x 2, Schwinn Heavy Duti, Schwinn Traveler, Schwinn Le Tour Luxe, Schwinn Continental, Cannondale M400 and Lambert, Schwinn Super Sport

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 809 Post(s)
Liked 1,018 Times in 664 Posts
Yes, you are polishing the paint whether it is steel or aluminum. Where the paint has been chipped off it is a good idea to fill in the chip or missing paint with touch up paint to protected. If you happen to have a chrome or polished aluminum frame, it is even more imperative to keep the frame waxed to protect the frame.

Wax is for protection, polish if for getting a better looking, smoother finish. You can skip the polish if you not too worried about how shinny the finish looks but wax is necessary for preserving the bike.

This is just my opinion. Since you are asking, I'm thinking that you want to at least preserve the bike.
Velo Mule is offline  
Likes For Velo Mule:
Old 09-09-23, 08:56 PM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 2,674

Bikes: too many sparkly Italians, some sweet Americans and a couple interesting Japanese

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 567 Post(s)
Liked 561 Times in 405 Posts
Aluminum and steel frames are very different, aluminium does not rust or corrode in wet conditions unlike steel as it's surface protected by a natural layer of aluminium oxide. This prevents the metal below from coming into contact with air and oxygen which causes the oxidation you see with steel.
easyupbug is offline  
Old 09-09-23, 09:48 PM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 7,837
Mentioned: 37 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6933 Post(s)
Liked 10,934 Times in 4,670 Posts
Originally Posted by JD4ever
Steel will rust if you do not polish
Nope.
Koyote is online now  
Likes For Koyote:
Old 09-10-23, 08:22 AM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
Speedway2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Thornhill, Canada
Posts: 753

Bikes: United Motocross BMX, Specialized Langster, Giant OCR, Marin Muirwoods, Globe Roll2, VROD:)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 238 Post(s)
Liked 404 Times in 245 Posts
If you're that concerned about your steel frame rusting, don't forget about treating the inside of the frame tubes.......
Speedway2 is offline  
Old 09-10-23, 08:34 AM
  #6  
Full Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 351
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 126 Post(s)
Liked 110 Times in 77 Posts
I apply spray on automotive detailer to the paint after several rides,
WaveyGravey is offline  
Old 09-10-23, 08:40 AM
  #7  
I'm good to go!
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 14,931

Bikes: Tarmac Disc Comp Di2 - 2020

Mentioned: 51 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6163 Post(s)
Liked 4,782 Times in 3,300 Posts
I was supposed to wax my steel bikes?

Just keep it clean and don't use weird stuff on it and the paint finish will protect it for a long time.
Iride01 is offline  
Likes For Iride01:
Old 09-10-23, 08:41 AM
  #8  
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Mississauga/Toronto, Ontario canada
Posts: 8,721

Bikes: I have 3 singlespeed/fixed gear bikes

Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4227 Post(s)
Liked 2,488 Times in 1,286 Posts
It's completely unnecessary to wax a bike frame.
wolfchild is offline  
Likes For wolfchild:
Old 09-10-23, 09:24 AM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: SE Wyoming
Posts: 604

Bikes: 1995 Specialized Rockhopper,1989 Specialized Rock Combo, 2013 Specialized Tarmac Elite

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 213 Post(s)
Liked 588 Times in 278 Posts
Originally Posted by wolfchild
It's completely unnecessary to wax a bike frame.
No doubt true, but I like the way it looks.
Inusuit is offline  
Old 09-10-23, 12:20 PM
  #10  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 1,786
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 497 Post(s)
Liked 619 Times in 366 Posts
Where can I buy this magic wax and polish that goes through the paint and clearcoat down to the metal?...
wheelreason is offline  
Old 09-10-23, 12:56 PM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
alcjphil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 5,920
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1813 Post(s)
Liked 1,692 Times in 973 Posts
Originally Posted by easyupbug
Aluminum and steel frames are very different, aluminium does not rust or corrode in wet conditions
This is untrue. Aluminum can indeed corrode in wet conditions. I once owned a 1978 Mercury Zephyr. This car had cast aluminum bumpers that were about 1/4" thick. They were very strong. I was once hit quite hard from behind at a stoplight and there was no damage to my car. However, the aluminum bumpers were bolted to steel supports and after about 5 Montreal winters the aluminum developed holes right through that 1/4" thickness where the bumper was bolted to the steel support bracket. My brother in law owned a Ford Fairmont with the same bumpers and the same thing happened to his car
alcjphil is online now  
Likes For alcjphil:
Old 09-10-23, 01:55 PM
  #12  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 2,674

