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Can I salvalge this frame?(9 posts)

Can I salvalge this frame?czardonic
Jan 11, 2002 10:43 AM
I have an old frame that I would like to restore (if possible), mostly out of nostalgia and to educate myself on maintenance. It is a Univega steel frame, which must have been made in the very early 80's, if not late 70's. Overall, it seems to be in solid condition (It was ridden regularly untill about 5 years ago). However, there are many nicks and dings on the frame, and where the metal is exposed there is a small amount of rust. It is superfical for the most part, none of the welds, joints, drop-outs etc are corroded.

Is this frame salvagable? Any advice on removing the rust and/or re-finishing the frame? Is there anything that I can look for to tell if the frame is likely to fail?

Thanks.
try brassoslow-ron
Jan 11, 2002 11:24 AM
This stuff works well cleaning rust off metals although I've never used it on a bike frame. After scrubing the rust off you can wax the frame.

I'd try looking inside the tubes at the b.b. or headtube to see if there's rust. I had an old Colnago that looked fine on the outside but rusted from the inside out.
re: Can I salvalge this frame?Dave Hickey
Jan 11, 2002 11:31 AM
Yes you can salvage this frame. It all depends on how much money you want to put into it. Univega's are not going to command a high dollar on the collector market so it's up to you how much you want to spend. Here is what I'd recommend.

One word of caution: Use bike specific tools. Don't try to use regular wrenches as they will usually scratch your frame or components. This is expecially true when working on your headset and pedals. Cycling wrenches are flat. Check your local LBS. If you plan on doing alot of your own maintainence it's worth buying a crankpuller. If not have your LBS remove your cranks and bottom bracket. Again, don't try using regular tools to remove your cranks. You will damage them.

Disassemble everything and put each component in zip lock bags. It helps keeping all the parts together. Give all the parts a good cleaning. Buy a book like Zinns Road Bike maintainence. It's a great source for re-assembling the bike.

Inspect the frame and use light steel wool on the rusted areas. Buy some touchup paint(little brush bottles) at an auto parts store that matches the color of your frame. They also sell these bottles in primer colors. Prime first and paint the nicks.

Buy some Framesaver at your LBS or just spray WD40 inside all the tubes.

Reassemble the bike with new tires and tubes and maybe some new bartape and your ready to go. I've rebuilt many bikes and find it very enjoyable and rewarding.
re: Can I salvalge this frame?czardonic
Jan 11, 2002 12:37 PM
This is somewhat of a family heirloom, so re-sale value isn't an issue. It's more of a "for-the-heck-of-it" project.

Thanks for the info.
If you want to get real crazy...Geof
Jan 11, 2002 12:11 PM
You can have it bead sandblasted and then powder coated. I did a beater MTB for about 125.00 total. Then made some stencils and custom airbrushed the logos. Pretty cool if your willing to spend the $$$$.
How much color choice did you get?nee Spoke Wrench
Jan 11, 2002 12:24 PM
Did you have to take what they had, get to pick a basic color but not the hue, or could they custom match any color?
How much color choice did you get?Geof
Jan 11, 2002 5:14 PM
I could have gone just about anywhere I wanted, I'm not sure about a color match although I'm sure it's possible. They had tons of colors, two tone fades (a bit more expensive, but not much)etc. Plus a powder coat is way more durable. An argument is that the paint process is heavier but whatever. It worked great and I got a really nice price for the bike when I finally sold it. It was a GT Karakoram frame.
If you want to get real crazy...czardonic
Jan 11, 2002 12:40 PM
Not a bad idea. I'd like to preserve the original finish on the bike I'm currently working on if possible, but I am often put off by the colors on the new frames that I am seeing.

A nice matte black frame would be sweet!
Suresalmonwheel
Jan 15, 2002 10:08 AM
There are many ways to remove rust. If it's not to severe just scrub it off with brass wool and wd-40. I've been tol not to use use steel wool. I have two road bike commutersthat are from the late 70's and early 80's. For more details on Bike restoration checkout some of the vintage bike websites

www.oldroads.com is a good one. These sites are mostly for collectors and old bike buffs (pre-World War 2), but the information is useful. THese guys will bay 100's or thousands for a 1930's single speed so they are very careful about restoration.

As far as telling if the frame is going to fail, I don't know. I look for cracks or excessive corrosion, but have never had a frame fail so I don't really know