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Is there much point rustproofing an old steel bike ?

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Is there much point rustproofing an old steel bike ?

Old 10-30-16, 10:28 AM
  #1  
jambon
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Is there much point rustproofing an old steel bike ?

Hi all ,


I thought I'd ask this before I go to the trouble of stripping down and linseed oiling the inside of the frame on my beloved 1988 koga miyata touring bike that I picked up second hand .


I can see that the inside of the top tube already has a very light coat of dusty rust . I can see this by looking into the tube where the brake cable enters the bike to be internally routed . So its possible that the rest of the inner tubes are also lightly rusted to some degree . Paint job on the outside is good with no sign of rust .


I read on the Rivendell website that a once a light coat of rust forms on the inner tubes that this light layer of rust in itself prevents further rust .


Bike will be stored indoors and may be exposed to rain when wild camping on tours and even then it'll be covered with a plastic sheet .


So , was the time to rust proof it back in 1988 when it was made ? or will linseed oiling the inner tubes now be of benefit ?
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Old 10-30-16, 12:05 PM
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.
...while a light coating of corrosion does, indeed, slow down the oxidation process (most notable on aluminum, where it pretty much stops it), I don't think it works quite as well on steel (because of the nature of the corrosive coating...on steel it's more permeable, I think).

Anyway, I use this stuff from the Home Depot or hardware store paint department, which is way easier to get in through the small holes in the stays if you spray it through a red plastic tube (the kind that comes with a lot of spray lubricants, and fits into the spray nozzle hole).



Other people here use Boshield, which is a little more difficult to find, but is still widely available.



I do this on every bike I care enough about to dismantle completely and restore. I am very lazy, so I would not do this if I did not think it did some good......not so much for me personally, but down the line for some future potential user. I like to think of really nice bikes as national heritage objects, worth preserving for future generations.
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Old 10-30-16, 12:19 PM
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A light coat of rust isn't going to stop further rusting. Perhaps slow it down a little. Like 3alarmer says that's true for aluminum but not steel really. I recommend rustproofing. Ounce of prevention and all that. I use LPS3, which is similar to Boeshield, but available at your local hardware store. It dries waxy, not sticky like linseed oil. Besides the previously mentioned stuffs, there's also framesaver. Really just about anything is better than nothing.

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Old 10-30-16, 01:15 PM
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Linseed oil is what we use in 4130 steel tube aircraft. But I have been using the Frame Saver lately for bicycles. There is some stuff called Fluid Film, aerosol or container, it is wonderful stuff. Not terribly expensive and available at O'Reilly auto parts.

OP, yes, you should use a preservative on your beloved Miyata.

J
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Old 10-30-16, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
...Really just about anything is better than nothing.


Or to put it another way, anything is just as good as nothing. The reality is that steel bikes that are stored in a dry place (even if they ride through a rainstorm from time to time) will never have rust issues.
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Old 10-30-16, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by jonwvara View Post
Or to put it another way, anything is just as good as nothing. The reality is that steel bikes that are stored in a dry place (even if they ride through a rainstorm from time to time) will never have rust issues.
...why is that the reality ? What are "rust issues" ? How long is "never" ? What is a "dry place" ?

There's little question that in many places, there is condensation that forms on both the exterior as well as the interior of a bicycle frame given that it chills below the dew point. That happens even in many garages, and if you add to that a coastal location, it compounds the issues.

I wish that people who have not experienced a problem personally would not come on here and rule it out as a possibility for the entire world. But the reality is that they will.
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Old 10-30-16, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post

I wish that people who have not experienced a problem personally would not come on here and rule it out as a possibility for the entire world. But the reality is that they will.

Busted! I knew when I posted that reply that I left myself open to that (justifiable) criticism.


A dry place is under any sort of a roof, in any climate. "Rust issues" are interior accumulations of rust that have any imaginable effect on the appearance or function of a frame. "Never" is, oh, I don't know--a couple of human lifetimes, maybe? I have never seen or heard of a bicycle with those sorts of "rust issues," and have never heard from anyone else has seen them, either. But maybe I just don't get out enough.


Jobst Brandt, I think, also dismissed that concern out of hand. He was better at being dogmatic than I am, though.
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Old 10-30-16, 04:46 PM
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I like the LPS3 stuff. It foams up a little when you spray it & flows all around surfaces. Good stuff to have if you live near the coast or on the beach. I've got a twenty something year old steel Trek Multitrack that I've ridden up and down the beach for years. I hose it off & after it dries spray some oil on it. Hasn't rusted yet.
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Old 10-30-16, 04:47 PM
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Three questions:

1. Has anyone ever had an internal rust issue with a reasonably cared for bike?
2. How is one even going to be able to completely coat all the internal surfaces?
3. How is one going to know whether they successfully coated the internal surfaces?