Bikes: too many sparkly Italians, some sweet Americans and a couple interesting Japanese

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 567 Post(s)
Liked 561 Times in 405 Posts
Originally Posted by alcjphil
This is untrue...
What corroded your aluminum was the 130,000 tons of salt Montreal puts on the roads in the winter. Aluminum boats last forever in lakes but not in the ocean unless you seal the joints and seams very carefully and maintain them as the salt water will attack the aluminum in these joints. Salt air and salt water when in contact with aluminum can cause both the chalky, white coating of aluminum oxide and nasty pitting. Because of this Tesla Model S's have aluminum body panels coated and painted but then saw corrosion reports for the uncoated aluminum support brackets inside the side mirrors where salt is common (Canada), so Tesla had to also coat them in production.

Last edited by easyupbug; 09-10-23 at 01:58 PM.
easyupbug is offline  
Old 09-10-23, 02:37 PM
  #13  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Wake Forest, NC
Posts: 5,742

Bikes: 1989 Cinelli Supercorsa

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3482 Post(s)
Liked 2,904 Times in 1,764 Posts
Originally Posted by wolfchild
It's completely unnecessary to wax a bike frame.
Like itís unnecessary to wax a car?

I use ceramic wax on my bike, personally. Keeps everything nice and shiny.
smd4 is offline  
Likes For smd4:
Old 09-10-23, 02:55 PM
  #14  
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Mississauga/Toronto, Ontario canada
Posts: 8,721

Bikes: I have 3 singlespeed/fixed gear bikes

Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4227 Post(s)
Liked 2,488 Times in 1,286 Posts
Originally Posted by smd4
Like itís unnecessary to wax a car?
Yes completely unnecessary. I don't wax my vehicles and I don't wash them.
wolfchild is offline  
Old 09-10-23, 02:56 PM
  #15  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Wake Forest, NC
Posts: 5,742

Bikes: 1989 Cinelli Supercorsa

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3482 Post(s)
Liked 2,904 Times in 1,764 Posts
Originally Posted by wolfchild
Yes completely unnecessary. I don't wax my vehicles and I don't wash them.
Was that your car with the peeling paint I saw up on blocks in the front yard??
smd4 is offline  
Old 09-10-23, 03:01 PM
  #16  
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Mississauga/Toronto, Ontario canada
Posts: 8,721

Bikes: I have 3 singlespeed/fixed gear bikes

Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4227 Post(s)
Liked 2,488 Times in 1,286 Posts
Originally Posted by smd4
Was that your car with the peeling paint I saw up on blocks in the front yard??
Peeling paint is a manufacturing defect and has nothing to do with waxing....Waxing won't save a bad paint job.
wolfchild is offline  
Likes For wolfchild:
Old 09-10-23, 03:23 PM
  #17  
I'm good to go!
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 14,931

Bikes: Tarmac Disc Comp Di2 - 2020

Mentioned: 51 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6163 Post(s)
Liked 4,782 Times in 3,300 Posts
I do wash my bike and my car, but I don't wax either. My car is from 1998 and it just in the last few years is looking shabby. Clear coats that they didn't use to put on bikes or cars make waxing unnecessary.

