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Polishing and waxing bike frame

Old 09-09-23, 07:15 PM
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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?
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Old 09-09-23, 07:36 PM
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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.
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Old 09-09-23, 08:56 PM
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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.
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Old 09-09-23, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by JD4ever
Steel will rust if you do not polish
Nope.
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Old 09-10-23, 08:22 AM
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If you're that concerned about your steel frame rusting, don't forget about treating the inside of the frame tubes.......
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Old 09-10-23, 08:34 AM
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I apply spray on automotive detailer to the paint after several rides,
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Old 09-10-23, 08:40 AM
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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.
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Old 09-10-23, 08:41 AM
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It's completely unnecessary to wax a bike frame.
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Old 09-10-23, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild
It's completely unnecessary to wax a bike frame.
No doubt true, but I like the way it looks.
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Old 09-10-23, 12:20 PM
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Where can I buy this magic wax and polish that goes through the paint and clearcoat down to the metal?...
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Old 09-10-23, 12:56 PM
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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
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Old 09-10-23, 01:55 PM
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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.
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Old 09-10-23, 02:37 PM
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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.
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Old 09-10-23, 02:55 PM
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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.
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Old 09-10-23, 02:56 PM
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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??
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Old 09-10-23, 03:01 PM
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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.
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Old 09-10-23, 03:23 PM
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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.
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Old 09-10-23, 05:02 PM
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There sure are a lot of websites explaining why waxing is important; not many saying itís unnecessary.
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Old 09-10-23, 05:22 PM
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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.

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Old 09-10-23, 07:49 PM
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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.
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Old 09-10-23, 11:02 PM
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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.
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Old 09-11-23, 01:45 PM
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Apply the same process you use for waxing your car; there's no need for a special procedure when it comes to bike paint.
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Old 09-12-23, 06:58 AM
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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.
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Old 09-12-23, 09:59 AM
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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.
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Old 09-12-23, 10:16 AM
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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.
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