My conclusion: why bother?
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Old 10-30-16, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by L134 View Post
Three questions:

1. Has anyone ever had an internal rust issue with a reasonably cared for bike?
2. How is one even going to be able to completely coat all the internal surfaces?
3. How is one going to know whether they successfully coated the internal surfaces?

My conclusion: why bother?
I tend to agree. Although anything is possible, I've never seen a frame rust through that was stored indoors and not ridden constantly in rain or snow - and was cared for reasonably well. It'd be great if you could easily prevent all rust, but getting a preventative fluid into all the crevices inside the frame seems pretty much impossible. Plus the whole parts strip down is pretty labor intensive as well.
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Old 10-30-16, 06:24 PM
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Let me ask the question a different way. If one has a (high end) vintage frame already stripped, is there any harm to spending the $13 on Frame Saver? Can it mess up the paint, or cause issues down the road?

Further questions:
If said vintage frame is going to be repainted professionally, should the Frame Saver be applied before or after the paint?
And will Frame Saver do anything to mitigate against the possibility of a stuck seatpost or stem?
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Old 10-30-16, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by jonwvara View Post
But maybe I just don't get out enough.


Jobst Brandt, I think, also dismissed that concern out of hand. He was better at being dogmatic than I am, though.
...maybe you don't. As for Mr Brandt (always a man of strong opinion ), I think it of little to argue with the deceased. Probably of little value to argue with the living, but at least there they can respond and defend themselves.

I have bikes that I know the original owner is somewhere in the realm of the dead, along with Mr Brandt. When I am so departed, they will still be rolling around somewhere, because just too nice not to be. I have restored a bicycle that looked like it was kept indoors (on the outside, anyway...no fading on the paint, no obvious corrosion to the exterior.)

The interior was quite heavily rusted, and it was one I filled with Evapo-rust, because I could deduce no other way to salvage it. I have little idea of the history, but presume it came from long time storage (the guy I bought it from met me at his storage locker), probably in a marine environment. It appeared to be little ridden based on component wear. But that's speculation.

Maybe it was stored underwater, for all I know.
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Old 10-30-16, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by L134 View Post
Three questions:

1. Has anyone ever had an internal rust issue with a reasonably cared for bike?
2. How is one even going to be able to completely coat all the internal surfaces?
3. How is one going to know whether they successfully coated the internal surfaces?

My conclusion: why bother?
Originally Posted by exmechanic89 View Post
I tend to agree. Although anything is possible, I've never seen a frame rust through that was stored indoors and not ridden constantly in rain or snow - and was cared for reasonably well. It'd be great if you could easily prevent all rust, but getting a preventative fluid into all the crevices inside the frame seems pretty much impossible. Plus the whole parts strip down is pretty labor intensive as well.

...have either of you ever tried it ? Once again, we're talking about a bike you think is worth the effort of a complete strip and rebuild, from the frame up, as a stage in this process. At least I am.
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Old 10-30-16, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Kevindale View Post
Let me ask the question a different way. If one has a (high end) vintage frame already stripped, is there any harm to spending the $13 on Frame Saver? Can it mess up the paint, or cause issues down the road?

Further questions:
If said vintage frame is going to be repainted professionally, should the Frame Saver be applied before or after the paint?
And will Frame Saver do anything to mitigate against the possibility of a stuck seatpost or stem?
Frame Saver, Linseed oil or Fluid Film should be applied after the repaint or powder coat. Grease is better for seat posts but yes, the coatings I mention will help prevent a stuck post. LPS-3 is great, as is Corrosion X and a few similar products but they are not creeping coatings that will find there way into every pore and crevice and if scratched off will creep back and heal the coating.

I spray it into the frame on a warm day and then slowly rotate the frame this way and that and then afterwards position the frame in various positions to let the material completely flow out and cover the entire interior. Because these are creeping coatings they will wick out through any crevice, or weep hole in the frame for probably several weeks. And there can be some smell at first as the volatiles come off.

J
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Old 10-30-16, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...have either of you ever tried it ? Once again, we're talking about a bike you think is worth the effort of a complete strip and rebuild, from the frame up, as a stage in this process. At least I am.
No I've never tried it. But I have built up a fair amount of bikes from bare frames, and getting everything covered internally would be difficult, imo. But mostly I think it's unneeded. I can dig why you want to do it though, all my bikes are steel and I'm very fond of them as well.
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Old 10-30-16, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...have either of you ever tried it ? Once again, we're talking about a bike you think is worth the effort of a complete strip and rebuild, from the frame up, as a stage in this process. At least I am.
No. Like I said, why bother? I did a complete strip of my 1978 custom touring bike just this past January. It has seen plenty of rain, plenty of humidity and I didn't see anything troubling. I did the frame up build in 78 and it is still my main ride. Didn't treat in 78. Didn't treat his year. Did think about it but decided not to.

