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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've been wanting to convert my full suspension bike to a hard tail and I found a good deal on a GT frame. I'm confident with a wrench but I've not done much bike maintenance before and certainly haven't built up a bike from frame. So, I'm excited to get going and build a bike from scratch.

Here's the frame:
Bicycle frame Line Electric blue Cobalt blue Parallel


I plan on stripping it down and painting it before building.

Since I'm not at all familiar with the GT setup, I've been looking at photos on the internet to figure out the cabling routes.

There are screw holes near the top of each seat stay. None of the photos show these being used. Does anyone know what purpose they serve? :idea:

Here's what I'm talking about:
Bicycle frame Bicycle tire Bicycle part Bicycle wheel rim Bicycle accessory


Any input would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Paint removal...

Since I don't usually have time during the week to get anything done, I decided to start on the paint removal tonight.

Test run with the trusty paint stripper...

Bicycle frame Bicycle part Bicycle fork Bicycle accessory Bicycle


I've seen much discussion about aircraft stripper. But, I already had some Klean-Strip on the shelf. Bought it at a home store and it worked fine.

Brown Packaging and labeling Tan Material property Box


The plastic scraper wasn't working worth a crap. Switched to a metal scraper and it worked much better for removing bulk paint. I also had cut 000 steel wool into pads and would dip them in the cleaner and wipe down the frame to remove residual paint. Once saturated, toss it into the trash can standing by me and grab another. My gloves are only off because I had to go take a piss and I decided to take a photo of the steel wool before I used the last of it. ;) Probably could have used a 0 or 00 and gone faster. But, this is all I had on-hand.

Another nice thing about the steel wool pads are you can stretch them out and pull them back-and-forth (flossing style) through the nooks and crannies to get out the bubbled off paint.

Brush Wallet Kitchen utensil Paper Tool


Here it is (mostly) clean. I'll finish it up tomorrow and get the remaining bits out. I'll then brush it down real well with the steel wool and wash it down with soap and water.

Bicycle frame Bicycle accessory Bicycle part Bicycles--Equipment and supplies Bicycle


I did notice on the right-hand chain stay near the bottom bracket is an indentation. It doesn't look like a 'dent' (I can't see an impact point). Is this indentation part of the design? Or, am I looking at a damaged frame? I don't see any tube or weld damage. :idea: Please let me know if you have a circa 2005 GT and can confirm if this is factory design or damage.

Hardwood Bicycle part Composite material Metal Steel


With any luck, I'll have it all clean and ready for priming next weekend.
 

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Since your already stripping it why not ditch the repainting idea and just polish that aluminum into a mirror like shine?

The "dent" your worried about is part of the frame design, it allows the chainrings to clear the chainstay once assembled.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
RatchAttacMk said:
Since your already stripping it why not ditch the repainting idea and just polish that aluminum into a mirror like shine?
I thought about that. I almost pulled out the Meguiar's and a polishing pad to give it a try. I even searched for GT photos of polished frames to get an idea of how it would look and I'm tempted.

Have you done this (polished frame)? If so, did you top coat it with anything after getting the desired shine? Is it hard to maintain (keep from dulling)?

I have fond memories of chrome bmx bikes of youth in my head right now. :)

RatchAttacMk said:
The "dent" your worried about is part of the frame design, it allows the chainrings to clear the chainstay once assembled.
I was hoping this was the case. The indentation looked too "clean" to me. Thank you for letting me know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
DSFA said:
I just kept polishing with finer grades of steel wool and got it pretty good.
I've used Meguire's products in the past to buff out copper to a mirror finish. I've also used it to shine up dull paint. Have to be careful with the paint or you can take it right off...

I would chuck-up a buffing wheel to my drill, dampen the pad with some polish and buff away. I haven't tried it on my aluminum frame. I'd bet it does just fine, though.

Product Brown Liquid Bottle Logo
 

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If you do polish it do not top coat with a clear. If the clear gets measles you'll be stripping again. Just polish and protect with a coat of light wax.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
RatchAttack said:
I've polished a few frames, they turn out pretty damn good with some patience and elbow grease.
That frame is beautiful. I'm still not sure if it's for me, though. I may still try to paint it and if it turns out badly I can just strip it again and then go polishing. ;) Always nice to have a "Plan B".

I like the look of your decals. I was thinking about leaving mine naked when done.
 

