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Treating rust on a steel frame(5 posts)

Treating rust on a steel frameCRM
Sep 22, 2003 10:27 AM
I have a 5-year-old Reynolds 853 frame and I just noticed a little rust on the cable stops under the top tube. The interior of the cable stop is rusty and there's a line of rust at the weld attaching the stop to the tube. The frame is painted.

How do I treat this rust and how do I determine if more rust exists on the interior of the tubes? Any help is much appreciated. - Craig
First and foremost, don't worry.Humma Hah
Sep 22, 2003 11:09 AM
Assuming you're not in the habit of riding the bike thru the surf, a little rust is rarely a problem for a steel bike frame. There are plenty of ridable steel bikes over 100 years old, and most have had little special care and have been rusty at some point in their lives.

Non-structural rust, just a little light rusty color with no deep pitting, is absolutely harmless. Deep pits do weaken a frame a little, but, short of rusting holes thru the frame, are not necessarily cause to toss out a frame. Many old collectable bikes are shown and ridden dispite deep rust pits.

Gently remove any loose rust, and peel away any small chips of blistered paint (it is just trapping water and hiding rust). Don't worry about removing the rust all the way down to bright metal (you may be removing a protective layer that is still doing some good). Dab on a little rustproofing primer from the auto parts store. If you want to try to make it look almost like new, and the bad spots are small enough, see if there is a good match to the color in the dab-on auto touch-up paints.

Inside the frame, a light coat of oil will generally help prevent rust. The most likely places to find rust are the seat tube and BB. You can buy a special rust preventive oil treatment (it is sold for protecting the inside of steel aircraft frames), or make your own by thinning some motor oil with mineral spirits. Just a trace inside the tubes will help.
My shop and Lemond told me the a similar thingmgolebiewski
Sep 22, 2003 12:23 PM
A little surface rust will not hurt.

If it starts to get to where if flakes off metal then there may be a problem.

If you are looking for touch up paint after you clean it off try a hobby shop and go for the model car/airplane paint. They have a huge selection of colors/shades/finishes.
re: Treating rust on a steel framedmw010
Sep 22, 2003 12:40 PM
It sounds like the rust is in a relatively small area and on the surface of the frame. You could try this:

1. Remove the cable from the affected cable stops so you can clean them more easily.

2. Spray some WD-40 on the rusty areas and let sit for a few minutes.

3. Wipe off the surface rust. You can use a toothbrush for scrubbing if needed.

4. Touch up the now-clean areas with some clear nail polish or clearcoat modelling paint.
Thank you all for the information. (nm)CRM
Sep 22, 2003 1:44 PM