This is one of those things you can do if you want. It'll make your bike stand out just a tad more than one that isn't waxed. But don't kid yourself that it's making your bike last longer. Even rusty bike frames will last for a long time.
Iride01 is offline  
Old 09-10-23, 05:02 PM
  #18  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Wake Forest, NC
Posts: 5,742

Bikes: 1989 Cinelli Supercorsa

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3482 Post(s)
Liked 2,904 Times in 1,764 Posts
There sure are a lot of websites explaining why waxing is important; not many saying itís unnecessary.
smd4 is offline  
Old 09-10-23, 05:22 PM
  #19  
Senior Member
 
badger1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Southwestern Ontario
Posts: 5,119
Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1576 Post(s)
Liked 1,181 Times in 601 Posts
A car (motor vehicle) is constantly exposed to the elements, especially if kept outdoors. Also high(er) speeds involved. Bicycles not so much. They are not ordinarily susceptible, for example, to bird droppings, insect detritus at 100+ kmh, sandblasting from particulates at 100+ kmh, and so on and on. So yes: there is a case to be made for 'waxing' or otherwise coating a motor vehicle's paint work, notwithstanding the outstanding properties of modern automotive paints/clear coats.

Bicycles? Meh. Of course if a bicycle is an object of fetish worship, as well as being a tool that one uses to engage in an activity (cycling), then nothing wrong at all with being concerned about 'detailing' and maintaining a frame's pristine appearance. Each to their own. Me? A few rough patches, scratches, a bit of fading on a bicycle frame -- signs of 'use as intended.' Don't care. Couldn't be bothered. Wash the crap off from time to time, and that's about it.

Last edited by badger1; 09-10-23 at 07:59 PM.
badger1 is offline  
Likes For badger1:
Old 09-10-23, 07:49 PM
  #20  
Senior Member
 
msu2001la's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Chicago, IL, USA
Posts: 2,870
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1455 Post(s)
Liked 1,477 Times in 867 Posts
I wax my bike frames because it makes the paint shiny and I feel like less dirt sticks to them when they're waxed up.
msu2001la is offline  
Likes For msu2001la:
Old 09-10-23, 11:02 PM
  #21  
Senior Member
 
Velo Mule's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 2,107

Bikes: Trek 800 x 2, Schwinn Heavy Duti, Schwinn Traveler, Schwinn Le Tour Luxe, Schwinn Continental, Cannondale M400 and Lambert, Schwinn Super Sport

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 809 Post(s)
Liked 1,018 Times in 664 Posts
Originally Posted by Iride01
I was supposed to wax my steel bikes?

Just keep it clean and don't use weird stuff on it and the paint finish will protect it for a long time.
You don't have to wax your bike. You don't have cut the lawn or water it.

Some bikes look good to me with patina. Sometimes I wish I could spend less time and money on lawn care.
Velo Mule is offline  
Old 09-11-23, 01:45 PM
  #22  
Newbie
 
Cagatay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 8
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Apply the same process you use for waxing your car; there's no need for a special procedure when it comes to bike paint.
Cagatay is offline  
Old 09-12-23, 06:58 AM
  #23  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 2,674

Bikes: too many sparkly Italians, some sweet Americans and a couple interesting Japanese

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 567 Post(s)
Liked 561 Times in 405 Posts
I have a few sparkly Italians and customs I wax and some I don't. Waxing gives a water resistant, high-gloss, helpful shield against damage from the elements. All manner of crap on the roads/trails attack the bike’s paint, clear coat and metal if you let them. If that's not important to you, don't, it is not rocket science.
easyupbug is offline  
Old 09-12-23, 09:59 AM
  #24  
Senior Member
 
msu2001la's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Chicago, IL, USA
Posts: 2,870
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1455 Post(s)
Liked 1,477 Times in 867 Posts
Waxing a bike frame has nothing to do with the frame's material. I wax carbon, aluminum and steel frames all the same. The wax interacts with the painted surface, not with the frame material underneath.
msu2001la is offline  
Old 09-12-23, 10:16 AM
  #25  
Full Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 273
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 83 Post(s)
Liked 47 Times in 34 Posts
The frame is not painted? Bare aluminum? I would put layer of paint (clear coat if you want the bare look) before waxing. It'll last longer. I never waxed any of my steal frames. The paint was more than enough to prevent exterior rusting and the internal patina were more than enough to protect the bike.
kcjc is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.