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gm1230126 said:
Hex on you for putting Zaskar LE decals on a lowly Avalanche or less frame;) Shame, Shame!
Yeah yeah.........
been through that already. No worries though, everyone who ever asked I let them know it was NOT a Zaskar. Its an '06 Avalanche, the old Zas decals were the only ones I could find at the time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
RatchAttack said:
Since your already stripping it why not ditch the repainting idea and just polish that aluminum into a mirror like shine?
OK, you've sown the seeds of doubt. I'm considering polishing it up and weighing the pros and cons.

I'm going to search for this later (after I get the kiddos in bed), but if you have any input it would be greatly appreciated.

I do wonder about how much weight would be saved if I didn't prime/paint/top-coat the frame. Half pound? Two pounds?

I also wonder if there is any way of 'protecting' polished aluminum.

And, if left unprotected (no top coat) how often would I have to polish it to keep it looking bad?
 

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Nice frame Ratch! If mine would've looked like that I think I would've kept it!
Marpilli, I do believe paint on a bike frame is something like 70-90 grams, which I thought was high but seem to remember reading that number somewhere. It's a few ounces at most, definitely under a half pound.
If you polish leave it uncoated so you can touch it up if necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Looking at some pics last night and I'm digging the 'brushed aluminum' look. I read where people were wiping it down with a silicone spray when done and not having to look back.

I really (really) want low-maintenance. I don't think the polished (mirrored) look is what I'm after. I'll either go with a finely brushed aluminum or paint it.

Either way, I need to take the frame down to a brushed aluminum appearance before applying a good primer (surface prep work = strong paint job).

I'll decide when I'm at that point (hopefully next weekend).
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thank you for the suggesting not to paint the frame. I spent some time this week working on it and I really like how it's looking. I was very tempted to pull out the buffing wheel and try to really shine it up. But, I had to remind myself that I wanted low-maintenance. ;)

Bicycle frame Line Iron Metal Parallel


400 grit sandpaper, then 600, then 00 steel wool, 000 steel wool, finally some 3M 'finishing' pad I had (dunno the grit). I may pick up a scotch brite pad or similar this week and work a bit more on it.

Bicycle frame Line Metal Iron Parallel


I ordered a seat post from Nashbar (the one on the donor bike is a larger diameter). And, I ordered some tools from PricePoint. I've never ordered from PricePoint before and I'm really impressed with their prices and low shipping charges (and no tax for my state). It saved me a bunch. The only downside is it's a pain in the rear to find anything on their site.

I also ordered a couple of GT decals from eBay. I would like to keep simple so I plan on putting one on each side of the downtube. Maybe something home-made for the headtube...

I'll bring home the donor bike next week (I've been keeping it at work) and start parting it out.

I'll need to give it a good wash (at least a wipe down) before applying the decals. What's the best thing to wash this thing with? A bit of dish soap in a bucket of water and use a sponge? Any recommendations are appreciated.

Thanks.
 

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marpilli said:
Thank you for the suggesting not to paint the frame. I spent some time this week working on it and I really like how it's looking. I was very tempted to pull out the buffing wheel and try to really shine it up. But, I had to remind myself that I wanted low-maintenance. ;)

View attachment 604824

400 grit sandpaper, then 600, then 00 steel wool, 000 steel wool, finally some 3M 'finishing' pad I had (dunno the grit). I may pick up a scotch brite pad or similar this week and work a bit more on it.

View attachment 604825

I ordered a seat post from Nashbar (the one on the donor bike is a larger diameter). And, I ordered some tools from PricePoint. I've never ordered from PricePoint before and I'm really impressed with their prices and low shipping charges (and no tax for my state). It saved me a bunch. The only downside is it's a pain in the rear to find anything on their site.

I also ordered a couple of GT decals from eBay. I would like to keep simple so I plan on putting one on each side of the downtube. Maybe something home-made for the headtube...

I'll bring home the donor bike next week (I've been keeping it at work) and start parting it out.

I'll need to give it a good wash (at least a wipe down) before applying the decals. What's the best thing to wash this thing with? A bit of dish soap in a bucket of water and use a sponge? Any recommendations are appreciated.

Thanks.
Hit it with rubbing alcohol, soap can leave a residue
 

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Hit that thing with some Mother's Polish then some wax to keep its shine. Re-polish twice a year. Its worth it.

As far as decals go I just wiped mine down real well after polishing and they stuck with no problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I wish I weren't so easily influenced... :p

The thought of a polished frame still sits in my head. But, I wanted to remove the anodization (red) from the donor rims and the clear anodization from the donor crank arms. I had planned on giving both a matching brushed aluminum finish, also.

If I polish the frame I really should polish the rims and crank arms. Right?

EDIT: Maybe I can leave the red anodization on the rims. Decisions, decisions...
 
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