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 Post subject: Ball Burnished Bikes
PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 10:35 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2013 9:02 pm
Posts: 304
Location: Lancashire
Does anyone have one of these? Any pics available? I remember in the 90’s that they were an alternative to polished steel and had a nice finish. I don’t expect that there are many left and I imagine that it’s quite expensive to ball burnish a bike these days. I could be wrong though…


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 Post subject: Re: Ball Burnished Bikes
PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 10:43 pm 
Devout Dirtbag

Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:18 pm
Posts: 116
Weren't the Zaskars ball burnished for a while?


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 Post subject: Re: Ball Burnished Bikes
PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:03 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:29 pm
Posts: 1877
Location: Somerset
you can't viably ball burnish a frame after it's built, it's not popular like it used to be. Essentially it's a mechanical process performed on the tubes before joining, used on Aluminium bikes, such as the zaskar, of which there are many left, look up the burnishing process. Polished steel frames, I'm not convinced on that one, maybe chrome plated steel?


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 Post subject: Re: Ball Burnished Bikes
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:41 am 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2013 9:02 pm
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Location: Lancashire
I just found info this on WALTHER TROWAL's site who appear to be in the field of this technology. The accompanying picture of what looks like a brass radiator fitting, so it may be a process for metal finishing in general.

"REASONABLY PRICED ATTRACTIVENESS
Sometimes, visible parts should look decorative and glazing without being high gloss polished. However, costs may not be of consequence. For this purpose, the "ball burnishing" with little steel balls is the first choice. Nice, brilliant surface are thus achieved at low costs with extremely good results.


ATTRACTIVE GLOSS
Ball burnished surfaces increasingly meet international acceptance. The results appear - due to the matt finished metallic gloss extremely attractive. And many customers appreciate the side-effect; a surface compaction (peening effect) produced by the ball burnishing process responsively the increased corrosion resistance."

Anyone got any pics of a ball burnished bike?


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 Post subject: Re: Ball Burnished Bikes
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:55 am 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 3:34 pm
Posts: 1848
Location: Launceston, Australia
just google "GT Zaskar" and you'll find about a million of them. They are famous for it.

But for ease, here's mine (non-retro 2008)
Image


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 Post subject: Re: Ball Burnished Bikes
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:10 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2013 9:02 pm
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Location: Lancashire
Does anyone know if ALL of the Zaskar LE's were burnished? I wonder if they were coated or lacquered after burnishing?


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 Post subject: Re: Ball Burnished Bikes
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:18 am 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 3:34 pm
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Location: Launceston, Australia
pretty much all zaskars and zaskar le's were ball burnished, some were anodised as well. There were some that were frost finished and near the end like 99 onwards they were painted


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 Post subject: Re: Ball Burnished Bikes
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 12:59 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2006 12:33 pm
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Location: The Home Of Mountain Biking, And All Great Things.
Ball burnishing was a big fad back in the 90s, with the big manufacturers offering it on various mass produced models. I guess they were possibly using ball burnished tubing, as logistically ball burnishing bike frames is madness. Or they were just calling the finish ball burnished, where it was actually not. It doesn't make sense to weld burnished tubes together though, as the welding process would negate the benefits of the burnishing.

I am going to guess most of what are described as ball burnished are actually polished, in the same way some bikes were called Ti because they had a coating that had the appearance of Ti.

GT certainly seem to describe an actual ball burnishing process in their catalog, so it seems at least one maker was doing what they said on the tin.


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 Post subject: Re: Ball Burnished Bikes
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:45 pm 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Thu Apr 17, 2008 1:24 am
Posts: 7562
Location: Manchester
Isn't it just using a vibratory tumbler with ball bearings?


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 Post subject: Re: Ball Burnished Bikes
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:51 pm 
Old School Hero

Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2007 7:27 pm
Posts: 205
Aren't the titanium Raleighs burnished because they're made of 100% titanium ,which is more brittle,and burnishing makes cracks less likely to develop?

Their burnished finish is matt grey.


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