Also did a complete strip and rebuild of my 82 Trek 720. Second owner so I don't know if it had been treated but I doubt it.
Didn't treat it this time either. Didn't see anything troubling.

Also, just built up a steel tandem frame that I got off ebay. Probably an 80's or 90's frame. Don't know if it had ever been treated but, again, I didn't bother. Didn't see anything troubling.

I haven't tried it because I haven't seen the need, think it is next to impossible to do anyway and absolutely impossible to know whether you achieved anything at all. If someone else wants to do it, that is fine with me but I think the OP was asking for feedback so I offered mine.
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Old 10-30-16, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by jonwvara View Post
Or to put it another way, anything is just as good as nothing. The reality is that steel bikes that are stored in a dry place (even if they ride through a rainstorm from time to time) will never have rust issues.
At the risk of raising the wrath of others I tend to agree with this statement. I'm in dry Utah and while I see plenty of beat up paint, rust is very rarely seen. My bikes all live inside with me and the good ones never go out in bad weather or once they start putting winter chemicals down. I'm really not worried about it.

I also don't see how you'd cover all the interior surfaces if you tried. But I totally understand those that go this route and worry about it. I guess if I ever run into rust as a problem then I'll reconsider but for the first 50+ years of my life it's been a non concern.

So, for the OP my answer would be, "it depends..."
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Old 10-30-16, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Loose Chain View Post
Frame Saver, Linseed oil or Fluid Film should be applied after the repaint or powder coat. J
Just wondering...is there a reason for doing it afterwards?
I recently used Frame Saver on a '91 hybrid, and then had it powder coated.
(I let it drip and dry from a variety of positions for about a week prior to powder coating.)
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Old 10-30-16, 08:35 PM
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Old 10-30-16, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by 67tony View Post
Just wondering...is there a reason for doing it afterwards?
I recently used Frame Saver on a '91 hybrid, and then had it powder coated.
(I let it drip and dry from a variety of positions for about a week prior to powder coating.)
Yes, the preservative could cause contamination of the surfaces to be painted. If you have had good luck doing the Frame Saver et al before then good for you but as expensive as real paint is (not rattle can) or a good powder coating job and the PITA it is is to correct a spoiled paint job, I will coat my frames afterwards thank you.

As to fully coating the interior surfaces Linseed oil, Frame Saver and Fluid Film will indeed, creep through out the frame and fully coat the interior. The only exception would be if there were any completely closed tubes.

J
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Old 10-30-16, 11:06 PM
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Originally Posted by 67tony View Post
Just wondering...is there a reason for doing it afterwards?
I recently used Frame Saver on a '91 hybrid, and then had it powder coated.
(I let it drip and dry from a variety of positions for about a week prior to powder coating.)
...I'm pretty sure that the heat from the powder coating oven will burn off most of these products mentioned in the thread.
Most powder coatings have a particle size in the range of 30 to 50 μ (Microns), a softening temperature Tg around 80 C, a melting temperature around 150 C, and are cured at around 200 C. for minimum 10 minutes to 15 minutes (Also its depend on thickness of specimen or part) For such powder coatings, film build-ups ...
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Old 10-31-16, 05:33 AM
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Originally Posted by L134 View Post
Didn't treat it this time either. Didn't see anything troubling.
My opinion, and it is only that, is...look at your location.
In relatively dry southern California, I may not bother with this either.
I didn't when I lived in 12% humidity Utah. Like Jamesdak.

In places with 50% + humidity averages though...I'd do it.
I've done all of my bikes. I've had bare steel surfaces develop rust just sitting in my shop.
And I don't live in an area of particularly high humidity. But it's higher than other places I've lived.
Cheap insurance, IMO.

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Old 10-31-16, 05:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
I have a can of this stuff. And have used it on the exterior surfaces of things that sit outside. Like my 198 pound Peter Wright anvil.
But I found it wasn't suitable for things like inside a bike frame. I found it doesn't flow as freely as Frame Saver or Boeshield.
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Old 10-31-16, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by L134 View Post
2. How is one even going to be able to completely coat all the internal surfaces?
3. How is one going to know whether they successfully coated the internal surfaces?
2-I let the builder apply it, and I presume they know what they are doing.
3-Same answer

My question, assuming they did it right: when, if ever, does one need to apply a second helping?
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Old 10-31-16, 06:39 AM
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i am of the opinion that if things are good by the time I buy it then with the life it will be leading going forward, not necessary.

if I were to buy / build a rando bike that may see all weather conditions, then Framesaver.

By the way, when I get a bike repainted or repaint one myself, I do clean and spray the inside of the bottom bracket including threads with sealer and primer. I will be chasing the threads later and it seems most bikes I acquire have cut out bottom brackets.

Last edited by repechage; 10-31-16 at 06:42 AM.
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