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Discussion Starter #1
I have an '98 steel Fisher hardtail that has already been stripped and repainted once at the factory and, a few years later, rust spots are appearing on the stays and top tube. I don't know if there is rust inside the tubes. How long can i expect the bike to last with just sanding the rust spots and coating them with clear nailpolish (old trick i learned in a bike shop). I prefer not to make the frame a wall-ornament, but i don't want to be on it when it fails.

thanks,
ilan
 

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Tough call...

ilan said:
I have an '98 steel Fisher hardtail that has already been stripped and repainted once at the factory and, a few years later, rust spots are appearing on the stays and top tube. I don't know if there is rust inside the tubes. How long can i expect the bike to last with just sanding the rust spots and coating them with clear nailpolish (old trick i learned in a bike shop). I prefer not to make the frame a wall-ornament, but i don't want to be on it when it fails.

thanks,
ilan
I bet that your bike has lots of miles left in it. It's likely that the rust spots on your stays and top tube are superficial- I've seen lots of steel bikes that are ridden for years and years after the appearance of copious 'surface' rust. As you probably know, steel frames are very resiliant. Unless left outside on a pile of rocksalt for several winters, rarely do they rust out to the point of losing their integrity.
This being said, perhaps it's getting to be time that the frame be put out to stud, sort-to-say. It might be ready fror service in a less than "full time"capacity, as a grocery-getter or campus cruiser. Even if rusty, I'm sure it could handle the less stressfull chores. Besides, rusty bikes don't make the best wall ornaments.
I have a Surly 1x1 with a hairline crack on the seat tube, about 2 inches below the seat collar. I keep an eye on the crack- and use it as a beater campus bike. Will it fail? Maybe. But I haven't noticed any further developement in the crack, and can't bear to retire it completely.
If you do decide to keep it in service, do you old steed a favor and pick up some JP Weigel's framesaver, or some Boeshield in the aerosol can to treat the inside of your frame. This will keep the frame from rusting any further- I treat all of my new steel frames with it on purchase, then retreat them once a year. I've yet to have a steel frame rust when treated in this fashion, even my beater Surly, which sees lots of roadsalt in the winter.
Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thanks Chris, good advice. i'll give the framesaver a try. worse case scenario, i can turn it into a singlespeed for riding around town.

ilan
 

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Rollin' a fatty
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Where can I get some Framesaver or Boeshield? I just built a Kona Unit and would like to give it some kind of anti rust treatment.

Living on a tropical island is nice but rust is a paint to deal with.
 

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occupation : Foole
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You likely have miles left in that there frame....plus, as I understand it (have never broken a frame, though, so fwiw) I don't think steel would out and out fail catastrophically (sp??) like alu - of course, it might if you go big with it, but I doubt superficial rust would be bad enough to compromise the integrity of the frame - I say ride it and keep an eye on it. Am considering going back to steel in the future ( reading of busted alu frames has me being very anal about checking my Fuel's frame, like, every ride...heh)
 

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Rollin' a fatty
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Can it be shipped air mail? Don't know if USPS delivers spray cans, can a similar product be found at the hardware store?
 

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paintbucket
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Got boats?

DiRt DeViL said:
Can it be shipped air mail? Don't know if USPS delivers spray cans, can a similar product be found at the hardware store?
I bet yachties use similar stuff for many different apps. You're looking for a "corrosion inhibitor". Another brand name I've used is LPS-3, which is also an aerosol.
 

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Chatham NJ
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I have the same problem with my 00 or 01 trek 820 frame. I have some rust on the seattube, a little on the toptube and then on the chainstay from chainslap. Where can I buy this stuff you guys are talking about to prevent rust?
If i rubbed off hte surface rust with steelwool, does the clear nail polish protect it?
 

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eman said:
I have the same problem with my 00 or 01 trek 820 frame. I have some rust on the seattube, a little on the toptube and then on the chainstay from chainslap. Where can I buy this stuff you guys are talking about to prevent rust?
If i rubbed off hte surface rust with steelwool, does the clear nail polish protect it?
Wooglin provided this link to Speedgoat above. It is for JP Weigel's Framesaver:
http://www.speedgoat.com/product.asp?part=40881
Yeah, the nailpolish should do the trick just fine, that's what I use if I don't have matching touch up paint.
 

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DiRt DeViL said:
Where can I get some Framesaver or Boeshield? I just built a Kona Unit and would like to give it some kind of anti rust treatment.

Living on a tropical island is nice but rust is a paint to deal with.
Got mine from Larry of http://www.mtnhighcyclery.com, but had to surface shipped it here (japan) along with my other orders.

Had fun spraying the insides of my Jamis Dragon last weekend :D
 

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Well if you keep cleaning off the surface rust and sealing it the bike should last...... until you're long dead. Seriously, a good streel frame can last a long time. I just rebuilt (completely) a 1986 cro-mo bike that had been ridden along the coast. That frame has another 20 years EASY. There was surface rust, but it was only microns deep. Save some money and rust-proof your frame the old fashioned way: strip it, put tape over the drain holes and slosh around a few ounces of boiled linseed oil ($3 at home despot), thenb hang outside or in the garage to drain and dry. If it can keep exposed iron engine blocks on tractors from rusting, it will protect your frame. Better yet, have the frame powdercoated then seal it.
 
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