Questions for those who ride steel bikes

Kronos
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Questions for those who ride steel bikes

Postby Kronos » Thu Oct 26, 2017 1:29 am

Living near the beach I'm a little worried about my steel steed.

1) How often do you clean your bike?
2) Do you ever worry about rust enough to strongly consider any modifications to avoid rust? E.G. sealing internal components?
3) Do you ever consider getting a second bike for riding near the beach E.G. aluminum/carbon/titanium.

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Derny Driver
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Re: Questions for those who ride steel bikes

Postby Derny Driver » Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:24 am

I rode a steel Gefsco for 2 hours every day around the Illawarra area for 6 years and the thing still looked perfect when I sold it. I washed it once a week or every time I rode it in the rain. I don't ride any more but I collect old steel bikes and have 13 including Merckx, Coppi, Faggin, Royal Star, Gefsco, Lennie Rogers, Speedwell to name a few. Bikes don't rust from salt like cars do. Bicycle components rust when fine dust settles on them in a moist environment. The dust attracts the moisture and then you get tiny pitting and rust spots happening.
Wipe your bike down with Baby Wipes every so often, and keep them in a dry place. Mine are inside the house (Im not married lol). Garages are not a great place to keep bikes, too much dust and moisture from outside coming in.

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P!N20
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Re: Questions for those who ride steel bikes

Postby P!N20 » Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:24 am

1. When I can't read the downtube decal.
2. Not really. I did spray fish oil inside one frame, but that was more long term peace of mind kind of thing.
3. I always consider getting another bike, but it has nothing to do with riding near the beach and will most likely be steel.

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Aushiker
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Re: Questions for those who ride steel bikes

Postby Aushiker » Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:56 am

I live in Fremantle so on the coast, my local riding is all coastal [e.g., around the port]. I have had my Surly Long Haul Trucker since early 2009. I have never treated it for rust and there is no sign of it rusting now and it is had a decent life as a touring bike.

Now days it is my touring bike and my local ride so no I don't bother with a "beater.". I want to enjoy my riding :)

Cleaning ... I tend to service my bikes every 500 km in winter and every 1,000 km in summer just because, so they get cleaned then.
Andrew
~ Aushiker.com

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Thoglette
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Re: Questions for those who ride steel bikes

Postby Thoglette » Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:42 am

P!N20 wrote:1. When I can't read the downtube decal.

Ditto. And no to questions 2&3

CrMo steels don't like to rust. Plain carbon steel (1020) definitely will but it takes some effort to get serious rust happening.

It's the chromed items that get tatty on the "Rotto" bike (I take my upright, flat pedal equipped "sensible" bike there). And only if you don't wash the salt off after the trip home.

If I was to purchase a new handmade frame (or do a serious resto on some vintage bling) then I'd crack out the Boeshield T-9®. And if you live ON the coast (that is, you get salt buildup on your front fence) then this is a pretty useful product.

I'm a few km inland (so my brick ties are galvanised, not stainless nor plain steel) and my daily driver is an early '80s 4130 frame and the "sensible" is 1020 jobbie from a decade earlier. Neither have any sign of rust. Both are in their original paint.
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Tim
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Re: Questions for those who ride steel bikes

Postby Tim » Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:47 am

I live on the coast, own a steel touring bike and ride it in the rain regularly.
It's parked under the verandah under a cotton dropsheet, mainly to keep the sun off the tyres and prevent paint and plastic UV degradation.
I rarely clean it. At most a wipe-over with a chain greased, oily rag.
I use Boeshield T9 occasionally if I spot any rust spots. I've also squirted it into the chainstay holes and any other frame opening. I also drip a bit onto frame atttachment and mount points such as the front derailleur band, seatpost clamp, rack mounts etc., where the paint might have scratched off and places water can collect.

Kronos
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Re: Questions for those who ride steel bikes

Postby Kronos » Thu Oct 26, 2017 6:33 pm

Thoglette wrote:
P!N20 wrote:1. When I can't read the downtube decal.

If you live ON the coast (that is, you get salt buildup on your front fence) then this is a pretty useful product.


I don't live directly on the beachfront but sometimes where you would ride if the wind changed direction there would be sand/salt on the road. I'm just a bit hyper-vigilant/overcautious with going back to steel for my daily commuter (because I want something more comfortable). Your probably right, chromoly and other treated steel (galvanisation etc) should not rust on their own, at least not without being chipped/dented. I'll get myself some Boeshield T-9 as a just in case precaution, it sounds about right for what I was thinking.

I'll remember to either grease any steel components or just not run things that are steel where possible. I might just end up changing all the fasteners to alloy/titanium ones. The previous problems I've had with steel bikes generally seems to be where rust appears on a bolt and then spreads itself into the frame itself, or where rust begins in natural cavities on your bike. The first one can easily be defeated before you begin with by using titanium/alloy bolts the later one can be fixed by using some Boeshield T-9 around those areas where there are holes in your bike.

