Thoughts Please! Roberts Raw Frame Refinish

Chris620gsi

Dirt Disciple
My Roberts steel Columbus SLX frameset that I had made in '88 is off to Geoff Roberts soon for a new seat tube (galvanic corrosion) and top tube (dent/bent).

The original pink paint and chrome sadly went many years ago after being stored in a damp shed so I am able to adopt any finish I want.

After a post the other day from Geoff on a FB group where he posted a picture of his exquisite joint finishing with the tag line 'almost a shame to cover it in paint.' I am seriously thinking of keeping the frame raw steel with pink bands for the Roberts decals to sit on and clearcoating the whole lot.

I have read lots on the pro and cons and the risk of rust spiders appearing is very low as she is only be ridden on dry sunny days.

What do you think?
 

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I was advised by my usual powder coater chap not to clear coat (rusts underneath, yellows etc) but rather to use a special polish and build up layers and top up those layers now and then. So far so good - I’m impressed, and as you’re only using it in the dry should be fine, and keep your options open.

The wonder wax in question is called Belgom- apparently much trusted by motorcycle restorers.
 
I was advised by my usual powder coater chap not to clear coat (rusts underneath, yellows etc) but rather to use a special polish and build up layers and top up those layers now and then. So far so good - I’m impressed, and as you’re only using it in the dry should be fine, and keep your options open.

The wonder wax in question is called Belgom- apparently much trusted by motorcycle restorers.
Thanks doctor-bond. I have read that a clear powdercost is 'better' than a wet clearcoat (less porous I presume), but have also read that owners just use wax polishes to protect the stee tubes.

Belgom appears to be an aluminium specific polish, but you it feel is OK for steel? I shall have a look. Thank you, once again.
 
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Back in the old days your "ordinary" cycle, now called a penny farthing, frequently came unpainted, and the owner would oil the whole thing regularly.
Fun.

I see quite a few older clearcut framed bikes, rarely still look good, but probably a home job, not done properly
 
If it's of any help Brompton offer a range of clear powder-coated frames - "raw lacquer" along with tinted versions including "black" and "flame".

The raw frames were introduced first and have a rep for fragility (at least the earlier ones). Not sure about later examples or the other variants; I have a 2021 in black lacquer that's seen a year of all weather commuting and so far shows no signs of sub-finish rust.

I'm enough of a tart to wax my (painted) bike frames, but it's a right ballache and wouldn't fancy trying to stay on top of it were it the only means of rust prevention.

I do absolutely love the aesthetic of raw-finished frames..
 
If it's of any help Brompton offer a range of clear powder-coated frames - "raw lacquer" along with tinted versions including "black" and "flame".

The raw frames were introduced first and have a rep for fragility (at least the earlier ones). Not sure about later examples or the other variants; I have a 2021 in black lacquer that's seen a year of all weather commuting and so far shows no signs of sub-finish rust.

I'm enough of a tart to wax my (painted) bike frames, but it's a right ballache and wouldn't fancy trying to stay on top of it were it the only means of rust prevention.

I do absolutely love the aesthetic of raw-finished frames..
Thanks Wafter. The bike will only be ridden on nice dry days so, 🤞, waxing should be too much of an issue.
 
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