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    • CommentAuthorMaxThrash
    • CommentTimeNov 24th 2009
    I just bought a used steel frame. I'm planning on applying frame saver, but I want to know the best method for cleaning the inside of the frame first. Techniques? Anything to watch out for?
    • CommentAuthorgridplan
    • CommentTimeNov 24th 2009 edited
    Oxalic acid dissolved in water. This topic comes up all the time on the Classic & Vintage forum. Read more here. The oxalic acid attacks the rust but doesn't harm the paint and decals. Depending on how concentrated the solution is, you let your frame soak in it for a day or so, take it out, rinse it, dry it with compressed air and then apply Framesaver.
    Do you actually need to clean the frame out? Is there visible rust anywhere? The only real danger area is the BB shell.

    I do agree that oxalic acid does the job quite well, if you actually need the job done.. Be sure to use protection and keep the acid away from children and animals, it's toxic and burney.
    • CommentAuthoreaglerock
    • CommentTimeNov 24th 2009
    As is mentioned in the thread to which gridplan links, vinegar (acetic acid) also works. sfbee had a thread several months back where he discussed the derustification of a Cïocc frame with regular distilled vinegar, the stuff you can get in jugs in the grocery store. In household concentrations, vinegar is food; it takes longer to take the rust off, but it works.

    However, it is still acid. If you leave a hunk o'metal in it long enough, the vinegar will eat the metal up. I forgot a pair of steel Atom pedals in a vinegar bath for a few weeks, and the vinegar ate through the welds.
    • CommentAuthorMaxThrash
    • CommentTimeNov 25th 2009
    The frame is in pretty good shape, but I'm not sure how to tell if the inside is rusty (I still need to take out the bb and headset). Its been used heavily as a commuter for the last 3 years, but was kept in really good condition. But if I'm understanding right you're saying that as long as I clean around the bb shell (and there is no rust) I can just apply frame saver over the grit on the inside?
    Pretty much, yeah. I'm almost completely certain that such products (Framesaver, Boeshield, etc.) will not be negatively effected by surface rust inside the frame's tubes. Especially if the bike is still relatively young. The reason that the BB shell is the rust danger zone is that it is the intersection of several tubes, all of which have a lot of stress on them while riding. It is also the only place where water could collect, if it were getting into the frame somehow. As long as that area is clean, there isn't much to worry about.
    • CommentAuthorMaxThrash
    • CommentTimeNov 26th 2009
    Thanks for the help SD!
    I've got an old Raleigh that I've got some plans for. It had been seriously neglected for a couple of decades and had a seatpost corroded into place. When I finally got the fucking thing apart, I tied some steel wool around the end of a broomsticks, filled the steel wool with grease, and scrubbed out the inside. A little rust came out, but that didn't really matter — what mattered was getting it good and greasy in there.

    I've never used Frame Saver, but the aforementioned is the only steel bike I own right now, so I'm a little philistine about it.
    I'm pretty sure such frame saving products put rust to good use inside frames. Let me look this up and make sure I'm not ... any crazier than I already suspect that I may possibly be.
    "Forget it. The whole idea of rusting out from the inside is a hypothetical consideration brought on
    by frame failures that occurred from someone leaving rag or paper stuffing in a seat tube (the tube
    that ingests all the water) that subsequently became a rust wick.

    If you make sure the clamp slit at the seat post is sealed (thick grease is good enough) there won't
    be enough moisture in the frame to cause significant rust. Back in the days when everyone rode
    steel, internal rust was not a problem over 20 years of commuting in all weather or more. Frame
    saver is a boutique elixir sold by fear mongering. I've ridden unprotected steel frames since the
    1950's and never had a rust problem. But what if...???"

    That's Jobst Brandt. In the same tread, just above Jobst's post, Sheldon expresses his opinion:

    "If you're just talking about spraying [rust proofing], you're probably right. Weigel's Frame Saver,
    if you follow the directions, is a different matter. The procedure is fairly complicated and messy,
    involving plugging tubes temporarily with rags and tipping the frame back and forth various ways to
    distribute the goo.

    I believe it is effective when done properly, but even in snowy/salty New England I very, very
    rarely see a bicycle with serious rust damage to the frame."
    I haven't found any definitive answer, but I really only looked in one place. Whatever.

    I see Frame Saver, Boeshield, and the like purely as back up, just-in-case measures. If you live and commute in the wet, why not spend $15 on a can (which should do about three frames if properly applied) and have a little more peace of mind? Of course, the real frame saver is, as Jobst says, a well greased seat tube and post, headset cups, and bottom bracket. If your bike doesn't have a bottom bracket cutout or a cable guide hole, you can carefully drill a small one to let any water which gets into the frame out.
    You know, you can get spray grease. Shoot some of that stuff down there and I bet that'll set you up. Or, if it's genuinely rusty, the steel wool Q tip/grease combo. But I bet the spray grease is the easiest and cheapest way most of the time.
    • CommentAuthoreaglerock
    • CommentTimeNov 27th 2009
    It's worth noting that Boeshield is available from Sears in a 13oz spraycan, which comes with an 8oz spray bottle of their rust/stain remover (scary-caustic, but it works) for $25. The only way I've ever seen Boeshield packaged in an LBS is in 4oz squirt bottles for about $10, and 7oz spraycans for about $20. But Boeshield (from Boeing - bombs delivered where you want them!) is a general-purpose item, while Weigle's FrameSaver is marketed almost exclusively through bike channels. If you can sell more, the stuff gets cheaper. And the last time I bought the Sears pack, it was TWO 13oz spraycans, plus the rust remover, for $20. Check with your local Sears; it may still be two cans (Sears' website is an uninformative mess).

    Boeshield is wax-based, while FrameSaver is oil-based. Boeshield makes an excellent dry chain lube, if you A) keep the chain clean, and B) let the treatment dry thoroughly before you ride. It also makes a very effective cable lube.

    When I was first buying this stuff, I probably would have bought FrameSaver first. But nobody local carried it, and Boeshield was available in larger quantities for way less money. The fact that it's also useful for chain/cable lube is just an Easter egg.
    • CommentAuthorbionnaki
    • CommentTimeNov 28th 2009
    boiled linseed oil also is used...

    no idea which works the best, though. a subject to research.
    I think the consensus is that they're all about the same. And probably all snake oil, unless you have no idea what you're doing but somehow manage to build your entire bike by yourself without grease.
    • CommentAuthorMaxThrash
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2009
    Yeah, I had heard that frame saving wasn't really "neccessary", but I'm going all-out with this build, so I don't mind paying a little more for peace of mind. Also, I had a really old and abused steel frame that developed a crack on the seat tube due to rust and split on me while I was riding.
    • CommentAuthorNash
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2009
    go get some EvapoRust. works great and is non toxic and biodegradable so you dont need to worry about disposing it. Have used it to clean out old rusty gas tanks on scooters. The longer you can let it sit and work the better the results.
    You know, Rust-Oleum has a rust inhibitor. I've even seen RustOleum without paint — just the rust inhibitor. You might want to try that. I'm sure it's cheaper than a bike-specific product.
    • CommentAuthorMaxThrash
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2009 edited
    I will probably just go to the local hardware/auto shop and ask them whats cheap and good

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