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Tim
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Re: Questions for those who ride steel bikes

Postby Tim » Thu Oct 26, 2017 7:58 pm

Kronos wrote: I might just end up changing all the fasteners to alloy/titanium ones.


I've never had rust problems with good quality stainless steel nuts, bolts and screws.

Kronos
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Re: Questions for those who ride steel bikes

Postby Kronos » Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:05 pm

Tim wrote:
Kronos wrote: I might just end up changing all the fasteners to alloy/titanium ones.


I've never had rust problems with good quality stainless steel nuts, bolts and screws.


I've had bolts rust through to be honest, that was a long time between drinks though. The last time I rode a steel bike was in the late 90s :lol:

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Nate
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Re: Questions for those who ride steel bikes

Postby Nate » Wed Nov 01, 2017 12:45 pm

I kind of clean every 2-3weeks when i do my chain.
more just to get all teh dirt, grass & crap off it while i've got the hose there.

I did a fish oil coat when i purchased the frame, as i want to keep it for life :)

Uncle Just
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Re: Questions for those who ride steel bikes

Postby Uncle Just » Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:04 pm

I don't live near the coast but to answer...

1) How often do you clean your bike?
I used to do it frequently now not so much unless it's been ridden on really dirty roads/tracks. A wipe down is what I usually do. (One thing I learnt a few years back is to never use a hose near bearings. A watering can is all I use to remove the suds.)

2) Do you ever worry about rust enough to strongly consider any modifications to avoid rust? E.G. sealing internal components?
It was prepped prior to painting by the framebuilder who did a fantastic job. All swarf and scale were removed and he coated the inside of every tube. I have stripped it down twice in 9 years and once coated the inside with linseed oil. It is still clean inside but water always gets in so I do coat the BB axle lightly with grease and the steerer tube. All seatposts are removed, cleaned and regreased annually.
I had a well known frame builder in the 90s build me a EL OS frame that rusted the down tube inside 12 months. His prepping was atrocious so I'm more fastidious now about the "inside health" of a frame.

3) Do you ever consider getting a second bike for riding near the beach E.G. aluminum/carbon/titanium.
No. But if I lived near the beach and rode often in salty air I'd probably clean the bike more frequently.

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Warin
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Re: Questions for those who ride steel bikes

Postby Warin » Wed Nov 01, 2017 3:06 pm

Kronos wrote:Living near the beach I'm a little worried about my steel steed.
3) Do you ever consider getting a second bike for riding near the beach E.G. aluminum/carbon/titanium.


Aluminium ... on the coast? Not a good idea .. Take a look at the window frames on houses facing the sea .. much aluminium around? If there is .. how long has it been there?

Wash the salt spray off when it occurs with cold water (hot water will speed any chemical reaction). Wax it if your pedantic. Treat the inside of the frame as described above .. or take your own measures on the inside of the frame. That should keep your bike running.

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Thoglette
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Re: Questions for those who ride steel bikes

Postby Thoglette » Wed Nov 01, 2017 3:41 pm

Uncle Just wrote:All seatposts are removed, cleaned and regreased annually.

Well said!

And add similar treatment for quill stems. These items will seize if not maintained.
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jonbays
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Re: Questions for those who ride steel bikes

Postby jonbays » Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:40 am

The real enemy is actually your sweat as much as the salt spray so a fresh clean water rinse off and wipe down will keep a steel frame going forever.

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baabaa
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Re: Questions for those who ride steel bikes

Postby baabaa » Tue Nov 07, 2017 8:48 pm

I have lived close enough to the beach and harbor to be able to hear the waves when the surf is large and rot the tin roof and gutters on my house.
The household bikes have never really been washed or cared for other than a bit of lithium grease inside the tubes and clear nail polish on paint chips and scratches. Rust has not been a issue for the steel bikes but the kids alloy giant at 10 years old is a bit of a mess. I do think being keen on low volume of sale bike brands also means that you tend to get a good paint job, well one not done by a robot anyway.
If you are concerned, get a bike with a Electrophoretic Deposition coating like an All City. The stuff that you can see on the inside of the head and seat tubes seems to be coated way better than any diy treatment, guess it is all to do with the salt they put on roads in the US when it snows.

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Bentnose
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Re: Questions for those who ride steel bikes

Postby Bentnose » Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:52 pm

My steel On One mountain bike that has been exposed to significant amounts of water in its 6 years has a seatpost welded into the frame, don't neglect removing and greasing the seatpost regularly. The whole bike is being replaced next year with a carbon one, I would buy a steel bike again if I found one that appealed to me at a good price, good ones are quite pricey.
2017 last time I checked 1980km, 27,800M elevation, 95 hrs, 80 rides

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